Does Your Style Hurt or Help Your Brand?
The field of public relations, at times, places heavy emphasis on brand identity. In such a field, It is critically important to create your own unique brand, but is your style helping or hurting its image? As children, we are raised not to judge a book by its cover but when it comes to a brand’s image, personal style becomes your cover and, unfortunately, judgment ensues.
While you may be no fashionista, you should take some cues from celebrities to understand what your style might be saying about your own personal brand. Do you wear revealing clothing or overly large earrings? How about ankle socks? You’re probably not suited to be working in the corner office at the corporate head headquarters of an established company.
Fashion statements such as heavy eyeshadow, body glitter and ripped leggings may catch the eyes of passersby on the street, but not the eyes of those who you hope will employ you in the very near future. Similarly, attire that fits poorly, clothing that is ripped, unkempt hair, and unprofessional footwear are all red flags to employers that you may not take yourself seriously. If you can’t take yourself seriously, how will you perform in the workplace?
Olivia Palermo, New York City socialite, combines style with professionalism suited to her field. Her clothes are all trendy and modern, allowing fashion to combine with class and seriousness. Granted, she is expected to showcase latest fashion trends. There are still professional situations in which this outfit may not be considered appropriate and that is to be kept in mind.
Emma Stone looks like a confident professional, yet one who is not afraid to have some fun with her outfit. She pairs a classic high waisted pencil skirt perfectly with red closed-toe heels and a bright blue and brown striped top, making this outfit look playful yet professional. Who would have thought that the actress who portrayed a frazzled sorority sister so many years ago would move up in her career to fill roles in historically inspired films such as The Help? Displaying a sense of professionalism with her outfit choices certainly hasn’t hurt.
Casual yet Chic
As a final example, Reese Witherspoon looks casual, yet her dark washed jeans and layered sweaters makes this outfit look polished and chic. Paired with a simple necklace and understated booties, this outfit is perfect for a more relaxed and informal event where one might want to look fashionable while maintaining a sense of casualness. Remembering that there is a time and place for each and every kind of outfit is probably what is most important in selecting one for any occasion.
While your outfit doesn’t necessarily dictate your entire brand image, it can still leave a lasting impression and you want it to be a good one. When shopping for a professional outfit, look for classic silhouettes, clothes without busy patterns, a tailored fit and accurately sized accessories including belts, handbags and jewelry. When putting your outfit together, wear your hair and makeup clean and neat. Remember, you don’t have to be a fashionista, but dressing to impress is the goal. Show off your brand’s positive image with yours and you’ll be one step closer to success.