Ep 91: Angela Foster on Style, Confidence & Leadership

On this episode of Communicate for Good, Erica and her guest, Angela Foster, discuss the connection between style and confidence and how that can impact one’s ability to lead effectively. They also discuss how your style communicates on your behalf and how one can dress their personal brand such as their business brand by answering the following question: “What are three adjectives that you would use to describe your brand?” and then translate that into one’s wardrobe.

Resources Referenced:

Angela Foster’s Top Five Do’s and Don’ts www.angelastylecoach.com/cfg 

About Angela:

After 20 years as an executive in the fashion and beauty space, Angela Foster now helps high-achieving petite women feel more confident by creating a closet they love. Her clients show up prepared and confident to brand photoshoots, keynote presentations, and everyday life because they enjoy a wardrobe filled with clothes that fit their height, flatter their body shape, and that they love to wear.

Connect with Angela: 

Website: https://angelastylecoach.com 

Email: hello@angelastylecoach.com 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelastylecoach 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelaFosterStyleCoach 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelastylecoach 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/5047055232cfd4923bc1db5efe6095


Connect with Erica:

Website: https://claxon-communication.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericabarnhart/ 

Email: info@claxon-communication.com  

Book Time With Erica: https://bit.ly/ChatWithErica


This is a transcript of Erica Barnhart on the Marketing for Good podcast. You can listen to the episode here and listen to more episodes on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. Enjoy!


feel, decisions, style, women, podcast, leaders, listeners, clients, closet, love, talk, photoshoots, good, dress, adjectives, brand, leadership, coach,

Welcome to the Communicate for Good podcast where leaders on a mission to make the world a better place come to talk and learn about how communication language and words can help increase awareness, revenue and impact. With less stress and more joy. I’m your host Erica Mills Barnhart and I’m so excited. You’re here with me. Let’s dive right in.

Erica: Welcome to or welcome back to the Communicate for Good podcast. I am your host, Erica Barnhart, and today’s conversation is different in some ways than other conversations that I’ve had about leadership and communication, because it’s about how does your style communicate on your behalf? What does it say about you and your leadership? What is the connection between confidence in how you’re showing up? Right in terms of what you’re wearing, which seems like superficial and we don’t do a lot of superficial on this podcast, and it’s not. The workaround style is actually substantive. I’m joined today in conversation with a woman, Angela Foster, who is a style coach. We dig into what’s the connection between the confidence, leadership, and making the world a better place. And there actually is some direct line there is a direct line between these things. I would really encourage you to be thinking about like, as we head into the, to the to the meat of the matter of the podcast, be thinking about like, you can even check in with yourself right now; how am I feeling in my body right now? How are my clothes making me feel? Do I feel like a brontasoras? Or am I feeling you know, kind of fly? How will you feel in your body? You know, it shows up? It shows up in life and also in leadership, so just check in with no judgment, of course, no judgment, always from a place of acceptance and compassion. See if there’s something in this conversation I have with Angela that might resonate with you as you move forward. She says you are not a fruit salad and she speaks about she speaks to that a little bit. If you’re had to ask her specifically about the how she landed on that but you are not just an apple or a pear, or any of these kinds of traits. Let me stick in a box or let me put you in a fruit salad with your specific role. I don’t know. What I do now, is I found this conversations very inspiring, very motivating, in terms of going back and looking at my own wardrobe. I hope that you will too, and with that, here we go a conversation with Angela Foster.

Jen: Thank you so much, thank you so much. So many of those things are making me giggle to myself over here in all of their reality.

Erica: Yes, yes. Fair, fair. I always think it’s interesting to ask folks, What drew you to marketing? How did you end up doing all these really amazing things? And then I want to get right into the self kindness and mental health advocate and how you bring that into your work, but why marketing?

