Style Guidance must go beyond a list of what to wear

Style Guidance must go beyond a list of what to wear

If you’re giving your teams style guidance or a dress code that only tells them what to wear, it’s not going to work, and in this post I’m sharing the reasons why.

When you just provide styling guidance that tells people what to wear, with a list and/or pictures what is going to happen is one of three things:

  1. If they can’t relate to these pieces or looks, they will ignore the guidance. They will not relate to the examples, the photos, the styles and determine it’s not for them and just keep doing what they’ve done before.
  2. Others will try to adapt it to themselves with mixed results. Meaning integrate certain elements into what they already are comfortable with when it comes to their style. Some things working, others not, they will not have an awareness as to why. When wearing an outfit that doesn’t quite land for them, they will feel uncomfortable or self-conscious which is how they will show up to work – not what you want. But unfortunately, they will not have the awareness or knowledge to improve the outfit. So they will likely give up and go back to what they’ve been doing before. Or the last thing they will do is …
  3. Copy the guidance – to a fault. If the person on the receiving end of these lists or guides has no  sense his or her authentic style copying what is on the list of what to wear will fall flat. Because they will wear the items but it will be rote – it will be just carbon copying of what they see. They will likely default to buying multiples of the examples shown – eg buying the same piece in varying colors and the result will be they show up looking boring and predictable. No personality – in the outfit or the person. They will also have no idea how to pair the pieces together for flattery, how to assess an outfit for flattery and whether any of the styles even work for them.

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So what do you do to solve this?

You must teach people the HOW and the WHY behind the style guidance and dress code. They need to know how to mix and match things, how to dress for flattery, they need to know why the items are recommended – which is the context. The context connects your brand with what you’re advising them to wear.

The solution is to not only explain what you want your teams to wear but also give them guidance on how to wear what you want them to and why you want them to do it -in other words – tying the guidance to your brand in a practical, tangible and actionable way.

The most most effective way to get the outcome you want is to hire a professional stylist.  If you want this type of powerful professional development for your teams that empowers your people and enhances your brand, contact me here.

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