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Body image is our psychological experience of embodiment, providing us with a tangible shape or form for our intangible perception of our body.  Got that?  Body image is where it all begins as an infant, something we develop, order, and re-order throughout our lifespan.  What we think of our body may range between delight, disregard, and disgust and it profoundly influences our quality of life.
Negative Body Image, A Global Issue
Powerful attention to the body and the idea of having a perfect body is transmitted through the media and in everyday conversation with family and friends-parents and peers.  For women, the focus is on the pursuit of beauty through cosmetics, clothing, hair styling, nail enhancement, and dieting as well as cosmetic surgery.
Body image assessments reveal that a negative body image is experienced by virtually all women and girls, with men and boys also afflicted.  Dissatisfaction with the body is a major contributor to a negative body image and low levels of self esteem-of how we feel about ourselves as a whole.  Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders often follow.
Instilled in every society, negative body image is now a global issue of concern.  Pressure is on sub-cultural groups of individuals that idealize the perfect body.  This includes fitness buffs, gymnasts, athletes, dancers, models, and movie stars.  They do register higher rates of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.  They, in turn, influence us so that satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our appearance will be a result of the degree to which we do or do not meet the socio-cultural ideal set up according to worldly standards.
The socio-cultural ideal woman is tall and thin, with moderately large breasts and long legs, large eyes, clear skin. If she’s light skinned, she wants to be darker.  If she’s dark skinned she wants to be lighter. The socio-cultural ideal man is tall and muscular, with broad shoulders and narrow waist, thick hair, scruffy beard, and also tan, if light skinned.  It is virtually impossible for women and men to achieve these ideals by healthy means.  Nonetheless, they are accepted and adopted as the reference by which to judge ourselves-invariably resulting in body dissatisfaction and a negative body image.
Tools To Facilitate A Positive Body Image
Changing our perception of the body often leads to a changed body image.  Clothing is a tool for us to use, an agent of change-both body changing and mind changing.  Specifically, changing the shape of our clothing can change our body image boundaries-easily improving our body silhouette.  Layering clothing works wonders to camouflage a body area or balance our body.  In turn, we may perceive and accept ourselves in a more positive manner.
Better yet, dress can effectively prevent body image problems from developing-effectively fostering feelings of acceptance through the ability to regularly recognize, select, and coordinate clothes that flatter the body.  The achievement of a more realistic body image allows for the positive application of visual design in dress (or vice versa), therefore enhancing our self-presentation as well as our everyday interactions and relationships with others.  This is image management and expressive image therapy in action, something we can do for ourselves.

It is truly more important to be healthy and whole than to try to match some unhealthy worldly standard.  My father used to say, “I’m pretty good for the shape I’m in.”  That’s a good attitude.  I remind us to appreciate our body and all it does for us.  It’s the vehicle that gets us where we want to go-even if the pace is slow at times.  Knowing your body type directs you to flattering clothing styles and coordination.  To learn more, get yourself to my Style for Life Retreat.  Be careful in all you do and make mindful dressing part of your everyday life.

Visit our website www.conselle.com or contact us at Conselle,
801-224-1207 or judith@conselle.com
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sneezing womanSo you have a cold, and you look as bad as you feel — itchy, irritated eyes; swollen eyelids at half mast; a bright red nose; and dry, cracked lips.  But you can’t stay in bed.  Commitments and responsibilities require you to get up and get going.  I’ll bet we can all relate.  If this sounds like you, here are some tips on how to look like you’re on top of the world instead of under the weather. 

