How to Assert Yourself in a Respectful, Non-bragging Manner

Many of us grew up learning from our parents and teachers how important it was not to brag about ourselves.  We were told, “it’s rude to be boastful”.  In fact, avoiding the temptation to brag is a commandment found in the books of several major world religions.

Image consultants – by the nature of what we do – work in the realm of perception.  We advise our clients to improve their confidence levels through their appearance, behaviors, and communication. We encourage them to utilize different colors, fabrics, and styles in order to dress for every occasion.  We teach them to enter every room with a purpose.  These things work for most, and yet, it’s a tough quality to teach.  Each situation where we are expected to impress presents itself with different clues and social codes.  One of the most frequent questions I get (and it comes from students of all ages and backgrounds) is “How do I assert myself without bragging?”

Blue jacket

It’s a great question, and I’ll provide some tips that have worked for me here.

One of the most vital ways that leaders impress those who follow them is through body language.  You can use this, too.  Basics, like eye contact, appropriate distance in a room, hand gestures, and most importantly – your posture – are incredibly important.  If you’re looking to share your intelligence with a potential client in a crowded room, make sure you approach them with strong posture, a winning smile, and a strong handshake.  Make sure your breath is fresh (but if you chew gum to freshen, be sure to spit it out before your approach said party).  Make good eye contact, especially with the people on your “list”, without staring them down. Practicing these tips with a parent, a friend or a mentor beforehand will make you significantly stronger at these things.

Have several topics on the top of your brain and be prepared to discuss them.  At least one topic should be relevant to your dealings with the person (i.e. business or educational), but also be aware of breaking news in your industry, in your geographic region, and know at least a new restaurant, shop, or movie you can recommend.  Usually, someone will speak to something that connects with one of these 3 topics, and you can confidently elaborate from there.  The fact that you’re prepared will make you appear confident, and not arrogant.

Finally, whether you’re at a cocktail party, a business meeting, or out with friends, you should always be inclusive of those present and those not present.  Emphasize teamwork by saying “we” and not “I”, even if you did the majority of the work on a project.  Future bosses, clients and friends all appreciate this.  Do not put other people down, as this does not help you build yourself back up, and once you’ve done it, the conversation can turn south quickly.  If someone has given you bad news or a negative response, simply state the facts without making it personal.  If you don’t know the answer to something, say it!  It’s always better to say “Let Me Get Back To You” than to provide an incorrect answer.

Finally, if you make a mistake – no matter how large or small – acknowledge it in the conversation.  This shows that you aren’t perfect (none of us are, after all!), but that you are confident enough to correct an error.  People appreciate this and will respect you tremendously for it.

We hope you’ve found this helpful, and welcome your stories, tips and comments on our blog.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

Getting Clients

One of the worries of any new business is how to get clients. It is probably also the most important concern. As wonderful as it would be to be told to not worry about getting clients, it is definitely something that should not happen. Focusing on getting clients is a huge component of every strategy for a startup company, and should, therefore, be a priority task. However, a question arises, which may not have any immediate answer: “How to get clients?”. This question can be answered in different ways depending on the industry in which a startup may belong. Nonetheless, a universal way of getting clients is to get referrals, which will be the focus of this article. Getting referrals might seem harder of a task than it actually is, and we will evaluate the most efficient ways of implementing this system to get clients for our business.  sunglasses-hand-smartphone-desk

The best way to ensure that you will get referrals is to do a good job. Good work goes a long way, because it is the most relevant factor that can differentiate a company from others. Good quality of work is claimed by every business out in the market, however, not all of them live up to these claims. Those that do will surely get referred to others by previous clients. However, good work can be offered by many companies at the same time, so, how can one decide which company is better for one’s interests? Being nice to you clients might seem like a good answer, but there is an even better way of leaving a greater impact on clients. Being pleasant. Being nice can be deceiving and can lead to companies taking the wrong choices in order to “be nice.” Being pleasant is a more straightforward strategy, as it implies making the client comfortable with the company, but it also calls for honesty and clarity, without being rude or unpleasant. As Mike Monteiro mentioned in his book “Design is a job”: “There’s a difference between being enjoyable to work with and being ‘nice.’ Being nice means worrying about keeping up the appearance of harmony at the expense of being straightforward and fully engaged. Sometimes you need to tell a client they’re making the wrong call. Part of client services is being able to do that without coming off bad. But being afraid to do it because you’re too invested in being “nice” is worse than coming off bad.

