March 30, 2022

HAS LOCKDOWN AFFECTED OUR DRESSING CONFIDENCE?

I wonder how our experience over these past two years has affected how we feel about the way we dress.  Has lockdown affected our dressing confidence?   Without a doubt.

We adapted to a half-life and adopted a more casual wardrobe to feel safe and comfortable.  Perhaps we have lost our identity and forgotten how to dress and show up?

I am convinced that being locked away on a diet of leisurewear and above the waist dressing has impacted upon our confidence.  We overlooked the very comfort we can enjoy by dressing for self-expression, the joy of dressing up and the way that makes us feel.

Has lockdown affected our dressing confidence?

Being intentional when you dress

With that in mind, I wonder how intentional you were when you were planning your wardrobe this morning?  How much thought you gave to the clothes in your wardrobe?  How did you select those clothes?

The clothes we wear are an expression of our unique and individual identities.  Our clothes have the power to elevate us, support us, differentiate us, enhance our personal brand and fill us with joy. The good news?  We can choose how we want to look and how we want to show up.

Believe it or believe it not, our wardrobes and the clothes within hold the secrets to looking good, feeling great and showing up in the most positive way we can.  Be more deliberate in your choices and ask yourself how you wish to present yourself to the world that day.  Connecting ourselves to those feelings through our clothes really can help raise our confidence.

To me dressing in leisurewear promotes a more relaxed feeling, that akin to a day off, snuggling on the sofa to read a good book or watch a film.  We associate certain clothes with differing scenarios.  Similarly a suit transports us to formal work environment perhaps or a wedding.

How can clothes elevate how we feel?

Remember how the garment made you feel

So how can dressing differently or swapping those casual clothes for smarter attire, elevate the way we feel?  Elevate our confidence.  Let’s just think about that.

Remember the outfit that each time you wear it, you feel fabulous…on top of the world, on top of your game.  It could be a dress, killer heels or a blouse with bold pattern….our clothing is powerful.

Remember how that garment made you feel? When you wore the dress, the killer heels?  Empowered, happy, fired up, powerful or capable?

These are all real feelings that we can enjoy and experience from our clothing.

There's always the outfit that generated a compliment

Maybe as an extension of this you received a compliment.  What about the flattering comments you received when you wore that dress or your killer heels?

There is incredible elation from this kind of reaction.

We feel fabulous and seek opportunities to replicate that surely?   So our clothing engenders positive associations – the date night blouse when we met our partner, the interview suit that landed our dream job, the beautifully cut trousers we treated ourselves to when we went self-employed.

Did our leisurewear ever provide us with this kind of reaction?  Fired up and ready to take on the world?  I’m imagining not.

Do you need an extra level of Confidence?

Lingerie can provide an extra level of confidence

Consider our day to day activities and how we are often required to influence, educate, challenge, encourage or to inspire?  Do you agree that sometimes you will find these tasks more challenging when you need to be the expert?

Through my own experiences, I have learned that confidence in our clothing eases those occasions when we need to flex our muscles.  For me, my choice of lingerie always helped to empower me and provide an extra level of confidence.

 

 

When you dress this morning, ask yourself how you would like to feel in your clothes, how you would like to present yourself and connect your clothes to those feelings.  I’d love to hear your thoughts or if you need help to unlock your own dressing confidence code, do get in touch.

Jackie Crawford

Image Consultant

07494 644788

Feature image credit Lindsley Weddings

May 31, 2021

DO CLOTHES ENHANCE OUR PERSONAL BRAND?

I have long been an advocate that our clothing is powerful!  We know that wearing clothes that fit and flatter can lead to enhanced self-esteem and confidence.   So, do clothes enhance our personal brand?

Remember wearing an outfit that made you feel like a $Million?  You felt amazing, invincible maybe?  It's as if you can take on the world?  That’s what I’m talking about, clothes that support you and make you feel like a better version of yourself.

When also aligned with our lifestyle and personality our clothes have the power to elevate our status and empower us.

Whether you appreciate it or not, you have a Personal Brand.  A personal brand is all about YOU.    How you promote yourself.  It’s your unique combination of skills, expertise, personality and how you show up.

