Sandra

Top Business Women Dress with Confidence

Shoot photo cropDo you dress to represent who you really are or do you conform to the rules and blend in with the crowd?

I am not suggesting that it is always appropriate to dress in outrageous styles and colours. but so many of us do the complete opposite and get lost in the background. Is that OK for you or do you need to be seen to raise your profile?

Being successful in any sphere of life depends on our self esteem and confidence, it can be easy to run with the pack and try not to stand out, but what will that achieve? Yes it is more difficult to assert your personality and true values through your appearance, especially if you are not accustomed to being noticed, but it can make so much difference.

I work with many brilliant, intelligent and focused women who are successfully building their careers, however many of them have something else in common.  Talk to them about their skills, and their confidence is obvious, talk to them about themselves, the impact they personally make on others and their personal confidence and self esteem are much lower.

This doesn’t seem to cause them quite so much of a problem until reaching senior management, board level or  starting a business. It is then that there is a  need to be seen for who you are, not a copy or reflection of  perhaps a male counterpart or corporate environment. Standing out as a professional confident woman, who expresses her own unique personality, through communication and physical appearance, will make a huge positive impact on those around you and lead to greater success.

If you would like to make that positive impression here are 5 initial tips to help you think about how you can be uniquely you in your career or business.

1. Know your values – what you stand for and how you want to be seen and heard.

  • You can achieve this through working with a great coach, who will help you explore this in a new and objective way.
  • Consider your communication style and your body language.

2. Think about your work environment – what is expected – dress codes etc. How can you fit in where you need to and yet allow your personality to shine through? (What is your style personality?)

  • Jewellery, scarves, belts, handbags and shoes are all great ways to add personality
  • What about the style of your suit, dress, trousers – more formal clothing does not have to be boring! Colour and quirky touches of style can make so much difference.

3. What colours do you wear to work? What do these say about you?

  • Black can say authoritative or it could say boring – blending into the background. It depends how you wear it and what colurs you wear with it. Try navy as an alternative, it is a much better colour for communication.
  • Using colours which look good on you, those that work with your skin tone is important for your confidence and the impression you make on others.

4. Be confident in what you wear, know that it works for you.

  • Know the things to avoid – if a neckline feels too low, it probably is!
  • Choose styles which work well with your body shape, so you are not worrying about those areas of your body you don’t like so much.

5. ALWAYS – make sure you are well groomed!

  • Does your hairstyle work? Does it reflect your style, but not get in your way causing you to have to adjust it constantly? Never  scrape it back into a pony tail because you haven’t had time to wash it!
  • Are you nails well manicured? Nail polish will add that final finishing touch, but it is not for everyone
  • Do your clothes fit well? Not so tight that it causes  pulling, gaping buttons or crease lines to appear around the waist or tops of legs. Not so baggy that your clothes disguise your shape and you end up looking like you are lost somewhere inside.
  • Are you wearing makeup? A little will enhance your look – too much will detract. Lipstick if you wear it will complete the look.

Personal confidence and self esteem come from knowing you are great at what you do and begin certain that you can always create a strong and personable impact.

Dress for who you are and what you want to achieve and make the impact you want!

‘I thoroughly enjoyed working with Sandra, she understood my boundaries instinctively and worked within these. The results have been brilliant, and I have received a number of comments in a short space of time. I have already recommended Sandra and will continue to do so’.

Katie – Financial Director

Sandra Collins - Totally You Consulting. Call 07742 445243

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to work with confidence & style!

It is now many years ago for me and yet I can still remember that feeling in my stomach when I realised it was time for me to re-enter the job market after having been at home for a number of years with my children.

What could I possibly do now? I had lost all my work skills hadn’t I? On top of that, I looked and felt like a ‘Mum’ in my eyes, my wardrobe had been reduced to mainly jeans, casual skirts and tops – oh yes I did have a suit in there somewhere, but it was now about 5 years out of date and to be honest a little tight in certain places!

I could now look after children – reasonably well, but not sure I could compete in the work place. However, what I didn’t think about was all those skills I had had to learn being a mum and how they could quite easily be transferred to the work place.

Organisation – the logistics of getting children to school, on to clubs, juggling housework, cooking and being there for your other half, takes some organising!

Listening – as a mum being a great listener is something we all do and take for granted

Negotiating – well that is obviously a key skill – bedtime, eating dinner, getting homework done, and much more all take negotiation skills.

Mentoring and Coaching – finding the best way to teach, advise, and guide!

