Image and Impact for Interview, Member Monday, Men in Business, Men's Style, Women in business, Women's Style

Member’s Monday – Interview Success by Jacky Williams

Preparing for interview?

W1Increase your image and impact with top tips for interview by Accredited First Impressions Consultant, Jacky Williams.

1.  First impressions start before the interview. How you come across on paper or via on-line applications and how you sound on the telephone. Ensure your CV and accompanying letter or email is free from mistakes and speak clearly on the telephone.

2.  Show an interest in your possible future employers and research the company. Remember they may also do the same with you so be aware of what information is available to interviewers on social networking sites like Facebook! Are you promoting a credible image?

3.  Put in the effort and dress appropriately.  Make sure your interview outfit is in-keeping with the company’s dress code and always look smart and well turned out.  Wear the correct colours and styles to suit your personal colouring and body shape. Reflect your individual style with well chosen accessories.

4.  Make a list of any information you require. Asking questions shows initiative and interest in the position.

5.  Pay attention to personal grooming and personal hygiene. Always wear well kept clean shoes.

6.  Be aware of your body language, aiming for a positive and confident demeanour, using firm handshake, good eye contact and remember to smile!

7.  Communicate clearly and calmly, taking time to answer questions thoughtfully. Make sure any presentations are well prepared and practised.

Good luck!

“YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION.” Oscar Wilde

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Body Image, Image consultancy, Member Monday, Shopping

Member’s Monday – Sometimes we need image consultants too! – Judith Mercer

I’ve just finished writing my latest newsletter, during which I included an article about finding a suitable outfit for a special occasion and it struck me that although it is quite easy for an image consultant, such as myself, to offer helpful, constructive advice to others, it’s often hard to take the same advice ourselves. Judiths blog With our training we can quite easily analyse a client’s body shape, colouring, style personality etc., and use that information, together with their budget and dress code for the event, to pick out a rail of potential outfits and accessories without the angst the client themself might go through. But put an image consultant in the same situation as the client and it’s often the case that we suffer exactly the same concerns. We may know exactly what style suits our body shape and which shades will flatter our natural colouring, but when it comes to dressing for a family wedding or some other major social event our ability to put together the perfect look can fly straight out of the window. But why should this be the case? Well, it could be that many of those attending the event will probably know that you are an image consultant and will undoubtedly be scrutinising every aspect of your ensemble, making you feel even more pressure to get it just right. Or it could just be because it is much easier for someone else to see what will work for you, than you can yourself. I’m always telling my clients that we are all our own biggest critic, always focussing on the negative, and that is just the same if you are an image consultant. Despite knowing how to dress to hide those areas you don’t like about yourself, you can still find yourself looking in the mirror and seeing only the less than flat tummy, or thighs the size of oak trees! Someone else looking at you from an impartial perspective can be far more pragmatic about what they see. We can also get a little carried away with wearing colour or over-accessorising an outfit – we can’t always see that ‘less is more’. So you see, being an image consultant can be a blessing, or occasionally a curse – even we would benefit from the services of an image consultant sometimes. Judith Mercer U Look Great! Note from Lyn – Great idea Judith – that is why we are arranging a date for consultants to all get together in the summer to shop for each other!  It’s always great to get new ideas and an new perspective – it’s fun too!  We will blog about the experience in the summer.

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Member Monday, Quality, Wardrobe

Member’s Monday – Quality v Quantity by Sally Bright

quote-quality-is-more-important-than-quantity-one-home-run-is-much-better-than-two-doubles-steve-jobs-283986Why do we do it? Buy cheaply that is and then regret it! Sometimes we just want a quick fix or we tell ourselves we really have to have that item of clothing, bag, shoes or whatever when we haven’t really planned, budgeted or thought about it. But.. it looks so tempting, so stylish in the shop – plus it’s reduced – a bargain! So, we buy it and wear it a few times. It seems okay doesn’t it? It satisfied the immediate need. Then we wash it and wear it and wash it again and hmmm – the jumper/cardigan/trousers or whatever is starting to look bobbly or is going shapeless and a bit sad. So then we obviously can’t wear it out anywhere can we? So we wear it just in the house and then it joins several other jumpers or items of clothing that have gone the same way! Finally, it gets relegated to the bag of clothes to take to the jumble sale or charity shop – and only after 6 months. Oh dear….

