Using Avatars to Find a Style We Love (Or Why the Average Woman Wears Just 20% of What’s in Her Closet!)

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 learn to articulate what you stand for, to visualize that image, AND then to embody it, this one skill will shift how you feel about your looks.
 
This one skill — visualizing 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.”

 

Meet-the-2020-Success-thru-Style-Avatars

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:

  1. Traditional
  2. Elegant
  3. Romantic
  4. Alluring
  5. Creative
  6. Dramatic
  7. Sporty

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 most women can see themselves in; 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 find it encouraging to imagine themselves as their avatar.

The Success thru Style Avatars

The StS Avatars include:

  1. Classic Claire (the Universal Style’s traditional persona)
  2. Sophisticated Sophia (this is on par with the Universal Style’s elegant persona)
  3. Feminine Fiona (this is similar to the Universal Style’s romantic persona)
  4. Creative Cleo (we separated creative from bohemian – we see a big difference between these two personas in our clients)
  5. Boho Bethany (we added this one)
  6. Dramatic Darla (this is similar to the Universal Style’s dramatic persona)
  7. Active Anna (our version of Universal Style’s sporty persona)
  8. Exotic Eva (this is one we wanted to add for you worldly women)
  9. 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 Avatars provide a character to visualize and emulate. This is helpful to almost everyone I’ve worked with. It’s especially useful 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 an actual person whose style they admired 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 that the Success thru Style Personal Brand Style™ Avatars also work for everyone.

The STS Quiz

I use the avatars when I work one-on-one with clients, in workshops, in my online course. But 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 a quick take, and quite effective in helping you find your personal brand and style persona.

It was designed with research in psychology in mind: 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, when you 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.  

Our simplest choices tell a fascinating story about who we are.

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 of us find that we are multiple avatars.  For example, you might be a Sophisticated Sophia with touches of Dramatic Darla and Feminine Fiona.  

You get to create the style you love that communicates who you are and the avatars are just a tool to help you get there.

The secret to using the Avatars is to envision your style. To visualize the look that is right for you and “see” in your mind’s eye how the clothes 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. But you can also 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, open one! They are free and easy to set up. You can create one called My Style and start searching for pictures that reflect the style you aspire to emulate. I have a large number of images on the Success thru Style Boards. Each avatar is represented 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 results. And let me know if you’ll use more than one avatar to find a style you love.

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.

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