Styling Your Personal Brand: Be Comfortable and Confident in Any Room with Solita Roberts: Podcast Ep. 334

Styling Your Personal Brand: Be Comfortable and Confident in Any Room

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We’re continuing our podcast series on personal branding.

Imagine you have a speaking engagement coming up: What do you wear? How does what you wear reflect and reinforce your personal brand?

Our guest in this episode is Solita Roberts, who is an image stylist, LinkedIn Top Voice, and in the first class of LinkedIn’s Creator Accelerator Program.

Diane Diaz, our lead speaking coach, talks with Solita about:

  • How our style and clothing (and shoes!) connect to our personal brand
  • What to consider when selecting what to wear, whether it’s on stage or to a networking event
  • Why Solita doesn’t believe in clothing basics
  • And more!

Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/

 

 

About Our Guest: Solita Roberts is the creator of Style To Impact, an image consulting company that advises Women of Color and entrepreneurs on how to transform their image and style to authentically reflect their individuality and confidence. Solita has worked with TEDx speakers, lawyers, and financial advisors to elevate their image and style to match their influence and impact. Solita is also Client Concierge at Speaking Your Brand.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. This episode is hosted by our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/334/ 

Solita’s website = https://styletoimpact.com/

Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/

Enroll in our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

Connect on LinkedIn:

Related Podcast Episodes:

334-SYB-Styling_Your_Personal_Brand.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

334-SYB-Styling_Your_Personal_Brand.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
How can you feel comfortable and confident in any room on on any stage? Today in our personal branding series, it’s all about styling your personal brand with our guests. Solita Roberts on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host, Carol Cox. We’re continuing the series we’ve been doing on personal branding. The last two episodes have been about defining your personal brand and then building your personal brand both online and offline. Now, thinking about offline. Imagine you have a speaking engagement coming up. What do you wear? How does what you wear reflect and reinforce your personal brand? Our guest today is Solita Roberts, who’s an image stylist, a LinkedIn top voice, and she was in the first class of LinkedIn’s creator accelerator program. Solita is also our client concierge here at Speaking Your Brand. So we know Solita well. Diane Diaz is our lead speaking coach, interviews Solita in this episode, and they talk about how our style and clothing and shoes connect to our personal brand, what to consider when selecting what to wear, whether it’s on stage or to a networking event. Solita shares why she doesn’t believe in clothing basics. You know where you can Google the top ten clothing items that every woman or every entrepreneur should have and why Solita doesn’t believe that’s the place where you should start. And Diane and Solita have fun talking about some of the different things that they wear and why they choose to. I know you’re going to love this conversation. Now let’s get on with the show.

Diane Diaz:
Welcome to the Speaking of Brand podcast.

Solita Roberts:
Solita Roberts Oh, Diane. Diane I’m super excited to be here. Thank you for having me. Yes.

Diane Diaz:
And you have been on the podcast before. I believe if I remember correctly.

Solita Roberts:
Yes, a couple of times.

Diane Diaz:
Solita is not only our client concierge at speaking your brand, but she also has her own company. And Selita is a let me get this right. She’s a wardrobe style consultant to C-suite executives and professional women in her company, which is called Style to Impact. And how long have you been doing that officially?

Solita Roberts:
I’ve been doing it for the last three years, but I think I’ve been styling for impact most of my adult life, most of my adult life in terms of styling myself because I’m five feet, I’m super petite. I worked in finance, male dominated, so I needed to show up and have a presence. So yes, I said, I’ve been doing it most of my adult life.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. And we’re going to get to this idea of presence because this is our personal brand series that we’re in right now. And one of the important things about your personal brand, when you’re building your personal brand and you want to project a certain image is how you come across visually, and that speaks to your personal style. So, you know, when we meet someone for the first time or we’re doing a speaking engagement or we’re showing up somewhere to network, we make that first impression. So it’s important to think about how we want to come across and then think about what our personal style is like so we can build our personal brand in the way we want to come across. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today with Solita. And Solita is going to share her knowledge with us. As she said, she’s been doing this most of her adult life. And as a fellow petite person I can attest to, I’m also five feet. I can attest to the fact that it has my personal style has been always on my mind ever since I entered the working world, because and it shouldn’t be that way just for petite women, but certainly the way that you dress projects something about yourself. So maybe you can give us a little bit of insight into why it is important for us, especially as women, to think about our personal style when we are running our own business, doing speaking engagements, working in a company. How does personal style play into that?

