To many women, the idea of paying for someone to help with their wardrobe, or of buying nice clothes for work full stop, seems an extravagance.
However, for those who bite the bullet and hire me or one of my team understand that it’s not really about the clothes and it’s not spending money, it is an investment. It is an investment of money and time in your career, and most of all an investment in YOU.
The impact a new image can have is huge. The increased confidence can empower you to become more visible, appear more capable and credible. It can help you to get that promotion, new job or to change track into a new area.
Yes, you will need to spend money on new clothes, maybe altering old clothes, purchasing a steamer or on getting a decent haircut and some new make up. However it’s crucial to remember that by investing in your appearance you are supporting your career progression and therefore investing in your future.
A personal stylist may seem excessive initially but put it in to perspective for a moment. You wouldn’t re-landscape an overgrown garden without hiring an expert or a gardener would you? And the preparation and research involved may seem over the top, but likewise, you wouldn’t put beautiful new plants in an unweeded flower bed, would you?
Not if you wanted a decent result you wouldn’t!
Now, about time. You make time.
All of my clients come to me partly because they lead very busy lives, have high profile careers and are incredibly time poor. Buying things online and sending them back as they are not quite right is not a good use of time. Wandering aimlessly around the shops in your lunch hour, evening or at the weekend is not a good use of time.
And sending them back when they don’t fit right and having them hanging with the labels still attached 6 months later is a waste of money.
You need a structured and focused approach. The longest journeys start with the smallest of steps, and that is exactly the thought process my book takes when it comes to overhauling your professional image.
Many people are put off by the thought of the mammoth task of clearing out their wardrobe, because they don’t know where to start. They delay that shopping trip because they have no idea what they are looking for, so they stay stuck wearing the same thing and remain overlooked for opportunities in the workplace.
If this sounds like you, grab a copy of my book, block out time in your diary and commit to going through the steps. This investment in your time will pay dividends moving forward and it is much more likely to happen when you have written it down.
The book is very thorough, but I urge you not to pick and choose the steps if you really want to change things. And you don’t have to do it alone if it all feels too much; we are here to help if you need help :)
Investing time and money on yourself in this way will pay dividends.
Lizzie Edwards is one of London’s leading Personal Stylists and Image Consultants for Women, and author of 'Look Like The Leader You Are; A 7-Step Style Strategy for Ambitious Women’