It only takes sixty seconds for people to form an opinion during the first meetings. How much can you physically say about yourself in that time? Realistically – not a whole lot. However, one can take advantage of their style and fashion to communicate branding and personality.
Miuccia Prada said it best: “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world. Fashion is instant language.” In other words, to impress others, one must first dress to impress. This statement is doubly true in the business world, where first impressions can make all the difference in a company’s rise or failure.
The best advice for young entrepreneurs and business people is to create a brand that works for them. While this can be an intimidating prospect, there is a logical way to recreate one’s personal brand through fashion style and image.
When trying to develop a personal brand, the first step in this process is to define yourself. Or perhaps it would be better to say, define the message you’re trying to convey about yourself.
Consider the adjectives that best describe you, and then imagine how they would look in terms of fashion. Even the broader strokes in this process will begin to narrow down the style one is looking for.
To put it in a different light, how do you want that critical first impression to go? What impression do you want to leave behind? Do you want to stand out from the crowd or look like one of the pack?
Once you have an idea of what you want to convey, it is time to get a frame of reference. The best way to create a frame of reference is through research. Look for fashion inspiration – role models for how you want to look and dress.
One can start this process in several ways. Is there somebody in your life that you already look up to? Look to their wardrobe and sense of style. No luck there? Then it is time to hop onto social media and look through all that is available there. Other alternatives include:
- Searching through blogs full of fashion tips.
- Studying influencers.
- Looking for common trends in your particular industry.
Set a Budget
While it may be tempting to run out and buy a million new outfits to suit an exciting new personal branding – it’s crucial to set a budget before doing so. Consider what you can reasonably afford for the moment, and do not cross that line. Remember, it is easy to add to a wardrobe later.
Know Your Setting
When designing a new brand, it’s essential to keep your surroundings in mind. For example, warmer climate fashion will be significantly different from colder climate fashion, and with good reason.
Additionally, even the sort of work environment will have an impact on fashion options. Business casual is certainly fashionable but would not be well suited to a more formal atmosphere. The reverse is also true.
Consistency is Key
One essential element to keep in mind is consistency. Once a personal image has been designed, it’s necessary not to break it by deviating from the plan. For example, an entrepreneur that made their success from sustainability should not be seen parading around in fast fashion.
Redesigning a wardrobe is the perfect time to take color theory into consideration. Not only do different color palettes suit different people, but colors can evoke different emotions or thoughts.
One of the simplest ways to create a consistent yet fashionable wardrobe is to design a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential articles of clothing, which can be combined in various ways to create new looks.
Capsule wardrobes have everything that a professional needs to ensure a positive yet consistent appearance. Here, the focus is on having a few high-quality pieces of clothing for a foundation, with accessories to help make each outfit unique. It’s an affordable and sustainable option.
Fashion knows how to work with what a person has to offer. Here, it is beneficial to highlight what makes you stand out. It can be anything from height to eye color or even a personality trait, talent, or profession. All that matters is that you find a way to stand out and leave an impression.
There’s nothing incorrect with using this time to experiment a little bit. Try out some different fashion choices or styles. Items that wouldn’t usually cross your mind could theoretically fit in with the aesthetic you’re aiming for.
One easy way to begin experimenting is by pulling in some bold accessories – such as ones with bright colors. Alternatively, one could start to play with different patterns and textures to see how that works out.
Try Signature Styles
In a similar fashion to experimentation, now is the perfect time to try going for a signature style. Consider celebrities – they frequently have an iconic or signature look to help fans identify them. This can work in the business world as well when applied appropriately.
When deciding on one’s style and image, it’s critical not to overlook one’s grooming. Remember, business etiquette calls for one to be well-groomed. One can still customize their look while still falling within this requirement.