Hello SOTGC community,
Let’s think about Halloween for a moment. You may literally wear a costume to work in celebration. It’s fun playing dress up – pretending to be something you’re not. At least that one day a year.
My question is: how do you feel all the other days you have to dress for work?
Are you wearing what you’re supposed to wear or what you want to wear? If you’re wearing what you’re supposed to wear simply because it’s appropriate for the situation, then you’re in costume, dressed as a character you think you’re supposed to play.
And you’re likely not loving your wardrobe, owning your presence, or standing in your power.
You probably have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
Why is that? Because your wardrobe isn’t in alignment with who you are and how you want to show up.
Many of my clients are corporate or have recently left corporate. Many of them had a closet full of suits that got them out the door and “appropriate” for the situation. Many others work in an environment that is business casual, which is easily and often stretched more towards casual than business. Honestly, it’s a fine line between wearing what you want to wear versus what you’re supposed to.
The key is to find the style that is truly yours AND appropriate for your environment. Not simply wearing a “costume” to fit in.
(MEN: This is true for you, too.)
In French, there are two different words for “suit” for men versus women. “Le costume” is a men’s suit and “la tailleur” is a women’s suit.
The true meaning of “costume” in English is simply a style of dress. “Tailleur” is translated to “tailored”, as in close to the body and showing your shape.
The number one “FIX” for my clients is fit and tailoring. (Again, true for men.)
To be fair, we have more of a challenge than men. There aren’t as many bespoke suiting options that are actually flattering available to women (and if you have one, let’s connect!). Many women buy a suit off the rack and if it “fits” they wear it. But, because we have very different body shapes, off the rack doesn’t always work. While simply opting for a suit to solve all of our wardrobe challenges isn’t as enticing an option, many women do just that. Because we need to get out the door: we have more important things to do – family, work, life. We’re busy.
But the problem is that this then creates a cycle.
And suddenly you find yourself using (and likely feeling) the dreaded “F” word … Frumpy.
Moreover, you’re “appropriate” at work and in life, but you’re not YOU. You’re not feeling the other “F” word that I prefer … Fabulous.
Why is this a problem for you and your success?
You’re not communicating effectively.
If you’re only 95% confident in how you’re presenting yourself, then those you’re communicating with are going to pick up on the 5% that you’re not confident. They don’t believe you. You lose their trust and your power.
How you feel influences how you perform.
When you’re feeling fabulous, you make decisions more quickly and effectively. If there is even the tiniest bit of doubt about yourself, it holds you back.
I get it. You had to be tough and make sacrifices in your personal life to get to where you are in your career. But, being more masculine is not the answer.
You’re not standing out.
For all the right reasons, of course. You should stand out in presence as well as performance. You need to be in alignment to get the buy-in from your team to trust you to guide them to their next level of success.
There isn’t anything wrong with being masculine, but the strongest female leaders I know have a good balance of the feminine + masculine (Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandburg, Angela Ahrendts, Sara Blakely … to name a few). They can be tough but also compassionate. We don’t need more masculinity in leadership, we need more femininity. Because it’s all about balance and perspective.
What it boils down to is this: You have to BE you and DO you. Matching your outer style with your inner success creates an alignment. It’s this alignment that impacts your performance, perception and furthers your success.
Really committed to upleveling your style, career and LIFE?
Ustyled can help! As a company, we are committed to YOU and your success. First, make sure we’re connected on Instagram and Facebook so you can get your daily dose of style inspiration. Then, reach out to set up a time to connect with Catherine. Between Step into Style Power, Boutique Box, and Corporate Trainings and Motivational Speaking, we have options that can help women at all levels of their career move forward in Style Power.