HOW TO CREATE A COMPELLING VISUAL BRAND: NEW RULES FOR DRESSING FOR SUCCESS
Watching Serena Williams, Sofia Kenin, Rafa, and Nick Kyrgios constantly tug, pull, and hike up their shirts, shorts, and dresses at the Australian Open was unnerving to watch. Each of these tennis superstars are brilliant ball strikers, but poor role models when it comes to projecting a positive visual brand. Whether you are networking, speaking, or leading, all eyes are on you.
MY GUIDELINES FOR PROJECTING YOUR BEST IMAGE
Chose Clothes that Don’t Move – My mantra is simpIe: If you’re uncomfortable, we’re uncomfortable. Your goal is to let your message not your awkward movements capture out attention. I’ve never seen Beyoncé, Meryl, Pharrell, Lizzo, or Cher adjust their outfit.
If in Doubt, Leave It Out! – My mom and I established this rule; here are the corollaries:
If you think it’s too short, it is
If you think it’s too tight, it is
If you think no one will notice, she will!
Remember: First Impressions Matter – People cast judgment upon you within the first 7 seconds. –make the first impression positive.
Discover & Project Your Brand DNA – At this year’s Open, male and female competitors wore a variation of this Nike outfit . In some instances, competitors looked identical across the court! This travesty is the definition of a branding problem! Your goal is stand out, not blend it.
Find Your Signature Look – Virtually every speaker I know, has a “go to” uniform. Mine is typically black skirt, shirt, and a pop of color. (NOTE: wearing all black is a fail as you fade into the black curtain).
Get Expert Advice – Nordstrom, Macy’s and tons of other retailers offer free styling. And, of course, image consultants abound. Just like celebrities, a stylist can boost your image.
I’ve come to these guidelines based upon my own fails (Note to self: never wear a suit jacket without something underneath). What are yours? What works for you? I’m all ears.