Think for a moment about the outfit you are going to wear for your next celebratory or festive event. I wonder how many of us instantly think of wearing our trusted LBD (little black dress) with some nice accessories? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, in this article, I would like to discuss and highlight the less conservative option of ‘non-black’ clothes. As a professional image consultant and Style Coach™, I think of it as an invitation to make the leap from dressing with ‘predictability and safety’ at your next event, to dressing with ‘style and sparkle’!
First of all, and strictly speaking, *black* is not a ‘colour’. Instead, it absorbs all other colours! So, why is *black* such a popular choice? Why do we like it so much? I love considering these questions when I am doing professional colour analysis with my clients, and if you’ve ever considered becoming a colour consultant yourself, then you will share my enthusiasm!
The most obvious answer is because it’s a comfortable and safe choice. It transmits a feeling of protection and strength. Many would also argue that it is mysterious. Colour psychology is just fascinating. We all use *black* at various times of our lives: when experiencing mourning, when we want to ‘blend in’ due to low self-esteem or body-image issues, when we want to appear slimmer due to discontent about our body shape or weight, or when we want to feel secure in our wardrobe choices so we don’t ‘get it wrong’. Fashion tells us that black is slimming, seductive, formal, elegant and sophisticated. There are a lot of studies about the psychology of ‘black’, but the main question here is to ask ourselves, “Instead of black, why not bring our outfits to life with vibrant use of colour?” In Style Coaching™, we combine life coaching skills, which helps me to explore how my client ‘feels’ when wearing different colours, and trying different styles - not just how my client ‘looks.
Fashion historians and fashion courses trace the iconic origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel and Jean Patou. They were intended to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral colour. The little black dress is considered essential to a complete wardrobe by many women and fashion observers. But do we believe we’re radiant wearing black? Is it really flattering us and enhancing our image as much as we would like it to?
Wearing black is certainly functional and turns complex choices into easy ones when you don’t know what to wear to a festive event. When wearing black, you always have the assurance and self-confidence that you will be dressed appropriately. But is black properly translating the state or mood we are in when we attend parties? And, if you are a self-confessed lover of ‘black’, would your opinion change if a colour consultant gave you alternative colour suggestions? This is where, in my opinion, the journey of discovering your style really starts.
During the Style Coach™ training we learned about colour psychology in addition to the colour analysis. Understanding our ‘true’ or ‘wow’ colours can be powerful, as they affect us positively and in profound ways. The colours we wear can be used to create harmony with our own natural colouring, and they essentially become another part of us. One of my friends (and fellow Style Coaches™) recently shared with me that she had clients idealizing black, but it was actually not suiting their skin tone and was stealing their shine. Perhaps this is more common than we realise.
When we choose black during personal shopping trips, are we in fact denying ourselves the opportunity to look for an outfit which will make us look and feel outstanding? Are we missing out on a chance to try something that is outside our comfort zones and a touch different to what we’re used to? Style Coaching™ combines elements of personal branding, so we’re constantly looking for ways to showcase our unique personality and every other factor that becomes a person’s ‘personal brand’.
Imagine yourself walking into the department stores at the start of the festive season, with your personal shopper, when the mannequins are wearing party outfits… What outfits on the mannequins really inspire you? When something catches your eye, what shine is it transmitting to have grabbed your attention?
The aim is to search for something to wear which will not only enhance our silhouette, but which also communicates our own energy, personality and vibrancy. So many of our attributes can be communicated, enhanced and highlighted with our colour choices. Personal styling is about having fun with fashion and creatively expressing yourself, but don’t worry about looking overdressed; instead focus on choosing the right fabric, the right shape, the right length and the right colour. For many of my personal styling clients, wearing a vibrant colour choice can feel like a big transition, in which case, a black outfit can be transformed with even a touch of colour that suits you.
I hope you enjoy choosing your next outfit and that you’re feeling inspired to find a Xmas party dress that will help you feel great during your celebratory occasions!