The answer, of course, is NOT to buy cheap. Because, as the saying goes ‘if you buy cheap you buy twice’. There are certain shops where this has been true for me in the past.  I have bought cheap tee-shirts thinking they would be ok but in a matter of a few weeks they have faded and gone shapeless. Budgeting and planning are the way to go. Assessing our wardrobe contents, eliminating what no longer works for us, writing down what we have and what to buy is a great way forward. An Image Consultant can certainly help you with planning your wardrobe. We really don’t need ten poor quality acrylic cardigans in our wardrobes when three cardigans in better fabrics will hold up for much longer after lots of washing and ironing. Also, a wardrobe crammed full of clothes doesn’t help us to dress any better and can even be overwhelming when it come to deciding what to wear each day. But, I hear you cry, I don’t want to be seen in the same clothes all the time. By accessorising your quality garments differently, people won’t notice and the French do it all the time!

So, next time you are tempted by a sale bargain, or a poor quality item that will ‘do for now’ – think very hard before you buy and determine to budget for the best!

Sally Bright

Let’s Talk Colour

www.sallybright.co.uk

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Member Monday, Men's Style, Shopping, Wardrobe Detox, Women's Style

Member’s Monday – Spring Clean Your Wardrobe by Integro

With Spring in the air, we have all started the diet and the detox, so maybe now is the time to get your wardrobe in shape too.

  • Be Ruthless: Get rid of all those items that don’t fit you – pack them in a suitcase as we are sure you will slFabuless Wardrobeim into them one day, but in the meantime they are taking up valuable space.
  • Be realistic: Out with the old and In with the new – if you haven’t worn a garment in the last year, what’s the likelihood you will wear it this year?
  • Be creative: Split up outfits into individual pieces to allow you to mix, match and multiply! Try layering- it is a fabulous way to create lots of different looks from your existing clothes.
  • Be practical : Identify your wardrobe gaps and write yourself a shopping list. Top tip – only buy something new if you can identify 2 or 3 things it will go with in your existing wardrobe –this is key to building a capsule wardrobe.
  • Be accessory aware : A wardrobe of accessories can be as important as your clothing. They allow you to create multiple looks just by changing the colour of a scarf or a necklace.       Scarves are also great indicators of how to blend colours. Hang jewellery and scarves where you can see them, this allows you to plan outfits and you are more likely to wear them as in our timestarved world -who has time to untangle a necklace in the mornings?

Today’s blog was brought to you by First  Impressions trained consultants Adele and Marlene of Integro Image in Scotland

Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions  Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com 

Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

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Boden, Jigsaw, Member Monday, Metallics, Next, Reiss, River Island, Schuh

Member’s Monday – 9 top ideas for wearing metallics this summer 2015 – by Vicky Smith

Today’s blog comes to you from Vicky Smith – great ideas for adding metallics to your summer wardrobe – they are so versatile and work with many other colours that you will already have in your wardrobes. metallic-Chanel-ss2015

Can We Lesser Mortals manage to wear metallics, without looking like a Barbarella throw back?

I seem to remember giving “fashion advice” that metallics were going to be in fashion, and wondering whether Lesser Mortals could wear them without looking like Christmas turkeys. Well if you did invest, good for you, because metallics are still a fashion statement this Spring Summer. I know a lot of you are wondering whether you can get away with it at “your age”. I think that as you get older, you will  look younger if you keep following the trends. But whilst young twenty somethings can wear the whole look from head to toe, and look amazing, as you get older, you should wear less and less, until your twilight years when it might only be an accessory or trim that keeps you up to date. So this is a brilliant time to pick up accessories which will instantly update a pair of jeans and a white T shirt, and make you look like you are bang on trend. You’re not telling me you haven’t got a pair of converses or pumps in your wardrobe? And if you nip to the pub of an evening, why not have a metallic clutch or purse? metallic-Jigsaw-purse-SS2015 metallic-bag-Boden-SS2015 metallic-sandals-Boden-SS2015 metallic-converse-schuh-SS2015 metaiic-french-sole-Next-SS2015

