Frequently I’m asked “As an image consultant do you always have to dress up?”. My answer is, “Well I still wear jeans and t-shirts, but they’re good jeans and t-shirts and I tend to accessorize too.” You never know when you leave the house, even if it’s just the supermarket or the school run, if you’ll be bumping into your next client, and as they say, you never get a second change to make a first impression.
So I thought I’d share some of my outfits over the coming weeks and months and also write a little about why I wear them, why they work for me and how I put them together.
When I’m not seeing clients, I don’t dress up quite so much, particularly if I’m spending most of my day sitting in front of the computer writing blog posts, working on my business, creating new products, and dealing with the general administration of running a business, I like to feel comfortable, it’s one of my drivers. So what do I wear?
Outfit 1: Stretch straight leg jeans (Country Rd), ballet flats (Novo), Pink chiffon top (boutique buy) with pink shrug (Temt) and peacock necklace (Wild Bling).
Outfit 2: Jeans as in outfit 1, sandals (Novo – Giselle Bundchen IPANEMA), red top (Target), black shrug (Glassons), Necklace (market find).
So why these outfits?
Well as you’d know I’m an H shape, so I tend to avoid clothes that have too much waist definition – always avoid anything with an obvious waist seam as it makes my large (G cup) bust look larger, and my waist look proportionally even shorter than it already is.
You’ll notice that neither of these really highlight my waist – they bypass without drawing attention.
Even though I’m bypassing my waist, I still need clothes to come back in and fit my body around my high hip area so that it doesn’t all just look baggy and make me look really big.
I’ve got fairly long legs, and a slightly shorter body, which particularly with a large bust, looks visually shorter than it is, so I need my tops to finish no higher than my hip bone and can go down to my upper thigh, just past my widest point so that it doesn’t make my thighs/hips look even wider.
My main body variation is my large bust, it’s the reason I became an image consultant as I had to learn how to dress it so I didn’t look like a page 3 girl and so people would talk to my face rather than my chest. Lower necklines also visually diminish my bust size. I’ve discovered that cowl necklines can be really flattering, they drape softly, not clinging and then I use a large scale piece of jewellery to create the optical illusion that my breasts are smaller than they are. Believe me, it works.
Like many women, I don’t have Michelle Obama arms, so I make sure that sleeves cut at narrow points, rather than wide ones, either 3/4 is fantastic or notice how the red top the sleeves are vertical rather than horizontal, and vertical lines slim!
I’ve had a couple of kids, and with a short waist and H shape, my tummy is a little soft and cuddly, so I’m always looking for clothes with some drape or a bit of ruching so that the fabric doesn’t sit flat and smooth against this part of my body – for my clothes that do sit that way I end up wearing some shapewear underneath, which is not something I want to do everyday – particularly in the summer months.
On my feet it’s always about comfort, but in a feminine way. I can’t wear sneakers unless I’m doing exercise. The minute I stop exercising I feel I have to take them off, they just aren’t mentally comfortable for me. So the shoes I choose when I want to be comfortable are flat and don’t bind my feet or press on my bunions, but I still like them to be feminine in some way, not too chunky, a little bow or other detail.
My necklaces, as I’ve mentioned earlier are always large in scale because of their optical illusion effect of making things next to them look smaller. I chose the peacock necklace as the small detail in its construction works with the bitty pattern of the pink chiffon top.
The silver swirl necklace works with the cleaner lines of the red top, but relates to the curve of the neckline and drape (it wouldn’t look right if I’d put on a really angular necklace).
The leather studded cuff that’s next to my more feminine but still a little creative watch works with the casual feel of my jeans and toughens the look up a touch.
So there you go – I’ve deconstructed how I put my outfits together and what I wear when I’m in casual non-work mode. What do you think about when you get dressed?