– Written by Jeannine Courvoisier for the Style Coaching Institute
ABOUT THE STYLE COACHING INSTITUTE®
In just 10 years, Style Coaching™ has reached Andorra, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Greece, Guernsey, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, the USA, Vietnam and Qatar.
We offer online personal styling courses worldwide, and VIP tutored stylist training courses in London, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. So, wherever you are in the world, we can help you to become a successful Style Coach™. Discover more at our website: www.stylecoachinginstitute.com
Have you been thinking about becoming a personal stylist? If you would love to have a successful career helping others to look and feel beautiful, then join us in London for our Style Coaching™ Diploma Course this October. Or start studying now, from anywhere in the world, via our online courses.
Here at the Style Coaching Institute®, we don’t offer standard or ordinary image consultant training. Instead, our personal stylist courses teach you a uniquely holistic approach that combines image and beauty training with powerful life coach training and personal branding that transforms people from the inside out.
If you have a passion for style and beauty, but you also believe that people are so much more than a reflection in the mirror, then why not consider a career in Style Coaching™ and become a personal stylist with a difference? Details can be found at our website: www.stylecoachinginstitute.com
How it all started…
Ten years ago, the term ‘Style Coaching™’ was nowhere to be seen. There were no ‘Style Coaches™’ to be found. Instead, there were image consultants, personal stylists, fashion consultants, and personal shoppers. So what is ‘Style Coaching™’ and where did it come from? What makes it so different to other image specializations we have seen before? And, quite simply, why should we sit up and take notice?
Back in 2004, nobody realized that in a quiet corner of the world, a revolutionary new specialization was taking shape and getting ready to transform countless people’s lives. Meanwhile elsewhere, celebrity stylists were obliterating the airwaves with popular but ruthless ‘makeover’ shows. The public would watch in disbelief as the stylists would hunt down the country’s worst dressed individuals who were desperate for help, and then proceed to invade their wardrobes with unashamed gusto, criticize and often ridicule their choice of clothes, have them strip down to their underwear in a 360 degree mirror while exposing their vulnerabilities to the masses, and usually reduce the person to tears before announcing with delight that it was time to ‘hit the highstreet’!
The participant would then trail behind the stylist from store to store, complaining and arguing like Eric Berne’s ‘Adaptive Child’, while the stylist assumed the role of their ‘Critical Parent’. The relationship would be one of dominance and submissiveness, and for viewers, the process was almost painful to watch. Of course, the ‘big reveal’ at the end represented a climatic end to the drama. We would watch the participant’s face with curiosity as they took in the reflection that had suddenly been revealed, trying to locate themselves in the image of a stranger before them. We would listen as they said phrases like, “I’m like a new person”, and “Is that really me?”
For those watching carefully, it would be at this point that we would often see a glimmer of something profound happening… a change in the person that could not be explained only by clothes and a new hair colour. Yet, this tiny glimmer of profoundness would go unnoticed, and without nurture would quietly dissolve once again. When the makeover show would revisit the participant after 6 months had passed, it was common to see that they had reverted back to their previous appearance. In these cases, the ‘makeover’ had been in vain, meaning that it came to no real purpose, it was empty and without depth. In other instances, the changes were whole-heartedly accepted by the participant and proved to be long lasting. We would then see an inexplicable knock-on effect with almost every aspect of the person’s life. It was remarkable to witness and proved how much potential there was even in a simple makeover.
So this contrast of results leaves us with some burning questions…
– When the process worked, what was the difference that made the difference?
– When it failed to be maintained, why was this so?
The origins of Style Coaching™…
For a husband and wife team living in Ireland at the time, the answers were strikingly obvious and the potential of these answers was too important to ignore. Gary and Tracey Redmond, founders of the Style Coaching Institute® had a unique combination of skills, which enabled them to view this phenomenon with a clear perspective. While Tracey was a personal stylist, she was also a certified practitioner of NLP, so she offered her clients a much more holistic service than those offered by traditional image consultants. She also believed in the fundamental importance of nurturing individuals and empowering them to reach newfound levels of confidence and self-esteem. For her, rapport and being able to align with another person’s view of the world was natural. The results she observed in her clients were astounding, so she started to explore and delve deeper into what was working and why. She did this with the help of her husband, Gary Redmond, who was an Accredited Life Coach, Therapeutic Counsellor, and NLP practitioner. Together they researched, developed, tested and documented a completely new and original formula for change that they branded as ‘Style Coaching™’.
