April 5, 2023

Transcript Ep #193 – How to Dress for Your Brand [Recast]

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Transcript Ep #193 – How to Dress for Your Brand [Recast]

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How to Dress for Your Brand [Recast]

– Transcript: Episode #193

Hint of Hustle Episode 186

Heather Sager  1:32  

Well, hey, there friends. Welcome back to another week together and we have another throwback replay this week. And oh my gosh, the timing is exactly when you need it. We’re throwing back to episode number three. Yes, it was the first interview I ever did on the show but it’s so timely. Let me give you a little context of why I think this is the episode you need in your life today but let me back up here. 

Heather Sager  2:00  

I mentioned last week on an episode where I was sharing with you that I was headed out on spring break vacations and much needed rust after a season of very intense hustle here in the business. We do both. We hustle hard when necessary and then we take a rest and I delivered on my promise y’all. I did not open up my laptop for I think it was 10 days. This is actually the literally the first thing that I’m doing officially back in the biz and it was so so great. I have so many stories to share. 

Heather Sager  2:37  

What’s funny is gotten some direct messages from many of you replying to stories and just kind of checking in and I always forget, okay, this is funny. I always forget how many little random things I share on the podcast, that sometimes I’m surprised when I meet like, humans from my real life when I ran into them and they mentioned something that I said on the podcast and I’m like, wait, how did you know about that? And I realized oh my gosh, people listen to the show, like I don’t know. Y’all know me, you know my life. Of course, I don’t share everything, right, but I do like to include you on the happenings because I think that’s a big part of I mean, building our business is we don’t work for someone else. We work for ourselves. And when you’re an entrepreneur, your life and your business really get integrated. There’s no separation between the two entirely, right? You can have your work, you can have your life and yes, having healthy boundaries is important. But most of us build our businesses because we want a the flexibility and freedom to live our lives in the way that we want. So it’s very integrated, which is why I share so much. 

Heather Sager  3:45  

So couple funny things that I wanted to share from my vacation and then I promise we will get into today’s interview with Melanie Kluger all around your personal style which is perfect for upcoming conference season. I’ve heard a lot of people saying hey, I want to attend live events in person this year so we’ll get to that here in a moment. But this last week, my family and I we went to Bend, Oregon for the week. We got a great little Airbnb in this tiny little town in Bend, like right outside of Bend that we’re looking to move to this summer and we’ve met up with some of our really good friends that were down there. Coincidentally, it was the same friend I’ve mentioned on the show before where I thought I found a sexy toy on her counter and it turned out to be a fascia roller blaster thing. You heard me talk about that last month. Anyways, same friend and she’s like, Oh my gosh, am I gonna end up on your podcast episode again? See the answer, of course, yes. She convinced me, her and her husband they have snowmobiles. So we took our all of our kids up to Mount Bachelor for a day in the snow last week which was so much fun and it snowed crazy, like, I mean so much frickin powder. We took the snowmobiles out and I’m not an outdoor sports person. I mean, I enjoy the outdoors but I’m not like a quad, bike like, that’s not really. I mean, maybe I can become that person but that’s not me. 

Heather Sager  5:17  

Anyway, we take the snowmobiles out and my friend, Tia, she’s like, hey, why don’t why don’t we get on the back? As like the wind sleds, disclaimer. We had a rope with sleds on the back of the snowmobiles to pull the kids and the kids are having so much fun. She’s like, why don’t we do it? Granted, we’re both pushing 40. We both turn 40 within the next year and this seemed like an instant hell yes for someone maybe in their 20s but when you’re pushing 40, maybe that wasn’t the best to do.

Heather Sager  5:51  

Whatever we said, yes. I always am up for adventure with her and we rode in the back of this like toboggan and then we rode on sleds, oh, my gosh, I felt like a giant child and I was laughing so hard as we were like, racing up the mountain on these jet skis. I don’t know about you. But like, when I do something that’s mildly terrifying, like I started laughing in this high pitch tone. Oh my gosh, it was so funny. Of course, we flew off of the back of the sleds. We laughed our asses off and had an incredible time. I posted some photos on my stories but it was a memory. 

Heather Sager  6:29  

As we were doing it. I just remember thinking like I felt so freakin alive. And the reason why I want to share this with you today is quite frankly, I normally would be the person that when someone’s like, Hey, you want to go for a ride on this? I would say no, it’s cool. I’ll just watch or no, I’ll just ride on like, on the snowmobile, like on the back. I wouldn’t actually say yes to ride on the sled, like I would just dismiss it as like, Okay, that looks fun but then I would come in excuse. I shouldn’t do that because I’ll get hurt or for me, I’ve talked about this before. I have a rare bone condition that I’m actually pretty breakable. So logically speaking, I probably shouldn’t do it, right? But if I would go by logic, I would have avoided a lot of things in my life. 

Heather Sager  7:13  

Anyways, that mean not thinking about it and just saying sure, why not, led to the most free, fun experience that I’ve had. I haven’t laughed that hard in so long and it felt so good. So this is my little reminder for you today that sometimes you need to play. We talk about hustle and we talk about rest, but also, friend, today is my invitation for you to ask when was the last time that you played like a big freaking kid? When was the last time you had so much fun where you laugh so hard you almost peed your pants? When was the last time that you just felt, I mean, unapologetically carefree, just in the moment fun. That’s my challenge for you is to find that, whether it’s playing skip bow with your friends, a night out on the town, giggling at a ridiculous movie, sticking recently I’m like, man, I miss Billy Madison movies. I need to turn one of those on. I haven’t watched one of those in years. Whatever that looks like for you just have some fun because this business building thing, it is a marathon, not a sprint as we talk about on the show, but you may as well frickin enjoy it, like if you’re so tense and you’re so like, I gotta get it done, I gotta get it done, I gotta get it done all the freaking time. If you’re not having fun, what the hell are you doing here? So let this be your reminder from a giant child who rode on the back of a sled. Oh my gosh, it was so much fun. It was fun reminder. You don’t have to go ride a snowmobile, just go have some freaking fun in your life but I’m back this week. There’s some other wild and crazy things going on in my life right now. Follow me on Instagram stories if you want to kind of get the latest but I want to turn it over to today’s interview. 