We all make judgements based on appearance.  Anyone like to hazard a guess as to the length of time it takes to create a first impression?

According to Forbes….just 7 seconds.  Seven seconds to create a favourable impression that can open doors and opportunities for us.   It's well worth making the effort.

It’s just as well that our personal brand allows us to differentiate ourselves from others and enhance our credibility.  That’s why I am a great believer that wearing clothes that work for us enables us to present ourselves in an authentic way.  Our clothing is an extension of us and a major communication tool in creating that positive first impression.

Let me guide you to developing a positive personal brand through your clothes.

Define how you wish to be perceived

This will differ for us all, so think about the way you wish to make an impact in the form of a mantra.   I suggest thinking about this as a form of words – 3 is a good place to begin.  What sums up your brand?

Linking this mantra to the way we dress, helps to focus our mind on our aspirations and goals.  It helps us define the image we wish to create with our clothes each day.

Choose Flexible Pieces that reflect you and your brand

Using your style mantra is a valuable way to identify clothes that really express your qualities.

Once we identify a style that reflects our brand, our clothing choices become far easier, we become more discerning and learn to select more successfully.

Choose current ‘trends’ with care – just because a garment is ‘on-trend’ does not mean that it will suit us all.  Choosing carefully also ensures that the garment will mix and match with others in our wardrobes and maximises our choices.

If you have not yet identified a style that resonates with you, consider putting together a Pinterest ‘look book’ to inspire you.

What is appropriate for your Industry?

Our clothes should be congruent with our industry, our profession and the role we hold.  They should serve to enhance our credibility.

For example, anyone working within a creative environment can express themselves more flamboyantly in their dressing style.  In fact, it is almost expected.

Consider your life journey so far – the lengths you have taken to reach your current position.  You’ve studied hard at College or University, you’re progressing up the career ladder perhaps you have an MBA under your belt.   Ask yourself if your clothes reflect the time and effort that you have taken?

Do clothes enhance our personal brand?

A well-organised wardrobe helps you see your choices at a glance

Plan your wardrobe and get organised

Your wardrobe holds the secrets to dressing successfully and feeling good.  A well-organised wardrobe makes dressing so much easier.  Take some time to organise your wardrobe and as a guide, pairing similar colours together and by category (blouses, skirts or trousers for example) works well.

It enables you to see your choices at a glance.

Consider laying your clothes out the night before leaving you time in the morning to plan for your day ahead.  It also allows you time to take action on a missing button or a toothpaste stain.

Do clothes enhance our personal brand?

Ensure your nails are well-groomed.

Personal Grooming

Never underestimate the value of our personal grooming and the attention we pay to the small details.  Our hair, our nails and accessories (for men and women) all add up to our overall brand.

A chipped nail, a frayed cuff a missing button are all elements that may give us cause for discomfort.  Noticing it in yourself may cause you to hang back, and not fully participate for fear of being noticed in a negative way.

 

The small details matter.

Need some help?  Use an Image Consultant to help you

Are our clothes going the change the world?  No of course not but your image impacts the way you feel about yourself and how others communicate and interact with you.

So do clothes enhance our personal brand?  In my opinion, yes!  We can carry ourselves differently and even walk taller knowing that we are dressing to our strengths.

Don’t be afraid to seek the support of an Image Consultant or Personal Stylist who can help you focus on your ‘Presence’ - the impact you are making through your clothing.

Take a moment to consider how you wish to present yourself.  Does your appearance tell the story you wish people to see?

If you wish to align your personal style with your business brand and require some professional support, reserve a complimentary DISCOVERY SESSION with me NOW!

Thank you!

Jackie Crawford

31/05/2021

September 27, 2020

THE SMALL TOUCHES WILL SET YOU APART

Have you ever thought that when you want to create a great and lasting impression, the small touches will set you apart?

Making some small changes to your wardrobe can play an important part in your success.  Wearing clothes that boost your confidence is a good place to begin.  Remember also that our clothes should enhance our reputation and credibility and as such, are an investment in our future success.

I’ve met many women who have felt stuck and find it difficult to navigate their way through a change in their dressing style.

