Do you wake up every day and look in the mirror every morning to check how you look? Do you check your hair and makeup before you go to work? Do you wonder, “what am I going to wear today to feel great?”
If you said “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re like ninety-nine percent of all top female executives, women in business and female entrepreneurs I know!
But here’s another question for you…
Do you look in the mirror and check if you are ‘on brand’ before you set off to work? Do you check your energy, presence and confidence? Hmmm, maybe not so much, right?!
Well, whether we like it or not – we are all walking logos for our personal brands, and our professional appearance, image, energy and presence are all crucial components of the way we show up in the world and enhance our impact and influence as leaders.
The simple truth is that if you look like a leader, it will be easier for you to feel like a leader.
As one of Australia’s top personal branding and leadership coaches, and drawing from my own experiences as a model and public personality, I want to help you and other aspiring female leaders and entrepreneurs to become empowered women through image and style consulting.
Why Your Business Wardrobe Matters
Curating a professional and fashionable wardrobe is just one of the many things women in business struggle with. And this can become a real obstacle to building a standout personal brand and a more influential leadership style.
As women leaders, we can battle with low self-esteem, poor self-image and lack of confidence. Whether it’s from societal pressure or unmet personal or professional expectations, we bear a heavier burden when it comes to our appearance.
But, showing up online and offline as an authentic leader and empowered female role model is crucial to securing greater career success. And you must understand how your fashion choices and style are part and parcel of your overall image, along with personal accomplishments and professional credentials.
Your internal and external image must align perfectly in your personal journey towards being a more empowered female leader! This is one of the most effective ways of building confidence.
Today, all great leaders craft their image and use it as a savvy brand and leadership tool to grow their influence, appeal to their audience, and elevate their energy, presence, and confidence. You can make an impression on what type of leader you are without even saying a word!
HOW DO FEMALE LEADERS PACKAGE THEMSELVES TO STAND OUT FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS?
Great Leaders Don’t’ Fake It They Dress Authentically
We’ve all heard of the saying “fake it until you make it!” But it is more important to know who you are and what you stand for – to be authentic.
There is a difference between mustering up confidence when needed and showing a completely fabricated version of yourself to the public.
The former is a sign of courage; the latter is a fast track to feeling insecure and unfulfilled. Your professional image and style choices should not mask who you are; they should enhance it!
Every choice you make to build an authentic personal brand and image should add value to who you are and what you stand for. Your image and style should never stifle your personality!
This is why you should never complete your image makeovers until you unlock your personal brands values, vision, and beliefs. Because until you are truly in touch with who you are, you won’t be ready to reinvent your image or leadership style most authentically.
Once you are living and leading in alignment with your values and beliefs you will become more comfortable in your own skin and you will shine from the inside out.
Pleasing People With Your Fashion Choices is Not the Goal!
You don’t need to be the next style icon, follow every single trend, or even dress in the most expensive designer labels (unless you want to) to look like a boss. The idea is not to get people to love your fashion choices but rather raise your authority, presence and effectiveness as a leader.
My background in fashion doesn’t necessarily equate to me building an extensive closet full of all the latest runway looks. But, I do have an appreciation for how a simple piece of fabric can empower you and make an instant first impression.
Your best asset is to over time, build a quality capsule wardrobe that suits you and best represents you as a leader in your field. These are the clothes that authentically represent your personality, profession, and personal brand and create the impact you desire on those around you.
The secret to always looking put together is to find timeless, well-cut, quality garments that will outlast fads.
The Best Female Leaders Look Confident and Feel Confident
You don’t have to look like a supermodel or a fitness star to be confident in your body. The most empowered, successful, and inspiring leaders give off an aura of assuredness. They are decisive, deliberate, and disciplined with the way they show up in the world.
They deliberately choose how they want to look, building a professional imprint and sustain their image over time to impact the way people ‘see’ them as leaders.
While having the right clothes isn’t the key to feeling good about yourself, it certainly does help. Your mindset reflects how you dress, but the way you dress also reflects your attitude! Your wardrobe choices can elevate your mood, energy and presence while at the same time change people’s perceptions of you as a leader.
Find quality garments that fit you perfectly, are well cut and accentuate your best features. Seek professional help from a personal stylist if you’re unsure about what best suits your physique.
But remember, if you want to be seen as strong and empowering, your wardrobe choices should help you look and feel that way!
When you are not feeling insecure or worrying about how you show up in the world – you give yourself permission to shine! When you’re worrying about caring for yourself – you will struggle to care for those around you!
Looking Professional is Essential to Your Leadership Image
Whichever style you choose, you should always make sure you look professional. If you’re thinking about sporting animal print, bold colors, or textured material make sure you still look like you’re in charge and that these bold choices aren’t too much of a distraction!
The last thing you want is for your wardrobe choices to interfere with your communication effectiveness as a leader. You can make an impression on what type of leader you are without even saying a word!
You should always present a well-groomed and polished appearance from head to toe. A woman that shows pride in her appearance is a woman that cares about the details in her life. Your mindset reflects how you dress, but the way you dress also reflects your attitude!
A Strong Visual Brand Makes You More Recognizable
Empowered, ambitious, and effective leaders have recognizable brands! Think Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Hilary Clinton. These are all powerful, intelligent women with strong personal brands. These are the women that have curated an amazing personal brand not just through their achievement but through their personal style and image. And you can be like them too!
With a consistent style and wardrobe, people will start to associate certain pieces, colors, and style to you and your leadership. These items do more than just make you look and feel great, they also build your social image.
To create your own distinguishable leadership style and image, you need to curate your wardrobe with polished pieces accentuated with signature garments in style and colors that suit your image and brand.
Once you identify your personal style, you won’t need to constantly build your wardrobe from scratch even after a few years. You can just incorporate pieces to update your looks without losing the authenticity and personality you’ve built!
You will build greater personal brand awareness if you always look ‘on brand’ and consistent wherever you go.