Referrals also extend outside of direct contact with clients. It also involves being clear and enthusiastic about the business one is a part of. Being able to communicate effectively what you do in an interesting manner is something that can be accomplished if you are genuinely enthusiastic about your work. This relates to networking, a very crucial factor in today’s market. Networking is market research. Take the task of networking with genuine confidence and interest, and it should be easy to then be visible, and to maintain relationships with prospective clients, or people who can get you referrals. Getting referrals is a proven effective way of getting clients in any business, and it is up to any startup to decide how to take on this task, in order to expand and become the company one desires.

How do you get clients? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

#business, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #consultoria, #shanna-pecoraro

Dressing For an American Event

Life is full of events that require different attires. Dressing in certain ways is part of the event one attends. From high school graduations to weddings, it is important to understand the basics of dressing for all the events that one may encounter in life. Some are formal, some are semi-formal, and some are just casual. In any case, there are certain guidelines that can help one in deciding the correct and most proper attire for every occasion since this affects our personal image. Here are some tips and advice on how to make sure to be well dressed for any of event.

The first step in figuring out what to wear to any event is to decipher the invitation. This means to look in the invitation first. Most events have set guidelines on what should be worn and what should not, which is beneficial in narrowing down choices to just style and color. Different places tend to use different terms, but here we will use American terms, which differ from the English and European terms. The best way to follow the different dress codes is to follow these simple guidelines:

Black Tie: In these events, a tuxedo is expected. Weddings, operas, balls, charity dinners, and receptions are some of the events at which you can expect to see this dress code. Black Tie may also be referred to as evening dress.

Polo store

Black Tie Optional: In these events, a dark suit is just as acceptable a tuxedo. This is a product of evolution in dressing standards, which became more and more relaxed. As a result, instead of excluding those without a tuxedo from the events that required them, it was decided to just include them. For these events, if you own both a tuxedo and a dark suit, just choose the one fits you the best, the one that fits your image the most. If you only own a suit and not a tuxedo, remember the suit is just as acceptable as the tuxedo, so there is no need to buy one. However, if many more of these events are expected to be present in the future, buying a quality tuxedo is a better option.

Semi-formal: A dark suit, crisp dress shirt with a non-obtrusive pattern, and a conservative tie. For these events, tuxedos are not expected, and, therefore, should not be worn.

Black Tie event

Business Casual: For these events, ties are optional, but dress shirts and nice pants are required. Sports jackets or blazers are optional, but might be a nice addition to the outfit.

Casual: Fit well, free of holes and wrinkles. That is the best way to simplify the expected outfit for these events. Jeans, cotton trousers, and shorts are acceptable. In cool weathers, button up casual looking shirts are a good option, whereas for warm weather simple collared polo shirts that fit nicely are a better option.

If you are not sure what kind of outfit is expected from you at any event you are invited to, the best and most efficient way of finding out is to ask, in most cases, the host directly. If the host cannot be reached, try to contact someone participating at the event. In any case, if you are not sure on what to wear, try to wear an outfit that can be adapted to an event. If you show up over or under dressed, you can just excuse yourself to the bathroom and modify your outfit accordingly.

How do you dress for events in America? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

#business, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #etiquette, #fashion, #image, #image-consulting, #mens-fashion, #menswear, #shanna-pecoraro

¿Cómo atraer clientes?

