Thursday, May 29, 2008
(Scroll down to the bottom for pictures!) I recently had the opportunity to meet Clinton Kelly of TLC's What Not To Wear show, which was very exciting (I also got to meet Stacy London last fall)! It was great hearing him confirm all of the things I have long suspected were true! For example: The average person has to try on 20 pairs of jeans before finding a flattering cut, color, and fit! Also, you will likely need to have at least 50% of your clothing altered to ensure a correct fit! How many times have you left the fitting room frustrated and irritated because 'it didn't fit right'?? What's funny to me is that I used to be Director of Costuming and worked with amazing seamstresses for years but I still felt that having my own personal clothing altered was something that should only happen occasionally - this has changed my perspective and given me a lot more room for what I felt was my own imperfections!
Speaking of imperfections... one of the things I often find when I am working with clients is that many people mistake making a positive impression and being perceived in a positive light for having to be perfect. Don't let this happen to you! Perception is a combination of things... being aware of your appearance, your behavior, your body language, your facial expression, your pitch and tone of voice, and the way you connect emotionally with others. It doesn't mean you need to be perfect, but it does mean that you need to make an effort. Research shows that often in the business world (more often than not), the way others perceive you contributes to your ability to get hired, attract clients, receive a larger salary, and be promoted. In other words, perception translates into revenue. Reach your full potential!
For example, I also just finished working with an Image Client (see her before and after pictures) and when I showed her before and after pictures to a group of participants in a leadership workshop I was conducting, the response was overwhelming. Hands down they believed that the person in the "before" picture was someone who was not necessarily happy, successful or in a professional occupation. On the other hand, when they saw the "after" picture of the same picture they now saw her as a successful, friendly, happy, intelligent, trustworthy, professional woman. What a difference perception can make!
A few things you should consider when you begin to work on polishing your appearance/building up your perception.
*Perception is important for both men and women
*You can put on a pretty dress but it won't necessarily make you feel pretty- your image starts from the inside out. You are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you! (if that doesn't work, you might want to consider a few self-empowerment coaching sessions which I offer through my coaching practice)
*Don't forget to "claim your space" - your posture and stature should not be overlooked - stand up straight, slow your pace and take longer strides when you walk.
*If you decide to hire an image consultant, be sure they consult with you on how you want to be perceived. Do you want to be seen as a high powered executive or an artistic free spirit... maybe something in between? You definitely want to be sure you have a defined target.
*Your image consultant should be your advocate and work on your behalf to find clothing that looks great on you (not just clothing that the sales clerk wants to sell you). They should also work with a professional hairstylist and makeup artist and oversee their work to ensure that you are happy with your new look. They should spend time with you to ensure you know which outfits you can mix and match to get the most out of your investment. They should take "before" and "after" pictures to document your progress. They should also accompany you or instruct your seamstress on where your clothes need to be altered to ensure proper fit.
*Your image consultant should be experienced and approachable, they should concentrate on building your self-esteem and reaching your goal. They should also mirror the tips that they recommend to you.
*If you are interested in hiring an image consultant that fits these qualifications, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or call 407-595-6771 and we'll talk about options that are right for you.
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