As a certified image consultant, I am occasionally required to dispense tough love to women who are standing out in all the wrong ways (hello, outdated prints or ’80s hair). When I receive my Discover Your Signature Color questionnaires back, I’m surprised by how many mark “I prefer to blend in” (which tells me not to assign them red or yellow as their color!).
As business owners or entrepreneurs, we simply cannot afford to blend in.
We have to stand out in a way that elevates our image, lends us credibility and leaves people wondering, “What’s her story?” In a world of high competition and plenty of distractions, my goal is to get my ladies noticed and make them unforgettable. Unfortunately, many people believe that a professional image requires you to wear black, gray, white and maybe blue. My pet peeve is when women default to black suits and black and white prints. I say, stand out in a sea of black, gray and white!
[bctt tweet=”As business owners or entrepreneurs, we can’t afford to blend in. Stand out! #imagematters” username=””]
If you’re not convinced that standing out is important, here’s an exercise for you. Think about the last conference or networking meeting you attended. Who stood out? Who do you remember? I can guarantee you he or she was wearing daring colors, unique shoes or accessories and/or looked especially put-together. Our goal is to be that person in the room.
So how do you stand out?
As the creator of Discover Your Signature Color, most of my tips are color-related.
Jazz up your black, gray and white.
I recommend buying basic wardrobe pieces in black, gray and white (or navy, brown or beige depending on your coloring) so if your best suit is black, add a colorful scarf or a pretty pin.
Try a purple, fuchsia or emerald green blouse (universally flattering colors).
Carry a brightly-colored bag or wear red or yellow shoes.
At the very least, start buying navy or brown basics instead of defaulting to black.
Wear color near your face.
This is why people call me The Scarf Lady. A scarf instantly elevates any outfit and can be tied in hundreds of ways (even into a vest). So many people shy away from scarves so wearing one shows effort and says, “I know what I’m doing.”
Necklaces and earrings also enliven your ensemble and bring attention to your face.
Add an interest piece to your outfit.
Let your outfits express your personality. An interest piece can be a cardigan with ruffles, a funky belt or a cat bracelet (if, for example, you’re a pet blogger).
People will compliment you and now you’re having a conversation with someone you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
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Have an everyday makeup look.
Wearing even a basic makeup look helps you come across as more confident, detail-oriented and credible. Blush and lipstick can take years off your appearance and brighten your complexion. So many women don’t wear makeup so if you do, you’re already ahead of the pack.
Keep up with the trends…but don’t go overboard.
Each season, educate yourself on the trends and consider buying a few pieces to freshen up your wardrobe so you stay up to date. If you look outdated, potential clients will assume your knowledge and experience are stale, too. Just don’t invest in anything you can’t wear for at least a few years.
BONUS TIP! Know your power color. I call it your Signature Color.
It’s a color you’re drawn to, that sends the right message and you feel fabulous wearing. Choose carefully because the idea is you’ll become known for wearing it. Ideally it will suit your brand, too.
If you’re not accustom to standing out, I promise it gets easier. Getting noticed opens doors and helps you grow your sphere of influence. Elevating your image also means more opportunities to tell your story in all its colorful glory.
Tabitha is a child of God, wife and mother of two with one on the way. The creator of Discover Your Signature Color and the host of her quarterly Style School, she is a speaker, teacher, Style Strategist, blogger and community volunteer in the Phoenix east valley. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or on her website.