Heather Sager  9:12  

So the reason why I pulled up this interview is over the weekend. I happened after we got back in town. We had the honor of attending a charity gala. It’s our almost 10th year going to the specific charity gala for the cascade AIDS Project. My husband and I have been attending this specific art auction for years through a personal friend who is heavily involved in the organization and it’s beautiful our auction, anyway. So our friend and his husband, we were there chatting and his husband Chris, he goes ah, Heather, I have to tell you like we were talking about how dapper he looks, how sharp he looks and we were talking about branding and business and he had made just an off the cuff comment of Oh, Heather, I learned that from you. And I’m like, I’m sorry what? Like I’m not, I do not consider myself a stylish person. Do not come to me for fashion advice. I, in fact, I hired a stylist last year to come out and help me get my wardrobe back together. But he goes, No, no. Remember one of your very first podcast episodes, you talked about dressing for your brand at events, so that you can build visual symmetry between who you are online and who you are in the real world when people meet you. I’m like, Oh my gosh, that episode was so freakin good so him and I had a whole conversation about it but it sparked this idea for me going oh my gosh, so many people lately are asking the question, what live events could I attend? People are hungry for that in person connection and we need to circle back and talk about, all right, so what do you wear at these events? How do you show up with more confidence so that people want to approach you, to talk to you, they want to learn more about you and then continue to build relationships with you after the event. So without further ado, I’m throwing it back to an oldie, literally, episode number three. 

Heather Sager  11:03  

You might also notice, I don’t remember if I mentioned the episode or the title of the podcast. This was a way back when the name of the podcast was Finding Your it Factor. We have glown up quite a few times. Glown? Is that a word? Like I just made it a word, if it’s not. Anyways, I think you’re following me. We have grown and evolved here on the show but the content in this episode is so great. Just a couple notes the episode was obviously recorded pre pandemic, but most of it is going to apply now. This is going to be applicable in your virtual life and in your in person life but I love my conversation with Melanie, specifically around how to dress when you are networking live in person at events so I hope this meets you exactly when you need to hear it. If you heard it years ago, this is a great time to go back and re listen. Replays of podcast episodes always find you at just the perfect time. So without further waiting or rambles, here you go friend, enjoy the episode and I’ll see you again next week.

Heather Sager  12:21  

I can’t believe, okay, so you officially are the first guest on the podcast. 

Melanie Kluger  12:26  

That’s exciting. 

Heather Sager  12:28  

It is exciting. And okay, so I know this is an audio program but Melanie and I were joking before we started recording that she is perfectly her brand right now because she showed up to our session today, fully styled because her and I are a video conferencing but you look on brand girl.

Melanie Kluger  12:44  

Thank you. I appreciate that.

Heather Sager  12:47  

All right. So I would say why don’t we just go ahead and dive into it because I want everyone to hear your story. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Melanie Kluger  12:54  

Now okay, so again, thanks for having me. So I’m Melanie Kluger, I’m a personal stylist. I like to say I’m also a confidence booster and a closet connoisseur but I’m also a best selling author. I have a book called The Confident Closet. You can get it on Amazon, and I have an online, I have a signature course called the Confident Closet course and this is my signature process. I kind of realized way back when I originally was a costume designer, I’m from New York and so I was a costume designer and I was realizing just how it didn’t matter what was happening in your life. If you showed up on stage and you felt good about yourself and you felt confident about yourself through your clothes, like, if you like your clothes, you felt more confident and that showed up in every other way. And so I took that knowledge and then throughout my, all my different, I was a bride, I used to work in bridal, I was a bridal stylist for a while and then I started working with entrepreneurs. And then I had my own kids and realized oh my gosh, I need to be my own client. My clothes are no longer representing me and no longer feeling confident in my own clothes and so I put myself through my own process and then that’s where the Confident Closet was born. 

Heather Sager  14:08  

Okay, that is incredible and I think this idea of going through a transition in your life to want to discover this new way of being you. Okay, I want to hit on that. I actually want to start there because what you just described becoming a mom and realize you need to go through your process. We have a lot of mom people listening, but also a lot of people transitioning to becoming business owners and that’s where I’m in, in transitioning from being a corporate employee to now a business owner. So I want you to talk a little bit about that transitionary period and what we need to be thinking about.

Melanie Kluger  14:41  

So I think what happens is, first of all, it’s super common, and I think it happens it’s going to happen again, like I have been several times in our life, right? Where our lifestyle changes whether, and also our size could change. Again, we’re moms, right? I have two kids. So I think what ends up happening is we and up, maybe we change, maybe we buy some new things, maybe you know, but we leave the old stuff in the closet. Sometimes we don’t buy that many new things and then we’re just frustrated that we can’t wear the things that we used to wear, but we don’t have the new things that we need, or essentially what happens is every morning you wake up and you’re looking at an old life. You’re looking at, you know, your corporate clothes or the size you used to be or, you know, when you used to live in the city and now you live in the suburbs and instead of looking at your closet and being like, I can wear any of this, you’re like, well, I can’t wear that, I can’t wear that and it’s not like a positive mindset. So to me, it’s like super important to be able to wake up every morning and get dressed and be excited about the clothes that you can wear, not like longing for the clothes that you, that don’t suit you anymore, that don’t work for you anymore.

