Clarity. Confidence. Growth.
Category Archives: Professionalism
- Pink in any shade;
- Chic scuba gear;
- Silver accents;
- Shades & tints of yellow, including neon;
- Colorful pants, shoes, or handbags.
Take your pick.
This is the central question in the work I do with clients and corporations; the answers I receive help me choose the experts, tools, and ideas we will employ to craft an image that is compelling, attractive, and most of all, authentically you. There is little value in getting a flashy makeover if the result causes you to feel inauthentic or uncomfortable. This is why through ImageCube I work to ensure results are in alignment with your personal and professional goals.
Kate: From Girl-Next-Door to High-Fashion
Working with Kate Herrod of LModelz was a lot of fun; having modeled for several years, she was ready to take her look, and her career to another level. When I asked her what she wanted her image to express, she wanted to step away from the casual appearance she had and move towards an edgier, more high-fashion image. Josh Agan of the J. Agan Salons was able to provide a style that was edgy, without being severe. We took into consideration her personal and professional goals, while also determining how to best frame her heart-shaped face. Once her hair was set, we worked with makeup artists Kathi Lyons & Sara Murff of My Mobile Makeup to highlight her eyes and provide a fresh, youthful look. The result was excellent; we retained the authentic charm that comes naturally to Kate, while also updating her image in a way she can easily maintain and manage.
Image has to work for who you are and what you want to achieve in your life. Before taking Kate to a salon we focused on crafting a visual message that is true to who she is and what she wants. This is the best part about image consulting, and it’s what I love about my business – I get to help people like Kate harness the power of their image without losing an ounce of who they are on the inside. She remains approachable and likable, which she is, yet now her image is better matched to her career goals as they relate to the world of high-fashion modeling. I know Kate will go far in her career, now it may be that much easier for her to gain the exposure she desires and people will take her seriously.
What worked for Kate can also work for you, to find out more join me and other wonderful guests for Frame Your Face next Wednesday, September 28th and discover how subtle changes can provide powerful results for your image. To get a sneak-peek, click the before-and-after image to see the WishTV IndyStyle segment.
Clarity. Confidence. Growth.
You may or may not know that Fashion Week-events where the fashion mavens showcase what’s “in” and what’s “out” for the upcoming season-occurs twice per year. The rapid pace of changes in fashion trends, styles, and ‘hot’ items can be a challenge for an organization to manage, which is just one reason why dress codes can be tough to enforce. While Fall/Winter 2011/2012 brings slim suits for men and the 60′s influences to tailoring – the perennial suit, plus a smart vest are still safe for just about any office. For women, the trends are much less consistent and can present challenges for leaders and managers.
How big a challenge depends on the organization.
For several years I was a manager at an insurance company that provided insurance for employment labor lawsuits. Meeting customers and reviewing their claims gave me an inside look at the cost to an organization who reprimands, or even dismisses an employee due in part to their attire. While organizations want to rely on a broad dress code to avoid risk, different interpretations of the same policy can in fact increase risk to the whole company in the form of costly litigation. I remember a case where an employee filed suit against a former employer because she was allegedly told, regarding a blouse worn by her and another woman, “she can wear that blouse because it looks better on her”. The blouses were the same, the people were different, and the result was an employment labor lawsuit.
The power of personal image is undeniably important, both personally and professionally, and yet all too often it can be hard to get a clear answer about the differences between a personal stylist, personal shopper, and an image consultant. When beginning the process of reinventing, fine-tuning or editing your personal appearance and overall personal style remember one thing:
Fashion is about what people are wearing in general. Image is about what you are wearing on purpose.
Ask yourself the following questions about any person or organization offering image consulting services with whom you are considering doing business:
- Is the consultant certified?
- Are processes clear and easy to follow?
- Does the consultant have relevant experience in relation to my goals?
- Are we working toward a clear vision with a strategic plan for implementation?
- Are image decisions designed to consistently reflect my authentic self?
The leading institution for gaining certification as an image consultant is the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), which offers three levels of certification. Through clear processes, testing, and in-depth review and analysis AICI ensures you’re in good hands. By going beyond fashion trends to understand body types, skin tone, color and shape psychology, culture and diversity, and much more people like myself who are certified provide a higher level of quality control and service.
The methods used by a consultant will vary, but they should have one thing in common – a clear path for success. This means that from start to finish and beyond, there are actions to implement that educate, empower, and inspire visible results. Whether the tools are training programs such as Look the Part™ or Authentic Professionalism™, or a one-on-one program to help a professional reclaim their personal power, ImageCube offers solutions with clear objectives and specific steps for success.
