One of the most important aspects of Signature Styling is creating an image that speaks to who you are and where you’re going. Your style must be true to your personality rather than imitating someone else or dressing in a manner that you think other people like or expect. If you fake it, people eventually catch on and you not only lose their trust, you lose yourself.
The FBI drama series “Criminal Minds” on CBS and A&E incorporated this exact lesson into an episode I recently watched. CR is an addictive (for me, that is) FBI drama series featuring a range of characters who each use specialized talents to help profile, track and arrest killers. The costume department does a great job of dressing each character according to his/her personality quirks and skills.
Penelope Garcia, played by Kirsten Vangsness, is visually the most memorable, her outrageous style is in line with her hacker mentality– unconventional, unpredictable, and able to find the humor in anything. She’s surrounded all day by multiple computers and other fun electronic gadgets, which she plays like a symphony (she calls herself Mozart) to obtain the unobtainable. Her picture says it all.
Her co-workers are stunned when she shows up on a field assignment in a conservative suit, neatly styled hair and (gasp!) contacts. Why? Because she wants to try replacing her former boss, a case agent, who fit that mold. She feels that if she’s going to take on that job, she needs to look like a typical FBI agent.
It backfires. Not only is she totally uncomfortable in her new clothes and irritating contacts, her true talents as a hacker and data analyst are overwhelmed by unfamiliar responsibilities in a workspace filled by disruptive people rather than obedient computers. Mistakes are made, confidence is shot, and the whole case hangs on if she can get her act together.
The hunky Derek Morgan, played by Shemar Moore, steps in and sets Penelope straight. Lose the contacts, get back to your signature style and do what you do best. Stop being someone you’re not. BAM!! Penelope gets her groove back and she figures out who the killer is and where he is. Case solved thanks to Signature Styling.
Back in the real world, I worked with a client this week on creating her Signature Style. She’s a woman of seemingly contrasting interests (how many female attorneys do you know who surf?). She felt that her first impression didn’t match up with her personality and caused confusion when meeting people. We discussed strategies for incorporating her diversities into her style with fresh ideas that inspired her. It was just thrilling to hear her say “For the first time, I feel like I have direction.” Who knows what cases she’ll win with that new-found direction which enables her to focus on her talents?
In both examples above, Signature Styling caught a killer– the Confidence Killer.
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Have a Signature Day!
Thea Wood, Signature Stylist