What makes Style Coach™ training different to Personal Stylist training and Image Consultant training?
Through Style Coaching™, Gary and Tracey Redmond were able to distill and capture the essence of why even basic makeovers can sometimes prove to be life changing. Rather than this phenomenon being an ‘accidental’ and infrequent occurrence, the Style Coaching™ formula enabled the life changing transformation to be a simple, yet profound, by-product of the specific process they had defined and perfected.
In 2005, they founded the ‘Style Coaching Institute® and began teaching other people how Style Coaching™ works and how a person’s appearance can be used as a powerful starting point for much greater life changes. Graduates of the institute, known as Style Coaches™, began following the process with their clients, and the same results were observed. A new specialization had been born, and started to gain the attention of those who believed that people are much more than a reflection in the mirror. A Style Coach™ may have all the technical knowledge of an image consultant, colour consultant, personal shopper and personal stylist, but they are also experts in the key skills used in the world of life coach training and NLP.
So does this mean that Style Coaching™ is simply a formula of 2+2=4? Far from it! As coaches, we’ve all heard the buzzword ‘synergy’, but Style Coaching™ really is a prime example of it in action. It may consist of various parts, but these parts produce a combined effect so much greater than the sum of their separate effects. Authentic Style Coaching™ isn’t just image consultancy with some life coaching added in as an embellishment at the end. Style Coaching™ isn’t just about learning ‘what to do’; it’s about ‘how to do it’, and we all know that there is a distinct difference between our ‘doing’ and our ‘being’.
Unlike the vast majority of celebrity fashion stylists and personal shoppers, a certified Style Coach™ embodies the ethos of a life coach, and grasps the importance of self-image psychology. While many image consultants will work to create a new look for their clients, Style Coaches™ work with their clients to explore beyond the surface layer, while at the same time recognizing that the inner-self and the outer-self are inexplicably linked and powerfully affect each other. An authentic Style Coach™ will help their client to connect with their true self, enabling the unique individual to shine through with confidence and self-acceptance.
A large part of being a Style Coach™ is the ability to share guidance on which styles will enhance a particular body shape, how it is possible to illuminate our positive features and colour characteristics, how we can nurture our physical and emotional selves through personal grooming, and how to use our appearance as a mode of non-verbal communication. However, Style Coaches™ would never wish to project a fictitious image onto a person, through telling them exactly what they should wear. This is like trying to tell someone who he or she is, rather than genuinely listening and being curious about the individual. Their aim is to help a person to discover and reconnect with their best version of themselves; to see in the mirror a congruent reflection of the positive image they hold of themselves in their mind.
When fashion makeovers fail to provide long-term positive benefits it is usually because the individual’s inner self-image and outer self-image are not in alignment. The external appearance may have been changed, but if on the inside the person still sees himself or herself as ugly, inferior, less than, or worthless, then a reassertion of the external appearance will be the inevitable result. Essentially, the positive intentions of an image consultant are thwarted by an internal factor that they are unable to competently work with. They are left wondering why the changes didn’t work, and feeling mystified about what they could have done differently.
One of the magical differences about Style Coaching™ is that it offers practical opportunities for in-depth psychological theories and life coaching techniques to be explored in a lighthearted and accessible format. In the past, these theories could tend to be quite heavy, but through Style Coaching™ they can be merged into a seemingly simple process of personal styling! It is certainly true that like a person, Style Coaching™ is so much more than it may appear to be. What you see happening on the surface layer does not begin to do justice to the dimension of depth that’s simultaneously present.
Why does Style Coaching™ matter?
