I will let you in on a secret. I truly love watching awards shows and all the glitter and glamour that USUALLY surrounds the evening. This was NOT the case Sunday night with these two fine actresses. Both so very talented, but what were they thinking? or not? It didn’t matter what they wore, no one would care or notice? YIKES! ladies this had to be the worst two outfits I have seen in a long time. Wrong, on so many levels not sure where to start. I hope Frances and Whoppi take a good long look at these pics and perhaps consider hiring professionals next time they hit the Red Carpet. Before any important night in your life seek help. I totally GET eccentric and expressive. I was a costume designer for many years. Onward and upward…
Jeff Christensen / Associated Press Jason Kempin / Getty Images
Playful, serious, spunky, sporty, even depressed! Everyone does it. And it is done either with consciousness or without consciousness. However, it is done. Moreover, if you are consciously projecting your personal style, then your visual message is consistent with your goals. This is critical because people make decisions about you in a blink of an eye. If you’re a brain surgeon, for example, but look like a hobo off the street, it’s going to be harder for you to establish your credibility and get referrals and keep them, than if you looked the part.
If you’re not getting what you want in life, one place to look for assistance is at yourself-your visual business or personal calling card, so to speak.
Personal style is a two-fold combination of what you do, and who you are.
Your personal style is evident in everything that you do — from the way that you dress to the items that you own. An Armani jacket or a brand new Mercedes … all of these choices represent your individual sense of style . So how do you define your own style, and how can you express it with confidence?
The best personal style is simply wearing what looks the best on us – and you can LEARN how to dress for success. It may take a professional to to help help you with this, and realizing that is half the battle. Personal style is not all about fancy designer labels, the latest celebrity trend ; it is simply about having the confidence and self-awareness to make the very most of what you have and what you can afford. Your image also reflects you inner style, through who you are and how you represent yourself: your attitude, behavior and the way you communicate, both verbal and non verbal.
1.Re-examine your lingerie. Take a long hard look at what is in your drawers. Throw out anything that is tattered and worn. Once elastic is stretched out, it is shot. No wearing bras and panties with the squiggly, broken elastic. Invest in new lingerie. If you’re using the best of what’s in your closet, then keep looking your best with the right undergarments.
2. Don’t keep clothes in your closet if they do not fit you or your lifestyle. Nothing is more depressing than a closet full of clothes that are no longer right for you. Keep your closet current with what DOES look great on you. If you must keep items that you cannot bear to get rid of, pack them up and store away.
3. Say sayonara to an all black wardrobe. Yes, It is chic and it is sooo LA/NY. Black is often the go- to- color when a few lb.’s appear. If this is your case, keep a dark hue on the areas you need to camouflage. There is a world of color out there just waiting to be worn. Mix your best colors with your neutrals, lighten, and brighten up!
P.S. Men like color, and are attracted to it, especially in a room that is a “sea of black”.
4. Have at least one default evening and day outfit that you makes you look and feel fabulous. Make sure it is one that rewards you with tons of compliments. And don’t forget that you have it when you get that last-minute invite or you may be shopping for no good reason.
5. Stock your closet with wardrobe essentials.
Once you have your lingerie in order, it’s time to review your essential outfits. Have pieces that are great basics so you can mix and match with ease. If a fabulous pair of pants or if that amazing skirt has eluded you, then this is the time to seek it out.
Recently, a major corporation contacted LAR Consultants in desperate need of what can only be described as an “Ambush Makeover.” Remember the show? Who doesn’t like to see someone transform in a matter of hours? It’s fun to watch.
For Kayla,* it wasn’t a matter of “fun.” It was an essential step toward an offer for her dream job. And the day after she got the job, she would be on a plane to New York for her first board meeting.
Kayla is a competent and accomplished professional. She was a natural pick for a promotion to management, if only her professional appearance were a little more polished. She would have to step up her skills in order to be given a chance to thrive in her new leadership position. Wow. Instead of passing her over for “lack of skills,” Kayla’s company utilized the effectiveness of a day of laser coaching to ensure her success.
