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Archive for the ‘LIfestyle’ Category

By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Hannah Kearney, Olympic Freestyle Skier

Hannah Kearney, Olympic Freestyle Skier

Have you seen the freestyle skiing in the Olympics?  It’s a rush!   Skiers appear to effortlessly hop through a rugged course pitted with large moguls, hit a jump where they perform some kind of super twisted flip, land it perfectly on a vertical incline and then do it all over again.  The gold medal is awarded to the skier who is both fast, aerodynamic and acrobatic.  The clock shows who is the fastest, and the panel of judges decides who is the most acrobatic and smooth on those land-mines they call bumps.  Mogul scoring is based on turns (50% of score), air (25% of score), and speed (25% of score).  With the turns counting as half of the overall score, they better be good!  What constitutes a good turn?  Knees close together and pointed downhill.  You better believe the athletes want the judge’s attention to be on their knees.  Mogul skiers understand something very important that many of us “don’t know that we know”.   Attention goes to contrast.  The light / dark contrast of Hannah Kearney’s knees, (above), will draw the attention of judges and spectators.

Bob Kraft - New England Patriots Chairman and CEO

Bob Kraft – New England Patriots Chairman and CEO

Mogul skiing is not the only time when light / dark contrast is strategically placed.  Consider your stereotypical CEO – dark jacket, white shirt, and tie.  Where is the contrast here?  In the image above, your eye is drawn to the contrast between the jacket, shirt collar and the brightly colored red tie, all working together to bring attention to Mr. Kraft’s face, for the point of better communication.   Yes, this CEO wants you to focus on what he has to say.  It seems that he has a panel of judges to impress as well.  How about you?

For more information on the language of clothes, visit www.Conselle.com or www.StyleByDani.com.

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Tuesday, January 14, 2014, the Expressive Image Therapy Association was organized, creating the foundation for a new field of study, counseling, and treatment of many mental health disorders.  

Acting as the association’s first president is Judith Rasband, Kathryn Wolters as vice president,  and Dani Slaugh as secretary.  Charter members include Sarita Singh, Dawn Nieto, Rebecca S. Boles, Leslie Anne Jeanfreaw, Kathleen M. Doctor, Cristina C. Johnson, and Ann Johnson.

Expressive Image Therapy Association founding members from left; Dani Slaugh, Cristina Johnson, Kathleen Doctor, Dawn Nieto, Camilla, Rebacca Boles, Leslie Jeanfreaw, Sarita Singh, Judith Rasband, and Kathryn Wolters

Expressive Image Therapy Association founding members from left; Dani Slaugh, Cristina Johnson, Kathleen Doctor, Dawn Nieto, Camilla Owens, Rebecca Boles, Leslie Jeanfreaw, Sarita Singh, Judith Rasband, and Kathryn Wolters

What is Expressive Image Therapy?

Expressive image therapy is the use of the elements of image—dress, grooming, and body language—to facilitate non-image treatment goals.  It is a creative collaboration between the client and the therapist.  In essence, it is a clinical collaboration of art and science.  The role of image therapy within a multi-disciplinary treatment program is to complement and enhance the clinical work being done in individual, group, and family therapy; the role of the image therapist is to have a comprehensive understanding of individual treatment goals and progress in order to support this within the context of individual or group image therapy sessions.

Expressive image therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, guided by the image therapist, use clothing and accessories, grooming, and body language to:

  • explore their thinking and feelings as well as their behavior
  • develop increased self awareness
  • work out emotional conflicts
  • better manage behavior and possible addictions
  • increase self-esteem or sense of self worth
  • increase social skills
  • reduce anxiety
  • improve reality orientation

A major goal in image therapy is to improve or restore a client’s ability to function effectively and his or her sense of personal well-being.  Image therapy requires knowledge of visual design in dress and grooming including the reactive process.  It requires knowledge of human development, physiology and anatomy, psychological and sociological aspects of image, as well as psychological counseling theories and techniques.