Jen: I started working in marketing while I was in college, and there was a early, early organization that I worked for that did what became now what we call like Google Ads paid search before Google existed. Very much dating myself on that, but someone out there in the world may hear this and no commission junction, which was a place where we used to trade users for pennies to get them to travel websites, and booking the very early days of travel online with clients like like Fairmont and some of those properties that were looking to get folks to their websites in the early, early days of the internet. That’s where we started and it was fascinating to me and the way that we were building businesses. I quickly, and with a little bit of push from my dad who told me that I would never be satisfied with the salary that I would make in psychology. Thumbs up, thumbs down dad, but look where I ended back up so kind of perfect. Then went went into the world of marketing and really got passionate about about business and how businesses grow and how they scale and so here we are.

Erica: You were in house for some period of time. But now you are independent. How long have you been on your own?

Jen: A decade, so 10 years this year, and I was in both the agency world and then in house as a VP of Marketing for 16-17 years.

Erica: Congratulations on making it to a decade!

Jen: Thank you! Yeah, big deal. I know I’m at 19 years.

Erica: It’s not for the faint of heart. I think it takes a special person to like, keep thinking this is fun.

Jen: This is definitely the longest role I’ve ever had, right? 10 years in the same job is bananas. To me. I think my tenure was about four and a half five before that. So now 10 years, a decade.

Erica: I am curious if this is true for you, and this is mainly for listeners who are independent or dip their toe. I think the reason that it’s been sustainable for me is because yes, it is one title, it’s a fun title, it is one sort of organizational container but it’s allowed me to do a lot of different things. When you’re your own boss, you can be like, Well, that sounds like a great idea, let’s create the word of fire, let’s do that. It allows for a lot of creativity, which, you know, offset some of the tougher things about being independent.

Jen: For sure, I love that. I love that I can add new education, I love that I can add products and services, I love that I can partner with organizations that I think are well aligned and bring that that newness and the new skills, and I have a love of learning anyway, so bringing that and adding that to what I get to bring to other organizations to clients, that just that’s the, the perfect world.

Erica: So let’s talk a bit about your self kindness and mental health advocate. How did that enter your orbit?

Jen: Two parts. One, I had and have my own journey with mental health. I’ve experienced anxiety and depression since I was a very young person, and grew up in the 80s and 90s, where that wasn’t a topic that was in many homes, it wasn’t a topic in books, it wasn’t a topic in the professional world, it wasn’t something that we thought anywhere. It was really super quiet and quite shameful. When I started to understand more about what it looks like to have mental health, I had a very deep passionate urge to blow the blow the roof off that a little bit and talk about it because particularly as a young person, because suffering, is that the right word, in pain, alone. I felt that was some of the worst was the worst of it night where where this was happening and didn’t have that experience to go through with others. That’s a that’s in no way saying that my parents didn’t do what they could with what they had, right or the the system that was around me, I think was doing the very best that it could with what it had at the time. I think we can do better. A really pivotal point for me in my own mental health journey, and I see this time and time again with others in professional and professional and personal growth, where when we can start to shift our narrative about that internal conversation, things really change. It’s the combination of the two, it’s why there’s both in my bio, right where where we can be kind to ourselves about the fact that there is suffering then things really start to change. That moment, both for me and to many folks that I’ve worked with, I’ve seen start a whole evolution of waking up day to day and saying there’s nothing wrong with me. I am, as I am, I am great as I am, I am okay as I am, I am wonderful as I am, I am doing my very, very best, even if it’s not my best human moment, and I can do better. That whole shift changed my life quite honestly. It totally changed my life and change everything for the positive where I could look at any of my faults, many of my faults and see them as doing the best that I can in the moment. Even if I know I can do better.

Erica: I’m curious to the extent that you’re willing to share, was there a person or who introduced you to this idea of being like, just so kind to yourself?

Jen: Yeah, I’ll tell you, it was so uncomfortable. I had a therapist at the time, who would share with me that when she would be extremely kind to me, I would shut her down. I would be so grossed out by it. Like, don’t be sweet. Don’t be tender. I don’t want any part of this. I really think it was a bunch of like a backfire kind of thing, where when someone was really tender to me, I didn’t really know what to do with it and I had to learn a lot from her modeling. She gave me a great example at one point about how she would wake up in the morning, and I still to this day kind of skeptical about this, she would throw her arms around herself in the morning and say, good morning, honey, I hope you have a wonderful day today, I just love you so much. I mean, the sounded bananas in my mind. I was like What are you even talking about hair lady? The truth of the matter is that practice and seeing it in action and being able to use it on difficult days in difficult moments, with my own kid, with my partner, with my clients with the people around me, it creates a baseline that really changed everything for me, so I have to give up give it to her.

