Guest post by: Allison Bivin
The concept of personal branding is everywhere but what does your personal brand say about you? Personal branding has become a phenomenon as people strive to seek every opportunity that will give them an edge above the competition whether it be for a job interview, closing a sale or going on a first date. What some people fail to realize is the importance of aligning your visual presence with your personal brand. With the risk of sounding superficial, you are what you wear from head to toe.
Your first impression is imprinted within seconds of meeting another individual. As hard as we try to be seen for who we are inside, a majority of how we are judged is based on appearance. It is a natural instinct to form an opinion of someone based on what you see. Even as communicators we are inclined to believe non verbal messages over verbal messages. No one is going to label you as sophisticated and professional if you attend a board meeting in sweat pants (you’re not Mark Zuckerberg as portrayed in The Social Network). The impression you leave is that you do not care. While my example may seem obvious and exaggerated, the same implications can be derived from ill-fitting garments, poor color choices, and worn out seams. You do not have to be a slave to fashion trends to take an interest in what you wear.
Whether you like it or not, how you’re perceived is taken like a snapshot. There are no retakes just like your visit to the DMV. Your visual presence plays a major role in supporting your personal brand and you do not have to be a fashion lover to take an interest in what you wear everyday. There are easy things to keep in mind that will put you on the right track to looking your best.
First, find a good tailor. More often than not, clothing will not fit perfectly right off the bat. Using a tailor to make small tweaks will go a long way. A good rule of thumb to remember is it’s better to buy one size up and tailor the garment to fit rather than squeezing into something too small. Second, place flattering colors around your face. Black is a go to in many closets however, black can enhance dark circles, wrinkles, and remove pigmentation from skin – be mindful. Finding the right set of colors for you will enhance all the right qualities. Try Limiting the exposed areas away from the face or for contrast add bright accessories. Third, dress for your body type. Think about what challenges you have getting dressed or choosing clothes. If you struggle to find jackets that fit your shoulders or jeans that fit your curves, those characteristics can help you determine what your body type is. Clothing is a great way to hide, enhance, or create body parts as long as you know what you’re doing.
Dress for your personal brand or the brand you want people to see you as. Whether you are creative, hard-working, successful, or passionate, allow those characteristics to shine through your visual presence. If you hide your appearance under layers of baggy clothing, you risk hiding who you are as well. While it may seem silly to place such importance on your appearance, visual representation plays a major role in how we are perceived as individuals. If someone is judging a book by its cover, it’s important that we do our best to visually represent what the pages hold.
About Allison Bivin:
Allison is a recent graduate of DePaul University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media with a minor in Art and Design. Her love of fashion, and eagerness to jump into the world of couture, contributed the knowledge and experience she holds today. By emerging herself into the Chicago fashion scene, Allison is able to keep up with current trends while maintaining the fundamentals of wardrobe styling. Her constant desire to learn more and challenge herself is what enables her to provide clients, employers, and friends alike a fresh perspective and talent. Allison is currently working as a wardrobe stylist in Chicago, helping to align people’s visual presence with who they are. As a stylist, she believes in educating her clients on what it means to be well dressed and not just trendy. For more information on styling tips or questions, please contact her at [email protected]