Are men from mars and women from venus?
I don’t think so, but culturally and with many societal expectations in the way we are brought up it can sometimes feel that way, and I’ve noticed that men and women often have very different attitudes towards their wardrobe and the value of style.
Do Men and Women Have Different Attitudes Towards their Style?
I’ve found in my work that men and women approach style and their wardrobes in quite different ways (on the whole, yes I’m generalising here). Men don’t tend to blame themselves when clothes don’t fit them well or don’t suit them. They just think that there is something wrong with that style and it’s not for them.
It’s the clothes, not the person.
Women tend to blame themselves and think that there is something intrinsically wrong with themselves and that they are hopeless, or their body is wrong and that they are a failure in some way if they go out shopping and can’t find anything that fits, looks good and suits their life, personality, and style.
Given that you never gave the store your exact measurements and they didn’t cut and construct any of their garments to fit you, then expecting something to fit (when we all have different bodies – from defined to underfined waists, small, medium or large busts, fuller thighs to slim ones, curvy bottoms to flat ones…. and the list goes one. That we all expect to be able to walk into the same store, pick, up a pair of trousers in our “size” and it fit us well – is actually kind of crazy thinking!
You are unique so never expect anything to fit. It’s time to completely lower your expectations!
Your Wardrobe as a Cost vs an Investment
Do you see your wardrobe as an investment in you, your life, your goals, your career? Or do you see it as an often frivolous cost, one that you shouldn’t be spending money on?
When I’ve worked and shopped with my male clients they understand that their wardrobe is an investment, and getting my assistance to help them make the best choices for them, is also an investment, they weren’t taught how to shop or choose colours and clothing styles at school or university, and they realise that judgments are made about us based on appearance, so they are keen to get their style sorted and see the value in it. In fact, I was recently on a Facebook business forum, and when someone posted “If you had $2000 to spend to improve your business” one man (Michael, I’ve not asked him for his permission to share his name and photo, so I’ve blanked them out) had this to say:
It was interesting to me that he saw the return on investment from having an upgraded wardrobe as valuable – and not a cost, but instead an investment. And then there is no guilt as they just look for what fits, not seeking to fit what doesn’t!
I know a few of my professional clients probably feel this way, but it’s definitely less common, and more frequently women think to help them get ahead they need another degree or certification or more experience, rather than realising that if they upgrade their style, to one that expresses their personal brand in the most positive way, that this is going to help them open more doors and achieve what they want to achieve as it shows them up as the expert they are.
Is Caring About Your Style Selfish or Self-Care?
I find that men are often so much more pragmatic about their style and wardrobe in a way that women aren’t, and I’m sure there are cultural and societal reasons (women often feel that it’s SELFISH to want to have a style that reflects who they are in the best way). And so I see so many who spend all their time and energy on kids and family and leave themselves til last, until they get to a state where they are in dire straits rather than realising that it’s not selfish, but instead caring about your wardrobe is an act of self-care. You have to get up and dressed ever day, and what you wear really impacts how you feel about yourself, and also, it impacts how other people treat you and perceive you, and by not treating your wardrobe as an investment, you are potentially missing out both psychologically (because you don’t feel good) and also missing out on opportunities that may pass you buy because you’re not making it obvious what an expert you are as you look so average.
Clothing helps us express our identity, and goes deep to your core. It’s time to change your thinking about style and what you bring into your wardrobe. As one of my 7 Steps to Style members put it:
“If I look at clothes as investments, I will buy far fewer and be much more discerning. I am still liable to settle for a 7 or maybe even a 6 if I think of cost as in, can I afford it. But if it’s an investment it has to last, look good and go with (almost) everything. Then cost (almost) doesn’t matter.”
As I always say, you want to rate your purchases as an 8/10 or higher, so that you’re not feeling like you’re wasting money and that what you’re bringing in is going to be able to do the work you want the garment to do!
If you don’t know what really works, and what you want to project then you’ll buy cheaper (because you don’t want to waste money) but you’re still taking a hit-and-miss approach. This is why getting your education in style is so important.
Not only do you not want to be standing in front of your wardrobe every morning getting frustrated and feeling depressed when you do get dressed that your outfit is disappointing you as it’s not giving you what you really want, which is the confidence you want to feel. Style and wardrobe is a form of self-care that you can easily harness if you make the right investment in it, and the investment isn’t necessarily in an expensive wardrobe, but in learning what really does work for you so that when you are shopping you make the right choices for you.
Watch my new free masterclass on How to Confidently Pick Clothes that Feel Flattering and discover the 13 most common shopping mistakes I see women making (and once you’ve identified yours it’s really easy to stop because awareness gives you power!
Creating an Intentional Personal Brand Image
As someone who runs a business, I have business mentors and attend business training courses and programs to help me do what I do better, it’s an investment I make in my knowledge to help me succeed. In one business mastermind everyone would joke each week on our group coaching Zooms, at how I was always well-presented, and always “on brand” which, as much as they joked, I know that nobody would want to take the advice of an image consultant or personal stylist whose personal style and image was inconsistent. Even though this mastermind session was often early in the morning, I always made sure that my style was on-point so that when I appeared on Zoom I wasn’t looking sloppy or unkempt, but instead that I was communicating intentionally with my appearance and that meant it always had a positive effect. It’s not that I was dressing formally, as that’s not relevant for working from home, it’s just that my smart casual everyday clothes are polished, put together, and accessorised – it’s a complete look that is relevant to my business brand and they are in sync.
If you’re the face of your own business, from doctors to university professors, from lawyers to entrepreneurs, who have to get up and speak and be seen as an expert, and you want to really get to grips with your style and create a personal brand that opens doors, one that helps you achieve your work and career goals more easily, then I’d like to invite you to jump on the waitlist to find out more about my new program Level Up in Style which I’ll be launching very soon. Jump on the waitlist here and be the first to find out more about this high-touch, hands-on style program that will help you succeed in building an authentic personal brand image.