Erica: You have to come up with your own way that feels authentic and comfortable. A self hug may not be someone’s listeners jam, but if you’re research inclined, Kristin Neff’s work around self compassion is so profound and so powerful. It’s very evidence base and mirror work. Again, it’s whatever your words are – look at you, tough day, but you’re here and you’re doing this. Whatever the narrative is, what would you say? It sounds so cliche but really, what would you say to your best friend and then say it to yourself. At the beginning of our conversation, I glibly joked about how people want to keep leadership separate from life, and so when I work with leaders of I’m seeing this behavior, which you talked about, maybe not quite as extreme as at the beginning, but this deflection of kindness, deflection of witnessing things that they ought to be proud of. We’re going to talk about self worth and self esteem and how that plays into and shows up in professional spaces because it does. I have a episode that was called The Secret Life of Self Talk, where we go into this because we think of communication in terms of the words that others hear but so much of it is going on in our head all the time and so it shows up whether we want it to or not. One of the things that you were interested in, and that it sounds like you work with leaders on, is listening more. I’m curious, actually, for me, there is an initial stage of listening to yourself and what you’re saying. And then I’m guessing that you were speaking more broadly, but I’m curious if you if we might segway and have you speak to that? And then speak more broadly about why is listening, especially now, such an important leadership skill?

Jen: Yeah, listening is a really critical element of self awareness. Right? They’re really like hand in hand, and I’m sure you talk about this, but that starting point where listening is about what we’re saying and how we’re behaving and how that’s impacting and affecting others. This is one of those areas where I really have folks think about some of the assessment tools to get a sense, because we live in the jar, right? The labels on the outside, I’m not a fan of labels, but for the metaphor perspective, we’re in the jar, the labels on the outside, it’s really hard to read what others are experiencing. And so being, as you mentioned earlier, being like a bit of a data nerd, I go to, hey, let’s gather some information, and also to speak a bit to my background, it’s a bit of like market research. Go and gather like, Hey, what is this brand, and then go get some information from our customers. Hey, there’s a tool called DISC that’ll tell us how people experience our behavior, that’s listening, I use a tool called a 360, a leadership circle 360, where we go and gather information and use their sound bites, right? We get qualitative, we get quantitative information, more listening. We’re building that model for ourselves internally that says, here’s what others are experiencing and then building that internal narrative as well that says, hey, this experience on the outside may be what it is and I have the internal skills to cope with all of the potentially triggering feelings that come with, I’ve gathered this feedback, right? We kind of do this two-fold world where, hey, I can I can manage myself, I can have the compassion, I can have the kindness, I can have that experience, I can have the emotion regulation tools, to say I can go gather information, listen to people’s feedback about me and then I can go gather some qualitative and quantitative information and sit with that and do a bit of a market study from that’s step one for building self-awareness.

Erica: Have you ever had clients where they just they weren’t in a culture, because it’s that’s quite a vulnerable place to push yourself? Right. Like, what do you think of me? So I feel like there has to be a culture to support that level of vulnerability, and I’m curious if you also notice that and or if you’ve had an instance where somebody was like, hard pass not gonna do it, because it’ll be used against me, because I heard that.

Jen: Yeah, for sure. Absolutely, and I have other folks where things are very private folks come to me outside of their organization. Quite often, I find that some of the folks that will be willing to go deepest with me are seeking coaching outside of their experience so they can find that that level of trust. As far as the 360, or any of that information, using a tool like this is behavior data, and I get it does not look like self awareness or listening one-on-one. We start there, and we collect the information and we can look at it in a neutral way. This is how I do what I do and folks feel less personal. When we get to the 360, I think that’s where folks start to say, the Big Gulp or the like kicking it down the road can happen sometimes. I could give folks a tiny bit of peek behind the curtain on that, it is never as painful as folks think it might be. This is where that negativity bias shows up, and if I could tell folks like, you know, quite honestly, people are often blown away by how wonderful people think they are. It is vulnerable and I will say there are environments where I wouldn’t recommend it, certainly. However, to add on, we do have the option to go survey folks that you don’t work with today, so if today’s today’s environment is not necessarily the one that says, hey, this is going to be the most supportive for my future self, then let’s connect with peers or folks who worked for you or managers from years past where you know those folks really were invested in the work that you’re doing and would be willing to give you the candid, caring version of the feedback that you really want.

