My most recent interviewee, Manon Rosenboom Alves, is a personal branding, soft skills specialist and author (MARCA PESSOAL SA – PERSONAL BRANDING SA). Manon had provided a very interesting workshop regarding personal branding and image, and I immediately thought of so many questions that I would like to ask her about petite styling and personal branding.
We met for a double interview (Yes! I talked about entrepreneurship and creativity. Read the full interview on her blog) and here is what Manon shared with me, I hope you enjoy it!
- Tell us more about yourself. Why are you so involved with personal image and branding?
I like to help people to create a strong personal brand, to make them more visible to the people that are relevant to them. I also like to help entrepreneurs and freelancers to identify what their value is and what they want to project, and create a strategy based on that.
- Why is this personal to you? Was this something that made a difference in your life?
When I was working in marketing, I did not like the work environment. I knew that was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was too proactive, too direct, to work in companies where I couldn’t express my ideas. This was limiting me and making me unhappy and drove me to build something of my own.
Image and fashion were something very important to me. So, I started my business 10 years ago, first as an image consultant. At the beginning I didn’t think that I could make a business out of this. But, when I was presented with the idea of image consulting, I thought, that is what I wanted to do.
- What colors can petite use to elongate our figure or draw attention to features that we like best? Can colors influence how we look?
Sure, they can. That is where I focused as an image consultant. To help people look like they want to look. However, my interest on this topic has decreased over years because, if we are too focused on fitting into a certain pattern, then we will never be happy.
First, accept the way we are! That means knowing what colors give you pleasure or make you happy. For many years I have made many styling recommendations that were focused on the “best-to-be” now, I focus on what give people pleasure and express their singularity, only then people are the best version of themselves.
With this in mind, some styling recommendations for petites are:
- Avoid pieces, for example skirts, that have volume because they can make you look shorter.
- Don’t have too many colors (mixing), the best is to use tone on tone colors, for example or either one color from top to bottom or various colors that are more or less on the same tones so you don’t see a break down.
- Lighter and brighter colors can also be used to make us look taller, darker colors can make us look shorter.
- Many petite women, due to their size, reflect a younger look, what would you recommend for a professional environment?
Clothes that make you feel confident. No matter what height or size you have, we need to feel confident, so we can transmit it. Formal clothes may help us transmit that image. For example, more structured pieces, like blazers, will help us pass that image.
Regarding trousers, you can use skinny jeans or straight trousers, that also will help making you look taller. Of course, shoes can also help us. If you use shoes with heels, even if they are not too high, they will give you some height and take you feel more confident.
Concerning hairstyle, there are cuts that give us a more formal look, using hair shorter can be an option. Make-up can also give us a more professional look.
Posture, non-verbal communication, is what people analyze in the first seconds they meet you and create an impression on. Standing straight, keeping eye contact (not doing it may be interpreted as insecurity), assertive communication (train important communications before we speak) are among the most important.
- What are your top 3 top choices from our shoes and how would you style them?
I really liked all the designs. Here are some of my favorites:
Medium heels are very hard to find, most shoes are very high or flat, you have great options with some heel. Also, your designs are not “normal” they have a combination of great colors that makes them special.
Your designs have vintage touch but not too extreme, for work or weekends, even with formal clothes. If you have very simple clothes, and you use these shoes, with all these colors, it can bring a very personal touch to your image.
- Would you recommend Small Shoes by Cristina Correia?
Yes! Of course! It is very difficult to find very nice and different shoes here in Portugal. I order them from abroad, these prices are not shocking to me at all, they deserve this price or even more.
Petites should embrace who they are, use it to be different from the rest, communicate with confidence that can be reinforced with these shoes. Great work.
Enjoy being petite!