I’m relentless about helping clients create their personal style and about encouraging them to focus on craftsmanship. Here’s a cool exercise you can do to check on yours. There are three possible camps that people belong to when it comes to personal style yet only one celebrates the best version of you. This one lets others tap into your value in whatever context they encounter you.
Camp Careless: You couldn’t care less what you put on your back. There is a lack of any consciousness about style, let alone much else. There is no focus on craftsmanship, no thought to the language and messages that your clothing sends. If this describes you, it may not even matter to you whether what you’re wearing is clean and presentable enough to make any positive impression. In essence, it’s hard to get others to see quality in you when you don’t consider putting anything of quality on your body.
Camp Brand Whore: Ouch! Did it hurt to get called out like that? If you shrugged your shoulders in insolence, you may be the kind of person who equates craftsmanship with a brand. Sometimes you lean on a brand just because you aren’t confident in your own fashion judgment. But, you may not have your eye on how or where things are made. Your only relationship is with the brands you flaunt. This has an effect of making it seem to others as though you have a shortcoming that you are trying too hard to overcompensate for. This could lead to overspending on your clothes, and to amplifying your weaknesses by trying to hide behind your branded sunglasses, handbag, and shoes.
Camp Vigilant: You wouldn’t dare wear anything without taking great care and consideration. You enjoy owning and wearing clothing made by an artisan, or by a very talented designer. As a result, you are showing others that you have an interest in craftsmanship. That object also reminds you of your interest in quality. Often, handmade things look deceivingly simple to make. Yet, when you come to know how something is made in such a way that the result looks simple, you take on a deeper appreciation for an artisan’s expertise, handiwork, and the overall design process.
When you focus on craftsmanship in building your wardrobe, you end up with pieces that last a long time. This happens because you treasure something that is made so well. You want to take good care of it. And, you want to use and enjoy it regularly. You can experience this with designer brands, too. But, you have to move past the impressiveness of a label or a logo, and inspect how it’s made. If you select something made by an artist, you will undoubtedly buy it directly from that craftsperson, and you will form a relationship with that person.
In essence, when you focus on craftsmanship others see quality in you. You come to care that wearing something well made sends a highly positive visual message about your values. If you invest in and wear something of high quality, onlookers automatically see you as a high quality person.
When you focus on craftsmanship, you improve the quality of your own life. Style is something we all live with in one way or another. Why not put some intention into appreciating craftsmanship in a deeply personal way…
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “7 Ways to Transform Your Personal Style”.