NYC Image Consultant Academy

Come to the Image Insider Scoop for all-things image. We provide insights and perspectives intended to expand your points of view on in image consulting, fashion styling, business etiquette or communication. To expand our reach, all Scoop articles are published in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

We are here at your disposal – so please don’t hesitate to pose questions or to participate in discussion. You can find more information about the NYC Image Consultant Academy at www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com.

Note: A special offer is available for image consulting training classes to those who register at least three weeks before the training program begins.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

Principal Trainer & Executive Director

NYC Image Consultant Academy

Traveling in Groups

Recently, we posted etiquette and travel tips to consider before visiting museums. Today, we’re revisiting the topic with an added twist: how can you best travel in groups? While written for an intended reader who is in a couple, most of these tips could apply to any individual or small group of travelers.

 

Traveling in groups with people you enjoy can, often times, be a delightful experience. Any extended period spent with other couples, families or friends can also pose challenges. Here are a few tips to consider while traveling in groups:

 

 

  1. Identify the top 3 must-do things on your trip, together. If it’s an extended trip with multiple days/destinations, you may want to identify this each day. This will help you figure out the most efficient routes for all parties, so everyone gets to see and do what they desire.
  2. Walk on the right or left – not both! When your group walks together, try to walk in single or double file, and pick a side of the sidewalk or path (but don’t take up the whole street – and don’t hold hands). Remember, also, that your pace on vacation may be slower than locals who are moving quickly; letting people get around you is key.
  3. Learn basics of the local language. If you’re traveling to a country where your native language isn’t spoken, try to learn basics in the language you’re planning to inhabit. Essentials include ‘hello,’ ‘good day,’ ‘where is the restroom?’ ‘do you speak English?,’ and ‘thank you’. Basics show respect to native-speakers, and will take you far when you need directions or other help in a rush! You may also consider hiring a guide to help you get around easily.
  4. Discuss meal basics beforehand. Decide how you want to split bills; things can get complicated in larger groups, especially if some travelers order drinks and desserts and others don’t. Learn tipping customs in advance, too, and at buffets, take a small plate at a time. You can always go back for seconds, but restaurants can’t put back uneaten food.
  5. Take a day to yourself if you need. Sometimes, this is the best thing on a trip with too much noise and hustle. Lie by the pool, go for a hike by yourself, or just spend an afternoon in bed with a book. This can do wonders for helping you to appreciate your fellow travelers the next morning.

 

Have you traveled with other couples, or with an entire family? What tips can you share for traveling together?

 

Post your comments below! Or at www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Proper Etiquette in Museums

Recent travels have kept us thinking about client stories and challenges regarding dress, courtesies and more while visiting other places. This month, we’re looking at a few key considerations when traveling.

 

If your next vacation plans have you taking a historical journey, you’ll likely spend time in at least a few museums. Here are 5 tips we encourage our client-travelers to consider, if of course they’re of the museum-visiting variety.

 

  1. Keep your voice down. Acoustics in older buildings can make sounds carry further than normal, and even if you think you’re in a room alone – chances are, there are other visitors in earshot. If you must chat: whisper, or step outside or over to a stairwell.
  2. Be mindful of your image. Comfort is key, but shorts/flip-flops/miniskirts should be avoided while visiting working churches and cathedrals.
  3. Plan ahead. Many museums contain multiple floors and exhibits; trying to see it all in one session (while adding the stresses of traveling) can be too much. Pick your top 2 or 3 exhibits; visit those first, then break before attempting to see more.
  4. Consider your children’s ages. If your child/grandchild is under 5 years old, museums can be a difficult place. Let’s face it: kids can be loud (crying and wining is distressing to many), plus kids under 5 don’t often appreciate what they’re seeing. Call ahead to see if your museum of interest has a playroom, childcare, or a kids’ exhibit.
  5. Always bring layers and a personal folding fan; you’ll need both. Museums in Europe are often lacking in central air conditioning, and museums in North and Central America usually have too much air conditioning. You don’t want your visit ruined because you’re unbearably cold or hot.

