I bet, at some point, you’ve looked at another woman and thought, ‘’She’s so well presented, she must be totally in control of her life’’. We’ve all done it, right?! What’s interesting though, is the fact that for many of us it’s a smoke-screen. There are times when our lives may be falling apart at the seams yet if we can present ourselves looking well put-together, no one needs know what’s going on in our heads and lives.
This is so relevant for women in business, be it in a self employed, freelance or entrepreneurial capacity as we need to look as though we know exactly what we are doing. Now, that could well be the case and our businesses may, indeed, be flourishing. However, if we do not look the part it can affect how potential clients, investors or indeed, employees regard us.
We only get seven seconds to make a first impression. That’s not a long time to sell ourselves, so it makes sense to present one’s self in precisely the way we would like to be perceived. What is as important, if not more so, than how others regard us, is how we feel about ourselves. Walking into a meeting and knowing that you look your very best will give you an air of indubitable confidence therefore knowing how we want to present ourselves is of utmost importance. We need to give the correct impression of who we are and what our business represents.
Women working in a corporate environment, of course, need to look professional but depending on your business there is definitely room to express your individualism. We must not assume that to be taken seriously we need to dress the same as a man. You can still project authority without looking too conservative and why not add feminine touches to your outfit? Expressing yourself through your clothes is a great way to show the world that you are in control.
Relate your own personal style to your product or service. If you’re the laid-back, calm type, reflect that. If you’re the energy ball rushing around, then again, establish that in your own image. Be true to who you are as it’s very hard to maintain continuity if it is not an honest representation. An owner of a boutique beauty salon, for example, would not dress the same as a literary agent. Different work needs demand different style briefs.
As well as clothes looking right they must also feel right. If the fit or fabric is wrong it can be distracting. An ill-fitting pair of trousers may not seem like a big deal, however, once you are dressed and ready for the day ahead you do not want to give your outfit a second thought. Your focus should be on your business not on the fact that your trousers are a little short or perhaps too tight!
Also, consider the use of colour as it is incredibly powerful. Many of us shy away from colour and stick to black because we believe it is slimming. Black can be draining on some people and accents of colour help to draw attention to our best bits and distract the eye from our ‘not so best bits’!
Getting stuck in a style rut is something many of us are guilty of. Our size, shape and colouring can change over time so it is important to make sure we are addressing all these points when buying new clothes and accessories. Experiment with different styles and colours to see what works best for you but remember, just because a certain garment is on trend does not mean it is the right one for you.
Defining your own personal style will ensure that you believe in what you do which can only result in the success of your business!
About the Author: Karina is a trained Pilates instructor, Dance teacher and Personal Stylist. All these roles have led to a true understanding of the importance of image and the need to feel comfortable in your own skin. She runs her own business, Karina Penny Styling, which offers services to help women understand how to make the most of their own Personal Style. You can reach Karina at firstname.lastname@example.org