Creativity – thinking of new ways to get things done, fabulous craft work with the children, maybe you have even got involved in some interior design in your home.

These are just five skills off the top of my head that so many mums have cultivated and use daily without even thinking about it. With  at times a little adaption and maybe in some areas a bit more training these skills are great assets in the work place.

As for your wardrobe – a little colour & style advice, a trip to the shops (you don’t have to spend a fortune) and you are back on track! Have you seen my tips over the last few weeks? Here is a summary!

  • Find time to clear out your wardrobe – throw away things which are no longer working for you
  • Understand how you want to be seen – what is your style and body shape
  • Think about where you want to work – what clothes would work best?
  • If the dress code is business casual, think about buying some great basics, then mix and match, personalise with accessories
  • For a more formal environment – invest on one great suit, if possible with both a skirt and trousers, then you can buy slightly less expensive tops to vary the look. You can also add your personality to this look with great jewellery.
  • Remember, great grooming is essential – you can have the most amazing outfit, but if your hair is a mess, you have bitten down nails and no make up or if your clothes are creased, have marks on them or don’t fit well – all your efforts will be in vain!
  • So to have time to ensure you can go out the door looking fab – organise your time. Decide what you will be wearing the next morning – including shoes, jewellery and make up and have it all set out ready.
  • And I make no apologies for mentioning this again – make sure your wardrobe is orgainsed! Make sure that only the clothes you are currently using are in the cupboard and if possible arrange to reflect your lifestyle – if nothing else, put work outfits together for easy access!

If you would like some help with any of these areas, Book a session with me now – 07742 445243! You can do most of this yourself, but my clients tell me that it is so much easier – and more fun with some professional guidance!

 

Making an impression – the small stuff really does count!

Grooming isn’t about buying the most expensive toiletries, designer clothes and highly priced accessories, it is about taking the time to look good, because you value yourself and want to feel confident when you are out there talking to clients and suppliers. It is also about your clients being able to see that you have made an effort; this will lead them to believe that you will also take that same time and effort to provide them with great service.

If you have made an effort it will make you feel great and this will increase your energy and focus, helping you to deal with the challenges you face, not having to worry about how you look. This is why it is so important that the clothes you choose reflect the ‘real you’ so that you can feel comfortable both inside and out, whilst also making that positive impression on people you meet.

Choose an outfit that you are going to feel great in all day – relax and enjoy being ‘yourself’ – remember you are the successful, confident person you wish to be!

The small stuff really does count!

Tips about the small stuff:

1. Remember to wear a watch – it helps to ensure you are on time and also that you do not overrun.

2. How do your shoes look? Are they clean? Do they need a polish?

3. Are you clothes in good condition?

a. Are there any buttons missing?
b. Check the hem line to make sure it is not coming loose
c. Are there any marks – could they do with a wash or a dry clean?

4. Do your clothes fit well?

a. Do the buttons pull apart when you sit?
b.  Do your clothes crease because they are too tight?
c. Are they too big? Pulled in with a belt to make them fit?

5. Ladies – have you added some make-up? This shows effort and completes the picture, it does not have to be heavy, just a touch will make an impact.

6 Consider your nails – having them manicured and polished is great – we forget how much we use our hands and how much they are on show! However at minimum, for both men and ladies make sure they are clean and well kept!

7. How clean is you hair and is it in an easy to manage style? Gentlemen, when did you last have a haircut? If you have a beard or other facial hair, is it neatly trimmed?

8. What accessories are you wearing? Do these enhance or detract from the image you want to create?

9. If you have to travel to a meeting remember:

a. Take a comb or brush – windy or rainy days cause havoc with the hair!
b. Remember your umbrella – drowned rat image is not so good!
c. If it is very warm weather, think about taking a spare shirt/top and some deodorant.
d. Choose good brief case or bag for your papers
e. Wear clothes that don’t crease!
f. Ladies – wear a comfortable pair of shoes and take the heels with you.
g. Take a cloth or have a tissue available to wipe over your shoes if necessary.

Get the small stuff right and you can relax, knowing that the effort you have made really makes a difference!

Then if you want to learn more about what colours and style work uniquely well for you – give me a call or ask for a voucher  as a gift so that you can have a fabulous personal session!

Call 07742 445243!

 

 

 

 

Personal Success & Appearance

Personal appearance has significant impact. When you get right, it will not only work visually for those you meet, but also inject that extra confidence helping you to deliver your very best.