However it needn’t be a daunting task if you tweak just ONE thing.  A different trouser style, a fitted top rather than the baggy one you reach for each day or trying an alternative to black.

How about introducing a flattering colour, changing up your jewellery or adding a scarf.  It need not cost the earth to get you started.

The key is to understand what makes you feel comfortable and developing your Signature Style may provide something that people will remember about you.

Changing up your jewellery or adding a scarf will add impact

Take a peek in your wardrobe...

And identify those items that you love to wear and feel great in.  Can you pair them differently and inject some colour using a scarf or jewellery?

Now that technology has made us more visible, colour will add impact to our appearance so don’t be afraid to experiment and add personality to your working outfits.

A stylish twist using your accessories will certainly give you the edge.  A striking necklace or bolder lip colour is a good start.

The small touches will set you apart

Develop some key staples that mix and match together

Plan

The key to making some small changes to your appearance is to plan.  Developing some key staples that mix and match together will provide you with a polished and comfortable look.

Gradually building a wardrobe of flexible pieces allows us to maximise what we already have and ultimately saves money.

Laying your clothes out the evening before...

The small touches will set you apart

Laying out your clothes the evening before saves you valuable time in the morning

Saves valuable time on a busy morning when your dressing routine is shared with husbands, partners, children or animals who may all take priority.  Preparing for the next day allows you time to be a little more creative with you choices.  Try it and let me know.

 

 

 

When did you last change your hairstyle?

We can get comfortable with our appearance and become afraid to change in-case we stand out, draw attention to ourselves or in the event we don’t like it.

Long hair at any age can look great but clinging to a style from long ago can make anyone look and feel stuck in the past.  If you are in any doubt, take a look at this amazing transformation.

 

Never underestimate the impact of any small change you make to your appearance.   For example, a simple swipe of lipstick or as we have seen above, a change of hairstyle could be the catalyst to really positive and fundamental change.

So if you want to be remembered for the new job, the promotion, the new addition to the Board, the new partner, the small touches will set you apart.

If you would like to open some new doors and take some small steps to creating a lasting impression toward new opportunities, then do get in touch anytime for a  courtesy consultation, I would love to help you.

Jackie Crawford

Image Consultant

July 30, 2020

PREPARING FOR A PHOTO SHOOT?

With more time to recently reflect upon your business you may well be thinking about preparing for a photo shoot and elevating your business to improve your personal brand and imagery.   Your image is your window on the world and provides your audience with an insight into your personal and business values.

Perhaps you are already preparing for a Photo Shoot?

Clearly you need to carefully choose a photographer that you can work with, but there is still a lot to consider before capturing those all-important images.   Hopefully this guidance with personal presentation in mind will help you prepare.  Choose elements that suit your lifestyle, budget and current beauty regime and importantly, make time to plan these sessions into your schedule in preparing for a photo shoot.

Your Skin

Preparing for a Photo Shoot

A home-spa evening is another way to indulge your skin.  Pictured here Clockface Beauty products from Soul Organic, York.

Giving your skin some TLC is always a treat and gets it into great condition.  Consider a professional treatment a good few days in advance to let your skin calm down and those toxins escape.

A home-spa evening is another way to indulge your skin – exfoliate your skin and enjoy a good nourishing mask in the bath.  Add candles for some extra special atmosphere.

Plan for any waxing or shaving well in advance as you will need to allow that area to ‘heal’ particularly on your face.

Your Face

Our eyebrows really help to frame our face so give your brows some attention so they are looking good and defined.  Again, avoid redness by grooming a few days before.

A makeup artist is no longer the preserve of the wealthy.  Think wedding, special event, this is after all an investment.

Your Hair

preparing for a Photo Shoot

Isnt it great we can get back to the hairdressers?

Isn’t it great we can get back to the hairdressers?   A professional cut and colour is another way to look good and feel great and perhaps give some thought to a new professional, edgy look that says something about both you and your business.

You could also indulge in a nourishing home hair treatment and why not work this into a bit of personal TLC and relax  by slipping into a bathrobe and reading a book.

 

 

 

Preparing for a photo shoot

Ensure your nails are well-groomed.

