Is Boxed Dressing for You?

Is Boxed Dressing for You?

Workwear Kits for Women: A Breakthrough or a Bore?

Some women feel boxed in by the prescriptive work wardrobes that services like MM.LaFleur deliver based on your career needs. Others can’t imagine life without them

The Elements in a Typical Career-Dressing Kit: Companies like MM.LaFleur, a version of whose ‘Bento Box’ package is pictured below, make work wardrobes a no-brainer. All items available at mmlafleur.com. From left: The Gloria Top, $145, and the Phoebe Earrings, $155; ‘Wear to Work,’ a guide to office style by MM.LaFleur, $26; The Woolf Jardigan, $195; The Foster Pants, $195; The Lagarde 2.0 Shirt, $190; The Catherine 2.0 Dress, $295
The Elements in a Typical Career-Dressing Kit: Companies like MM.LaFleur, a version of whose ‘Bento Box’ package is pictured below, make work wardrobes a no-brainer. All items available at mmlafleur.com. From left: The Gloria Top, $145, and the Phoebe Earrings, $155; ‘Wear to Work,’ a guide to office style by MM.LaFleur, $26; The Woolf Jardigan, $195; The Foster Pants, $195; The Lagarde 2.0 Shirt, $190; The Catherine 2.0 Dress, $295 PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS
Why We Hate Them

MANY PROFESSIONAL women find that getting dressed for work is, well, work. That would explain the rise of personalized-box shopping services like MM.LaFleur, Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, which take the legwork out of the equation. Though all the services ask shoppers to fill out a survey about their style and needs, each takes a slightly different approach. MM.LaFleur sends a “Bento Box” of coordinating, office-appropriate pieces, designed in-house, based on that information. Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, meanwhile, have a stylist pull appropriate pieces from an array of brands to fit the bill. All allow no-sweat returns of items the customer finds wanting for any reason. In most cases, it’s a one-time deal; no subscription required.

Such services may be a boon to many professional women seeking an efficient wardrobe solution, but you could argue that they’re making career dressing a soulless, personality-free proposition.

After all, this is 2017, not 1987. “The rules of workwear are much more fluid now,” said designer Adam Lippes, whose colorful and feminine—but still office-going—clothes have earned him a devoted following. His customer, said Mr. Lippes, has strong opinions about her personal style and wants to wear his clothes—say, a pinstriped shirt dress with floral embroidery or a pair of tailored, high-waisted dark denim jeans—her way, not as prescribed by a pen-pal stylist.

Plus, we live in a world where we’re surrounded by information. With a flick through Instagram or a skim of the editorial section of sites like Net-a-Porter, a woman can find ample inspiration for both her work look and off-duty wardrobe. Because even if buying clothes is admittedly a chore, you risk squandering all the fun of fashion when it’s mostly prefab.

In some ways, these companies are playing to many women’s fear of fashion. “Fashion can feel like such a exclusionary sport that women reject it before they feel like it can reject them,” said Leandra Medine, founder and chief creative officer of the Man Repeller website. Ms. Medine suggests examining what you like about the way other women are dressed. “Those are usually signs of your personal style,” she said. Ms. Medine believes in the power of expressive fashion: “Getting dressed lets me feel like a better version of who I am, or escape the reality of what I don’t like to be.”

Why We Love Them

FOR THOSE who think that box-service uniform dressing takes the fun out of fashion, consider this: MM.LaFleur and its peers aren’t necessarily targeting magazine editors and aspiring style stars. (Though Stitch Fix does encourage women to explore unknown brands.)

Rather, their value is expediency. Busy women, with obligations tugging from every side, don’t have the luxury of time to shop. And in real life, women also have jobs where wearing the latest Prada platforms might be frowned upon or in violation of the dress code. From that vantage point, dressing for the office starts to seem a lot less exhilarating.

“There’s a big disconnect between the fashion world and professional women,” said MM.LaFleur founder and CEO Sarah LaFleur. She realized this when she met creative director and co-founder Miyako Nakamura, a fashion designer who was then head designer at Zac Posen, and began to talk about her idea. “I said, ‘I’m thinking of the lawyer or the banker who walks to work in flats and then switches out to heels in the elevator.’” At the time, Ms. Nakamura had little awareness of these professional women and their particular needs.

