If our lives are changing then it kind of makes sense that our wardrobes change too. I work with ladies whose lives are often changing from kids leaving home to them leaving corporate life to retire or to set up their own business, through to changes in their relationship status such as divorce through to starting dating again.
In this period of change, wearing clothes that feel familiar and safe can make us feel comfortable but for some people, this comfort can wear off and they can end up feeling that they don’t like the clothes in their wardrobe any more, that they don’t reflect who they are today and they want to make a change but they don’t know where to start. If this feels like you, then you will find this video really useful. I do this exercise with my clients as a first step to discovering who they really are, and what that means in terms of their style and clothing choices going forward.
I see this so many times with clients that no matter how chatty and giggly they are when they arrive, when I ask them to get in front of the mirror so I can begin their consultation, for some, everything changes. The head goes down and the giggling stops. For some of my clients, this simple task can be a real challenge. When they look in the mirror, they look for the flaws and the things that they don’t like about themselves. They point out the wrinkles, the dark circles under the eyes and the blemishes. What they don’t see are the beautiful eyes, the healthy glowing skin and the gorgeous smile.
You see, this is where I think guys get lucky! As women, one of the first tasks we do every day is to stand in front of the mirror to look for our flaws so we can disguise them with make-up. We actually hunt out the under eye circles, the scars and the blemishes so that we can cover them with make-up. Guys, generally, get to avoid this daily routine. And the thing is, that if we are not careful, this negative self-talk can really impact our self-esteem and our confidence and lets be honest, that is not a great way to start our day.
You see, if we met a friend for lunch and she launched into how bad her wrinkles are, or the blemish on her cheek, I am guessing that we would go out of our way to reassure her and tell her how lovely she looked. We would point out her gorgeous smile or her sparkling eyes. We would tell her how great she looked. But when it comes to ourselves, we miss this out.
This weekend, I had the privilege to work with a lady who was in her mid 60’s and she had the most beautiful skin and incredible piercing eyes, but all she could tell me about was how she was ageing with wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. She just did not see what I, or her daughter who accompanied her, saw. If she had told me she was 46 I would have believed her! She agreed with me that when she looked in a mirror, she looked for the negatives and she agreed to try to stop and instead, point out the positives whilst applying her make-up.
So, January is a time to make a new start and this is my task for you. When you put on your make-up each day, by all means, look for and disguise the flaws because that in itself gives us confidence, but also, talk to yourself as if you are your own best friend. Find the positives and tell yourself how lovely you look and lets start the day on a completely different note.
There are so many better ways to spend your hard-earned cash than on clothes that end up in wardrobes and drawers and never get worn and yet whenever I do Wardrobe Edits with Clients, I see them lurking in the background with the tell-tale label still attached. When I ask Clients why they don’t wear an item, it is normally “it was an impulse buy and I didn’t have time to take it back” or “I needed something so I thought it would do”.
If you added up how much you have spent on clothes that don’t get worn that are currently hanging in your wardrobe, how much would it amount to? £100, £500 or more? What could you do with that extra money – especially with Christmas approaching!
So, next time that you are in the changing room, trying on, here are 2 questions that I want you to ask yourself…
Do I Love It?
So, when you try it on, does it make you feel great, so great that actually you don’t want to take it off? I recently had a Personal Shopping trip with a client of mine and what was great about this particular client was that no matter how good an item looked on her, if it wasn’t an item that she loved, she did not buy it! She was honest enough with me – and herself – to admit that if she did not love it, she would probably not wear it and so we left it in the store. I loved this about her because I knew that when she did buy an item, it was something she was not only going to wear, but love wearing and that is what I want for all of my clients!
Does it go with at least 3 other items that I own?
I also have Clients tell me that they do not wear an item because they have nothing to wear with it. I have a simple rule that I do not already own at least 3 items that it will go with, then I will leave it in the Store. Getting dressed should be easy so we can just grab say a top and a pair of trousers and off we go and this is how we build a really flexible wardrobe.