Todo negocio tiene preocupaciones de las cuales ha de encargarse para alcanzar el éxito, entre las cuales se encuentra encontrar clientes. Esta es probablemente la preocupación más importante para cualquier compañía, y es por eso importante fijar una estrategia que se concentre en atraer clientes a la compañía. Sin embargo, el responder la pregunta ¿Cómo atraer clientes? No es una tarea fácil. No obstante, es una pregunta que se puede responder de varias maneras, dependiendo del mercado en el cual la compañía se desempeña, pero algunas reglas generales se pueden aplicar en cuanto a cómo llamar la atención de nuevos clientes. Los referidos son probablemente la manera más efectiva de obtener clientes nuevos, y es importante evaluar cómo se pueden obtener estos referidos de distintas maneras.  sunglasses-hand-smartphone-desk

La manera más fácil, y obvia, de obtener referidos es hacer un buen trabajo. Un trabajo bien hecho va más allá del cliente al cual se le brinda, ya que este también hace que la compañía se distinga en medio de la competencia, a la vez que le da una razón al cliente para referir. Todas las compañías que se encuentran el mercado ofrecen la mejor calidad en su trabajo, pero no todas logran cumplir estas expectativas, y es por eso que un trabajo bueno, de alta calidad, puede ser un factor muy importante. No obstante, también hay que reconocer el gran trabajo de aquellas compañías que logran cumplir sus expectativas. A la hora de decidir entre dos compañías que hacen un buen trabajo, hay otros factores que toman en cuenta por parte de los clientes. Por eso, otra manera de distinguirse es diferenciar entre ser amable y ser agradable. Ser amable suena como una gran estrategia en los negocios, pero esto implica que la compañía prefiera ser amable al cliente en vez de ser clara con el cliente. Ser agradable invoca la misma etiqueta y los mismos modales que ser amable, sin embargo, limita la relación entre usted y el cliente. En los negocios no todas las conversaciones son placenteras, y el ser amable puede llevarlo a evitar problemas importantes al no querer desagradar al cliente. Hay formas, sin embargo, de afrontar estos problemas con el cliente logrando aun ser agradable. Es mejor afrontar los problemas siendo agradable que evitarlos intentando ser amables, ya que esto sacrifica nuestra calidad de trabajo, a la vez que le da una imagen de falsedad al cliente, una que no van a querer referir.

Los referidos también se extienden más allá del contacto directo con los clientes. Tener entusiasmo y claridad cuando se habla del negocio propio con otros es importante, ya que no todos logran comunicar efectivamente, de una manera que haga la conversación interesante, su propio trabajo. Esto ayuda también a crear redes, una de las formas más efectivas de expandir el alcance de cualquier negocio. Crear redes en los negocios es el equivalente a investigar en cualquier ciencia. Aportan la misma importancia en ambos campos. Obtener referidos es una gran manera de expandir el alcance a los clientes, y depende de usted como aplica estas medidas en su estrategia de atraer clientes.

¿Cómo atraer clientes? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

Los clientes difíciles

Los clientes difíciles son parte de los obstáculos que se presentan en cualquier industria. Clientes que no están felices o satisfechos con los productos o servicios de una compañía, o que simplemente parecen ser difíciles por ninguna aparente razón, siempre van a aparecer, y la manera en que se manejan estas situaciones puede ser crucial. Aunque estos clientes pueden ser un problema, son solo un desafío que se puede superar, y pueden convertirse en oportunidades de las cuales podemos aprovecharnos. Hay ciertas reglas generales en cuanto a cómo se deben tratar este tipo de clientes, aunque debe tenerse en cuanto que los procedimientos específicos cambian de acuerdo a cada industria. Sin embargo, el saber cómo actuar en estas situaciones se basa en ciertas técnicas que pueden ayudar a sacar lo mejor de cada una de estas situaciones. Client service 2

La mejor forma de lidiar con clientes que no están felices, es cambiando nuestra mentalidad. La prioridad en estas situaciones es tener una mentalidad de servicio al cliente, dejando de lado nuestro punto de vista en la situación. Una buena forma de alcanzar esto es simplificando la situación a: El cliente no está feliz con cierto problema, y yo debo resolverlo. De esta forma nos prestamos más a prestar atención al cliente. La razón por la cual el cliente se acerca en primer lugar es el querer expresar su opinión y ser escuchado. Empezando la conversación con “Repasemos lo sucedido” o “Por favor explíqueme la situación por la cual usted está molesto/molesta”. Son formas neutrales de empezar, y preguntar por la información que puede ayudar a resolver el problema. Preste atención al cliente al 100%, evitando cualquier distracción e interrupción.

