Re-post: Personal branding conveyed via fashion

This is a re-post, without the majority of links, because my article (01/05/15) is missing from Blogger.

I remember expressing my own sense of fashion as early as ages 4 or 5 - defending to my eldest sister my combining a blue quilted butterfly vest with (I think) a multicolored butterfly cotton shirt: "It does match - see, butterflies and butterflies!"

So, in response to Dr Marten's Share Your Style invitation, a few thoughts:

- In my case, my clothing was always a statement of myself. It was never about following trends. I almost always created my own looks and tend to value a handful of brands that speak to me, as well as any meaningful piece which can be shepherded along.

- As a marketer, I think in terms of branding, connecting, community building.  Similarly, I've always had a personal fashion brand - it's changed over the years, but it's always been about the accessories!  Key pieces:

- Shawls and scarves: While in the book business, a colleague exclaiming, "In our years working together, this is the first time I've seen you without a scarf!"

- Shoes: In addition to the bullet below, my shoes have become an identifier at professional functions. Several times at conferences, a fellow professional has looked at my shoes, then said, "Yes, I do remember you!"  My friend, Matt, asks, "What is it with marketers and their shoes??"

- Chhuri: My beloved is from Nepal, and in his culture there is a tradition of a chhuri, a marriage necklace. I've modified mine over the years, according to my tone (actually, it's just gotten bigger!).

- I mentioned connecting above. Having worked in the community building / current relations side of marketing, I find that having interesting accoutrements gives people a starting place. Whether ink sleeves, an amazing beard, a Utilikilt, awesome shoes, incredible hair color(s), or amazing jewelry, it all gives people (especially those who are shy or in a difficult scenario) a jumpstart.

- I've worked in senior living for the past 5 1/2 years. It is fulfilling, inspiring work; and we have much to learn from our elders on a journey with dementia. There are some empowering techniques to connect with individuals such as these elders, for example Naomi Feil's Validation Method or the Music and Memory project.

In my own small world, I have had a similar (smaller) experiences as a direct result of my shoes (imagine my delight!).  I do love loud shoes, and my tall floral Docs and black-and-white brogue Docs are faves. Several times, while wearing the tall floral boots, residents with dementia who were barely verbal would brighten and begin (begin!) a conversation about my boots!  "Ooo, I like those!" or, "Where did you buy those shoes?  How much were they?  Does your Mother know you have them?"


What a gift of connectivity ~



For many, fashion doesn't matter.  And that's fine. To each, their own.

This is a good spot to thank my personal fashion heroes, all of whom their fashion exudes creativity, confidence and exemplifies their external beauty (their internal beauty pours forth):

- Jessie Portlock: I smile, thinking of Jessie's style - always an element of bad-assery and theatrics. Whether her rhinestone "brass knuckles" iPhone case, or her striped stockings (think Wicked Witch of the East), or her vintage leather jacket, she looks awesome.

- Lorie Ann Grover (Lorie Ann's author Facebook page here) Lorie Ann's style is a delight.  It's like, you're walking along and you see a cheery rainbow. Tough to pic a fave, but it's either her top hat, or a calf-length organza (?) skirt with argyle socks and Docs.

- Gregor Stoddard: Such a classic elegance is Gregor. My fave would be chocolate wool slacks with a wide leather belt and flowing cardigan, accessorized thoughtfully with jewelry.

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