Even Mark Zuckerberg feels undecided every now and again. In January of this year, as he prepped for his first day back after paternity leave, Zuckerberg jokingly asking “What should I wear?” accompanied with a photo of his uniform-esque closet.
Contrary to popular belief, it does take certain habits to maintain a personal style and image that’s consistent with a your desired brand image – even if you opt for the keep it simple gray t-shirt uniform that tech power players are sporting these days.
Personal style habits aren’t about dropping thousands on a total wardrobe overhaul. You don’t even need to splurge on every season’s hottest trends or spend hours a day on how you look (you should be working on your business instead).
Real, great style and confidence in your appearance starts at home, with your daily habits.
Own your personal style with confidence
We live in a busy world, and it’s easy to let what you wear slip or become this ‘thing’ that doesn’t matter. But, we all understand that how you show up is crucial to business success. Perceptions do matter.
Not only do you want to reflect the right image and first impression, but also what you wear and your unique style impacts your state of mind and confidence. So, I’ve created a list of 5 habits every professional should acquire to make style, getting dressed and showing up with confidence a hassle-free part of the day.
1. Plan your outfits for the week.
Or at least the night before. You’ve heard it hundreds of times by now, but do you actually do it? Planning your outfit ahead of time gives you more time in the morning to sleep, eat, and/or relax. In turn, you’ll feel less stress because you already know what you’re wearing when you wake up in the morning.
2. Schedule adequate time to get ready.
Instead of trying to rush and get yourself ready at record speed each morning, get up just a few minutes earlier to give yourself a chance to relax. This will prevent you from having to rush out of the house feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
3. Purge your ‘skinny’ and ‘fat’ clothes.
As a personal stylist, I’ve seen many closets, but one thing that’s common is this: everyone has “skinny” and “fat” clothes they’re holding onto “just in case!” A style winner knows not to beat yourself up over that dress that will fit one day or the pants that use to fit. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t need to take up precious real estate in your closet. Plus, when clothing fits your body, in its current shape, you look more professional, slimmer, and streamlined
4. Get style inspiration .
Your clothing and subsequent brand image is a creative outlet, an outlet that needs to consistently evolve over time. To keep evolving, you need to get inspired! Take to sites like Instagram and Pinterest to curate styles you admire and aspire to; most importantly, style that reflects you.
5. Stay true to your personal style .
Style isn’t about adapting every trend that you spot at fashion week or in the pages of GQ. Instead, it’s about using clothes to show the world who you are, what you do, and your personal brand message. While I’m all about keeping your style updated, I always encourage clients to be picky when adding particular trends into their wardrobe. Everything should match your desired personal style and image.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Mallory Sills is the owner and lead consultant of Image Success by Mallory, a Chicago-based image consulting company that provides in-person and virtual consulting services. With Mallory’s customized process, clients learn how to enjoy their wardrobe and image and how to express who they are and what they want to say in a positive way. Her ultimate goal is to eliminate any stress associated with getting dressed and walking into your closet. She’s a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago and has worked alongside the best in the business including Zanna Roberts Rassi of Marie Claire magazine and Stacy London from TLC’s hit show “What Not to Wear.” Beyond consulting, Mallory hosts a podcast “The Style Success Podcast” available on all major podcasting platforms. Connect with @mallorysills on Twitter.