There are many opinions, advices and theories written about dressing for business. Women in particular have to sift through many varied opinions about what constitutes successful professional or business dress. It is encouraging, however, that women in business have come to agree that dressing for success is more about them than the outside world. The “power dress” today means more to women than what it was intended to achieve at first, or rather, it is no longer about impressing others.
Successful women, much like their male counterparts, use dress to express aspects of their accomplishments. One such aspect is what they perceive as their hard-earned, brand spanking new identity. Women who have earned their place in the echelons of business rightfully feel entitled to the beauty and exclusivity that good money can buy. There is a feeling of affinity with the luxury brands they buy, a recognition that the force and ingenuity behind these successful brands is the same as that which propels their own success. Dress can also express this woman’s personality and character very effectively when executed well. The mere mention of the name Jackie Onassis and not only does a room full of women know who she was but most importantly how she portrayed and expressed her power through her dress.
Project Plan Your Personal Style
When Jackie O’ first walked into Coco Chanel’s studio she went in a woman seeking a unique look and walked out a style icon and a globally recognized brand. She was not only famously known for carrying this world adored brand well but ensured that aside from Cassini, Givenchy and Dior, no other brand could lay claim to her style. Why you ask? In the 1970s, Jackie’s era, these brands carried the weight of the fashion world and were known for their ability to exude timelessness and regal grace. Even to the untrained eye, Jackie’s unforgettable timelessness and regal grace is apparent and her look is seemingly carefully thought out and well planned. Here is how you too can “project-plan” your personal style:
Decide what your personal style is. Are you a serious person, a passionate person, a calm person? Do you thrive on spontaneity or prefer the elegance of patience and poise? Women very seldom dress differently from how they feel, for instance we will use soft textures and colour palates when we feel feminine and swop these for a racier, bolder red lace and black leather for a more… intimate affair, ahem and wink;
Write down a plan for your personal style. What fabrics do you prefer? What colours and textures would be most appropriate for your work, home, active or social life? What do people remember the most about your personal style? Is it something that you can easily find in your wardrobe? Does your wardrobe reflect or even show off who you genuinely are or aspire to be? Make this a detailed plan so that it helps you establish a few non-negotiables about your personal style;
Create a “vision board” or if you prefer, a “story board” for your personal style project plan. Now that you know what you would love to wear you can begin to look into what the world out there has to offer someone with your taste. However, before you spend a cent, create a visual picture of your personal style by collecting cut-ups from stores and magazines while also negotiating the cost of your new look;
Shop for samples or collect leaflets and catalogues from the actual stores you intend to buy from. These stores should meet your budget constraints! The samples you collect will help you see what works and what doesn’t and can be used to get a reaction out of friends and family with a good eye for style. Once you have shortlisted your top style choices, grab a calculator, notepad, pen and a friend (for moral support and sound judgment) and get shopping!
Style is a very different animal from fashion. It is innate, alive and has a center, a fixed core. Style is an extension of what is inside and cannot be faked or forced on. Style is who you are when you feel your absolute best inside. Perhaps this is worth remembering before you sit and decide to create your own Personal Style Project. My wish is that you accomplish your most fabulous endeavor yet!
©RSGG Mashabela 2013.
In : Business
Tags: "power dress" professionalism image "business image" "power suit" "personal branding"