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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Colour, Men's Style, Wardrobe Detox, Women's Style

I got dressed in the dark!

We have all heard that expression – ‘did you get dressed in the dark?’  It’s meant to infer that the person didn’t put their look together well.  Yesterday morning, I did in fact get dressed in the dark.  My hubby landed late the night before after a golf trip, so I was being considerate and leaving him for a lie in.  The temptation to put all the lights on was immense, but I resisted!

My wardrobe is organised in such a way that getting dressed in the dark was an easy job.  Everything has a place and I can easily tell you where anything is at any time.  All my clothes are hung by type i.e. all the dresses together, all the trousers together etc.  All the tops are folded on shelves at the top and shirts hang up all together.

All of my colour schemes work together, so that every bottom half works with every top half.  It was a casual day, so I could easily pull out a pair of jeans (blue) and top (cool pink) and a casual blue jacket.  Easy peasy.  I even managed to select my jewellery which is also either on hangers or in the boxes they came in.

The job of a wardrobe that works well in terms of colour, personality, lifestyle and body shape should be really easy.  You shouldn’t  have to think too hard about what to put on in the morning.  Indeed, some leaders wear a uniform that is the same every day so they don’t need to make decisions on what they wear in the morning!  That’s a bit extreme for me as I do love variety and I choose my clothes according to how I feel too.

WardrobeIf you spend far too long worrying about what to wear, perhaps now is the right time to detox your wardrobe!  You will see an earlier blog about this from Integro Consultants.  If you need help, one of our consultants will be delighted to guide you through it.  Once you know what works for you life is very easy (well knowing what to wear anyway!)  It helps you to loot good, feel more confident and it helps you to save time and money.  You will no longer buy items that don’t work for you and just sit un-loved and un-worn in your wardrobe.

How is your wardrobe working for you?

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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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James Bond, Men in Business, Men's Style, Saturday Night Fever, Waistcoat

Men’s Style: Waistcoats

Charles II WaistcoatHistorians can precisely date the origination of the waistcoat.  It was Charles II who introduced it during the restoration of the British monarchy in 1666.  Samuel Pepys documented the occasion in his famous diaries.  ‘”the King hath yesterday in council declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I know not well how”.  Vest was the original term for what we now know in the UK as the waistcoat.  It is thought that the term originated from the fact that the garment was cut at waist level.  King Charles II returned from exile in France to take up the English throne.  He was known for his love of fashionable dress and had been wearing opulent fabrics from France.  On his return to England he could not be seen to be wearing French fabrics, so he asked his tailor to create a new look for him.  This consisted of a coat, waistcoat and breeches in black silk over white.  This is seen as the origin of the three-piece suit as we now know it today.

During the 17th century waistcoats were generally white cotton or linen threads on a white background.  The 18th century saw the waistcoat became an elaborate and brightly coloured garment.  It also became longer and was often decorated with embroidery and in coloured silk and metal threads  It changed during the 19th century into something more restricting, often with figure enhancing properties, much like a corset.  The colour palette became more subdued too. With the advent of the lounge suit during this period, the waistcoat became more of an item that co-ordinated with the suit and so the 3-piece suits that we still see today were developed. During the 20th century the waistcoat continued to be worn as part of business attire along with the suit and also casSaturday Night Feverually as an individual item of clothing.  It was used to provide warmth as an extra layer of clothing.  As the war took hold and rationing came in, fabric was more scarce and the waistcoat started to decline in favour of knitwear. During the 70’s, the waistcoat made a reappearance and was made popular again through the film Saturday Night Fever!  They are, of course, worn by professional snooker players, without a jacket and they remain very popular for wedding attire too.

They have often been favoured by James Bond over the years from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig – you will see that the waistcoats and jackets are very similar in style – just the trousers have a slightly different cut.  Daniel Craig is wearing a Tom Ford creation.

James BondDaniel Craig Waistcoat

It is such a smart item of clothing for men, but also really useful.  For those who may have eaten a few too many pies, they can hide a multitude of sins!  They are both quite slimming and lengthening, so if your aim is to look taller and slimmer, a waistcoat it is chaps!

The fit is all important – it needs to sit flat to the body with no horizontal pulling across the buttons – this would indicate that it is too small and it mustn’t be too loose either, otherwise you will look like a hotel porter in someone else’s uniform!

Length of the waistcoat is also important – too short and we will still see the join of the shirt and trousers which can end up looking untidy and too long is not right either.  It should just cover the waistband of the trousers.

There is of course, the mystery of why the bottom button of the waistcoat should be left open – there are several theories and nobody knows for sure.  My favourite theory is that when Edward VII was Prince of Wales, he became so overweight that he had to undo his bottom button.  His court followed suit to save any embarrassment!

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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Dress for Success, Good Fit, Men in Business, Men's Style, Trousers

Men’s Style: Trousers

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 18.22.59I was recently sitting at the train station awaiting the arrival of my train to London.  I’d done the obligatory check of my email and texts and was sitting patiently sipping my coffee.  My eyes cast around and I happened to notice that every man waiting for the train had ill-fitting trousers on.  There was one gent in particular that caught my attention.  He was impeccably dressed – a lovely overcoat, good quality shoes, the fabric of his trousers looked to be of a very good standard, but they were too-long.  It totally spoiled his look.  As I glanced around, all the men’s trousers were either  too long, too short, too worn, too baggy or too tight.

The ideal pair of trousers should have a single break on the front of the shoe and the back of the trouser should end where the shoe leather meets the heel of the shoe.  Any shorter and too much leg will be exposed, any longer and they will crease around the shoe looking unattractive.  Trousers that are too long often then become worn at the hem – another image breaker.

The fashion for tighter leg trousers means that the above does not work – the trouser needs to be slightly shorter as the width of the hem is not enough to break over the shoe.  Depending on the width of the hem, either half a break or no break at all.  Beware of them being too short as this just looks ridiculous and can also spoil a man’s image.  Too tight is pretty repulsive too, it’s similar to a woman wearing a top that it too tight – nobody knows where to look!

Men do not have as many style choices as women, so it is paramount to pay attention to the details.  Good cloth will make all the difference, so go for the best you can afford – if you are aiming to make a good impression, this will really set you apart.

Key things to bear in mind when choosing trousers:

  • A good fit at the waist – too tight or too loose are just as bad as each other – too big and it looks like you have borrowed your Dad’s trousers!  It will also mean that your shirt will not stay tucked in, adding to your untidiness.
  • Consider the fit of the leg – if you are fuller figured, a straight or looser leg will be best, if you are slimmer a slim fit will work well
  • The hem – do you have long legs?  If so a turn-up is fine, if not, just a plain hem will work
  • Don’t fill your pockets – it spoils the line of your trousers
  • Do keep them clean – regular washing or dry-cleaning to keep them sharp

The key is good fit – there is no excuse for the leg length being incorrect – every high street has an alteration shop and it is worth an extra few pounds to create a more polished appearance.

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 training and workshops or one-to-one coaching.  First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK and in 20 countries around the world– 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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