Rebecca After Makeup Lesson
Rebecca contacted me to help her develop the appearance aspect of her excutive presence. She often felt too her clothing was too casual for her role as a corporate executive and wanted to appear more co-ordinated and stylish.
The first thought I had is that I'd be helping her find nice suits. However, as Rebecca explained her fascinating and rather unusual work I realised that working with her would provide a rather different and interesting challenge!
Rebecca works as a graphic facilitator helping organisations express their ideas and business solutions as visual images. Her role involves a lot of travel, working with clients around the globe. So it's especially important that her work wardrobe is a capsule of just the right pieces that mix-and-match and can be layered to suit the various climates of the places she works in.
Her business trips involve setting up conference rooms with the working surface she and her team need to work on. Breaking down that set up. And the 'gig' itself -- using coloured marker pens to create the art work, sometimes up a ladder, or lying on the floor! There may also be various business meetings and dinners with clients.
I recommended Rebecca use my 'Upgrade Your Style' package. This includes:
Now that Rebecca is comfortable working with me we'll do another seasonal update next season to complete the first iteration of her style transformation. From here she can either continue with her own seasonal updates, or continue to use my wardrobe and shopping services.
Rebecca's Style Words(shown in her warm & muted colours)
During the style discovery session we identified Rebecca's style words (see image above). These words represent how she wants to look and be perceived.
We found that her colouring is Warm and Muted (aka Warm Autumn) -- this is also my colouring. So her hair colouring is a few shades too dark and too cool -- she'll change that over time.
Rebecca tells me that she feels relief now she's wearing colours that flatter her! Previously she was hiding behind black. Now she can't bear to see it in her wardrobe! Too much black can leave you feeling weighed down, especialy when it's not your best colour.
(If you wear a lot of black because it makes you look slimmer please remember that any dark colour makes you look slimmer!).
Many clients tell me they love wearing colour when they know what works for them. I find this to be particularly true for women whose best colours are warm colours, such as Rebecca.
Her horizontal body shape is triangle, so we need to balance her shoulder width to her hips to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. Her vertical shape is balanced and she's on the taller end of medium height.
Rebecca already had good instincts for dressing to flatter her shape, although she'd become a bit too restrictive in her choices. She was also on the right track for the types of clothes she was wearing for her setup and 'gig' work from a practical perspective, but lacked the knowledge to create stylish outfits in clothes that portrayed her level of professional competence and artistic skills.
The main areas she needed help with were understanding her best colours, knowing where to shop, and ideas for adding style and interest to her outfits -- especially accessorising.
In her wardrobe I found a sea of black and a large wardrobe of colourful Converse shoes. Her feet were pretty much the only area where she was expressing her personality! However, I did find one lovely green and cream scarf in her colours and a fun navy and soft white blazer (interestingly her bathroom towels were also in her colours!). No wonder Rebecca didn't like her clothes.
We worked out a shopping list together for her Autumn/Winter work wardrobe. I recommended she move away from an over-reliance on Converse shoes at work -- they really aren't corporate enough (even in Rebecca's unusual situation). I also recommended she take a makeup lesson from my recommended makeup artist Petrina Milas of Studio Petrina Milas. There's no need to wear much makeup, but it is good to use a little to even skin tone, add definition and create a more polished professional look.
We found Rebecca some lovely clothes and accessories in colours and styles that suit her style criteria and her work environment. She's loving her new colours and now enjoys shopping for clothes. There were a couple of items on her shopping list that we didn't find during our shopping trip (mainly pants in flattering styles and colours) and she's now managed to find these during a recent trip to the US.
Below are a few of the outfits we created in our follow-up wardrobe session. (Please excuse my photos!)
1. Rebecca in New Favourite Jacket (before sleeve alteration)
2. Rebecca in 'Gig' Outfit
3. Rebecca in Setup Outfit (she'd use more covered shoes)
(The dark colour clothing in these photos is actually navy. As you can see these are not professional photos!)
Here is Rebecca's feedback about her style makeover experience...
Q: What encouraged you to look for style makeover services?
A: I had lost confidence in choosing clothes and ended up in a rut, buying cheap, plain clothes that were often too big or just let me hide. My job requires casual clothing but I was feeling scruffy and uncoordinated, so I wanted to elevate my outfits and look more put together, but I didn't know where to start. I also wasn't sure what colours or shapes worked for me as I was not able to realistically look at myself in the mirror and assess what I saw.
Q: Do you remember how you first heard about my services?
A: I did a lot of research online before choosing you.
Q: What were your major objectives at this stage?
A: To understand colour and shapes for me, and to get a work wardrobe that would help me feel more confident.
Q: What alternatives did you consider (if any) and why?
A: I did initially go to David Jones for a stylist session but it was not a success. They were an hour late, and then told me that they didn't stock clothes in my size (14 or 16) because they were more fashion forward or mother of the bride. I came away feeling a bit crushed!
Q: Why did you choose me?
A: From looking at the website I understood that:
Q: What were the major attractions of the solution?
A: All of the above. I was very put off by some of the other sites I saw, where people were a bit plastic looking.
Q: Tell me how you felt going through the style makeover process?
A: At first, I was quite nervous but you put me at ease and I enjoyed each phase, from the homework right through to the wardrobe integration.
Q: What were your expectations? And were they met?
A: I hoped we would be able to find a workable wardrobe and yes, we did.
Q: What are my strengths?
A: You are a good listener and I think you work very hard to find the right thing for the individual, it all felt very personal and customised to me.
Q: What are my weaknesses?
A: I can't think of any.
Q: Would you use my services again?
A: Yes, and have recommended you already to colleagues.
Q: What advice would you give to others who are considering reviewing and improving their image?
A: Don't be afraid, it is actually quite a liberation -- I feel like I have let a lot go since going through this process.
Rebecca in Flattering Colours
Q: What are the major benefits after your style makeover?
A: A comfortable, practical wardrobe that suits me and that I am more confident in -- so I feel more integrated at work.
Q: What will you do now that you were not doing before?
A: Oh my goodness, I am shopping and enjoying it!
Q: On a scale of 10 (excellent) to 1 (extremely poor) how do you rate your experience with me?
Q: What further services are you considering?
A: I need help with what to wear when it is very hot.
Q: Would you refer and recommend me?
Q: Do you have any other feedback or comments for me?
A: I have a couple of pieces I am struggling with a little, but will keep persevering.[Jane: I've since spoken with Rebecca about these and made suggestions, and noted comments for future shopping trips]
I have had a lot of comments such as:
I am keen to build up my wardrobe and am holding myself back a bit so that I don't go crazy and buy everything in sight that is my colour, but that is a good place to be in comparison to how it was before.
It DOES truly feel like a liberation to wear colour and I look at my old stuff that I am hanging on to and I just don't want to even look at it.
I have been able to play more with scarves and accessories, and that has been fun.
Are you ready to update your professional image? To ensure you look as professional and successful as you are (or as you want to be)? I'd love to help you.
I offer personal image consulting and styling services both in-person (if you live in Sydney, Australia), and remotely (using a mix of email, photos, and Skype, FaceTime, or phone).
"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.
Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."