Have you ever thought about the message your clothes are conveying and the stories you’re telling with your current style?
There’s so much available to us now with endless choices and influences that it can sometimes be challenging to know what to wear. And with all of the external input, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that our personal unique style should be a reflection of our identity, not the style that others dictate for us.
Is your style reflecting your identity?
We often base the way we dress on the roles we’re playing, and on the stories and beliefs we carry about ourselves. For example, when I was going through my teens I completely changed my identity from being a tomboy to becoming more girly. By changing my interests and behaviour, it also shifted the way I dressed.
I’m guessing, when you get ready in the morning, you probably don’t even think about what identity you’re going to adopt that day. Like everyone else you likely just grab clothes and go! Unless of course you have an important event; then you might spend a little more time thinking about what you’re going to wear.
Generally though, on the surface it might seem like you don’t think that hard about what you’re wearing each day! But subconsciously you make a choice without even realizing it. Your choices are likely based on what you have planned for the day, what you like, how you feel, how you want to turn up, maybe what’s clean or what’s easy or what makes you feel confident or what fits, etc. And, in amongst it all, your choices are also based on who you are, your IDENTITY.
Clothes are an outward expression
The clothes you put on are an outward expression of who you are and how you feel about yourself and can speak a 1000 words even before you’ve opened your mouth. So, dress for the impression you want to make.
When you don’t like what you’re wearing it’s because somewhere it doesn’t feel like you or the woman you want to be. Our clothes should always resonate with us on every level.
There’s a lot of talk these days about being authentic and coming across authentically, but what does that actually mean? We can spend an endless amount of time pondering this question, and in the end twist ourselves up in so many knots and narratives about who we should or shouldn’t be and what we should or shouldn’t wear!
Dress as you want to be
When I work with my clients I keep it really simple and remove the ‘shoulds’. We get clear on what their values are, how they want to turn up, and what’s important to them. We work together to make sure the clothes they have reflect and support the best version of themselves in every situation.
For example, many of my clients at the moment are working from home and don’t feel comfortable wearing their usual office attire. But they also don’t feel comfortable wearing t-shirts and more lounge pieces. To make sure they’re still aligning and presenting professionally, we have added some soft tailoring pieces in their wardrobe that can be smart enough for a Zoom meeting, but casual enough to pick the kids up from school.
What you wear also influences people’s perception of you. Yes, maybe this shouldn’t matter because the most important person who needs to feel comfortable is you! But if you’re prospecting for clients or want to impress the boss then it does matter how you appear. People make preconceived ideas of who you are based purely on factors such as your appearance.
Unfortunately, this is a fact we can’t get away from, but how I like to see it is, use your clothes to your advantage, and dress in a way that gets you the results you want.
Clothing is like armour
Kids are an amazing example of how this works. Take my son – he loves wearing superhero t-shirts and as soon as he puts one on he of course feels like he’s invincible (it’s super cute!).
There have also been many studies on adults who were also told to put superhero t-shirts on, and they also took on the identity of the superhero. Doesn’t that make you want to buy a Wonder Woman t-shirt? : )
Have heard of the doctors’ lab coat experiment? People felt superior as soon as they put a white lab coat on and were told it was a doctor’s coat as opposed to a technician’s.
Using our clothes to our advantage to create the identity we want can be a powerful tool. For example, I have a client who’s starting a new job and wants to feel confident and feel like the leader that she is. So, we’ve created a signature style that reflects her personality and lifestyle but also encapsulates the identity that she wants to embody.
When we use our clothes in this way, to BE the person we want to be, over time this actually sends subconscious messages to our brain that allows us to naturally adopt the identity we want to take on.
Change your style, change your identity
When you change your style to be in alignment with who you really are, you create a healthy self-image, and your natural confidence automatically shines through.
To create a style that truly represents your identity, you need to focus on YOU. You need to know…
- How you want to show up
- What your style personality is and what you’re drawn to
- Your lifestyle and having clothes that reflect this.
- Your vision and goals
While you’re not the sum total of what you wear, you have to recognise that you can become what you wear. Wearing different styles of clothes has the power to change your identity and how others see you. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the clothes you put on.
If you’re ready to shift your mindset away from unconscious grab and go dressing and start embracing your unique style identity, my brilliant ‘How to Create Your Personal Style’ workshop is the perfect fit for you. This FREE 2-hour workshop really is the first and most powerful step you can take towards finding your Signature Style. There are two dates available, Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd May. Click here and select the date you want to attend, and I’ll see you there!