By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle AffiliateScreen Shot 2015-11-06 at 2.22.40 PM

When you hear the word investment, what comes to mind?  Land, a house, the stock market? Investment is defined as the action or process of investing money for profit or material result. In other words, we purchase something with the expectation that it will eventually generate income for us. Having said this, would you consider your clothing an investment? Think of someone whose appearance or image you admire. What investments have they made to get to where they are? Do you think they were just born that way? Good looks, great style, comfortable income? Think again.
People with a successful image use their clothing as a resource, a tool they can control and use to help them achieve their goals and objectives. Sound familiar? People with a successful image invest in clothing to achieve their goals, which could mean financial goals as well as more personal goals such as genuine self-worth.  Your wardrobe is an investment and should be cared for as you care for a property or portfolio from which you generate a material result. It is, after all, made from material…(pun intended.)

Here are 5 ways to protect your investments, your wardrobe investments, so that they can provide big returns for you. 

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1. Snag repair tool – consider this one from Miles Kimball.  Instead of discarding your favorite rayon blouse or sweater because of a snag, use a snag repair tool by gently pulling the snag to the back of the fabric and realign the fibers.
Find the snag repair tool Here.

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2. Fabric shaver – quickly removes unsightly fuzz balls and pilling from knit garments and other clothing $7.99  from the Container Store.  Get the fabric shaver Here. 

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3. Sewing kit – we like this sewing kit from Stansport because it has many different colors of thread to easily match the garment, ($2.99.) This is the time to finally sew the button back on that shirt!  Remember, your clothes can’t work for you if you don’t work for them.  Take the five minutes and sew that button during your favorite TV show. Find the sewing kit Here.

4.  Leather and Suede Protector – creates a resistant barrier that protects against water, stains and dirt. If you have not  used this, you know how quickly suede gets damaged by dirt, water, etc.  Spray on this protector as soon as you buy those blue suede shoes to keep them looking fabulous for years.  The cost is around $7 from most drug stores.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 2.47.33 PM5.  Baking soda – How to remove yellow pit stains from white shirts?  White shirts can be classic pieces that will stand the test of time, but how to keep them looking timeless?  Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one quarter cup water. Scrub the paste into the armpits with an old toothbrush or fingernail brush.  Let sit for an hour. Wash and dry-not with high heat.

It’s time to get ready for the holidays!  Spending a few dollars and a little time on closet care this Fall will save you time and frustration each time you get ready for your holiday gatherings. Take care of your wardrobe and it will take care of you. Don’t take care of it and your closet will feel cluttered with pieces that you can’t wear – limiting your ability to dress the part on any given day.  Be ready for the holidays and start 2016 off on the right foot by utilizing your most undervalued and yet most profitable investment …. your wardrobe.

Looking for more information on clothing care and wardrobing?  Order Closet Organization and Clothing Care, Wardrobe Strategy #11 .  Visit our website www.conselle.com  or contact us at Conselle, 801-224-1207 or judith@conselle.com.

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I am just returned from the AICI Global Conference in Washington DC with members attending from over 32 different countries.  It was a joy to renew friendships and recharge enthusiasm for the image industry with professionals who recognize the significant influence of personal appearance on the individual, on social and cultural groups, and on civilization as a whole.  In my own conference session I presented Expressive Image Therapy as a new, mindful, and meaningful approach to wellness, image management, and personal style, which at the conclusion garnered a standing ovation!

Through visual demonstrations and interactive exercises, those in attendance learned how to use the elements of image, namely dress, grooming, and body language including etiquette, to achieve therapeutic goals.  Visual design in dress and grooming is a creative art form.  Expressive image therapy is about using the elements and principles of design to draw negative attention away from the body, to communicate, to improve or restore a client’s ability to function effectively, and to regain his or her sense of personal well being.  Increased awareness encourages emotional growth with a realistic body image.  Participants loved learning how to help clients express themselves visually, using clothes and grooming as resources or tools. We added many new members to the Expressive Image Therapy Association.  For more information on advanced training and membership, go here:  http://www.expressiveimagetherapy.org.

By Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

image consultant def books

Learn the language necessary to communicate with clarity, accuracy, and sensitivity to consumers, clients, colleagues, and professionals beyond our fashion field.