Solita Roberts:
Oh, well, thank you for that question because I think it’s an interesting one when we think about us as women and how we present ourselves in the corporate space or in our businesses, we tend to focus on our skills, right? It’s if you’re a speaker, I need to be the best at being the speaker. You know, you’re running a business. I need to be really good at my business. Like whatever your skills are, that the focus becomes that and not realizing that your personal brand, the way you present yourself. I think of your personal style as your packaging, right? Like what you’re wearing. Think of yourself in terms of a product. And what you wear is your package is what’s going to make someone from a glance go, Oh, that person looks interesting. Like grabbed their attention right away. Because when we think about first impression, it’s not what. Like looking at someone to say, oh, you know, I don’t like this person or I like this person. It’s more of commonalities. We’re looking to see what attracts us to that person, what is going to allow us to have a conversation and engage with them. And so I want women to think about what they’re wearing as they’re packaging. Because if I ask the question, if you think about a brand that you may have encountered 1 or 2 times, what drew you to that brand? No one told you about it. You walked into maybe a beauty store. You were looking for foundation. There are millions of brands, right? All different color shape, size, bottle design, packaging. And you walked in, you’re like, okay, you’re looking at it. What drew your attention? What made you go, okay, let me pick up this particular bottle. It’s the packaging and that’s what your personal style is when it comes to how you show up in, you know, in your personal brand, in the spaces that you’re in. Look at it as your packaging.

Diane Diaz:
And I love that way of looking at it because as a marketer, I know that packaging is important and it’s why companies spend, you know, tons of money on how they package up their products before they put them in the stores. So certainly packaging, you know, if you can look at yourself and your personal brand as a product and then think about what your packaging looks like, that can certainly help you attract attention to a company that. Question Then how does that interact with our own confidence?

Solita Roberts:
I’m going to speak from my personal opinion as said five feet going into these different spaces. I am not your individual. I say I’m introverted, but I sometimes think I have like I’m smack in the middle. I think they call it with an ambivert Like I’m smack in the middle. Like if I have a role and something that I need to do, then that side comes out of me. So for me, confidence wise, like I’m confident in whatever I’m doing. But whenever you walk into a room and into a space where I’m trying to connect with individuals, I’m trying to network, I’m trying to build relationships, I’m never going to walk into that room and say, Hey, everyone, I’m Selita, so allow my style to do the talking for me. When I walk into that door, I guarantee you 99% of the time someone is going to walk up to me and say, Oh, I love your shoes or I love the way that, you know, I love your errands. Like even these earrings that I’m wearing today. For those of you who are watching the video, I got so many compliments on this. Right. Or the color that I’m wearing, someone who like, oh, I love the way that you pair those two colors. So it’s always this a way of creating conversations, which then means that I know I’m showing up confidently because I’m dressed in something that’s going to allow me to bridge that gap between me trying to approach that person and instead attract them to come to me.

Solita Roberts:
Where they’re coming to me takes away some of the pressure of trying to network, trying to introduce yourself because persons are coming up to me and that way I’m responding. Oh, thank you very much. You know the compliment on the earring and that now leads to an interaction, a conversation where we get to know each other. So what you wear definitely helps with boosting your confidence. I mean, if you’re not feeling great, there are days I’m doing conversations, having conversations like this, and I don’t feel my best right? But I’m of the belief and my grandmother used to say this don’t look like the way you feel. So if you’re feeling terrible, try not to look that way. And so for me, when I’m getting dressed, it’s it’s what is what is the message that I want to project? How do I want to feel as well, right? And so if I want to feel confident, maybe I’m going into a room with high power individuals and it’s like, okay, I need to not I’m not faking it. I’m not pretending to be anything. But what is the color? What is what are the like the outfit that’s going to allow me to stand tall, shoulder to shoulder with that, even though I’m five feet and have that presence in the room?