Ms. LaFleur was talking about women like Megan L. Brackney, a Manhattan attorney, and Kim Lear, a Minneapolis-based consultant, who are both MM.LaFleur devotees. “I don’t like to shop. I don’t have time for it,” said Ms. Brackney. MM.LaFleur “doesn’t have a ton of stuff, so you’re not sifting through 150 pages of crap.” Ms. Lear began wearing MM.LaFleur about a year ago. Among other things, she appreciates that the fabrics don’t wrinkle and that the company often sends things she might not have chosen. “The real value is that they kind of force you to try stuff that you wouldn’t normally pick out for yourself,” she said.

MM.LaFleur is so popular among women lawyers, said Ms. Brackney, that she often runs into other women at conferences wearing the same dress. She is unfazed by it, amused even. In one instance, the twinning pair took a photo together. And anyway, there’s a double standard when it comes to uniform dressing. “I’m at a conference now,” said Ms Brackney. “Seventy-five percent of the men are wearing khakis, blue shirts and a navy blue blazer, and they’re not walking around upset.”

5 Simple Tips to Feel More Confident About Your Style After 60

ConfidenceDo you sometimes feel uncertain about your outfit selections and not sure how to boost your confidence? Real confidence comes with accepting your personal quirks and working with them. In this way, you can dress with confidence by knowing your look and playing to your personal strengths. Here are five “feel good” style secrets.

Style After 60 Tip: Dress for Your Body

To feel confident in your clothing, I suggest embracing your best body features and strengths. All of us have body parts that we want to conceal. Maybe you love your legs and hide your mid-section.

Even if you don’t love your arms, the majority of women at any age can wear the cold-shoulder top. It’s been popular for over a year and keeps showing up for all the seasons. The great part about it is that is shows off the most beautiful part of your body and doesn’t accentuate any flaws.

Regardless of your size, shape or favorite body feature, here are a few key rules:

Fit is the key, no matter what your dress size is.

Everyone is a critic about what you wear, so dress for you.

A tailor is your best friend, next is fit and this is the key.

Don’t be afraid to play with patterns to enhance and camouflage areas of your body.

Be Comfortable with Your Style Choice

If you don’t feel 100% confident about your clothing choice before leaving the house, then don’t wear it!

Try this quick trick: Take a full-length picture of yourself and see how you look. The camera doesn’t lie. I always do this when I’m trying on sunglasses and want to select the right style. I can always tell which one I should buy based on the picture along with how I feel in them.

You will be able to recognize the right outfit during the moment you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction, happiness, empowerment and confidence in what you’re wearing. The most important thing to remember is to make sure the outfit feels comfortable in the way you present yourself to the world.

Know Your Colors

Examine your closet and experiment with different colors to find out which hues work best with your complexion. Ask a close friend what colors look good and work best for you.

It will also be beneficial for you to understand your skin surface tone, which is the color you’d use to describe yourself (light, medium, tan, dark, etc.). Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface. You can have the same skin tone as someone, but a different undertone, which are cool or warm.

If you have cool undertones – pink, red or bluish undertones – colors that look great on you include mint or kelly green, teal, lavender, purple, navy, hot pink, rose pink and burgundy.

For warm toned skin – yellow, peachy or golden – colors that look good on you are peach, yellow (lemon and mustard, which has more brown tones), brown, red, lime green, orange, kelly green and mint green.

Define Your Personal Style

Combine your personality into a wardrobe to help you define what is unique about you and in turn you will always feel good about your outfit choices and style. Here are seven descriptors I use to help you identify your personal style:

Sporty

Causal, relaxed fit and likes natural fibers such as cotton, denim and corduroy. Christie Brinkley wears this style.

Traditional/Elegant

Classic and high-end luxury with preferred fabrics such as woolens, tweed, raw silk and gabardine. Dianne Feinstein and Angela Lansbury wear this style.

Feminine

Romantic look and prefers fabrics such as lightweight sheer silk, soft linen, lace, eyelet and chiffon. Princess Diana wore this style.

Casual Chic

Professional and classy casual look and prefers double cotton, designer denim and lambskin leather. Cameron Diaz wears this style.

Creative/Artistic

Free spirited look and prefers layering with different fabrics including tweed, textured cotton, polka dots with paisley floral, and geometrics. Madonna prefers this style.

Dramatic

Bold look and fabrics include linen, leather, double knits and gabardine. Diana Ross wears this look.

Alluring

Hourglass figure and shows off different parts of the body and prefers an animal print fabric. Sharon Stone and Cindy Crawford prefer this style.

Once you can define your style you will be able to personalize each outfit with accessories and save time deciding what to wear each day.