Your Hands

Regardless of your profession, it’s always a good idea to ensure your nails are well groomed.  Even though your hands may not be a major feature of the shoot, people notice the small details and so a chipped nail could stand out, no pun intended, like a sore thumb.

Enjoy a simple manicure or self-pampering at home.  I enjoy a simple and natural treatment using caster sugar (to exfoliate) and olive oil (to soften and nourish).

If you wear rings and a watch, ensure that they are sparkly clean.  It’s another small detail that will help your images to shine.  I would advise a professional clean by a jeweller or at home, carefully using a soft toothbrush.

Your Clothing

Preparing for a Photo Shoot

Think about the outfits you love

It is essential that your clothes represent you and your brand.  Think about the outfits you love and in which you feel perfectly comfortable.   Wearing flattering colours and feeling good in your clothes provide you with some extra confidence.  Of course you may well seek to invest in a professional image consultant to guide you further and help you stand out from the crowd.

I would recommend a choice of five or six outfit options (and appropriate accessories) offering a range of colours and elements of your own personal style.  Remember that your brand images will be used across a variety of platforms and in my experience; a diverse range of outfits and environments can be helpful, depending upon your profession.

 

Powerful or statement patterns and prints can sometimes be distracting but that is the beauty of preparing for a Photo Shoot with a number of outfits.

Think about how much skin you wish to show and consider any poses that may draw attention to a particular area (I’m thinking cleavage here).  A variety of necklines will add great variety to your images and will allow you to wear differing jewellery too.

Always give your shoes a polish or a brush prior to the shoot.  It’s all part of our personal grooming regime that enhances our personal impression.

Of course don't forget your Lingerie.  Whatever you wear, your lingerie forms the foundation of your clothes.  It’s empowering, shape defining and also a massive confidence booster.

Practise your Poses

Preparing for a photo shoot?

Practice your poses to feel more at ease on the shoot day.  Photo credit for all professional shots here by Lindsley Weddings, Yorkshire.

Whether you are comfortable in front of a camera lens or not you may wish to practice your poses so that when the shoot day arrives, you will feel more at ease.  Embrace the way you look and this confidence will help you shine.

 

Get a good night’s sleep before the shoot and remember to take with you a positive mind-set and some refreshments to keep you hydrated.  Enjoy and good luck!

I do hope this article has helped you to prepare and you feel more confident.  Feel free to leave a comment below or if you require further guidance, you can always get touch by email here.

Jackie Crawford

07494 644788

July 2020

April 29, 2020

HOW TO FEEL GREAT WORKING FROM HOME

Whether you are adjusting to new 'home working' practices or purely at home out of recent necessity, we are all spending much more time at home so it’s really important to build a new routine and feel good in our environment.  So how to feel great working from home?

Let me be the guide to your ‘new normal’ and how you may improve your mood and well-being through the way you ‘show up’ and present yourself.  It is part of caring for yourself and is empowering – after all pyjamas will soon lose their all-day appeal!

Maintain a Routine and take time to dress well

It will be easy to float around the house without purpose.  Time becomes elastic, so developing and maintaining a daily plan is a good start and supports our mental health and well-being.   A key part of this is incorporating a dressing and grooming routine that makes you feel good about yourself just as if you were leaving the house to visit friends or going to work.   Oh joy; just imagine the time you may be saving from your morning commute!

The clothes we wear at home can help us feel good about ourselves

In the same way that our working clothes project credibility, the clothes we wear at home can also help us feel good about ourselves and wearing clothes in colours and styles that flatter can help to enhance our confidence.   Yes, it’s true, if we find ourselves newly-working in a home environment our clothes can empower us helping to elevate our well-being leading to a host of positives.

I am a huge advocate of how we dress and how we feel are inextricably linked.   I believe there’s an overlooked psychological element at play here.  Remember if we ‘look good we feel good’?

How about you build some variety into your days?  Since staying in is now largely the new going out, why not make the extra effort to dress up at weekends.  I guess that you have one or two items in your wardrobe that each time you wear them, make you feel special?   So don’t hide them away - inject some style into your weekends.

