I spend a lot of time talking to clients about developing their own “confident personal style”. Three words: confident that you look great in whatever situation you find yourself; personal because it is an expression of you, not a uniform or incongruous statement that hides the real you; style rather than slavishly following fashion, so that your own looks develops with you.
Decades ago I developed the concept of the Capsule Wardrobe, an idea which has stood the test of time. The Capsule Wardrobe is really a tool to help you build your confident personal style.
Over the coming weeks, I’m going to write a series of posts on developing your own Confident Personal Style (much as I did with the Capsule Wardrobe last year).
I’m planning to cover: what it is, why it’s important, how to build it and the myriad excuses I hear as to why too many women don’t develop it.
I’m acutely aware that for many women this is a very difficult area, but I strongly believe that the lack of confidence in their personal style and the resistance to actively developing one is a real hindrance to women moving up the corporate ladder.
I’m increasingly aware that at our end of the market, we have an unusual focus – helping women not just to look good for its own sake, but in order for them to achieve more in business, which requires understanding the cultures of the organisations in which they work and of their personalities, and of course where the two meet. Obviously Wardrobe is a business, but our buzz comes from making people feel confident in themselves in their working and social environments .
The more we meet women, particularly in the UK, who are climbing the corporate ladder, the more we realise how low a priority it is for them because it threatens an area they feel very insecure.
It’s a particularly British phenomenon – many of my continental and American clients, whenever they are going for or working in an important environment, consider this to be something that has to be tackled before they can get down to the job in hand.
Is it the British puritanical view about spending on your self to make yourself look good or just a basic fear of getting it wrong and therefore the easiest thing is to ignore the whole subject.
I believe that many of the new generation of managers coming through in their 30s are more aware of the effect that personal presentation will have on their careers; and that it is therefore even more important for women to understand the importance of feeling confident in the way they look.
I’m wondering whether the concept of developing a Confident Personal Style has the potential to be as important an idea as the capsule Wardrobe was all those years ago. Please do let me know whether it resonates for you and what you’d like me to cover either in this series or more generally with Confidence Tricks.