The Power of Accessoriesfun hat

Accessories complete the outfit and have the power to instantly make you comfortable in your own skin and boost your confidence. Try a few of the following accessories for the season.

A pair of comfy sandals, flats or heels – I’m always looking for style and comfort, and I think the designers finally got it right. There are so many stylish and comfortable selections out for the season including Birkenstocks, slide-in mules, or heels with ankle straps.

A sassy handbag – Try a color like coral, blue or yellow. You’ll be surprised how much the handbag adds a pop of color and updates the outfit.

Statement sunglasses – A classy pair of sunglasses can take you from drab to fab, instantly. You will also beat the heat, in style.

Hats – These protect you from the sun as well. I noticed hats with writing on the side of them this year, like “Bon Voyage,” “Off to the Beach” and “Dear Summer.” What fun conversation pieces as well!

Look Great in the Morning

We are all busy and to take an extra few minutes to look great in the morning will make you feel more confident. Try putting your outfit together in the evening so you will know what you are going to wear in the morning. This will save you at least 5-10 minutes or more of time the next morning.

Try spending more time getting ready by making sure your make-up is on properly and hair is in order in the morning. I had a client who applied her makeup in the car at stop signs. Needless to say, she never felt entirely good about the way her make-up looked. It just takes a few extra minutes in the morning to complete your look and feel good about you.

 

How would you describe your personal style? Which tips are you using or plan to use to feel more confident about your style? Do you have others that you can suggest that are working for you? What do you think is the essence of style after 60? Please join the conversation.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Mid Year Check-Up! 5 Ways to Look and Feel about your Style in 2017

Feel GCan you believe we are already half way through the year?

It’s the perfect time to check in with yourself to make sure you are on track with how you are feeling about yourself.

Here are 5 ways to feel and look good about your style this year. It makes a great difference in how you feel. You can start with one simple change.

DO YOUR CLOTHING CHOICES MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE?

First and foremost you must have the appropriate clothing in your closet in order to have something to wear on a daily basis.

Do you sometimes pass over new jeans, morning after morning, in favor of an old pair?  Only 20 percent of the clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis, according to a survey from California Closets. Another survey by Voucher Cloud revealed that the average woman has $550 dollars of unworn clothing in her closet. Most commonly unworn items in her closet are shoes and coats.

Decide what type of clothing you need to have in your closet. For instance, if you are working a full-time job, then your closet should have 80 percent business clothing. The other 20 percent could be casual, sporty, casual chic, and a few items for evening wear, depending on what you need.

Decide what you need in your closet and you will never say you have nothing to wear again.

Wear colors that compliment your skin tone

Examine your closet and experiment with different colors to find out which hues work best with your complexion. Ask a close friend what colors look good on you and work best with your complexion.

It will also be beneficial for you to understand your skin surface tone, which is the color you’d describe yourself (light, medium, tan, dark, etc,). Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface. You can have the same skin tone as someone, but a different undertone which is as follows:

  • Cool: (pink, red or bluish undertones)
  • Warm: (yellow, peachy, golden undertones)

If you are cool under tones, colors that look great on you include:  mint or kelly green, teal, lavender, purple, navy, hot pink, rose pink and burgundy.

For warm toned skin, colors that look good on you are:  peach, yellow (lemon and mustard, which has more brown tones), brown, red, lime green, orange, kelly green, and mint green.

Are you wearing the appropriate clothing for your Body Type?

Do you know your body shape? This is the first step in feeling good in your clothes and building your personal style. It’s important to make sure your clothes fit in proportion to your body shape.

Knowing your body portions and what you need to adjust or camouflage will make you self consious of your body and can lower your self-esteem.

Explore the 5 different body shapes and identify your body type.

Hourglass, Rectangle, Apple/Oval, Pear/Rectangle, and Inverted Triangle.

HourglassCurves, curves and more curves!
Your shoulders are relatively as wide as your hips/thighs and your waist is distinctly narrower than your shoulders and hips/thighs.

Rectangle– Shoulders are as wide as your hips/thighs. Your waist is as wide as or just narrower than your shoulders and hips/thighs.

Apple/Oval – Shoulders are narrower or as your hips/thighs: from the front view, your waist appears the same width or wider than your shoulders/hips.

Pear/Rectangle – Your hips are wider than your shoulders with a round, sloping shoulders, a well-defined waistline (and might even have killer abs), your buttocks and thighs are full and round. Pear body shapes gain weight on their thighs.

Inverted Triangle – Your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips/thighs.

