french style

The Art Of French Dressing

No – this is not an article on how to make French dressing for salads.  Perhaps the title of this article should be “The Art Of Dressing – French-style”.  But all that aside, I whole-heartedly agree with the ten tips that were offered for dressing ‘French-style’.  They’re listed below and as Chantal Blanchet, owner of Chantal B fashion store in Sydney says ..  “Consider yourself a work of art. The secret to exuding the charm and confidence of the French women is attitude; the clothes are just there to help.”

Top Ten Tips for Dressing French-Style

1. Dress well every day and buy one or two key items of the best quality you can afford each season. Go for classics such as a tailored jacket, a Breton boat-neck navy-and-white striped T-shirt, a classic shift, shirt dress or linen trousers.
2. Mix affordable fashion trends with investment pieces – a casual T-shirt with a classic trench is effortlessly French.
3. Invest in a few signature pieces of jewellery, such as a string of pearls or earrings, an oversized bangle or a cuff, to give your outfit a French edge.
4. Buy quality shoes; French women never wear cheap shoes. Every French wardrobe requires classic ballet flats.
5. Wear a beautiful (silk) scarf all year to make like a Parisian. Or tie one on your handbag.
6. Adopt a sense of dress-ups. French women are not afraid to be daring with clashing colours, accessories and vintage pieces (a la Vanessa Paradis pictured).
7. Embrace your age: French women see growing older as a privilege that means you can dress as you like.
8. Wear beautiful, comfortable underwear, always. French, naturally.
9. Organise your wardrobe efficiently and take photographs of different outfits that can be mixed and matched.
10. Good grooming is essential. Style your hair (try a Tautou up-do), always wear lipstick and take Coco Chanel’s lead and never leave the house without fragrance.
Well stated Chantal..bravo!

(Article from smh by Natasha Silva-Jelly)


Your Personal Brand Is Showing – during every waking hour!

Whoa!  Does your personal brand need reassessment? Not getting the recognition or job advancement you think you deserve? Feel that opportunities are passing you by? Here’s the rub – don’t look ‘out there’ for the answers, although it might be worthwhile asking a few people you trust for some honest feedback on the impression they have of you. You need to look ‘inside’ to find out what is really going on. Are you valuing yourself? Living purposefully? Honouring your highest values? Taking time for yourself? Dreaming big dreams?

Because people will form opinions of you based on the very superficial visual and behavioural messages you leave them with. Don’t complain – what else have they got to go by? Your work ethic? The time you get to and leave work? The amount of work you get through?  Well – these things won’t cut it if you are looking haphazard, lack-lustre, dishevelled and lacking in energy. Worse still if the things you wear and carry are in the same condition. If this is the case – then move over for the up-and-coming ‘living purposefully’ hot-shots hard on your heels. YOU are about to be over-taken, left in the dust, forgotten in the bleachers. That is – unless you want to take serious stock of where you are at – and what you are willing to do to get you back on track.

Here are a few – yes, superficial… tips that will have you looking at your reflection in the mirror and seeing yourself once again in the role you either want to hang onto, or the one you aspire to. Or is it that you want to feel attractive again?

Tip 1 – Reality Check

Depending on your immediate agenda….e.g. want that promotion? want that job? Want to attract a life partner? etc. Then get dressed for whatever it is that you want to attract. For example – if you want that promotion – get into your best business attire,  if you want a life partner or want to put some life into an existing relationship – get into your most appealing outfit.

Now go get a paper bag – and put it over your head – leaving two holes so that you can ‘see’ yourself without actually seeing your face – I know – this sounds crazy, but do it anyway. Now stand in front of a full length mirror and take a good hard look at yourself.  Would you be attracted to ‘this person’?  If you met yourself at a business event or at a party – would you be impressed? You see, when you cover your face – you take the ‘me’ part out of the visual picture which makes it easier to actually assess honestly what you see. Now making sense?

This can be a ‘moment of truth’ for many people. If you are not satisfied with the image staring back at you – you have work to do. Congratulations to those who are happy with the reflection they see.

Tip 2 – Toss the Tossers

Do yourself a favour – and go to your wardrobe and toss everything that doesn’t make you feel attractive when you put it on.  Go on … toss all those nasty pilled shrunken sweaters, tracky-daks, oversizes T-s, flag-daddy shorts, anything oversized/undersized, washed out rags and those truly ugly shoes that look like old boats in Hong Kong harbour. Get rid of them out of your life!! Now.

Feel better?  Like in relationships – you can’t attract the ‘new’ into your life without first getting rid of the ‘old’ :-) Oh – and don’t think about passing them onto your friends or rellies, because they won’t want them either. You are allowed a few old T’s to keep as polish cloths if you must.

Tip 3 – DIY or Engage an Image Consultant

If you can, create a list of must-haves you need to buy. Be honest. New suit? Two new suits? A fabulous dress ladies? Something appealing, alluring and yet classy?  List everything you need. Don’t be put off by the length of the list – you can prioritise it and get the essentials now and the no-so-urgent things in the next few pay-cheques. If this is too daunting, then do yourself a favour and engage a recommended image professional who will take all the hard work out of this for you. No – I’m not talking about those shop-floor attendants who are now labelled as stylists. They may only know how to show you clothes…and more clothes to try on (more about this in another blog post).  No – you need someone to work WITH you who will keep an eye on your current role/s, your goals. your preferred style/s and natural colour direction.

There are more Essential Branding Tips to follow. Visit us again in the next few days – looking forward to your comments.