Diane Diaz:
That’s such a great point. And we can actually share a specific example about this, because I know you helped to style Doctor Christina Madison for a TEDx talk that she gave. And Doctor Christina Madison is one of our clients that came to our speakers retreat and you helped style her. I believe in a beautiful green. I think it was a green outfit. Yes.

Solita Roberts:
It was. It was like a neon one of the trending colors a couple of seasons ago. It’s like this neon yellow, very bright. And, you know, most most I remember when she got the package, she was like, oh my gosh, this is so bright, but I’m going to try it on anyway. And she tried it on and she was like, Oh my gosh, gorgeous on my skin. And, you know, the reason for for going with such a bold color, especially when you’re thinking about yourself as a speaker and the. Message that you have. What is your bold idea? What is this message that you’re trying to bring across that you want your audience to be engaged with you? And when you’re thinking about your wardrobe is how do you align it with that? Right. And Dr. Christina talked about this idea that the messenger needs to match the message within the healthcare industry. Right? That’s a bold message. And she’s representing that version of society that she’s talking to. And I wanted her to be bold. I wanted her to stand out. You know, that’s speaking your brand client. But if I think about another person who’s doing that amazing job of aligning her brand and her personality, is Lilly Singh, like, absolutely phenomenal that she decided that. Okay, I mean, if we if you listen to her, Ted, talk, the baby boy born a girl, when she talked about that particular line and she’s wearing a pantsuit. Perfect. But it was pink. So the message is an alignment. But if you look at her now in her brand, she tapped into this. I’m going to wear this pantsuit. I’m going to own it. It’s in different colors, different lens, different style, different. But she’s owning it and made it part of her personal brand. Absolutely love her. And of course, she infuses her culture in her style as well, which is just another way of making sure that your personal style is deeply connected to who you are. You’re not trying to copy anybody. You’re just creating your personal style for you and expressing those parts of your personality and your identity.

Diane Diaz:
That’s such a great point. We’ll try to share the link to that Lilly Singh Ted talk in the show notes, because I think it’s important for our listeners to see that and see what exactly what you’re talking about, because not only was it a powerful talk, but you’re so right, Solita, about the sort of the fine point that how she dressed put on the message she was sending. And it everything aligned. So that’s that idea of this personal brand consistency. So what she is saying aligns with how people see her on the stage. And so, you know, for our listeners who most of whom want to be speakers, but even if you’re not planning to be on a Ted stage, even if you are planning to speak to your boss or a potential client or whomever it may be, certainly how you dress is going to send a certain message to that audience. So then my question is, and for our listeners, can you help us understand how can someone then determine what their personal brand style is? Are there any specific steps or exercises or something that they might go through to figure out how they can dress to position themselves the way they want to be seen and build their personal brand visually?

Solita Roberts:
Yeah, absolutely. First thing first, forget the rules. Forget the rules where you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day. You’re not supposed to wear this because of your size shape. What? Forget the rules. Like, I think personal style is a it’s a it’s a way of self-expression. Like how do you want to express yourself? Not according to all the rules. You should only wear this. You should only do this. Forget the rules and as well as forget if you came out of corporate or you are in corporate and you’re trying to stand out, you’re trying to own the space that you’re in. Please, please shed the black and white like shed the black and white. Bear in mind that uniform was not something that we chose as individuals. We were given that uniform to mirror the male in the industry. So please, that’s the first thing that I need you to do. Forget the rules. Go in your closet. I’m not going in your closet and see how many black and white suits do I have that look exactly the same and maybe donate it to someone that is in need of a corporate uniform. The second thing that I need listeners to think about is how do you want? What’s your message? What do you want your presence to say? It’s not What do I want my clothes to say, right? What do you want your presence to say? And based on what that is for you, then you can determine, okay, what are the pieces that I need to wear? Purchase have in my closet that’s going to allow me to communicate this message that I want you? So, for instance, for me, I’ve always again, I know I’m talking about my height, but it’s very important that I bring it up because it impacts the way that I dress and the way that I show up and how I feel like I wish I was five, five, five, nine.

