Welcome to IC’s Leadership Brand Blog

It's Not About The Clothes But What The Clothes Can Do For You

Let's be honest, you know your clothing choices affect and reflect your self-image and how you feel about yourself.

Imagine right now you've woken up and you're standing in front of your wardrobe and you're trying to decide what to wear for the day. At this point in time, your head and your heart are having a conversation and it's going something like this:

Head: I need to leave in 15 minutes otherwise I'll hit traffic or miss the train

Heart: How do I feel today and how do I want to feel today?

Head: What did I wear yesterday, did I shave my legs, do I have high-level meetings today?

Heart: I want to feel confident and look like a woman and try wearing something different today

Head: Just wear that outfit you always wear, you know it works. Done!

Heart: So boring, why can't I work out what to wear? I hate this

Sound familiar?

This internal dialogue can go on for minutes. You're stressed, time-poor, have decision fatigue and you feel down. Your day has only just started and this dilemma has set your mood for the day. You leave home feeling flat. You can't wait to get to your local coffee shop to grab your pick me up.

I've had thousands of conversations with women over the years about their clothes, wardrobes and career aspirations. Having conducted in excess of 3000 styling sessions for women around the country I keep hearing the same dilemma women are facing every single day.

They wake up, stare blankly at their wardrobe and pick out the "it will do" outfit to wear to work. They see all these great stand alone pieces they've acquired over the years but for some reason, they don't work together.

They are incredibly frustrated and time poor and loathe having to make such decisions first thing in the morning.

The thing is, they recognise that they can't fly under the radar anymore. They know they need their personal brand to start working for them. They know that dressing in separates is here to stay and is the new power dressing.

If you’d like to learn the techniques that will help you create a style that supports your business goals and supports your inner confidence then come along to the  “The Art of Self Packaging For Success".  Come and learn how to master the NEW way women are dressing for work.

It's taking place on the 25.03.17 at the Sydney Westfield Styling Suite

Here is some unseen footage from previous events.

The techniques I will be teaching you I have taught during my corporate workshops and I know they work because my clients have used them with great results. My clients are now primed and ready for their next career step, their laser focused on their message and goals and don’t have to give their image and personal brand a second thought. They have invested the time to get this right so that all their energy now goes into preparing for that promotion or landing their dream client. 

There is no doubt in my mind that when you dress to reflect who you really are, your confidence skyrockets and that's when you do your best work.

Note: Part of your ticket is redeemable towards a personal service & you will receive complimentary half hour speaker appearance by Janette Ishiyama in your organisation (more information at the workshop)

Click here to reserve your seat.

So don't sit on the sidelines, take action and be the driver of your success.

I hope to see you at the #1 Styling Event for Professional Women & Entrepreneurs.

Styling Your Success

Janette x

www.imageconsultants.com.au

The Science of Why We Buy Clothes We Never Wear

Are we are a swipe-happy nation?

In 2015, Statista ranked the top-spending countries in the world per capita and congratulations to us – we’re number one!

According to Mark Hall from BusinessWaste.com.au, Australians are throwing away $140 million dollars worth of clothing every year which is going directly to landfill. This equates to 1.2 million tons of fashion buried in the ground. Although Australia has a culture of donating material goods to charity, only about 15% of donated clothing is sold again locally in charity shops – about 15% becomes industrial rags, 25% goes directly to landfill, and the other 40-50% into the global second-hand trade. (NACRO 2013 National Waste Report pg 7) says Australians are the world's second largest consumers of textiles, buying on average 27 kilograms of new clothing and other textiles each year.

So why do we purchase clothing we never wear?

A 2007 study by researchers at Stanford, MIT and Carnegie Mellon tested the neurological reactions of participants when buying clothes. What they found was that the brain’s pleasure ambens were activated when a person desires an object.

In making the decision whether or not to buy the desired item, the brain weighs up the pleasure of owning the item versus the pain of outlaying the money for it. One of the study’s authors, Scott Rick, said

“the brain seemed to be responsive not necessarily to price alone, or how much I like it, but that comparison of the two: how much I like it compared to what you charge me for it.”

