Enhance Your Personal Brand
Presentation is everything. An inexpensive gift can appear expensive and one of kind just how it is wrapped and presented. All the same, something valuable wrapped in a brown paper bag could be overlooked and not valued. You are one of a kind and your wrapping can reflect your uniqueness without breaking your bank.
Choosing to or not to accentuate the finer details will make or break your personal brand. Looking like a million bucks doesn’t mean you have to spend that amount. Purchasing quality has a cost but not the high price of trendy fades which tend to be more expensive, don’t last as long and needs to be replaced with the next trend.
Below are five ways you can project your best with your personal brand presentation. These suggested tips are a few things you can do on a regular basis to enhance and maintain your personal brand.
Good House KeepingOne thing about that publication, “Good House Keeping”, is its articles outlining useful tips and tricks to maintain the items purchased. It is a resource to help you keep them in the best condition possible. With that in mind, what condition are your accessories? Wearing scuffed shoes or a broken necklace will not present in you in the best light. Survey the condition of all your accessories. If something needs to be replaced, do so. If you don’t like the item any more then give it away or donate. If it looks a bit worn take it to get fixed. If is dirty then get it cleaned. Maintaining the soles of your shoes, cleaning your jewelry or purses, fixing the straps of your purses and bags, and repairing all that is broken will cost less than buying something new. We all love new but you spent your good money on those items so take care of them. Last year I took every piece of jewelry that was broken to my jeweler. He fixed it all for less than $70. Now that is a deal.
As your career advances and you achieve more in life your personal brand should progress to completeness and refinement. I am not suggesting that your brand reflect a woman who fine dines every night. Rather, as you move on up the ladder of life present you on purpose. I am encouraging you to be clear and consistent in your presentation. Nothing says sloppy than clothes that needs repair, are not freshly pressed, are spotted and are ill fitting. Ladies we have boobs, hips and butts, you are not fat but you may to get things taken up or loosened. If you can’t sew find a tailor to fix missing buttons, holes, hems and get garments fitting just right. When clothes fit you look smaller. When clothes are in good condition you project confidence and success.
I am…Define your style with your signature touch. Whether that is a statement color or an accessory, define your style with an expression of you. Gone are the days where professional attire for women was a version of a man’s black or navy suit. For example, I know someone who only wears her favorite color when professionally speaking or representing her business. That color is also used on all of her business branding, from her business logo to its website. That is her signature touch, what is yours? If you don’t know what color looks best on you, consider getting a color profile created.
Think about what could be your signature style? Consider your profession, industry and lifestyle. Don’t choose something that will be hard to maintain. Maybe your signature is a color or an era or something subtle like a lipstick color? Not matter what it is I encourage you to incorporate that into your brand daily. Nothing says I am (fill in the blank) better than a nonverbal cue.
What if you are intimidated by fashion or think you don’t have fashion sense then I encourage you to seek the assistance of a stylist. Personally, I love to see people who have their own style and wear it loudly. In today’s world some executives wear jeans and tee-shirts so there is a space for you to have a lot of personality with your style. On the other hand, I know a lot of ladies work in environments where expressive styles would not be welcomed. Additionally, I see a lot of women who just don’t know how to pull it together with an accent that is just them. Consider a stylist, an expert in fit and fashion, to assist you with personalizing your brand image.
If you think a stylist is out of reach then ask someone who appearance you like and you know is best suited for your life. Research online and in fashion magazine shapes and colors for your body, dress size and complexion. The most important thing to keep in mind is marrying your life style and your profession. No one has the time and money to invest it garments that you won’t wear.
Pearly WhitesDon’t be afraid to smile. Not everyone can afford braces and corrective surgery with the dentist but we can all afford get your teeth cleaned annually. Please hear me out on this. In a big city like Los Angeles I can go the a local university and get discount dental care or I can pay out of pocket, around $100, for x-rays, an exam and cleaning with an established dentist. So many times I hear that health care costs are high and out of reach but I see new cars, expensive hand bags and overpriced coffee in the same hands saying they can’t afford basic dental or health care. Yes you can. It is called priorities. For those health issues or dental problems outside the scope of basic then yes there are real barriers to entry for health and dental care. Yet, if you went to the dentist every 6 months, as suggested, you might not develop the serious and costly problems in the future.
