For the longest time people have been using their clothes to send a clear message about who they are and what they do, from the crowns of kings to your savey office suit, everything you wear says something about who you are.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that to have a coherent relationship between your outer image and who you are is important not only for establishing a strong personal brand but also for building a much-needed sense of confidence.
This is exactly what our new guest for the Personal Branding Exposed Podcast, Lacey Savell helps women accomplish and for this episode she is going to share with us some exclusive tips on how to let your true self shine.
The Search for Uniqueness
Now, just like nobody’s born a business owner, a lawyer, a medic or a personal branding strategist, Lacey had to find her passion for styling and clothes, which she did at a very young age.
This realisation came to her through a personal search for a unique aesthetic, along with a strong wish to be unlike anyone else, a wish that would eventually lead her on a journey.
“ When I was still at school I was fiddling around with a sowing machine trying to create that sort of uniqueness, and what I wanted to wear that was different.
I didn’t want to go to a department store, I shopped in off-shops, I wanted to cut things and transform them, and then, I decided to travel over the world and see what was available for me, and that is what got me into styling and fashion.”
It’s not your Body, it’s your clothes.
Now, from exploring Lacey’s background and her telling stories of the wonders of fashion she found on her travels, we eventually got to talking about an experience most women can sympathize with.
We’re talking, of course, about those horrid days when we go into a store feeling perfectly comfortable with ourselves, only to come out with our confidence shattered because we tried a cute outfit on that simply didn’t fit.
To those women that went or still go through this terrible moment, Lacey had an important piece of advice:
“It’s not your body that’s the problem, it’s that you haven’t found the right fit, you haven’t got the right style, and that is what I feel is so important.
I usually say that if you go to a store, grab three sizes, so if you’re a 13, grab a 12 and a 14, because you don’t know. And the things is, for such a long time we determined our worth from the number in the backs of our clothes, and it’s not about that at all.”
In other words, stop worrying about the little number on the label, it is not an objective measurement of your looks or your worth.
Another important piece of advice that Lacey shared was that dressing up for work, events or a simple dinner should always be a positive experience, and that you should shake off that fear and insecurity
When you open your wardrobe the first thing that should cross your mind is the excitement of having an infinite number of possibilities laid out before you, not fear and self judgement, or as our professional stylist puts it:
“ I try to make it exciting for women, rather than being stuck in the fear and getting so debilitated by that, to actually make it a journey of self discovery and something fun to do.
That’s why I always tell my clients to play dress up, because if you don’t play dress ups, how are you going to have fun with your wardrobe?”
A large part of the stress we feel when putting trying on new outfits comes from repetition, the endless cycle of trying and rejecting combinations that eats away at our sense of self-worth.
So, in doing as Lacey suggests and “playing dress up”, you get to try out and appreciate your clothes without all the pressure and fear that remove the pleasure from the activity.
You’ll be able to always pick the perfect outfit for any situation from the top of your head, and it will way more natural and satisfying.
Now, like I explained at the introduction to this article, before you get to say even a single word, your clothes are already talking, and if you want to use them as a personal branding tool you’ll need a consistent message.
However, this presents an interesting challenge, how can you send a consistent message through your clothes without being repetitive? Lacey had the following to say about it:
“Even though I don’t have an entire wardrobe of my brand colors, it’s having consistency across your platform, it might not be the color of your clothing, but bring it out in lipsticks, or hair accessories and find ways to jouge up your outfits that don’t have to be loud.”
In other words, just because yellow is a predominant color in your brand, it doesn’t mean you have to go everywhere looking like a daffodil, in fact it’s safe to say that the most subtle hints tend to cause the most impact.
Watching all the models and styles in fashion expositions, TV shows and outdoors may draw us into the false conclusion that style is achieved through repetition.
This, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth, sure, there are some principles that might help you draw out the best results, but in those results, what should always shine through is your true self.
The same principles that let you send a congruent message through what you wear are also the ingredients for a strong personal brand that make you more than a mere logo on the internet.
So, if you’d like to master these principles and use them to drive your business to new heights, feel free to contact me for full personal branding coaching and advisory.