Heather Sager  15:51  

Oh my goodness, there’s such a correlation between that idea of like one of the first things we do in the morning after we go through a morning routine is get dressed for the day and you’re totally right. There’s that dreaded moment of when you’re uninspired about what’s in your closet, like how are you supposed to start off the day like conquering all of the things.

Melanie Kluger  16:07  

I kind of like I have this thing because everyone talks about morning routine. It’s like something that everyone talks about these days. And I feel like so often, if you don’t like the process of getting dressed, it’s like undoing all that meditation and like all that other stuff you just did, and then you’re frustrated and then you leave the house, you know?

Heather Sager  16:24  

I’ve never thought about that before and to be perfectly honest, and you could see it right now Melanie and I were joking, and she is super stylish and dialed in right now. I am currently wearing my running clothes because I’m gonna go running after we’re done. But every day I get up and I look at my closet and I’m like, should I actually put on real pants today or should I just wear my running clothes all day, and I I feel better on the days I get dressed.

Melanie Kluger  16:46  

Well, I’m just gonna say like, I don’t know how you get motivated when you workout. But for me, I like to think about how I feel about after and so that helps me to do the workout and be excited about the workout and I feel the same way about clothes. So sometimes I’d be like, you could say to yourself, like, am I gonna stay on my running clothes all day? And then you’re like, it would take me 10 minutes to change and to, you know, can I do anything in 10 minutes? I always say like, time it, right? So like, how long would it actually take you to change and how much better would you feel, you know? If you’re someone who like you love your workout clothes and you feel amazing and great in them but that’s not usually the case, like just changing after the workout, like, you know, obviously, showering and all that kind of stuff has to happen and that actually has taken me a really long time to figure out how I’m going to work out shower, get everything done and not feel like it’s taken up a huge chunk of time.

Melanie Kluger  16:49  

Yeah. Okay, so stepping back here for a moment. I’m sure someone listening is going okay, why the heck are we talking about clothes and our closets on a podcast around becoming a more magnetic communicator. So I want you to talk about what we were chatting about before we got on here around this connection between how we perceive ourselves and our confidence with our style? 

Melanie Kluger  18:01  

Well, yeah, I think that sometimes we underestimate the importance of our style, especially, you know, when you talk about being a magnetic communicator, right? So like, to me magnetic means people are drawn to you and I think you can use your clothes as a tool to sort of show up in the way that you want to be seen, right? So it’s not just about how they’re going to perceive you. It’s about how you’re showing up for yourself. And so I think clothes is I like to use clothes as a vehicle for that, right? So to me, if you truly know your style and you feel confident in what you’re wearing, you show up in the world in a very different way. And especially if you have a brand and if you’re an entrepreneur, like this is something that you can really use to help elevate your business.

Heather Sager  18:43  

Yeah, I 100% agree with this. And it’s, you know, it’s really easy to be like, Oh, it really doesn’t matter, like I only do, I only go on stage every once in a while. I’m usually at home working behind my desk. People don’t see me. But that idea that it’s it’s not just about how your audience perceives you, it’s how you perceive yourself is really, really important.

Melanie Kluger  19:03  

And I think like to think okay, like, well think about, I mean, I have like stories of people who like once they felt really aligned in their style, they went and asked for a raise, or they like once they felt really good about what they were wearing, like their talk, they were able to speak more eloquently than it really does. I’m not saying that I like to use it, I gotta say like, as a vehicle, right? So I also don’t think that like, I’m very body positive and I talk a lot about that and I just I don’t think that we should underestimate everyone that stressed. And if you’re like not caring at all, I think that that’s not taking care of yourself, you know? You got to show up in the world the way that you want to be seen for you, not for everybody else.

Heather Sager  19:39  

I totally agree. You know, I actually have a client that she and I were talking about this a couple weeks ago. So I’m coaching her on getting better and communication on YouTube and she talks to people about how to feel better about themselves by combining beauty with fitness. And it’s a really interesting thing because some people feel that oh my goodness, if you’re talking talking about fitness or you’re talking about beauty, you must be conceited and care more about your body than your bigger purpose. And I think you could totally, if you want to go down that lane, you can but there’s nothing wrong in wanting to feel better about yourself by taking care of yourself if you’re doing it for how you feel.

Melanie Kluger  20:16  

So I have an online course called the Confident Closet. And in there, I do interviews and we just did one with a makeup artist and we talked about how, what if you shift the mindset around putting makeup on and thinking about how can I embrace my features instead of how can I change my face? How can I change this? How can I contour? No? How can I enhance my eyes? How can I bring out you know, this feature that I really love about myself? So that way you’re like, it’s like a positive experience, like, think about what that would do for your day, if that’s how you’re starting your day, instead of, again, going into your closet, you don’t like anything you’re wearing, you’re thinking about your life, and you’re gonna put your makeup on, and you’re like, let me change my cheekbones, you know? 

Heather Sager  20:58  

Oh my gosh, that’s so okay, I was talking about the exact same thing in a different context yesterday. It was around evaluating yourself and giving yourself feedback, whereas most people when they evaluate themselves, and the lane I was talking about was watching your own videos, was we all immediately go to Oh, my God, my hands look weird, or my nose looks big, or I don’t know how to pronounce this or say this, all the wrong things. But really, if you want to get better at that, you have to focus on what your strengths are and enhancing those. And so I just had this like, mind involvement of it’s the exact same thing when it comes to your style of as enhance what you love and not what you hate. 

