What are you saying with your style?

Like it or not, your style is a form of communication.  It’s the first thing someone sees about you, well before you start speaking.  So how can you start using it to communicate your needs and wants? 

Before jumping into that, it’s important to acknowledge the difference between style and fashion.  Style is a form of expression and communication. It’s the unique way that you decide to pair those sneakers with that dress or those jeans with that top.  It’s the way you stack your bracelets, wear those heels, and walk out the door with a little pep in your step.  Style is uniquely you, while fashion is external to your own doing.  Someone else determines fashion.  It’s the trends you see in blogs, the outfits you find on models and mannequins, and the pieces of clothing defining a specific time in culture.  Fashion is something that exists outside of you.  

"Style is uniquely you, while fashion is external to your own doing."

Samantha Arrowood

Now that we’ve covered the difference between style and fashion, we can jump into how your style is a form of nonverbal communication.  Did you know that people make their first impression of you within 7 seconds of meeting?  That means the clock starts ticking the second they see you.  So make effective use of those 7 seconds and be intentional with your communication.  One way to do that is to dress the part. What you’re wearing and how you pull it together is a reflection of you and projects your intentions.  Case and point, you wouldn’t wear jeans and a tee to an interview with a law firm. In this instance, you are communicating a lack of respect and seriousness for the job at hand. Therefore, you are most likely walking away without a job offer.

The colors you wear might be communicating a story you don't want to be telling. Did you know that the colors you wear evoke feelings in others and yourself? It's probably not something you currently consider when you're getting dressed, but you might want to start. For instance, red is a polarizing color. It creates strong feelings and those feelings can vary depending on the situation you're in. If you're giving a presentation and wearing red, you might feel strong and confident, but others might feel intimidated. If you're wearing red and heading on a date, you might be evoking a feeling of love. If you're wearing red at a sporting event, you might feel and communicate aggression. This is why it’s important to be mindful of the clothing you wear, especially the colors, and use them to your advantage.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Gorn

So, the next time you’re getting ready for an interview, heading into that investor’s meeting, or getting ready for a PTA meeting, consider your style and how you’re presenting yourself.  Your style is an extension of you, and it’s sending a message even when you aren’t speaking. 

Need a little guidance on how to finesse your style or nail those colors? You’re in luck because I’m currently accepting new clients!  Check out my services or send me a message to learn more.