Erica: Yeah. I teach at the University of Washington, and so we get student evaluations, I taught for 16 years, so I’m not new to the student eval experience, but every single time, I t’s like clockwork, and the negativity bias is so fierce, so I have a practice now that I do in advance of reading them to try to neutralize that. What I ended up doing, and I know I am not alone in this because I’ve had chats with colleagues, you scan it, and there can be like, 12 I really love this class, and I always I love my students because they always offer future years might benefit from so actionable things, but what am I going to focus on? I’m going to focus on the one person who said something negative. I did a webinar and there’s literally a dozen of positive comments but where do I go? The very one at the bottom that said she uses a lot of filler statements and was critiquing my communication style and then said it undermined my credibility as a communication expert. I was like, I consider that to be approachable. It’s hilarious what my mind went right to this one comment and then I had to do my little practice, which I didn’t do in advance of opening the spreadsheet, that’s on me, but I’m like, I’m not for everybody. I’m pistachio. I’m not the vanilla ice cream. I am pistachio. Maybe you don’t like pistachio? You know, gonna bless and release you, but negativity bias is real, you know? I think yeah, as leaders and listeners think about maybe opening themselves up to more of this, like, what, what’s on the outside of the jar, just being aware of it, and going back to your commitment to self kindness, have a little chat with yourself ongoing.

All right, everybody I have with me today, Angela Foster. ‘m very intrigued to see where this conversation goes because it gave a lot of different ways. Angela is a style coach and she is specifically a petite style coach. Petite is five four and under. I’m on the cusp. I’m 5’4″, and like if I’ve been doing my stretches I’m like a little over 5’4″ so I’m gonna let gobble this up. I want to say out of the gate though, listeners if you are taller than 5’4″, as a lot of you probably are,d we are going to speak more broadly about how you can think about style as it relates to confidence and how that relates to your ability to lead effectively. Angela is specific to petites but we’re gonna have a broader conversation about style and confidence and leadership. Angela came to be a coach after 20 years as an executive in the fashion and beauty space and she helps high achieving petite women feel more confident by creating a closet they love and show up prepared and confident to things like brand photoshoots keynote presentations and and this is the important part I believe everyday life. I mean, how often are we at photoshoots? Not that often. For somebody like me who does professional speaking like a keynote on occasion. I feel like this everyday life piece is so important. Angela does that so that they enjoy a wardrobe filled with clothes that fit their height, flatter their body shape and that they love to wear, so, Angela, thank you for being here on the show.

Angela:Thank you so much for having me. I am a huge fan of your podcast so it was such an honor to be on with you.

Erica: We’re so happy to have you here. You have a background in fashion and beauty. I would love to hear a little bit more about that and what was the choice point for you, or maybe there’s multiple moments, where you’re like, now it’s time to transition and be a style coach.

Angela: Right. I think it’s been six years now. I was in corporate America and actually out of town at a national sales meeting. One of my really close girlfriend, slash peers was out there with me. She had just had her second baby and she was going through a divorce, so there was a lot of besides for just having a stressful position at work, there was a lot of life issues going on. She said to me, I don’t feel like myself, I don’t recognize my body. I used to be cool and now I feel frumpy, just, you know, like all the nonsense. She goes, you always look amazing, and would you be willing to help me? I was like, 100%, I would love to. This was before I had a framework. Looking back on it now was all very organic but we work together for probably four to six weeks. I would just pop over stuff to her to check it out, I think this would be adorable on you, whatever. her personal friends started to take notice of it. What are you doing? What’s changed, blah, blah, blah. She’s like, do you mind if I give them your name and could you help them out? It just kind of snowballed from there. One client led to five lead to ten. I make it sound super easy but yes, but to your point, like poof. Honestly, it was one of those things like I was never one of those people who thought I’m put on this planet just to give as that just never had entered my head, but there was something so amazing, there is something so amazing, about helping a woman achieve a level of confidence where she feels empowered to accomplish your goals, take on risks, do you think the scary things to crush her goals. It is just it’s magical to watch it and I’m so flattered each and every time to be able to help. It’s just the best thing ever.

