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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 578While talk is the traditional specific mode of expression in psychotherapy and counseling, expressive image therapy introduces other forms of self-expression, namely clothing and grooming.  This adds the tangible, hands-on, everyday action of dressing and grooming to the process of psychotherapy.  We know the fastest way to lift someone out of a depressive mood is to improve the way he or she looks.  Immediately we get a smile, maybe a sigh, maybe a woo-hoo!  It works wonders!  An action-oriented method of communication, expressive image therapy has potential to speed the process of psychotherapy. For some clients, self-expression through dress and grooming may be a corrective experience all on its own.  Client experiences are sensory in nature, be it visual, tactile, or auditory-most likely all three channels encouraging healthy values and attachments, allowing the brain to establish new, more productive, and corrective patterns.  For all clients, the experience of working with clothing design elements in selection, styling, dressing, and grooming can actually energize clients, re-direct attention and focus, alleviate emotional stress, allowing clients to more fully concentrate on issues, adaptive behaviors, and goals.

Thinning and shaping thick brows from below lifts her visual expression and her self perception.

Thinning and shaping thick brows from below lifts her visual expression and her self perception.

Image management consultants, counselors, and expressive image therapists are agents of change.  They invite and encourage clients to engage in a process of self-exploration and self-expression with the objective of communicating thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and experiences in ways not always accomplished with words alone.  To be effective, consultants and therapists give their clients opportunities to become active participants in their own treatment.  Dress and grooming become primary modes of communication.  The process enhances the clients’ ability to quickly communicate in creative and unique ways that are relevant, authentic, and effective-using the senses to bring about change. Image management consultants, counselors, and therapists generally harbor a passion for the art and science of image as well as for the people they are preparing to help.  In providing for their own needs, image therapists continually nurture and develop their own creativity in harmonious dress and grooming.  Function in the field requires a knowledge of visual design in dress and grooming, and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychotherapy, counseling theories and techniques.  It may be practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, wellness, private practice and community settings with diverse client populations in individual, group, and family therapy formats, enabling clients to practice positive image management, a life skill they need to be prepared and productive adults. As of today, expressive image therapy is virtually unknown in schools and colleges or universities, wellness centers, treatment centers and hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, and other community or clinical settings.  While it may be practiced to a minimum degree in terms of wardrobing, shopping, or makeover sessions, image therapy is generally unrecognized and undeveloped with the exception of the Conselle Institute of Image Management.

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Anxiety disorder fills the victim with fear. Self expression through self presentation in dress and grooming can literally set them free.

Membership in the Expressive Image Therapy Association signals that we are active participants in the field of image therapy, dedicated to the growth of the field and to increasing knowledge in this specialized therapeutic practice.  If you’d like to know more, or know someone else who may be interested in this career option, contact us at Conselle, 801-224-1207 or judith@conselle.com.

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

If what’s on the runways during the New York Fashion week is any indication, patterned pants are going to continue to be a top fashion trend.  We saw pants in leopard prints, houndstooth checks botanical florals, stripes, plaids, and abstract designs.

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When it comes to patterned pants, make sure your bottom can carry them without looking like you were poured in!  Patterns in pants need to be smaller or an all-over mix of relatively larger, medium, and smaller motifs closely spaced.  Legs simply aren’t large enough to carry off a totally large scale pattern.  And if legs are large, they don’t belong in patterned pants at all.  Stick to solid colors.

An entire plaid suit for men works when the plaid is subtle and the colors are muted.  If the pattern draws tons of attention or makes too strong a statement, break it up.  Wear a single patterned piece paired with solid colored separates.

Wear this                    Not this

Wear this                              Not this

 

For women, a larger plaid skirt can stand alone when paired with a solid colored top and jacket or sweater in colors picked up from the plaid. Turn a plaid on its side so the lines lie in the diagonal direction on women.  The effect is surprisingly slimming.  On men or women, don’t let patterned clothes be too big or baggy.  The effect is bulky and frumpy at any age.

 

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Paisley prints work well in a tie for men or women.  Yes a woman can wear a tie as well as a man.  I generally wear mine with a button-front blouse open at the neck, the tie knot lying just below the collar.

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Paisleys can be exceptionally beautiful when designed as a border print in women’s dresses, skirts, or blouses.  They carry the eye rhythmically throughout the garments.

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Floral prints are generally seen in light colors in Spring and Summer, but don’t limit yourself to light color schemes.  Some favorites for myself and clients feature lighter colored flowers on a darker background such as navy, black, brown, forest, teal or burgundy – all wardrobe neutral colors easy to accessorize.  The darker background adds a romantic or dramatic touch to the finished outfit.

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Fashion and image is always about options, choosing what works for you.  Because we each evolve throughout our lives, what works now may change to some degree at any given period of life.  The day may come when we no longer want to be defined or recognized by the pattern of our past, but rather for who we currently are…and  it’s never too late to become the person you want to be.

Looking for a pattern that matches who you are?  Call Kathy at 801.224.1207 to schedule a free discovery call.

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

People have asked me, “How do you dare to tell other people what to wear?”  An easy answer, I dare because I care.  And it’s OK for you to care too.  I know first-hand the positive difference discovering your personal style in dress can make in your everyday life.  As I tell my clients, the clothing you wear affects the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act, and then the way others react or respond to you.  Nothing vain or superficial about that!

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With the start of a new school year and the change in seasons coming up, it’s a fine time to take time to care for yourself.  You’ve likely been giving a lot of time and attention to others all summer, perhaps even so much of yourself there’s hardly anything left for you.  It’s time to get in touch with yourself and your spirit, to renew how you think of yourself–your values, personality, and goals for the next few months.  Then give some thought to how you might reflect those aspects of yourself through your clothes and accessories.

 

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Start simple.  Go to a paint store.  Look at the wide range of color chips and identify colors that make your heart sing or make you want to get moving.  Pull your favorite paint chips for future reference and pick just one to work with now.  With this color in mind, shop for a top in that color and wear it with clothes you already own.  Shop for an accessory in that this color. Give yourself a chance to make friends with a new color.  When you feel more adventurous, pair this color with one of your personal body colors–your hair, eyes, skin, or blush color–and shop for a patterned piece of clothing containing both colors, making you part of the color scheme with your clothes.

 

Making little changes in what you wear can add up to a big transformation in how you see yourself and how others see and respond to you.  Yes, you can do this yourself, or you could join us for our 5 day Style For Life Retreat and speed up the process.

  • Take charge of the way you see yourself and others see you
  • Discover, define, and develop your own personal style
  • Zero in on strategies for dressing slim and a fabulous fit
  • Improve your self-presentation
  • Enhance self-image
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Never be a fashion victim again!

Join us at the legendary and luxurious Little America hotel in Salt Lake City, November 17-22, 2014, and discover a New You!  GET MORE INFORMATION HERE or call Kathy at 801-224-1207.

 

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