Musings

Learning That Image Matters

Image AND Style

Happy day, reader dear!

When I’m asked why I do what I do (as an Image Consultant), I answer that it’s a privilege to help others find their confidence, and let their best selves shine. That’s the short answer to a lifetime of experience with the transforming power of style. Anyone who has watched a makeover show can attest. The transformee stands taller, walks and speaks more confidently, and often goes home a “new” person. Not really new, but the best self that was always there finally gets the opportunity to shine through. Aiding in that uncovering truly is a privilege.

The first time I really saw that power in action was in university, back in the 1980’s. One summer, I worked in the real estate sales office of a multi-use facility. It was gorgeous; there was an upscale shopping center, restaurants (no chains allowed!), apartments, condos, and office space. The office manager was a bundle of energy and had a mind like a steel trap. I’ll call her Lina. She remembered the size of dozens of different spaces and knew every tenant’s contractor, how close they were to completion, and their opening dates. Lina kept track of everything, stayed cheerful under pressure, and was funny, to boot. She spent most of her time in the back, 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. Lina dressed like a 12 year old.

One Friday morning, our boss pulled Lina aside and explained that he knew she was an amazing employee and he wanted her to succeed. He told Lina that if she chose, she would be leaving work at noon and going to Dayton’s for an appointment with a personal shopper; that she would be there all afternoon, and all day 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, and none of us had a clue why.

Monday morning, when Lina came in, only two people recognized her. When an employee 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.

How about you? Have you ever felt that power of transformation? When was it? Please do share in the comments below!

Stylishly yours,

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