Kayla needed immediate support in a few areas [In typical laser coaching, we might deal with ONE of these topics in a session; Kayla had the luxury of laser coaching X 8!!]. Her company needed her to be ready to:
- Know and apply best grooming practices
- Learn appropriate colors and fabrics for business attire
- Discover best styles to enhance image of individual and company
- Utilize accessories to increase authority
- Understand how to dress for different business occasions
A COMPREHENSIVE approach is a MUST: Look professional, credible and powerful, and others will treat you that way!
We covered all of this with Kayla BEFORE lunch! And we immediately went into the stores to apply what she had learned. After a working lunch, we moved right into a not-so-subtle-essential of image: Non-Verbal Behavior. We say at LAR Consultants, “No Dead Fish Handshakes Here!”
Non-verbal behavior is the foundational conduct element for professionals. Learning the appropriate ways to maintain eye contact, shake hands, sit or stand, are all critical elements for professional behavior.
It was essential for Kayla to:
- Understand the impact of first impressions and how to manage them
- Master the art of a handshake that conveys confidence and authority
- Network with confidence: social skills
- Discover the best nonverbal messages for presentations
At this point, Kayla’s confidence is growing. Her smile is broadening. She is becoming the executive her skills tell us she can be. In order for her to be ready for TOMORROW’s board meeting, we rounded out Kayla’s coaching day with Expert Tips for Professional Verbal Communication & Business.
- Meet people and make introductions
- Learn best practices for business meetings
- Represent the company or corporation well in any situation
- Leave a strong professional impression after meetings, introductions, and in one-to-one communications
What about you? Can you say with confidence that you or your employees have mastered all these skills?
Kayla was happy to learn and enjoyed the process (who wouldn’t?). Let’s not forget that her company was smart to see Kayla’s potential and brilliant to provide a day of coaching to help her transform. In the end, what was good for Kayla was good for them, too. Now they can,
Feel confident that Kayla will represent the company well
Trust that Kayla will send the right message, without the distraction of an unpolished personal presentation
Know that Kayla will save the company time and money by not having to spend her own time and money fretting about her appearance–she can devote more time to her role as a top-level executive in the boardroom
Kayla’s value as an employee has gone up exponentially. Her professional skills combined with her personal image exude confidence, professionalism, and appropriate business etiquette. Now she can thrive, both for the good of her company and in her personal endeavors.
The other day I was observing what appeared to be an extremely well groomed, and put together businesswoman. Her hair was styled, makeup appropriate, suit; color and fit very good, tailored handbag,then I looked down to see what she had chosen as her footwear to complete this ‘turned out’ look.
Quell horror! I saw, and heard, this annoying ‘click, click,click’ as she walked and I realized that her pump heels were so worn down that the heel tips were off and the metal from the steel heel shank was exposed causing the grating noise. It looked like she had been walking through gravel pits. The heel leather was ripped and scratched. The toe of the shoe was rubbed raw of the original color.
I thought, as I looked at her walking up the street, so confident and proud, when was the last time she looked at her shoes?
Or did she ever give them a second thought when she put them on in the morning?
Did she realize she was KILLING her very professional look by not attending to the details?
You need to pay attention to ALL the details of your dress and accessories to have a truly professional demeanor. Shoes get noticed, A LOT.
Men often judge other men by their shoes and watches.
Women often judge other women by their shoes and handbags.
So, do not squander this opportunity to look your best. Please pay attention to the image breaker and image maker details.
The goal of speaking with professionals, clients, and colleagues is to win the day by appearing credible, successful, and professional. Often you’re up against some major challenges when ‘WHAT’ you say is as important as HOW you say it.
I imagine you can think of people who have a disconnection between what they’re saying and how they sound when they speak. And you’ve likely made conclusions based on HOW they sound instead of what they saying.
- Soft: lacking confidence, weak
- Loud: pushy, aggressive
- High-pitched: girly, inexperienced
- Too fast: anxious, stressed, untrustworthy
- Ums and awes, like and you-know: unprepared
How do you gain their trust? Lower your pitch, moderate your tone, speak clearly and slowly, and remove the ‘fillers’. If you want to be in charge, then align WHAT you say with HOW you say it.
Professional women need to have dependable, timeless jewelry to enhance their ‘visual business card’. It’s fine to mix things up with trendy pieces, but timeless jewelry is an investment in your success because it keeps your appearance sophisticated. And, dear blog readers, you know by now that much of what people think about you is based on your appearance.