So, next time you are in the changing room, please ask yourself these 2 simple questions and if the answer to one or both – then please leave the item in the shop and go and find something else; something that you will love to wear and that makes you feel fabulous!
I hope that you find this helpful! Please drop some comments below and let me know if this is something you will try next time you are on a shopping trip
Catch up soon,
You may have invested a lot of time and money in the branding of your business, making sure that your brand embodies everything great about you and what you offer. You know your stuff, you work hard and you get results and that’s what matters right?
Yes, of course that is vitally important but when you meet someone new, let’s say a new prospect, they don’t know how great the quality of your work is, or how skilled you are in your area of expertise. All they know is what they see in front of them and studies show that it does not take long for them to start assessing you and forming that vital first impression – in fact it is just seconds! Maybe as low as just 7 seconds…
The process begins the moment they set eyes on you – before you even have an opportunity to introduce yourself and tell them what you do and how great you are. So, it makes sense that if you have yet to say hello, that they only have your appearance, behaviour and body language to start forming that first impression of both you – and your business. And that is why; your appearance is such a key element of your branding and your business.
You are a visual representation of your business and how you show up gives them an insight into what working with you, and your company, would be like. People buy people and we want to work with people that are trustworthy, reliable, deliver great results and can help us to achieve our career ambitions too. By dressing and behaving in a way that reflects all that is great about what we do, we are giving ourselves the very best opportunity to take our business forward.
And the great thing is, that having made a fabulous first impression, there is a “thing” called confirmation bias that means our new contact will keep looking for positives about us to reinforce that first impression. However, if of course, our first impression is a negative one, confirmation bias means that they will be looking for confirmation of that too – A coffee stain on a shirt could mean sloppy work!
Does this mean that we all have to dress in suits and carry briefcases? Absolutely not! We can show off our personality, our creativity and our individuality through our clothes but it must be done so that you look professional.
And one last point to consider is, how we dress also impacts how we feel about ourselves. So how you dress for your networking meetings, or client meetings is vitally important for ourselves too. When we feel confident, we look confident and we behave with confidence too.
The key point here is that in business, our clothes and how we show up speak really loudly and say a lot about us. So, what does your appearance say about you?
Just as a company needs a rebrand from time to time, we also need to rebrand ourselves at various stages of our lives.
Why? Here is a definition of ‘rebranding’ from the Cambridge Dictionaries to give you an idea : “If a company rebrands itself or a product or service that it provides, it creates a new name or image for it, often to try to change the way that people think about it”.
A company’s image will influence the way people think about it. Your personal image will influence how people see and think about you. In the work place you want people to think about you in a particular way so that you can achieve the right responses. So you need to ask yourself, are you projecting the right image or is it time to change your look?
Here are some basic rules you should stick to:
* Don’t let your hair, make-up or nails let you down. Grooming is key to a successful business look.
* Wear make-up, it will enhance your looks and convey that you are in control of your life outside of work as well as at work, but keep it minimal.
* Absolutely no threadbare clothes, missing buttons, down at the heel shoes allowed.
* Your clothes should fit well and suit you and be properly laundered or dry cleaned.
* Don’t forget your own personal look.
So, taking the points above you need to look at yourself and consider each one. Is your hair colour and style making the most of you or do you need an update? Have you mastered good make-up skills and a daily routine so that you always look good whether you have 5 or 25 minutes? Do your clothes flatter you or should you change your style? Are your garments looking a bit uncared for and could you do more to keep them looking good for longer?
The Sun’s ‘Fabulous’ magazine did a great article in January 2013 about Victoria Beckham’s image transformation in the last 6 years. They showed two photos of her, one was circa 2005 with hair extensions, blonde highlights and fake tan and the other a current photo in which she looks, as she always does these days, the epitome of a well dressed, sophisticated woman. Now that’s rebranding!