Hosting a Holiday Party

bread-food-restaurant-peopleHosting a festive gathering for the holidays is no easy task, and every host is usually full of questions regarding how to have his or her guests arrive comfortably and enjoying the rest of the gathering. Fortunately, here are the six best tips we could find from other hosts that are great in aiding in your task of being a great host.

Your house should be easy to find

Turning on the front yard lights for your guests is always a nice step. Make sure the entryway to your house is well illuminated, as this makes the guests feel protected and makes it clear where they should head to. For houses in darker or rural areas, try to check if there are ways to have directional signs or posts that can lead to your house. There are many creative ways to do this – it all depends on the theme of the gathering.

Your guests should view you as ‘stress-free’

Being late, experiencing high levels of stress, a change of plans, or any other unexpected circumstances that might make it difficult for you to be at peace are things your guests should not notice. Keep the negativity away from the event you are hosting by keeping any negative comments and/or complaints to yourself. Find ways to release your stress before you begin hosting your gathering in order to give a better experience to your guests.

Let them take care of the bottles

Letting others open a bottle of wine does not only give you the ability to use the time to mingle and hang around with your guests, but it also satisfies the guests, as they usually enjoy taking care of this task. As trivial as it may sound, it is an honor to open a bottle of wine at a gathering, so make sure to supply the materials needed, and ask your guests who would like to take care of opening the bottle of wine.

Washing dishes is left for later

Once your guests see you taking care of dishes, they will feel rushed and will get on some type of clean up mode, that moment right before the end of a gathering. Keeping tables clean is desirable, but make sure to leave the time-consuming part of the cleaning up for later. Return quickly to the table and focus on your guests.

The kitchen should be clear

Use an empty oven or dishwasher in order to hide large pots, pans, and serving pieces. Starting to soak your pots and pans in the dishwasher or in a cooler is a good idea. It can end up saving time while also keeping the mess away from the sight of the guests.

The ‘after dinner event’ should take place somewhere else

The living room or an outdoor patio are great places to host an after dinner hang out session. Whether it is coffee, hot chocolate, dessert, or any other type of after dinner food, make sure to relocate your guests to a more calm and soothing environment. Try to enjoy the last moments in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

What is your favorite holiday to host? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

Everyday Manners

black-and-white-city-man-peopleEtiquette and manners can be expressed through all times of the day when interacting with others. If you are trying to improve your image, whether it is to improve your business or personal relations, learning proper etiquette and manners for the average day will prove to be of help. Here are some tips to improve your personal image with everyday manners:

Be nice

Being friendly and polite can often lead others to reciprocate this behavior. Phrases such as “thank you,” “please,” “you’re welcome,” and “excuse me” are always welcome and show politeness – which will always impress any person you come in contact with. Smiles are also always to be included in our interactions. Even when we are not feeling great, a smile may help us in lifting up the mood of not only ourselves but also whoever we come in contact with. Being polite and nice is always rewarding in any type of relationships.

Punctuality is always key

Whether it is a doctor appointment, a job interview, a meeting with a friend, always aim to be on time, as this is a sign of respect for the other party. By making others wait you are making them waste their time, and everyone gets bothered when their time is being taken away for no reason.

Philanthropy is not only volunteering projects

Always be willing to help others. Opening the door for someone who’s busy carrying packages, or helping out someone who is looking for a store at the mall, are equally great situations in which to help others. These actions will show a great image of who you are, and could lead to great interpersonal relationships.

Be respectful

Respect is always implied in any interaction with people. Tolerance for others’ opinions and arguments goes along with showing others respect. Always use yourself as an example in these situations, for you would like to be given a personal space and respect in any situation, therefore doing it for others should be just logical. The old saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything” is wise and should be followed in most social situations.

You should be last

Let others go before you. It could be at a grocery store or when both of you reach a door at the same time. Gesturing others to go ahead before you is a great way of showing respect for others. Not many people do this, and you will stand out for sure among others when doing this.

Dining etiquette

Even in the smallest of situations, you should always eat as politely as possible. Table manners were created in order to create a more pleasant experience for all participants, therefore. everyone expects you – just as you expect others – to follow basic guidelines for dining etiquette. You can check our other articles on dining etiquettes for different situations and places.

Introduce the new one

If you know the parties participating in a gathering, but they don’t know each other, take your time to introduce them. Expressing something they may have a common might be a great ice breaker and your friends will most likely be grateful you were able to give them a piece of information with which to get a conversation started.

