Does your personal image instantly attract attention or does it blend into the background?
Do you wear your power colors or even know what they are?
Do you compare your look to others and wonder why they always have it together?
As a seasoned personal brand and image expert I see what makes a personal image stand out and I also see the mistakes women are making that may be hindering their success. Here are the top 5 mistakes. Are you making them?
Mistake #1- Dressing the part, but not acting the part. Have you ever met a woman who is wearing all of the right clothes, but has no light in her eyes? This is what I mean. Your sense of self and self-care are foundational to a great personal image. As women, we are taking care of everyone else and forgetting about ourselves. Then, when we take “me” time, we feel guilty (or is it just me?). A routine of nutrition, exercise, sleep and quiet time are what help us to be grounded, vibrant and successful women (preaching to myself, too)!
Mistake #2- Wearing colors that don’t flatter. Color is the most powerful element in your wardrobe. Wearing colors that are not in harmony with your natural coloring can make you look tired, worn out, sick and sallow. If you’ve ever had someone ask you if you were sick (or tired, etc.) when you weren’t, chances are you were wearing a color that didn’t suit you. Wearing shades that flatter your coloring makes you look younger and healthier. Your eye color pops and your teeth look whiter. Knowing your palette also helps you build out a well rounded wardrobe. Not sure what yours are- take a look at my mobile app Color Rx or my Transformational Style System. You will find that when you wear the colors that are best for you, you will get more attention, be taken more seriously and perhaps best of all, you will feel more confident.
Mistake #3- A dated look. Keeping your look current reflects that you stay current, period. An outdated wardrobe, hairstyle or makeup can actually prevent you from moving forward in your career. That doesn’t mean to dive head first into the biggest fads, but a classic look that is fashion- forward. Is it time to update your hair? Sometimes it’s just a subtle change that is needed. I suggest you have your makeup done professionally every year. You are maturing and there are cutting edge products that can prevent you from looking that way!!
Mistake # 4- Ignoring the fine details. Knowing your best colors, cuts and style are simply the beginning of a powerful personal image. The finishing touches that make you stand out from the rest are the fine details often forgotten. The fine details are well-tailored clothes, manicured fingers and toes, shaped brows, polished shoes and handbag/briefcase. Details also include showing up to your appointments/meetings on time, well prepared and organized.
Mistake # 5- Misaligned non-verbal language. Recently I attended a wedding. The bride had taken care to choose a dress that flattered her hair, eye and skin tones and fit her body silhouette beautifully. She had hired professionals to do her hair and makeup and they had done an exquisite job. As she walked down the aisle I wanted to coach her to stand up straight (I can’t help myself- I was born with the gene :)). Her shoulders were slouched and her chin tipped downward. This was a day of celebration and her body language did not show it.
The same is true for your professional image. Body language is nonverbal language, but it communicates volumes about you nonetheless. Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, Dr. Albert Mehrabian teaches that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% words. So how you carry yourself when engaged in conversation is often as important, if not more important than what you say.
Hold your head up, shoulders squared and back, and using your abdominal and glute muscles- extend your spinal cord from the heavens the the ground like a long strand of pearls! People (including yourself) will see you differently!
For more information on your non-verbal language take a look at my recent post : Body Language & Business Success.
No doubt you’ve seen personal image mistakes too. What do you think they are?