Mostrarle al cliente que la atención que exigía se le ha brindado es importante. No se trata solo de escuchar, sino también de entender la situación. Los clientes buscan por señales que les dan a entender que si se les ha escuchado. Por eso, cuando el cliente termina de hablar, es importante repetir, en palabras propias, lo que el cliente nos ha dicho. De esta forma se muestra un entendimiento desde el punto de vista del cliente.

Después de todo esto, depende de cada quien como resolver el problema. De las situaciones con clientes se puede aprender, y también se puede mejorar las relaciones. La efectividad del servicio al cliente de una compañía puede atraer más a la clientela, ya que las personas se sienten más felices al estar con una compañía que muestra interés por hacer feliz a su clientela.  Presentar una solución, ya sea dando al cliente una solución clara y específica, o tomando sus solicitudes. Tome acción, y mantenga contacto con el cliente para conocer la efectividad de su servicio al cliente. Es así como se logra resolver el problema de aquellos clientes difíciles, logrando así mejorar a la compañía.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information visit

American Dining Etiquette

One of the most important factors in being successful in the business world is being able to give the right impression. Image does matter, and it is just as important as any other skill necessary for the market or industry you want to be a part of. Personal image, however, does not limit itself to the clothes you are wearing. It also takes into account other factors such as body language and conversation skills. This article will focus on another factor that makes part of your personal image: Dining etiquette. Dinners and meetings are crucial in business, therefore, proper dining etiquette can turn out to be a deciding factor in your career.

American dining

Napkins are those items on the table that most people seem to have no idea what to do with, however, they belong in a very special place at the beginning of every dining activity: your lap. Napkins are to be unfolded, NOT shaken open, placed on your lap, and remain there until the end of the dinner.  In cases where you might excuse yourself from the table, loosely fold your napkin and place it to the left of your plate. Same procedure is to be followed at the end of dinner. Napkins should never be left on your chair. At private dinner parties, the same steps are to be followed, however, the napkin is also a cue for when the guests can start eating their food. Once the host unfolds his/her napkin, the dinner starts.

Silverware and dinnerware are more familiar with most people, however, proper dining etiquette has a rule of thumb: Eat to your left, drink to your right. Any food dish to the left is yours, and any glass to the right is yours.  Starting with the knife, fork, or spoon that is farthest from your plate, work your way in, using one utensil for each course. The salad fork is on your outermost left, followed by your dinner fork. Your soup spoon is on your outermost right, followed by your beverage spoon, salad knife and dinner knife. Your dessert spoon and fork are above your plate or brought out with dessert. If you remember the rule to work from the outside in, you’ll be fine. When employing the fork and knife, the “American style” is: Knife in right hand, fork in left hand holding food. After a few bite-sized pieces of food are cut, place knife on edge of plate with blades facing in. Eat food by switching fork to right hand (unless you are left handed). A left hand, arm or elbow on the table is bad manners. Once utensils are used, they must not touch the table again. They are to be rested on the side of your plate. For more formal dinners, from course to course, your tableware will be taken away and replaced as needed. To signal that your are done with the course, rest your fork, tines up, and knife blade in, with the handles resting at five o’clock and tips pointing to ten o’clock on your plate (4:20). Any unused silverware is simply left on the table.

In order to have a more complete understanding of dining etiquette, it is important to learn about dress codes, gifts to the hostess, toasts, rules for socializing and many others. In order to work towards a better personal image, it is important to work towards a flawless etiquette.

How do you feel about American dining etiquette? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.


For more information visit


Entrevistas de trabajo

Aplicar para cualquier trabajo es un proceso tedio y repetitivo, el cual hace que la misma pregunta se nos presente casi siempre, sin importar cuantas veces hayamos pasado por el mismo proceso: ¿Qué necesito hacer para ser contratado?”. Esta es una de esa preguntar que no tiene una respuesta directa, y todas las diferentes formas de contestarla se basan en ciertos factores comunes, como el trabajo por el cual se aplica, la persona que se encarga de contratar, las cualificaciones necesarias para el trabajo, etc. Sin embargo, hay ciertas normas a las cuales nos podemos ajustar para mostrar a los empleadores lo que ofrecemos, y porque somos los mejores para tal posición. En este artículo, nos concentraremos en las entrevistas de trabajo, las cuales son esenciales para cualquier trabajo, ya que es durante este paso que logramos tener un mayor impacto, y en el cual tenemos más control sobre la imagen que tienen los empleadores sobre nosotros.