Melanie Kluger  21:36  

Yes, I’ve had to sort of work on this for myself with like business too, because I’m just I can be a little bit of a perfectionist. So I completely relate to this being like, Okay, I’m gonna evaluate this thing, but it doesn’t have to be a negative conversation, you know?

Heather Sager  21:49  

Yeah, well, I think our minds just go there automatically. And, you know, we’re talking a lot about makeup and style but I want to also address that. So some of you might listening, maybe you don’t care about these things or maybe you’re a guy listed and you’re like, I’m not going to be putting on makeup, or maybe you don’t wear makeup at all, like, can you talk a little bit about that? Is this conversation relate to anyone?

Melanie Kluger  22:11  

I think it relates to everyone because everyone is getting dressed. And especially like, a lot of people that you’re talking about are entrepreneurs, and are giving you know, are having to show up in a certain way, like, that’s everybody. And so to me, you can apply whatever I’m saying to any situation like if you, I actually don’t wear makeup very often. I wear a bold red lip or a bold pink lip and that’s it, most of the time, because that’s how I feel confident. I think I have something I call it the beauty basics. This could take this for what it is if you’re a man, right? But either way, there are things that you do that make you feel your best before you get dressed. If your man, maybe it’s like there’s something that you do with your hair, you shave or you there’s something that you do that you know, when you do it, you feel your best and whether you’re a woman or a man or an entrepreneur or a mom, whoever you are, if knowing those things, your beauty basic, that’s what I call them. You can quickly show up for yourself and feel good about what you’re doing so I think that applies to everybody. 

Heather Sager  23:09  

Yeah, I agree with that. My beauty basic by the way, I’ve always said that if I ever got just like deserted on a desert island, I would take my eyelash curler.

Melanie Kluger  23:18  

Oh my gosh that, I have that a good one. Mine is my eyebrows and my nails.

Heather Sager  23:24  

Take your eyebrows and your nails.

Melanie Kluger  23:27  

I guess I would have to take my friend, my waxer, Tanisha.

Heather Sager  23:31  

Good job. Good girl. All right, well, let’s dive into, you have prepared some tips relating how to become a more authentic or magnetic communicator to our audience. So why don’t you share with us a couple of the tips. Why don’t we start with one tip that you have for bringing more confidence into, let’s say speaking on stage.

Melanie Kluger  23:53  

Yeah, so I like, we touched on this a little bit but I think when you’re going to speak on stage, I’d say you I think it’s really important to know what makes you feel your best. So it’s not about what someone else is wearing or what you think my you know, oh, I want to wear florals. Okay, but what makes you feel your best? Okay, I always feel my best when I wear an A line dress. There’s something about the shape that I really like that makes me feel like I can move and I feel really, you know, aligned or I always feel my best when I wear purple. Like knowing those things, really thinking and analyzing when you feel your best and then applying that to a speaking gig is a great way to say like, okay, this is what makes me feel my best. And you know, I think that when you kind of know those things and you’re applying it, you can really hone in and then elevate.

Heather Sager  24:44  

You know, for me, I discovered a long time ago that I feel my best presenting when I wear heels. There’s just something about my posture that changes and just how I move in front of an audience when I’m wearing heels versus when I’m wearing flats. I feel a little bit more sluggish. But you had a couple tips around shoes in particular and what to watch for because my version of a heel for confidence might not be the same as everyone else. 

Melanie Kluger  25:11  

 Well, I think, so again, I also noticed that that I show up differently when I wear heels. So I, I that’s coming, becoming less and less for me. But I also like, if I’m doing a speaking engagement, I always wear heels. That’s because I like how I got my posture. I feel if I walk differently, but it has to be a specific kind of heel because I want to still be able to walk and move freely. And so my other tip was around movement and this works for all different men and women is that there should be an ease about the way that you’re moving so that you’re not thinking about your shoes, or am I going to trip or this you know, can I sometimes I think with heels that goes if it’s like too high of a heel, or we’re not used to walking in them, we ended up, it does the opposite because then we’re uncomfortable. So whether that means you wear them a lot around until you feel really comfortable in them, or you choose a heel that’s like a little bit lower. And you know, for men, I think it’s also about ease of movement in your jackets, ease of movement in what you’re wearing. So that you are just really confident in the fact that when you go on stage, you can do what you need to do and move around. Of course, you can’t see me because this is audio, but I’m moving my arms a lot. But yeah, so just really thinking about that ease of movement,

Heather Sager  26:24  

You know, with the thinking about movement, but also functionality, there was a tip that came up with one of my clients last week, where this is something that a lot of people forget. The most of time if you’re on stage, you’re going to be using a microphone that has a battery pack. So thinking about the neckline, or the stiffness, the structure of what you’re wearing, so that you can clip a battery pack in a lavalier or headset or whatever you’re wearing to it, like function for what you’re about to do is huge.

Melanie Kluger  26:54  

100%. And when I was a costume designer, that was like a big part of the job, you know, and I think remembering that you have to wear a mic is a huge thing people probably don’t always remember.

Heather Sager  27:04  

Yeah, they don’t and especially if it’s not something that you do often. I know a lot of my listeners they do speaking as a vehicle to get more visibility for their business, so it’s not they’re not full time speaker. They’re not trying to go out and build a speaking business. So it’s not something they do often. So remembering little tips, I think is super, super valuable.

Melanie Kluger  27:22  

Yeah, or even remembering to ask. Okay, I have this big. What’s the mic situation gonna be?

