If you’re an entrepreneur, you may think of your wardrobe as the very last priority on a long list of to do’s. Why is style important for someone who runs the business from the comfort of their own home, and not just during a worldwide pandemic? When all your networking, business development, and team management is done from home, there’s little reason to invest any time and energy into your style, right?
On the contrary, I believe that nailing your personal style has the potential to catapult your creative energy, mindset, and day-to-day productivity into the next gear! As the second part to my previous blog, “5 Style Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur,” I’d like to follow up with a list of five style TO-DO’S that can make all the difference in your day-to-day productivity as an entrepreneur.
1. DO take time to create looks that are pulled-together.
It’s important to pay attention to how your clothing makes you feel. Do you feel down-to-earth in a pair of sweats, or disheveled? Do your cotton tees help you feel poised for the day and professional for calls with clients? Do you feel motivated in loungewear, or does it take you forever to start your day?
The clothing you wear will directly impact how you feel about yourself, and consequently, the quality of work you do. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be fancy! After transitioning to working full-time in my business a few years ago, I paid very careful attention to the clothing that helped me feel most confident and pulled-together during my work day. For me, it’s often as simple as changing out of my pj’s into colorful (and comfy!) pieces that give me creative energy, or front-tucking my tops into a pair of joggers or sweats to give my body shape. You don’t have to get dressed up in a silky blouse and slacks every day to show up as confident in your business! Rather, pay attention to what helps you feel your very best and make an effort to wear those pieces from day to day.
2. DO start small and build with intention.
I’m a big believer that less is more, especially in a person’s wardrobe. You don’t need 100 items of clothing to create a beautiful image and send the right message to the people around you! Start by paying attention to the pieces you DO feel confident in and create similar outfits based on those pieces. For example, I’m currently building a work-from-home capsule of mix and match pieces that best support my lifestyle as a mom and business owner. As my body is in transition after having a baby last summer, I’m taking time to collect the RIGHT pieces rather than add more clutter to my wardrobe. I have a go-to formula of a tee shirt and high-waist bottom I know I can create again and again with the same types of styles. Find a formula you feel good in and run with it!
3. DO take time to strategize about your wardrobe.
A functional wardrobe doesn’t just HAPPEN. There’s TWO reasons it’s important to invest time and energy into your style…1) a wardrobe full of pieces that best reflect YOU will influence the way YOU show up in your business every day and 2) a wardrobe full of pieces that best reflect YOU will change the way OTHERS perceive you and your business.
Case in point. I follow a few Christian authors who have a massive following on social media. Because they care for their appearance, I believe they have more of an impact than they would with sloppy, ill-fitting clothes. Just think about it. Our society places an emphasis on the way we look, and in its original context, we were created by God to NOTICE beauty in the people and world around us. If you look at creation, you’ll find that beauty was first HIS idea! And THAT’S why putting time and effort into your style is important. Others will be drawn to your brand and the important work you’re doing when you take time to best represent WHO you are with a beautiful image and wardrobe.
4. DO get savvy with your clothing budget.
For many of us, allocating funds for clothing is the first step. Get savvy with your clothing budget by creating a detailed gaps list of pieces you NEED in your closet before shopping. Don’t hit the stores until you know exactly what you’re missing in your closet! This will prevent you from buying pieces that hang with tags still attached months later. Some of my favorite budget-friendly brands are Halogen (Nordstrom), Madewell, Universal Threads (Target), and Loft. Here’s a hint – the sales are always better online!
5. DO take an honest look at your lifestyle.
This is one of the most popular exercises inside my online style course, Simplified Style. When you take time to think through your lifestyle and what clothing you actually NEED to support your day-to-day activities, you’ll end up with a functional wardrobe. Ever since I became a mom last summer, I’ve started to transition away from buying a majority of client-facing outfits (silky, amped up pieces) to a majority of work-from-home pieces (cotton-based basics) to better support my lifestyle. Even though I’m still drawn to the dressier styles, I know those pieces will hang in my wardrobe without getting worn! Create a functional wardrobe by taking time to think through what clothing you actually NEED to best support your lifestyle.
Don’t forget, your style is important because it can make or break the energy YOU bring to your business every day. It will also send an important message about your brand to your clients and colleagues!
DON’T make the mistake of thinking your style is unimportant. Get intentional with your wardrobe and see just how much it changes your business for the better!
Are you excited to get strategic with the pieces in your wardrobe but don’t know where to start? Check out my online style course, Simplified Style, for a step-by-step process. You can also grab my free outfit guide, “5 Surprisingly Versatile Pieces to Wear Year Round” at www.sandimele.com.