Erica:Clearly, you’re passionate about what you do. This important. I’ve been having a lot of conversations because I’m at a different point in life where I have my oldest, my daughter is going off to college. I really relate to your first client after you have two kids and you’re sort of like, who am I and how does that relate to what I’m going to wear and how I’m going to show up? Women face this again, as our body shifts as we roll into middle middle age and menopause and that just messes with you and a whole different way. Super exciting. It just keeps things jazzy. You know? What’s gonna happen today?

Angela: Everybody makes menopause sound super sexy. Every woman that I talked to you just they just love the whole process.

Erica: Oh, yes, totally. For anyone who missed that that is called sarcasm. We have normalized the like, I just had babies and I feel weird about my body, but since menopause still has stigma, I’m guessing some people listening are like, holy schmoly, what are we talking about? Why are we talking about menopause? How does that relate to leadership? Right? It does, because, you know, if you are blessed enough to get to the stage of life, every single woman, which is more than half the planet, is going to go through this and yet, we don’t talk about it nearly as much as we talk about this earlier phase. I just want to acknowledge anybody who’s listening that we have these moments in time and how we look, which is really about how do I feel and it matters. I’m curious, where do you start? Because really like, to me, that’s about how do I want to feel which is a confidence piece but I am guessing you have clients that for example want to feel hip again. How do you help clients like identify that does that because in my world in my seat, that would be about brand personality?

Angela: Yes. Oh my gosh, Erica, so much goodness there. Okay, so and let me know if I miss anything. 100% when it comes to women, it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re at your body shape is going to change. I mean, it starts off with puberty and then you have a baby and then you you know lose the weight. You don’t lose the weight. Then you have another one that you can then you go through menopause, so the first step that I always take clients through is knowing how to dress for your body shape. I don’t want to say 90% of it, but that’s a huge game changer right there, when you all of a sudden can identify the styles that look great on you today, know why they look good on you, then when your body shape changes, you’ll know how to adjust around that. That feeling of empowerment is so incredible like and alleviates so much. Just stuff like wasting money on clothes that aren’t going to look good and having tons of money in the closet of things you don’t like to wear and that don’t fit you and you know, like all of that. When it comes to you know that a little bit more mindset and confidence, there’s a couple of things, right? For lead for women leaders, the way we show up and the amount of confidence really does impact our teams and the people that we’re leading, the ones we’re trying to persuade, the ones we’re trying to get to donate money or volunteer time or whatever the situation is. I call it the 7-11 rule, but that’s just because I think it’s funny because of the convenience store thing, but people make 11 decisions about us in seven seconds.

Erica: Whow, let’s say that, again, people make 11 decisions about us in seven seconds. I instantly feel very self conscious in this moment. What are the 11 decisions they’re making of me?

Angela: Right? Right? I mean, the majority of them are subconscious, like just you know, how people always like, Oh, I’m not judgy, well, we’re judging even if you don’t, right. Let’s think about that. Some of those 11 decisions are going to be am I going to donate money? Am I going to hire her? Is she worth that much money? Does she know what she’s talking about? Am I going to spend the next 20 minutes listening to what she has to say? Like all of these things? I mean, I don’t know how fast you can talk, you just can’t say much in seven seconds short of saying your name, so leading with that feeling of confidence, when you know you look great has a huge impact on those 11 decisions as to how those people are going to respond to you. I always I think that when you’re looking at the amount of time or energy it takes to feel amazing. It’s worth it.

Erica: Okay, the 7-11 rule. I mean, we all know that a bunch of decisions at the subconscious level get made all the time. I mean, we talk a lot about on this podcast is that it’s sort of cute that we think our conscious minds make as many decisions as they do, like adorable. So it’s just decided for us because of how we’ve walked through life, you know?

