Have you ever walked into an event and immediately felt under or overdressed? You can feel all eyes on you to the point you want to become invisible.
Welcome to Part 7 of the Level Up series. In this part, we’re diving deeper into how to dress the part as a leader.
In Part 4, we covered signature style tips. But clothing selection is so important we’re delving deeper today to give you a solid understanding of how your wardrobe plays a part in your branding.
Dressing the part means consistently wearing clothes that match your leadership style, position, and company.
For leaders, this is now more important than ever. In this digital world, where executives are no longer hidden away in an ivory tower, consumers now have more access to leaders. Their images are shared, scrutinized, and critiqued.
So here’s the quick guide to dressing the part as a Leveled-Up executive/leader
1. Consider your role in the company.
When selecting a wardrobe, you must think of your role in the company and how to match it to your clothing. There’s a big difference in the way an executive of a Fortune 100 executive dresses and someone working for the company on the front lines.
2. What’s your personal style.?
What do you like? What makes you feel comfortable, yet appropriately dressed? The goal is to wear clothes that make you feel confident. How you’re dressed can directly boost how confident you feel.
3. What makes your customers take you seriously?
This is about respect. If you’re an executive, it’s important that if you’re customer-facing, they feel connected to your brand, but still respect you as a leader.
4. Consider your industry and target audience.
Is your business brand young and relatable or crisper and more corporate? In Part 5, we discussed brand archetypes. Consider your brand archetype here when making clothing choices.
Here are outstanding examples of leaders dressing the part
Dressing the part will be unique to you and your company but taking a look at a few examples helps us understand how to apply these branding principles to real life. Here’s I’ll describe their style. If you need visuals, a quick image search may also help.
Indra Nooyi – PepsiCo Inc.
Former longtime Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Inc. is known for her classy, polished look. Being CEO of a Fortune 100 company that has existed for over 50 years demands a certain appearance. Her consistently immaculate look was a match for her role in the company and PepsiCo’s dominant role in the marketplace.
Patrice Louvet – Ralph Lauren Corporation
Executive Officer and leader of the iconic Fortune 500 company, Louvet’s style is, aptly, impeccable. He is always seen in crisp, well-tailored suits.
Sundar Pichai – Google LLC
Chief Executive Officer of Fortune 100 company, Google LLC, Pichai’s style can best be summed up as casual. He typically wears a structured top with jeans and sneakers. Google is a young, technology company, and his casual look fits right in line with Google’s fun, relaxed office culture around the world. It is also a reflection of the company’s unpretentious core marketing message and vision.
Jack Dorsey -Twitter, Inc.
If we look at Twitter Chief Executive, Dorsey’s contemporary, stylish dress, we see that it fits with Twitter’s Ethos and brand. Twitter is another young, technology-based company. They aren’t a Fortune 500 ranked establishment. They’re laid back, fun, casual, and Dorsey’s style reflects these characteristics.
Keven Plank – Under Armour, Inc
Chief Executive Plank is often seen wearing a business casual look. As is appropriate, his outfits typically include at least Under Armour piece. There isn’t a better way to demonstrate your company’s Ethos than to wear the clothing yourself. Under Armour’s core marketing message centers around passion, design, and commitment to innovation. They’re another young company, and Plank’s laid back, casual style is fitting.
You may not be an executive of a high-ranked company, but you can learn a lot from each of them. When done well, personal styling allows you to dress the part for your role, brand, and marketing message.