Heather Sager  27:28  

 Yeah. Okay, so I’m gonna make a shameless plug here real quick. So that asking that question and remembering to know that question is something that so many people forget and after going through questions like that, and around other technical things with so many of my clients, I realize these repeat things that people don’t forget about. So this is a shout out real quick, this is the time for you to go download my freebie. The link is in the show notes and it’s the 10 questions you have to be asking before you get on the stage and includes those kinds of questions that you’re probably not thinking about.

Melanie Kluger  27:57  

Well, you know what, that’s why this is such a good freebie because you don’t know to ask the question, right? That’s the thing. It’s not even that you’re forgetting. You just don’t know to ask it.

Heather Sager  28:05  

Yeah. Well, and I think that’s a lot of what’s about this conversation in general today is, every morning, we all wake up and get dressed to some degree. And it’s similar to how I talk about every day, we can speak to people. And so we kind of take this ability to get dressed or speak for granted but we forget that how we show up both in our communication but also in how we present ourselves really is how people perceive our brand. So putting more energy and attention into it can have a really profound impact.

Melanie Kluger  28:39  

Absolutely. And you know, that was another one of the tips that I was going to share about being magnetic, you know, also has to do with having like a signature piece or having something that’s memorable. Like I was talking about, for me, it’s my bold lip, right? But maybe you always wear red, maybe you always have a red pocket square, what is it the thing that’s going to make you sort of like, elevate and feel like you’re showing up in a certain way and really feel aligned with who you are and your brand.

Heather Sager  29:07  

Yeah, how did you discover that for you it was the bold lip?

Melanie Kluger  29:11  

You know, it’s funny. I mean, if I really take it back, I, when I was a costume designer, I love vintage things and to me, the red is sort of like a little bit of an ode to like a, you know, even the 50s or the 2020s like different time periods, but I like to make it more modern. I just, there’s something about it for me it’s like a quick easy way for me to like feel like I’m showing up. I think I started doing it more and more when my kids got a little older because even now they still love when I give them kisses and I’m like okay, now you have like, red. I’m a grandma with a big red kiss. You know, it’s for me it’s important. I guess you guys are doing to sit covered and lipstick

Heather Sager  29:52  

Yeah, okay, that’s hilarious. I’m sure pretty soon your kids will start to get embarrassed by it but for now enjoy it.

Melanie Kluger  29:58  

For now my daughter and she kept on all day, end of the day and she still had a big kiss mark.

Heather Sager  30:04  

Oh my god, melt my mommy heart. Oh my gosh. Okay, so for someone listening who is going okay, this sounds great. I like the idea of having a signature style, like what, how do they even begin to start thinking about what their signature thing is?

Melanie Kluger  30:21  

 So I would say like, I would think about your brand colors, you know, like, you know, this also works for a photo shoot, if you’re doing a photo shoot, like, think about your overall website, and your overall vibe of you know, what you’re going for, whether that be bold, sometimes it’s not specific colors, but it’s like, okay, my brand is very bold, or my brand is very, like, neutral and subdued. And like, how can that all work together? I think that that’s like a great place to start. And then I would also say, for like a signature style, a great place to start if you really feel like you don’t know, is to like, please like Pinterest, kind of like creative board. And like you’ll, you’ll notice that you gravitate towards certain things. The problem sometimes with Pinterest is but then we go and try those things out and they don’t work on our shape. So I always think it’s a mixture of like, inspiration, and then knowing what you like on your body.

Heather Sager  31:13  

Yeah, I think that’s super important. You know, when I was perusing through your website and looking through some of the information that you have on your course, one of the things you talk about is this juxtaposition between you don’t, you’re not a stylist for people like you don’t go out and you’re not going to do it all for them. You teach them how to do it and I thought that was a really interesting approach. Because so often I think about like, so I’ve used like services like Stitch Fix before or lip toe where I have people ship the clothes, and I’ve liked it, but I don’t feel like I know how to dress myself any differently. So talk to me a little bit about how you made that transition from doing it for people to teaching them how to do it themselves.

Melanie Kluger  31:53  

I appreciate the services, like you mentioned, or like, you know, and I also I can go shopping with you but even if I’m gonna go shopping with you, I want you to learn how to do it for yourself because I’m not in your closet every morning. And like, that’s the thing that kind of always bothered me was like, if I do it for you, I’m almost like enabling you. It’s like when you’re kids live with their parents and they’re like in their 30s, like, they’re enabling them.

Heather Sager  32:19  

 Sorry, if you’re 30 and you’re living with your parents, I’m sorry, but move on, honey, move on.

Melanie Kluger  32:23  

But just like, but I just feel like the parents are not helping the kids to like go out into the world and to do their own thing, whatever. That’s a very specific situation. I think it’s important for for you to know these tips and tricks for yourself. Also, because it’s very personal. So again, like you may be like, I don’t like lipstick, that’s fine. I’m not going to tell you to wear lipstick this because it’s on trend or because I like it. To me real confidence through your clothes comes from this understanding of what makes you feel good and you can’t get there by me telling it to you. You can only get there and only really, truly understand how to trust your instincts by learning these things for yourself.

Heather Sager  33:04  

Okay, so thinking about, I want to dig into a little bit about some specific situations that people might be going to an event or showing up on a daily basis around where they might want to have a more pulled together style. Can I like, let’s do like a speed round where I give you a scenario and you tell me maybe some tips for it. 

Melanie Kluger  33:21  

Yes, perfect. Let’s do it. 

Heather Sager  33:22  

Okay, so let’s go with the with the normal, let’s say, I’m going to be super selfish right now and you’re actually giving me advice. Let’s say I show up and I have a day of coaching calls on Zoom, where I’m going to be on camera with clients but I don’t have a ton of time to get ready and I’m going to be sitting for a long day but on video. What What recommendations would you have for someone showing up on video?

