Why personal style starts with personal branding
1 out of 5 items sits unworn in your closet
“The Key to Personal Presence” is a personal branding and style workshop I give twice a year at Raupe & Schmetterling, a wonderful Berliner institution that provides fabulous professional programs for women. Last night, after opening with the powerful Greenpeace research on clothing consumption in Germany, I explained why it happens that 1 of every 5 items sits unused in German closets. And how personal style (the science and art of knowing what you need, love and will really wear) is the cure. I started with the Greenpeace report because the staggering statistics prove that lack of personal style results in overstuffed closets and overconsumption thru random and spontaneous shopping habits. Interestingly, the USA and Great Britain have higher consumption than Germany, yet France and Italy which have strong style cultures, consume far less. And with the Danes, clean minimal chic keeps spending and consumption in check. Check out the chart from Statistica.
EU Clothing Consumption 2015: billions of euros
Greenpeace “Clothing Consumption in Germany”
1 of 5 clothing items is never or almost never worn = 1 billion unused items in German wardrobes
1 billion items worn less than every three moths
2 out of three women get rid of items because they don’t like them any more
40% get rid of clothes that aren’t fashionable and no long express their style
Personal style matters…and matters deeply. Understanding our personal style allows us to express our perspective with wise and effectively consumption. To fulfil Vivienne Westwood’s manifesto “Buy less and buy better” and Olivia Firth”s #wear at least thirty times campaign. How? By identifying the key wardrobe items you need, love and will truly wear. This is not about consumption, but self-reflection and awareness. First, about your goals and dreams. Second, about the clothing items that bring those dreams and goals to life thru wardrobe. But if you edit your closet only to race out and consume more, soon you’re back to square one. So where do you start? By understanding what personal style is and is not.
Personal style is not about fashion. It is about personal power, influence and authenticity. About closing the gap between how people see you and how you really want to be seen. Then using color, line and shape to create a curated wardrobe of clothes you need, love, can easily combine and REALLY wear. So you dress for confidence on all occasions AND stay true to yourself.
I help women own their personal power. Clothing is a multi-billion dollar industry precisely because women want to tap into the power of their own beauty. To tap into the beauty of their skin, hair, features and body. This desire for beauty is deep, real and innate. It allows us to recognise the beauty in a sunset, artwork and beautiful flower. And feel compassion for the ugliness in poverty, racism and cruelty. Beauty uplifts us and nurtures our souls. That is why you do owe it to yourself to go beyond the superficialness of consumption to acknowledge what you expect a new item, be it lipstick or dress to do for you…..before you walk into a shop. To reflect on what personal power, influence and authenticity mean to you.
Personal style starts with language
Language is at the heart of developing a clear personal style for a character. Before a costume designer starts looking at color, fabric and shape she needs to understand the persona of the actor in the film. So that as soon as that character walks on stage “ we get her”. Each of the above characters was described by using language that evoked a visual image in the mind of the costume designer. Brand archetype language creates a clear focused direction so the clothing of a character tell a story that is universally recognise, the moment she walks into the room.
INTIMATE & SEDUCTIVE BRAVE & STRONG IN CONTROL & POWERFUL VISIBLE & EXTRAVAGANT
Language is at the heart of developing a distinct atmosphere in a room. Before an interior designer starts looking at color, fabric and shape she needs to understand the atmosphere and story the room is to communicate. So that as soon as you walk into the space, you “get the vibe”. Each of the above cafes, existed first in someone’s mind as language. language that brought to mind a visual image. Brand archetype language describes the atmosphere of the restaurant so the it attracts the clientele who are drawn to its energy.
TRADITION & POWER EXCELLENCE & AESTHETIC FUN & ENJOYMENT SIMPLE & PURE
Language is at the heart of an ad campaign that powerful connects to the target group. Before a graphic designer choose photos, fonts and colors, she needs to understand the story to communicate. So that as soon as you open the magazine, you “get the emotional vibe”. Each of the above ads existed first in someone’s mind as language. Language that brought to mind a clear and specific archetype.
ENCHANTMENT & MAGIC SUCCESSFUL & VISIBLE IRREVERANCE & ENJOYMENT SIMPLE & PURE
The visual meaning system
I am passionate and determined to help how women tap into their personal power, influence and authenticity. My first tool of choice is THE VISUAL MEANING SYSTEM because it helps clients grasp the immediacy of how people judge appearance. THE 12 STYLE PERSONAS are a powerful tool because it is exciting to ‘get’ the fashion system. And zero in on your style so you make purpose-driven not random wardrobe choices. That’s why over the coming weeks I will provide a clear over view of the system….so stay tuned!
Is this an area you are currently struggling with? Are you unsure of your own personal style? Do you want to communicate more impact and influence in the workplace? If any of this is you be sure to check out other blog posts. And click on the button to discover how personal branding can empower your life.