Exercise and Self-Care

In addition to dressing well there is comfort in taking care of our personal grooming and perhaps a little pamper?  Feeling refreshed just gives us all a boost!  Spring is here, so enjoy opening those windows, listen to the birdsong and breathe in that fresh air whilst you make some regular time for yourself.  A relaxing bath with some pampering products, a face-pack perhaps, take care of your nails or enjoy some Pilates and Yoga exercise or a lovely walk.

ClockFace Beauty Products from Soul Organic, York

I love York store Soul Organic who specialise in Green Beauty and well-being products that are Natural, Organic and Vegan.  All products are made in the UK and many from Yorkshire.

Think about a swipe of lipstick – so much more than a beauty product and a great way of expressing ourselves.  It offers instant impact to your face and enhances everything we choose to wear.  It’s also the quickest and most economical way to look ‘put together’ and you’ll feel great.  Don’t forget to add a swipe each day!

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

When we fling open those doors we should face a wardrobe of clothes that we love.  A wardrobe that brings us joy can create a positive mind-set and shapes our day ahead.

Image credit Pexels

You may have fallen out of love with some of the items in your wardrobe so you can de-clutter - preferably donating to charity or a fortunate friend.  This ensures that your wardrobe contains items that you love to wear and give you joy.  In itself, this is a positive and reaffirming process.

Decide which of those left will suit your new regime and if needs be, arrange into easily accessible sections your working, smart casual and leisure clothes. You can also build a ‘capsule wardrobe’ of versatile mix and match pieces that simplify your dressing routine.

Embrace Colour

Colour is one of my favourite subjects and wearing colour has a positive effect on the way we feel and its effects can be transformational.   Don’t be afraid to inject some colour and get creative.  Take a peek if you wish to learn more about my Colour Analysis service.

How to feel great working from home

Jewellery is a great way to add personality to an outfit

It’s not uncommon to discover in our wardrobes, a selection of neutrals such as black, white and navy but they liven up with the addition of a bolder blouse, jumper or jacket. You may simply opt to add interest using jewellery or a statement scarf over the cooler months, or an oversized scarf to a finer scarf in the warmer months tied around your neck or even your wrist.  The wearing of jewellery does evoke a wonderful sense of happiness from the memories it triggers, but can also lift a simple outfit to a different level.  It’s a great way of expressing your personality.

 

 

How we feel about ourselves is vitally important and having confidence in our appearance is very powerful stuff even around the home!

Introducing some colour into your wardrobe (and your environment) is a great way to increase your energy and motivation.  It should lift your spirits and is visually appealing when communicating on on-line platforms not forgetting that colourful accessories add impact.

When technology makes us visible

Our friends, family or working colleagues want to know you are well or best representing your businesses.  So, our image remains important.

Photo Credit Pexels

In addition, from a working perspective we are then ready for the Zoom, Skype, or Video Chat that inevitably occurs (and isn’t it always when we least expect it!) but do bear in mind what is going on behind you – that plant pot sticking out of your right ear or chair piled high with clothes.

Using positive body language is our friend here – consider our facial expressions, posture and attitude. They really contribute to a favourable impression and of course, don’t forget to smile  because your face lights up.

 

Whether you are simply spending more time at home or working remotely the future may be challenging for many of us, but I believe we can use the opportunity to use the positivity of colour, personal style and perhaps a little pampering to make things a little better until such time as 'normal' service is resumed!

Jackie Crawford

Image Consultant

 

January 29, 2020

WHY IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CARE FOR OUR CLOTHES

WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CARE FOR OUR CLOTHES

"Care for your clothes like the good friends they are" – Joan Crawford

Sadly she was no relation but she makes a very good point!   So why is it a good idea to care for our clothes?  Well in my case it is because I appreciate the effort that someone has put into their manufacture but also that when I buy clothes I love, they need to support me and stand the test of time.

It was lovely to hear a client recently comment on how carefully I was handling clothes and how I treated them gently and with respect.   Never a fan of fast-fashion, there is a valuable lesson for us all here to treat our clothes with care so we can enjoy them looking good for longer - like my cherished coat (see below).