  1. While you’re still in bed in the morning, fight back with a series of stretches to limber up and pump oxygen through your bloodstream to help get you moving.  This should leave you feeling a little more alive.
  2. Once you’re up, it’s a question of bath or shower.  A bath can be wonderfully soothing, but if time is short and you must shower, make it comfortably hot and steamy to help clear your sinuses.  Let the water run over your neck and shoulders to limber you up further.
  3. After a bath or shower, apply your favorite moisturizing lotion as a protection against the drying effects of winter weather and central heating.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to apply a light film of protective lotion on your face.  If your nose is red and raw from continuous blowing, apply a little petroleum jelly on the area to soothe thesore skin.
  4. Good eye drops will relieve irritated eyes and help red eyes look lessaggravated.  Cold compresses made from tea bags steeped in ice-cold water are good for swollen eyelids and puffiness under your eyes.  The tannic acid in the tea reduces swelling and increases circulation.  For best results, place a tea bag over each eye and sit back or lie down for five or ten minutes.
  5. Go light on breakfast but don’t skip it, even if you’re not hungry. You need it for energy.  For something light, try juice and toast.  Pop some vitamin C and drink extra fluids all day long to flush your system.  Hot water with lemon juice and honey workwonders to soothe a sore throat, as does gargling with salt water or mouth wash.  Honey soothes the throat and lemon cuts the phlegm.  Drink it all day long.
  6. Don’t forget to brush your teeth — fresh breath makes you feel fresh all over. Even if you don’t feel like it, flash yourself a smile in the bathroom mirror; even a practice grin can perk up your mood.
  7. If you’re really feeling sick, you probably won’t want to wear makeup and perhaps ought to stay home altogether. But if you absolutely must go out, makeup is next and so essential to looking and feeling the best you can.
  8. Now that you’re relatively ready to get dressed, it time for some fashion therapy.  It’s important to think of clothes power as a way of boosting your spirit.  Now is not the time to wear your sloppiest, thrown-together outfit simply because you don’t feel good.  Instead, wear a favorite, comfortable yet sharp looking outfit — one you often get compliments on.  Avoid wearing red or green as they repeat or contrast with redness in your face.  Look for something in a soft coral or shrimp, blue or gray.
  9. You may go through hot and cold spells throughout the day, so dress in layers to stay warm. If you feel flushed you can simply remove a layer and feel relieved.  If you have a sore throat, wrap a silk scarf around your neck attractively.  It feels great, and when you look great, chances are you’ll soon begin to feel more like it, too.  That’s clothes power.
  10. Take care of yourself.  There’s nothing better than hot chicken soup to soothe congestion and an aching body.  Take a thermos of soup for lunch.  It really does speed recovery.
  11. Yes, you can cough or sneeze into your elbow, but better yet, take a nice handkerchief with you and use that to cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze.  Bring an ample supply of lotion-treated tissues for blowing your nose and throw them away immediately after using.  If you can, wash your hands, with real soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer in a pinch.  Excuse yourself from shaking hands, as hand-to-hand contact is the most common way to spread germs.
  12. Take eye drops, always a way to soothe and make your eyes look healthier.
  13. During the day, refresh your lipstick and spritz on some perfume.
  14. Most of all, think positively.
  15. Face the day with a smile and if you’ve followed these tips, people may not even know that you have a cold.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the influence of dress and image in your life, consider reading my Clothes Power book with instructions and examples regarding people a lot like you: Wardrobe Strategy book #1, Clothes Power for $27.97.  You’ll find charts that will summarize the information and simplify your learning and application.  Order through Conselle’s Store or call 801-224-1207 and order directly through Kathy.  Order Clothes Power.

 

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

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RE-IGNITE YOUR PASSION FOR FASHION with an education that never goes out of style!

Most people think that they should just naturally know how to dress well.  Yet there are so many who would admit that they don’t.  There’s no shame in this.  Some people are naturally better at math and science, some better at the arts. If these skills don’t come naturally, does that mean we just give up and never learn math, science, art, etc.?  Obviously not, or there would be hundreds of teachers standing in the unemployment line.  Skills that don’t come naturally to some can be learned with the right teaching conditions.

Self presentation skills are no different.  Unfortunately, this is subject that many people didn’t learn as children or teens.  They need for an educated instructor to teach them how to look great in any and every situation as adults.    Could that instructor be you?  Does dressing well come easily to you?  How about dressing other people well? Let’s go back to grade school again.  Just because you’re a math wiz it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a fabulous math teacher.  There must be a proper foundation, framework, content and methods to teach any subject.   Lots of people teach what they “know intuitively” when it comes to image consulting, which may be confusing or may not apply to their clients unless they have learned relevant teaching methods.

