Many women, including myself, struggle for much of our lives to find a style we love. More than that, we struggle with feeling good about how we look. We buy clothes we think are going to change all that, yet find more and more items hanging in our closet that go unworn.
- We might try it on, look in the mirror and wonder why we bought it
- Maybe we realize we have nothing for which to pair it
- We may realize the sales clerk convinced us it looked amazing and we believed it in the moment and now we see it and wonder – what in the world were we thinking!?
There are numerous reasons for it. But the research indicates you are not alone. The average woman only wears 20% of the clothes she owns!
Could a personal brand style avatar be the answer? Yes! You can have a personal brand and style to call your own, one that expresses who you are and showcases your best features!
The problem is we aren’t trained that clothing communicates – it’s not just about finding a cute new outfit. It should express something about us. Each item you put on your body, each piece of jewelry, pair of glasses, item of clothing, communicates something. Most women were never taught how to recognize what they want to communicate and how to buy items that match who they are.
It comes down to the ability to envision how you want to look. What image you want to project and what that actually looks like.
If You Can’t “See” It (In Your Mind’s Eye) – There’s No Way You Can Be It!
If you can articulate who you are, what you stand for – your personal brand AND learn how to visualize what it looks like to embody that image – this one skill – will change everything about how you dress and how you feel about how you look.
This one skill is the key – How to visualize clothes on YOUR body – what they communicate, how they fit and how they make you feel.
This is why I created the Success thru Style Avatars.
The StS Avatars are visual representations of different archetypes that help women understand how clothes will relate for them in the broad arc of “style.”
I initially based them on the Universal Style System™, created by style industry pioneer Alyce Parsons. Parsons’ tool has become a gold standard for image consultants. This standard was not meant to promote stereotypes; but it has proven to be a very useful approach to helping people define and visualize an image they wish to project – and then dress themselves to be a match for that aspiration.
The Universal Styles for women include:
However, as I started working with the universal styles I realized they weren’t a perfect match for my clients. So I amended them – made them my own and released nine instead of seven.
To make it more fun and relatable I created avatars that you can see, and relate to; I named them and created a description for each. My clients love them and sometimes, when they aren’t feeling great about how they look, they imagine themselves as their avatar and it makes a world of difference to them.
The Success thru Style Avatars
The StS Avatars include:
- Classic Claire (the Universal Style’s traditional persona)
- Sophisticated Sophia (this is on par with the Universal Style’s elegant persona)
- Feminine Fiona (this is similar to the Universal Style’s romantic persona)
- Creative Cleo (we separated creative from bohemian – we see a big difference between these two personas in our clients)
- Boho Bethany (we added this one)
- Dramatic Darla (this is similar to the Universal Style’s dramatic persona)
- Active Anna (our version of Universal Style’s sporty persona)
- Exotic Eva (this is one we wanted to add for you worldly women)
- Chic Cara (because dramatic and trendy are not the same thing)
Note that I eliminated “alluring.” (Yes, we all want to be sexy and alluring sometimes, but I’ve found no woman who wants to be that ALL the time.)
These nine cute Avatar characters have been a pillar of my personal branding approach ever since.
The beauty of the Avatars is that they provide a character to visualize and emulate. This is helpful to almost everyone I’ve worked with, but especially to visual learners and people who find it hard to conceptualize in the abstract.
In the beginning of my practice I would recommend that, as a way to visualize their own personal style, my clients look for someone whose style they admire and might choose to copy. This could be a celebrity, a model, or a character in a favorite show. This was helpful and it still can be. But I have found the Success thru Style Personal Brand Style™ Avatars work for everyone.
The STS Quiz
I use the avatars when I work one on one with clients, in workshops, in my online course and some clients first encounter our Avatars in the StS Quiz. The avatars were created to help women imagine their ideal style in action! The quiz helps them get there.
If you haven’t taken the quiz, you might want to give it a try. It’s very fast and quite effective in helping you find your personal brand and style persona.
The quiz was designed with research in psychology in mind – the research shows that humans quickly identify with people and things that resonate with us. More specifically, we are attracted to things and people that reflect our tastes and values. Therefore, by asking you to make quick choices about pictures and words that appeal to you—objects of art, home interiors, pets, cars, etc.—together we get a sense of who you are.
It’s fascinating the story that our simplest choices tell about us.
As you progress through the quiz, you are assigned to the StS Avatar that your answers most reflect. And you might want to go back to the list above and see if others appeal to you as well. Most women are not just one avatar. Some women find they are multiple avatars. You might be Sophisticated Sophia with touches of Dramatic Darla and Feminine Fiona for example.
You get to create the style you love that communicates who you are and the avatars are just one more tool to help you get there.
The secret is to envision your style. To visualize the look that is right for you and how the clothes you want to wear will look on you. This will help you always buy the right things. If you can see it you can achieve it. The avatars are an important aide.
The Magic of the Vision Board!
The next step I recommend you consider is a vision board. This can be a physical type where you buy a poster board and cut out pictures from a magazine or even print them from Internet searches if you have a color printer. I love this option because it allows you to have a physical product to look at and assimilate over time.
Pinterest Boards are another visual tool to help you articulate and understand your brand. If you don’t have a Pinterest account they are free and easy to set up. You can create one called My Style and start searching for pictures that you aspire to own and emulate. I have a large number of images on my Boards and each avatar has her own Board to make the process easier for you.
I’d love to see what you come up with. Please share your Pinterest Boards with me and follow mine as I am updating them all the time.
Take the quiz and let me know your findings. And let me know if you’ll use more than one avatar to envision the style you wish to create.
If you like our avatars, I have some great news. They are being updated! Stay tuned for our next blog, when we will release the new, improved, and modernized StS Avatars.