I made a pretty emphatic pronouncement a few days back about telling your story with Attire. I meant it and I still do. But how do you go about doing that in a conscious, thoughtful way, without bashing people over the head or turning yourself into a cartoon? If the idea here is to present your essential truths and aspirations, then diluting the message seems wrongheaded. But turning your message into a visual scream is not very appealing to most, either. Where is the balance point?
To get to the crux of this seeming conundrum, first you have to come to a clear understanding of what exactly you want to present about yourself. Naturally, for most of us, that is not exactly an easy prospect; but getting as clear as may be is the first best step.
I'm going to go ahead and use myself as a point of reference for this, since I know what my motivations and choices were for the event and outfit that I will discuss.
I was invited, some weeks back, to an industry event called Fashtech, which was about fashion and technology, and was going to have ample opportunity for networking. Now I am a man of a certain age, working my way into this milieu, so what I wore needed to state with clarity that I was able to talk the talk with the rest of the (far younger) crowd. I also figured, rightly as it happens, that a lot of people would default to black as an easy way to go.
So, starting at the bottom here's what I did. Shoes are important. Every woman knows this, and in an industry dominated by women a man is a fool if he ignores that fact. I chose a pair of gunmetal gray metallic leather shoes with black toes.
I can tell you that this telling of this part of my story worked quite well. In fact, the venue host came over right away and said that as soon as he caught sight of me that he knew I was someone he had to talk to and find out about. So, job done, tale told. Am I always successful in the telling of my personal tales? No, of course not. I just use myself as an example, because frankly, it was an easy way to approach answering the question of how we actually do tell our story.
So, the simplified, bullet point answer is this. Forethought. Consider what you are going to be doing, who you will be with, and what you hope to achieve, if there is in fact anything conscious you want to get to.
Of course, not every time you step out the door needs to be a chapter in the multi-volume version of you; but introducing, now and again, this kind of consideration to the choices we make, can inform, not only those around us, but ourselves, as we discover things about our own natures through the process.