Solita Roberts:
Like I really do wish I was, but I’m not. So I have to work with what I have, right and own it. And so for me, I’ve always wanted, you know, whenever I’m getting dressed, whenever I’m showing up, the presence that I want to have is one of power. Now, power for me means something totally different from someone else. Power For me, it’s not about strength. It is not about having this fierce look. Like if we remember Margaret Thatcher, like the Iron Woman, like, I don’t want to have that be described that way. But power for me in terms of how I show up is one when I go into spaces where I need to have a presence, I’m engaging. Heels is going to be a must. That’s just my preference because I do not feel confident in flats. Like being down there doesn’t work for me. Right? So I need to wear heels specifically. What type of heel? The different type of heels. Right. I prefer stilettos that works for me. I’ve been wearing it all my adult life. I feel confident wearing it when it comes to my attire. I consider the spaces that I’m going into. For instance, I attended a Creative Leadership bootcamp a couple of weeks ago, maybe a month after this episode airs, but I wanted to have a presence one, it was a creative space, so I wanted to have that creativity, expression, self-expression, and also feel that level of confidence.

Solita Roberts:
So yes, I wore heels. I wore these yellow pants, very tailored with my gold button detail, and then I wore a like a floral top with it had like similar for those of you who are watching the video had like a scarf tie detail but it had the floral goes with spring. So I had all of those elements coming in, but that’s just how I want to show up. So an easy way to determine how you, you know, align your message and how you want to show up. Think about three words that you want to use to describe your brand and how you want to feel. Now, the words may be completely different from your actual brand, like the company that you have, but it’s more of How do I want to feel? How do I want to look? Because that’s where that alignment comes in. If you’re saying I want to have a luxury look, then we have to start thinking about what does luxury mean for you? What does that look like? Have a clear picture as to what that looks like, even if it means getting inspiration from Pinterest, maybe a television show that you watch, that there is someone in that show that really nailed that word for you, then grab that and see what are some of the elements of that look that you like.

Diane Diaz:
Such great tips.

Solita Roberts:
Yeah, I know it sounds like a lot, but.

Diane Diaz:
No, no, no. I was just thinking, as you were sharing these tips, I was thinking about myself and how how I’ve kind of maybe done some of those things as I’ve moved through my career. And I do. First of all, as I mentioned before, I am also only five feet tall, and I know some of our listeners are going to be saying, and I know Carol is going to be saying, no high heels are awful. They’re so uncomfortable. And I agree, a lot of them are. What I will say is I used to also wear stilettos and I loved them. I’ve gotten to an age now where and I think this just happens to us, they just hurt my feet. However, have a little tip. If you still want to wear high heels, which I agree, I feel. Feel more put together and professional and powerful. When I go to networking events or speaking engagements, wearing some kind of a heel. So two things. Sometimes because I live in Florida, so you can you can usually make things a little bit not casual, but a little bit less business y. So I will wear a nice wedge heel that gives you a little bit more stability because you’re not walking on that stiletto, but you still get the benefit of being on a high heel and still looking professional and put together the other option.

Diane Diaz:
I’m so glad. Block Heels are back in style because I love me a platform block heel sandal, and I will wear sandal style block heels all season long in Florida because it doesn’t really get that cold because I just love the look of that looks professional and yet you get the comfort of the block heel with the added comfort of the platform in the front. So you still get that little boost in height and you look professional. But it’s for me personally at my age, much easier to walk in, so I heir towards that. The other thing I want to share is that this idea of thinking about how three words about how you want to come across that is brilliant. Because if you just think ahead like, how do I want to? And it might be different for different events. I know if I go to a networking thing, I might dress a little bit less, sort of I don’t know what the word is. It’s like a little bit more friendly and interesting versus being like kind of buttoned up. So, you know, so thinking of those three words, if I think about myself, I would say I like to come across as approachable but knowledgeable and also powerful. Yeah, yeah.

