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ARE YOU USING ALL YOUR TOOLS?

ARE YOU USING ALL YOUR TOOLS?

I’m sitting on a plane from Auckland to Sydney, where I just finished watching the movie the September Issue featuring the inner workings of Vogue, and it dawned on me once again why I love fashion so much: it’s about the emotions our clothes and accessories evoke. It’s about the fact that what we wear creates either barriers between us, or stimulates our gravitational pull towards each other. It’s our first point of entry into a world of judgment where we decide if someone is like us or not. As Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue articulates, “People are frightened of fashion. And because it scares them or they are insecure about it, they put it down. There’s something about fashion that makes people very nervous”.

Why? I believe it’s a result of the non-verbal and powerful cues that our clothes and accessories convey. And to those that don’t know how to interpret and harness those non-verbal cues within their own individual context, they have likely self-elected into the group that mocks fashion and barrages it into a corner of vanity because it makes them feel excluded or not part of the cool group.

I also think that we don’t tend to discuss the deep psychological aspects of our clothing choices in the way in which we examine other important topics. Yet there’s something so significant about fashion and how it intertwines with our lives imposing certain dynamics (conscious or unconscious) that we need to become aware of. So how do we move the conversation past vanity into the powerful vein through which our clothing choices actually live?

At dE ROSAIRO, since we launched over three years ago, we’ve been referring to the psychological aspect of clothing as Look Feel Lead, which means how we Look is how we Feel is how we Lead. And the opposite is also true, which is that when we Lead, we Feel a certain way, and we want to Look a specific way so that we can get our minds and bodies into the role we need to play. In leadership we literally call this role playing – and being a Leadership Coach myself to CEO’s and their C-suites for more than a decade now (one of my other businesses) – I can vouch for the power of role playing and its successful contribution to the daily lives of those at the top.

Because the research and analysis is restricted, my internal curiosity has led me to conduct mini experiments where I observe my own behavior, and those of others, dressed in different attire across different contexts. Without fail there almost always appears to be a direct and strong correlation to what we wear and how we behave, and hence the psychological aspect of clothing.

If you’ve been part of the posse who excludes fashion as something vain that doesn’t quite fit into your intellectual circle of behavior and discussions, then I suggest that it’s time to rethink your approach. Wanting to look the part makes you no less intelligent. In fact, quite the contrary – looking the part can enhance your delivery and results, and that’s the real power behind fashion. It literally comes down to optimizing all the tools around you.

Are YOU optimizing your daily armor?

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