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I read an article recently stating that “consumers see no value in dressing for work vs. dressing for leisure”. What??? In a time when women are still struggling to be valued and included in business AND when women past the age of 50 are reporting feeling invisible, it’s more important than ever to develop and maintain a personal image that is clear and understandable at first glance.

Your image (or your ‘façade’) is what people use to make instant judgments about you – your character, your trustworthiness, your value.

But, you can guide people’s interpretation (yes, judgement) of you and illustrate how to respect and value you by choosing to dress in a manner that commands it.

The mantra “clothes don’t matter – I should be comfortable” is understandable – who doesn’t want to be comfortable? But clothes DO

matter because they are what we human’s use as a shortcut to instantly categorize you in their minds. We all do it – because that’s how the human mind works. Just think how fast you’ve said ‘eww’ when you’ve seen someone dressed poorly – in your judgement. The instant image is why we’re fascinated by Instagram – it’s a story in a picture!

Just think about any TV show or movie – the characters are defined first by the clothes they’re wearing. It’s the quickest way to illustrate and differentiate who’s who in the show.

For example, the clothes illustrate:

  • what segment of society the character comes from (upper-class affluent wife, middle-class mom, or student or professor in a college)

  • where and when the show is taking place (Middle-of-nowhere town, futuristic city, desert, winter, summer, far-away-land)

  • what their role is in the show (power-hungry wealthy lawyer, down-and-out broke lawyer, opportunistic student, king, good witch or evil witch)

  • And if their role is evolving during the course of the story – their wardrobe will change to illustrate this (cheap, ill-fitting clothes transform into elegant, high-end clothes as the character becomes more affluent)

So if clothes are this critical to telling a believable story on-screen, why would this not be the case IRL? We’re all seeking understanding in our complex world. If you can clearly help people understand who you are and what you bring to the table, why not do it and make your life easier? Please do not allow someone else’s unwillingness to make an effort diminish, derail, or undermine YOUR career aspirations.

If someone is going to remember you, wouldn’t you rather be remembered as the women who was dressed for the job? Who was always ready? Too many of our casual clothes designs don’t clearly define your aspirations – they’re neutral and possibly even shapeless. People simply don’t use their imaginations far enough to place you in that important position you want.

We all fulfill different roles in our lives. On any given day you might be the SME at your office, mom, power athlete when you’re exercising, sexy dinner date, passionate sports fan, and a zillion identities in-between. Each of those roles often calls for different clothes, both for functionality (you need yoga pants to do yoga, etc.) and to express your role and how you feel about it (sports fans go all out on the gear, don’t they?).

So here’s what to do:

Whenever you go out, first determine who your ‘audience’ will be that day, and dress to communicate and relate to them. You will be remembered, respected, and connected because you’ve given them a clearly-defined person whom they can know, like, and trust.

Dress like YOU mean business!

Have you ever noticed that all sports are analyzed from every aspect? Turn on the television, and there’s a talk show analyzing each one. Experts from players to coaches to statisticians are offering their expertise to give perspective and insight. Same game, same rules -- what could they have done differently to increase their competitive edge to win the game?

So why not for fashion? Women need every edge to maximize their careers, so why doesn’t someone offer some expert perspective, critique and industry analysis of fashion? We’re out there shopping without enough insight. And learning algorithms are the new disruptors – they’re slowly invading our shopping carts.

Wouldn’t you like some insight and perspective on this important subject? I can't speak for you, but I don’t want an algorithm taking over my shopping - I want to make my own choices. You’re fully capable of making good decisions, you just need a little guidance on what to look for and why and most importantly, where to find it.

If you’d like a better way to approach this subject along with some expert analysis - plus insight on where fashion might be heading, I’ve developed a 30-minute talk to break down what options are available out there and where, what’s coming, and how you can navigate it best for your lifestyle and career. Let’s cut through the smoke-and-mirrors of fashion and get real.

Statistics:

  • The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing and keeps them for about half as long as they did 15 years ago.

  • Up to 70 percent of closets are going unworn and 33 percent of women wear items less than five times before they are discarded.

  • Using a garment just three months longer can lower its water, carbon and waste footprint by 5 percent to 10 percent.

  • New business models—like garment resale, rental and subscription— could optimize the practical service life of garments.

  • The stigma of ‘used’ is now being replaced by ‘vintage’ or ‘authentic.’ For resale, the main benefits consumers report are that, in general, it is better value for money, you can buy brands that you can’t afford new and there is a thrill of the hunt that is not experienced in traditional retail.

Plus, there are more lines designed specific to career-wear, more lines designed for different body shapes (including talls), more lines for mature women, more ways to shop (have you tried the Bento box system?), more places to shop, including resale (that's also a really practical way to clean out your closet and pick up something inexpensively for say, a one-time event that you'll never wear again...).

AND, what's happening within the fashion retail industry? How is it changing while we not paying attention?

It’s fast, to the point, and mind-blowing. If you’d like to book me for your next event, it’s $350 for the 30 minutes, plus a :30 Q&A session. I’ve created an infographic guideline that's easy to follow.

Let's analyze fashion for perspective!

  • What look is best for your career?

  • What are your options – where do you find it?

  • How to deal with sizing irregularities

  • Where can you look for best value?

  • When should you make a major investment?

  • Should you rent?

Call me and let’s get on the calendar! 832-707-9339


Boot heels need love too

It's boot season, so don't forget to check out the heels on your boots and shoes. It's so easy for the heels to get hacked and scratched on our walkways, on the legs of our office chairs, while driving, and the awful sidewalks and parking garages we navigate daily. And that wear-and-tear shortens the life of our footwear. So if you love them, check them out and take them to the shoe repair. I know, it feels expensive, but so is the cost of a new pair of boots you love as much as these. The boots in this photo (which I sneaked from a distance) are beyond repair. And they just look so sad - such a bad image to put out there. Doesn't it make you wonder about her? Hasn't she heard the tapping of the where the heel tap used to be? Show your shoes and boots some regular love by getting the heel taps fixed and the shoes re-shined regularly. And, if you need help, call me!

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