Conselle is proud to be a supporter of this innovative approach to expressive therapy! For those who want to know more about this new professional field call 801-224-1207 or e-mail judith@conselle.com.

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Coldwater Creek ruana

Coldwater Creek ruana

By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Looking for an accessory to add that finishing touch to your holiday look?  Try the classic ruana.

According to Wikipedia, “a ruana is a poncho-style outer garment typical of the Andes regions of Venezuela and Columbia, particularly in the Boyaca department and Antioquia.  According to Proexport, the official Colombian agency in charge of international tourism, foreign investment, and non-traditional exports, the word ruana comes from the Chibcha  meaning “Land of Blankets,”  used to refer to the woolen fabrics manufactured by the Muisca natives.”

For those of us who live outside of the Andes, a ruana is not only warm but wearable art.  This third layer piece will get you noticed!  Wear it for both formal and casual occasions over silk or cotton turtlenecks with flared skirts or well-fitted jeans.

A ruana is a free-flowing wrap with an open front, similar to a large scarf.  You can wear the ruana long in front and open like shawl, or throw one or both sides over your shoulder(s) for a more romantic or dramatic cape.  The key is to allow the fabric to completely cover your shoulders.

There are many options in stores, just right for holiday occasions or gift giving.  One size fits all and floats over the figure.  It’s fabric with function as well as beauty and elegance that is just plain fun to wear!

Apparently they are also fun to look at, because we just can’t get enough of them!  Here are a few more ruana looks….

Free People ruana

Free People

Peruvian Connection

Peruvian Connection

Coldwater Creek ruana

Coldwater Creek

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

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Well they’re at it again.  Mass media is telling us what the must-haves are for Fall.  Us magazine’s September issue lists 10 items on their “It List” that are either over the top expensive, fit very few figure types, are just plain silly….or all three.   I mean seriously, a silk paisley “pajama blouse” for $298?  Or a fitted leather dress for $1,095?  Not only do most people have better things to spend a thousand dollars on, but how many could actually fit into the dress.  How about a gold and bronze sequin jacket?  I’m pretty sure most of us will survive the winter without one of those.  Instead of calling the next set of trends the “must-haves” or “it list”, let’s call it what it is.  Crazy trends that some may try, but most will pass on.

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Donna Karan wide leg trousers

Donna Karan wide leg trousers

It is refreshing to see wide leg pants coming back to the stores.  The triangular shape of the garment is wonderful on most figure types, adding balance to wider hips and shoulders, whereas super skinny jeans tend to be limited to fewer body configurations.  The statement is true, “they may be called skinny jeans, but that doesn’t mean you look skinny in them.”

Are you ready to give the skinny jeans a rest for a day or two?  Great!  Try wide leg trousers, but watch the hem length.  Why?  Because when the hem hits the floor…

  • You look like you’re stuck in hole.
  • The hem gets rough, raw and ragged making you look generally sloppy.
  • It’s hard to walk without tripping and looking like an idiot!
Katherine Hepburn wearing wide leg trousers

Katherine Hepburn wearing wide leg trousers

To get the right length, you may need to hem the pants.  Tailors are a good option, your local dry cleaners may a tailor on staff that would help you.  Another option is to, yes, hem the pants yourself, which isn’t as difficult as it may seem.  Wide leg trousers are a classic, as shown here by Katherine Hepburn, (right).  Notice where the hem of her trouser hits on her foot…. it’s right across the middle, there is one break point, and she looks confident and lovely.  She’s not worried about the hem of her pants catching on the bottom of her shoe, she doesn’t look sloppy, and certainly doesn’t look like she’s stuck in a hole.  She is poised and powerful, that’s why she and the trousers are a classic.