There are however many benefits of treating our clothes more kindly so I share some of my guidelines here:

Caring for our clothes means that we can enjoy them for longer. Image Credit: Lindsley Weddings

Choosing your clothing carefully

Shopping for clothes can be a frustrating experience and in a previous blog, I shared some guidance on mindful shopping and how choosing quality clothing saves time and money.

Take this coat - it was an investment piece that each time I wear it, I feel fabulous and it continues to look good.  I hang it up after every wearing and is dry cleaned once annually.

I know that sometimes we don’t have a choice than to take certain garments for dry cleaning but by checking the care label before you purchase an item will indicate how practical this may be for you.

Respect your clothes

We tend to wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time but it’s important to rotate our clothes so they don’t wear out too soon.

Don’t stuff too much into your wardrobe, give your clothes space to breath which also means not so much ironing.  That has to be a positive, right?

Washing your clothes

I am a recent convert to reducing the chemicals in our home and using products that are kinder to the planet too.  Whilst it is early days for me, I can already recommend the laundry detergents by Norwex. 

The aim of Norwex Products is to reduce the chemicals in our homes

 

Sorting out your washing

Separate your whites from coloureds and also wash similar weight fabrics together by that I mean lighter versus heavier fabrics.

Wash clothes inside out

This helps to prevent colours fading so quickly and also avoids buttons/hooks/zips catching on the garment itself.  Be also mindful of garments with Velcro - it sticks to every fabric.

Jumpers are less likely to pill but don’t actually require washing frequently so to avoid them mis-shaping, it’s a great idea to wash them in a wash bag and also those delicate items.

Hand Washing

Take care when hand washing your clothes and check the washing instructions

Rather than take this vintage silk blouse to the cleaners, against the manufacturers washing instructions, I chose to wash it gently by hand.

Whilst I left it in a little too long, it didn’t seem to make any difference to the size (or colour for that matter!).  Phew, a close shave.

Moral of the story?  Use cool water and hang around while your delicate items soak!

 

Allow your clothes to air before hanging up in your wardrobe

Hang Loose

Apart from the aesthetic of looking at beautifully matching hangers each time you peer into your wardrobe, there is another value to good quality hangers – the way they support your clothes.  I would avoid the cheap metal hangers that mis-shape the shoulders of your clothes and instead invest in some wooden hangers or those covered in flock.

We should hang our clothes every day on good quality hangers rather than tossing them on the floor although knitwear responds so much better to being folded.

Air drying rather than using a machine is kinder on the garment and the environment.

Allowing space for our clothes to breathe can also extend the life of a garment.

How to treat jumpers

They benefit from folding to help protect the shape but first leave them hanging to air before folding them away.

Clothes in a Drawer?

Try the Marie Kondo method of vertically folding your clothes into a drawer

We’ve all heard about Marie Kondo – the Mother of organisation and tidying magic?

Essentially she advocates that clothes in drawers be folded vertically rather than horizontally.  It’s so clever, you can see every item in your drawer without having to root out your favourite tee!

Not only is it a great space saving solution to ramming things in our drawers, it also protects our clothes from squashing them down in the hope we don’t snag them on the upper drawer or our drawer runners.

My friend Claire Cutler Casey is a Kinesiologist based in York but also an expert in this area and can be contacted if you wish to use her wonderful service.

Folding clothes along the seams avoids unwanted creases and helps to maintain its shape.

 

 

Shoes and Handbags

Polish your shoes and boots regularly and when necessary, waterproof your leather items.  It’s a good time to check now if any of your footwear needs new heels or soles.  You’ll thank me one morning when you are dashing out of the door for that important meeting.

Using boot and shoe trees helps to retain the shape of the leather and helps avoid creasing, particularly at the ankles.

Using tissue paper, stuff your shoes and handbags to help them keep their shape and if you are able, store them in dust bags (or a redundant pillow case).

 

Remember that the clothes we wear can help elevate our status and help us to feel empowered.  They are a major contributor to creating a positive and lasting impression, for that reason, why it's a good idea to care for our clothes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment.

Jackie Crawford

Image Consultant

 

November 11, 2019

HOW TO CHOOSE CLOTHES THAT LAST

Growing up with a Mother who happened to be an excellent seamstress must have helped fuel my passion for fabrics and good garment construction.  How to choose clothes that last brings back fond memories of being allowed to choose my own fabrics and patterns under her watchful eye.

