Stop, Yield, Glam: Is Your Style Signpost Costing You or Growing Your Business
by Liz Pabón
Signposts. They serve as indicators of where we’ve been and where we’re going. They offer us direction and information about the best choices to make.
Take for instance a stop sign. We know that a red octagonal sign with white lettering is our queue to stop what we’re doing. Or when we see an inverted triangle we know we’re being cautioned to stop if necessary.
In business, the signs aren’t as obviously posted but they do exist.
Like the unspoken sign that says underpinnings should be well concealed. A bra strap that’s slipped off the shoulder can be viewed as quietly seductive or blatantly careless.
Or the play wear is for playtime sign. If you wear it on days off to pick up the kids, the mail or the dogs, it may be best not to wear it in a work setting. This is one of those instances where work and play don’t mix.
And then there’s the no Mimi Bobeck zone which basically says if it looks, sounds or smells like a costume, it’s best to reserve it for a more festive occasion or on-stage performance. In a work setting too much can be viewed as well, too much.
It takes something like 3-seconds for a prospective client to decide if you’re in or if you’re out so how you present yourself is important to your bottom line success.
Jacket shapes and color palettes aside, there are a few important questions and principles to consider as you’re dressing for a work setting:
- After putting yourself in your audiences shoes, will how you’re presenting yourself instill confidence? You may believe your expensive LuLu Lemon yoga pants are stylish but they may be perceived as much too playful and you as not taking your job (and their needs) seriously. Managing perceptions is key.
- How are you expected to look? As a tie-in to #1, if you’re not sure what your audience expects from you it’s possible you don’t know your audience well yet. Keep working on understanding even their most subtle nuances in order to know what they need and expect from you. And if you find their expectations too tall an order, you might have an audience mismatch.
- Is your appearance elevated 1-2 notches above or below them? Ideally, strive to style yourself 1-2 notches above your audience. They will look at what you’re wearing and how you’re wearing it and decide if you represent what they want to achieve (it’s human nature to want to rise to a higher level) so give them a reason to choose you as their fairy glam mother (or father).
Express yourself, be creative and remember that your style signpost indicates to others what direction they should take and what they should expect from you. You won’t get any fashion police citations or fees for not following these principles but you could lose potential business.
Set yourself up for success and happy styling!
About the Author: When not scouring stores for great books, limited edition makeup, or the perfect sexy boot, Liz is hard at work on her blog www.mybeautyblackbook.com. Stop by for a visit!