Saturday, August 28, 2010
Color is a powerful tool! It is often the first thing people notice about us, and can be both uplifting as well as drain us of energy. Often when I work with clients they know that they want to better understand what colors work on them, but they don’t always realize how important the impact of color can be on their wardrobe, their self-esteem and their life!
Let’s meet Angela: When you look in her closet you see black trousers, black skirts, black shirts and a denim skirt and jeans. There is the occasional hint of color in the purple and rose family, but those items don’t often get worn because she’s not sure they’re the right shades for her. As for scarves, she has a ton of them that are only worn in the closet and are always removed as she is rushing out the door, at which the point she has lost her confidence to wear anything that’s not black.
Next point of contention? Her outerwear. The sweatshirt hoodie isn’t appropriate, but it is on the hook by the door for convenience. Angela’s not sure if her raingear should be yellow, like a child’s slicker, or tan like the in the spy novel? Her “good” coat has always been black wool with an ample lapel (sometimes her barely worn scarves will be tossed around her neck with this coat) that she sometimes feels isn’t right. And let’s not even talk about shoes. Her black loafers from years ago are her go-to shoes and she doesn’t understand why her friends get so excited about shoes.
Angela doesn’t like to shop but makes a point to go out at the start of each season and forces herself to buy something new. Usually she comes home with yet another pair of black pants, usually on sale, and maybe a new white tee shirt. She doesn’t always love what she buys, but it’s ‘safe’ and she feels secure in the fact that it’s just like what she already has at home.
Angela is not always in a good mood when getting dressed. Sometimes she just gets downright grumpy. She wants so badly to get dressed and feel confident and (dare she say it?) chic! She knows the colors she wears should flatter her, but she’s not really sure what that means – she only knows that she sometimes looks washed out in her “uniform” of black and white but doesn’t know what to do. Angela is starting to feel bored with her style and wonders what life on the other side is like. How could life could be different if she felt confident, put-together and even a tad bit stylish?
But she doesn’t know where to begin…..
What goes with black, other than white?
What colors flatter her skin tone?
How does she choose the right colors for her?
Never underestimate the power of color!
The right colors can make you look more beautiful, enhance your image and even intensify your appearance. But the wrong colors can make you appear under-the-weather, even when you’re in perfect health.
This process takes you through the steps of matching your eye, skin and hair color to determine your personalized season-based assessment. Using the scientifically-based Color Alliance System®, I'll determine your unique color harmony. You will never make costly mistakes with color again! Your personalized color palette with give you recommendations for your best basic colors, best accent colors, best colors to wear when speaking in public and best colors to wear to convey authority.
You will receive your personalized color palette that comes in a handy little case to keep in your car or carry in your purse. It will include 40 of your best colors to help you enhance your appearance. When you choose 2-3 of your best accent colors to pair with your best basic neutrals (hint: black may be a thing of the past) you can rest assured that your wardrobe will enrich your appearance, will be easy to coordinate and will always leave you feeling as if what you’re wearing is just right!
Shopping will be a breeze when you know what colors are right for you. Simply bring your palette with you to the stores and you’ll never be left wondering “Is this color right for me?” Having your own personal color palette ensures you can make the best choices time and time again. It’s also a wonderful wardrobe building tool because your most important colors are clearly labeled. It can save you both time and money, and help you to look your very best!
Color Consultations are available as part of my packages, or through small group events. So, are you ready to have the right colors for you as you prepare your Fall Wardrobe?
Contact me today at to schedule a free 15 minute consultation at Michele@onechicmama.com
How would it change my life to finally feel confident in my appearance and love how I look? - from my latest newsletter. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, full of inspiring ideas and information at www.onechicmama.com
When you look in your closet what do you see? A thoughtfully planned wardrobe rich with investment items and peppered with those less expensive items that bring in a dash of style? Or do you see a hodge podge of items bought on the clearance rack at a department store, Old Navy or even Target, that don't actually go with anything that haven't been worn - like, ever. In fact the price tags are still on many of them and you cringe every time you see that glaring $29.99 in red and think of how many lattes or fresh flowers you could have bought for that price (or even stashed away some of that money towards the $300 jacket you REALLY wanted).
Why does this happen? We set off with good intentions but go shopping without any real goal in mind. We drift aimlessly from store to store in search of that 'perfect something', even though we have never defined what that is. Oh, we already know that we'd love to have those perfectly tailored camel trousers that could be worn 12 months a year and would go with just about every top in our closet, but they're $250 and that's way too much to spend on a pair of pants. So instead, we buy things to satisfy our desire but, like a craving for food, it never really does the trick. So we buy more to fill the void. We've overspent (much more than the $250 the perfect pair of pants would have cost) but all we have to show for it is a closet full of sale items that are just ok. Help!
