self image

Ditch The Mirror!

  Over the past couple of months travelling around India I have hardly seen myself in a full length mirror, there have been a few days with out even seeing what my face looks like! My experience of this is that it is really liberating not having a clue what you look like. You get up in the morning, put on the clothes you feel drawn to wearing and then for the rest of the day you fully forget what you look like. You feel how you feel inside rather that letting what you see you look like on the outside dictate how you feel.

Sometimes it’s easy to look in a mirror and focus on what you don’t like. I know this is common as for the past 8 years being an image consultant most of the clients I meet do this. I have also toured UK conducting style consultations in shopping centres and when I ask people to tell me one thing they like about themselves they often get stuck. They can of course tell me what they don’t like.

Then you get stuck on what you don’t like and that is all you focus on.

Of course it’s easy when you are travelling to not have to care to much what you look like. Back at home going into work is a different matter. We need to create a good impression and show that we care enough about ourselves and our career to make an effort. However it is easy to get caught up in looking in the mirror way more than we really need to.

We check ourselves out when we go to the toilet, in shop mirrors, in passing windows, in hand mirror and so on. Is this really good for us? It can become an obsession, focusing so much on how we look on the outside and thinking that has something to do with how good a person we are, how we compare to others and how confident we feel in our self.

 

How we look is not really who we are. Our ego (or mind) gets attached to our body, what shape it is, how thin it is and we start to define ourselves through how we look. But our true Self is what is inside. Happiness, contentment, peace, self confidence all comes from with in. Just not looking in the mirror so much will help to detach from thinking too much about how we look and thinking it makes us who we are.

I am not saying we ditch mirrors altogether, like I said above there are times when we need to create a good impression and also making the most of how we are naturally does help to raise our self confidence. I just think it’s about getting a balance. Dress in a way that you know suits you and then minimize checking a mirror so often. Just try it and see how it feels.

 

I am going to be out of the country until June 2012, if you have any questions about image at all or would like to book something for when I get back please email me on [email protected]

Dressing for your face shape!

Yes you read it correctly, dressing for your face shape not your body shape. Of course dressing for your body shape is crucial if you want look your best but we are not going to focus on that now. Wearing the right neck lines, accessories, frames and hair styles around your face will also work to compliment you and enhance your features. First of all sit yourself down in front of a mirror and assess what your overall face shape could be; is it oval? Square? Long? Round? Heart? Or diamond?

If you can’t work it out exactly don’t worry, sometimes we can be a bit in-between. Just try and work out a rough idea.

Then take a look at your actual facial features to see if they are more angular or contoured? For example do you have round or more almond shape eyes (almond is more angular). Do you have sharp cheek bones or more rounded softer cheeks? Is your nose angular and pointed or does it have soft curves?

Here are a couple of examples;

Angular
Round

Once you have worked out for face shape and features consider overall does your face have more angles or curves?

If you get stuck try on a V neck top and then a round neck to see which really defines your features more.

The lines that you wear around you face will be most flattering if they match the natural contours of your face. To put quite simply if you have angular facial features then you need to wear angles around your face such as V and square necks, pendants instead of necklaces, angular glass frames, peaked lapels and straight hair styles. If your face is more contoured then round necks, softer frames, hairstyles with waves or curls, rounded lapels and accessories will flatter you.

This is advice to help you to look your absolute best and really define your features, of course you can still look fantastic in a top in the perfect colour and style for you but with the wrong neck line, it really is the finishing touch though. The wrong neckline, hairstyle or glass frames can impact how you look and detract from you looking to your best. For example if you wear a round neck when you have angular features you lose definition to your face, a rounded face with dead straight hair can look bigger, square earrings can look off set if you have tumbling curls and soft features.

What you wear around your face is crucial as that is what people are looking at the most when they speak to you. It is called your triangle of influence. So it is good to be most careful with the colours, styles and shapes you wear around your face to ensure you always look amazing.

Business Wear Check List

It’s easy to be a little unsure what is totally appropriate for work or not these days with businesses having a more flexible approach to work wear. Unless you are told you have to wear a suit it can be a bit confusing as to what you can and can’t get away with. Whatever the dress code you are likely to want to project a fantastic professional impact, to stand out and get noticed by your boss. A great professional impact is when the style of your clothes is appropriate, in good condition, looked after and fit you properly.

Following is a helpful check list from Aston and Hayes (where I trained as an image consultant) to find out if your clothes are an asset to you or a liability:

A

B

JACKET
Does your jacket fit properly across the back of your shoulders?

yes

no

Is there 2-3cms of fabric spare at the side of your torso?

yes

no

Are there any obvious creases or stains?

no

yes

Is there any puckering or fabric sheen caused by dry cleaning?

no

yes

Are there any loose buttons or threads?

no

yes

SKIRTS
Is your skirt long enough to cover your knees

yes

no

Does the fabric pull or gape anywhere?

no

yes

TROUSERS
Can you slip your hand easily into your waistband

yes

no

Are your pockets or pleats gaping or pulling?

no

yes

Does the hem rest on the top of your shoe?

yes

no

SHIRTS & TOPS
Are your shirt collars and cuffs pristine?

yes

no

Are you showing too much cleavage?

no

yes

Does the fabric pull anywhere across your bust or torso?

no

yes

Are your tops long enough to avoid showing your midriff?

yes

no

KNITWEAR
Does your knitwear have any bobbles or pulls?

no

yes

Shoes & Hosiery
Are your shoes in immaculate condition?

yes

no

Are your tights free of snags or runs?

yes

no

 

TOTALS:

Now count up all your A’s and B’s. A is the most appropriate wear to create a professional impact so if you have scored lots of A’s you are doing well! If B was your higher score then it might be a good time for a wardrobe weed to sift out the clothes that don’t work so well anymore and create a key items shopping list to build a fabulous working wardrobe.

Contact me for more details: [email protected]