Proof that Personal Style Matters

Personal Style Two months ago I completely revamped my website.  I knew my website needed a makeover for a while, it was finding the time to do it that was difficult.  However, changing my website confirmed something that I’ve always known: personal style truly does matter.  While the image of my website completely changed, the content of my new website remained exactly before the change, EXACTLY the same.  However, in the first month after my website’s redesign my traffic doubled.  Now, a quarter through the second month since the change and it looks like my traffic may double again.  I can only assume that the visual presentation or the style of my website has been the biggest factor in this traffic increase.

I tell you this story to remind you just how important communication is, and that how you package yourself really does make a difference.  My website is living proof of this.  Taking time to consider your personal style as it relates to your goals is worth considering, as it could be the biggest obstacle you’re dealing with in your own success.  If you’re not presenting your skills, capabilities, and who you in your personal style, you’re potentially doing yourself a major disservice.

I’m going to tell you about an exercise I did with women, all whom I didn’t know and would never meet face-to-face to help them figure out their personal style and will prove to you how quickly we react to visual images. These photos were flashed in front of a women.  They were asked them to respond one of three ways to each image: I like, I somewhat like, or, I don’t like at all.

Personal Style


Through each woman’s visceral reaction I was effectively able to capture their personal style with just this exercise.  Next, I showed them fashion options that corresponded to their reactions to the images.  Their positive reaction to the fashion chosen for them, based simply on their reaction to the original images, confirmed that this exercise worked.      When I developed the concept, those who were working with me on this project thought I was crazy.  They couldn’t see how I could figure out a person’s style simply by flashing a few these arbitrary in front of the quiz takers.   Yet, after years of assessing the styles of people I knew it would work because visuals are processed  faster than any other form of communication and emotions to those visual images greatly affect our decision-making.

This is why personal style is so important, it’s the strongest form of communication you have.  Yet, like me and my website, you may be thinking that you don’t have the time to focus on changing your personal style.  However, if you actually did put some time and energy towards it all those things that you are struggling to accomplish could get done more quickly and efficiently.  You’d actually have to work less to accomplish more.   Going back to my website, before and after I changed its design the content was exactly the same, yet the success rate of it skyrocketed after I changed its visual presentation.  Giving more attention to your own personal style, you may actually succeed where you feel you are failing, and all that time you’ve spent keeping up or getting it all done could potentially be minimized if you just took a step back and looked at whether your personal style was in line with everything you’re setting out to accomplish.  Could it be that your personal style, the thing you’re giving no thought to, is the obstacle?

  • Amanda Toop

    Not to take away from the redesign but your new design also led you to start sending weekly newsletters with links to posts. I know that I started reading your posts this way and now I follow your site on Facebook and read posts as they appear.

    • Actually, you’re sort of right. I’ve been sending newsletters since 2003. They used to be weekly back then and then she I wrote my book I had to pull back. I did them monthly for a few years and just returned to weekly because they’re so much easier to format now.

  • Ann

    I don’t remember how I found your website. But let me tell you that I enjoy it and I do learn a lot. I love how you keep things simple. And you are great writer.

    • Hi Ann! Thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to offer feedback! My whole goal is to teach people how to become “fluent in their own style”, so to speak. It all started with my consulting business that I started in 2002 after a ten year career as a designer. I am glad my advice comes across as simple! I like to keep it simple and informative! And, please join us over at my Facebook Page, we’re a great group!!

  • Ann

    What book did you write? I saw your post below.

    • I wrote Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want which released January 2008. There are over 250 photos in the book which were shot in 3 days (it practically killed me) and I used actual clients/friends and family for the photography because I wanted the women in the book to look like real women. You can find the link to my book above under the “Book” menu. Have a great evening!