You are well aware of the impact branding has on your business, you obsess over details like colors and fonts and your logo, but YOU are the face of your brand, When the world sees you – they make assumptions about your business, so what is what you are wearing telling the world about your company?
If you haven’t thought about that yet, it’s time to step into your Founder or CEO role, and make sure your style is in line with your branding. That doesn't mean you have to look corporate, if that’s not your brand, then you probably shouldn’t. But you DO need to take a look at your wardrobe, and put some thought into the message your style is sending.
Char Gust is the expert in setting your closet up for success, and simple effortless dressing, that’s in line with your company’s brand.
You don't have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe ( we’re all about making an impact and sticking to your budget), so today we have all the tips on how to make personal branding magic happen, with what you have in your wardrobe already.
On this episode we’ll cover:
· Why what you wear is important
· A simple hack to clear the clutter from your closet
· What foundational items you need (and probably already have)
· How to take those basics and then make them your own
Char also have an amazing resource she is sharing with us to take it a step further.
You can download her Formula for Dressing Effortlessly e-book for free at:
Make this the year that changes EVERYTHING.
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Kristy: We are so fortunate to have Char Gust with us today. Char is the founder of the Style with Char studio, and she helps busy career women create polished and professional wardrobes and get dressed effortlessly in 10 minutes. I could use you in my house every, every morning. Char, it is so great to have you here. Thanks for coming on.
Char: Thank you. Great to be here. And you know what? You don't need me in your house. I can help you so that you can do this on your own.
Kristy: That would be great, could you get the kids out the door in the morning though? Cause I could use help with that too
Char: I'm not as much of a specialist with kids
Kristy: I guess I’ll manage.
So I gave you just a very slight intro there, but I would love it. If you could tell us a bit more about why you started the studio and, and exactly what it is that you do.
Char: Sure. So I have not always been working with Style with Char Studio. I spent 32 years in corporate America. And so I completely understand how challenging it is to get dressed every single day for work.
And I wanted to, I actually, at that point, I was [00:01:00] just so busy with work and I wanted an outlet and, you know, busy career minded people find outlets that are also businesses. And so I started selling clothes and helping women at that point. And, from there I have just really honed my skills on helping women get dressed effortlessly and.
Started to focus on career women themselves. And because I understand all the challenges that we go through as women getting dressed and being judged every day, I want it to be the person that they come to to help with our words.
Kristy: A lot of women entrepreneurs and especially new ones, haven't given much thought to whether they need to kind of step up or change their wardrobe to create a more polished professional look or even a style that's just more in tune with their personal brand.
Even if that brand isn't necessarily professional or corporate. So why should women founders women entrepreneurs. Kind of taking a step back and really analyzing what their wardrobe, what they're look, what their personal [00:02:00] branding is. Right.
Char: Great question. We all know the importance of brand in general, and sometimes it's really hard to think about that.
That brand extends to you and how you look. And we may not really agree with that as what's happening in the world, but guess what? It's, what's happening in the world. And so finding. A little bit of your own style and making sure that you're coming across in a polished and professional way is going to just make people take you more seriously.
It's going to make sure that you get that second look that you want from them. And. Like I said, even though it's maybe not something that we all agree with it's happening. And so it's just really important to think about that. And it, it can mean so many things. It doesn't have to mean corporate America dress, but it could be your personal style.
And when you think about your brand. Your business brand, you can find pieces of that brand that can help you figure out if your products are quirky. I used to work with the Gill who has the quirky events planning. Well, she [00:03:00] could certainly get away with a quirky style and yet still be coming across really.
Kristy: And as the founder of your company, you're the face of your company? Your personal style is, an extension of your brand or vice versa. I agree. It's important to look at it. All right. Now, the first thing that comes to mind is to run out and buy a whole new wardrobe, which I D I, you don't advocate.