Here is your business jewelry checklist:
Silver jewelry if your skin tone is cool (you look best is cooler, blue- based colors)
Gold jewelry if your skin is warm (you look best in warmer, yellow -based colors)
Studs: Always a winner
Diamond studs: Studs are perfect with everything so long as they’re under a carat. Be sure to avoid anything “rapper-ish”
Small hoops earrings: no larger than a nickel
Small dangle earring: no longer than a half-inch dangle
Pearls: 16-18 inch single or a double strand (White-white pearls look best on cool skin while a bit creamier version looks great on warm skin)
Long Chain: Something that you can double to make a collar piece too. Also a necklace with a pendant is good to have.
Bangle or link bracelet: Avoid anything too big or noisy
Classic watch: A sleek, clean watch that you wear every day with a gold, silver, or black or brown band.
Evening watches are still popular, but if you don’t have one, try to skip it or be sure your classic watch works with your dressy outfit
Rings: wedding rings and classic rings are fine, just avoid large stoned cocktail rings that are all the rage right now. Avoid the ‘ring-on-every-finger’ look too
Save your funky, chunky, costume jewelry for weekends.
Do you love the look of a clean crisp white blouse? I surely do because it is always a winner. It is a year round staple. The white blouse look fabulous with a simple skirt or pants. Nary a photo shoot goes by without someone in this classic vision of beauty and style. But finding the perfect white blouse can be as difficult as finding the perfect swimsuit.
So here are my 8 tips for your white shirt quest
- Shape: Look for a blouse that is tapered and not too boxy
- Design: Vertical darts ensure that tapered look
- Proportion: Make sure if you are wearing un-tucked, that the blouse is not too long and out of proportion for your frame
- Fabric: Cotton with a bit a spandex mixed in is one of the best fabrics, because you avoid wrinkles and the blouse moves with you
- Fit: Sit in the blouse, and see if there is any ‘gap-o sis’ in the front causing a peek-a-boo issue. Try the product ‘No See ‘ems’ (see below) if this is a problem for you, or wear a thin camisole
- Buttons: Make sure the buttons line up properly the buttonholes are not frayed
- Added Touch: French cuffs add an air of elegance, make sure they hit just right below the wrist bone
- Around the Neck: Check the collar, and if it is too high it may chaff your neck
Where to shop:
Start with Banana Republic, as they have a way with the cotton/spandex blend that I favor. Note that BR doesn’t always carry the white blouse, so buy it when you find it.
My ultimate white blouse is from Anne Fontaine (www.annefontaine.com). Scrumptious and the tailoring: impeccable.
If white absolutely washes you out, then opt for ivory or a soft pastel.
Remember mini skirts? Weren’t they fun? I remember putting them on with a colorful patterned hose and boots and feeling very Ann-Margaret. Ahh… those were the days. Then gravity hits.
One day you look down and see saggy, crepey knees and lower thighs that are a bit chubbier then you remembered. Yikes! When did that happen? Was I dozing off during the sag time? So sad, but for the sake of looking great at any age, I shelved my minis and made some youthful changes.
Here’s my guidance:
Mini skirts are unforgiving: And so, are best left to the under 35 and super-fit. Though there is always an exception to this rule, e.g., forty-something Gwyneth Paltrow, who looks amazing in a short dress, but works out with an über trainer about 100 hours a day. I hear the screaming!
Mini skirts are aging: When you know you are trying too hard to look young, it becomes, well…sad L
What can you do to enjoy the short skirt?
1. Keep your skirts right above the knee, if you have great knees, or right below the knee where the leg curves in (as pictured above). A hunky-dory length for most people is the contour of the knee, where the calf curves in toward the back of the knee.
2. Wearing some sort of leg covering: tights in the winter and tanner in the summer. A self-tanner always makes legs look better and sleeker. With that being said, a tan leg still is not license to wear inappropriately short skirts.
3. Remember, not much is sexier to men then a slim knee length pencil skirt.
PS. If you did not have to ‘google’ Ann Margaret, double-check your knees and consider those white go-go boots for Halloween.