Where do you find these methods?  You could study blog posts that contradict each other with what’s hot today and not tomorrow.  OR you could look into the longest established institute of image management in the country, with over 30 years experience in educating image consulting professionals.

Teaching others to have great style requires more than intuition…it requires a great education. FIND US HERE!

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate 24e44bd4369ad6e119a0af68f7597cfa

It’s the holidays!  The time of year when we love to pull out the bling, or shop for something new that sparkles.  With the dim evening lighting, something with a little shimmer or shine plays off the lights beautifully and makes a fun statement this time of year.   A word of caution:  just because the clothing has sparkles doesn’t mean it works.  (Unless, of course, you are 4 years old. Then it always works!) Knowing that many of you are looking for that lovely holiday outfit, we have eight tips to consider for your smart shopping success.

  1. Plan for time to try on the clothes you’re shopping for.
  2. If it zips, it doesn’t mean it fits.  Take two or three sizes into the fitting room with you.  What is labeled small, medium, large or extra-large varies from brand to brand and possibly even item to item.
  3. When wearing each garment, ask yourself, “Where could I wear this?” “Will this get me the raise / date / recognition I’m looking for?” “What will this do for me?”
  4. Move around, walk, reach, stretch, bend, and sit.  Can you move comfortably?  Can you breathe?
  5. How do you look in a full-length mirror?  Leave your dressing room and find a mirror where you can step back several feet for a different vantage point.
  6. If it’s too short, check the hem allowance to see if it can be let down.
  7. If it puckers or pulls, the garment is too small for your body.  Let it go, or go up a size.
  8. Give yourself a break.  Stop for a healthy drink or snack to rest and relax rather than make a rash decision or give up too soon.

Expect success and you will often find it.  Happy Holidays!

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Do you absolutely love the clothes that are in your closet?  “No-o-o,” is usually the resounding response.  In today’s world, people do not plan their wardrobe in any sense of the word.  They run to the store at the last minute and grab what ever suits their fancy for the occasion.  There is virtually no thought given as to how the pieces fit their body, their psyche, or into their existing wardrobe–pieces that were never quite right but we stubbornly try to make work.
The pieces end up at the end of your closet rod, never to be worn again–and yes, they make a lot of people feel guilty about the waste.  With a closet full of odds and ends, people are not prepared for the places they need or want to go.  I hear this lament wherever I go to speak.  Often, as a result, the person just sits at home becoming the common couch potato.  That’s not healthy, not physically nor mentally.  We need to plan for the clothes that give life to our lives.
Plan to take advantage of future opportunities as they pop up.  Put the clothes in your closet that provide you with the looks you like, that reflect or project who you are and what you are all about–clothes that work like tools to succeed in a wide range of situations or occasions.  Whether we pay full price or purchase on sale, people who appreciate and love to wear their clothes shop with a purpose, with intent.  I call this strategic shopping and dressing – in clusters.
Fall Cluster - for virtually any figure type

Cluster Guidelines:

  1. Find a source of inspiration – a pattern of colors in a print, stripe, or plaid – to inspire the color scheme of your cluster.  She used the scarves (above) for inspiration.
  2. Plan for 5 to 8 easy pieces of clothing – top and bottom pieces.
  3. Select pieces that are basic – simple in style lines and shape.
  4. Select pieces that go together – will work with at least three, four, or more other pieces.
  5. Select pieces that are distinctly different from one another – no two pieces alike, not yet.
  6. Select accessories to go with the clothes – essential basic accessories first.
  7. Gradually expand your cluster(s) – to meet all your wardrobe needs.  This expanded cluster of 8 pieces will create weeks of interesting looks!

 

Still not feeling the love from your clothing?  Contact us.  We’ll help you reconnect with the pieces that make you look and feel fabulous!  Call 801-224-1207 or find us HERE.

 

 

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