Parlez vous the language of clothes?  When I was at the university, studying business, one of my professors said something I’ll never forget.  “A precise vocabulary, using the rights words in the right situations, will sky rocket your career.”   This couldn’t be more true than in the field of image consulting.  In order to help our clients understand the vision for their future transformation, we must use accurate descriptions of where they are now and where they are going.  Does your arsenal of image terminology include the names of colors that instantly evoke a sensory response?  Can you help someone visualize and even smell the the color being described? How about your knowledge of fabric and texture?  Do your words allow others to feel the fabric without actually touching it because your description is so accurate?  How well are you able to describe the lines, shapes, and patterns in a design that would be terrific for your client?

The truth is, people hire us because they would like to see a change in themselves.  But change is hard, it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.  After we sell them on the initial service, we still work to convince them that this new change is going to be wonderful and that they’re in good hands.  In so doing,  our people gain the confidence to practice what we’ve taught them after we leave and actually make the transformation they have been seeking.  A precise vocabulary leads to precise image consulting and very happy clients.

For MORE INFORMATION on how you can become a certified image consultant, click HERE.

A great education never goes out of style.

According to the fairytale, there was once an Emperor who was “exceedingly fond of fine clothes.”  He was easily fooled by a pair of swindlers who pretended they could weave the most “magnificent fabric imaginable.”  Clothing made from the fabric, they said, was invisible to anyone who was stupid.  People in the Kingdom were not about to be taken for stupid so they praised the look of the supposed clothes on the Emperor.  No one would “admit they could see nothing.”  It took an innocent child to truthfully announce, “But the Emperor has nothing on.”

And so it is with nude colored heels, now proclaimed as a wardrobe essential every girl and woman must wear with everything she owns.  Read the following claims:

  • “Nude shoes go with everything,”–“Bright, white, darks, patterns, denim!”  No they don’t.  Are you really going to believe nude heels enhance the look of a beautiful royal blue dress or an elegant black dress or suit?
  • “Nude heels go with any brightly colored dress or suit for an elegant finish.”  No they don’t.  Nude is a subtle, dulled flesh color in opposition to bright fashion colors.  They make you look like you don’t know how to coordinate your clothes.
  • “Nude heels are the ideal travel shoe.”  No they’re not.  They’re light colored, revealing dirt and black scuff marks.
  • “Nude heels make your legs look longer,” — “give the illusion of added length to your legs.”  No they don’t.  They can make you look like you forgot to put on any shoes.
    Black outlines the foot and carries the eye
    to the tip of the toe.
  • “Nude heels disappear when they match your skin.”  I rest my case.
  • “Avoid a nude heel with an otherwise nude outfit–you’ll simply disappear.”  Again, I rest my case.

It took a relatively “innocent” high school freshman to announce, “Their feet look naked.”  Don’t be like the Emperor, so easily fooled, no matter how many fashionistas try to convince you.

Here’s an interesting contradiction among fashion writers and bloggers:  “Nude heels must match your particular skin tone” vs. “Nude shoes should not match exactly as this can look a little creepy, old lady-ish.”  A contradiction, yes, but for the record, old ladies are not wearing nude shoes with everything.  They know better.

Another claim in support of nude shoes, “…..they’re different, unexpected.”  No they’re not.  Call them nude, beige, tan, or camel, they’ve been an option for decades.  They look terrific, totally in harmony with beige, tan, or camel colored clothing.

I adore nude, cream, and tan shoes, too, worn with nude, cream, or tan colored clothes.

If you have an interview, professional presentation, or formal event, do not-I repeat do not-wear nude heels with a contrasting darker dress or suit.  The light-colored shoes will draw undue attention to your feet instead of your face.  “Showcase your awesome sense of style” in nude heels?  No you won’t.  You’ll communicate that you’re a follower, dependent on fashion trends instead of thinking for yourself.

Here’s another blanket statement.  “Black shoes go with everything.”  No they don’t.  A pretty aqua or yellow dress is overpowered by black shoes.  The contrast is too great.  They weigh you down.  And nude shoes with a yellow dress look like you tried to match but missed.  Black shoes are certainly basic and classic, in harmony with darker colored clothes or repeated in the outfit itself.

