In the Bay Area business world dominated by jeans, sneakers, and hoodies - presenting yourself for success might seem confusing, and at times even irrelevant, or a total bother when it comes to how you dress.
As you hone your ability to connect, communicate and captivate, how you show up really matters. Your appearance is actually important too, because your style choices and colors you wear are part of your impact and image.
"You never get a second chance at a first impression," Jenni Flinders said in her signature TEDx talk.
What people see and feel from you can happen in an instant. Psychologists say you have between one and seven seconds to make a first impression.
While some might find it superficial to focus on appearance, when you do, you get to help craft the perception others have about you.
You've got to be able to speak with your presence, your words, and your image, a package that speaks to all of who you are - your personal brand.
A curated personal brand needs to show others the best version of you so you can be both authentic and make an impact. This includes how you present on every level - your professionalism, your talents and passions, your voice, your appearance, your presence and how you dress.
If you are serious about leadership and communication mastery, it really is crucial to thoughtfully take on your image so your personal brand can speak for you before you ever open your mouth.
Particularly in today's times, dominated by social media, people make snap decisions whether to respect or disregard you. Like it or not, your personal brand follows you wherever you go, so you might as well have fun with it!
Make getting dressed a creative act, giving you a unique style with the colors, shapes, and designs of your clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry, and hairstyle. If you need help with this, there are plenty of color and branding experts that offer group and private consulting.
An online course that I like is Dressing Your Truth. It will create a color pallete and style for clothes, hair and accessories that work for your coloring and personality.
If you would like a personal touch and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Sue Yerou at Style Rehab.
As I tell my students, and as crazy as it sounds, ask your body instead of your head what it would like to wear and you will be guided to the right look to suit the day every time -:)