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Understanding your personal style is a matter of knowing yourself.  You will become more in tune with your personal style when you answer these 5 questions.
  1. What design traits do my favorite clothes possess?
  2. What do my clothing traits communicate to me and to others?
  3. Are there any personality traits I’d like to develop, that my clothing might enhance or encourage?
  4. Am I missing out on a part of myself that might be nice to experience?
  5. Do I use my clothing as a resource or tool to present, express, or reflect the real me?
When you say to yourself, “That’s me,” you’re responding to the similarity of the clothing traits and yourself – in whatever unique mix or blend you might be.  When someone else says, “That’s you,” they are reacting to the harmony they see between you and the clothes.  For many people, recognizing the correlation is enough.  They are fully able to find the clothes they need and want to wear.  Others want or need to go further.  This is where we come in.  Conselle’s Image Management Specialists are educated to recognize your current personal style and how it relates to your lifestyle, values, personality, figure and coloring.  We’ll teach you how to use your clothing as a tool to express the real you and achieve your goals.  We’re just a CLICK away.  Take the first step in creating harmony between you and your image.  CLICK HERE.

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliatec55be33505f36fabab4dcda5e4e8ee79

Why is it that so few people know how to dress well?  Why doesn’t everyone look terrific?  Excuses.  Endless excuses are given to justify or unload responsibility for a poor appearance.  To begin, we have to overcome the Puritan holdover that say looking great is vain and somehow a sin.

Typical Excuse / Attitude

  1. “I don’t want to look fake.” Too vain.
  2. “I could be more attractive if I had the money.”  Too expensive.
  3. “I don’t have time to shop, I’m just too busy.” Too time consuming.
  4. “I would look better if I weren’t so heavy.  When I lose…” Too much weight.
  5. “My mother never taught me about fashion.  I would look better if I knew how.”  Too much to learn.
  6. “I’ve been dressing myself every day since kindergarten.  What’s there to know about clothes?”  Too much for granted.
  7. “I couldn’t care less.  Clothes really don’t matter.”  Too little value.
  8. “It’s the designers and fashion of today that make me look so bad.”  Too ridiculous.
  9. “It’s all a matter of opinion.  Anything goes.” Or, “It’s so confusing, I don’t know what to believe anymore.” Too many opinions.
  10. “I’m overwhelmed by so much to choose from”  Too many options.
  11. “I don’t want to even look at myself.”  Too personal.
  12. “It’s so much work, I give up before I begin.”  Too hard.
  13. “If I look good, people notice me, then they expect too much from me.”  Too much attention.

Forget the excuses.  There are no valid excuses.  Conselle has the solution to every excuse.  We will take out the fear, the frustration, and put back in the fun and logic of fashion.  Yes, fun and logic can intertwine to create a harmonious, confident, fabulous you.  Are you or someone you know living in fear?  We can help.  Book an appointment for a Discovery Call and receive a free snag repair tool from our Fashion Emergency Tool Kit.

Schedule your appointment with Conselle here!

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Bush Poplin Safari Jacket and Cotton Oxford Shirt from TravelSmith

Bush Poplin Safari Jacket and Cotton Oxford Shirt from TravelSmith

By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

What are the characteristics that define your dad?  Rugged?  This jacket will work for him.  Refined?  It will work for him too.  Articulate?  Check.  Adventurous?  Yep.  You name the guy, this jacket will work for him.  Why?  Because it’s a classic.  Let’s take a look at what makes a classic piece.

Classics 101
  • Classics satisfy many clothing needs for many people.
  • Classics are attractive on most figures.
  • Most people have places to wear classics.
  • Most people can afford to buy classics.
  • Classics are core pieces, retaining their appeal and ability to be worn for seven to ten years or more, without looking dated.
If you think the world of your dad, give him the gift that will take him places for a long time.  Give him the classic safari jacket.

