by Nicole Longstreath | Featured Contributor
Building a wardrobe on a budget might sound appealing to bootstrapping business owners, but budget labels are killing your image.
As online business trailblazers, we’ve spent so much money on websites, graphics, coaching, business cards, conferences, retreats and everything else under the sun to help make our businesses succeed. So, why are we still slumming it over at Old Navy?
I can tell you it’s definitely NOT because we want a closet full of disposable maxi dresses – nobody wants that. The truth is that we don’t know any other way.
Changing Our Perspective
We’ve been taught that quality can come at any budget, but that’s just not true. We’ve been taught to make everything else a priority over our image, but where has that gotten us?
Go look in your closet. Can you pull together an outfit, right now, for a networking event? Wait, let me rephrase: an outfit that makes you feel spectacular enough to talk to anyone in the room, making it possible to leave the event with a few leads in your pocket?
Or how about this: a friend is getting married this summer at an outdoor wedding with an indoor reception. Are you prepared for that?
Fashion Isn’t Everything, But …
Look, I’ll be the first person to say that fashion isn’t everything and that, if you’re a business owner, it definitely shouldn’t rule your life. Most of my clients don’t even like shopping – but they do want a signature look that makes them feel confident and makes getting dressed for everyday life easy.
We’re so obsessed with making things in life, especially fashion, effortless. But we’re doing all these things that achieve the opposite results! When you fill your closet with cheap clothing, it makes achieving the look you want much more difficult.
The same applies to settling for decent brands in styles you’re not crazy about, but were on sale.
But, in contrast, when you spend more on the individual pieces, you get that much closer to the style you really want. It’s that simple; higher prices usually mean better tailoring, color, materials and overall quality.
Change Isn’t Easy
Right about now is when women tense up a bit (or a lot!). Spending money is hard when it seems like there is only a finite amount. The truth is that it really comes down to priorities. Like, when you needed the website or the training or the conference ticket, you made it happen.
Having a fabulous image that makes you feel like you could take over the world by lunch is possible with just a bit of planning and smart spending. Decide what your brand looks like and compare it against your current wardrobe – does what you have already align with your brand? Then decide what is missing that can help you sharpen the point on your brand, and make a plan to acquire it.
Believe me, you deserve better than a disposable wardrobe, and I have several resources to help you find your way toward buying the right things for you.
- First is my Style Muse Quiz – it’s like one of those Cosmo quizzes, only it’s actually helpful!
- Next up, is my guide Plan Outfits Now! This digital guide walks you through putting together outfits with what’s already in your closet.
- Finally, if you’re ready to take action, check out my program Personal Brand Catalyst, which will help propel your brand to where it needs to be.
Nicole Longstreath is on a mission to save women from the dysfunctional shopping experience. She is a virtual wardrobe stylist working with women across the globe to build personal brands that command attention and influence.
Nicole began her journey as a stylist with a unusual “guerrilla shopping” experiment in 2010. For 6 months, she vowed to shop only at local thrift stores. Her theory: building a wardrobe on a micro-budget was totally possible – but only if she was clear on what she was looking for.
At the end of the experiment, she had a new wardrobe (for less than $500) and a new vision of what building a wardrobe should be like – whether it was done in a thrift shop or Bloomingdale’s.
Nicole believes that all women are entitled to their own, unique brand of personal style, regardless of age, size, shape or amount of disposable income. You can find her at her home base, theWardrobeCode.com, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.