Why you should wear the same few things every day, from a fashion designer and personal branding expert

Courtesy Fotini Copeland

Rummaging around your closet to find something that matching every single morning is a weak move. If you want to show your togetherness – and project a unified look that’s an extension of your personal brand, consider a capsule wardrobe.

Your fashion-related personal brand is “the visual representation of who you are,” fashion designer and personal brand consultant Fotini Copeland told Ladders.

“It’s that seven seconds to make that first impression – and what is it that you want your story to be?”

When Copeland asks her clients about how they envision their personal brands in the fashion sense, they have many different answers. Some are unsure. “Some of my clients will say, ‘Well, I want to man that partner position in my firm’. Others will say, ‘Throughout the year I have a calendar filled with different types of events, and I want to relay the right message.'”


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How to build a uniform closet

Copeland told Ladders consistency with the message you are telling through your clothing is important.

“That’s where the capsule wardrobe comes in,” she said. “Understanding what kind of clothes you have, and a way to build a uniform closet, so that [dressing] comes easy for you.”

“Time is luxury today,” she added. “You want to make it as easy as possible.”

Here are here essentials for uniform dressing.

The suit

“I always believe in investing in suits, because it gives us a varying amount of looks. If you have a suit you can wear that as a separate, whether it’s a pantsuit or a skirt suit. You can wear the trouser with a great shirt. You could wear it with a t-shirt. You could wear it as a full suit… I think you want to maximize the potential of the looks.”

Denim

“Investing in a really great pair of denim is important. Let’s say for business casual at the office, and then also going out for drinks with your girlfriends or your partner.” She emphasizes classic washes and cuts, and avoidance of denim trends like ripped and shredded fabric. “As much as I think trends are fabulous, I think it’s important to stay close to the classics.

That little dress…

“Keep it to the classics – the little black dress, the little white dress, the little red dress. That little classic silhouette will take you a long way – from a business meeting, to a business function, to a social event within your family.”

A neutral shoe

“When I mean neutral, that doesn’t mean necessarily just nude. Neutrals are in the world of navy, gray – nude as well.”

Beware of trends

Trends are fabulous, but I think it’s… You don’t want to spend your money investing in a specific trend.

And remember…

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be yourself,” said Copeland. “Nothing ever works without authenticity… You want to be the best version of yourself. Trying to translate into something else will never work.”

But almost everybody looks good in a nude shoe.