We don't need to do that. We can start with certainly what's in our world. And then add a few things to that. So, let's talk about what we should be looking for in our wardrobe, but before that, let's start by cleaning out the closet and you got some tips to do. And I have to tell you, I, I actually last week had to do an emergency closet clean-out because I had so many clothes in my closet.
And to be fair, I have about 10 outfits that I actually wear all of the time. So I have no idea whose these clothes were in my closet, but they certainly don't. And the entire one wall fell down because of the weight of the clothes. So I said, that's right. I've got to pull all this out. And I got in my closet and I could've [00:04:00] probably used your tips.
So, so what's the tip to cleaning out closets. So you don't end up with it falling down
Char: like I did. So I call this the lazy woman closet clean-out and it doesn't happen overnight, but it also happens a little bit more effortlessly. And the first thing that you do is you go into your closet and you turn every single hanger backwards on the.
And civil there, they're all hanging the wrong way. Right? And then every time you go into your closet now for the next, at least it takes at least a month, you're going to pick up something. You're going to wear it and you're going to launder it or whatever. And when you put it back in your closet, maybe you didn't want her, but you still put it back in.
You turn the hanger around and now. Uh, an immediate visual on those eight items that you're wearing or that 20% of your wardrobe that you're wearing. And you know, that those pieces should stay in your closet. After about that month, two months that you can do it whenever really you can then take stock in all those other items and say, what's the [00:05:00] reason why I'm not wearing this.
It doesn't fit. It's not my color it's not my style. There's something about it. That's keeping you from wearing it. Maybe it's seasonal, maybe it's holiday. And honestly you can make decisions then about what to do with the rest of those pieces and quickly find what's working in networking.
It's going to be helpful.
Kristy: I think that I probably could have used that a couple of months ago, but I mean, there's still some work to do in there, so I, I'm going to try that. That's a great, that's a great idea. So once we've done that, or while we're doing that, what are the, what are the basics that we, most of us will have in our closet that we need to kind of bring to the front and start building.
Char: So there are some basics that I think everyone should have. And more than likely you do have them in your closet. I would think about a really great pair of black pants or neutral colored pants. I guess black is, is what many of us have, but some of us wear other colors and you want to make. Fit. You want to make sure that they're sort of a classic style.
Another one is a white blouse, , [00:06:00] maybe with a collar, but if it doesn't have a color, that's fine, but you're looking for some basics that become the neutrals that are the basis for your wardrobe. You can look for t-shirts and layering. And you can get those at neutrals, but if you want to live on the edge a little, you can also get them on some of your, I would call them your signature colors, you know, pick a few colors that, you know, look great on you and just keep buying those.
Because when you do that, you'll create your own sort of mix and match wardrobe without really thinking about it. A blazer and that blazer, could be black, but it doesn't have to be black. I mean, it could be plaid. So just think about it that way. I think
Kristy: that layering the layering tanks and t-shirts too is a great way to, to incorporate some of your color or your branding colors for photo shoots and that sort of thing, you may not want to buy a bright yellow trench coat, for example, and invest in that.
But just by having that inexpensive piece, like the bright yellow tank underneath your white shirt or underneath your blazer, it's an inexpensive way to, to work in some of that vibrant color. That's a [00:07:00] great
Char: idea. Yeah. Can we talk about. Absolutely. So, Lova where it makes me crazy. And I think that we all think that we need it and you know, maybe we do, but I love your idea of bringing in your brand colors without logo wear.
But if you really feel like you want logo wear, or you feel like it matters, here's my best tip on it. Don't go to xyz.com and buy a t-shirt. Or a polo shirt or a workout top with your logo on it. Let's take a step back and say, what is my style? And go buy that piece somewhere in a real clothing store.
So go get a white blouse and get your logo put on it. And then you control how it looks. One of my favorite logo pieces that I have is a green velvet best that I specifically picked out because I love it. And I got the logo put onto that vest and it makes me stand out when I wear it. It makes me feel great.
