Challenge #9: Your Personal Style

Posted on August 29, 2011

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As I discussed in the post about Your Image, your feelings of self-worth are partly advertised in the ways in which you present yourself. In addition to making sure you are as physically healthy as you can possibly be (a sure sign that you value yourself), you’ll also want to make sure that the clothes you wear reflect not only who you are but who you want to be perceived as.

I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about the importance of “Dressing for Success” or you’ve heard the adage about dressing “for the job you want, not the one you have.” It is a well-researched and written about fact that in the working world your clothes, shoes, accessories, make-up and hairstyle all send messages.

But the messages you send to others about your self-worth don’t stop when you leave the office. You are always letting people know the way you feel about yourself by the way you choose to present yourself.

In my ‘past life’ I used to moonlight as a stylist for a major women’s department store.  Although my main job was to help women articulate how they’d like to be perceived professionally and then help them choose the clothes to maintain this image, I also worked with stay-at-home-moms who were tired of wearing sweatpants everyday, college graduates who wanted to transition from a ‘trendy’ look to a more mature and classic one and just about everyone in between.

There is really tons and tons of information out there about how to dress for your body type, height and skin tone. Try not to get overwhelmed by today’s challenge and choose just one or two of the suggestions listed below.

Challenge #9: Define your personal style and the image you want to convey. Then dress the part.

There are many different ways to do this, but here are some suggestions clients have found helpful:

1. Buy a book about dressing for your body type, height, etc. There are many of them out there but one of my favorites for women is The Pocket Stylist byKendall Farr.

2. Visit one of the upper end department stores (like Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom’s) and ask for a free consultation with a professional stylist. Stylists at these stores often will give you free advice and suggestions in hopes that you will buy clothes from their store.

3. Hire a professional stylist or wardrobe consultant. They usually charge by the hour and the best ones are usually quite pricey, but many of them will help you rework your entire closet and teach you some foundational lessons about how to dress best for your lifestyle. Once you learn this, you’ll have the knowledge forever so it may be a good investment.

4. Hire an image consultant. If you’re really struggling or want a major make-over, image consultants will teach you a variety of things about how to present and maintain your image.

5. Find a blog about style and creating a personal style and subscribe for weekly suggestions.

These are just some suggestions to get you started. You certainly aren’t limited to just these and don’t have to stop here. If you’re really serious about your personal style, the resources are almost endless.

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