If your smile is healthy and you want to give it a boost consider teeth whitening. There are over the counter options, home remedies and professional services out there. Whiter and brighter teeth behind great smiles are noticed. So go on and show off your pearly whites.
The Shell You Are InNothing says healthy like good skin and hair. Your personal brand hinges on you projecting health and especially with your outer warping. If you have skin and hair problems for whatever reason address that first. There are so many blogs, books and resources to cure and fix any skin and hair problem. I know there is a certain standard of beauty out there that is opposite of typical woman yet most strive for it. Ladies get comfortable with your skin, its color and your hair. Luckily for women we can be versatile and change often but you must have a great canvas to start. I think that makeup and hair are the two places you can be very trendy. Word of caution don’t do too many trends at the same time.
Ok here is another soap box. If a woman of color choses to wear nature hairs styles then world and coworkers don’t judge and don’t touch them. Her hair is clean. Her hair won’t effect or affect you in any way. Actually if you leave her head alone and focus on her work you will see that she is amazing in her own way.
Now that the canvases are healthy then chose how to accent within your personal brand. You could choose a bold hair color or dramatic eyes. Or you could choose a signature accessory like colored glasses or a specific frame style. I met a lady who has so many frames that she changes then as often as she changes outfits, that her style and her signature. Again consider your profession and lifestyle. A young lady that worked for me was always so blah when she came into work. After a while I learned she wanted to get into makeup. I encouraged her to find a job in that industry. I recently saw images of her and wow, what a transformation. Her hair color was vivid and her eyes stunning. Could she rock that look in a corporate setting, maybe at the corporate offices for a makeup brand but for the most part no. But can she express her style that way as she raises up the ranks in the beauty industry, yes.
Like most women, we have a rocky relationship with our hair. Make peace with your skin and hair. In the end focus on having the best skin and hair ever, take care of them and pamper them when possible. As you get older you will need them both, they will be with you forever. If you try something and it doesn’t work you can hide with wigs, weaves, hats, concealer or shades.
Before You Dress For the World, Dress For YourselfThere are two things ladies can put on every day just for themselves that will make them feel good every time. One is a perfume and the other is good fitting foundation, a bra. I must confess, I stopped wearing perfume in college. My boyfriend at the time did not like the smell my perfume and the body oil I used as lotion made. So for years I went for no smell at all. Then, one day playing in my momma’s stuff I put on something and all day everyone complemented me. From that day on I was hooked. I was pretty, I looked nice and my smile was gorgeous. I had on a white tee and jeans, so my outfit was not the difference maker. It was the perfume. Really it was how the scent made me feel and how the world enjoyed my scent with my persona. Take the time a try a variety of fragrances or even go to a specialty retailer and have one designed just for you.
Now for the foundation, yes underwear is the foundation of fashion. As a Certified Fitter I am pleading with you get the right bra and panty. Ladies having on a bra the fits your body makes the difference in how your clothes fit and how you feel about your body. What your bra looks like is just for you. If you are sexy, be sexy. If you are colorful then rock that color. When your bra fits and it is in the style you love, you feel better. When you feel better you look better. No one in the world will know you are a G cup but they will know you feel good about you.
Let’s talk panties and shapers. First, thongs are not a replacement for panties they are additions to your drawer. Don’t wear thongs every day, advice from a medical professional. Second, panties need a cotton crouch. Your vagina needs to breath. Lastly, if you have an issue that you want to hid then do so with a shaper. Shapers can smooth legs and tummies. There are all kinds of styles out there. Shapers are not body remakers. Don’t go down a dress size with a shaper just smooth things out. My grandmother believed in girdles and I had a few growing up. Not all shapers are alike and the stronger the shaper the possibility the worse it is for your skin and lymph system. Yep, you read right. I have seen stuff tighter than my grand’s girdle. Now if you have that all important once in a life time event then squeeze yourself into it and wear that dress (it had better be a formal dress for all that hard work). However for everyday and or weekends find another solution. Please oh please don’t wear panties with the shaper. Let your vagina breath, if there is a crouch consider cutting it out so you won’t have to pull it up and down when going to bathroom.
I hope that these five points are a starting point for you to boost your confidence through your personal brand style. Getting your personal brand right for you should be fun and exciting. It will take time, effort and some cash. You are worth the investment, especially as you progress with your career and life. As my mother says, “be the best you, you know how to be”.