Creating a personal brand though dressing – Carol Odero


carol odera


Two weeks back at our Rotary meeting we had Carol Odero the Drum Magazine Editor and fashionista stylist talking to us about personal branding.

3 words that describe you.
The first thing she asked us was to think of 3 words that described us.

What do people see when they look at you?
How do you walk?
Who do you think you are?
What do people say is different about you?

Carol said according to statistics taller men are likely to earn more than their average height colleagues.
People who work out three times a week often earn more than their counterparts.
Women who wear makeup earn 30 % more than those who don’t.

Managing your brand
What you wear and how you look affects your presentation and attractiveness at interviews. You need to manage your brand. Dress how you would like people to think of you and your personal brand.
You need to remove everything from your closet and separate them into three piles.
One clothes that you have won in the last one year or love.
Clothes that you wore 2 years ago.
Clothes that you are waiting for a special occasion to wear which includes losing weight or adding weight but that you never wear. Those you need to get rid of.

Wardrobe Essentials
According to Carol your wardrobe should consist of 40 items.
2 dark suits in black, navy or charcoal grey. (Every quarter buy a new quality suit.)
2 white shirts
2 pure leather shoes
2 casual shoes/sneakers
A good quality trench coat
A good watch
A leather belt with a classic buckle. Not those with funny designs
Dark blue jeans

A cardigan
2 white shirts/blouses
A little black dress – classic made of good material that can last a long time.
A formal dress
2 black blazers
2 tailored pants
2 tailored shirts
Black pumps and red pumps (1 and ½ inches)
A clutch bag
A tote bag
Dark blue jeans – fitted
Sundresses max and long
Silk scarves in camel, chocolate, grey and blue.

Do not go shopping until you know what you already have.
You should get good quality clothes that you can wear for 2 to 5 years.
Every year add bits and pieces.

Accessories are important. Get Shoes, handbags, jewelry, leather belt with clean buckle.
Buy what fits you right now. Don’t buy clothes that you will wear when you add or lose weight. When you get there you will buy clothes for that.
Dress for the job you want. You should always dress for your next job not your current one.
You need to ask yourself the question how do I feel when I wear what I am wearing?
Be consistent in what you are wearing. Have a brand manifesto.
Ask your friends for feedback. Ask them what do I portray when I dress like this or what does my brand portray?
People can get the wrong perspective of you because of how you dress.

Colour schemes
Hair is important as it frames your face. Be aware of how you look with different hairstyles. Pick a look that works for you and be consistent with that.
Make sure your nail polish does not clash with your clothes and that it matches your personality.

Ask yourself
Does your outfit work with your brand manifesto?
Do you have a signature piece that’s uniquely you?
Listen to what people keep telling you. Start noticing what it is that people have told you.
Ask yourself where am I now and where do I want to be in the next few years?
Brands constantly reinvent themselves. Your brand is there whether or not you manage it so you might as well manage it.

For people who hate shopping (like me) find a good tailor who can make your dresses or suits to your measurements.
It is better to be overdressed then under – dressed.
Dressing says a lot about you and you are judged by how you are dressed.
Have a wardrobe that you are comfortable in that is like a second skin.


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Potentash Founder. A creative writer and editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]