Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Mixed messages: Are you aligning your presence to your image?

By Traci McBride

If you are not getting enough business or being connected to the right people, it could be because you are not creating a “presence” — who you are and what you stand for authentically. Soft skills will support your visual message.

Have you ever received a compliment from someone with a scowl on their face? You get a mixed message. How about when someone stands in front of you saying how much they enjoyed meeting you, yet they keep their hands in their pockets and speak in a monotone voice with no change of expression? Mixed message.

Recently I was at a networking event and one woman stood up to introduce herself as a creative graphic designer. Yet she was dressed in neutral, dated clothing. Mixed message.

MixedMessage2 What do you want? More friends, more connections, more press, more clients, more credibility, more respect, more love, fun or energy?

What do you want to experience? Better service, deeper connections, joyful experiences, and positive energy?

How do you get all of that? Each of us already has all the tools, yet not all of us know how to use those tools effectively. Harness the power of self-awareness and the power of your wardrobe!

MixedMessage3Think about how you walk, talk, and act when you are dressed-up for a special event vs. wearing athletic clothing. Very different experiences, right? Well, between those two scenarios, who is drawn to you personally and professionally will be very different as well.

Your wardrobe influences how you feel and how others perceive you. Being self-aware enough to recognize that and improve it will support you having more of everything you want and the experiences you want in life.

Dressing for your profession is important and something to keep in mind, but being authentically you, wearing colors and textures and proportions that communicate for you at a glance, is a self-care service you will benefit from 365 days a year. Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. MixedMessage4Do an honest evaluation about how you feel in your clothes. A look in the mirror will help you decide if you really are presenting yourself the way you want to.
  2. Ask a few trusted, honest people in your life that will tell you their perspectives.
  3. Spend some time in your closet evaluating your wardrobe. Tap into how you feel as you do this. Are the items well chosen and good quality or mostly bargain discounted quality, dated, and tired items?
  4. Take note of styles, fabrics, and colors that you see others wear or in magazines and online, and journal your thoughts and feelings while doing so. This is a good way to begin to see yourself from a fresh perspective.
  5. Create a style vision board or book online or do it “old school” with cardboard — create your new sense of style. Once you have fleshed out some ideas, take the next step.
  6. Go to the store and try on some of the colors, cuts, and styles you’ve been putting on the style vision board. You don’t have to buy them at that time but just see what you look like in them.
  7. If any of this is overwhelming, call StyledbyTee for a step-by-step style re-boot created just for you. You are never alone in this!

Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She encourages readers to subscribe to her timely e-zine, schedule a style strategy call, or request her to infuse your staff or organization with a passionate professional punch of style to elevate everyone. Visit to connect and be inspired.


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