When it comes to shoes, here’s another mix you don’t want–white shoes with a black dress.  Light shoes are too delicate to support a dark outfit.  Oh, yeah, I remember the white go-go boots with a dark pleated skirt in the 70s.  The look didn’t last then and won’t work now.

But say, it’s Spring and Summer’s on the way.  Take yourself to the shoe store.  Look around at the lively assortment of colored shoes.  Don’t limit your look to nude or black shoes.  This Spring and Summer, have fun with the huge variety of colored shoes in green and blue-green, blue, plum and purple, red, orange, and yellow-whatever colors work with your clothes.  If you’ve got clusters in your closet, and I hope you do, the wardrobe neutral color of your core pieces are perfect for basic shoes and bags.  Accent colors hint at options to add on just for fun, and now’s a great time of year to find them.  Have fun!

For more direction, order Color in Clothing Design, Selection, and Coordination, Conselle’s Wardrobe Strategy #5. Visit our website www.conselle.com  or contact us at Conselle, 801-224-1207 or judith@conselle.com.

By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM

Photo from studentartguide.com

Photo from studentartguide.com

People get caught up in the importance of first impressions on others.  But wait.  Think about it.  The first impression is really on ourselves, as we look down and see or feel the clothes on our body; as we see ourselves in the mirror or in a window glass.  The way we present ourselves to be perceived, in front of the mirror or in front of others, starts with a line–the silhouette outline of our clothed body’s shape.

As I work with so many women, and see so many articles about negative body image, it occurs to me that nearly everybody has some degree of a negative body image.  We perceive something about our body shape that we perceive as “bad,” less than ideal, making us feel inferior.  And it’s not just women.  Men also fall victim to negative body image, to the extreme of  BDD–Body Dismorphic Disorder, wherein they perceive something about themselves as absolutely hideous and go to incredible extremes to rid themselves of that image.  One fellow I am aware of does not allow a mirror in the house, will not walk in front of any store window.  Another man smashed his nose with a hammer to rid himself of its shape. Now that’s extreme!

As I shop with clients in a mall or am out with friends at the movies, we so often see bodies of all shapes and sizes dressed in clothes several sizes too small, stretched tightly over the body, without an eighth of an inch of ease anywhere.  The silhouette outlines every body crevice, curve and bulge–sometimes bulge after bulge.  People tell me “that’s more exposure, more information about the body than I really want to see.”  You have to wonder, just how do these individuals perceive themselves?


Whether perceptions or self-presentations are due to ignorance or arrogance, shapes can be shocking!  Whatever the case, I highly recommend we learn to be kind to ourselves and kinder to others–more respectful.  It’s really so easy. It’s a matter of ease.

We simply need to select clothing styles and sizes that actually accommodate our body, plus ease.  Then the clothes slip easily, smoothly over the body.  It works!  This Spring and Summer, avoid wearing tight t-shirts and pants.  If the clothes are made of all cotton, buy a size larger.  It will shrink with the first washing.  Both men and women can comfortably and attractively camouflage midriff bulge, a tummy, or bigger bottom by layering with a larger, lightweight shirt-jac or duster.

Take a good look at the difference in the attention going to the body of this model wearing a form fitting dress with basic fitting ease, on the left, as compared to a looser-fitting dress with added fashion ease, on the right.  With a little more fitting or fashion styling ease, the clothing silhouette becomes dominant and the body becomes subordinate.  You not only look slimmer, but you feel slimmer, more confident, and able to forget about the shape of your body.


Our clothing choices reflect and affect us.  We know this.  When we gradually learn to use our clothing lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns to reflect or communicate our personality traits, our values, interests, roles, and goals, that’s image from the inside out.  When we create an attractive image on the outside and experience a positive response from others, that’s a positive effect of image from the outside in.  Image management leads to the best of both.  In the months ahead, let’s get up, get ready, and get out with enough ease in the fit of our clothes, confident and able to forget about ourselves at work or play.


