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The secret to looking chic

The secret to looking chic

Let’s face it – dressing for the day is often the most heroic thing one does for that day.

You’ve got to brave a wardrobe full of clothes on an empty stomach and once dressed and out the door, it’s too late to go fix an outfit malfunction. You’re wearing something that would work well on someone a smidgen smaller. Your hair needs some tender loving care – (looking for the hairdresser’s number…) and what? The same jewellery you’ve been wearing for decades?

Nooo – we’re not talking about YOU. But have you noticed that all the ‘how-to’ tips always seem to be for someone else?

When was the last time you really admired your reflection in a full length mirror? I remember a time when I had so many clothes in my wardrobe, it took an age to get dressed because of the endless choices I had. Far from making things easier when dressing, adding multiple alternatives can make dressing a whole lot more difficult. Like freedom – choice demands an elevated level of dexterity.

Funnily enough, fashion magazines are ‘rediscovering’ a more understated sense of style and sophistication (thank you Mad Men) but are calling it dressing with ease. But if you expect ‘easy dressing’ to be easy – you could be out of luck. Easy-dressing was much easier when work schedules and wardrobes were not stuffed to the hilt. It’s hard enough just to hand-write a simple thank-you note let alone schedule a hair appointment. How come people can efficiently use a myriad of computer programs but still can’t work out how to put a smart and efficient wardrobe together. By doing so with just a few well chosen basics and some fun elements – they can look so ‘put together’ and at the same time – save a ton of money, enjoy wearing their clothing and know that each item earns it’s keep after the purchase.

This is where fashion can play on our insecurities and frustrations – reminding us of what’s ‘wrong’ with us. It’s relentless quest for the next new thing – only reinforces the sense of what’s now old.

My suggestion is to leave fickle fashion to the 20 something year olds – and go for simple Chic!

  • Discover – or perhaps rediscover, your true sense of style.
  • Go for simplicity, elegance and glamour.
  • Go for quality tailoring and luxe fabrics.
  • Buy only quality clothes that look fabulous on you.
  • Buy only what you need – (oh well – perhaps one or two ‘have-to-haves’).
  • Get an updated hairstyle that really suits you – and is easy to manage.
  • If something you wear pokes or scratches someone who hugs you – hurl it!
  • Don’t wear anything you can’t describe in 10 words or less.
  • Buy less and enjoy more. It’s the next best thing to ‘having nothing to wear’ J

This foolproof list works for me – and it will for you particularly if you have to face a full wardrobe first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Now when you finish getting dressed and look at yourself in a full length mirror – I guarantee you will think to yourself “Not bad – not bad at all!”

after makeover image

Visually Impress

Are you a presenter? Speaker? Speechmaker?

You’re got the content? Check. Rehearsed the delivery? Check. But is your visual presentation supporting you? Whether you’re delivering a speech at a wedding or a keynote address at a company conference, we have a few tips on presenting yourself to ensure you don’t distract your audience with ‘visual noise’.

Let your presentation shine… NOT your nose, forehead or the parts where hair once grew.  It’s hard to look confident and credible when you’re glowing like a beacon. A light dusting with translucent powder works wonders.

The Ghost that speaks… are your features disappearing? Remember, what has impact in the mirror, maybe bland at a distance or under certain lighting.  Eyebrows which enhance facial expression, often need greater definition; your face may require shading to look 3D. Lipsticks on women need to be darker or brighter, and eye makeup more pronounced, especially if you’re wearing glasses. Both genders: wear non-reflective lenses.

I’m planning a ‘sickie’… does what you’re wearing near your face suit your skin tone? Unflattering shades will give your skin a greenish or greyish tinge.  Learn what suits you by getting professional colour advice.

Where are you? Is your outfit merging with the stage background or wall colour? Know in advance the colour of the background, and make sure you can be seen! Conversely, do not let your clothing speak louder than you! Once it’s on, you can’t just turn the volume down on a garment that’s upstaging you. First Impressions Image offers specific advice and training to speakers, presenters and entertainers on all aspects of their visual presentation.

Firstly, decide on a realistic budget for your most visible professional overhead – your business wardrobe. Buy basics like suits, jackets, pants (women: + skirts) that are very good quality – so that they last and look good wear after wear –  thus making it possible to build a wardrobe that works.

There is nothing worse than ill-fitting clothing. If the shoulder / hip / neck areas fit well – then with minimal alteration the wearer can get the fit perfect by using a recommended tailor / alteration centre for hems, sleeves and side seams.

Add inexpensive fashion items like business tops &/or shirts in new season colours, as well as fun yet appropriate jewellery pieces (Men: incl. cuff-links) to create interest and allow for self expression.

Always ensure that hair, shoes, jewellery items and shirts or tops are impeccably maintained and up-to-date.  These support otherwise ‘aging’ business basics that are scheduled to be ‘retired’ soon.

Get assistance if unsure about what works for you – engage the services of a respected image consultant.  They are worth their weight in gold.
If you’re wondering if it is worth the cost – try this… Add up the cost of all the clothes in your wardrobe you don’t wear (for whatever reason). NOW do you think it worth it?
Just a thought….!