 

Being respectful while visiting important institutions is always the golden rule in any cultural establishment. Keeping the aforementioned tips in mind will help you be mindful and comfortable in just about any museum or culturally relevant place of learning.

 

What’s your favorite memory from visiting a museum? What do you wear when you visit a museum?

 

Post your comments below!

Dressing ‘Right’ For Your Kids’ Sporting Events

For those of us with kids, life is full of running around, literally. Many of our clients’ time is often spent cheering on little loved ones at sporting events, indoors or out, and sometimes there are questions about the best dress for these options. We’ve put together some wardrobe ideas to help prepare you to be comfortable, fashionable, rearing to get your CHEER on!

Courtesy of moms.popsugar

 

Outdoor Ideas: Viewing the game from the sidelines of a field

 

  1. SPF protection is a must. Avoid getting awkward sunburns by lathering on a high SPF sunscreen. Grab your hat – baseball or large-brimmed – for extra coverage.
  2. Wear sunglasses. Prevent the pain of squinting when trying to make out your favorite player on the field. Large lenses ward off the development of fine lines around your eyes.
  3. Layer up and down. Try a linen shirt (great for hot weather) with a jean jacket and scarf. Or go for a cotton T-shirt under a cotton long-sleeved cardigan and a blazer. Whether the sun is rising or falling, you’ll be set to shed or pull on your layers accordingly. A colorful flannel can be dressed up with the right scarf, too, or dressed down by tying it around the waist for an added flair (or even as a cushion on uncomfortable bleachers).
  4. Avoid Heels. Don’t irrigate the field by ruining your favorite heels or heeled boot. Wear flat boots, clogs or your great-looking sneaker.
  5. The multi-purpose blanket. Need a cushion for those hard, cold bleachers? Want to sit down on the damp grass but don’t want a wet bottom? Does the sun set too soon and you find yourself needing an extra layer of warmth? The handy dandy blanket that you keep stored in the trunk of your car can be a lifesaver. Don’t leave home without it.
  6. Waterproof ponchos to the rescue! When you’re scheduled for spring games played under unpredictable skies, make sure you haven’t forgotten your raingear. Nothing should get in the way of you watching your kid hitting a game-winning home run!

 

Indoor Ideas: Watching the game from the bleachers

 

  1. Put on your socks. For those expansive, chilly arenas, make sure you have warm socks underneath your pants or leggings. Add a tall boot for more warmth. Cold feet leads to a cold body, and that can quickly lead to grumpiness.
  2. Layer scarves. Have a scarf around your neck that you can easily put on or take off as needed.
  3. Keep those fingers warm. Cashmere gloves (or at least fingerless gloves) will ward off the chill. Important Note: Wearing gloves will muffle your clapping. Remove them and stuff them in pockets during the thrilling moments.
  4. Pick up a microfiber undergarment. Keeping your torso warm goes a long way to feeling comfortable in overly air-conditioned buildings. For extra warmth, make sure that the layer closest to your skin is long enough to cover your behind when you sit down.
  5. Get ready to get hot. While some are air conditioned, other arenas can get hot and stuffy. Make sure your lightest layers are cute and appropriate in case you end up taking off your sweater or jacket.

 

General best looks for cheering success

  1. Donning your team’s colors. You’ll feel more involved in the game when you sport your team’s colors. Pair them with neutrals so they’ll stand out.
  2. Coat checks– nah. Don’t bring more than you need to venues where coat checks aren’t available. You don’t want to be holding extra stuff in your lap or putting items on the floor where they can get wet or dirty.
  3. Pick up a small crossbody bag. You’ll be able to jump up and cheer and know it is securely on you at all times.
  4. “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” This is a sports motto one can borrow from the hit TV series Friday Night Lights. Cheering with this in mind will help you be the best spectator you can be.