  1. Mini Pochette. £35. Jigsaw. In cow suede, leather trim, and polished metal. Great as a little evening bag on your summer holiday with your more casual holiday clothes.
  2. Maida Vale bag.£140. Boden. Available in other colours – navy, turquoise, orange and brown. Will smarten up a pair of casual skinnies and a T-shirt, as well as having room for all your bits and bobs. 100% leather
  3. Sophie wedge Sandals. £79-£89. Boden. Perfect if you want a bit of extra height, but don’t like heels or like to walk for miles. On holidays, I always come a cropper on those authentic rural cobbles…so these should sort that problem!! Size 36-42. In gold, navy suede and patterned. All leather.
  4. All star dainty metallic Ox Converses. £47. Schuh. Leather upper with moc croc effect. Sizes 3-8. Will work with leggings, jeans and skirts. You could wear with a really pretty floaty dress too.
  5. Henrietta pumps. £150. French Sole from Next. Leather upper. You  don’t have to spend this much on pumps, but cheap ones only tend to last a season at most, and you run the risk of them smelling. Sizes 3-8. Next does other cheaper metallic styles too.

metallic-next-jumper-SS2015 metallic-T-river-island-SS2015

  • Metallic back detail sweater. £22. Next. In white, silver, yellow and black. Viscose, polyester metallic mix. Size 6-22. This has 2 medium size cut outs in the back, to add a hint of sexy, but allow bra wearing!! A light cover up for summer.
  • Metallic gold Asymmetric T shirt. £24. River Island. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane. Machine washable. As well as wearing with jeans, you could try belting in over summer skirt, or whilst it’s still cold – your leather skirt.

metallic-Next-T-shirt-ss2015 metallic-dress-Reiss-SS2015

  • Metallic layer T shirt £20. Next. Available in pewter and silver. Size 6-22. Outer is 100 % polyester over a viscose elastane vest top underneath. Again, an easy piece for slinging on with jeans, or smartening up with tuxedo style trousers and a smart jacket.
  • 1971 Fava metallic shirt dress. £169. Reiss. Sizes 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. This will be best for boyish figures.

Hopefully some of these have tempted you. The accessories are so stylish and easy to wear, and the metallic tops are virtually non creasing. For a smart look, wear with heels, but equally, if you wear the jeans with casual boots/sandals or trainers, then the T shirts stay looking casual.

Thank you Vicky! Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions  Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: enquiries@firstimpressions.uk.com Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com

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Confidence, Member Monday, Positivity, Self-Image

Member’s Monday – Positive Self-Image by Agnès Brown

Follow your dreamsHow a positive Self-Image can help you accomplish your dreams Having self-confidence is essential no matter what you do in life. Whether you want to run your own business, succeed in your career, have better personal relationships, or follow your dreams. Without self-belief and a healthy dose of self-esteem you’ll never take the necessary steps to achieving your goals. Having good self-esteem helps you to:

  • Try new things
  • Make healthy personal choices
  • Believe in yourself

Being happy with your self-image is key to building up self-confidence and self-esteem, for how can we present ourselves to the world if we are not altogether positive about how we are viewed, or view ourselves? What is Self-Image? Our self-image is how we perceive ourselves and is made up over time from experiences which could lead us to feel positively or negatively about ourselves. There is no denying that our self-image has a huge impact on our general happiness and wellbeing. People that project a positive self-image, i.e. smart, well dressed, clean and confident will be more likely to be seen as positive and capable. And of course the reverse can also be true. By presenting a positive self-image it is possible to boost our self-esteem and confidence, and this will have an impact on our lives in a constructive and affirmative way. There are many ways in which you can build your self-confidence by taking a careful look at your self-image.

  • Are you wearing clothes that flatter your figure?
  • Do the colours you typically wear compliment your skin and hair tones?
  • Are you maximising your best assets?