In these difficult economic times what gives you the edge over competitors in business or in securing that new job? People buy people not CV’s and certificates, that extra edge is often about which of two great candidates will fit best with the company who is looking to employ them. So what does ‘Fitting in’ mean? It is all about the soft skills:

•How and who you are as a person
•Your mind set
•Your approach
•Your physical appearance

If we expand on physical appearance, it is about that all important first meeting with a prospective employer or new client; we all know the saying ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ and it is so true!

When you prepare for an interview or indeed to meet a client for the first time, you will probably research areas such as, what the company does, how they do it, what their markets are and may look into the culture and values. How often do you spend time researching how you should present yourself personally? For most it is a question of pulling out the interview/meeting suit or outfit and off we go – will this work? Well sometimes, yes, but what if it doesn’t?

What if when looking at the culture you did notice that the dress code was business casual – what does that mean? This form of dress is very much open to interpretation, meaning different standards in different places.

Peter Landau talks about the concept of ‘Intelligent Dressing™’. Having completed seven years of research Peter’s findings suggest that the more research, thought and analysis that goes into personal appearance, the greater the personal success.

When you get it right, it will not only work visually for those you meet, but also inject that extra confidence in you to deliver your very best on the day!

If you need guidance and support to help you make that great visual impression it may be useful to think about using an image coach.

Give me a call on 07742 445243 for more information on how you can make that all important positive impression!

www.Totally-You-Consulting.co.uk

 

How do I dress appropriately for my age?

It is always a dilemma – how do you make sure you are dressing in a way that compliments your age? For me it is not a question of what clothes are right for what age group, it is much more about the styles and colours which work with, your body shape, your skin tone, your personality and your environment. It is not about fashion it’s about what works for you and makes you look fabulous!

 

 Here are a few tips which may help:

 

  • Forget about the size label, make sure that your clothes fit well – no gaping buttons, over tight tops, trousers with pockets which poke out as they are too tight on the hips etc.
  • Think about your body shape – does the material work with your shape?  Softer material which flows with your curves.  More structured fabric which compliments your more angular figure
  • Ensure the length of your dress/shirt works for you – hemline finishing at a narrower part of your leg, either just above or just below the knee
  • Choose colours which flatter. Remember that as your hair colour changes, some of the stronger shades could become over powering (This does not mean wearing only pastels as they may well wash you out) just go a shade or two lighter.
  • If you like to be in tune with fashion, add this through your accessories as they are easily changed to keep up with the trends. Accessories are the magic touch which transform an outfit!

 Something to think about – if a person saw you first from behind, would what you are wearing give them a clear impression of what to expect when meeting you face to face? Clothes which compliment your appearance and make an amazing first and lasting impression!

 

 If you would like some help to build a wardrobe full of outfits which boost your confidence and speak of who you are and how you want to be seen take a look at my Colour Analysis, Colour & Style Sessions or Wardrobe & Personal Shopping Sessions. Alternatively give me a call on 07742 445243 to see what might work for you!

How Do I Find My Style?

 

  • Style is not about clothes alone
  • Fashion can be bought – style cannot
  • We are not always born with a sense of style – but it can be learned
  • Style is consistent – but not boring

 

 Style  is such a personal thing, it’s about reflecting the real you at your very best! How do you find that elusive personal style? Here are a few ideas:

 

 Think about your personality, are you:

  • Artistic – love to be creative/different/carefree
  • Dramatic – love statement looks/strong contrasts/chic
  • Feminine – appreciate softer shapes/lady-like/graceful
  • Classic – enjoy a more formal /elegant/composed/timeless look
  • Natural – seek comfort and a more casual/sporty style.

You may be just one of these styles or more often a combination of 2 or more.

Do you lean towards a certain style out of habit 

  • May be because of a very corporate background or a recent need to take a more casual approach?
  • Are you confident that your current look is the real you?
  • Test this out, how do you really feel – how would you love to look given the opportunity and perhaps the courage?

Think about your lifestyle

  • What styles would give you confidence at work?
  • Would a different style work better in your leisure time?
  • How can you tie in the two different styles to support your personality?

Create your own style vision board

  • Take a canvas or a large sheet of paper, then look through magazines and pictures.
  • Think about the above 3 points and select pictures that represent your current and aspirational style.
  • Remember to consider your body shape when choosing

Now you know more about your style personality

  • Pull all you have learned about yourself together
  • Look through your wardrobe and see what works with your style
  • Invest in a few new items to bring your style to life
  • Remember that accessories are the magic which transforms and outfit!

