When we think of highly successful people, we think of their motivation, innovation, perseverance, and occasionally their bank accounts.
Do we also think of the typical color or style of their clothing? A signature style can help to establish and maintain a unique identity.
Unlike the typical notion that success equals high-end fashion, Lifehack suggests that the chosen style be simple, affordable, and predictable (not the same as boring). Consider:
- Too many decisions might lead to “decision fatigue,” notes Elite Daily. For example, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is known for his grey t-shirt and black hoody, a simple choice that lets him focus his attention on the important matters of his career, such as privacy settings for Facebook users.
- According to Lifehack, when selecting a particular style, it is best to consider appropriate body type in relation to the fashion. This consideration requires a fair amount of confidence, humility, and self-reflection, traits common to successful leaders.
- Once the style is in place, others will take note and recognize it in the future. Dressing is a form of personal branding - what does the signature style communicate to the public? Maybe a scarf or a certain color of socks is the way to go. Creativity lies in the initial choice.
- Having a particular style is not the same as wearing a uniform every day. In the nonprofit sector, sometimes solidarity comes with the tag, “everyone must wear the same outfit.” Occasionally, this approach works, especially for promotional or PR purposes or if a united front is key, as in the case of volunteers for a charity event.
Ultimately, though, the ability to stand out from the crowd is a step toward leadership status. When an extraordinary executive director makes a presentation to the staff or the board of directors, those in attendance remember not only what they hear but what they see. And when staff members see their leader walking through the office building with the standard brooch, for example, they know what to expect and also offer their respect.
If it is true that we “… barely wear 80% of the clothing in our closets,” then it might be time for us to reflect on what we want our clothing decisions to say about our accomplishments. And, of course, we should give some away to charity.
About the Author: Jennifer Schaupp uses fashion to express her interest in colors, patterns, and big picture ideas. As a writer, she dabbles in words, but as a theatre practitioner, she uses her body to present a visual concept.