It is important to remember that your self-image is not fixed but ever-changing and malleable. You can develop your self-image and foster a more positive one by:

  • Accepting yourself as a unique person
  • Refraining from comparing yourself to others
  • Asking others to list your positive qualities
  • Being comfortable in your own skin

It’s certainly not easy to build a positive self-image if you have been trapped in negative thinking for a while, and it takes time to change and appreciate that we are all different. But once you start to work on improving your self-image, you’ll naturally become more confident and realise that a healthy self-image comes from loving and accepting ourselves first. And the more you recognise how unique and special you are, the more qualities, skills, and talents you’ll uncover. Agnès Brown – Master Trainer

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Dress for Success, Member Monday, Women in business

Member’s Monday – Dressing Expectations by Joanna Gaudoin

Every Monday we are giving the opportunity to our trained consultants to showcase their blogs.  This first week we have a blog from Joanna Gaudoin of Inside Outlarge-man-woman-bathroom-sign-md

Dressing Expectations – Are expectations of how to dress higher for women in the workplace?

What’s your reaction to this question? Have you ever thought about ‘dressing expectations’ in this way before? If you’re a woman, perhaps you feel a bit indignant, if a man perhaps puzzlement… I have been asked this question several times in the last few weeks, in different scenarios and by different types of people- during a radio interview, at a speaking event and during some one-to- one conversations. I think the fact that I have been asked it so many times in a matter of weeks alludes to an answer. It is a tricky question in these times of supposed equality. I have to admit it does make me bristle a little…However, I do think that there are greater expectations of women to present themselves better in the workplace. This means that they are judged more harshly when they don’t dress according to the expectations of those around them; and that is the expectations of both men and women! One event participant was very honest in a comment he made recently, although I appreciate it may annoy many of you at this point…He explained that what men appreciate a woman wearing on a date or in another social setting is frowned upon by men in the workplace. Date or social wear are not seen as appropriate for professional women in the work environment but for a post work outing men do expect more effort, not just office wear. On the other hand, formal office wear worn by men is widely accepted and even actively appreciated by women on an evening out. So this begs the question, why are there greater expectations of women? I believe the first reason is women are expected to know how to dress well and look good. After all, all women are into clothes, shopping and have an eye for these things, right? In reality, this is not the case, many women don’t want to spend time thinking about clothes and shoes and dread shopping! With more and more time pressure too, trying to balance being partner, mother and career woman, there just isn’t the time. Fewer women than men dislike clothes and shopping but more than the media and magazines would like us to believe. Many women I work with berate themselves as they feel they ‘should’ know by now how to look good even though they struggle with the inclination and the time. However, why should women ‘know’? We don’t all have an eye for what looks good on us. If it’s not a natural skill, then it’s like any other, we need help to develop it! Secondly, whilst being female provides more opportunities to dress interestingly and be more individual, the increased scope and availability of accessories and more colourful items does provide more scope for mistakes and harsh subjective judgements. Men will almost always notice something less than ideal on a woman and women will almost certainly do the same of their peers so I guess you could say that’s a double whammy!  Whilst women are likely to notice a badly dressed man, other men are less likely to unless there is something drastically out of kilter! ‘Dressing expectations’ are what they are but what is important to remember is whilst not everyone is always going to appreciate our specific choices most people can appreciate when others look good even if it wouldn’t be their personal choice. Looking good means:

  • Appropriate for the occasion and the environment
  • The right clothing and accessories for our body shape, colouring and personal style.

So some tips to remember:

  • Consider the appropriate dress code not just for your job role but the environment and situation for a given day. Being over or under dressed can leave you feeling very uncomfortable and unfocused on the work task
  • Try to bring out some personality in your outfit in an appropriate way so you are positively memorable; men can do this via ties, cuff links, a patterned shirt. For women there are many options – jewellery, scarf, shoes, handbag
  • For women, think about altering an outfit for a post work event – use different accessories and shoes. TIP: One designer Manifattura Donna, available at www.pinstripeandpearls.com  has detachable elements that come with some of their shirts and dresses such as ribbons and necklaces that fix neatly to the garment; allowing you to relax the feel of the item for evening wear or a less formal meeting.
  • Avoid anything that distracts someone so they are more focused on that element than what you are saying. Examples include cartoon socks for men, jangly bracelets for women
  • Ensure your clothes fit you well and they flatter you. The better you look, the better you will feel meaning you will exude greater confidence and positivity to others, which can only be a plus.

Let me know what you think as it would be great to get some more opinions. Thank you Joanna!

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