Choosing an image consultant is about professional chemistry just as much as it’s about professional skill. If you’re seeking to reach a higher station in a corporation or looking forward to becoming a famous author, the person you work with should bring knowledge and experience that offers relevant insight about the goals you have. For example, ImageCube is well-suited to aid professionals in transition to or from corporate careers. In my case I have more than a decade of high-level corporate experience paired with a background in sociology. I combine this with cultural and social awareness gained through national and international travel, and my desire to empower professionals to harness the power of their image.
There must be a clear vision, and an effective image consultant will help you identify, define, and then act to realize the vision you have of your ideal self. Vision-based service is focused on expressing who you truly are, not who you “should be” according to others’ definitions. By helping my clients define their personal vision visually it becomes much easier to find and utilize lines, shapes, colors, patterns, and textures – the elements of clothing design – to bring that vision to life. The result is instead of trying on 300 garments, you would try on 60 garments that clearly support the message of your image as it relates to your vision. In the words of ImageCube clients the difference sounds like this:
- “I’ve never thought this much about the message I’m sending through my choice in clothing.”
- “Flipping through a magazine has never been the same. I feel so much more empowered.”
- “I let the message I need to communicate dictate what I wear during the week. My weekends are for play and I want to communicate a more relaxed and casual message.”
- “I didn’t know there was so much to learn about fashion and clothing. This will make a huge difference with how I shop going forward.”
When the vision is clear, and a talented consultant has done their job well you gain tools you can use time and again that will continue to empower you through image awareness.
Although fashion goes in and out of style, the core components of your authentic self are consistent over time. Consistent results are based on making choices that reflect who you are on the inside. Forget all the ‘reality shows’ that depict people throwing out all their clothes and getting a wardrobe makeover. This is not how image consulting works; your personal style comes more naturally when it is a consistent reflection of who you are even when you change jobs, cities, or weekend hobbies. Over time a consistent image garners trust in you from others and eventually you are simply known for ‘your look’ – and you’ll know it all started with the right certified image consultant.
These five areas present an easy-to-use filter that protects you from risky fashion advice or quick-fix schemes. A combination of certification and experience provides a foundation of clearly defined and well engineered steps for crafting an image that reflects who you truly are. Benefits of working with the right image consultant can be increased confidence, greater personal expression, and a heightened sense of well-being, so take time to choose wisely to enjoy lasting results.
Clarity. Confidence. Growth.
I created the Ask Sola tab on my website to provide an outlet for people with their own personal image related questions. However, the recent Wall Street Journal article Short and Sweet: Short Suits for the Office and Beyond set off a firestorm of questions through Ask Sola. Here are my responses to the article based on a series of questions from various individuals:
- Yes, the Wall Street Journal has every right to write about fashion. The “fashion industry” is a myriad of producers and consumers including apparel, textile, personal care (make-up), and even hospitality. The economic impact of the fashion industry is 100′s of billions of dollars. The single largest sectors that utilize textile and apparel products are auto industry, rubber & plastic manufacturers, and health service providers. So, fashion is a big business that’s worth covering by the WSJ.
- Before you go buy your short suits, know your audience. The article’s writer is a Boston native that lives in New York City, is a contributing writer for the WSJ, and a fashion editor for Elle magazine. Short suits are appropriate for her role as a fashion writer because they convey her knowledge of fashion trends and developments in the industry. Plus, her workplace environments are creative and fashion oriented. Since I live in Indianapolis, I called a few human resource contacts that work in various industries to ask them whether or not short suits would be acceptable for their office. Overwhelmingly, they said “no”. Short suits would violate their dress standards. They sited the more conservative culture of the Midwest and the distraction caused by visible skin. The best quote was, “It’s work, it’s not a fashion show”. Before you wear your short suit, ask yourself these three questions:
- What is your professional role?
- What are the dress expectations in your work environment?
- Will your ability to convey a trendy fashion sense actually improve your results?
- There are times when shorts are appropriate. If your company’s summer outing will be a baseball game, a picnic, a day at the Jazz Fest, a lake or harbor cruise, or anything that’s outdoors, then short suits could fit the bill perfectly. In such environments, short suits communicate an awareness of the environment and weather, while also maintaining your professionalism and polish. However, pay careful attention to the fit and length of your shorts. Bermuda shorts (first row below) are the safest length since they tend to stop near your knees; they’re also quite universally flattering. Anything shorter than Bermuda shorts will raise eyebrows. Consider the styles in the first row below, they all send a stylish message that won’t undermine your professional strengths.
- Sola Adelowo
Clarity. Confidence. Growth.
People are searching for high quality experiences. The impact of what you deliver will be based on the quality of what you actually deliver–not what you intend or hope to deliver. A spoiled banana is a spoiled banana just as a bad experience is a bad experience. Bring your best and give them the “good-stuff” all the time.