Complete your outfit with accessories

Accessories complete the outfit and have the power to instantly make you comfortable in your own skin and boost your confidence. Try a few accessories for the season:

  • A pair of comfy sandals, flats or heels – I’m always looking for style and comfort, and I think the designers finally got it right. There are so many stylish and comfortable selections out for the season including Birkenstock’s, slide-in mules or heels with ankle straps.
  • A sassy handbagTry a color like coral, blue or yellow. You’ll be surprised how much the handbag adds a pop of color and updates your outfit.
  • Statement sunglassesA classy pair of sunglasses can take you from drab to fab, instantly. You will also beat the heat, in style.
  • HatsThey protect you from the sun as well. I noticed hats with writing on the side of them this year, like “Bon Voyage”, “Off to the Beach”, “Dear Summer”, make fun conversations, as well.

Never again leave the house feeling uncomfortable about your style choice

If you don’t feel 100% confident about your clothing choice before leaving the house, then don’t wear it. Try this quick trick — take a full-length picture of yourself and see how you look. The camera doesn’t lie. I always do this when I’m trying on sunglasses and want to select the right style. I can always tell which ones I should buy based on the picture and how I feel in them.

You will be able to recognize the right outfit at the moment you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction, happiness, empowerment and confidence in what you’re wearing.

 

By doing all of these things you will continue to feel better about how you look and present yourself to the world. Its starts with how you feel about your style.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Summer Wardrobe Sizzle

Summer is the season for being outdoors for events such as bar-b-ques, vacations, reunions, music festivals, weddings, graduations and sports.

But one of the major challenges to being fashion forward is the cost. The average family spends $1,700 dollars on clothes annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It accounts for 3.5% of a family’s expenses, on average.

In 1930, the average American woman owned 9 outfits; today the figure is 30 outfits, one for every day of the month.

However, changing seasons doesn’t mean you need to completely overhaul your wardrobe, just make a few bold statements. Adding accessories will instantly update your wardrobe.

The styles for the season are all about updated classics, easy shapes, and unexpected combinations.

Try these five easy ways to reboot your wardrobe for summer, and make your wardrobe feel more current.

Choose light floral, print fabrics

Keep cool and wear lightweight, breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton, rayon, georgette (which is similar to chiffon), silk, and jersey.florals

Brighten up your wardrobe with florals, prints and color. This can inject some of your personality into your wardrobe. At times, you may need to tone down the big and bold florals and prints. You can do this by wearing either floral on the top and solid on the bottom, or vice versa.

Make sure that the scale of the floral pattern aligns with the frame of your figure. A large floral pattern can overwhelm a petite woman. A miniature pattern can look too dainty on a woman with a larger frame.

Other factors to consider are the placement of the patterns and the contrast of the colors. The colors should compliment your skin tone.

Try something different this season with florals, prints and lots of color!

Wear a fun hat

fun hatThe thing is, hats are for just about everyone; you just have to find the right shape that flatters your face. There are so many types of hats from mild (narrow brim) to wild (wide brim). You can look for cool banded fedoras, structured Panamas, striped floppy hats…basically, every style under the sun.

At the top of the list, and as a fashionable way to protect yourself from the sun, try a wide brim or floppy hat.

The latest and newest trends for the summer are hats with words written on the brim. Wear one and then watch out for compliments and conversation!

Statement sunglasses

fun sunglassesSunglasses are now considered the best accessory to have. It can change your entire look without a lot of effort. You can have a make-up free day and still look gorgeous.

Italian designers including, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace, sell over 7.6 billion Euro of eye-wear a year (including prescription). This is big business since more and more women have several pairs of sunglasses these days.

Have you noticed Oprah wears glasses with almost every outfit? Glasses are her main accessory standard.

Slides, slippers, high heeled mules and sneakers

This season’s mood is casual and easy, and shoes that just slip on strike the perfect chord. fun sneakersSome of this season’s favorites–such as slides, backless loafers, slippers and high-heeled mules–don’t have an ankle strap, which helps lengthen the leg. These casual designs offer some sturdier heels and feature elegant, clean lines. Expect a few fun surprises – like velvet slides for summer.

Sneakers are all the rage this summer, and it is stylish to wear them with pants, skirts, and dresses. You will also find them with a bit of a wedge as well as decorated in floral and metallic colors. Comfort and style is in this summer.