 

 

 ‘Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.’        Rachel Zoe

 

 ‘Style is more character than clothes, more attitude than affluence. It’s you making visible your inner self.  So forget what you learned about appearance not counting; you can no longer afford to be without style.’

 

By Hara Estroff Marano, published on September 01, 2008 – last reviewed on June 06, 2012

 

 

If you would more information or help on how to develop your personal style call me on 07742 445243 or take a look at Colour Analysis, Style Definition and Wardrobe & Personal Shopping. Why not ask a loved one to buy you a voucher for a one to one session for your birthday? 

Colour is Powerful!

Colour can help you look healthier, younger, more approachable, more assertive, creative or professional; it can make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle, if you know how!

Colour can also make you look drained, showing up the lines and shadows on your face. It can give out the wrong messages psychologically – disguising your creative personality or portraying a strong authoritative impression (when you don’t intend it to) triggering a defensive response from those you wish to influence.

So how can you ensure colour works positively for you? Two ways:

  1.  Know what colours work with your skin tone, so that you can look and feel great.
  2. Understand just a little about the psychological impact colours have on those you wish to communicate with.

Colours & Skin Tone

Wearing colours that work well with your skin tone can make a significant difference to your appearance; building your confidence and making you feel great! So finding out what works best for you is a fun and very useful thing to invest in.  You can then choose clothes and accessories that really work for you!

Determining Skin Tone

 This can be quite tricky and professional help is a good way to ensure you have got it right; however here are a few general tips:

 

Cool Skin Tone

If you have a cool skin tone you will see:

  •  Pinkish or rosy undertones to the skin
  • Olive or black skin with a blue undertone
  • Brown/hazel/blue or green eyes
  • Softer greys or softer less determined eye colour
  • Black, dark brown, platinum blonde, light or mid brown, blue grey natural hair colour
  • Yellow based colours will give a sallow appearance to the face
  • The colour silver will brighten the face

Notable examples are: Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock, Courtney Cox, and Jennifer Aniston.

So we know that the above cool colours work for our cool skin tone and that when combined in our accessories and jewellery with clear or antique silver, they will look amazing.

    

Warm Skin Tone

If you have a warm skin tone you will see:

  • Yellow based ivory, peach or golden undertones to the skin
  • Black skin with yellow undertones
  • Bright green, turquoise blue or golden brown eyes
  • Red, strawberry blonde, brown with reddish tint, chestnut, golden brown, natural hair colour
  • Blue based colours will drain the face
  • The colour gold will brighten the face

Notable examples are: Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Ferguson, and Nicole Kidman

The great warm colours above will work for those with a yellow undertone to your skin and your accessories will include jewellery with clear or antique gold.

 

Colour Psychology

 The final piece to the puzzle is the possible psychological impact the colours we are wearing are having on those we wish to communicate with.

Here is a little taster of the messages colour can give:

Approachable – soft or warm colours like pastel pinks, pastel blue, coral, tan or terracotta

Assertive – Strong contrasts – black or navy with bright reds or purples – Take care here!

Authoritative – Dark tones with very light tones (uniforms)

Creative – Warm/bright colours worn in unusual or unexpected colour combinations

Sensitive – Purple/violet/lavender –can be used to soften a hard look

So if you know what colour works for you and the impact it has on others, how confident will that make you feel and how successful could that make you both in business and in your social interaction?

 

If you want to know more about how to discover what colours can really work for you, give me or call on 07742 445243 or email me at Totallyyou@live.co.uk for a free no obligations initial consultation.

A positive 2013!

It’s January, Christmas is over another year is just starting and although I want to feel energised and full of enthusiasm for 2013, it’s not easy. Where do you find the get up and go? What will make that key difference to help spark the positivity and start to make things happen?

I know that if I allow myself to feel sluggish and hide away in my study, playing with social media and hoping that miraculously loads of business is going to come flooding my way, then 2013 is going to be a very unproductive and depressing year!

Drawing in your strengths, if you have a clear idea of what they are is the key to getting started. I know that I am best talking to people face to face as I am passionate about what I do. I do however need to have some focus when I speak to people so today I am going to focus on:

1. Who my customers will be for the next year.

2. What they want or need from me

3. How I am going to contact them

4. How I am going to let them know, what I can offer and why they will get great value working with me.

I am then going to spend some time organising my wardrobe for the new year, so that I can get out there looking and feeling great with the confidence to network with inspirational people and continue to build my business working with individuals and business teams, helping them to focus on how they spark their positivity and start to make things happen!