Over the years it has become more important to me to buy and wear better quality garments that stand the test of time, particularly when we hear about the detrimental effects of fast fashion upon our environment.

A recent personal search for a suitable evening dress for a forthcoming Award ceremony got me thinking about what we should expect when making more considered clothing choices.  When we dress successfully, good quality is something we should all be more mindful of.

In order to feel comfortable, confident and worthy in our clothes, we should always insist on certain quality details - regardless of our budget.

How can we do that?  My guidance here on how to choose clothes that last may help you.

Choose your clothing carefully

Classic Wardrobe PersonalityIf we select garments that we love, garments that suit our lifestyle, our individual style and that fit and flatter our body shape, it encourages us to wear them.  Choose current 'trends’ with care - just because a garment is 'on-trend' does not mean that it will suit us all.  Choosing carefully also ensures that the garment will mix and match with others in our wardrobes and maximises our choices.

When we identify a style that really works for us, our clothing choices become far easier, we become more discerning and learn to select more successfully. Style continues long after the fashion has faded.  As Yves St Laurent once said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal”

If you have not yet identified a style that resonates with you, consider putting together a Pinterest ‘look book’ to inspire you.

Before you ShopCapsule wardrobe shopping

Make sure that before you shop, you have assessed your wardrobe needs so that you come home with clothes that do mix and match together and not with a random selection that go with nothing.

Why not create a list of 'wardrobe needs', keep it on your phone and then when a shopping opportunity arises, you have it right there!

Looking at the garment construction will guide you

Take time to look at the garment and check the fabric, a denser weave for example (even in a finer fabric) should last longer.

Become familiar with looking for natural materials that are longer lasting.  Blends of natural and man-made fabrics tend to wear at different rates and will not ultimately biodegrade.  A mix however of natural materials will tend to look better for longer.

You will find that synthetic fibres such as nylon or polyester will not biodegrade whereas more modern natural fabrics such as Tencel and Modal (you may know as Lyocell – a fibre made from wood pulp that is naturally breathable, biodegradable and pretty well eco-friendly) are made to stand the test of time.

Check the washing instructions

If it only recommends dry cleaning, consider how practical this is for you.  A pale coloured silk blouse for example may spend more time in the washing basket than on your back.

 

Before you purchase

how to choose clothes that last

Excellent quality here from Abraham Moon

In my experience clothes should look as good on the inside as they do on the outside if they are well made providing a glimpse of the quality.  Look out for clothes that come with extra buttons or thread to aid any repairs although this check-list may help you:

  •  any patterned fabric is properly matched at the seams
  •  the zip fits flush with the garment and when on our body does not pucker up
  •  the buttonholes and fastenings are well stitched
  •  the hem is well stitched and straight
  • any (woolly) fabric is not already bobbling
  • asking yourself if you love the garment and if it fits YOU, will save you a heap of hassle once you have brought the item home

A good seamstress will alter any item of clothing and can breathe new life into some vintage clothing  helping you re-purpose the garment and maximise it’s life.

When we are more aware of these details we elevate our self-esteem, our dressing confidence increases and we will feel far more special.

Actually, the benefits of choosing clothes that last are far more wide-reaching in that shopping more wisely, supporting charity through shops or  dress agencies, we are contributing less to the negative impact upon the environment.  How good does that feel?

I wonder if this may change your view on the way you choose your clothes.  I’d love to know, please leave a comment and look out for my next blog about Caring for our Clothes.  In the meantime, if you wanted some bespoke guidance, do feel free to get in touch.

Jackie Crawford

Image Consultant

07494 644788

September 30, 2019

DRESSING FOR SUCCESS

In our less formal and modern digital world the expression   “Clothes maketh the man” has never been more relevant  which I guess has been replaced by Dressing for Success.  What we wear, our image and our personal brand, matters.  Our clothes  should enhance both our reputation and credibility.

I’d like to think that we don’t always make such snap judgements and whilst speaking generally, it is human nature to shape an impression of another in the blink of an eye.

