When Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Barack Obama agree on something, it’s time sit up and take notice.
On Monday I wrote about how doing things in real time is slowing you down, (well, I didn’t write it on Monday because I don’t write blog posts in real time, but you know what I mean.)
Finding and sticking to a signature look is something the most successful people from Albert Einstein all the way to Mark Zuckerberg have done.
Here’s why you need one and how to find it.
There are two very good reasons for having a signature look, and you don’t have to be a CEO to have one, you can benefit from having one whether you’re an accountant, sales assistant or lawyer.
Reason One: It makes you memorable
Have you ever tried to describe someone, who’s name you don’t know, to a friend?
“The guy with the brown-ish hair and he was wearing a blue shirt last night, or was it grey?”
It’s not easy, unless they make it easy for you by being memorable, then they turn into;
“The guy with floppy brown hair who always wears black, and smells good.”
Yep, I know exactly who you mean.
From a personal branding point of view it’s in your interest to be; “that girl who’s always in heels and has long curly hair.” Everyone knows how to identify you, and if your signature look reflects your business – even better.
Your look doesn’t have to be smart – if you’re an artist or singer, it will be quite different – look at how Prince dressed, or how Rihanna dresses.
Reason Two: It saves you from decision fatigue
Making small decisions throughout the day is slowing you all the way down and tiring you out.
Planning your outfits ahead saves time and brainpower in the morning when you’ve just woken up and are probably only thinking about coffee or how much you want to be back in bed.
Having a signature look takes it to the next level, you’re reducing the amount of decisions you have to make, and giving yourself more energy to think about the important things.
How to find your signature look
1. Find the outfit in your wardrobe that you’re most comfortable and confident in – is it trousers? A skirt? A pair of heels, or flats? Do you prefer patterns or plain colours?
2. Note the types of setting you are in most of the week, and what you are required to wear. There’s no point in having a mini skirt as your signature look if you work in a boardroom 40 hours a week, it needs to be practical!
3. Once you’ve found the outfit you’re most confident in and made sure it suits your most frequent setting, break the outfit down into pieces:
Steve Jobs = black polar neck, blue jeans, New Balance trainers.
Mark Zuckerberg = grey T-shirt, black hoodie, jeans.
Albert Einstein = grey suit, no socks, unkempt hair.
And little old Phoebe Parke = curly ombre hair, knee length skirt, trench coat.
You can see more famous examples in this Forbes gallery.
4. Then organise your wardrobe accordingly: I have an entire section for knee-length skirts, another for knee-length dresses, another for tops and shirts to go with them, and most of my trousers are in storage.
5. Decide how you will adapt your look for different settings. Of course you will need different outfits for special occasions, working out and when you want a super chilled-out look.
So sections of the wardrobe need to be found for those, if your signature look includes jeans, maybe you can put a black pair in the special occasion section that you pair with heels and a blazer, or maybe your chilled-out look includes jeggings (are they still a thing?!)
6. Use Pinterest to stay on track with your look and get more inspiration. Search “midi dress” or “black trainers” or “outfits with a cap” or whichever combination you picked in step three.
You can find my signature look board on Pinterest.
Have you found your signature look yet? Let me know in the comments.