Melanie Kluger  33:48  

Okay, so this is a good question because when it comes to video, your whole outfit doesn’t have to work in the same way as let’s say if you’re onstage or you were like meeting someone for coffee, right? So you really just want to focus on what they’re going to see and also the comfort of sitting. If you’re going to be sitting for a long period of time and no one’s seeing your pants, where it’s comfortable on the bottom. I still like to say make the upper coordinate because I’m the kind of person that will feel better if I’m wearing sweatpants on the bottom I won’t feel as good, that’s me. Focus on how you can not, how you can feel put together and feel like you’re showing up. I would wear a little bit of makeup. If that’s your thing because your face is going to be seen, right? In a certain way if it’s being recorded especially so that’s something to think about. And I always like to say if you’re someone, I sometimes play with my hair, so I like to think okay, what is gonna make me play with my hair less. So, okay, what can I do with my hair? Like if my hair is really curly for some reason, I’m always touching it and playing with it and that’s distracting so I work on on those things. 

Heather Sager  34:53  

That such a good tip because I think so many people forget that they they have these quirks that they do that they don’t think about and one could be hair. But another one could be is if they wear accessories, which are great, but like what could go wrong with that?

Melanie Kluger  35:10  

You know, that is such a good thing. I was just going to mention that too, because so I like to wear bracelets, but I can’t wear them when I’m recording because one, they clank really loud and they mess up the audio and two, I like can’t put my hand down on my desk because it’s uncomfortable so there’s no, nothing on your wrists when you’re recording.

Heather Sager  35:30  

I totally do and I even can’t wear bracelets and stuff when I give presentations because I will totally be distracted with them. Are there any, I don’t know if rules is the right word, but like suggestions around patterns, like sometimes I see people wearing stripes and the camera goes weird. I mean, do you have any feedback on like patterns or colors when it comes to video?

Melanie Kluger  35:50  

I would say you don’t really want to go to neutral because it sometimes looks nude and then that’s especially like if it’s going to be a thumbnail because that person naked.

Heather Sager  35:58  

It could be on brand.

Melanie Kluger  36:00  

There you go, there you go. If that’s your brand, then ignore this. I also think that was certain patterns. Yeah, with video, sometimes, certain patterns look really busy. You can wear a pattern, but I would say try to keep it pretty minimal, or, you know, clean, if that makes sense.

Heather Sager  36:19  

No, I totally agree with that and so and I know they can’t see you here today, but you’re wearing like this really cute, like color popped white shirt with an awesome scarf tied around your neck, that has a Super Bowl pattern. So I love like that’s bringing pattern to the party, but not like super aggressive with it. 

Melanie Kluger  36:35  

Right, for sure and I think that that takes it to the next level, right? I could just, I could have just won the white button down, but it would have been a little bit less memorable.

Heather Sager  36:43  

Okay, I love that. Okay, I want to give you another scenario and that’s something that’s probably really relevant. We’re heading into conference season which means a lot of organizations throw their annual conferences between the months of September and November and so most people are probably going to some personal development or Business Development Conference here in the next few months, which means they’re going to be networking and schmoozing with other people. So do you have any tips for how to be a little bit more intentional with your style when you’re going to like a networking event or conference?

Melanie Kluger  37:20  

 Yes, I love this, because it’s a very specific situation but we find ourselves in it now more often than not only. So I would say that I’ve recently styled a friend, she was speaking at a conference, but she had other events too and we actually gave her a color palette for the whole event. She’d wear white and black and then she wore like a pop of color. In that way anytime someone saw her, it’s like they recognized her from her speaking gig that or maybe from a party because she was wearing something that was memorable. Repeatedly, I don’t think that they would say, oh, she only wears black and white but something about her. The fact that she was wearing this sort of simplified, memorable color palette, made it so people were like, oh, she looks familiar. It also simplifies it and gives you parameters for when you’re packing. And I would also like to say that like that this is also a great time to just be on brand and to think about your website and think about your colors and say, Okay, I’m showing up as my brand, right? So if I’m going to be networking and I’m giving my card and I’m doing all these things, how can I show up in a way that represents my brand, you know, and what that means?

Heather Sager  38:28  

oh my gosh, I love I love this tip so much because I feel kind of dumb that I have never considered this before. But I do like if you’re showing up as your brand, which is of course what this whole thing is about, but even going down to like putting those parameters around how you pack and only putting things in your suitcase for that event that sit within that, like that’s huge.

Melanie Kluger  38:50  

It also will make it really easy because everything will probably go with everything else.

Heather Sager  38:54  

Yes. Oh my gosh, that’s a really good tip about the mixing and matching and I know we all pack and then sometimes we get to the location and we want to say like change things up. Okay. I love I love that tip. Okay, one of the other things that I wanted to ask you about is okay, so let’s give, let me give some context first. If you want to have like a big smile on your face and instantly have a lot of energy. You need to go look at Melanie’s website and just flip through her pictures and follow her on Instagram because she’s one of my favorite people to follow because she’s happy and what she’s talking about with this bold lip and always just looking on brand, like one of the very first things I noticed with her was just like this, you exude happiness and it’s very infectious like I love that. 

Melanie Kluger  39:37  

That’s so nice. Thank you. 

Heather Sager  39:39  

Yeah, of course. And so I think one of the things that I’ve always been in awe of you with is the fact that you show up every single day on Instagram Stories for your audience. So knowing that that’s probably something that for those listening are probably wanting to do something similar I mildly related to the style, but more so just related to you and your personality. Would you talk to us a little bit about any tips you have for showing up on stories any day and maybe how that fits into your brand?