Solita Roberts:
And want I want to just say this with the audience. When you’re thinking about your three words, especially first, you have to think about it in terms of defining your personal style, like your overall style, because this is going to impact what you buy and what you wear, right? And then once you have your personal style defined for your lifestyle, your message and how you want to show up, then you can think about break it down. It’s like, okay, looking at my lifestyle activities, I’m going to networking events, I’m going, I’m doing video podcasting, I’m going to, you know, speaking engagements like, what are my how do I want to dress for these occasions, right? For a networking event, If it’s some persons are very specific with the organizations that they you know, they go networking events. So so if you’re attending networking events where it’s 100% professional, you’re going to have people in corporate partners, you have these different partnerships within that space. You can determine my look for networking events is going to be I decided that I’m going to wear a blazer, jeans, maybe a button down, and you can wear flats. I want to make it clear that you don’t have to wear heels if you don’t want to, right? That’s just my personal preference because it makes me feel good.

Solita Roberts:
I feel great in it and I can walk in it. I’m okay with that. But if you’re at that stage in your life where you’re like, No, I don’t want to wear heels, doesn’t start investing in whatever. If you decide it’s sneakers, have fun with it. Don’t just do the dad sneakers, have fun with it. Make it part of your personality and your style. If you decided that you’re going to do loafers, have fun with it, right? Don’t just go get the basic put it on and, you know, have fun with it. Whatever footwear, whatever type of clothing you decide to wear, the key is to make it your own and have fun with it. When said forget the rules, this is what I meant. What I’m sharing is tips on how you can personalize your style for you. I’m not telling you what to wear as an individual because your personal style is you and you should dress the way you want to represent yourself.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, so good. So it’s almost like using it like like you said, if you’re going to embrace sneakers, make it a thing, have fun with it, and it almost becomes your signature personal brand style that you incorporate into all these different things. But it’s sort of your almost what you’re known for. There actually is a woman I don’t know if she’s here locally in central Florida, but she’s known as the speaker and sneakers and and it’s a thing for her. So you can turn your your flats whatever they may be, loafers, sneakers, you know, flat boots, whatever into part of your signature style, which I absolutely love.

Solita Roberts:
And own it. It’s just, you know, we talk about rules and we talk about what is it women should know about getting dressed. There’s so many things out there, so many pieces like, should I buy this? Should I do that? Should I wear this? It’s like, Oh. No, it’s a lot. And this is why it’s important for you to get clear on what is your forget everything. Get clear on what is your personal style, How do you want to show up? What’s your message? What are those pieces that you want to add into your closet that’s going to allow you to do that? Because what happens, the noise will no longer affect you, right? Because you have a clear understanding as to what your style is and how you want to show up. And you don’t have to. You can decide. I’ve seen women who have decided I’m only going to wear jeans, t shirt and a blazer and mean Diane, for instance. I’ve noticed where it’s now your thing. Earrings have become your thing. Something as simple as that. It’s like, Oh, Diane is going to be wearing some funky earring on a call in on a zoom in a room, wherever. That’s your thing. So it could be something as simple as that, because when you’re getting dressed, you now feel a sense of excitement. When you’re shopping, it’s like, Oh, I think these earrings will go well with that dress or that shirt, or maybe I want to wear it to this event because it’s going to make me feel great and engage in a conversation as well. So it can be something as simple as that.

Diane Diaz:
That’s so good and very observant because I’m someone who doesn’t and has never liked a bunch of matchy matchy jewelry. I see big statement necklaces on other people. I think they look fantastic. I have never liked them on me. When I put them on, I feel like I’m playing dress up, so I just I don’t like them. However, I will wear a bold, gigantic earring and I love it. So that’s very observant of you. But it should you should be observant because that is what you do in your work so well, then. So tell us, are there any things that that our audience should be thinking about with regard to how they dress when it comes to not necessarily rules, but, you know, maybe some of our listeners are in a corporate space and there are certain, quote unquote dress codes for them, or there might also be cultural expectations as to the way people dress. How does that factor into helping someone position their personal brand in a certain way and use the way they dress in their style to support that?

