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What is an Image Consultant?

An image consultant works with your image. Image is what you see in the mirror; it's how you look - not just to yourself, but also to other people.

An image consultant is in the business of making you look good. His or her job is to take you as you are - with your height, your coloring, and your general physique - and make you look as good as possible, using a variety of tools. In our society we're obligated to wear clothing, so it's important to choose clothes that accentuate your positives and minimize your negatives. Your hair is a basic part of your anatomy but there are any number of ways you can wear it to accentuate your best features. With your face, you can choose to wear make-up or not, but if you do, you can learn to select make-up that accentuates the positives and minimizes the negatives. Your wardrobe is the third key ingredient in helping you look your best, and an image consultant has the rewarding job of making sure this happens.

Don't Let Your Clothes Wear You

It's common knowledge that when you feel good about yourself you're going to look good, and when you look good, people will notice. When people comment positively on your appearance, you feel good in response, and it becomes an ever-growing cycle. If you put on a piece of clothing and someone says, "You look fantastic," that means you're going to feel great. But if someone says, "That's a great sweater," they are seeing your clothing before they see you. Image consultants work on getting people to say, "You look great," rather than commenting on your clothes.

How An Image Consultant Works

Image consultants work with both males and females, and with every age range. An image consultant will teach you how to buy clothing and build a wardrobe that features a few pieces that can create a multitude of outfits through mixing and matching. A top-notch image consultant will teach you how to buy a minimum amount of clothes to create maximum outfits, all of which make you look fantastic. It's not about building a wardrobe of stand-alone outfits.

What's A Stand-Alone Outfit?

A stand-alone outfit might be a black suit and a white silk shirt, with the two pieces only working with each other. It's an outfit that looks brilliant by itself, but when you split up the suit and try to add a different shirt, it doesn't look as good. The shirt doesn't really work well with anything other than that particular jacket. So it's an outfit that can look fabulous, but isn't versatile.

The other negative aspect about a suit that functions as a stand-alone outfit is that if you split it up and wear the pieces separately, you must make sure that they're always dry-cleaned or laundered at the same time; otherwise they'll become two different shades and will no longer match. The two pieces will never be exactly the same color again.

The Benefits Of A Mix And Match Wardrobe

The opposite of a stand-alone outfit is a garment that can be worn in a number of different ways. This type of garment can work very hard to create a variety of outfits.

Some examples:

  • You might wear the jacket with a skirt, with a pair of trousers, or over a dress. You might have any number of different jackets in your wardrobe: a short jacket, a fitted jacket, a casual jacket or a dressy jacket.

  • A shirt can be worn as a top, or undone over a t-shirt.

  • If you have a plain black dress, you can change the look by varying the accessories or wearing various jackets over it.

  • A skirt can work with any number of different tops or shirts, a t-shirt with a shirt worn over the top, or a shirt with a scarf or a piece of jewelry. It can also be worn with any number of different jackets.

The Advantage of Using Plain Colors

There's any number of choices you can make if you plan your wardrobe around plain colors. Once you have your basic colors, you can add prints and patterns to extend their usefulness. For example, you can co-ordinate the various colors in a patterned skirt with a plain-colored item that includes one of the colors in the pattern. Now you may choose to match a neutral color in the pattern like beige, or a strong color like red or black, but your skirt will then have a number of different uses because of the range of shirts, jackets and tops that you can wear with it.

A more specific example: A cream skirt, which is a yellow-based color, can be worn with a plain brown shirt, a green shirt, or any warm-based color. I have a cream skirt that goes with a brick red shirt that features a Burberry print collar with cream in the background. So the cream in the collar and cuffs picks up the cream in the skirt. The same cream skirt goes with a cream jumper, various polo shirts and a jacket. That one skirt serves a number of different purposes.

A dark brown skirt will work with both printed and plain-colored tops. It will also work with light colors. But keep in mind that a dark color worn on the bottom will minimize the size of hips and tails; a light color worn on the bottom will maximize them. So you need to have good proportions to wear a light-colored skirt. If you have fuller hips, don't wear a light-colored skirt because it will make them look wider.

More Outfits For Less Money

You can actually minimize the number of pieces that you own and still create a multitude of outfits. So one plain cream skirt can become part of ten or twelve different outfits depending on the number of matching shirts or tops you own.

A wardrobe of twelve basic pieces - skirts, trousers, jackets, shirts, jumpers and a dress - can translate into forty outfits. The trick is to color co-ordinate them with your basic coloring and choose the shape to flatter your body type.

An image consultant will guide you through the process of choosing a basic wardrobe that will offer this kind of versatility.

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