Una pregunta típica que siempre se presenta durante las entrevistas es: “¿Por qué quiere usted trabajar para nosotros?”. Para poder responder esta pregunta de la manera propia, es importante hacer un poco de investigación antes de la entrevista. Esta investigación ha de ayudarnos a aprender el propósito de la compañía para la cual queremos trabajar, que ofrece, como trata a sus consumidores y que espera de sus trabajadores. Al tener esta información en mano, logramos tener una imagen más clara sobre el papel que debemos cumplir en la compañía, y logramos forjar una mejor respuesta a la pregunta. Más importante aún, esta información también nos ayuda a decidir si el trabajo al cual estamos aplicando es un trabajo que estamos dispuestos a tener.

Durante la entrevista, no es importante el tan solo entender lo que compañía puede hacer por nosotros, sino también lo que nosotros podemos hacer por la compañía. El mercado actual está inundado por un gran número de competidores, y esto es algo que no se puede subestimar. Para poder resaltar entre la competencia, es importante tener una buena imagen personal, ser puntual, y estar preparado. Como candidatos a cualquier trabajo, nos encargamos de vender nuestra imagen personal a quien nos contrata, y por eso es importante dedicar parte de nuestros esfuerzos en tener la vestimenta apropiada para cada ocasión, ya que la primera impresión que damos, y quizás la más importante, se basa en gran parte en nuestra vestimenta. Esto es importante para quien nos contrata, ya que una vez contratados, nuestra imagen pasa a ser parte de la imagen de la empresa. Ser puntual es también importante, ya que a raíz de esto quien nos contrata puede sacar conclusiones en cuanto a nuestra puntualidad a cualquier reunión, y al trabajo mismo.

Es necesario el reiterar la importancia de estar preparado para cualquier entrevista. Además de conocer bien la compañía para la cual queremos trabajar, se tiene que estar preparado para enseñar quienes somos a quien nos va a contratar. Al tener una carpeta con copias de nuestro curriculum vitae, letras de recomendación y una libreta para tomar apuntes, son cosas que debemos siempre llevar a cualquier entrevista. A pesar de que este es el paso que más nervios causa, es también el momento que tenemos para poder crear un mayor impacto que el que creamos en papel. Nunca se debe subestimar la entrevista para cualquier compañía, y es por eso que hay que prepararse de la mayor manera posible para ofrecer la mejor versión de nosotros mismos.


For more information please visit

How Hillary Clinton Can Win the Public’s Likability Vote

There are less than 18 months before the next US President is elected. Much can happen between now and then in the political sphere, but one action that will help Hillary’s campaign — regardless of politics – would be to improve her visual image.

If we were to work with the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on such a project, these are 10 recommendations on colors and overall look that we’d suggest for making her visually “pop”, which would increase her likability and thus increase chances for positive reaction from voters.

Hillary Clinton color palette & Style

Drop the warm colors, like yellow, orange, olive green, and brown. They don’t flatter her skin tone. Stay within the color palettes to the right.

  • This ash blue jacket (see number 2) is a great option for spring and summer, worn with a pair of dark blue or navy pants (see number 8).
  • Remember the jacket length should never end in her widest part of the hip, which will emphasize the width.
  • Number 7 is the ideal dress shape for Hillary, but she should add ¾ sleeves on the dress when worn without a short cardigan or jacket
  • Although the dress color in number 7 is a little too bright for her, she should choose a color within her color palette (See number 1) and wear it with a matching-colored jacket or coat for an executive look.
  • A-line skirts just below the knee length work well on her frame; stay preferential to those while she is running for office.
  • As a pant suit girl, try to stay away from skinny pants and tapped pants hem lines which accentuate the hips. Choose pants with no pockets or details on the backside.
  • Drop the all-black ensembles. The color makes her look older and tired. Instead of black, navy or charcoal gray will be a better choice.
  • Go with the coat in number 9 as the perfect coat for winter — it’s the perfect color, shape, and style!
  • She should keep her current hair color- it’s perfect, but should be cut shorter and have volume added with good styling.

