Want people to think about you when you’re not around? Want to slip into their thoughts when they least expect it? Want to haunt them even if you haven’t seen them in years? Then develop a signature style. It makes you unforgettable.
Signatures are those beauty, fashion, and style elements that are uniquely YOU. That people associate with YOU. Wherever they go or whatever they do, they’ll see it and think, “That reminds me of .”
For example, one of my former bosses always wears “Youth Dew” perfume by Estee Lauder. Whenever I smell that scent, I think of Pat. My sister LeAnn favors simple tops and bottoms paired with tailored, Ralph Lauren-esque jackets. Whenever I see one, I think of her. My friend Diane also prefers simple styles but in rich, decadent leathers. Whenever I happen by a Wilson’s Leather Shop, thoughts of Diane creep into mind.
See how this works?
When you find what you like and wear it (or versions of it) consistently, people begin to associate that with you. It becomes your signature. It makes you stick out from the crowd and then linger in people’s minds long after you’re gone. Like songs from your childhood whose lyrics are embedded in your brain (“A-B-C, easy as 1-2-3”), signature pieces can remind others of you even if you haven’t seen them in years.
So what’s YOUR signature style element?
If you don’t have one or if you’ve never given the matter much thought, perhaps you should. Signatures are a great way to indulge a passion AND be remembered for doing so. They don’t have to be expensive or costume-y. Best of all, they allow you to follow trends and stay current — yet still make the look distinctly your own.
Here are some popular signature elements:
Find a color that looks good on you and build your wardrobe around it. Black is a popular signature, as are red and blue. My daughter Peyton has large, grayish-blue eyes that look amazing when she wears cornflower blue or periwinkle, so those are quickly becoming her signature colors. Experiment to find your best colors. The great part about having signature colors is that when you have limited colors in your closet, you don’t need a lot of accessories to go with them so you can buy quality instead of quantity.
Find a clothing style that suits your shape and stick with it. My busty, short-waisted sister, Mary Ann, is five feet tall with an hourglass figure. She learned long ago that monochromatic, surplice (wrap) styles flatter her curves yet make her look taller and leaner than just about anything else out there. Her closet is full of wrap tops and dresses. Find your best looks and stick with them.
Have a penchant for fuzzy sweaters, crop jackets, or pencil skirts? Then make them your signature garment. We used to watch the 1980’s sitcoms “Newhart” and “The Golden Girls” to see Mary Frann’s beautiful sweaters and Bea Arthur’s flowing vests – their characters’ signature garments. If you can’t seem to stop buying a certain type of something even though you already have a dozen of them, you’re probably looking at your signature. Stop buying and start wearing what you already have as the new focal point of your ensembles.
Have a weakness for unusual necklaces, beautiful bags, or to-die-for shoes? Make them your signature pieces. One business woman I know with a nice figure and beautiful legs would wear conservative, monochromatic dresses and suits and then pair them with wild, multi-colored shoes. Where did the attention go? Right to her legs and feet. You’d seen rooms full of grown men stop and stare at her gorgeous gams. I often wished I had her chutzpah. Determine your best feature and call attention to it with a signature accessory.
Spend lots of time maintaining your hair, makeup, or manicure? Perhaps one of those things could be your signature. Celebrities Anna Wintour and Jane Seymour are as known for the hairstyles as Pamela Anderson and Dita Von Teese are known for their makeup (among other things). Find which grooming element sets you apart and work it as your signature.
See something in the list that strikes your fancy? Chances are very good that you already have something you like and wear a lot, like a favorite color, style, accessory, or whatever. Build your wardrobe around it. It doesn’t mean that you have to wear it every day or even that you can’t change your mind and find something else you like better later on. But if you take your passion and showcase in a fashionable way that still respects the boundaries of time and place (work, church, the ballet, etc.), you’ll soon become “known” for that signature element.
Then, when others see that element when you’re not around, they’ll think of you. You’ll be unforgettable. And after all the work we putting into making ourselves look good, isn’t it about time?
Need some other ideas for creating a signature look? Download a copy of ACCESSORY MAGIC,
to see how easy using accessories to stretch your budget and define your style can be.