Choosing clothes that suit you and that project the image you want to convey makes a real difference in the way that you come across. It’s also important that you feel confident and comfortable in your clothes and that you have a wardrobe of clothes that works for your lifestyle.
If clothes shopping is not on the list of activities you enjoy (I hear this a lot!), or it’s something that you don’t feel you do well, then spending time with an Image Consultant can pay great dividends.
Why does it matter what you wear?
We live in an increasingly visual world, where we each see an average of 1,000 people each day (we see people when we’re travelling, working, meeting (online or in person), going out, enjoying our hobbies, on social media etc.). We are hard wired to visually assess each of those images in order to make sense of them and decide how to react. In cave man days, we’d be deciding whether someone or something was a friend or foe and whether our response would be fight, freeze or flight (run). So it’s something we do subconsciously.
If you’ve read ‘Blink’ by Stephen Gladwell, he refers to this as our ability to ‘think without thinking’. We make snap judgements in the blink of an eye, judgements that he argues as are often just as accurate as rationale analysis.
What you wear therefore instantly tells people about you, it gives them clues as to the type of person you are.
Our brain holds stereotype images of what a Doctor, Lawyer, Artist, Consultant, Builder etc. generally look like and it kind of plays a mental game of ‘snap’ when we see someone.
You can see this as an ‘inconvenient truth’ or you can choose to maximise this opportunity to make sure that the way you look is how you would like to be perceived.
If you run your own business, you ARE your business and likewise if you’re employed, your personal brand can help you to stand out, feel confident and elevate how you’re regarded.
Socially, it works just the same, so if you’re dating for example, it’s definitely worth giving some thought to what your clothes are saying about you.
How do you choose clothes to suit you?
- Your Personal Brand and lifestyle – the start point is to work out how you would like to come across (your personal brand/personality) – do you want to look approachable, professional, creative, dynamic, efficient, relaxed, inspirational, smart, artistic, fun, serious, and so the list goes on. We’ll also discuss your lifestyle to understand how you spend your time and how your clothes need to work for you in all aspects of your life.
- Choosing Colours – taking into account your personal brand/personality, we can then select colours that will work for you and your natural colouring (your mix of hair colour, eye colour and skin tone). You’ll find some colours really suit you, whilst others will be quite draining and make you look like you need to pay a visit to the Doctor!
- Choosing Clothes to Suit Your Build – next we look at your build, your proportions (are you short in the body with long legs, vice versa or balanced), your scale (bone structure), and height (short, average, tall), to determine the best cuts of clothes to suit you. Everything from your best necklines, collar types, sleeve lengths, tops, jumpers, jackets, trousers, shorts, right down to your shoes. There are clever styling tips we share on how to make you look your absolute best. At this point you’re armed with all the information you need to be able to shop confidently and build your wardrobe.
- Organising your Wardrobe – if you’d like help putting outfits together – choosing which tops to wear with which trousers etc – and/or would like your wardrobe organised so that everything is easy to find, you can engage an Image Consultant to do this too. Here is an example of some simple guidance I gave to a client wanting help choosing which shirts to wear with suits and which colour combinations to choose for casual trousers and t-shirts.
- Enjoy your clothes! Once you know what to wear your job is done. Your wardrobe will be full of clothes that you can wear again and again and that you know suit you. If/when they need replacing or you fancy something new, you’ll know exactly what to buy!
Where to buy your clothes?
You will receive recommendations of shops/online retaillers that stock clothes to suit your build, lifestyle, personality etc. from your image consultation.
One thing I would highly recommend is local menswear specialist shops like 217 Menswear in Fleet and John Goodridge in Farnham, for example. They stock a range of clothes for all occasions and also offer that personal service that means you get the help to choose clothes that properly fit. They remember what you have bought before and can then easily recommend new items to go with what you have already bought.
As Fashion Editor for stylechannel.uk and my work supporting local businesses for fleet.net, I took Neil along to 217 Menswear in Fleet and found him a great outfit for the evenings – a light navy blazer, patterned shirt, plain chinos, blue loafer shoes and shocking pink socks (his trademark!). He dresses casually in the daytime but really enjoys a more formal look when he goes out. Given Covid-19 restrictions, it wasn’t possible to get Neil to try everything on but you can see what we choose in the video below. Tyler, who owns 217 Menswear, was fantastic so I’d definitely recommend you pay him a visit.
If you’d like some help, or you know someone who might benefit from an image consultation, just get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click here for details of the men’s image services I offer – Men’s Image. It’ll save you time, money and make shopping a pleasure not a chore!