Do you have manners? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

 給不太 ”完美的身材” 找條 ”完美的牛仔褲”    

很遺憾的,不是每件衣服穿上身都能像电影 The sisterhood of Traveling Pants.裡的神奇牛仔褲一樣.  同一件褲子穿在四位高矮胖瘦不同身材的好友身上,均能像量身訂作般的完美合身. 但也別緊張! 想要找到一件真正適合你身材的完美牛仔褲,也不是那麼高深的學問.  如果你了解自己的身材,知道自己的身材優勢(資產)和劣勢(須要接受挑戰的部份). 然后參照下面的提示,包你! 毫不費勁, 輕鬆搞定!


  • 如果你的腰圍纖細 – 其实腰細是一種絕對的資產. 但是如果你買現成的牛仔褲,可能會發現褲腰部份總是有奌不對勁. (合了腰部,臀部塞不下. 合了臀部,腰后總是空空一節不服貼)

你的完美款式: 是低腰牛仔褲,褲腰前面開口處較低,背后稍高. 整圈褲腰剛好停在屁股最寬處,而不是你的腰部 .

  • 如果你的屁股扁平 – 完美的款式: 选擇背后有口袋(口袋位置,比臀部最高處,稍為高些)的低腰牛仔褲. 或問銷售員,有沒有臀部加襯墊的款式. 這種款式是專為這類身材設計的. 穿上它,從背后看起來, 就像珍妮佛羅培斯一樣 – “健美翹麗,性感迷人”.
  • 如果你的屁股較大 – 完美的款式: 选擇款式背后除了口袋以外沒有其他多餘設計和奌綴. 西裝褲式的剪裁(褲管從臀部最寬處垂直往下延伸)會使你的身材顯得纖細修長.
  • 如果你的下半身(臀和腿)太豐滿 – 想要穿出修長的感覺? 就应避免穿低腰款式,更应遠離緊身或窄管牛仔褲. 只有深色西裝褲式的剪裁最適合你的身材.
  • 如果你的肚子有奌凸出 – 放棄低腰或高腰牛仔褲. 选擇褲腰头,前開口處釦子設於肚臍正下方,深色,褲襠較深款式前面有束腹管制(深縮面料用於腹部)的設計. 穿時搭配高跟鞋,以達成完美的效果.

最后牢牢記住 – 穿著ABC:

強調Accentuate 你的身材資產,平衡Balance 那一奌奌不平衡,掩飾Camouflage 那些不願人知的缺失. 你將發現 – 身材不再是問題,穿著不再是負擔. 美麗是你的權力,完美卻成了你的義務.


Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP & the team of NYC Image Consultant Academy

For more info

Dressing in Europe

le métro se lèveEurope is a popular destination for American travelers. Whether it is a business trip or one for the purpose of tourism, Europe is full of places and events to attend which are sure to keep your agenda filled. As a business person, however, it is important to always distinguish between American and European cultures, while it is also important to remember that Europe is comprised of 50 different countries. Dressing in a different continent involves dressing differently, in order to account for different factors, such as climate, culture, on-going events, and activities planned for the trip. In order to check for some of these factors, you can search up in the internet travel guidebooks or official tourism websites that can give you information on the weather and many other factors that may affect your trip.

It is generally believed (in America, anyway) that Europeans dress ‘better’ than Americans. This is because Americans focus more on a casual comfort type of attire, which gives us a better general rule for dressing in Europe. You should always aim to dress better than you would for the same occasion in the United States. The article “Europeans dress better than Americans: Fact” for the website, the views are shared by the writer on why this notion is accepted. Now, let’s look at some relevant situations to be taken into consideration for choosing an attire while traveling in Europe.

Winter Weather

Scandinavian countries have very harsh winters. For example, in Sweden it gets down into the 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit in the south and to less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the north. Coastal cities can be humid, making the winters feel even colder. If you’re visiting in winter, you will need thick insulated jackets, thermal long underwear, waterproof gloves and scarves and hats.

Summers in Europe

As you move toward the south of the continent, the winters get warmer. If you’re traveling to Greece or Spain, you can expect winters with temperatures in the 50s or higher and little to no snow. Summers are cooler in northern Europe and hotter and more humid as you move south. If you’re visiting during the summer, bring a light jacket and some long pants with you in case the temperatures drop in the evening.

Casual Attire

Casual attire is common in Europe, but you might need to follow special rules when visiting churches, cathedrals, the Vatican Museums and certain palaces and castles. In many of those places, sleeveless tops and shorts are not allowed. Women must wear skirts long enough to cover their knees, and keep their shoulders covered. A large shawl draped over the shoulders should be enough if you’re wearing a summer dress or tank top and don’t want to change. Jeans are considered very casual in Europe. They’re fine for a day out touring the town, but not for dinner at a nice restaurant, even if you pair it up with a nice shirt.

