Thank you for the responses to last week’s post which was the first in a series on developing your own confident personal style. The subject has clearly hit a chord: I’ve never had so many emails following a post and I hope to address them all during the series – do keep making suggestions whether as comments here or by email.
One question that intrigued me – and that I am very grateful for – was: “How do I know when I have a personal confident style? What does success feel like?” This is worth addressing before getting on to more practical advice on how to develop it.
I’m grateful for the question because I had been struggling with how to define a confident personal style – it’s quite intangible. But in fact, really it’s all about how you feel.
A confident personal style will help you move ahead in whatever field you are working, but what my clients have always talked most about is the feeling they get when they are wearing the right clothes – and it’s that feeling that you want to achieve.
I think of it as a way of dressing every day that you don’t have to think about. It’s where you have a collection of clothes which can be adapted for whichever season you’re in and which, when you are wearing them, you feel so good that how you look hardly enters your mind during the day.
You feel totally confident. It’s totally you. You don’t feel your wearing somebody else’s clothes. You’re not in costume. It’s when you feel that you look and feel as good as you possibly can.
Women who have found their confident personal style tend to be nicer people to be with because they feel secure. And we’ve all got enough things to be insecure about without feeling unsure about how we are dressed. Insecurity about how you look in a situation feeds insecurity about whether you belong there (whether because you look wrong or because you don’t feel like you) – and that can easily start to affect how you behave and how you come across to colleagues.
Personal style is about packaging – all you are doing is packaging yourself in a way that is personal to you but also attractive to other people – and it really doesn’t matter whether it’s in business life or in personal life; and it applies to everyone – men and women.
Next week, I’ll start to cover how to develop your personal style.