Cause it's one of my favorite pieces [00:08:00] and it's still a logo piece.
Kristy: I agree with you. And actually one of my companies does logo wear and promotional products. I love logo wear, however, not as the founder of your company and not as the CEO of your company. And you'll see I actually rarely wear logo stuff, maybe on a jacket, but, for uniforms yes. You know, for your staff. Absolutely. But you, as the founder of the company, it's a bit trickier and it's more important, I think, to have your own, your own pieces, your own style, something that really sets you apart.
So a hundred percent agree with you. I love that. Okay. So we've got the basics in our closet, as far as those basics go. If we are going to invest in two or three higher ticket kind of foundational items that are gonna last, what would you suggest those would be.
Char: I think the blazer you're, you're going to get use out of that blazer in so many ways.
And you can, you could pick a classic piece, but it doesn't have to be classic. Like I said, aware anywhere dress. That's what I like to call it. I love dresses. I [00:09:00] love skirts, but not, I know not a lot of people do, but you need ha need to have one in your closet for those occasions when you.
And just find one that you love and that you feel comfortable in and that will make a difference. I think it's not as much about the pieces when you go shopping to me, it's about really focusing on style on fit, fit matters so much. If you are tugging and pulling on something, if you just don't feel right in it, that's going to come across to, whoever's watching you and looking at you and interacting with you.
And so you just really want to make sure that. You are finding the right fit for your body style. There's lots of different videos and ways that you can get help with that. I'm a really good sales person at a store can often help you as well.
Kristy: And when you are looking at those, if you are getting the higher ticket items, I guess just make sure that they're a classic style and they're built to last,
Kristy: Like the classic little black dress, but it doesn't have to be black. Right. It could be any, any kind of solid color works. So now we've got some foundational items we've maybe picked up a couple of things that we didn't [00:10:00] have now. What are some tips on kind of making that our own?
How do we add our own personal flare?
Char: I think adding your personal flare or your style is so important to your look as the CEO, and you can do that in so many ways. One of the things is to find something that is about you, that you can play on over and over again, if you came to my closet, you'd be amazed because I have, she was in every color in the room.
I love colorful and fun shoes. and people notice that about me. People call me back and say, Hey, I found the shoes. I bet you'd love them. I mean, finding that thing can really become part of your brand. Another way is to just think about the foundation, what you're wearing underneath that can matter so much.
I know we don't talk about her underwear as much, but if you're going to wear a dress and you want to look awesome, you need to have a great slip underneath it, or look at some of the shape, wear that's out there. You can find pieces that are comfortable, that you can wear under almost any. and then the finishing [00:11:00] touches to me are the accessories.
And there's so many choices. There's persons there, handbags there's jewelry, there's scarves. Find the things that can make it your own. And that's a great place to bring in different colors, different seasonal things that tell your story.
And they're going to be less expensive, more easy to transition as well. One
Kristy: of my favorite outfits. And it's all about the accessories is, is a black shirt, like a nice black shirt and jeans. And that absolutely the versatility of that by just adding, some, some cool jewelry, maybe a gold necklace, gold earrings, whatever you can go from.
the kid's game during the day too, a high-end party at night, right. It's it's all in the accessory. It doesn't have to change. So, yeah. And a great
Char: example, there would be just the shoe swap out sneakers during the day black slinks sneaker and then to a more classic pump. And that same outfit automatically moves with you.
Kristy: Just with the accessories. Okay. So any other [00:12:00] tips, as far as creating our own Polish style things that we can do just to make sure that we're, we're putting that message across, that we want to put
Char: across. So one of the things that I think about is we are busy women, but we're also really good at making decisions, but sometimes we forget that making really good decisions about our clothes is going to really help us in the long run.
And so if you're thinking about getting dressed up effortlessly, I want you to do things like make the decisions about. What colors you are going to purchase, and don't be buying clothes on a whim stop and say, is this in colors that I sort of thought through? One thing that I did with my wardrobe somewhere in the middle of my career was I took everything that was in shades of tan and brown and got rid of it because I realized that it didn't look that great on me.
