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Building a personal brand is hard work! It’s easy to feel like you’re just another photographer, or just another designer, or just another life coach… (or whatever it is you do) drowning in a sea of people who do exactly the same thing!
If you feel like your voice is getting lost in the crowd, don’t worry—because I am sharing one of my favorite secrets to make your brand stand out—and it involves fashion!
Welcome! If you’re new here, I’m Moriah, the owner and creative director of Moriah Riona Branding—helping creative female entrepreneurs build brands with confidence and success.
If that’s something you’re interested in, then be sure to subscribe to my channel—and click the bell icon—to make sure you’re the first to be notified when I upload new videos!
Okay, so what is this big secret?
I call it the Brand Wardrobe—a collection of clothing and accessories that are all ‘on brand.’
So, you might be thinking: sure I love clothes too, Moriah, but why do I need a ‘Brand Wardrobe?’
Well, if you want to build a successful personal brand then you need consistency, and you need brand recognition. I talk about these two concepts a lot, and they really work in tandem.
Learn more: Branding Guide: How To Create Consistency With A Brand Style Guide
Basically, these two ideas are on the forefront of my mind anytime I’m working with a client on their visual branding—whether that’s their Brand Collection, where I not only design their logo system, but also very carefully select their brand colors, fonts, and overall brand aesthetic—or later in the process, when I’m shooting their brand photography, and I curate a whole custom style guide full of props, wardrobe, makeup and accessories, to make sure that they’re staying ‘on brand.’
But staying ‘on brand’ should not be limited to just when you’re working with a professional brand designer, like myself. You should be ‘on brand’ anytime you’re showing up for your business.
I rely on my brand wardrobe for:
Actually I pull clothes from my brand wardrobe anytime I am potentially interacting with clients, industry peers, or my audience.
When my audience sees me over and over again, wearing my same brand colors, and dressed in my brand style, it does two things (yup, you guessed it):
You might think this is silly or that it just doesn’t matter. But I actually know from my own experience how POWERFUL a brand wardrobe is!
A few months ago I posted this photo of myself to Instagram (black and white outfit, on a white couch, on a white backdrop):
Now to be clear, this is still “technically” on brand for me—because black and white are a big part of my brand. BUT it’s lacking those signature ‘pops’ of color—especially my favorite one, pink.
And my audience noticed!
Check out this comment from one follower:
And there you have it—brand recognition!
Hopefully you’ve already worked with a professional brand designer, so you’ve got your logo system, your brand colors and you are crystal clear on your brand style and aesthetic!
If you don’t have those things, then I know a really fabulous brand designer that you should contact. Like right now. (hint, hint 😜)
But let’s assume you’re good to go with your visual branding. The next thing you’re gonna do is go shopping.
You want to pick clothing and accessories that match not only your brand colors, but also your brand style.
My brand style is sort of that “Kate Spade”/preppy glam, with bright colors and bold patterns. And because this is my personal brand, it’s very similar to my own personal style. These are things I would wear even if it weren’t for a work-related event. I’m just getting way more specific and making sure they include my brand color palette.
So when I’m shopping I’m not going to buy anything that’s got a boho vibe, or is super hipster, or minimalist—because even though there are items that I might like, it just doesn’t fit my brand style.
Which brings me to, this clothing haul that just arrived!
So I’ve got all of these gorgeous new clothes that just arrived, and I’m so excited to show them to you and walk through my process of choosing them for my brand wardrobe!
Now, I used to be a total mall rat back in the 90s in my Junior High days… but those days are long gone! I actually don’t like traditional shopping (in stores) anymore, because my goal is super specific: I’m looking for on-brand clothing, in a limited color palette.
I’ve just found that it’s so much easier to shop online. And usually my favorite place to do that is Nordstrom. It is a little more pricey (depending on the brand), but for the convenience factor—they’ve got a fabulous app and free shipping both ways—I just think it’s worth it!
But for this last haul, I actually wanted to try another online store—Lulu’s.
So Lulu’s boasts that they’re the “online destination for affordable luxury.” And because I knew this was gonna be a pretty big haul because—
Well, let me back up.
Last summer I read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo—which absolutely absolutely blew my mind—and I purged a ton of “stuff” (which also included most of my clothing).
So it got to be summer this year, and I realized I don’t have summer clothes!!
I knew this was gonna be a big haul—and I just wanted to get a lot of bang for my buck. So I decided to try a less expensive option, and that ended up being Lulu’s.
Here’s what I got (and I’m gonna link everything down below so you can go check it out!):
Black and white dot cami with lace [also available in burgundy, black, teal, pink, and ivory]
Pink backless sweater [also available in heather gray]
White tie-front top with gold metallic trim
Black mesh tank [also available in pink and white]
Yellow tulip sleeve tee [also available in white]
Green satin camisole [also available in “blush”]
This was actually my second purchase from Lulu’s but my first was a dress that I had bought back in 2011—so I wasn’t super familiar with their brand.
However, from a brand standpoint I was really impressed with this whole order. The pricing was incredibly reasonable—so I was slightly concerned that the clothing would be a lower quality based on the price point. But actually, when it all arrived, I was incredibly impressed by how well made everything was.
More than that, I’m usually hesitant to shop anywhere other than Nordstrom, mainly because of the free shipping and free returns. I very often have to send things back—they’re not the right size, fit, etc.—so I don’t like the stress and added cost involved with shipping and returns at other online retailers.
I actually had an incredible experience with Lulu’s. First of all, they don’t have automatic free shipping—but it’s free for orders over $50. If you buy two tops you’re basically there. And they offer free returns on all items. (So that was a major plus!)
Secondly, I LOVED and wanted to keep everything (which never happens!). Except there was one shirt, the black and white tie blouse, that was way too big and I need to exchange it for a small.
I was immediately stressed and assumed it was going to be a huge hassle. But I called their customer service and they were fantastic! They shipped a new shirt out to me that day and sent me a return label via email. The whole experience was incredibly pleasant and stress free. So if you’re looking to start building your brand wardrobe, or you just need a little retail therapy—I would absolutely recommend checking out Lulu’s.
Well I hope this video has inspired you to start thinking about your own brand wardrobe! And definitely take a peek at Lulu’s.
Actually if you’ve got another online store that you LOVE, please let me know in a comment down below! I’m always looking for new places to shop.
If you’re not quite at the brand wardrobe stage yet, and still wondering how to pick the perfect colors for your brand—then check out: 5 Steps To The Perfect Brand Color Palette.
And be sure to subscribe to my channel—I post new videos every week. So hit that red subscribe button (and click the bell!) and I’ll see you in the next video!