Angela: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. You had brought up a really good point about branding and addressing your brand and that type of thing. That’s something that I work with my clients with a lot because they are entrepreneurs or executives and to your point leaders, and dressing either their business brand, if they’re the owner, or their personal brand. If you’re an executive that wants to grow their career, that’s a huge, that’s a huge piece of it, right? Because if, and I’ve heard you say it on the podcast, too, which always makes me laugh because I say the same thing to my clients is, what are the three adjectives that you would use to describe your brand? I have my clients do the same thing and then what we do is we translate those three adjectives into their wardrobe. So that there’s that, again, people will pick up subconsciously the fact that this leader is consistent, and I think it was Marcus Buckingham, who said, the thing that people appreciate most about their leaders is consistency, knowing how they’re going to show up.

Erica: I love this because anyone who is listening this podcast is this new but many listeners have listened a lot and heard me say three adjectives. Why three is because it’s actionable. I translate that mainly into how they’re communicating but you’re actually doing the same thing with how are you communicating with your style? Is that fair?

Angela: 100% Beautifully said.

Erica: Oftentimes if I’m working with leaders 1:1, so doing an executive coaching this stumps people you know. I also work at the organizational level and that that’s challenging in a different way because it’s like group decision making around what are our three adjectives? I am curious what your experiences, and listeners I want to invite you into this moment, what three adjectives would you use to describe yourself? I always sort of want to have an invitation of the present day you and then there’s the ability to sort of use this as a way to become the you that you want to be. I’ll use myself as an example. I’m a casual person so it’s not waving a magic wand and I will become a very formal person. If you are grounded in authenticity and who you truly are, what do you want to bring forward more maybe as you move into these different phases? To ask the question, do you do your clients struggle to identify the three adjectives?

Angela: That’s an interesting question. I wouldn’t say they struggle. Where I often times find I step in is to push them to be more specific. They’ll come with I like classic or smart, or that just doesn’t say, I mean, like, I mean, like, give me some more meat. What does smart or classic or edgy or whatever? What does that look like to you? Normally, I’m like, pushing them to be just like, let’s dig deeper into that and then we get to translate that into you know what that looks like. Let’s be honest, I mean, a black pencil skirt from Ann Taylor is going to send a much different message than black pants and a black leather moto jacket. You know what I mean?

Erica: What happens if you pair the pencil skirt with the moto jacket?

Angela: Amen to that! I love that so much. Anytime that you can do something surprising with your style, and unexpected, I always just think that sends the message, that I’m super creative and I’ve got this.

Erica: It also says I’m intentional and that goes right back to this consistency piece. I want to bridge that into decision fatigue. I work with a stylist now quite a number of years ago and I will say one of the key things is that it is so efficient. I’ll give a very specific example. I have muscular arms and the way that my arms are capped sleeves. I mean, if I want to look like a linebacker, it’s a fast track but in general, that’s not the vibe I want to be giving off, so it’s no capped sleeves. There’s a lot of things. There’s some number of decisions that you get in a day and we’ve mainly gone through them in an hour.

Angela: I’ve heard two numbers, I’ve heard anywhere between 35,000 and 60,000 No wonder we’re exhausted.

Erica: There’s a number of decisions that has diminishing returns, so you’re gonna make solid decisions in the first few. This is why the a lot of leadership coaches will encourage like morning routines and standardize the max because you don’t want to be, you know, sort of wasting that really important ability. I feel like since most of us get dressed in the morning, I mean, COVID sort of shifted that, I think we’re back to most of us getting fully dressed in the morning so can you connect the dots for us about having a deep sense of style in a closet you love and how that can actually make you a better leader because it mitigates the number of decisions you have to make in a day. Right?