All business owners, managers, coaches, and entrepreneurs look for ways to achieve better results, to bring out and enhance more of our own potential. We’ve all heard that first impressions count, and that we need to ‘dress for success’, but more than this, our image can be used as a powerful tool for communication. Our appearance silently sends out messages about us, so we need to understand what these messages are and how we can design them for accuracy. If your appearance speaks volumes, then it makes sense to ensure it is saying the right things!
Style Coaching™ is proof that what you wear really can change your life. Far beyond clothes, accessories, colour coordinating and makeup, it’s about the multiple ways in which we can successfully build self-confidence, reconstruct a positive self-image, and access an abundance of self-esteem. The ability to do all of this, without needing hours of therapy, is quite incredible and makes Style Coaching™ accessible on a massive scale! Simplicity really is the ultimate sophistication and can bring about some of the best results.
Style Coaching™ opens the doors for us to move beyond previous self-limiting beliefs, and embrace our full potential on every level. It’s little wonder that in less than 10 years, authentic Style Coaching™ has journeyed from being an unheard of term, to being a trademarked formula used by over 1000 Certified Style Coaches™ in 68 countries around the world, with an International Association of Style Coaching™ now headquartered in Great Britain. Style Coaching™ has touched the lives of thousands of individuals and is having a dramatic impact on the world of Life Coaching, as well as Image Consultancy, offering both sectors a mutually transformative way of working with clients and achieving the fulfilling results that we all want – which ultimately is to improve the quality of life for the real people we work with.
“The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior.” - Maxwell Maltz
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Cutting is a co-director and master trainer of the Style Coaching Institute® – the only training company in the world offering a Diploma Certificate in Professional Style Coaching™.
Kate also serves as VP of Member Communications at the International Association of Style Coaches™ (IASC) where she writes weekly articles and a monthly ezine, distributed in 68 countries. At the Style Coaching Institute®, Kate works alongside the co-creator of Style Coaching™, Tracey Redmond, as the co-author of the institute’s training publications. However, Kate’s greatest passion is her long-term role as a mentor to Style Coaches™ during their training, as well as throughout their careers. Because of her belief in the transformational power of Style Coaching™, she is dedicated to increasing the public awareness and continually developing the professional standards for the field.
Kate was recently honoured to write the foreword for 'Branded for Success’, a publication written by one of Asia’s leading Style Coaches™, Lionel Lim (winner of the 2012/2013 Successful Entrepreneur Award, Mister Singapore United Nation 2011, Singapore’s Most Loved Beauty Professional 2011 and Giant Stars Most Confident Smile Award 2006).
Alongside her expertise in Style Coaching™, Kate is also a licensed NLP practitioner and accredited Life Coach.
Tel: +44 208 133 9003
So you’re thinking about enrolling for one of the Style Coaching Institute® diploma courses in professional Style Coaching™, and you’re wondering, “What jobs can I get as a stylist?” There are several prefixes that accompany “stylist”, enough to make your head spin! Personal Styling is an industry that lends itself easily to exploration and specialization. We have compiled a quick and easy guide to how you can use your Diploma in Style Coaching™.
This is the coveted title that most of our graduates choose to use after completing our exclusive ‘Style Coaching™ Diploma Course’. As Style Coaches™, they are able to offer everything Personal Stylists, Image Consultants, Personal Shoppers and Wardrobe Stylists offer, but they can also coach their client to achieve greater levels of inner confidence too. Alongside their expertise in personal styling, a Certified Style Coach™ is an expert advocate of positive body-image and self-esteem. Style Coaches™ use methods and tools from life coaching and personal branding to make personal styling so much more transformative (inside and out). They assist their clients in making styling suggestions that will also boost their clients’ overall confidence. It is important that each client feels comfortable and that their specific needs are addressed. They offer a holistic styling process that embraces the whole person, and helps them to “love the skin they’re in”. Style Coaches™ can work one-to-one with clients and be their own bosses, they can host group workshops and style events, they can work with companies and top executives, they can apply for positions as resident ‘Style Coaches™’ for local and national magazines and radio stations, and so much more!