Statement earrings

Statement earrings continue to be big this summer, but in new materials and styles. Boho-styles use fringe and tassels from organic materials. Designers are creating bold, structural earrings by playing with graphic metals to develop new ways of doing hoops and long drops. Statement earrings are a great, inexpensive way to change the look of an outfit.statement earrings

If you’re going to wear big earrings, pay attention to the shape of your face. Keep everything around your face simple – avoid necklaces and go for a more natural hairstyle. These earrings are a nice compliment to the off-the-shoulder top trend – especially the longer earrings that are almost shoulder length. Lean into your own sense of style: the style really has to be authentic and what your brand represents to you in order to make it work.

How do you plan to update your wardrobe this summer? Do you have another tip not mentioned in this article? Join the conversation below.

 

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Tips Boomers Can Show Bosses They’ve Still Got Pep in Their Step!

Boomer TipsThe workplace has changed and competition is fierce. In the past, seniority and experience played a major part in who stays and who leaves in the workplace. Now it’s all about who can produce the most, be flexible and change at a moment’s notice without any back talk.

With the changing workforce, Boomers are still working and not retiring as quickly as in the past. According to a Gallup survey, almost 8 in 10 of the youngest Baby Boomers (50-51) are working full-time, part-time or seeking work, a figure which declines to roughly one-third among the generation’s oldest (67-68).

Boomers are also working with or reporting to a Generation X or Y and may sometimes face challenges that they are seen as being old or out of touch with what’s going on in the workplace.

Based on my experience with interviewing, and after having discussions and interactions with Generation X’ers and Millennials, here are 5 tips for Boomers to show their bosses that they’ve still got it and have the pep in their step to do the job.

Make Sure Your Technology Skills Are Up-to-date

Keep your computer skills up-to-date and if you are feeling challenged, ask your kids or grandkids or take a class. Try not to ask anyone at work if you can help it, or else you may get the reputation of not being up-to-date with your computer skills.

I once worked with someone who was making $50 an hour more than I did and everyone in the office knew it. She did not even know how to turn on the computer or attach a document to an email. Everyone was upset because she was making more money and eventually no one wanted to help her. The feeling was that since she was making so much money she should have known basic computer skills. Needless to say, she didn’t last very long at the company when bosses found out she was computer illiterate which was causing disruption in the office.

Show Your Energy

There is a myth that older workers have low energy since they have gone through many work experiences and have seen it all.

Raise your enthusiasm and show that you are excited and willing to learn. Keep yourself refreshed, revitalized and happy to roll up your sleeves to participate in projects.

Be Engaged and Interested

Show that you are interested in others’ points of view. Listen intently and demonstrate eye contact, lean in and use short words such as, “Got it!”

Be Flexible and Adapt to Change

Sometimes things don’t go as planned at work or in life. Meetings are changed at the drop of a hat or run over time. Show you are flexible and can go with the flow. With speed as the driving force in most organizations today, not everything will run on schedule. Don’t get flustered when things change. Show that you are adaptable.

Open Up To Generational Differences

There will be times when your boss may be younger and/or less experienced than you. Stay open to receiving direction from someone younger even though you may have more experience and knowledge. There is still something to learn from the relationship. Connect and engage and find something you both have in common.

I have been in meetings where my new boss introduced a book or idea that I learned about years ago while I was at another company. Just listen, accept ideas and don’t go overboard stating that you knew about the same idea or learned about something before.

Click reply. In what ways do you still have pep in your step either at your job or in your daily life? Are you utilizing any of the tips above? Join the conversation.

 

To your success,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Ways to Discover Your Skills and Start a New Career After 50

Skills After 50The first phase in preparing for a job interview is to gain a better understanding of your own interests and single out what you bring to the table. This is a critical first step.

You will be surprised how many opportunities you will have to showcase your unique skills during the interview. These skills will help you to get hired. Thinking about this ahead of time will help you present a confident attitude and image.

Skills are simply the things you learn and do that enable you to perform certain tasks. By knowing your skills, you will also be able to communicate them to others when you do things like compose your resume, consider a job opening and interview for a job. Later, this is helpful when you create your performance goals with your supervisor, ask for a raise, apply for a promotion or even change careers

There are five ways to identify your career skills that will make you stand out.

Make a List of Your Past and Current Jobs

Make a complete list of all your positions including the company name, title and years worked for each position. This is the same information that you typically list on your resume, in chronological order.

Jot Down the Tasks Associated with Each Job

A task is simply your job duties or responsibilities that you carry out and get paid for. Describe, in detail, everything you did in each job. This will help you in the next section with what you accomplished while performing each task.