Angela: It’s such a great question. When it comes to your brand style, whether your leadership or whether you know, and whatever the situation is going to be whether you’re going to be on social media or doing videos or whatever. Many women think that they need to have this broad array of clothes in their closet and actually what we should do is we should really be streamlining tha so that we have more of a brand uniform. For example, if you have a balanced body shape and you have awesome legs and you love to show them off then there’s nothing wrong with having seven wrap dresses in your closet that you put on rotation and liberators in this moment to have more than and then it all of a sudden becomes like almost like a Steve Jobs kind of black pants black mock turtleneck type of thing, right? It’s actually the best thing because again it sends that consistent brand message through your style, but then also to your point it alleviates a lot of the nonsense when we’re standing there in the closet in the morning in our bra and underwear going crap, I have to grab something right now. One other thing to dovetail off of that, because we talked a little bit about knowing the styles and the shapes that work with your body shape, but to take that one step further, again. It goes back to confidence is that most women when I first start to work with them, and we talk about body shape, they’ll make comments like, Oh, I’m an apple and my shoulders are too broad or my bust is too big or I’m a pear and my hips are too wide. It’s always, this is my body shape and this is what’s wrong with it. I have a body shape mini-workshop that I take my clients through, and it’s, you’re not an apple, or a pear, or a banana or anything else like that. What we do is, is we first of all focus on what your favorite feature is.

Erica: I love that you start from a place of strength, and what people love!

Angela: Normally, women will pick their bust or their waist,or their legs or something. Instead of focusing on what, what what we don’t like, or we don’t think is a strength of ours, feature wise, we focus on accentuating the heck out of what your favorite feature is and then we just create balance around that. Honestly, I mean fashion, just like everything, it’s just a visual illusion. We’re just creating the illusion of what we want and and that’s just to be balanced. Once you focus on your favorite feature, emphasize that create the illusion of balance for the rest of it, it just gets so much easier. To your point, again, just cuts down on the amount of decisions that we have to make, which is a good thing.

Erica: I was going to ask this question, but you kind of answered it so maybe you can expand. I think we are socialized, particularly as women to do this work with Angela, when I’ve lost 5,10,15 insert the amount. This mindset of not, and I’m going to paraphrase this, I’m not quite good enough and therefore I’m not worthy of feeling this amazing in my clothes, and in my body. Some of this is internal work that we all got to do around self compassion, and acceptance and all of that, but how do you help women just be like, you’re awesome now. Let’s make you feel even more amazing. In this body, wherever it is today.

Angela: Love this topic. Love this. Love this whole conversation here. I don’t know about you. I’m 51. And I’ve been my ideal, like the weight that I love to see the number on the scale a year out of my life. Like that’s it and every other time I’ve been like, Oh, I’d love to lose. Let’s really think about it. If we’re going to put everything on hold because of five pounds, not even not accomplishing our goals we’re never going to leave the house. It’s just a number and nobody cares. I don’t care what the number on your scale is and nobody else does, too. We put all of this pressure in this dress, and oh, I’m gonna wait to do the brand photoshoot until I do this. We can’t we just can’t put we can’t afford to put anything on hold. Like everything is too precious. Right? So that’s the first thing. The second thing is, is that when you dress to flatter your body shape, you’ll be amazed at how much smaller and more curvy or less curvy or you know, whatever your goal is, that you’ll really look when you adjust your dressing in the way that’s going to make the most sense for your shape. So, yes, don’t put anything on hold.

Erica: You’re worthy right now today and conquer the world. I stumbled across an Instagram on Instagram. It was it was such a plot twist because this guy says if you want you to feel good about your body and you know how to position yourself so that people will accept you. For some reason I kept watching because I feel something’s coming. He says, I can really teach you how to really feel great about yourself and then he says, get different friends. I was like, amen, because if you are surrounding yourself with and friends virtual or in person that make you feel anything other than that you were that you were perfect, just as you are today in this moment then you are contorting yourself.

Angela: Yes, you should only surround yourself with people that are cheering you on. Of course that sounds easy. It’s not but once you do find your cheerleading team then absolutely hang on to them.

Erica: I would actually, I would take that one step further, which is, if you’re good with you, I was just you know, Michelle Obama’s new book is out and one things that I really appreciated her saying is “If you’re good with you, it kind of doesn’t matter what other people are thinking about you.” I guess my my invitation the listeners who want to every morning I go to their closet and can wear anything in there and it’s going to make me feel fantastic and you do it for you so that you can walk through the world with that greater level of confidence and do more good in the world.