Well, the good news is you're not alone. In my experience as an image consultant I see it all - the good, the bad and the ugly (so no need to be embarrassed). Most of us don't grow up knowing how to build a wardrobe (yes, build - not just throw together) so we do the best we can. Trust me, I've been there. But instead of carefully planning out our wardrobe we end up with a random assortment of items that may (or in most cases, may not) go together. It can be an exercise in frustration to get dressed. But the worst part is how much money we throw away. When I show up at a client's home for a closet clarity session I clean out all those items that don't suit them, don't flatter them or they just don't wear.
They are always amazed at how many items they are able to let go of, but the biggest surprise is how much money they basically "threw down the drain" in items they never, or barely, wore.
Really, when you think about what you have in your closet versus what you actually wear, the truth might surprise you! When I leave a client's home after a closet clarity session, I leave with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars' worth of items that will be donated to Dress for Success or other charities, or taken to a consignment shop (where they'll get back maybe 1/4 of what they actually paid for an item). So next time you go out shopping, think long and hard about what you buy. Because going cheap is costing you WAY more money than actually investing in a nice wardrobe would.
Here are some tips to help you plan your wardrobe and get the most bang for your buck:
1/ Buy items you truly LOVE and can't wait to wear. You'll relish each time you put them on and ensure that you get your money's worth.
2/ Do a cost-per-wear analysis - Figure up how long you might keep an item and how many times you might wear it during that time. For example, if you bought the $250 pair of pants and kept them for 5 years, wearing them 50 times per year, that's 250 times and comes out to be $1 per wear - a real bargain! Conversely, if you spend $40 on a trendy top that you keep for 1 season and wear 4 times, that's $10 per wear. Not such a bargain!
3/ When you buy something ensure that it goes with at least 3 items you already own (and wear).
4/ Learn your best colors and styles so you can be assured that you're buying what's right for you.
5/ Plan your wardrobe. Working with an image consultant can save you valuable time and money. Invest your wardrobe dollars wisely and you'll reap the return.
Change your wardrobe and you can truly change your life!
Mary Michele Little
Executive Editor, Style Expert and Image Consultant
One Chic Mama, Inc.
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PS - Email me atat firstname.lastname@example.org about a Wardrobe Strategy Session and see how I can help you, no matter where you are!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
More than just a hairdresser, when I first connected with Johnny G I felt he was a real kindred spirit. In my work as an image consultant, a big part of what I do is to encourage women to see their true beauty and to embrace it. Turns out that's what Johnny G does as well, leaving his clients to walk out of his salon with a new 'do as well as a fresh perspective. I caught up with Johnny G to hear more about his philosophy on life and to learn more about what he does. Here's what he had to say:
1/ How did you discover that you were meant to help women discover their best hairstyle and feel great about themselves?
I discovered that I was meant to help women, by one of the greatest hero’s in my life, my Mom. She gave me the gift of one of life’s greatest lessons. She showed me how to love another as I would love myself – unconditionally, without limits or terms. When you live your life that way, you simply have to watch the miracles unfold. I learned that beauty is not just about your hair, make-up or clothes. It is really all about YOU!
2/ What are a few tips for helping women discover their best look if they can't come to see you in Scottsdale, AZ?
To discover your best look a stylist, or as I like to be called, Life Artist, will consider all of the elements of your life when helping you achieve outer beauty. These issues include divorce, loss of a loved one, new job, pending marriage, and health issues. These elements are part of your personal story. Are you on a very fast pace? Do you have a fixed amount of time to spend on your hair every day? Are there physical limitations affecting your ability to style your hair? These questions must be answered in order for your stylist to create the right hairstyle and recommend the proper products and tools for your individual needs.
If you’re inclined to shift to a new brand of products, your Life Artist will recommend them. However, if there are budgetary considerations, it may be possible to make better use of your current products.
Your physical appearance also comes into play. What shape is your face, head and body? How will a new cut or color impact your natural hair, skin and eye tones? Communication through pictures, words and personal introspection will help ensure happiness with your hair and personal style.
Styling hair is much more than just cutting and coloring. A Life Artist has the ability to touch hearts and bring out their clients' unique, natural beauty.
3/ If you could leave women with one inspiring thought what would it be?
“Remember, You ARE Beautiful”
Johnny G also says that "The true talent in this new style of 'classy but sassy' hair cutting is the stylist's ability to create beauty from the inside out. You and your hairstylist have to make the decision of what this new, personal expression truly is. Simply decide if you want the world to experience a whisper, talk or SHOUT!"
What an inspiration! As an image consultant, I am thrilled to hear that Johnny takes factors such as personal coloring, lifestyle and budget into account rather than just looking at a client and telling them what they should do. It really is a process to look and feel beautiful, starting from the inside and moving out. Thanks, Johnny G for being who you are and helping women to feel great about themselves.
