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Now, if your direct boss, manager, board member or significant other (gasp!) said your style impacts your performance, it may not go over so well – especially, if you are a woman. The style burden for women is actually a real thing. Here at Cepi Style, we frankly see it as an opportunity. You “know” so much about a woman when she walks in the room – and then you have questions… thoughts… interest points… That is actually powerful! Trust me… if you are a powerful woman in your peer group or in your office, someone is taking notice (and even “notes”) on your style. We are curious about how you carry yourself, what you are wearing, and how you are pulling it all together “effortlessly.”
The reality is that both style and performance actually require effort if you expect results.
Let’s talk style first. People who look “effortless” on a daily basis while building models, running organizations, feeding crying (yet, adorable) babies, and finding time to enjoy life with partners and friends simply do not do it alone. A recent Catalyst study reveals that “women currently hold 23 (4.6%) of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies.” What percentage of these women do you think style themselves? We know it is hush-hush and we take our members’ privacy very seriously to the extent that they want it. But, the truth is we all need support navigating the bevy of choices to find what suits us for where we are, who we want to be and where we are trying to go in life, in work, on vacation, and even in the gym. We are simply not stagnant.
Let’s take one important instance for many of our members. If you are an executive woman at an investment bank, one of the most important items in your wardrobe is your jacket. Here are a selection of jackets you might consider.
Your jacket can instantly elevate everything else including your posture. You can bring elements of feminine, bold, architectural, boyfriend, color, traditional to your wardrobe while never forgetting that the tailoring and fit are most important. Jackets – yes, they speak. Owning your jacket collection can instantly define your presence in client meetings, when making presentations or when trying to strike a different tone.
You’re still wondering about performance. Some researchers actually took the notion of style impacting performance quite literally. Northwestern University researchers Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky found that certain clothing can systematically influence the wearer’s psychological processes. “They also found that when people don a white lab coat they believe belongs to a doctor, they become more focused and careful — effectively a little smarter when performing cognitive tasks.” The New York Times quoted Dr. Gallinsky, “Clothes invade the body and brain, putting the wearer into a different psychological state.”
Looking at the big picture with style, we have agency over our internal conversation, how we show up and how people we respect receive us. These are all key to successful performance in every arena of our lives. We get to choose what matters, what nonverbal cues we want to invoke, as well as how and when we want to stand out.
Does style impact your performance?