List Accomplishments

What were your biggest accomplishments with those tasks? Look at each task and describe any accomplishments that had an impact on the department or organization. What was the problem, the result and how did you improve the situation in any way? This is an accomplishment.

Identify Your Strengths and Passion by Answering These Important Questions

First, what are your three greatest strengths? What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you use regularly? What activities do you do that make you feel strong? What do you find easy to do that others find difficult? Finally, what do you naturally find yourself wanting to spend time doing?

Compare To The Top 10 Skills

Once you identify your skills, strengths and passions, it’s good to know if you are in alignment with what employers are looking for. Here are 10 skills that most employers want.

Verbal Communication: Ability to verbally express your ideas clearly, concisely, and confidently.

Teamwork: Ability to work cohesively within a group.

Initiative and Self-motivation: Ability to act on initiative, identify opportunities and practice in putting forward ideas and solutions.

Written communication: Ability to express yourself clearly in writing.

Internet Communication: Ability to communicate on the Internet, including sending emails.

Flexibility: Adaptability to changing situations and priorities.

Problem Solving: Ability to gather information, establish facts and problem solve.

Drive: Determination to get things done, make things happen and look for ways to make things better.

Planning and Organizing: Ability to plan activities and carry them out.

Time Management: Ability to manage time, prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.

Now that you have identified your skills, you are able to create your own skills checklist. You will never be in doubt again about who you are, and you will specifically present and communicate your unique skills – with confidence – to help you prepare for that interview and get hired!

What skills and strengths make you unique? In doing this exercise, did you discover that you had any new or overlooked skills? Why do you think you are a good candidate for a job in your 50’s? Please join the conversation.

To your success,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Is Your Personal Brand Working for You?

 

YourBrandHave you ever thought about how people perceive you? What does your reputation stand for? How do you want to be seen? How do you know when you make a memorable impression on people?

These days, everything you do in the public impacts your brand and your professional success. If you are interested in seeking a new job, being promoted, or making a sale for your business, make sure you are being perceived the way you want.

I remember interviewing for a job. I withdrew since I did not want to spend extra time working after hours, and it wasn’t a good fit for me. Two months later, I received a call from the same Vice President who interviewed me. He said that another position was available, and he wanted to know if I was interested. He said he was impressed with me when we had met previously, and he never forgot me.

So how did I leave a memorable impression? It was based on the following three things:

  • My brand was aligned with the way I wanted people to perceive me. My skills and knowledge in the Human Resources field were valuable to the organization and department. They could see my professionalism and that I was customer-service oriented. They needed all of these factors for the position.
  • I made a connection with the interviewer. This means they saw me as a good fit with the culture. They trusted me, and we were able to build a relationship. These factors are also critical in the position.
  • When I withdrew from the position the first time, I made sure to send a nice thank you note within 24 hours and wished them well with the search. They noticed my follow-up skills and integrity.

All of these factors left a memorable first impression on the interviewers; and in turn, I received a job that was a better fit for me through the “Hidden Job Market”. This means the job was never posted, and I had no competition. This is the ideal way to land a job.

I ask you – is your personal brand leaving the memorable first impression with people you want it to? If so, what three things help your brand leave a great impression? If not, how do you start building your brand? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Jump Into Spring: 3 Ways to Boost Your Style!

spring colors

It is imperative to maintain an up-to-date look with your appearance, especially if you’re still working, job hunting, speaking in front of groups, or making pitches.

I’ve worked with hiring managers who did not select people due to how they looked. They said they looked old and outdated with their hairstyle or clothing, and sometimes called them “frumpy”. The candidate may have had the skills to do the job, but unable to show that they would “fit in” with the department by maintaining a professional look.

Let me be clear, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to freshen up your wardrobe! You can make a big difference with a small adjustment like adding an accessory or a new color, or even by choosing a current hairstyle, in order to keep your look fresh!

Check out these ideas to boost your style for Spring.

Add color to your wardrobe

You’ll be surprised at how wearing color can change your mood, boost your well-being and make you feel more confident.

Try adding one of the new season colors to your wardrobe. They include teal, dark pink (almost a hot pink), blush (off white with a hint of pink), mustard (yellow), and orange.

Florals and prints are a big trend this year, as well as wearing florals with florals, and mixing florals and prints together. I prefer to wear florals and solids together so it doesn’t feel like you can see me coming! But find what looks good on you, and what you feel good wearing. Try stepping out of the box and mix florals and solids, or prints and solids. Or jump into the trend of wearing prints and florals together. There are even floral sneakers that are all the rave.