This ‘blink’, according to studies is in-fact 7 seconds which is not so long to establish that lasting impression.

Successful women in business rarely look ‘thrown together’ or dishevelled and this is clearly no coincidence.  We should bear in mind that the clothes within our working wardrobe be considered as an investment in our future success - an ‘investment in our ourselves’.  Our appearance sends a positive message to our peers and colleagues about who we are and how we expect to be treated.  Dressing in a suitable and smart manner speaks volumes – “I know what I’m doing, take me seriously”.  If we care about ourselves and the way we present ourselves it is perceived that we also care about the job we do and also those around us.

First and foremost, it is worth thinking about the clothes we wear to our workplace each day.  Few of us have the resource to look like a catwalk model but clothing in colours and styles that flatter your own characteristics will increase your confidence, self-esteem and will undoubtedly command attention.

The key, I believe, to dressing for success, requires a plan

When we plan and gradually build a wardrobe of co-ordinated pieces, we gain maximum flexibility ultimately saving valuable time.  My suggestions here could be a starting point:

Get the balance right

There is nothing wrong with wearing a striking pair of stilettos or skin tight leather trousers but you know in your heart of hearts that this does not project the right image in many environments.  Wearing revealing necklines or inappropriate clothing will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.  Finding some business staples will give you a polished and professional look.

With the loosening of business dress codes, you still need to consider your own working environment, your position within the organisation and of course the company culture.  Our positions very often involve a ‘portfolio’ of roles and for those who are self-employed and working from home, it is still important to be clear about the image you wish to convey.  Consider also the clients you wish to attract.

The clothes required of a highly corporate environment will vary to those of a self-employed Business Coach working in say in a creative environment.

Even more formal working environments have veered away from a business suit in black, navy and grey but if it is still a need for you, colour is important here, don’t feel you have to stick to these conformist colours when it comes to the shirts or blouses you wear with them.   Don’t be too afraid of colour.  There are clever ways to infuse some personality to your working outfits.  A day in the office should not be treated as a fashion parade but think classic cuts and add your own stylish twist with accessories to give your outfit the edge.

Embrace colour and pattern into your working look

Image Credit Lindsley Weddings

Image Credit Lindsley Weddings

It is easy to inject some colour and pattern to your working wardrobe and still look professional.   A subtle pink can enhance navy blue or grey whilst a rich emerald green works well with a variety of neutrals.  It is a matter of choosing the colours and patterns that are right for you.  We can also use colour to project authority or approachability.

If you do not wear a suit for work, the same rules can be applied when wearing separates.  Add a brighter cardigan to black and white or inject the colour to your accessories but a word of warning, no need to overdo them particularly if you lack the confidence to wear a brighter colour!

What about Fashion Trends?

My advice is to wear selectively but on a positive note, does suggest you have your finger on the pulse, you are ahead with current trends.  The assumption here is that of course you are ahead of your game in your field of expertise.

Invest in your outer wear

Spend wisely where it matters most - those items that are most visible as you arrive and depart, our shoes, coats, bags and laptop bags play an important part in our overall look.

Accessories

Image Credit Pexels

Image courtesy of Pexels

Selecting accessories for a business environment can be a challenge so wear your accessories wisely…simple, discreet and nothing too distracting.

The ‘less is more’ approach is good here although such self-expression can help to boost our confidence.

If you do lack the confidence to wear bolder clothing colours perhaps try a brighter colour in a single piece of jewellery, a belt or a contrasting pair of heels which is usually sufficient to pull the look together.   A good handbag is another way to inject some personality and style into your work wear wardrobe.

What about your shoes?  If you love heels and they still allow you to move around comfortably, stay with it or try a stylish loafer or elevated wedge trainer (which of course have to be spotless).  There are some great options if you wish a more comfortable option.

 

If however you are still confused about dressing for success, wish to understand the colours and styles that are perfect for you or you need help to discover some ‘successful’ dressing tips for your professional or social wardrobe, then please get in touch.  Better still you can call me on 07494 644788, I'd love to help you navigate the dress-code dilemma.

COLOURS • CLOTHES • CONFIDENCE

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