Personal Stylist or Image Consultant
This may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of jobs in styling. A graduate of the Style Coaching™ diploma course can also choose to work as a Personal Stylist or Image Consultant. This means that they work one-on-one with their clients, either independently or as a fashion retailer employee. They help each client to understand what clothing suits their particular lifestyle, body shape and colour characteristics. When you choose to become a Personal Stylist your services can range anywhere from color consultations to make-up application and recommendations. If you enjoy working closely with individuals and focusing only on a person’s wardrobe and appearance, then becoming an image consultant or personal stylist should be right up your alley.
Many Certified Style Coaches™ go on to practice as “Fashion Stylists”. Behind every immaculately styled editorial feature there is a Fashion Stylist working tirelessly to put it all together. As a Fashion Stylist you will select clothing for published editorial features, advertising campaigns in both print and television, music videos, concert performances, in addition to styling for public appearances made by celebrities and public figures. Be prepared to work long hours on set. You will be expected to think on your feet and there will be times when you’ll have very little time to pull things together. However, your job as a Fashion Stylist will never be boring. You will have chance to experiment and even break a few rules while you work to create a unique aesthetic. If you are highly creative, this ever-changing landscape will be perfect for you.
Think about your favourite television show. Now think of how stylish your favourite TV personality always seems to be. The job of the Wardrobe Stylist is to create looks for the cast members of television shows and movies, or celebrities that need someone to manage their everyday wardrobe choices. The wardrobe stylist is tasked with the job of telling a story of who the person is through the clothing they wear. This is similar to being a Personal Stylist or Style Coach™ in the sense that both need a deep understanding of the personality they are working with and what needs to be communicated. However, Wardrobe Stylists are purely focused on creating capsules of outfits. They can have a lot of fun as they are often expected to put together 100s of looks for several different characters and they get to meet many celebrities through their work.
Another popular path you can choose as a certified Style Coach™ is an extension of personal styling, called personal shopping. In this fast-paced world many men and women don’t have much time on their hands. And though they see the value in dressing the part, they require some assistance. This is where your job as a Personal Shopper comes in. Once you have defined the needs of your client the next step will be to purchase items that you believe are suitable for their new wardrobe. You can work in two capacities, the first being shopping for specific occasions, and the second is to be your client’s personal shopper on an on-going basis, building your client’s wardrobe over time. Some clients like to shop with you and just gain your advice, whereas others prefer you to completely take the reins and just present them with the outfits you have chosen. Becoming a Personal Shopper offers you a lot of flexibility; you can work with one-to-one clients in your own independent practice, or you can apply for job positions as a permanent Personal Shopper with high-street retailers.
Managing your client’s wardrobe can be a challenging but rewarding experience. A certified Style Coach™ can specialise in wardrobe management, or they can include it as part of an overall service that includes personal styling, personal shopping and much more. As a dedicated Wardrobe Manager you will simply help your client to edit his/her wardrobe by getting rid of pieces that no longer fit, are outdated or just worn out. You will also help your client with understanding how to wear items they already own in fresh new ways. As a Wardrobe Manager you can also go as far as cataloguing all the items your client has in their wardrobes, analysing their lifestyle and making shopping plans for key pieces they need to gradually purchase.
Work in Retail
Not all stylists work with their own clients or on big budget movie sets. There is also a need for qualified stylists in retail outlets on the shop floor. This particular position will require you to have a good knowledge of what the store has in stock so that you will be able to efficiently assist customers. Shopping is a very stressful experience for many men and women and your expertise will play an integral role in making it a rewarding experience. Whether it is helping a middle-aged woman find a dress that is both age appropriate and stylish, or helping a gentleman choose the right tie to with his favourite shirt, or the right pocket square to go with his suit.
So, if you were a certified Style Coach™, which one of these specialisations would most appeal to you? How would you use your diploma qualification from the Style Coaching Institute®?
This week’s actionable is to think about the jobs listed above and decide which one is right for you. Leave your comments on our Facebook page or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your goals! You can even schedule a complimentary consultation call to help you decide whether Style Coaching™ is the right course for you!