If you'd like to read more from Johnny G, including words of inspiration as well as do-it-yourself hair remedies, styles, and suggestions, pick up a copy of his latest book, Creating Beauty from the Inside Out. It's chock full of some great information that will uplift you as well as save you a few dollars on products and at your next trip to the salon!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
It's hard not to like Tim Gunn. He's a straight shooter with a dry wit who really knows his stuff. His philosophy is best described as “I’m not a fashion stylist, I’m a fashion therapist.” As a fellow stylist, I couldn't agree more! This month he dishes with Redbook about his tips that can help women look great. Read it here first and see if you agree with him!
On Michelle Obama: "I don’t have the adequate words to tell people how fabulous I think Michelle Obama is. I love that she understands how to dress for her size and shape, she wears patterns and prints well, and she wears clothes that are accessible to most women. Also, she’s not afraid of jewelry or accessories."
Tim's rules to dress by:
1. Silhouette: "When getting dressed, think of your body as a series of thirds; the worst thing you can do is cut yourself in half. Pair a top that ends at your waist (one third) with long pants (two thirds), or wear a knee-length dress that goes no longer than the bottom of your kneecap."
2. Proportion: "If you have something loose and blousy on top, whatever you wear below should be sleek and well fitted to serve as a counterpoint, and vice versa."
3. Fit: "Most women wear clothes that are too big – that's the comfort trap. Women don't want to feel constrained, but I say, if you want to dress to feel as though you never got out of bed, then don't."
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
If you follow me on Facebook you know that I had the pleasure of styling Miss North Carolina for a photo shoot earlier this week. It was a wonderful experience and even though our time together was brief, she made a strong impression on me.
Adrienne Core, aka Miss North Carolina, was a true pleasure to work with. First of all, the shoot was for a local magazine, Triangle Style, for which I am a regular contributor. This shoot was one of those rare occurrences where everything came together seamlessly - no, wait - actually, it wasn't really seamless. There were a few glitches along the way. But to look at the results of the shoot, you would never have known. The results were created by a combination of hard work by a handful of dedicated experts, but much of it was attitude and mindset. Let me share with you I took away:
1/ A Positive Attitude will Take you Far - Adrienne's upbeat attitude was evident from the minute I met her, but what was amazing was that, despite the humidity being, oh, around 99% (or so it felt), she kept a genuine smile on her face and her enthusiasm was contagious.
2/ No Excuses - Styling a photo shoot when there is no time for the model to have a fitting can be risky. With little to no consistency in clothing sizes, we were left with a size 4 model who could barely squeeze jeans that should have fit her just fine, according to typical style translations. Did it get her down? Not one bit. She was willing to do what it took to get those jeans buttoned. Adrienne forged ahead and let us dress her in jeans that were a size too small and even wore a wool capelet without so much as breaking a sweat. Was she uncomfortable? I'm sure she was. Did it show? Not one bit. She was clearly committed to doing her best and took a 'no excuses' approach. The results speak for themselves.
3/ Trust Your Instincts - When selecting clothing for the photo shoot, I had little to go on except what I knew to be the hot trends of the season. I had seen a headshot of the model, and had her list of sizes, but pulling clothing for someone when they can't try it on can be a tricky proposition. Trusting my instincts, I got a few back-up items and was glad I did. I've found over the years that when I trust my instincts they will guide me to success. The shoot turned out better than we had expected and the editor paid me a huge compliment when she wrote, "I have to say you picked out so many great outfits and coordinated them beautifully. You're in the right business." After years of dressing women and helping them make good choices, it has become easy for me to pinpoint the right colors, shapes and styles to highlight a woman's best assets. When I remember that this is what I'm great at, I don't panic!
4/ Do What You Love - Clearly Miss North Carolina has a true passion for what she does. And with a busy calendar that has her traveling all over the state and beyond, it's a good thing because if she didn't she would surely tire of having her hair and makeup done, making appearances and signing autographs (yes, if you're not really into it, anything gets old fast). Adrienne's pure joy in being of service is evident and she's clearly in the right position for her. When you love what you do, it doesn't seem like work!
5/ No One Succeeds Alone - Coordinating the photo shoot took the work of multiple people who did their jobs to perfection. It takes a team of talented people to create success, and when we surround ourselves with those we can rely upon to do their job well, we are able to do what we do best. This shoot was no exception. Miss NC stepped back and let me do my job, let Karen from Hair and Face Lounge ensure her hair and makeup were perfect, and let Mary Surles shoot away. Everyone did their jobs well and the results are a successful series of photos that will appear in the fall issue of Triangle Style early next month.