Solita Roberts:
Yeah, that’s that’s a good question because there are so many women like I work with a couple of women, you know, women of color, and there’s this sense of I can’t be myself in the spaces that I’m in, right? It’s shrinking and trying to conform to fit the narrative of trying not to be too much. And it’s trying to navigate the balance between how do I bring my personal style into my professional brand? And so one of the things that I, you know, I encourage my clients to think about is what is the dress code for the environment that you’re in? Dress code meaning is it business professional, Is it smart, casual? Is it casual? Like how do they define and get a clear definition and understanding as to when they say to you, it’s smart, casual? What does that mean? Because I was having a conversation with someone that I had on my LinkedIn live recently and she talked about when they sent out the job descriptions like Your best dress and best dress meaning what? And the person came dressed in what they perceive to be their best dress, which was some like a formal dress. So get get a clear understanding as to what the dress code is, what is expected of you. So, for instance, if you’re in I’m looking at if you’re in the C-suite, in positioning yourself as well, because I always think about it doesn’t matter what role or stage you are in your career or your business, you are your brand, right? It’s not the company that you work for.

Solita Roberts:
It’s not the business that you’re in, like you are your brand. You are the selling point and touch point for every single thing. And so you have to think about your vision for yourself, your goal for yourself and align how you show up to that. So if you’re in maybe an emerging leader like you’re looking to get into the C-suite and your company is very much so casual where everyone looks like they just roll out of bed and just put on whatever and show it up. But you’re looking at like, No, that’s not who I am and that’s not how I want to position my brand, because your brand is what you’re walking around with you, right? That’s not how I want to position myself because I want to stand out. I want the powers that be, the people, the decision makers to see me, to notice me, to then allow me to engage in conversations with them. So what do I do? In this instance? I always say you dress how you want to represent yourself. So if you’re looking at this is a very casual environment. Yes. We like, Oh, I don’t want to stand out where everybody’s looking at me like I’m trying too much.

Solita Roberts:
But you have to own who you are, right? You have to own how you want to show up because that’s the only way you’re going to get those opportunities that you’re looking for. So if we’re going back to that example where you’re working in a very casual environment, but you’re looking at your goals and your trajectory and your career, it’s like I want to be seen as quote unquote, a leader. What does that look like for me? Everyone else is wearing jeans, sneakers and a t shirt. Yes, you can keep the jeans because it’s casual Jeans is a casual piece of clothing. And you can elevate that to say, okay, I’m going to balance casual with that professional, which in a way kind of gives you that smart casual. So jeans button down or it could be just a blouse and a blazer. Maybe you don’t wear a blazer. It could just be simple as jeans and a button down, whatever that professionals create a balance with casual pieces and business professional pieces, casual pieces, jeans, sneakers, t shirts. Those are casual pieces. The more professional pieces, you can probably decide you’re going to wear skirts or you’re going to wear dress pants, chinos, or you’re going to wear a blazer, a button downs So you create that balance for yourself based on how you want to show up.

Diane Diaz:
Solita Do you have any tips for how someone, let’s say someone is just getting an understanding of their personal brand and how or at least how they want to come across in different settings? What are some tips that someone could use when selecting certain pieces, or are there any basics that they can go for to get started with building a wardrobe that aligns with whatever their personal brand is and how they want to be perceived?

Solita Roberts:
Yes, interesting question when it comes to the basics. So as I said, I’m not a rule follower when it comes to when it comes to personal style. So I don’t ever suggest, you know, you’ll Google and you’ll see it. These are the ten the ten things women entrepreneurs should buy to add in their closet. Or if you want to look professional, add in your closet. I say no to all of that because, as I said, I don’t like jeans, but you’ll see on that list you should have a pair of jeans. I don’t like it. So I’m thinking when whenever you’re thinking about what do I add into my closet to make it me, Think about your lifestyle, think about your body type. Like, how do I want to dress my body? And it’s not trying to. When you think of your your body shape, it’s your style. Don’t determine your body shape. Actually, no. I said that your body shape don’t determine your style. That’s actually what it is. So don’t look at your body and say, okay, yes, I am too skinny or I’m too you know, I’m plus size, so I can’t wear certain things. It’s like, no, what feels great for you? And part of the process that I work with my clients on is going through that clearly defining what your personal style is, clearly defining and showing you how to dress your body shape based on who you are right now and not this perception of, Oh, I need to lose weight or I need to gain weight.

