This week, #DebutDoll Molly talks about how important having a signature look can be when meeting new people and networking within the industry.
For those of you who might not follow baseball – it’s been a very crazy week in Chicago. Our beloved Chicago Cubs have made it to the world series! I’ll let you google the insane history of the Cubs baseball team, but all you need to know is that we haven’t been in the World Series in over 70 years. Chicago has been abuzz with activity ever since they made the championship playoffs, including putting baseball jerseys all over our landmarks.
On top of that, the weather has started to finally drop and require everyone to dig their jackets out of the back of the closet. Because it is so much cooler in the morning… it’s that much harder to get out of bed! I’ve found myself bargaining for another five minutes, another ten minutes… you get the picture. I’ve been leaving my apartment later and later for work, which means I’ve been falling back on my ‘staple uniform’ more than ever.
Seeing the Cubs baseball uniforms everywhere, as well as falling back on my own personal uniform this week, has got me thinking about the importance of having your own signature look. I’m not saying that you need to find one look and stick to it forever – but it helps to have a signature. For me and those who know me, I’m characterized by always wearing all-black outfits, having bright blonde hair, and a bright red lip (sometimes there’s a cat eye eyeliner, but only if I wake up early enough).
Having a signature look will help you stand out when you meet new people or go to different networking events. My own signature look helps me feel confident, like slipping on my favorite dress every single day. There are a few tips on establishing your own look, however, to make sure that you don’t over do it.
Make sure that your look fits your industry
Luckily, if you’ve come to Debut you’re most likely going to be involved in media or fashion in some way. We work in an industry that loves experimentation and won’t scoff at pastel or mermaid colored hair trends. But if you are working in a law office, your signature look probably shouldn’t include Kylie Jenner’s newest bright blue lip kit. I’ve found that a lot of people in my industry wear all-black because it’s chic and always in style. Whatever your industry – make sure you’re making your mark while still playing by the rules.
You have to love your look, too!
Just because you might need to play by a couple industry rules doesn’t mean that you should compromise. I’m not a huge fan of athleisure, so I’ve kept elements like trainers or stylish sweat pants out of my personal dress code. It doesn’t mean they’re not cool (I love how they look in street style photography) or unprofessional (that depends on your office dress code), it just means that it doesn’t make me feel as confident as say – a pair of black pumps and a red lip.
A signature look doesn’t mean you only have ‘one look’
I believe that a lot of people stay away from the concept of creating a signature look for themselves because they don’t want to be limited. They hear the word ‘look’, singular, and believe that they will have to wear one outfit for the rest of their lives. In actuality, having a signature look is more like having a signature setting. It’s like putting the same filter on all of your Instagram photos so your profile looks inviting (does anyone else do this?). Think of celebrities like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or Victoria Beckham – they’ve wore obviously more than one outfit in their lives. But they consistently have a similar style that has made them fashion icons. Victoria Beckham loves white, oversized mens shirts and stilettos. The Olsen twins love large silhouettes and neutral color palettes. Establishing your signature look can mean you have a lot of different looks – it just means that people think of one cohesive image when a picture of you pops into their mind.
Have you ever had any luck coming up with a signature look? I’ve found that at the end of the day, a signature look helps me: cut down on the time it takes to get ready, it makes shopping easier, and it makes me memorable. So pucker up and swipe on your favorite lippie and open Pinterest – it’s time to figure out what your look is!
Words: Molly Tullis
Tweet Molly @MollyTullis
The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.