Melanie Kluger  40:08  

Yeah. So I think that story is like a great way for people to get to know you in a very much more like authentic way than say, like a static feed post. Like, that’s more. You know, I love that too but I think there’s something really freeing about Instagram stories and the more you do it, the more comfortable you are, like now, sometimes I’m like, I have dance parties a lot when I’m getting ready. And I’ll just like, hit record, I’m listening to a song and I’m getting ready. And like, that’s become a thing I do with people and it’s a way to connect, right? And for me, I used to not show up as much because I’m like, I’m a stylist. I can’t ever show up, if I’m not like, perfectly put together. And then I was like, but that’s not really what I’m even trying to portray, right? And I’m a human and sometimes I’m going to be just making up, you know. So my number one thing is, if you’re not going to show up because you feel like you don’t look perfect, do it anyway, like, don’t not show up because you don’t feel like you look completely put together because that’s not it. What you have to say is like filled with amazing content and people are gonna get to know you, no one’s like, oh, well, she just went to the gym so she should not be coming on Instagram stories. If anything, it makes you more relatable.

Heather Sager  41:20  

Oh, I relate and agree with this so much. This has been a very big struggle for me to get comfortable with. I still get totally insecure when I go to post an Instagram story and I’m not wearing eyeliner. Like my solution is I put on the filter with the Instagram eyelashes and I just feel better so I do it but I love what you’re saying. If the thought of you not being put together as the reason why you’re not getting on stories, like that’s a cop out. 

Melanie Kluger  41:49  

Right. And also like the only way that you’re gonna get really comfortable is to do it all the time. The other thing that I’ve been, I’ve do when I’m feeling like okay, what am I going to say is I’ll give parameters. So like Monday, I do a motivational, you know, something motivational. Tuesday, I do a style tip. Wednesday, and I kind of say, okay, Wednesday, I’m going to share some favorite Instagram accounts, whatever. In the beginning to get used to it If you give yourself parameters, then you have something to talk about every day and you don’t even have to tell people like, hey, it’s Monday Motivation. You can just do it and then that gives you like, okay, I know what I’m gonna say. 

Heather Sager  42:23  

Yeah, okay, I love that so much that I’m stealing it. I’m totally stealing it because that is one of those things is trying to figure out what to say that and the oh my gosh, I haven’t taken a shower today or I don’t feel my best. Those two ogether prevent us from taking action and if you’re trying to build a personal brand showing up is like, step number one.

Melanie Kluger  42:42  

Totally. And I think also it makes you more intentional about So like, if let’s say you’re like, Okay, I’m gonna plan out my week of Instagram story, or what am I going to talk about each day, and sometimes I change it in the moment. I’m like, Okay, I know, on Wednesday, I want to talk about my blog post, or I talked about my Instagram posts. So how can I relate my story to be around that and just like, think about it. So then on that day, I can just show up, I know what I’m gonna say,

Heather Sager  43:06  

Yeah. Okay, that is so great. This extra bonus tip on this whole, like showing up with more confidence. Moving kind of away from the core of this, I want to get to know you and my audience to get to know you a little bit more to and you talked about you being a mom and showing up for your kids and that was a big reason of why you went through this initial transformation. But talk to me a little bit about like balancing business life with being a mom, how’s that been?

Melanie Kluger  43:30  

You know, it has been a journey. So I found that I was pregnant a week after I started my business. I’ve always been well, you know, I’ve always been naptime weekend, nighttime. That was always when they were little that was sort of how it was. And as my business grew, and as my kids grew, I started to realize that that wasn’t sustainable and I had to be more like, okay, really efficient with my time and also very intentional with my time. So, like, the biggest thing that I’ve learned is, I mean, they’re foour and six. They’re not like, you know, they just started going to school five days a week, both of them yesterday, but it’s been a gradual thing or more childcare. Okay, what am I doing in that time? So for me, it’s like, the thing that’s been the biggest adjustment is being like, these are going to be my hours. This is what I’m going to be working. What do I need to do? I’m like a crazy list person. It’s like a list brain dump and I do one every Sunday for the whole week. I do one every night for the next day, so that I know what’s happening and I put everything on this list. Like, sometimes I’ll be like, workout, shower, this, that, because it all takes time and then I’m like, Okay, well, how many hours I actually have to work if I’m gonna make all these other things a priority too, you know?

Heather Sager  44:50  

Yeah, so, so good. And I think, I want to hit on this idea that you have been through I mean, the last six years since you’ve been a mom like you’ve been through this crazy schedule of balancing a business and that you still make time for taking care of yourself and styling yourself. So thinking about those listening who are going through a super busy season, maybe they still have a full time job and they’re starting their side business, or maybe they have little babies at home. It just the idea of adding an additional thing to their plate right now of taking 20 minutes for themselves in the morning just seems daunting. Like, do you have any tips or words of encouragement for them?

Melanie Kluger  45:29  

100%. Well, first of all, like all these seasons are, are temporary and we like certain sometimes things feel really hard. and then all of a sudden, that’s not the hard thing anymore. So I think that’s always really important to mention because I’ve been through plenty of those seasons. But I think that when it comes to like, being a mom and being busy, it’s so much of it is about like I think being really present in those times that you aren’t together and it’s so quality over quantity, I think. But then also if you have, if you’re like, oh my god, I cannot even find 20 minutes. I honestly think it’s one of those things where time, time what it is that really makes you feel your best. Like let’s say curling your hair makes you feel your best, nothing else. If you time it and you’re really good at it, let’s say it takes you 10 minutes. Knowing that it takes you 10 minutes to do this makes it seem a little bit more manageable than if you’re just like, I do not have the time to do that. So that’s also I mean, I have a lot of tips like this, like, Okay, quick and easy. What do you need to deal with? Can your blush also be your lips? Like what can you do? You know? Can you, I also talk a lot about go to outfits. So like if you’re a busy mom and you know your favorite three outfits that make you feel your best when you oversleep, or when you’re not feeling your best, you can go to it quickly and this will save you so much time and you still can feel confident. So it’s not always about thinking about it. Like, I don’t have the time for this. It’s thinking about how it can save you time in the future.

