Style and Styling

Image Matters

How I Learned the Power of Image

Happy day, dear reader!

When people ask me why I got into the Image and Wardrobe Consulting and Coaching business, I usually explain that I enjoy helping people feel better about themselves. There’s nothing like seeing someone stand taller and smile at themselves when they see themselves differently! That smile is why I do what I do. What we see in the mirror has powerful effects on how we feel about ourselves, and even on how we perform. There’s a lot of truth to the expression look-good-feel-good!

I was fortunate to learn the importance of image years ago, and the magic of a style makeover, long before reality shows were telling people What Not to Wear!

Back in the 1980’s, when I was a young college student, I worked for a summer in the real estate sales office of a multi-use facility. This facility was gorgeous; it had an upscale shopping center, restaurants (No chains allowed!), apartments and condos, and office space. Our office manager was a bundle of energy, and had a mind like a steel trap. I’ll call her Lina. Lina remembered the size of dozens of different spaces, and she knew every tenant’s contractor, how close they were to completion, and what their opening dates were. Lina kept track of everything, stayed cheerful under pressure, and was funny, to boot. She spent most of her time in the back office, on the phones–keeping hundreds of balls in the air at once. Our boss wanted to promote Lina, but felt unable to do so, because putting her in a client facing position would have been a problem. Why? Lina looked like a 12 year old.

One Friday morning, our boss pulled Lina aside and told her that she was an amazing employee and he wanted her to succeed. He explained to Lina that if she chose, she would leave work at noon for a trip to Dayton’s. He had made her an appointment with a personal shopper. She could refuse, but he wanted to invest in her career. If she went, Lina could expect to be there all afternoon, and much of Saturday as well. She had a beauty salon consultation and appointment with the lead stylist, for anything her heart desired, plus $1000 to spend on a new work wardrobe. (This was a lot more money back in the Midwest in 1984!) Lina left work early that day, with us none the wiser…

Monday morning, when Lina came into the office, only two people recognized her. When someone tried to stop her from walking into the back (private) offices, she just laughed. Lina was a transformed woman. She looked exactly like Lina, simply Lina, all grown up and polished. Client facing? No problem! So, she took the world by storm.

I got it. Clothes do matter. And confidence is priceless.

Stylishly yours,

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