Last week I saw and shared a quote on my Facebook business page stating “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling is your trademark.” As an image consultant and personal brand expert, I thought this was an interesting analogy and completely agree!
I added the comment (somewhat apprehensively for some strange reason) that if your dress and grooming doesn’t match your personality, capabilities and goals, there’s an incongruence that leaves people a little confused. And in many cases, you may miss the opportunity to interact with someone long enough for them to learn your trademark.
Whether we like it or not, people start forming impressions of us within the first 3 seconds of seeing us. Holy Moly…that’s fast! Often times, they’ve made a decision to hire us, go out with us, be friends with us, do business with us, etc, before we’ve even had the chance to interact with them!
Here are a few tips for matching your inner quality with your outer quality image. Some of my advice may sound a little bit like tough love, but sometimes it takes a little T.L. to truly make a change in our lives.
- You’ve invested in your education and training, and you’ve worked hard to get where you are. You are high quality! Is your image? When you buy clothes, do you pay attention to the quality and look of quality, or is price your only priority? By absolutely no means am I suggesting you need to start spending more money than you can afford; however, I invite you to explore quality and value.
- Take some time for yourself! You deserve it! Over the past 11 years, I’ve worked with countless women who have told me they bought much of their wardrobes at Kohl’s or Target, (and similar discount stores,) because they were doing errands with their kids and quickly bought an item off the rack on the aisle. I can’t make a blanket statement, but these stores aren’t known for quality professional clothing!
Said clients are far happier with their wardrobes after exploring higher quality clothing, which fits, hangs and looks better with less wrinkling. Honestly, value is what you’re going for, and it isn’t always tons more expensive. I think you’d be surprised to find a lot of the stores you’ve never tried are less expensive and provide more value than you think.
You deserve and need to take the time to shop in a store that doesn’t also sell bananas, band aids, dog food and toys!
- Never settle! I understand that when you don’t have a lot of time for shopping, you feel obligated to come home with something after taking a couple of hours for yourself. On the other hand, if what you buy isn’t exactly what you had in mind, it’s only a prize…not an addition to your wardrobe.
- Only buy clothes you absolutely love! You’ll save money, because you’ll wear what you buy and you’ll feel great wearing them…priceless! Also, because you’ll feel satisfied with your clothes, you won’t get bored with them and feel the need to go shopping for more.
- Stop heading directly to the sale racks when you enter a store. It’s not that there aren’t quality items on the sale rack, but often times by the time a garment makes it to clearance, it’s because it didn’t fit or look good on anyone else either. Only shopping clearance racks can be demoralizing and time consuming!
Alternatively, consider buying one well thought out item at full price that you swoon over versus several sale items that are just O.K.
If you can’t bring yourself to buy the full price item, you can stalk it. With all of our technology, there are alerts and apps that let you know when the price has gone down. The down side is that you risk missing out on your size or preferred color.
- Plan your wardrobe, only making purchases you really need. (This probably should have been tip #1) Ensuring you have quality, well thought out basics allows you to mix and match your wardrobe with ease.
Planning your wardrobe and expanding your resources will ultimately help you achieve the kind of look you desire that matches your image to your personality, professionalism and capabilities! I encourage you to try some of today’s tips.
And if you’re especially intrigued about this topic, be sure to visit my new blog archives. I’ve been writing the e-Style Tip and my blog since 2007. In the archives, you’ll find everything categorized by date and topic. Granted, fashion has changed in the past 8 years, but the basic concepts of image and style haven’t and there’s a lot of good stuff there (if I do say so myselfJ!)