Solita Roberts:
It’s like, know who you are right now we’re showing up as you and there are ways to dress your body type. The thing that I would suggest that I always recommend, this is the only recommendation when it comes to pieces. Make sure that your undergarments, your bra and your knickers, make sure that those are fitting you correctly. There are a lot of women who are not wearing their correct size bra. There are a lot of women who have not invested or gotten new, like gone through their underwear, their drawer and say, okay, yes, I’ve had this like no six months go through that process of getting a bra fitting done, buying yourself new underwear. Because even that simple as that helps to boost your confidence, knowing that everything feels great and look great under your clothing is another way of adding to your confidence. Now, when you think in addition to that, it’s like, what are some other pieces? If I’m going into corporate, it’s like, No, think about how you want to shop. What is your personal style? If your personal style is one that is creative, like you want to be the creative professional, what does that mean for you? Does that mean bold colors that you want to wear bold colors? Does that mean that you want to add blazers? Does that mean that you want to be comfortable? I had a client who’s like, I just want to have shoes that I can just stick my foot in and I can go right? I don’t want to be strapping anything up.

Solita Roberts:
And so she specifically, there’s no reason for her to go and buy shoes that. Head straps and buckles because it’s not going to work for her. Right. And this is what I mean by when you’re defining your personal style, knowing what do I add to my closet? You have to have a clear definition as to how do I want to show up? How do I. What message do I want to send? What is my lifestyle? And from that is how you build. What are the pieces that you want? Because I can tell you get skirts and dresses, but you don’t like skirts and dresses. So you end up with a closet full of clothing that was based on this rule that you should have in your closet. But it’s not directly related to who you are as an individual and your style should be.

Diane Diaz:
I love that advice because I think you’re absolutely right. If we Google this, there’s a million articles we can find that will tell us, you know, here’s how you dress as an entrepreneur. Here’s how you dress as a as a woman in corporate. And they are going to include some items that we don’t want to wear. Maybe we don’t like heels and it’s an absolute no. Okay, what do I do then? Right? So I love that advice to first decide how do I want to come across basically, you know, what is the personal brand that I want to project to my audience, whatever that audience looks like? And then what am I comfortable in? What makes me feel the way I want to feel? Those three words? What makes what do I put on my body and on my feet that makes me feel that way? And then use that as the framework to build that wardrobe. And I love the advice about undergarments because I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody really address that. We talk about what goes on top, but certainly, first of all, how the things that go on top look is directly impacted by what’s underneath them, right?

Solita Roberts:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Like I have a big pet peeve. This is just my personal I have a big pet peeve with panty lines. Right. So I’m going to you know, thankfully, whoever invented the underwear, they’ve now changed this where you have, you know, seamless. Right. So you can decide like you can wear seamless underwear. Thirdlove is a brand that I absolutely love. Like for me, I want to wear and this is where you go through the stages in life that you are like, where are you right now? Get that clear understanding as to where you are right now. How do you want to feel and show up and not? Something I want to also highlight is don’t think about your style in terms of this is my age, so I should be dressing this way. I should be wearing this because this is my age. Because if you’re doing that and you’re conforming to ageism, like you’re placing that on yourself, the world is already like, Let’s not do that to ourselves. And so for me, yes, I’m at this stage now where I’m like, It’s not my age, it’s just how I want to feel. High waisted underwear works for me. I love it. I don’t have to. I’m no longer that person who wants to just walk around sucking in my tummy like I don’t want to do that.

