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A – Z of Dressing for Success – Letter A

Totally You A-Z (a)

Appearance

What your Clients See - picture

It may not be fair, but it is absolutely true, there are no second chances to make a great first impression. The way you look can be the decider when it comes to moving up the career ladder, getting a new job or meeting a new client. It also counts when making a great social impression. What we wear really does matter – make it part of your conscious self-marketing!

 

Adapt

chameleon Pictures

Know your own style, wear it well and always adapt just enough to meet the expectations of your client, the culture of the company you work for or the social occasion you are attending – be a ‘Chameleon with Style’!

Accessories

For women, you can add jewellery, scarves, belts, bags etc. to really enhance an outfit. Accessories ensure you are able to wear the same outfit to the same place again and again and it will look different every time. They lift a less expensive outfit and add colour to a neutral outfit.
For men it is all about a good watch, a quality belt (belts should always be worn if you have belt loops!) cuff links etc.
For both men and women, always use a good quality pen and use a stylish folder or neat pad for writing notes! Avoid scraps of paper, throw away pens and worst of all – plastic carrier bags or tatty ruck sacks!

Aqua & Beige outfit               Tie, cufflinks and watches on the old wood background

Look out for the letter ‘B’ coming soon!

You are Your Business!

mirror reflection     

Do you know how your potential clients see you?

Who you are has a huge impact on how you do business and how you communicate and build relationships with your customers whether you work for yourself or a part of a large organisation. It is therefore vitally important that you explore and discover clear ideas for how you want to present yourself, using your natural strengths and personality, in your business and learn key tips to ensure that you are doing this in a way that will promote and grow your business or career.

Some questions you might ask yourself are:

  • What impact do I make on new clients? What 1st impression are they left with?
  • What are my natural strengths – how can I use these my in business/career?
  • How conscious, consistent and coherent is my image in my business/career?
  • Do people know what to expect when they deal with me?
  • How well does my business align to my values?
  • If someone was promoting me as a business person, what would they say about me? Is this what I want them to say?

If you own a business where you employ others – you might also want to ask these same questions about the impact they make for you in your business.

 

If you are an individual building your own business or career, an SMEs  or a larger organisation, coaching or bespoke development programmes specialising in getting the right message to your clients through personal presentation and focused communication can be the answer to motivation and business growth.

We can explore your own or your employee’s natural style through profiling, coaching and team development, building trust and confidence to utilise strengths and identify challenges which can be addressed and for which solutions can be put in place.

Want to know more? Give me a call!07742 445243

 

What is ‘Brand You’

Would you be able to describe your brand (that is – who you are and what you are about) to a future employer or a new client? If you don’t know who you are and how you want to be seen how can others make the right assessment of you?

Do you know how you are perceived by others? Have you asked?

When we meet people for the first time, as much as we would like to deny it, they will make a judgement and that will happen within the first 7 – 30 seconds – how much time does that give you to tell them about yourself? First impressions are critical, you are marketing a product – YOU!

Think about how you want to be seen.

  1.  Do you know your personality type? Knowing this will not put you in a ‘box’ it will give you the tools to work with your strengths. Do you tend towards introversion? If so how can you use this thoughtful approach? If you are more extrovert, how can you use your great communication to best advantage without over whelming?
  2. What are your strengths? Are you happiest when able to use your creativity, explore new ideas and look at developing new products or are you a great relationship builder, loving to network and build trust with future prospective clients. Maybe you’re at your best when developing a business plan, organising an event or possibly working with budgets and numbers makes your day feel really satisfying.
  3. Do you make the most of your strengths dedicating a higher proportion of your time to areas where your feel you can really have an impact?
  4.  Do you know your personal values? If you understand what really matters to you it will help you choose the right career and look for the most suitable employers for you. If you are running your own business this understanding will help you focus on the clients you want to work with and those who will get the most from your business.
  5. Have you really considered carefully how you dress? What does what you wear say about you? There is a chance, if we all dress in dark suits white shirts and for men sober ties we become clones and loose our personal impact. In the current market you need to fit in enough to be accepted and stand out enough to have that extra edge!
  6. Does your personal presentation reflect your own unique style and personality, allowing for adaptions to meet client expectations?

 

The best approach would be to research the dress code of the organisation or       client you are meeting. Then dress one step up from their everyday dress code. This will ensure that you fit in, but also show that you have made an effort. Don’t forget that it is important to retain you own personal style as well, this can be done through colour – subtle style elements to your clothes or by the accessories you choose. You can express your personality through your style!

Lastly on the appearance front – grooming is vital! From combing your hair to polishing your shoes! More tips here http://totally-you-consulting.co.uk/making-an-impression-the-small-stuff-really-does-count/

Ladies – did you know that research suggests that women who wear well applied subtle make up are paid 23% higher than those who wear none!

Gentlemen – Facial hair is now seen as more acceptable in business, but concealing the lips and mouth is still a barrier to good communication. If you are going for a beard or stubble, you’ll need to spend more time, not less, on grooming!

7. What about your body language – how do you communicate when you first meet someone? How firm is your handshake? Do you make good eye contact? Do you sit and stand confidently? Most importantly – do you smile – with   your  eyes too!

 8. Finally – you have made a fantastic first impression you have shown that you have thought about the culture of the organisation or client you are meeting, they can see that you will indeed fit in and are able to retain and express your own personality, so now is the time to clearly express your skill strengths that align so well with the job that is on offer.

 Take time to look at ‘Brand You’ whether you are changing employers, moving up through an organisation or working for yourself, understanding your brand and how others see you will lead to more inner confidence and greater personal success!

 If you would like to explore your personality, understand your strengths and challenges and how to apply this to your business, maybe taking the Talent Dynamics profile with a follow up coaching session would work for you. If so give me a call 07742 445243.  We can talk about how it works and if it would be useful for you.

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!

 

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!

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!

 

 

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

Back to Work Mum – Dressing for Interviews

You have decided that now is the time to return to work. May be you have been at home with your children for a few years and become used to a very relaxed way of dressing.

Is your wardrobe full of casual clothes which are great for what you do now, but maybe not so much for the work place?

Well the first step is probably the interview, so what do you wear?

 Here are a few hints and tips:

 

  1. Take time to find out what dress code is expected at the company where you have your interview.
    1. If you are not sure and can’t find any hints online, then call the person on reception if there is one, they are always great for inside information.
  2. If the dress code is for example business casual – always think about dressing just slightly smarter. Not over the top, but just enough to show that you have made a special effort.
  3. If you are going to a professional, formal company, comply with their expectations and add just a subtle touch of your personality – either with colour or accessories
  4. If you have chosen to wear a dress or a skirt – always wear tights – even if it is summer!
  5. Never be tempted to dress extremely casually even if their dress code is normally casual. Don’t ever go in jeans!
  6. Finally grooming is everything! Well groomed hair, an appropriate amount of make up (yes it is best to wear makeup even a small touch makes a big difference), a touch of perfume – never over powering, clean shoes, an appropriate bag to carry your personal belongings plus any paperwork required. Never use a plastic carrier or similar!

The key is to ensure you fit in with the potential employer’s expectations and stand out enough to show your personality, which may win you the job over the next person.

Remember that if you feel good it will add to your confidence and then you are much more likely to have a good interview.

If you feel you would like a few more tips and a chance to talk to other mums who are in the same situation as you, why not pop along to our Mum 2 Me Workshop on 4th October 2012 in Ewell Surrey – some great support and tips, plus refreshments and tools to help you re-build your personal and wardrobe confidence. All for just £25!

Give me a call on 07742 445243 to book your place NOW!

Ask about individual sessions too!

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