Why does how we dress matter? The simple answer is personal branding. What we wear, and how we wear it, tells our story.
As an alumna of the Marketing for Fashion & Entertainment diploma, I was recently presented with the opportunity to run a Dress for Success workshop, which was run as part of an intimate Career Conference PFAU: Academic writing, editing & coaching session.
During the workshop, I was able to share the knowledge I learned during my time at Toronto Film School, as well as the styling techniques I picked up while working at a luxury wedding magazine.
To me, personal branding is important in order to establish the image you want to present in your career or in an interview.
Certain patterns we choose and colours we align with tell others the story about our personalities and preferences. The basics of personal styling is to know your body shape and how to dress for it.
My Dress For Success workshop began with an activity where I asked participants to utilize string to measure three points of their bodies: 1) their bust 2) their natural waist and 3) their hips.
Once measured, the three strings were placed on the floor to create the outlines of a body shape. Participants were then able to identify their personal body shape from five basic shapes.
The five basic body shapes identified for women are: rectangle; pear/triangle; hourglass; apple/inverted triangle; and round, while those for men are: rectangle; triangle; trapezoid; oval; and inverted triangle.
There are many tips to dressing for your body shape that include wearing patterns, solids, loose-fitting clothing, and form-fitting clothing for different parts of your body.
The pieces of clothing you choose to wear can accentuate certain parts of your body and draw the eye towards it. For example, if you’re pear shaped, you could wear a patterned top to draw the eye upwards to create a balanced shape.
During the Dress for Success workshop, I broke down the basics for dressing for women and men, and the must-have pieces in a professional closet. This included a lesson on pant break, the go-to dress shape, and the best starter dress shoe for men.
For the final segment of the workshop, I went over basic skincare and make-up needs to suit different skin types and presentation for interviews. I even shared what I have in my own everyday make-up bag to keep myself presentable both on the go and in the office.
Participants asked many questions at the end of the workshop, which I was happy to be able to answer, thanks to my education at Toronto Film School.
I am extremely thankful for my styling instructor Cynthia Florek and textiles instructor Pat Kline for providing me with the knowledge and skills to apply to my career and the ability to run the Dress for Success workshop.