I just was buying it because I thought I should have both black pants and brown pants. Another thing that you can do is standardize on one material. So for me, I buy silver. And if I see a piece of [00:13:00] jewelry that I love and it's gold. I kind of check myself and say, are you really going to wear this?
Because you always wear silver jewelry. And the more you can make those decisions in the moment and bring home less things, but the best things for you in your closet, you're going to get dressed faster because you have fewer decisions to make that more.
Kristy: Right. So you reduce the overwhelm and then you also are kind of putting that budget towards pieces that you're actually going to use instead of wasting it that's great advice. So, you know, and as a woman, founder, besides your style tips, you're also a female entrepreneur and so is our audience. So looking back at your own career and what you do, what's your best piece of advice for. Women entrepreneurs for women founders, something you've learned over the years.
Char: You know, I think some of the things that, one of the things that I've found since I've been more focused, I don't work in corporate America anymore. I work in my style business I realized that. It was about not giving up at any [00:14:00] one point in time. There were many times when I was running my business and working full time where I thought I felt really overwhelmed and didn't want to keep going.
And I did just keep going. And I'm getting the benefits from that now that I never expected, I was blogging. For the past seven years. And not really even, I didn't really even know what I was doing to be completely honest, but suddenly somewhere, some of my pieces got started to get picked up and now I'm getting contacts and finding new clients using the basis of that blog that I didn't even really understand at the time.
And at any point I could have said, you know what, I'm just too busy to do that. But I'm seeing the payoff now that I never expected that. I think
Kristy: that comes back to doing something you're passionate about as well. Like, I always say if, if you're passionate about it, not only is it more enjoyable, now and in the long run, but you're going to stick with it, right.
When things get hard, if you didn't like what you were blogging about, you would've quit. But because it's something [00:15:00] you're passionate about, it just gets you through. It's so important.
Char: The other one is take some chances. So one of the things that I did that, that worked great for my business for a while was, I actually bought an RV and I put all of my clothes and my samples in the RV. I changed the bedroom into a space with To changing rooms and we held parties for stopping right in that RV. I could drive up to people's home or to a church parking lot nearby. They could bring all their friends and they went shopping and it was a great time.
And it made things so effortless for the person hosting. And I did that for three years. It was really fun. Oh, that's
Kristy: fantastic. What a great idea. Now you've got a great resource as well for, for everybody listening. And you can tell us more about that.
It's a, an ebook that you've got available for us, is that correct?
Char: Right. So just taking some of the concepts that we just talked about and expanding on them, the ebook is actually what I call the formula for dressing effortlessly in 10 minutes. [00:16:00] And it's helping you. Find those pieces that are going to serve you long-term and get those in your wardrobe now.
So that again, it's about making those decisions intentionally about what's going to be in your closet so that later you can just stand in your closet, close your eyes and grab things and probably get lucky and they'll match. So
Kristy: that's the way when you're getting dressed in the dark in the morning.
Char: Exactly. Yeah. So it's about a 20 page. Big prank, lots of pictures also, given it has a worksheet to kind of keep track of the items that you have and the which ones you need to really fill out your wardrobe.
Kristy: Perfect. And what's the link for that chart just in case they're they're listing and want to jot
Char: it down.
It's www.stylewithshar.com/ebook and Shar is spelled C H a R.
Kristy: Perfect. And we're going to put all of this in the show notes as well. So if you're listening on a platform where you can't see notes you can always head over some of the platforms. Won't show the show notes. You can head over to one step [00:17:00] empire.com and all of the episodes, all the show notes, all the links, everything is there that you need as well.
Thank you so much for joining us today. Shara, you've given me some inspiration. I have some work to do tonight.
My closet. I think it was truly a pleasure. Thank you for being here.
Char: Thanks so much. That was a lot of fun.