Solita Roberts:
But I also don’t want to have like, extra muffin top. So I’m like, I’m just going to get high waisted underwear. I can walk around and breathe, but it’s still at the same time accomplish the look that I want. So please, please, please do not think of your personal style and start looking at, Oh, I’m getting older or I’m shifting into this this phase of my life. So my style goes down. It’s like, No, be yourself. When we think about Anna Wintour, when we think about Jane Fonda, like Jane Fonda is 85, okay? She’s 85, but she’s clearly defined her style for her. What makes what feels comfortable on her? How does she want to show up? I’m not going to assume, but just looking I’m not looking at someone going, oh, she’s 85 and she’s dressing like 85. She dresses how she wants to feel and show up. So I want the audience to think about it that way. Forget what age you are and think about how do I want to show up? How do I want to represent myself? And what are those pieces that’s going to allow me to do that? Please don’t put yourself in that box. That society’s already putting us in.

Diane Diaz:
I love that because I am over 50. I’m 56. I’ll be 57in July. And I you know, if you go look at clothing for let’s call it age appropriate clothing, I feel like it makes me look like I’m 105 and I don’t want to look that way. I want to come across as youthful. So I tend to dress more to the youthful side because it makes me feel energetic and confident. And I want to come across that way to my audience.

Solita Roberts:
Because that’s your personality as well, right? Exactly. You’re not going against your personality. And this is sometimes where personal this idea like, oh, I’m overwhelmed by my personal like deciding what to wear. I have a closet full of clothes or there are so many trends. It’s when you try to go against your personality, that’s where the issue comes in. You’re not creating a persona. You’re tapping into who you are and identifying the pieces that’s going to allow you to do that and being consistent in how you show up. That’s it. It’s consistency. If you decided that you’re going to wear sneakers, be consistent about it, Have fun with it. That’s that’s, you know, that’s that’s the goal.

Diane Diaz:
That’s a really great piece of advice to Solita because consistency. So if you back to the packaging idea brands that build that make products and put them out there on the shelves, the packaging is consistent, the messaging is consistent. So as a personal brand, consistency is going to help you to build that expectation with the audience and then they are going to see you the way you want to be seen because you’re constantly reinforcing that message, whether it be through having super cute, kicky sneakers every time or some statement earrings that you always show up in, they they’re going to start to know you as that personality that you want to present to them. And so that consistency is the key. And I think, you know, like you said, dressing how you feel, how you want to feel in something that makes you feel confident and comfortable and feel like who you are, not trying to be someone else. Yeah.

Solita Roberts:
And if we if we put it in terms of where this is speaking your brand, right, we teach our clients to storytelling, add their stories and add layers. So if we think about it in that context, when you’re getting dressed and when you’re thinking about your personal style, it’s what’s the story that you want to tell with your clothing? What are some of the layers that you want to add to your look? What are some of the things that’s going to allow you to consistently show up and not having to think about, Oh my gosh, I have a networking event or I have a speaking engagement, What do I wear? Because you’ve now narrowed it down. You’ve created your signature look to complement the message that you are. You know, you’re putting out into the world and how you’re showing up.

Diane Diaz:
Tell our listeners how they can get in touch with you, because there might be some people out there, some some women out there who want some help with their personal brand styling. So how can they find you? Yes.

Solita Roberts:
Well, first of all, thank you very much again for having me and for the audience to just being here and listening and of course, engaging, because I know I know everyone is going to be engaging with this with this episode. So thank you for that. To get in contact with me so you can connect with me from my website, which is style2 Impact.com. Right now I’m doing style audits. There’s a form you’re going to sign up and we go through to see how to align your personal style with your brand. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn because that’s my social media platform of choice. You can connect with me there at solita.

Diane Diaz:
C Roberts Okay, great. Well, we will add that into the show notes. And once again, Solita, thank you for sharing your wisdom and your beautiful style with our listeners.

Carol Cox:
I loved that conversation between Diane and Solita and has inspired me to go and see if I can freshen up my wardrobe a little bit. Next week, we’re concluding our personal brand series by talking about how to amplify your personal brand, specifically through public speaking and why speaking is the ultimate authority booster. You won’t want to miss that one. Be sure to share this episode with a friend or colleague who you think would enjoy it. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

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