Guest Blogpost by Laura Wallace, Owner and Creative Director, Worx Graphic Design, based in Hagerstown MD. Laura is a branding expert, author and speaker.
Ten years ago when I started Worx, I had a preconceived vision for what a “successful” business woman looked like. She wore perfectly pressed skirt suits, pulled her hair back in a bun and carried a fancy leather organizer with a calendar, built in calculator and a place to store papers. That’s how it was done, at least that’s what my vision was and what Google told me.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I hated being that person. How could I be successful if I couldn’t wait to get home and ditch all that stuff? That’s about the time I threw away my maroon suit and invested in some nice blazers, funky shoes and put my nose ring back in for good.
Your look is part of your personal and business brand. I love to embrace authenticity, through look, personality and talent to get shit done and I encourage my team to do the same. We attract what we put out and if you want real, authentic relationships then it starts from within.
How many times have you counted down the hours until you could get out of your “work clothes” and into your “you clothes”? Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I just simply want to be in yoga pants and an oversized sweatshirt. But on a daily basis, the way you dress should fit you, not the other way around.
You can be the same person from 9-5 as you are from 5-9 by knowing your personal brand scale. On the far left is the, “I’m not seeing anyone today or leaving the house so I’m gonna be as comfortable as possible” you. On the far right is the, “I have a huge opportunity and really need to look my best today” you. In between are your daily versions; work meetings, Friday night hangouts, family activities, workout, dancing… whatever you do on a regular basis. Whatever you are doing, your clothes should match your moment and personality.
Tonight, go through your closet, and choose five items that no longer serve you. Put them in a bag, tie that sucker shut and donate it as soon as possible. You’ll feel relieved knowing you never have to pretend to like them again and excited knowing there is five spaces for articles that ARE you, ones that make you feel like you’re on your game. Do this once a week or once a month until your entire wardrobe screams YOU. Don’t forget about accessories and shoes, too!
There are brilliant people that get paid to be actors and actresses on Broadway as characters in a story. You and I are not trained for that and pretending to be someone that you’re not is exhausting. By being yourself, you’ll attract the right opportunities with your confidence. You’ll stand taller, smile bigger and most of all, you won’t want to throw those fake clothes in the trash the second you walk out the door.