Category Archives: Career Fashion

Career fashion tips for women

Hiring a personal fashion consultant

About a month ago I hired Michelle Addison to come in to my home and do a basic cleanse of my wardrobe. This was particularly helpful because…

1. I finally parted with clothes that really needed to be donated or consigned

2. I gained an education on what is working for me and what isn’t

3. I now shop differently for clothing

4. I feel more like me with an increased confidence and love of my style

Having said all that, I want to be honest and say this service was an investment on my part. Unlike many socialites, celebrities and fashionistas that probably have the means to hire a personal stylist I had to justify in my mind that this was worth a portion of my pay cheque. It was and I would highly recommend this to anyone either as a gift to self or gift to someone they love who is struggling to feel good in their clothes.

Where this got a little out of control was when I met Michelle at Hudson’s Bay City Centre in downtown Vancouver. When we talked before she had mentioned there were great sales on a the Bay right now and so it would be a good time to meet where she could provide free personal styling. I poked around a week or so before and noticed the seasonal sales were in progress and thought, Wow, this is actually going to be fun and within my budget!

I arrived, went to THE ROOM on the second floor and was escorted to a changing room area that I assume is exclusive for this service. The first thing I noticed was Michelle, beautifully polished and trendy as ever, and then I noticed a rack of clothes and accessories. I switched my head from work to me time and quickly realized the magnitude of my good fortune. The first outfit was carefully thought out and ready for me to try on and once I stepped out of the room I was in love.

This love grew with multiple outfits and like a good student I carefully committed to memory what and why this works. At different points when I closed the changing room door I took a brief moment again to think about this opportunity and the likelihood that it will not happen this way again. This was a first, (different from being in a store with a great sales person) and the joy that comes from experiencing such personalized service is unexplainable. This was not lost on me because I had just come from a place where women have never experienced such attention and I couldn’t help but wish I could give them this gift.

Here’s the down side to this service… I overspent. There were only maybe one or two items on sale, the rest were high-end prices. I felt a little duped in the previous mentioning of sale and now she was placing regular priced items like $150 belts to $340 blouses in front of me. It seemed advantageous to her and not so much for me. However, I’m in THE ROOM and I’m working with someone who has picked perfectly for me and I can see in her world this is no longer extravagant.

Shopping again

My advice to you if you are thinking about hiring a personal fashion consultant or stylist is do your homework:

1. Check out their website to get an idea of their philosophy about fashion, who their clients might be and who they are. There is a fair bit of  branding and PR but most of it will likely be true and that can lead to the next step.

2. Talk to the stylist by phone or meet to discuss their services. They will ask questions and you may have a few of your own.

3. Establish your budget. What I learned from this, is that it is important to communicate what you can afford. Given free rein both consultant and client can take this experience from pleasurable to regrettably costly.Trips to return items you love can be heart breaking.

4. If budget is your problem then see the value in a consultation but find ways to get what you want through online deals, consignment or thrift store purchases. For instance: A Helmet Lang wool tuxedo blazer looked fabulous on me! It was $575. I thought it will be an investment piece as the style pairs well with pants, jeans or skirts. When I went to Turnabouts Consignment Store I managed to find the exact style, by a different designer, minus wool fabric and hidden button, for $25.99. Guess which one is hanging in my closet?

5. Upscale consignment stores often provide fashion consultations to customers. One such store is REWIND Consignment in South Surrey. In a recent discussion with one of the staff I was told that for under $30 (price to be confirmed) Bianca and Alex will book an appointment time with you for a personal consultation. Contact your local consignment store to see if they offer a similar service or if you want to travel out the sunny South Surrey go to REWIND.

If you want to build your self-esteem, need to connect with your stylish side, have been feeling worn out or have a wardrobe that no longer wows you then I say,

Invest in hiring a personal fashion consultant ~ Internally and externally you will reap the benefits.

 

You Look Marvelous: What a style & image consultant can do for you

It is hard to deny that fashion plays a key role in our lives, unless of course you are a nudist. Since most of us are not conducting business or pleasure in the buff deciding what to wear can be a daunting task. As I rummaged through my own closet lately I was struck by how many pieces hang there untouched. The other day I flung at least six outfits onto the bed looking for the right look for a casual business appointment.  In the end I put on something that just didn’t feel right.

I took transit into the city and noticed so many interesting outfits worn by fashion savvy young women and I couldn’t help but think “I used to be like them; putting more effort into my fashion choices,” “Where did they buy that?” and “Would I look good in that outfit?”

The fact is I feel some days like I have lost my sense of fashion direction. I’m not sure what to wear and trying on clothes at the stores often turns into an exercise in frustration. I know I’m not alone in the quest to find the perfect pieces to compliment my body and lifestyle. The good news is we don’t have to be famous to enjoy the expertise of a personal stylist or image consultant because there are people like Diana Kilgour who can come to our rescue. 

choosingclothes

What is a personal style and image consultant? A person who knows how to bring out the best in her client’s appearance and manner. I do it by working with clothing and accessories that uniquely suit a person’s lifestyle, colouring, shape and size; suggesting improvements in speech, body language or posture if needed. It’s about impression management and equipping someone to live a freer, more confident life. Some people call me a personal shopper, dresser or stylist.