What are your strengths? How can you make things happen?

Do you want to make 2013 the most positive year you have ever had?

If the answer is yes, then take your key strength and use that to kick start your year!  Wishing you an amazing, productive and successful 2013!

 

 

Is going to an Image Consultant a bit daunting?

Sometimes the thought of going to a professional to have your colours or style done can be a bit daunting. Firstly, how much will it cost and I afford to it? Secondly, will they judge me and leave me feeling I have to change lots of things about the way I dress,  which I really don’t think I am ready to do at the moment?

 

OK,  well lets take a look at cost. It is thought that most women have close to £300 worth of clothes in their wardrobe, which they rarely if ever wear. It maybe because they no longer fit, maybe it was an impulse buy – perhaps a ‘bargain’ in the sale and somehow it has never looked quite right. Sometimes it is because a person’s life style has changed – they now work more from home or they are returning to work after a break. Whatever the reason we all waste huge amounts of money each year buying clothes which do not work for us. So the cost of gaining some knowledge and guidance on what does work can amount to a saving over time. Knowing what clothes to buy can mean that you buy less and use them more and can avoid costly mistakes!

So what about that feeling of being judged? Well, I can only speak for myself and what my clients tell me:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed working with Sandra, she understood my boundaries instinctively and worked within these. The results have been brilliant.’
Katie – Financial Director

My approach is based on understanding who my clients are, what they want from any consultation, the changes they may want to make and how quickly they want to put any new knowledge into action. Some clients want to make a big change straight away, others don’t actually need to change much anyway – just add a few great colours and tweak they style, and some feel that they would rather just add a few changes to start with and build their confidence in a new look gradually.

It is my belief that we are all unique individuals and showing our true personality through our clothes and personal presentation is the best way to build our own confidence and make the impression we are seeking on others.

Knowing what colours and styles work well for us are simply tools we can use to express ourselves and help us communicate who we are.

The way we dress and present ourselves is a very personal thing and it can be a challenge to step outside of what we are used to and try a new look or some new colours, however my clients tell me that even if they were a little nervous of the change to being with, they have been delighted with the results of applying their new knowledge.

Why not try it yourself?

Give me a call for a free 30 minute initial consultation 07742 445243

 

A New Chapter as a Working Mum – How is your wardrobe?

Fantastic, you have landed yourself a great job hurray!

Now the fun starts! Getting the children and yourself ready in time to get out the door in the morning can be a nightmare, so what can you do to make life a little easier?

I know many working mums who tell me how they prepare lunch boxes the night before, get the school kit laid out for the next morning, make sure that the reading book is back in the school bag and that they have that thing they need for the nature table or whatever special extra is needed for the next day. Great! So organised everything is all set up for a speedy exit to school and work isn’t it?

Well may be for the children, but what about you? In all the busy organisation, the mums I speak to often forget about themselves and throw on the first things that come out of their wardrobe – no time for make up or making sure the shoes match the outfit. Does this sound familiar?

How about taking some time at the weekend or in an evening when someone else can look after the children to really organise your wardrobe?

Here’s how:

  1.  Firstly have a think about you life style as it is now? How much time do you spend on each area of your life? Does your wardrobe reflect this? For example, if you now spend 25% of your time at work, does your wardrobe contain 25% work clothes?
  2.  Now take everything out and look at every garment. Ask yourself is this really something I still want in my wardrobe? Does it fit? When did I last wear it? If it shouldn’t be there bin it!
  3.  Then when you start to put things back in divide them up to reflect the areas of your life – work clothes, at home comfortable, occasional night out, social with friends etc. Some will over lap, but if you struggle make sure the one area you do segment is your work clothes –it will save you so much time.
  4.  With your work clothes put outfits together, so you can quickly select what you need each morning, making sure that work shoes are accessible and any jewellery you like to wear with an outfit is easily found. Jewellery hooks inside the wardrobe door work well.
  5.  When your wardrobe is organised the final thing to do to make life easier is to ensure you decide the night before what you want to wear and hang it on the outside of your wardrobe.

If you have done all this you may even find time to put some make up on and calmly walk out of the door to school – well maybe!

If you could still do with a little more guidance, why not come along to our Mum 2 Me Workshop where you will get some great ideas and my wardrobe de-cluttering tool.  Book Today! Only £25!

 Alternatively if you would like a one to one session give me a call on 07742 445243

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