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Own Your Look

Style is one factor in creating your own personal brand. What is the message you are trying to convey? When people see you, they immediately respond to the visual image you present. Is it memorable appropriate, and professional, given the setting? In the world of work, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Your style needs to empower you and a strong sense of personal style is a confidence builder in many arenas. In various studies, 55% of your credibility as a speaker, for example, is based on how you look, 38% on how you sound and 7% on what you say. It’s human nature to judge each other first on appearance because that’s really the most information we have to begin with. So, if you are prepared to freshen up your look or tweak your style, the following tips from Aliza Licht, author of Leave Your Mark are invaluable.

1. Know your body: Don’t convince yourself that all styles look good on you. Experiment AND be prepared to walk away from a season of fashion that may work best for others.

2. Get style inspired: Gather images of women whose style you most admire. Are there common denominators? It may be accessories or color- identify what it is that caught your eye.

3. Record best outfits: A good style moment can be easily forgotten. If a great outfit makes you feel special, take a selfie to jog your memory and capture the moment.

4. Store your go-to clothes together: When you are pressed for time, you want easy access to those pieces that always look good and lock in your confidence. The last thing you need is a frenzied hunt for the blouse that never wrinkles or the shoes that are the right height for your pants.

5. Hang by look: Keeping an organized closet not only eliminates stress, but enables you to see how many pairs of black pants you really own or if your look is too monochromatic, too colorful, or confusing. When placed together in your closet, the immediate feedback you receive may be a cause to celebrate or to cringe

6. Keep your job in mind: No matter how much fun you want to have with your style, remember when and where you will be. Bear in mind the job/career you have as you tweak or re-brand your style.

7. Identify a signature Item: Repetition is reputation. For the Ms. Licht, it is red lipstick and red nails. You may have an extensive shoe or handbag collection if your budget permits. However, unless you are in the creative fields where edgy pieces are expected, rein it in on being too trendy as there is a fine line between interesting and eccentric.

Your style can help or hinder you. Experiment and be realistic. If your soul cries out for up-to-the-minute fashion but your workplace screams neutrals, you have various options. Before you quit, indulge your other self in your free time or limit your fun fashion to one piece of your attire at a time. It might just be the conversation starter you need.


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