Formal Attire

When dining out or trying to gain entry to posh clubs, cabaret shows, and other formal venues, you will need formal attire. For men, this could be something as simple as wearing a blazer on top of your shirt. Some five-star restaurants, especially in big cities like Paris or London, might also require a tie. Moulin Rouge, in Paris, for example, requires a minimum of a business attire: no flip-flops, no jeans, no shorts or T-shirts.

Do Europeans dress better than Americans? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

Etiqueta Intercultural

city-houses-village-buildingsTodas las culturas son diferentes, y las diferencias son evidentes en varios aspectos de la vida diaria, desde costumbres hasta vestimentas. Para los negocios, estas diferencias siempre deben ser consideradas, ya que estas pueden limitar la expansión de cualquier industria, a la vez que también pueden ayudarla a crecer. Toda persona que necesite hacer negocios debe siempre reconocer las diferencias entre las culturas entre las cuales tiene que ejercer, para así dejar la mejor impresión. La etiqueta, hace parte tanto de la cultura como de la imagen personal, y es un tema que vale la pena discutir. En este artículo vamos a hablar sobre las diferencias principales entre la etiqueta intercultural.

Vestirse correctamente:

Una de las diferencias más evidentes entre culturas es la forma de vestir. Vestirse de forma correcta puede crear una primera impresión que dure para siempre en la mente de los demás, ya que es esto lo primero que otros ven en nosotros, y hasta puede crear el tono para el resto de cualquier interacción con otra persona. Es siempre importante estar al tanto del código de vestimenta para la industria en la cual uno se desempeña, no solo del lugar en el que se reside, sino también del lugar que se visita. Por ejemplo, en el medio oriente las chaquetas formales y las corbatas no son usadas regularmente, sin embargo, un hombre bien vestido es algo que si se espera de un hombre de negocios. Para las mujeres, los accesorios, el maquillaje, el pelo y el largo de las faldas o vestidos son cosas que hay que considerar siempre cuando se visita el extranjero. Asegúrese de siempre averiguar la vestimenta apropiada para el lugar que visite, y cuando haya dudas, mantenga la ropa hacia lo conservativo.

Interacciones con otros:

En los viajes de negocios siempre se va a interactuar con otra gente, y en muchas ocasiones, con gente nativa del lugar. El saludar a otros puede variar de cultura a cultura, por ejemplo, en países como Colombia o Argentina, es aceptable saludar a otros de beso en la mejilla. Las costumbres locales pueden variar mucho de lugar a lugar, y de usted depende asesorarse de estas, para acomodarse a las diferentes situaciones. Si está visitando un lugar en el cual el lenguaje principal no es el suyo, pero sin embargo se pueden comunicar con usted, no corrija los errores de la otra persona, ya que es una muestra de una falta de respeto. En cuanto a temas de conversación, estos varían de lugar a lugar. Investigar un poco sobre la historia del país o ciudad es una buena manera de prepararse para tener tema de conversación. Cuando se trata de entregar su tarjeta de presentación, asegúrese de siempre mostrar respeto por la suya y la de la otra persona.
El espacio personal es también parte de su interacción con otros, y siempre se deben tener presente los límites aceptables. En lugares como China por ejemplo el contacto físico ha de evitarse. Este siempre informado de lo que es aceptable y no en cuanto al espacio personal. Por otra parte, la puntualidad es algo que no es siempre esperado en todas las culturas, y es por eso siempre mejor estar preparado para que las otras personas lleguen tarde.

La etiqueta es algo que depende mucho en la cultura, y en todo viaje de negocios, es importante siempre informarse de las diferencias entre una y otra.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information visit

Cross-Culture Etiquette

All cultures are different, and these differences are evident in many aspects of society. From customs to attires, cultural differences are part of everyday life. For business, these differences are to always be taken account for, as they can limit the expansion of any industry as much as they can open its frontiers. For business people, it is important to always acknowledge cultural differences, in order to leave the correct impression. Etiquette is also a part of a country’s culture, and it can vary greatly. This article will focus on some of the main differences of cross-cultural etiquette and how to account for them, in order to give the best image of yourself possible.

Dressing correctly:

One of the most evident differences among cultures is clothing. The proper attire can help in leaving the best first impression, and you should always make sure to be dressed as sharp as possible for any occasion. Since clothing is the first thing people notice about you, your attire will set the tone for how you will be noticed throughout the rest of the interaction. Always make sure to not only follow the dress code for your industry, but also for the place you are visiting. For example, in some countries in the Middle East suit jackets and ties are not usually worn, however, it is always expected for a man to dress sharp. For women, jewelry, makeup, dress/skirt length, and hair style are acity-houses-village-buildingslways factors to consider when visiting a foreign land. Make sure to always do your research on the appropriate dress code for the place you visit, and when in doubt, make sure to dress conservatively.