Whatever you do, add something different to your wardrobe with a splash of color like a yellow or blue handbag. You will see how it pops a bit of color into your outfit as well as how it makes you feel better.

Create new outfits from your closet

First, pull clothes out of your closet that you no longer wear. Keep pieces that are functional and work for your specific needs.

When creating outfits, be conscious of when you will wear them–weekend wear, work, running errands, client meetings or a night on the town.

Start with basic pieces. For instance, a pair of jeans go great with a colorful top and jacket. See how many tops, blouses and jackets you can mix together to make different outfits! If you have flowing, button-up, tunic, or plain white blouses, mix and match them with diffferent pants for a variety of outfits!

Skirts or dresses for the season are great to have as basics in your closet as well. Dresses are so easy and comfortable. It’s only one piece, and all you need is a layering jacket or sweater. See how many outfits you can create in this category. Make sure to coordinate colors and try a floral, leopard or print dress. You might be amazed at how good it looks on you.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

You’ll be surprised how one accessory added to an outfit can make you look up-to-date. The trend for accessories this year is bold, flashy, bright and modern. I do recommend you stay within your own style unless you want to try something different. My style is classic, traditional with a hint of bold, so I feel comfortable with adding a piece of bold jewelry to an outfit.

Shoes are popping up in flashy silver and metallic hues, and the peep-toe is making a come back.

Oversized and dramatic sunglasses are a big trend, but make sure to find the right shape for your face.

Statement jewelry is all the rave. Chokers are back in style and should be chunky and oversized. Also try adding long and oversized earrings. And large necklaces from gems to feathers are dressing up necklines.

How do you plan to boost your style this spring? Is there a new color you plan to add to your wardrobe? Join the conversation and leave your comments below.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Get Hired After 60: 7 Tips to Make a Fabulous First Impression

Get Hired

It takes just seven seconds.

I’m sure you are already aware of how important first impressions are. But you may not be aware that the first impression is only a seven-second window of the initial meeting.

This means that when it comes to an interviewing situation, you need to act quickly to make a fabulous first impression. To get remembered and hired, here are seven tips for those first seven seconds and how to keep that positive impression going during the interview.

Look Good

“When you look good, you feel good.” This has always been my motto and it’s true. You will automatically walk taller, and look more confident, more comfortable and happier.

Appearances really matter in first impressions. This is the first information someone has about you and plays a bigger role in the first meeting than in later ones.

Dress the part and project a professional presence. Employers are seeking people who exude a sense of poise, confidence and competence. Be sure to wear a touch of color – for example a black matching outfit with a red blouse. Red symbolizes confidence and power.

What is your style? This matters, too. A person can usually figure out by your clothes if you have a serious, fun, traditional or progressive look. Your style tells an instant story about you. So, it’s important to make sure to project your story the way you want it to be told. You are your own walking billboard.

It’s important to point out that you don’t have to be good-looking to look good. Beauty is nice, but confidence is what matters. I was once hired based on the confidence that I projected in the interview. My boss said that she was very impressed and wished she had my confidence. As a result, she felt confident that I could do the job.

When you look good, you will feel good and project a positive image that shows your style, poise, and comfort in your own skin.

Be Present

Walk tall, maintain eye contact, smile and present a firm handshake.

Stay in the moment and listen to the interviewer intently with eye contact. This gives the interviewer the indication that you are focused on the conversation and interested. Focus on what’s being said.

At times, you can use the same information in your answers. Usually the person is giving you information about the position, along with what kind of person they are looking for to fill the role. Making eye contact and nodding makes the interviewer feel comfortable with you.

Don’t forget to smile. A smile represents that you are happy, positive and approachable. This is an invitation to the interviewer to make eye contact.

The handshake impacts your initial impression and should be moderately firm, but not so heavy that the person’s hand is hurting. The firm handshake is seen as more confident and assertive.

Show Your Energy and Ability to Adapt to Change

Employers really do want to hire older workers, but are concerned about their energy level and ability to change focus at a moment’s notice.

Even though at this age we are much calmer than when we were younger, you must show that you still have it – your energy that is. Your energy includes how much you talk, how fast and how loud. You can still have a calming nature, but be involved in conversations for new ideas and thinking.

Competition is fierce and employers are always trying to keep up and think of faster and more innovative ways of doing things. Be involved. When speaking to people, “lean in” or forward. This shows your interest and energy as well.

