Recently, I hosted a dinner party at my home. Although I absolutely love cooking, my demanding schedule as a leadership/personal branding coach meant I didn’t have time to whip up a tasty cuisine for my guests.  However, with some quick thinking, I ordered take-out from a local restaurant and, with key small efforts, I brought the food home and strategically placed it on some of my best dishes.  After accenting the dishes with colorful and textured garnishes, needless to say, I succeeded in providing an appealing meal that satisfied and WOWED my guests in a way that was worthy of the remark!

First impressions are lasting and add or detract from your credibility and success in life and work.  Likewise, when it comes to your personal brand, with strategic small efforts you can successfully create a remarkable leadership presence.

First, you must make the commitment to look your professional best at all times by dressing for your dream job.  If you want to become a CEO or manager, dress the part now.  Next, before choosing your wardrobe for work, your interview, networking, or that next presentation, consider how you want to be perceived.  Then you can make your mark by choosing clothes that visually convey your brand message from the inside-out.

Waking up your wardrobe and adding the wow factor is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. So, here are three small tips that you can repeat day in and day out to create a visual brand that empowers you to show up, stand out, and make your mark in life and work.

1.  Add a small silk patterned or vivid colored scarf to the handles of your handbag to create a bit more interest, whimsy, and adventure.  The scarf can double as a wrap for cooler evenings. Handbags such as a satchel, tote, bowling bag, or doctor’s bag are ideal. Also, break the habit of using only one handbag for every occasion. Routinely rotate your handbags or buy a bag for work and for after hours.

2.  Click your heels! Instead of wearing plain, neutral colored pumps, buy one pair in a fabric print – floral, camouflage, animal, tastefully studded, beaded heels or graphics can create an unexpected embellishment at your feet. Your shoes are a great way to frame your outfit with a complementary flair of extravagance, sure to gain attention, and add a bit of bounce to your step! Lastly, keep your shoes clean, polished, and maintained at all times.

3.  Wear a pair of patterned stockings with a leather pencil skirt instead of ordinary black tights or sheer hose to create a tamed edge to your office apparel. Check for tears and snags. Always keep an extra pair handy.

Take your style to the next level! Show up, stand out, and look like the complete leader – add some simple accents to create a visual brand image “worthy of the remark!”  A word of caution: while your attire and appearance are important, don’t forget to outfit your attitude. Therefore, always remember the one thing that you can wear that is timeless, accents any outfit, conveys a positive message, and makes a positive connection is a smile!

Speaking of connection, I would love to hear from you!  Share ways these tips inspired you to make your mark and leave a lasting and remarkable impression.  Remarkable becomes YOU!