Tips for Looking Better in Photos

Nowadays, it seems we are constantly being included in photos. At the dinner table, outside restaurants, between sessions at a conference, and now, especially, on our once-sacred “lounge days” during vacation. We document the people we’re with while we’re at the places we love!

 

The catch to all this documentation is that few of us can afford to bring a professional lighting crew and “glam squad” around at all times to accentuate our best assets! You don’t have to have the resources of an A-lister, however, to be prepared and look your best in nearly every photo taken.

 

Here are a few tips we’ve shared with clients this year:

 

  1. If you anticipate that you’ll be photographed in advance of an outing, apply your makeup according to the lighting you expect
  2. Try to stand with the sun/light source behind the camera, so that you are front lit. It’s much easier to filter a photo later that’s been front lit than the opposite; check out Afterlight as a great app to correct great backlit shots (available for IOS, Android and Windows phones)h
  3. If you’ll be outside, try to avoid sparkle in foundations and eye makeup. Glitter often accentuates your fine lines and will age you
  4. Avoid wearing too much blush, and when you do, blend it in well
  5. Use a light-reflecting concealer to combat dark circles under the eyes
  6. Use an anti-shine crème to keep your skin matte
  7. It’s ok to cheat the camera. Stand sideways, cross your legs to slim the body, and always try to twist your shoulders to face the photographer
  8. Do not chew gum, and always mind your posture
  9. If you’ll be with friends, politely ask to be photographed from your “better side,” if it feels appropriate
  10. Do not ask waiters or strangers to take additional rounds after the first shot(s). They have not been hired to help you document your evening; be ok with a shot or two, and then let it be.

And, in case you need to get ready for photos in a pinch, here are a few tricks for the ladies:

 

  1. Create subtle, smoky eyes with eye shadow and your fingertips
  2. Smooth out flyaways with your hands
  3. Plump up your eyelash volume with a curler or volumizing mascara
  4. Bonus: always check your teeth for spinach and other delights!

How do you get ready for photos? Share with us ……

 

 

Dressing Well for a Job Interview

There are few occasions more important than impressing a prospective employer. Whether you’re making a career change or simply interviewing for a transfer internally, you want to present yourself in the most flattering, professional light. Taking time to get this right early in your interview preparations will allow you to spend mental energy on the important stuff – like what you’re going to say and what you’re going to ask, instead of fretting about what to wear.

 

Here are a few tips for dressing for a job interview:

  • Always follow the company dress code. Find out whether it’s formal or casual by observing employees arriving for work.
  • Plan to dress slightly better than an employee would there. At least, your clothes and shoes should be neat & clean and don’t forget to style your hair too.
  • If you have body art/tattoos, cover them up until you know whether they are acceptable in that workplace.
  • For women: makeup should be subtle and nails with reasonable length.
  • Remember, dress as you belong to that company.

From there, ask yourself a few questions before laying out your outfit:

Should I wear a suit? In many industries, it’s a good idea to wear a suit for a job interview. Especially for a conservative business. For example, if you’re applying for a job in an investment firm, go with a navy blue or dark gray suit.

What if the company I’m applying to is dressing more casual? It’s a good idea to match your interview attire to the prospective job. If you are applying for a job working on a warehouse floor, you will look out of place wearing a formal suit. Keeping that in mind, dress a bit better than you would for a regular workday there, and always ensure that clothing is cleaned and pressed as appropriate.

With any job interviews, if you’re unsure of what the dress code is – a best practice is to dress up the extra notch. It’s better to look polished than to look too casual. If you’re still unsure, your prospective employers’ HR department should be able to help you. Ask them what their staff wear in the office each day; such preparation, to most companies, will make you stand out for being prepared!

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

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!

Traveling Together: Common Courtesies in an Age of Rudeness

Kindness

Getty Image

Over the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed a large number of changes in our country’s leadership. From appointments to firings to structural changes and lawsuits, it’s been a fiery few weeks for the New Administration as the DC political set moves past the inauguration.

 

Whatever side you’re on, one thing is for certain: when you travel with a companion, you should always wait for her/him when getting out of a car. There are no exceptions to this rule; whether your companion is your wife, your child, your husband, your business associate or your friend. If you are traveling together to a formal engagement, you should ensure each member of your party has exited the car before moving your next expected location, together. “Together” being the key word here.

 

Treating your spouse/partner/friend kind and respectful way is essential in this age of rudeness. After all, it was Mark Twain who said: “A person should be allowed to have a few redeeming vices, but never bad manners.”

 

When you travel in groups of 2 or more, how do you ensure that your party sticks together as a unit?

#etiquette, #image-consulting, #kindness, #manners, #shanna-pecoraro

Bundle Up with Style (Your Winter Hats!)

Winter hats

Winter doesn’t seem to be letting up, and the coldness requires a heavy parka, gloves and a hat most days. While practical and protective, often our warmest wares are bulky and make us feel less than our “most attractive” selves.

 

One of the easiest ways to combat the bulk and flatter your face is to consider your winter hat collection.  Sometimes, changing the way you wear your hat or finding one or two new ones can create the more desirable look you crave.

 

Here are some of our trusted winter hat tips:

 

If you have a Round Face: go for hats that have sharp lines and decorative with tall crowns that are as wide as your face. (Newsboys are a good example)

 

If you have a Long Face: go for a hat with a crown that should be deep enough to cover most of your forehead. (Wide brims are also best)

 

If you have a Square Face: good for a round hat. (Beanies are easy and cute!)

 

If you have a Heart-shaped Face: go for a medium-sized cloche to encase your beautiful features.

 

If you have an Oval Face: nearly any style will work. Be sure to pick colors that compliment your eyes, skin tone, and figure. In winter, darker colors often work best with the widest range of coats, scarves, boots and other accessories.

 

Could you use some help with the way you consult with clients to define their tones, shapes, and overall wardrobe planning? Click here to see our next image consultant training schedule.  Let us know your questions! And, stay warm!!

#fashion-tips, #hats, #image-tips, #personal-style, #winter-hats

Kindness & Courtesy in 2017

kindness & CourtesyWith January comes change, each and every year. But this year, change is even more exaggeratedly in the air. Tomorrow, Donald Trump becomes 45th President of the United States. Through the past year+, we’ve witnessed an incredible volatile campaign that finally concludes this week, and tomorrow, a new chapter begins. Some in our community are nervous; many are excited. Most of the rest of us waiver somewhere in the middle.

 

Politics aside, one practice we can all keep the top of mind this week (and beyond) is – being kind, and being courteous. The two go hand in hand.

 

Kindness begins at home, by greeting your family, friends, roommates, and neighbors with a friendly smile and greeting each day – even when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. When it comes to colleagues, giving good eye contact to acknowledge their ideas, presence, and contributions means so much – even when you have pressing matters to tend to on the smartphone in your hand.

 

Each of us, as family members, workers and as citizens, has a social responsibility to our environment and our communities. Being kind to everyone, even to those who are unkind to you, will pay back in spades someday.

 

Simple acts, like holding the door for people behind you, or returning the shopping cart to the store, make a big difference. Thinking twice before sharing a juicy piece of gossip that might hurt more than help, shows kindness. Writing a handwritten thank you card, or adding a little extra tip for service workers, shows gratitude as well as courtesy.

 

What helps you remember to be kind and courteous during your difficult days?

 

For more image & etiquette info at www.nycimageconsultamtacademy.com

#etiquette, #image-consulting, #image-tips, #manners