 

If nothing else, remember to dress with stylish comfort so that you can put all your focus on the game once play begins. Have other tips and tricks that help you dress appropriately for your kids’ sports games? Let us know at @SpImageConsulting on FB or @nycimageacademy on Twitter

Budgeting for Your Professional Outfits

We all want to look great at work. A good professional image can lift our self-confidence, earn respect from others, and even lead to a promotion. Looking good makes we feel better, which can often make we “perform” better. The tips below show two ways of thinking when making important spending decisions regarding your professional wardrobe.

 

 

“Critical Basics” need some investing

A well-tailored suit is an important spending if the suit is a must-have item in your professional wardrobe. It’s especially useful if you’re someone who doesn’t go up and down in size often. A great suit can be put together with a difference of shirts/ tops and accessories to look different week after week.

 

Some basics can have for a bargain

If you’re using basic core pieces for work (pants, trousers, blazers, skirts) and you’re looking at neutral colors (black, brown, charcoal, navy), why spend the big bucks? Look for moderately priced lines and clean details. The simpler the pieces, the easier it is to make them look expensive if the outfit well puts together.

 

Accessorize by spending on quality and timelessness

Accessories will bring magic to your wardrobe if outfits are classic. You always look great if you buy lasting pieces of jewelry in colors. To utilize your pricier accessories, consider bringing them over into your weekend / upscale-casual wardrobe as well. Quality handbags that well proportioned to your body can be a great investment.

 

Test-Accessorize with a tight budget

Buy diamonds or pearls that have a look you want at a very low cost compared to real ones. Costume jewelry is a great way to add a lot of variety to simple outfits. They can make you feel current, modern and in-style. If you’re someone who gets bored easily, a lower price point is best for experimenting with different looks.

 

If you’re going to go bright, spend liberally

A person who wears color well can really stand out in the workplace. It could be part of your brand. Brighter colors look best in quality fabrics, so be prepared to spend money to get the best available.

 

Budgetize your neutrals

Keeping to a neutral color palette may seem boring, but in most business settings, your clothes shouldn’t be shouting at others. A touch of color in items like ties, scarves, the stripe in a shirt, the color of fruit, can be perfectly sufficient. Neutral colors look more expensive in workpieces, saving you money to spend on accessories.

 

Classic details are “OK” to spend on

Symbols of prestige can carry weight in the business world, depending of course on what you do. A leather briefcase, a gold watch, and expensive wingtips can send a signal that you are highly successful and competent at what you do. Spend more on the details that send the message of success that you want others to notice.

 

Avoid devouring details of extravagance

Pricey watches can’t hide incompetence for long. If you’re using symbols to prove something that isn’t already there, you’re wasting your money! Get the experience and education you need to be great at what you do and then reward yourself with those symbols of success. In the meantime, keep your modestly priced shoes polished. Wear appropriate watches to work that don’t receive undue attention.

 

We recognize it can be hard to make these spending decisions alone. Let us know how we can help you make the best choices.

 

We will be teaching a class on Style at the AICI 2017 Global Conference in Mexico City, Mexico, May 18, 2017. If you’re involved in the industry and planning to attend, let us know, and we’ll connect over a margarita! For more info www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Undercover Leadership Skills in Your Elevator Pitch

We’ve all read the stats telling us that 80 – 90% of communication is nonverbal. Appearing confident, willing and able connotes strength in many situations, even to folks you don’t know, and even when your verbal or written message isn’t delivered the way you intend. As you’re thinking about your goals for the rest of 2017, consider our Visual Brand 3 Cs as the secret to leadership success!

 

Courtesy of Showtime/Billions

 

Your Visual Brand 3 Cs: The Secret of Leadership

 

Clarity – Is your visual brand clear? Think about what you do: Position, title, and responsibility…. Does it match your business card? If not – change it! Being clear with your 1-sentence intro of yourself when someone asks, “what do you do,” is imperative.

 

Connection – Does your image match your industry, service, and your lifestyle? If not – think about the way your style might be updated to increase opportunities for yourself and your company.

 

Confidence – Are you confident in your look? Are you comfortable with your style (dressing)? If not, hold your shoulders back, greet people with a smile, and you’ll start to feel strongly very quickly.

 

If you need more help with this – don’t delay, hire an image consultant today!

