The Stress-Less Career Show had its very first guest this week! I told you last week that I couldn’t wait to talk about how your personal style influences your personal brand and that is because I brought in someone very special to discuss style and branding with me. Susan Padron is a personal stylist here in Philadelphia and she is absolutely amazing at what she does, working with countless clients to help them define their personal style.
As I have mentioned in the last couple episodes, your personal brand goes beyond just the basics - your website, your social media, etc. - it includes every part of how you show up in the world. Since February is all about personal branding, I thought Susan would be an amazing resource to tap into so we sat down to talk about what you can do to leverage your style to showcase who you are.
Susan shared so many great insights about how you can play with your style to showcase your personality and why you should - especially if you are an entrepreneur. Thinking about her work with small business owners, she stressed that, “When people are looking to hire an entrepreneur or small business owner, they're looking at the whole package. So, a lot of that is your style, your personal style and your image.” Things like colors, patterns or specific clothing styles can all be used define that whole package in a way that aligns with your personality.
The first step, Susan mentioned, in channeling your personal brand into your clothing is to identify the aspects of your personality that you do want to highlight. For example, I am weird, creative and quirky, but I also love comfort and warmth - all of those things make me Carlee. From there, Susan says, you get to decide when to let each of those aspects shine and how.
“You might have those more extroverted days where you're like, ‘Yes, I want to just show up and I want people to know that I have this great creative side,’ and just put it out there in your entire outfit. Sometimes, you might be feeling like a little bit more introverted, but you still want that bit of Carlee coming through. So that's when you can kind of throw in that creativity in with an accessory instead.”
Utilizing more than just your clothes is important in leveraging your style to create your personal brand. Accessories, tattoos, and even hairstyle are integral choices we make when crafting a style that feels true to us. Both Susan and I cut our hair as a way to fully show up in our lives in the way we wanted. Susan recalled how she went from brown shoulder length hair to a more edgy short blond haircut as a way to better define her brand as a stylist.
“[Before my haircut] If I didn't feel like being really dressed up or stylish, then I could kind of blend in a little bit… Then, I hit a point in my business where I said, ‘No, I don't want to blend in. I never want to blend in.’ I may not always want to stand out, but I always want to be able to walk into a room and have people say, ‘Of course you’re a personal stylist.’”
Now, while you can join me and Susan in the short hair club and chop off ALL your hair, you don’t have to go to that extreme to define your personal brand. However, your haircut is an example something you can use to brand yourself every day even when you don’t have the freedom to experiment with your outfit.
Depending on your industry, you may not feel like you have a chance to really show off your personal brand through your style when you go in for something like a job interview. However, Susan mentioned that you can still look for the opportunities you do have to play with your interview style.
“Even if you're showing up in a full suit and you're a man, you can still bring out that personality by the color shirt that you choose, the tie that you choose or even finding some socks that really resonate with you as trivial as it sounds. It's still allowing that little bit of yourself to come through.”
Bringing these subtle nods to who you are gives you the chance to not only feel confident when you are interviewing, but also helps tell your story to the interviewer.
There is so much you can take into consideration and use to define your personal brand through your style. Whether you are an entrepreneur or job hunting, you have the option to play with new colors, new hairstyles, new pieces and more in order to show everyone who you are. I encourage you to take Susan’s tips and start thinking about how you can start cultivating a style that supports you and your personal brand - in your professional and your personal lives.
If you could use some help in the style department, I have great news! Susan is going to be doing a free webinar this Thursday at 6PM ET called From Wardrobe Overhaul To Refreshed Closet: How To Look And Feel Confident In Every Situation. There, you can ask her any questions you may have about your wardrobe so you can really start aligning your style with who you truly are. Learn more and sign up by clicking this link.
If all of this discussion has your brain spinning, you can also grab a free 5-minute moving meditation from me here so that you can release your anxiety and go from dreading your day to loving your day.