For more information visit www.stylecoachinginstitute.com
How to take your Image Consulting Career to the Next Level
In today’s world creative careers are on the rise and thus the market has become saturated with competition. But competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can give you the push you need to elevate your status and become a real rising star. This is no different if you have chosen a career in Image Consultancy.
As an Image Consultant you may have decided that it is time to take your career to the next level and get a leg up on your competitors. There are a few areas you may want to focus on to get you started.
Establish your Brand as an Image Professional
Many people confuse branding with a fancy logo or a cool letterhead and though those elements do play an important role in establishing your businesses’ image it is only a part of the equation. Your image consulting company has a brand that goes much deeper. It is how your business is perceived by others. When establishing your brand you want to determine three key factors:
Once these three elements have been defined you now have a strong brand Identity. You know where you are going and how to get there. You now have a unique voice that will allow you to step away from the clutter of other image consultants who are providing the same or similar services.
Companies like Apple do this well. They use these elements to build an emotional bond with their existing and potential customers. So much so that customers don’t even mind shelling out few hundred dollars more for their products because they have formed a relationship with the brand and are aligned with it’s values.
Certified Style Coaches™ also understand the importance of personal branding and how to use it to build up powerful states of rapport with their clients. They are very much connected with the values that represent the Style Coaching™ brand and the key message that “looking good is only half the picture”. Whether a person “feels” beautiful or not, is only partially defined by what they see in the mirror – that’s why certified Style Coaches™ also help their clients to have a beautiful inner self and a positive body-image that beneficially impacts every area of their lives.
Increase your Visibility
If you want to take your Image Consultancy career to the next level you have to put yourself out there and do something that sets you apart from the competition. That’s why so many Image Consultants are choosing to continue their learning and growth by becoming Certified Style Coaches™.
In the past 10 years, social media has taken over the internet and businesses don’t want to be left behind. As an Image Consultant, social media can be a great way to communicate to the public and get visibility. Use these networks to show ‘before and afters’ of clients you’ve worked with, share style tips, promote your services and answer questions from potential clients.
Platforms like Facebook, Polyvore, Pinterest and YouTube are driven by visuals and are great for showing your personal styling skills. While, Twitter can be used for hosting live chat sessions and sharing tips. This will help you to connect more with your target and learn about their needs.
Though it is great to get online, don’t knock good old-fashioned networking. Go to fashion and beauty events and conferences, strike up a conversation with someone in the line at your favourite clothes shop, or book public speaking engagements where you can spread the word about your personal styling business. Don’t be shy about telling people what you do and sharing your knowledge. Always keep your business cards handy so people have a way to contact you after that first introduction.
Know your Client’s Needs
This seems like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how many image consultant entrepreneurs underestimate the power of knowing their client’s needs. Most successful Image Consultants work with several clients who all have different needs. It is important that you take the time to understand their specific needs, thus improving the quality of the service you provide. When your clients feel comfortable that you understand what they want, you have converted a one-time client into a repeat customer!
Develop Image Consulting Products
Being an Image Consultant means your primary source of income is the service you provide. However, there’s only one you. What if you could duplicate yourself and broaden your customer base? Developing unique image and style products can accomplish exactly that. Products can range from books and ebooks, exclusive video series and useful printables. Whether your products are sold through your website or available in stores they will give you the opportunity to not only reach a larger audience, but to establish yourself as an image industry expert.
Be Willing to Learn
Constantly educate yourself so that you continue to raise your game and keep the competition playing catch up. This is the information age and you can’t afford to be left behind. Whether it is personal styling workshops, reviewing or refreshing your course materials from the Style Coaching Institute or buying books on various personal styling and beauty topics. It is important that you stay up to date, so you can provide the best service to your clients.
These are only a few ideas on how you can elevate your Image Consulting career to the next level. At the end of the day you have to be willing to put in the work to see real growth. Hard work, dedication, persistence and patience is the winning formula.
Today’s actionable is to decide three steps that you believe will help your Image Consultant business to soar.
For more information on how to take your career to the next level visit our website: www.stylecoachinginstitute.com