Jessica is wearing our Grove Dress in Grey (from our SS '12 collection)
Within 7 seconds, 93% of who you are is judged based on your appearance alone … cue the panic!! This month our Muse is Jessica Mae, a Personal Branding Stylist, based in London. Jessica works with clients to ‘dress for success,’ helping them to develop a personal look that boosts both their confidence and career.
Describe your job in a few lines?
As a Personal Branding Stylist, I help clients develop an image that delivers Visual Impact. My clients want to ensure their audience get the right impression of who they are, and I help them do just that. I work with people who do some amazing work, but may not get noticed, or attract their ideal clients, so I help them convey the right persona, even before they speak.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
My career has developed in a unique way. I’ve always styled, but initially started out designing bespoke womenswear, and so have experienced both aspects of the fashion world, and have a real understanding of how the clothes work on the body. I’d say the highlight so far was showing in London Fashion Week (Vauxhall Fashion Scout), which was an amazing springboard. That said, I am really excited for where I am now. The opportunities that are coming up, e.g. working with some international clients is truly exciting. I love being able to really help build some amazing Personal Brands – and as a result doors are really opening.
What piece of career advice would you give to your 20yr old self?
I’d say, keep pushing, but have fun as well. Enjoy the process. Integrate things you love into your work – don’t try and separate work life from fun life – relax and enjoy where your career takes you. The nature of starting your own business means you have really high highs and really low lows; so continue to work hard, but still engage in life!
Whose style do you admire the most?
That’s a hard one! At the moment I’d have to say Victoria Beckham. Her style has developed and I love how she keeps it clean, sharp and stylish - always totally immaculate! I quite like classic lines and clean cut tailoring with a modern twist, so she would be my choice at the moment. I always think: New York Sleek with Parisienne Chic! Having said that, I tend to take a little bit of flair from a number of people and I think our style should definitely still reflect our own personalities.
What has been your worst office fashion faux pas?
I bought a pair of trousers I absolutely loved the shape of and was dressed to impress for a meeting that afternoon! Minutes before I was due to leave, I sat down to hear a huge rip! You couldn’t have scripted it any better! So now I always carry a ‘Roll-up Dress’ – an outfit I can put in my handbag that is ready to go in times of emergency! Always keep something with you in case your ‘dress to impress’ outfit needs replacing fast. In terms of general faux pas, I would say avoid dressing to look on trend just for the sake of it – always dress to suit your shape, then your confidence will truly exude.
Should office wear be fashionable or functional?
Definitely both. With a little thought, one can have a wardrobe that is not just fashionable, but functional too. I feel like you can’t be too ‘fashion forward’ for work as you want to command a certain presence and if you focus purely on following trends, you run the risk of losing credibility in the work place. You need clothes that make you look and feel great, whilst allowing you to get the job done. Well-tailored classic pieces, and smart dress takes away all of the trouble of getting ready in the morning - a pair of tights and some great shoes and you’re set!
If you had to choose, would you work with all men or all women?
I really think it depends on your personality, and to an extent, your job too. I wouldn’t ever want to work with just women or just men; I like a good mix of personalities and skills! Whatever suits your personality is key over what sex your colleagues are.
What’s your fantasy alternative job?
I’d probably have to say my fantasy job really is what I’m doing right now! I love being able to combine business, fashion and genuinely helping people to be the best they can! It’s amazing to see the transformation and the growth in confidence with my clients, and the difference it makes in their lives, professionally and personally. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to carve out a career, doing what I genuinely love. There’s is definitely still further to go and more to do, but each day I get that little bit closer to living my fantasy job as reality.
For more information on Jessica, visit her website, http://www.thejessicamae.com & Follow her on Twitter @JessicaMaeStyle