Basically, the brain likes a good deal and therefore when you find clothes at a significant discount or at a cheap starting price, your pleasure centers will light up at the thought of purchasing.

As an Image Consultant and Personal Branding specialist for the past 10 years, I've always been fascinated by the way women shop. Many of my clients before working with me:

  • never try on garments before purchasing them
  • they crisis shopped at international airports
  • they never have a shopping plan and just "hope" they find something
  • purchased for their "future" self i.e when they lose a few kilos (I'll look great in that)

Question: How many times have you purchased a piece of clothing on sale and have only worn it once or twice or not at all?

Here are my top 3 gold nuggets for avoiding a crisis purchase.

My golden rule is: Only buy pieces you can wear at least 3 ways.

My golden question to ask yourself before buying a piece on sale is: Would I buy it if it were full price?

My golden approach to shopping: Have a plan. Know exactly what you currently have in your wardrobe and establish the cost per wear for that piece.

Here's an example.

Building a wardrobe takes time, commitment and self-awareness. By following my proven system for building a versatile wardrobe not only do you stop contributing to landfill but the end result is a versatile wardrobe that gives you the confidence to move out into the world feeling great and self-assured. Watch my video here.

In summary, shopping is an activity that can stimulate feelings of happiness and there’s a scientific reason why we all love good value for money. Just remember that science isn’t going to pay your credit card bills so I'd still advise you to shop wisely. Don't forget about the environmental implications of buying those one hit wonders.

Styling Your Success

Janette

P.S If you'd like to learn more about our personal services, please click here and if you'd like to learn about our Confident Career Woman public program, please click here. 

The New Way Women Are Dressing For Work

From Dress Down Fridays to Dress Down Daily, from high heels and  pencil skirts to a roll neck and trainers, the idea of dressing smart for work has dramatically shifted over the last 10 years. We've seen an obvious shift from suits to separates.

Women are no longer expected to turn up to work donning a matching two piece suit. 

I remember personal shopping for my corporate clients and realising that many labels stopped making traditional suits. Finding a good quality suit now is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

In a survey conducted by a UK retailer, 34 percent of 1000 UK professionals said they never wore a suit unless they are seeing clients or have an important conference. 

Traditional thinking and ways of doing business have and will continue to be challenged. One of these demands is a flexible and more casual way of dressing. We've seen organisations such as JP Morgan and Chase, PwC, Virgin and Deloitte scrap their dress guidelines and opt for taglines such as, "Bring Your Whole Self To Work" or "Bring Your Best Self To Work".

Dressing in separates has become the new "POWER DRESSING"

For many of my corporate clients, this has brought a whole new level of frustration in trying to decipher what to wear. The safety of a suit would no longer be.

For my entrepreneurial clients, they embraced this shift swiftly and with enthusiasm. New communal working environments such as "WeWork" are encouraging entrepreneurs to showcase their personal brand. They are redefining the whole approach to getting dressed for work. It’s less about playing by the rules and more about promoting your unique brand.

These days women are juggling so many roles and tasks that go far beyond the office, bringing work home to look at between being partners, flatmates, mothers. Modern life is so busy and we’re being pulled in myriad directions. Why would we do it all in a pencil skirt and heels if we didn’t necessarily have to? The difference is that the new power outfits are more amenable to our real lives, both in the office and out of it.

In the past, for women to wield power in what was historically a man’s world, she had to pretty much dress like a man.

NOT ANY LONGER 

Watch this interview with Theresa May on "power" suits and being yourself.

Women like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Anna Wintour have adopted a leadership look based around vibrant shift dresses and heels. So where does that leave the woman who wants to convey power and professionalism without a suit?

While these women's styles vary, the focus is the same: their clothes fit perfectly, high-quality fabrics, meticulous grooming, attention to details and shiny hair.

Let's explore ways you can create a leadership look wearing separates.