Oh, that we could all feel this good about ourselves, for life! Speaking of which, Conselle’s Style For Life Retreat is coming up May 18-23, 2015.  We have put together the ultimate experience that is educational, entertaining, and empowering.  During this exciting 6-day retreat in the beautiful Mountainlands of Utah, you will learn image strategies and skills you’ll use for the rest of your life.

“It was amazing. What I learned [on day one] exceeded all expectations for the whole Retreat.  I am so glad I came.”
Brenda, Ohio
“Awesome, fun, so needed. Fascinating. Empowering!”
Bonnie, Utah
For detailed information and testimonials, visit Style For Life Info and click on the link at the bottom of the page to download the brochure or call 801-224-1207 and talk to Kathy.

By Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Closeup portrait of smiling young girls isolated on white

Practice consulting with volunteer clients who are extremely different from you.

One of the challenges that image consultants face is knowing how to dress other people according to their personal coloring, figure variation, personal style and lifestyle.  Dressing yourself MAY COME NATURAL TO YOU, but teaching others what works for them, and not necessarily you, is not so easy.  Once you’ve done your homework…because you have taken the advice in tip number 2 and have mastered Wardrobe Strategies…it’s time to implement what you’ve learned.  The best way to do this is by asking a few people if you could “practice” on them.  Because you don’t charge them a fee, you’ll likely have no shortage of volunteers, that’s why we call these no fee clients “volunteer clients”.

Choose people who are both in your target market and different from you in terms of personal coloring, figure variation, personal style and/or lifestyle.  I have dark blonde hair, blue eyes, light skin, average height and build, and my personal style has a wide range.  My volunteer clients were so different from me!  One had black hair, very light skin, with hazel green eyes, a taller/larger build, with a very classic style.  My other volunteer client had dark brown hair, eyes, and skin, petite build, with a sporty/romantic personal style.  Boy did I learn from these two!  They were as different as night and day and expanded my understanding and appreciation for other women.   For example, I learned how to enhance the personal coloring of someone who is not blonde.    I learned about the fitting challenges that exist for so many people who are either taller than average or petite.  And personal style takes on a whole new light when considering such different personalities and backgrounds.  What a way to put my education to the test!  And what a great way to be prepared for the variety of clients I was soon to work with.

Practicing your skills on people who are vastly different from you is a wonderful way to help your clients look fabulous, which in turn, makes you a fabulous image consultant.  I couldn’t have done it without Conselle’s courses, however.  For MORE INFORMATION on how you can become a certified image consultant, click HERE.

A great education never goes out of style.

By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM

What about black?  Yes, some advise a black blazer, black pencil skirt, black pants, black, black, and more black.  Next we read, “No more black,” “Don’t wear black,” and the idea is passed on without thinking, from one fashionista to another until it’s become the trend.  So don’t believe it.  There’s no logic and it’s limiting.  The reality is that black never left!  Black is a fantastic wardrobe neutral color, looking modern, mixing well with every other color, is relatively slimming, and doesn’t show soil.  Black is a fail-safe option for business but it works with daytime denim and for evening too.  Wear black with one of your personal body colors and you’re beautifully part of the color scheme with your clothes.

Do the same with the other rich, darker wardrobe neutrals.  You’re not stuck with or without black.  Consider charcoal, navy, brown, gray, olive, forest, teal, plum, burgundy, and rust to name a few.  Take delight in your options.  Then look around for a patterned print in a color scheme that you love, that includes your choice for core pieces and start building that perfect cluster of clothes easy to work with and easy to wear everywhere.  Below are a few options we found from Ralph Lauren.

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Choose wardrobe essentials in basic black or whatever rich wardrobe neutral color you prefer.  With these in your closet, you will discover that many of your better quality clothes will easily intermix with them.  As you add on, look for defining pieces that speak to your personal style.  Add-ons might include a stylish pin-stripe vest if you like, or a chevron stripe sweater, or a colorful cardigan, and definitely patterned pieces that give life to solid colored basics.  Arrange this basic cluster of clothes in your closet according to the Style Scale® and you will know what goes with what, and where it takes you looking like you belong.  To get involved with creative, real-life clusters and wardrobe styling that works for you, join me for our Style for Life: Image Enhancement Retreat scheduled next for May 18-23. Love to have you with us!


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