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle AffiliateImage

Waiting in line at the grocery store, I overheard bits of a conversation in the adjoining line.   “You look pretty today,” said the friendly grocery checker to a customer she seemed to know.  “Oh, come on,” the woman answered in disbelief.  “I look awful and you know it.”  How many times has someone told you that you looked great and you responded with something like that…or like, “Me?  Pretty?  Oh my hair is such a mess!”  These are typical responses with which compliments are so often met.  Hasn’t anyone been taught that the proper response to a compliment is a courteous “thank you?”  Common sense may say that it’s rude to contradict people who go out of their way to give a compliment.  But it’s become common practice to dispute the flattering comment lest we be considered conceited, bragging or even dishonest.  Is it possible that our casual and unpretentious American attitude toward life, combined with our direct manner and lack of ritual response has made us uncomfortable when we are complimented?  Could it be that our insecurities surface and we answer with an almost automatic and flippant denial?

Many of us, when we put ourselves down, actually imagine that we are being polite.  We attempt to put others at ease or boost them up, by pointing out that we, too, have our flaws.  But what makes us assume that others are in such a sad state themselves that they’ll get a boost from comparing us negatively to themselves?  I know that when attractive friends and acquaintances begin to bemoan about how ugly their hair is, or how fat they are getting, I simply feel irritated, not buoyed up by some sudden pleasure over my own superiority.   Regardless of the cause behind our comments, when I hear myself and others thoughtlessly and continually apologizing or putting ourselves down for nothing I have concluded the response is simply due to bad habit.  And not necessarily evidence of insecurity or inadequacy, so much as thoughtless habit.  And if it’s mainly a matter of habit, it shouldn’t be that difficult to overcome.

Take a few moments, at home, driving in the car, wherever, and think through what you might feel comfortable saying the next time you receive a compliment.  You could smile a big smile and practice saying, “Why, thank you.”  You might make someone’s day by saying, “Thanks, you just made my day.”  Or have some fun by smiling, sighing and saying, “Say it again.”  If you prefer, simply smile in response and enjoy the good that others see in you.

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

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“You are what you eat.”  “Sit like a lady.”  “Walk tall, remember who you are.”  Do any of these comments sound familiar?  How about the one that says, “sooner or later we all quote our mothers”? Each of us are a product of our environment, and we soak up more wisdom from our mothers than we realize.  Some of this was spoken, but much of what we learned is unspoken.   As our tribute to all of the beautiful mothers out there, we decided to ask the fashion and image experts from Conselle what their mothers or grandmothers taught them about beauty.  We’d love to hear your comments as well!

“My mom loved to dress me up when I was a little girl, and I still love to dress up!  She taught me to take care of yourself, have fun doing it, and enjoy looking your best.”  Ann Johnson

“Lucky for me, I’ve had an wonderful mother as a teacher.  When I was 12, my mother took me to the Clinique Counter to have my make-up done and learn about skin care.  Although I wore little more than mascara and lip gloss, I gained an understanding of how to take care of myself as a young woman.  Later on, when I had the opportunity to travel, my mother taught me the “Dress for Success” concepts of having basic, versatile pieces, enabling me to pack light, but efficient, and effective, prepared for a great trip. ”  Dani Slaugh 

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“Always be true to yourself, carry yourself with confidence, and wear the right  clothes to the right place.”  Cristina Johnson

“My mom never dyes her hair and rarely wears makeup. My sisters and I tease her that she didn’t give us girl lessons, but she taught us that if your appearance is neat and coordinated, you don’t need a lot of makeup. (She also taught us how to sew and mend, which is very important when it comes to looking neat and coordinated…)”  Heidi Lynn Chochran

“From my grandmother about the importance of a slip, ‘Because ladies wear underwear, that’s why!'”  Cheryl Obermiller

“NEVER chew gum in public! She was right–statistically, people who chew gum in front of others are perceived as less intelligent and less economically stable.” Beth Yvette Strange

“‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes,’ is what my mother taught me regarding clothing fit, feel, and hem length.  Touch your head, shoulders, knees, and bend over and touch your toes.  If you can’t reach comfortably or bend modestly, you need a better fit.”  Judi Rasband

“I learned more from watching my mother, than from any particular thing that she said.”  Kathy Adams1a87977bc7aa6481418dcae9a37925de

How about you?  What did your mother teach you about fashion and beauty?

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