 

Image consultants can help you with everything from posture, speaking tips, wardrobe, and styling, to the way you carry yourself, shake hands, and handle etiquette in various professional situations. We are here to help. www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#image-tips, #leadership, #manners, #personal-style, #professional-dressing, #shanna-pecoraro, #style-advice

Buying Tips for the Amateur Shopper

Sometimes, shopping can feel like a chore. From crowded stores to missing sizes to shipping delays, the modern shopper has a lot of (often painful) logistics to navigate in order to go about looking and feeling good. While personal shopping can take time, it often proves to have been worthwhile in the long run.

 

While parking lots, sidewalk traffic, and online shipping ETAs are out of the hands of image consultants, we do know a few things about style, sizing, and substance. Consider these tips next time you need to focus on the task at hand simply:

 

  • Shirts – Always go for a good fit (shoulders, waist, the back, and the front closure should be all be in place and yet moveable), and go for a sturdy fabric
  • Jeans – Try to find a dark wash with the right amount of stretch that also fits well with your body. I’d suggest to get one extra pair, and then hem one pair for flat shoes and another for heels
  • Raincoat – Go for a timeless style trench coat. It can lift up an outfit and will never go out of fashion
  • Dark Colored Suit — A great-quality dark suit is a wardrobe essential. Spend more on at least one well-tailored gabardine suit in your best color
  • Dress – A dark dress, in your best color palette, will fit well for nearly any occasion
  • Jacket – A perfect fitted jacket can instantly upgrade your overall look. Look for a jacket that fits the widest part of your body, with jacket shoulders that sit on your shoulders comfortably
  • Professional Shoes – If you can afford it, purchase one pair of high-quality classic pumps per season that can endure daily use. Look for soft leathers that breathe, have extra cushioning, and that have comfortable heel heights (your feet will thank you!)

 

Our next “Personal Shopper” 1-day training is on May 29, 2017. If shopping is your passion and you’d like to shop for others, this is the class that will help you find out if personal shopping is for you! www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#image-consulting, #image-tips, #personal-shopping, #personal-style, #shanna-pecoraro

Finding Your Focus During Anxious Times

Some of our friends, colleagues and clients have mentioned feeling anxious, fearful, and frankly overwhelmed at the state of changes in this country. If you’re feeling this way, trust us – you’re not alone.

 

Some of experts have come up with suggestions on ways to get involved while reducing your anxiety; we’ve summarized a few basic steps here that have helped us, in hopes they will help you find and keep your focus day-to-day over the next few months.

anxious

 

4 Tips to Remember:

 

  1. Deep Breathing. Take deep breaths throughout the day. With each breath, remind yourself who you are and where you want to be. This grounding brings you back to what you are able to control in life on a regular basis (which for most of us, isn’t much!)
  2. Decide how much time to spend with media. Limit your intake of politically focused Facebook posts and other social platforms to once per day; this will allow you to absorb and digest the words and images you’re seeing, and reflect on them. The same goes for TV, radio, and other forms of news media – try to limit your intake of politically focused news to 1x per day, or even every other day, to limit the impact it has on your well-being.
  3. Consider your family and friends. Ask yourself how much you feel comfortable sharing your views with friends, family and colleagues, before situations arise – and determine the right way to deal with those who think similarly to you, and those are on another spectrum. Ask yourself, “will I share my thoughts, avoid the conversation altogether, or try to embrace others’ views?”
  4. Volunteer. Consider giving your time and energy to a cause that you believe in. Greenpeace is working to protect the environment, the CAIR Coalition is working to help detained immigrants, and the ACLU is advocating on behalf of everything from religious liberty to voting rights. These organizations are just 3 examples of non-profits that provide resources to all Americans, and often times need help in the form of volunteers. Reach out to your local chapter, or a church or other group in your community, to see if there are ways to get involved and funnel your anxiety into something that helps the greater good.

 

How do you reduce your anxiety in situations that seem uncontrollable? We’d love to know your thoughts in this space, or on Twitter, too!