Angela: Yes, and it does it starts your day off differently. When you you know, haven’t just thumbed through clothes after clothes after clothes that don’t fit, you don’t like, you don’t really want to wear, don’t feel good in, and and all of that. It just really does start your day off in a different spot. When you’re like I literally can walk into my closet blindfolded grab anything, and know that it’s going to be awesome.

Erica: So yes, I like capsule wardrobes partially because of decision fatigue. When I was working with that stylist you have to put every article of clothing, all shoes, it’s all everything out. If you’re smart, you’ve done one round of purging because she’s going to tell me no anyway. I laid it all out and then she looked at my shoes, and she said, where are the rest of your shoes? I said, these are all my shoes and she said, No, no woman has this little of shoes. I was like, you can go look in the closet, I’m not I’m not hiding my shoes. She was like, okay, I appreciate the you’re a minimalist but this is just taking it a little too. It’s whatever works for you. For others, a petite capsule wardrobe would be limiting. What parting piece of advice would you give or anything else that we haven’t talked about that you think it’s important to talk about for leaders who want to make the world a better place?

Angela: Right? Oh, my gosh, let’s see, I think the big thing is that it takes a lot of stress off of us when we plan ahead, so that would be my one my one word of advice. My clients and I start off at the beginning of every season, map out what events that they have, do they have a fundraiser, do they have a big presentation, whatever that situation is, we map it all out and then we plan in advance. We know what we need to buy, we know what we already have, and what we can reuse or repurpose and then we go from there. Just that whole getting in front of it really does alleviate a lot of panic shopping, a lot of wasted time, a lot of wasted money, and all of that. We do it with so many other things, right? Like you’re gonna have a dinner party and you’ll make a list go to the grocery, you know what I mean days in advance, and all of that so it’s that type of that thing of us just getting in front of it. I think a lot of just questionable buying decisions happen when we’re in that panic spot where Yes, oh my gosh, it’s tomorrow. What am I going to wear?

Erica: I love zone, the rhythm that you’re suggesting, which is seasonal core. I’m going to paraphrase that as quarterly. As leaders, I think many, many of us many listeners do quarterly planning, snd so why not factor your style in your wardrobe and your closet into your quarterly planning. That’s genius, Angela. I love that. Good pic. I love that. Thank you so much for being here. But importantly, thank you for the work you do and elevating style as something more substantive than I think we sometimes give it credit for.

Angela: Oh my gosh, Erica, thank you so much. Thank you. I do have a gift for your listeners. It is the Top Five Do’s and Don’ts. Five is a super easy things that can make a big, big difference in getting dressed in the morning.

Erica: Yes, I will be reading that and we will be putting that into the show notes so that folks can access that.

Angela: Absolutely. It’s if they go to www.angelastylecoach.com/cfg. I’ll pop over that PDF for them and they’ll have it all ready to go.

Erica: What does CFG stands for? Communicate for Good? I always use C and then the number four G that’s my shorty. I’m with you now! It just took me a bit.

Angela: We thought we were being really clever!

Erica: You were clever! Where else can people find you?

Angela: I’m not on social media a ton. However, I do love LinkedIn so Angeles Style Coach over there also. And yeah, they can just pop over to my website. Take a look, ask me any questions. I’m always happy to help.

Erica: Thank you, Angela. I’m also mainly on LinkedIn. I would encourage you listeners if this is piqued your interest, definitely go check out Angela’s website and connect with her on LinkedIn. I hope that you have gleaned some either inspiration or motivation or concrete tips about how you can use style yet to elevate your leadership and also as one facet of how you communicate as a leader. Thank you again, Angela for being here. Thanks, listeners as always for being with us Do Good, Be Well and I will see you next time.

Thank you for listening to the Communicate for Good podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, I would so appreciate it. If you would write here right now go rate and review the podcast. Your review will help even more purpose driven leaders, teams and organizations. Learn how to use words to change the world. To find more ways that communication can help you increase awareness, revenue and impact. Head on over to www.claxon-communication.com.

Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?