Employers are also under the impression that we are stuck in our ways and don’t want to change. Show how flexible you are. If you’ve worked for more than one company, that’s a good thing nowadays and shows how resilient you are.

Have a Conversation, Not an Interview

Forget the word interview and think of the time being spent with the interviewer as a conversation. This creates an entirely different mindset. Get to know the interviewer and show interest in what the person is saying.

The interviewer is trying to determine if you are the right “fit” for the position and the company. Yes, your skills are important, but it’s evident that you have the skills because you passed the phone interview. Employers want to make sure you will be able to get along with the immediate team and staff at the company. Do you fit in? Do they feel comfortable with you? Do they like you? This is why having a conversation and getting to know people is important.

Make a Connection 

People are comfortable working with someone who has similar interests, lifestyle or who knows some of the same people. For example, I knew a past employee of a company I interviewed with and the interviewer was very fond of her. I also commented on my potential boss’s picture of her granddaughter, and she was so excited that I noticed it hanging on the wall. She proceeded to talk another five minutes about her.

Of course, she couldn’t ask me any questions about my family since that is illegal, but by openly giving her some personal information about my own daughter, she immediately felt we had similar interests with our children.

You can also look around the room and find any pictures that you can comment about to generate a conversation and connection. Show interest in the interviewer as a person, since people like to talk about themselves and want to work with someone with whom they feel they can connect.

Prove Your Worth without Mentioning Salary

Always have prepared questions to ask the interviewer, team and hiring manager. Also, a very important thing to do is to bring any supporting documents to the interview that showcase your accomplishments.

For example, if the position requires you to create a new process, bring the document where you performed that process at another company. Be prepared to leave it with the company and remove any confidential information.

Prove why you are the most qualified and get hired!

How about you? What tips have you used to make a fabulous first impression for an interview? How have you taken steps to improve your first impression during the interview? Please join the conversation.

 

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

RED: Is It Your Color? 3 Tips To Say “YES” to Red!

Valentine’s Day was on February 14th and RED is a popular color worn by millions of people on that day – but it’s not just for Valentine’s Day! I receive many questions regarding the color red and thought this would be an ideal time to talk about it.


Say “YES” to Red!

If you’re feeling at all hesitant about wearing red or wondering HOW to wear it, read this article and say “YES” to wearing red with confidence!


1) Is red right for your personality?

It just so happens that red is my favorite color and I wear it often in many different ways. Either as an accent color or dress, pant, coat, top, shoes or scarf. Red is considered a power color and the eye sees the color instantly, so you must feel good and confident wearing it. If you have any hesitation about wearing the color and don’t feel good in it, then red is not for you. People will be able to tell if you don’t feel good in the color by the way you walk, talk and your non-verbal communication body language. Your inside will project your outside behavior. This is a color where your inside behavior must project a positive outside feeling.

2) Are you wearing the right shade?

There are different shades of red, so you will need to find out which shade works better with your skin complexion.

To discover the right red for you, you should decide if a warm red or cool red works best against your skin. When you look at a warm red and cool red side-by-side, you can clearly see the warm red has more yellow and the cool red has more blue.

By putting swatches up to your face you will determine which shade looks good on you. You will see and feel it instantly.

People who look best in warm reds are people who look better in warmer colors like browns, oranges, yellows, and rust or fall tones. People who look better in cool reds are those who look best in brighter jewel tones like magenta, royal blue, bright purples and black.

If you are still confused, think about metallic or silver or gold jewelry. If silver is most flattering on you, then most likely you look better in cool red. If gold looks better on you, then a warm red is the answer.

However, keep in mind there are some skin tones, especially of a darker hue, that can get away with wearing either a warm or cool red. I’m in this category and even though I wear a lot of cool red (with more blue in the shade), I can wear the warm red as well. Gold also looks great on my skin tone but silver is attractive too.

3) How much red should you wear?

Again, pay attention to how you FEEL wearing red. It’s important to consider all the points above and what your goal is for the day.

Since red is my favorite color, I wear it socially, in business, or when I need to be in a position of leadership and present new ideas. It evokes a feeling of confidence in me and others can see it. If, on the other hand, you need to sell or negotiate something you want, it may cause an uneasy feeling with the person you are dealing with.

The important thing to consider is how you feel when you wear it. Once this battle is conquered, you can figure out the right shade you should wear and the appropriate times to wear it.

Is RED a color that you wear often? Do you know if you are a warm or cool red? Have you been wearing the right shade of red?  Join the conversation below and leave your comments!

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.