Tuesday, December 9, 2008


When Should I Hire A Visual Strategist?

One of the questions I get asked most often is how does someone know when they need help from a professional Visual Strategist or image consultant/personal stylist?
Every client’s reasons are different, but generally they fall somewhere within the reasons listed below. Perhaps some of these reasons apply to you!
New Job:
This may seem like an obvious reason, but you’d be surprised how many people think that once they have secured the new job, they no longer need to think about their visual “presentation.” Your appearance at the office is the key to your authority and advancement. If you are in the market for a new career, looking your best during the interview process is vital. A Visual Strategist can assist you achieve the perfect professional look to secure the much sought-after jobs.

Moving up in the professional ranks:
As your career advances, it is a good idea to periodically assess your visual “presentation.” A professional with 10 years experience should not be dressing in the same manner as one with 5. Just as you would schedule a regular check up with your dentist, a check up with a visual strategist can ensure that you are current with your wardrobe, accessories, hair and make up.

Changing Geography:
Whether you are moving from a small town to a major metropolitan city; from West coast to East coast or from Europe to the US, it is important to make sure your appearance is in concert with the look of your new home. Each of these geographical areas and their major cities connotes a specific and distinct level of style and polish. You want to be sure that wherever you land, you have a clear sense of expectations of style for that city.

Your Partner’s Job:
Your partner has a high visibility job and you are expected to attend corporate and social functions with him or her. There is nothing more terrifying for a partner than to have to look “the right way” at every function and occasion. Replicating the same look over and over is just as noticeable as being under dressed or over dressed. What is formal business attire in New York City may not work well in Los Angeles and vice versa. A personal stylist can take out the guess work and help you develop a wardrobe “arsenal” so that you are prepared with several outfits for specific occasions.

Age milestones:
Much as we all hate to admit it, what worked for you in your 20’s and 30’s will not work for you in your 40’s, 50’s and so on. Just because you may be able to fit into a particular garment, doesn’t mean it’s for you. As we get older attention needs to be paid to age-appropriate dressing. I am all for people working on and showing off their hard earned bodies, but there is a limit to what a mature person can pull off. A stylist can help you define and stay within your limit.

Weight loss (or gain):
When people have a significant weight loss, their vision of how they see themselves is usually skewed, meaning that they usually still see themselves as a larger size. Their idea of size and proportion has been thrown out of whack. The clothes that they have been wearing during their weight loss probably do not reflect the reality of their body size. A personal stylist can instruct on cut, fit and color to help begin building a new wardrobe and new confidence for these individuals
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the weight gain. Everyone feels bad about themselves when they gain weight. Weight gain should not stop you from maintaining your “visual presentation.” Style should not be a size.

New start:
Perhaps you are at a point in your life where there has been a significant life-changing experience such as a divorce or death. During these times, many individuals want a fresh start. Clothing, hair, make up can play a big part in that and can help you build your confidence to face life’s new challenges.

We are all super busy with our everyday lives. Figuring out the appropriate wardrobe for work or social functions can be a significant drain on one’s time. An image consultant/ personal stylist can shop and do the editing for you. They may be able to give you access to goods that you may not normally be exposed to. I hear time and again from my male clients, that in addition to knowing that they will always look pulled together, the convenience of someone doing their shopping for them is the primary reason for engaging a stylist.

Whatever your reason for assessing your appearance, it is important to remember that often we are judged by how we present ourselves. Looking your best can help you get that new job, advance at work, secure more dates or feel better about yourself. For more information about me or my services, please visit my website @ www.elainearmstrongco.com. You can also contact me through email: Elaine@elainearmstrongco.com, or through this blog.


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