How would you tell Hillary’s camp to upgrade her image? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit

#consulting, #etiquette, #fashion, #image, #image-consulting

This Season, Let Your Suit Speak For You

Some of us put on a suit daily, while some of us wear one occasionally and some of us only “pull out the old suit” every few years to attend a wedding or a funeral. Male executives tend to fall into the former category, and often tell us how they’ve slipped into the same routine of “is it the grey, blue, or black suit today”?

Regardless of what your day-to-day look requires or if you actually put on “a suit” there are ways to own “the suit” you wear while holding true to your personality.  Whether you’re inherently sporty, creative, or super polished – you can use a suit to enhance and extend your personality along with your professional influence. Gray suit

If you’re in finance, legal, or a profession where you handle people’s money and life choices, it’s imperative that your look reflects a sense of competence and trustworthiness. When choosing the color of a suit, go for something dark (navy, charcoal, or black). Go with a solid or pinstripe pattern, and style your suit to be classic and appropriate.


If you’re in fashion, advertising, or a similar field, your suit’s color should be more sophisticated: blue grey, burgundy, or even a blue-brown. Mixing and matching your patterns makes more sense here, and to enhance your individual style, you can play with different colors and fabrics to bring out your natural personality.


If you’re in a customer-service oriented business, you’ll want to go for a friendly and helpful tone in your look.  Go for a solid-colored suit, but add a warm color for any accessories; a pocket square, tie, or watch will do nicely. Keep the pattern of your shirt and tie friendly – checks and plaids often go best, and keep the styling and fit comfortable and relaxed.

If in doubt, always think about the objective you’re trying to achieve and the traits you want to be known for.  Based on those traits, your suit should portray you as professional, befitting your personality and your lifestyle.

© 2015 by Shanna Pecoraro, NYC Image Consultant Academy

For permission requests, write an email to Shanna Wu Pecoraro at

What’s your favorite look on men? Tell us on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information please visit

#business, #calvin-klein, #consulting, #consulting-for-men-2, #fashion, #fashion-spotlight, #image, #image-consulting, #mens-fashion, #menswear, #new-york-city

Top Five Reasons to Work with an Image Consultant

Our favorite clients are the often times the ones who don’t really seem to need help.  They look fairly put-together, and they laugh at the thought of seriously revamping their image.  What they don’t realize is that sometimes, it doesn’t take much (time, money, or focus) to change the way your peers perceive you.  And in that much time, you can change the way you think about yourself.

Here are Top 5 Reasons To Work with an Image Consultant

  1. Image consultants can undo the effects of aging on your body; through the right clothes, accessories, and makeup techniques, image consultants can help you turn back the clock and look more fit – without surgery!
  2. An image consultant can help you utilize 100% of your wardrobe (instead of the 9 – 15% that so many people seem to use). By hiring a professional to help you edit your closet, you’ll get dressed with ease!
  3. If you hate to shop, this one’s for you! An image consultant will select items for you that exceed your expectations; by taking the “thinking” part out of it, you’ll streamline your look and be able to focus on the “doing” instead of the “getting dressed” part of doing. By narrowing your focus to the items that flatter your build/coloring/profession, you may also save money!
  4. An image consultant can help you spice up your relationship with a significant other; a professional can help you spice up your wardrobe with colors that make the “real you” pop and be drawn to the eye.
  5. An image consultant can help you build a real “look”, or a style, which says so much about who you are. Your friends and family will soon know you as much for who you are as for how confidently functional you appear.

If nothing else, image consultants help people every day walk with their heads (and bags and shoes) held a little bit higher, ready for their day, brimming with confidence.  Let us know how we can help you today!

Have you ever worked with an image consultant? Tell us your story on Twitter @nycimageacademy.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit

#business, #consulting, #conversation