Know Your Purpose & Up Your Style!

By Catherine Cassidy

Last week we talked about Finding Your Fashionista. Are you ready to take the next steps?

Success with your style is just around the corner, so read on for more details …

To ensure you always look great, you need to be aware of your purpose. Hence, the first step: Know your Purpose.

So, when you’re starting to plan your outfit for an event or the day, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are you dressing for? Who is  your audience?
  • What is appropriate?
  • What is the image you want to project?

NOTE: You should always dress for yourself, but you do have to consider your audience.  First impressions are EVERYTHING! There is absolutely a superficial element to it, but you also have to radiate confidence. This is why you need to dress for yourself first and your audience second.

A few scenarios you are faced with everyday, and what to consider as you choose your final outfit:


Are you going on a date so you want to be attractive?

I want to stress subtly sexy, here. Less is always more when it comes to dressing sexy. Plus, I’ve known many guys to say that they often don’t even notice what you’re wearing.  They notice HOW you’re wearing it. Again – CONFIDENCE!

And to be clear, I don’t mean less clothing – I mean less sexiness. Cover up a bit, but do let some skin show. Choose one of the following areas to play up: your décolletage (remember subtle – so not a deep-v top, but do let a little show!), your collarbone (one of the most feminine and delicate areas on a woman), or some leg (some – this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to bend over without flashing some rear!).

Is this for work? A presentation? A networking event?

Consider your image as your brand in professional settings. Just like your business cards, website, email correspondence, etc, your image is a first impression and should support the feeling and message of your business.

Even as a professional, you should consider your image as your brand since your managers will absolutely notice how you dress for work and equate that to how much you care about your job and your level of professionalism.

Some things to consider for your branding and image are color, quality, fit and style.

  • What colors make you sing and you find yourself constantly being complimented when you wear them?
  • What in your closet shows it’s age versus what screams quality and luxury (even if it wasn’t expensive!)?
  • How do your clothes fit? You need your clothes to be tailored to you and that means a perfect fit. You should NEVER wear clothes that are too big – they’ll look bulky and baggy. Nor should you wear clothes that are too tight because that is just uncomfortable to wear as well as look at!
  • Work on adding some style to your look – play with colors, add some accessories, layer it up a bit. Just play and have fun with your clothes and you really will develop your own style. This is what will get you noticed.

Is the business culture or job you have creative or corporate/conservative?

A creative culture will allow you a lot more freedom in what you wear, but don’t take advantage of it by going too casual! Either way, find ways to stay true to your personality. If you have to wear a suit or something equally conservative, dress it up with color and details – beautiful blouses, statement accessories, fun shoes, etc. Finding ways to incorporate your ‘play’ clothes with your ‘work’ clothes will make getting ready for work much more fun, and it will show in your attitude and performance.

Are you running errands? Is comfort key?

Even when you’re just running errands, you should put some effort into your appearance. Again, this is because it affects how you feel and how you interact with people. Plus, don’t you want people to notice you? Even if it’s a tee shirt and jean look, wear items that fit well, flatter and in colors that compliment your complexion. And why not add some fun jewelry? It doesn’t take much additional effort, even if you’re just sticking to your favorite pieces. Jewelry and accessories add interest to an outfit and show you care.

I also endorse wearing comfy and cute ‘sweats’ when you’re just lounging around the house. It doesn’t take much additional expense or effort to wear those cute yoga pants that flatter your bum with a colored tee that fits just so … trust me, your honey will notice. And if you’re still looking for your honey, I’ll go back to my ongoing theme, your total attitude and confidence will thank you!

Taking leave of the Corporate Fashion Industry, Catherine Cassidy founded U*styled in 2008 to support busy women everywhere. YOU are our mission. U*styled is dedicated to empowering women and giving you the tools to discover the lifestyle you deserve through personal style. Her unique approach to Personal Styling and Brand Image has had her work across a broad range of industries and career stages including Real Estate, Finance, Consulting, Marketing, Advertising, Entertainment, Entrepreneurs and Celebrity Entrepreneurs.

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