A good personal style and image consultant is a combination of three things: Caring friend with great taste who wants you to be happy and successful in life and isn’t afraid to tell you the truth, in a constructive and positive way.

Fairy-godmother who is able to help you transform your appearance so that you’ll fit in at the ball, in the office, at the resort or even the gym. Ensuring that your wardrobe and style formula is uniquely yours and not a carbon copy of others.

Consumer advocate who helps you make the best choices with your wardrobe dollars. I work for you, not for any particular store, so I can take you shopping anywhere and your long term satisfaction with your clothes is what I aim for.

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Looking for Image Consultants

Do you have a passion for fashion? Do love helping women redefine their personal style? Can you provide advice to women who want to step out with confidence to their new job?

Launching a Fashion Section:

Jennifer Chandler Consulting is looking for professionals who want to share tips and pics with readers who are looking for image and fashion advice.

Many of my clients and readers have talked about how difficult it is to know what to wear, especially after an extended absence from paid employment. They sense their closet needs revamping. They want to avoid wasted time in a retail store changing room. Women are looking for ways to understand their body type, find colours and shapes that compliment and above all else express who they are.

If you or someone you know would like an opportunity to contribute to the fashion page I welcome your call or email. We will discuss your contribution and of course full attribution will be given to you and your business.

No matter where you are in the world this is a platform to share. So, come join all the guest bloggers who pass along their thoughts, opinions, advice and expertise!

women career counselling

 

What not to wear when job hunting

I’m standing at the cashiers desk paying for my book and a young woman walks up to the manager and asks if they are accepting applications. The manager say’s she will take her resume and proceeds to ask the woman a couple of questions. The store manager learns that she is a new graduate, from another Province and is passionate about books.

She is polite as she stands there with a folder full of resumes that will no doubt be past out to other stores in the area. What do I notice? That she is wearing flats, skinny leg jeans and a casual flouncy blouse. When she left I went over to the manager and asked if I could ask her some questions, she said “Yes.”

“Career Counsellor here and I want to know what you thought of that young woman’s approach. What are you looking for?”

“Well, I look for a few things. I look for them to be polite, friendly, have eye contact and obviously that they love books.”

“Do you care about what they are wearing? I noticed she was wearing jeans does that bother you?”

“Yes, it does. I don’t think they should be wearing jeans. I would prefer they wear at the very least a pair of dress pants, a nice shirt or maybe even a skirt. We don’t allow for those dark jeans in this store.”

She went on to explain, “Even on our casual day those jeans are not appropriate but I’ve seen far worse come into my store.” My guess is that either this young applicant has had no instruction on appropriate dress for job searching or that she has disregarded advice in favour of comfort. Either way, it may hinder her chances and certainly didn’t help the others.

The manager did tell me, “I wouldn’t confront them on what they are wearing when they drop off the resume but I would if they show up dressed like that for an interview.” That is if they get an interview.Presentation has a lot to do with whether anyone gets past the resume drop.

Many employers make notes right off that bat and screen out those who do not take the time to visually presents themselves in a manner that says, I have taken the time to know where I am applying and I want to be your next employee!

Unless you are applying at a trades job, on site, nobody should be wearing jeans to look for work. If what you are wearing is the same thing you would wear to hang out with your friends, it probably is not job seeking material. Anyway, why take the risk! If you are truly needing a job, sprucing yourself up is a small price to pay to be noticed. After you are hired you will be briefed on what is acceptable dress on the job.

Photo provided by freedigitalphotos.net

Part of me wanted to see this girl when I left the store and offer some professional advice. But, sometimes people have to knock on a few doors before finally someone tells them the truth about how they are dressed or provide feedback on their interview skills. People like to say, “There’s no jobs out there.” Well, that may be true in some areas or maybe it’s you that is turning potential employers away.

Fashion tips for Mom’s returning to work

Even saying “Moms returning to work” has me pause a moment because it implies that Mom hasn’t been working. If you are a mother you know it has been meaningful but still work. At no other time in your life do you give up so much of yourself in order to pursue a goal. The goal is to raise children who will grow up to be productive members of society. To do that, you must relinquish most of your own time for self reflection. Getting to know you, falls by the wayside. 

So, now you find yourself ready to return to paid employment and staring back at you in the mirror is not the same woman who used to rock the business suit. Instead, you’re mostly wearing yoga pants, t-shirts, jeans or flats. You comb through the closet and rifle through the drawers looking for something, anything, that resembles ‘business appropriate.’ Even that is difficult to interpret these days. If you have looked at some of the clothes women have decided was business appropriate you may be confused. It is safe to say that midriff baring tops and butt crack exposing pants aren’t appropriate, unless your job is to attract that type of attention.

Seriously though, you are in desperate need of business clothes so where do you start? If you are in a business or a business casual environment some great pieces to have in your closet are: Dress pants in easy to mix and match colours, a couple of skirts to start, blouses and dress tanks for under blazers or jackets, comfortable shoes, (no flip flops) business suits and corresponding accessories that compliment rather than over-power an outfit.

What’s in style? If you are not sure what to keep or not keep, begin with the following:

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