Mary stands in front of her closet, a towel wrapped around her. Her hair is soaking wet dripping down her shoulders as she tries to figure out what she is going to wear today. She has a very important meeting and needs a fabulous outfit that will make her look and feel confident. But now she panics as she tries to assemble an outfit, realizing she is already running late. She stares at her closet that is bursting at the seams, filled with clothes that no longer fit, never worn items with tags on them snagged at some great sale, or simply out of date. Twenty minutes later, Mary has piles of clothing on the floor still not knowing what to wear…
Does this story sound familiar to you? So many of us wake up each morning with a million things going through our minds including the infamous question – “what should I wear today?”
Deep down we all want to feel attractive and confident. Feeling that we look good can make us feel even better. Feeling good and looking polished allow us to exude confidence and to command respect when we enter a room.
As a mom entrepreneur, your personal brand is also a reflection of your business. Whether you are aware of it or not, every day you get dressed to go out of the house, especially if you are meeting with potential clients or partners or attending a business-related event, your personal dress represents the tone, energy, and unique design of your business brand.
Nobody wants to be associated with an unsuccessful brand. So why would you want your brand – YOU – to look unsuccessful when you are indeed a success? The key to fashion success is having a great style system in place.
This can feel like a lot of pressure. But you need not feel anxious. With my seven secrets to style success, getting dressed in the morning can build confidence, exude success, and help you build your business.
My 7 Secrets to Style Success
Secret #1 – What is your dominant “personal style”?
Typically as women we enjoy wearing outfits that suit our mood in the moment. However as a general rule, we tend to have a dominant style we love. You may prefer bohemian, preppy, classic or suburbanite looks, or you may be a high-end fashionista. Identifying your dominant personal style helps you to streamline your wardrobe.
Secret #2 – Know your body type
As women, we are quick to criticize our bodies! We think our hips and thighs are too wide, our legs are too long or short, and we can seem to find a million things wrong with ourselves. Knowing your body type is one of the biggest keys to style success. By understanding your body type and how you are proportioned, it allows you to select clothing that can camouflage your “flaws” and flatter your figure.
If you have problems finding clothing that fits you perfectly off the rack (which many of us do) find an excellent tailor that can help you alter your clothing. Having your garments altered to fit you perfectly makes your outfits look luxurious and expensive even if they were a bargain purchase. Even the most expensive of outfits can look cheap if they do not fit well.
Secret #3 – Select colors that work for you
Every season there are key color trends. The colors of the season are usually prevalent in all of the big designer clothing lines. However, women make the mistake of buying something just because it is “in style” even if it does not look great on them.
Consider getting a professional color analysis done. Understanding what colors work and do not work for you makes a huge difference. You will also not feel the pressure to buy something in a color that is in style. You will stick to what works for you, making you look vibrant and beautiful.
Secret #4 – Do a closet cleanse
Today, body cleanses are all the rage. We give our bodies a chance to re-boot and we should do the same with our closets. People typically wear only 20 percent of what they have in their closets.
Can you clearly see everything you have hanging in your closet? Do you have your clothing, shoes, and accessories neatly organized? Do you have items in there you have not worn in two years or more? Does everything in your closet fit your body TODAY and not dated?
If the answer to any of these is NO you need to do some spring-cleaning!
Start by taking everything out and assessing each piece. For all of the items you will not be keeping consider taking them to a consignment shop, donating them to charity, or for your unmentionables – underwear, bras and those pesky socks with holes – throw them out.
Secret #5 – Get the essentials
In the fashion world, there are classic pieces that stand the test of time. Your closet should have some essential items that you keep because they are always in style and can be paired with trendier seasonal items.
Here are some of my favorite essential items:
- Trench coat
- Black dress
- Cashmere sweaters
- Dress pants
- Black classic handbag
- Black pumps
By investing in great quality essential items, you can layer and build on them to create a fabulous wardrobe.
Secret #6 – Plan your wardrobe
Knowing what you should wear each day can take some thoughtful planning. One key time saving tip is to create “uniforms” in your closet.
By having some items that you have coordinated that can be used for specific occasions such as the power suit for that all-important meeting or travel outfits for those long weekend getaways, this helps take some of the thought out of your wardrobe planning. Take photos of them on your phone; this allows you easy access to know what to pull out of your closet.
When you are shopping to add to your wardrobe, select items that can easily mix and match with the clothing and accessories you already own. The more mixing and matching you can do, the easier it is to plan your wardrobe each week and to pack for trips.
Secret #7 – Accessorize your outfit!
Accessories are one of the easiest ways to make your outfits look stylish, luxurious and stand out. In fact, sometimes having the right accessories can allow you to wear a simple outfit where the accessories are the focal point. Pairing a simple black dress with those statement shoes for example can make all the difference! Invest in good quality essential items like a black classic handbag and black pumps.
Accessories are also an easy way to add color to your outfits. You can select inexpensive trendy items that allow you to look up-to-date but in an affordable fashion. There are several online sites that carry affordable trendier accessories.
For business keep your accessories simple depending on the occasion, sometimes less is more. Outside of work don’t be afraid to be playful, try mixing and matching your accessories in different ways.
How will you tweak your personal style to help promote your business brand? Do you have ideas for how changes in your closet will translate to growth in your business? Any specific questions or comments for the author? Tell us in the comments.
About the Author:
Laura Hibbert is a style expert who promotes the idea that great style can be accomplished with any budget or body type and is a guaranteed confidence booster! She contends that it does not take much to dress well. Her aim with clients is to help them save lots of money and time and to have more room in their closets for the things they will actually be wearing.