5 Ways to Create a Personal Style as an Entrepreneur

5 Ways to Create a Personal Style as an Entrepreneur

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.

5 Style Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur

5 Style Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur

It’s so easy to allow style to be an afterthought when running a business. You may think “I work from home, so I don’t need much of a work wardrobe” or “I don’t need to be stylish to be successful as an entrepreneur.” But what you may not realize is just how much you communicate with the clothing you wear!

We all know nonverbal communication is powerful. A person may look at you and draw aaaaall kinds of conclusions about your business based on your outward appearance! It’s true. Sporting an outfit with joggers or an outfit with slacks will communicate two very different things about you, your personality, and the way you manage your business.

So how should someone go about making the right wardrobe decisions when owning a business? Let’s first look at the 5 style mistakes I often see entrepreneurs making when it comes to their wardrobe:

 

          1. They’re too casual.

Yes, we all know you run your empire in your socks and sweats. But the rest of us want to see you looking competent when we meet you for the first time! Not sure what competent looks like? Think fitted ankle pant rather than baggy bootcut trousers. We assume you’re behind the times in your business when you’re behind the times in your wardrobe!

 

 

          2. They prioritize name brand over fit.

 

You can wear name brand pieces all day long and communicate the exact opposite of what you hope to if your pieces don’t fit you correctly. A name brand piece can look sloppy and disheveled when it isn’t flattering, and in order to understand what’s flattering, it’s important to be familiar with your shape and what you feel best in. I would rather you buy clothing from Target over Nordstrom any day if it means you’ll wear a flattering fit!

 

          3. They think it’s all or nothing.

 

Do you have the mentality that you need ALL flattering clothes in your wardrobe or none at all? The truth is that most of us who run a business don’t see clients every day and spend quite a bit of time working from home. But on client-facing days, do you have the right pieces to wear? It’s important to get clear on WHAT message you want to send about you and your business before walking out the door to see a client. You may only need a few go-to outfits depending on how often you see clients! Even as a stylist, I’ll often wear the same 2-5 outfits from week to week when I’m working with clients.

 

          4. They don’t match the clothing in their closet to their business and brand.

 

If you have a personal brand, there’s a good chance your brand will align with your personal style. For example, a person who shows up to a networking event in a black leather jacket and skull tee (something I don’t recommend, by the way) will most likely NOT hand out a business card adorned with light pinks and florals. If you’re the creator of your brand, you’ll likely be able to match up your brand image with your personal image! My brand colors are yellow, coral, and teal, and you’ll often see me wearing one of those colors when I’m working with a client.

 

          5. They don’t plan.

 

This one includes most of us, entrepreneur or not! Do you plan out your trips to the mall with a list of specific styles you need? Do you KNOW what styles you need, or where the gaps exist in your wardrobe? Most of us will hurry to the mall a day or two in advance of a special event, client meeting, or work trip without creating a detailed shopping list. Talk about stressful!

In an upcoming article, I’ll be talking about what TO do in place of the 5 mistakes I detail above. What’s too casual, and what’s too dressy? What places should you shop for clothing, especially if you don’t have the budget for name brand pieces? How many client-facing outfits should you aim to own? And finally, how should you go about shopping for the gaps in your wardrobe?

 

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to grab Sandi’s free outfit guide, “5 Surprisingly Versatile Pieces to Wear Year Round” by visiting her website at www.sandimele.com.