Heather Sager  47:00  

That is such a good point. And you know, that lesson served with so many different things not just planning out your morning and getting ready. You know, so often we are all overwhelmed with our to do lists. And what’s kind of ironic is most of the things on our to do list are looming on our minds that oh, we have to do these things, or we don’t have time to do these things. The reality is we haven’t actually taken any time to identify what the thing actually is. So like what you said, like the curling your hair, they Oh my gosh, I don’t have time to curl your hair. Like if you really think about it, if it only takes you 10 minutes, do you really not have 10 minutes, or you’re just unwilling to accept that it only takes you 10 minutes. You just don’t work?

Melanie Kluger  47:43  

Or are you thinking, well, I have to comb my hair and do this and do that and maybe you don’t, maybe you’ve just decided that you’re just going to curl your hair because that’s the thing that makes you feel good and it doesn’t matter that you’re not doing the other thing.

Heather Sager  47:53  

Yeah, yeah. Letting go of all the rest and being good. Choosing the thing that you’re going to focus on. 

Melanie Kluger  47:58  


Heather Sager  47:58  

Okay. So I think I think that’s super important, especially for entrepreneurs who are working primarily from home is picking the things that are going to have the biggest impact to how you feel when you show up to your audience because that’s really what’s going to make you feel more magnetic.

Melanie Kluger  48:15  

A 100%. 

Heather Sager  48:16  

That’s great. Okay, so I would love to give you opportunity to share with my audience a little bit about your program, the Confident Closet because I know it’s a killer one. So will you talk a little bit about that? 

Melanie Kluger  48:27  

Yeah, so to me, like, so often, every season we like go through, and we’re like, Okay, we’re gonna clean out our closet, but like, we don’t actually make a dent and this is because we’re holding on to clothes for lots of different reasons. Sentimental attachment, maybe we’ll fit back into it another time, maybe it used to be our favorite thing. There’s loads of reasons why we’re holding on to these clothes. So I sort of developed this six week long program that helps you not make a real change. So we go through, we talked about our beauty basics, then we talk about, you know, really honing in on your personal style. And so when you go to clean out your closet, you know your style well, so you can say nope, doesn’t work for me, nope, this doesn’t work for me, this I can wear. So it gives you like, a real framework for how to clean out your closet and then we also talk about organization and shopping and how to love shopping if you don’t and how to maintain. And we also do weekly Q&A, so I help you through the process of it. And yeah, there’s an amazing community of women that do it at the same time as you so you have accountability. It’s, I am so proud of it. It really is like it’s this program that there’s videos and workbooks and it’s just like it really helps make this process fun and easy and it makes a real change. So then every time, every season, you’re able to be like I know what I like and it’s in my closet, you know?

Heather Sager  49:52  

Oh my gosh, it’s so good and I totally bypassed jumping in on this when you opened your course last month and I’m kicking myself for it. I was sharing with Melanie before we hit record that I keep staring at my closet and looking at all of the business casual clothes that I am not wearing and I know I will not wear because I don’t love them. I just needed to have more of them. I need to go through this. And I think if for those of you listening, if you have this desire to create more of that it factor in your brand so that you can show up with competence and become more magnetic to attract your ideal client. This really could be a big part of that for you is getting clarity on your style. So you feel better showing up whether it’s on stage or on a Zoom call or a prospect call, or we’re on a Facebook Live, whatever that looks like. So, Melanie, where could they find more information about your program, but also just about you and hang out?

Melanie Kluger  50:47  

Yeah, well, so my website is the confidentcloset.com. I’ll give you the link for my course. There’s two, there’s the one where you can learn more, which is styles@theconfidentcloset.com/learn more, and then there’s also a place to sign up for the waitlist.

Heather Sager  51:03  

Perfect. I’ll put both of those in the show notes. So if you guys scroll down, you can get links to both of those for you.

Melanie Kluger  51:09  

Yeah, and then you guys can all join us for the next round of the Confident Closet course. 

Heather Sager  51:13  

Great. Okay, what’s your Instagram handle because that’s where I love hanging out with you?

Melanie Kluger  51:17  

Yeah, @melaniekluger, K, L, U ,G ,E ,R.

Heather Sager  51:21  

Perfect. I’ll put a link in the show notes below too. Okay, Melanie, before we wrap up here. Do you have any other final parting thoughts for our listeners today?

Melanie Kluger  51:30  

I just want to say that well, first of all, thank you for having me. This has been lovely. 

Heather Sager  51:35  

Of course, of course. 

Melanie Kluger  51:37  

But you know, also really try to think about the process of style and getting dressed as something that can really like help you in your business and also help you feel more positive and confident every day and less about it being superficial. It really can be the other than a joyful thing and that’s what I tried to preach.

Heather Sager  51:58  

This is good, such good advice for someone that I again, follow and admire online. And I think you have done an exceptional job owning your it factor and bringing it every day to, I mean every aspect of your business. So if anything, at least go check Melanie out and get a sense of what it looks like to be magnetic and if you can borrow some of the things she does, I think it’ll help you out too. So Melanie, thank you again so much for being here. Thank you guys all so much for listening. I hope you have an incredible day and we’ll see you next week.

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