1. Firstly, be authentic: If you don't look confident in what you're wearing it will show immediately.  Find your own style and develop a personal brand that speaks to your values. What are you trying to say in life, business and fashion?

2. Know the answers to these questions: What works for my shape, what's my dressing style personality and which colours work for me. Without these answers, you'll be wondering stores aimlessly getting frustrated. For example, if you have a feminine style, then dresses and skirts will be great for you. If you are natural / sporty then signature ankle grazers and denim should be your choice. Need more inspiration? Click here and see my Pinterest board where I have collated different power styles utilising separates. 

3. Find your signature: Anna Wintour always wears a high placed necklace and you never see her in pants. Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, who wrote an entire book, “Read My Pins,” strategically used jewellery during her time in Bill Clinton’s cabinet. She says it was part of her personal diplomatic arsenal!
For some of my clients, they like to use their glasses as their focal accessory as does Jenna Lyons (creative director for J Crew).



4. How do you plan to demonstrate "Power"? Consider these attributes:

  • Colour: dark colours convey strength such as black, navy, dark charcoal and deep burgundy 
  • Print: The more angular the print the more powerful you will look.
  • Fit: Is what you're wearing loose and floaty or tailored and structured? The more structure, the more powerful you look.
  • Fabric: The smoother the fabric the more tailored and professional you will look. The more textured the piece, the less formal you look.

Here are some examples





Irrespective of your style, you will always be able to look "Powerful" and "Professional" when wearing separates if you follow this process. 

5. Purchase your big ticket pieces in neutral colours so they go the distance. 

6. Be consistent: As with message they say you need to hear it 7 times before it hits home. The same with our Image. Consistency is key. We need to demonstrate our brand over and over again.

Styling Your Success,

Janette

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about building a CONFIDENT leadership image, click here and learn about our two-day intensive program called, "The Confident Career Woman".



Personal Branding : Journey or Destination?

Recently I was going through photos and I was amazed at how my personal style evolution started from such a young age. 

One of my earliest recollections of when I thought about my style was when I was ten years old. I loved wearing my black patent ballet flats. I seemed to have a natural affinity to an elegant black and white tailored style. This has stayed with me over the years and as you can see below is part of my signature brand.

What I have come to recognise is that creating a Personal Brand is really an evolution. It's not something that you just set and forget. Why? Our lives and subsequently our wardrobes go through cycles (typically anywhere between 2-7 years).

Identifying your personal brand is about having a deep self-awareness that allows you to ask the hard questions and being brave enough to listen to the whispers. It takes intention and focus to build an effective personal brand.

Many people often confuse marketing with branding. Marketing is the technique you use to acquire customers, but branding is what draws colleagues and customers to you in the first place and keeps them coming back for more.

Many clients often tell me that they have tried dressing like other women but haven't been able to pull it off (surprise surprise). Whilst you can get inspiration from looking at other women, the only woman that counts for you is the one within.

For me there were significant moments during my personal style evolution that had me reflecting on my own personal brand which was:

1. When I left my corporate role to start my business,  Image Consultants. 
I needed to firstly discover my WHY and secondly, learn how to communicate it visually and verbally.

2. When I had my two children. Practicality and comfort reigned supreme
Not only did I need to dress for my new role as "Mum" but I also no longer needed matching suits to host my corporate personal branding workshops.

At this point, my wardrobe was a mishmash of traditional suits, jeans, tailored blazers, shorts and t-shirts. I had completely lost my identity. I no longer knew who I was. My lifestyle had changed, my body shape changed and I'd evolved as a person.

Many clients over the years have expressed similar feelings. They'd taken a career break from their high-level position to pursue having a family. In the process, they lost all confidence in how to dress. Many feared going back to work because they no longer knew who they were and what their personal brand was. They also realised that corporate dress standards in Australia had shifted markedly and the safety of wearing a matching suit was no longer an option.

The ultimate in personal branding is dressing in a way that is truly you supported by your values. This is when you'll feel most like yourself and when you will succeed at the highest level. This is the gift I give my clients and the gift they give me during the personal brand development process. Seeing a client see herself for the first time in a long time is a moment that I honestly can't put into words.