On a business trip, you will always be interacting with people, and in many occasions, people native to the place you are visiting. Greeting others can vary in different cultures, as an example, it is widely accepted in countries like Colombia or Argentina to greet and meet others with a kiss on the cheek. Local customs can vary greatly, and it is up to you to do some research beforehand in order to accommodate to them. If you are visiting a country where their first language is different from yours but they can still communicate with you, make sure to do your best to understand without correcting their mistakes, as this can be deemed impolite and lead to misunderstandings. When considering topics of conversation do some research beforehand in order to assess what topics people usually discuss. It is always a good idea to learn some history of the place you are visiting and some cultural facts, as they can always be great conversation starters. Make sure to always give out your business card properly when contact information is brought up, and treat your and his/her business card with respect. 

Personal space is also part of interacting with others. Always respect the views of other cultures when it comes to personal space. For example, patting someone on the back is okay in most Latin American countries, but it is frowned upon in China. Always be informed on these type of customs when interacting with people from another culture.
Punctuality is a factor that can vary from place to place. Being on time is not always expected, so it is always better to be prepared for your colleagues or customers to show up late. You, however, should always make sure to be early.

What is your favorite country to visit on business? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information visit

Vistiendose en Europa

le métro se lèveEuropa es un destino muy popular para los viajantes del continente americano. Ya sea un viaje de negocios o un viaje solo por visitar, Europa es un continente lleno de lugares y eventos para atender que pueden mantener su agenda ocupada a todo momento. Como una persona de negocios es siempre importante el distinguir las diferencias entre ambas culturas, y a la vez reconocer que Europa está compuesta por 50 países que hacen parte de sí. Escogiendo como vestirse en diferentes países hay que reconocer diferentes cosas que pueden afectar el viaje, como el clima, la cultura, los eventos que están tomando lugar y actividades planeadas para la estadía. Para poder encontrar diferente información de los diferentes destinos, el internet puede ser de gran uso para encontrar páginas oficiales de turismo para los diferentes países.

Una idea general que es muy aceptada es que los europeos tienden a vestirse mejor que la gente del continente americano. La razón para esto es que en los Estados Unidos se concentra más en ropa cómoda y casual, lo cual nos da una idea de cómo vestirnos en el viejo continente. Una buena regla a seguir es siempre intentar vestirse mejor a lo que se vestiría para un mismo evento en América. Veamos unas cuantas situaciones que deben considerarse cuando se viaja a Europa.


Los países Escandinavos se caracterizan por periodos de invierno que son bastante fuertes. Por ejemplo, en Suecia la temperatura a veces baja hasta los 20-30 grados Fahrenheit en el sur y a menos de diez grados en el Norte. Las ciudades costeras son húmidas, lo cual hace que el frio sea más intenso. Si usted visita durante el invierno es bueno tener chaquetas insoladas, ropa interior térmica, guantes a prueba de agua, bufandas y gorros.


Al sur del continente europeo los inviernos tienden a tener temperaturas más altas. Si usted viaja a Grecia o España, puede esperar que los inviernos no bajen de los 50 grados, y poca o nada de nieve. Los veranos son más fríos en el norte de Europa, y de más altas temperaturas y humedad a medida que se traslada al sur. Si visita durante el verano, lleve una chaqueta liviana y unos pantalones largos, en caso de que las temperaturas bajen en la noche.

Ropa casual

Vestirse de forma casual es común en Europa, pero hay reglas especiales cuando se visitan iglesias, catedrales, museos del vaticano y ciertos palacios y castillos. En muchos de estos lugares camisas sin mangas o shorts no son permitidos. Las mujeres deben usar faldas que cubran las rodillas, y sus hombros deben de estar cubiertos. Un mantón por encima de los hombros es suficiente si se está usando un vestido o una camisa sin mangas. Los jeans son considerados muy casuales en Europa. Son aceptables para salir a ver lugares, pero no para cenas en restaurantes.

Ropa formal

Para cualquier evento formal, o lugar para ocasiones especiales, ropa formal es necesaria. Para los hombres, esto puede ser tan simple como usar una chaqueta de vestir por encima de una camisa. Algunos restaurantes, en ciudades como Paris o Londres, una corbata puede ser requerida. Moulin Rogue, en Paris, requiere vestimenta de negocios: No chanclas, no jeans, no shorts, o camisetas.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information visit