So how can you fully realise your personal brand? Here are seven steps I personally went through during my personal brand journey.

1. Review past and present photos of you in outfits that you've loved. Write down what it is about these outfits that you're drawn to? colour, fit, print, fabrics etc. If you are drawn to a lot of colour and print then you may have a creative spirit about you. If you like structured pieces perhaps that indicates that you are about "getting the results" and "making things happen". If comfort is important to you then your relaxed and friendly nature could become part of your brand. Once you have gained some insights go to Pinterest and search for styles that encompass what you're drawn to.

2. Write down your top five values that are non-negotiables. This will help you communicate and dress in a way that aligns with your values

3. Be self-aware. Don't be afraid to dig deep and accept the real YOU. I always wanted to serve others but for some reason, I thought of this as a sign of weakness. Since fully embracing this, it has formed the basis of my business and has given me an enormous amount of meaning to my life. Click here to read our values

4. Be consistent with your image. I was challenged by this. When I'm in the park with the kids I look completely different to what I look like when speaking and presenting. So as a compromise, I'm consistent with my image WHEN IT COUNTS!

5. Be visible. Grow and share your expertise. Who needs to know you and are you reaching them in a meaningful way?

6. Ask for feedbackWe all have blind spots including me.

7. Be relevant. Knowing more than your role is important in today's competitive environment. When I started in my first corporate role as a medical representative the National Sales Manger expected that we would all know the latest sports results and headline news. Why? Because most clinicians were interested in sport and that was our way of establishing a relationship and being relevant. Equally as an Image Consultant what I suggest women wear to the office is vastly different to what I recommended 10 years ago. Dress standards have shifted and it's important for me to demonstrate to my clients that I am ahead of the kerb and understand what they need to create a killer personal brand that helps them get the positions they deserve.

If I were to ask your clients or professional colleagues what it’s like to do business with you, whatever they say next is your brand. For me, some of the key elements of my personal brand that clients have shared with me include: warm, engaging, knowledgeable, professional, great presenter, delivers, puts people at ease, passionate and enthusiastic. I find myself thinking of these words when getting dressed for work.

Having clarity around your brand will not only help you when shopping but getting dressed for work becomes a breeze.

If you'd like to learn more about how to build your personal brand that reflects the confident career woman that you are, click here for our Sydney workshop.

Styling Your Success

Janette

Why Confidence Matters To Your Career

Confidence. It’s just a single word, but it’s one that can make so much difference to success. It’s that little aspect within ourselves that can truly transform a situation, a thought, a discussion, a result. It can make or break your career.

Gillian and I are excited to be bringing to you “The Confident Career Woman” program.

After hearing about all your stumbling blocks and what is preventing you from showing up to work feeling more confident, Gillian and I have set out to change your career trajectory. We created this intensive two-day program to help you achieve career success in 2017 and beyond. 

“The Confident Career Woman”  program is designed to help you transform your confidence at work visually, emotionally and audibly. 



We’ll show you how to dress with influence (visual), feel self-assured (emotional), and speak with conviction and credibility (audio).  

You’ll finish the program able to replace self-critical or doubting behaviours with new abilities: like speaking up; taking risks; getting your ideas heard and acted upon (even in male-dominated environments or when facing bias). It will also show you how to dress and create a look that makes you feel good and commands respect. 

Ultimately this increased level of confidence will: 
• Increase you business impact
• Grow your influence 
• Boost your self-image 
• Help you reach your career goals 

This program is different to other programs – even those that promise renewed confidence?

Why? Because it’s full of practical, accessible and relevant tips that you’ll apply immediately while attending the program.

Discover what it really takes for you to become a Confident Career Woman and join us February 23rd and 24th for two days of thought-provoking and cutting edge content that will boost your confidence and accelerate your career success.

Styling Your Success

Janette

P.S There are limited seats for this program so if you want real results in 2017, click to enter your details and we’ll call you to discuss the program. 



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