Fall Closet Update

Fall Closet Update

What to wear NOW to increase confidence and enhance your assets!

Are you ready to revitalize your personal and professional style and discover clothing that will make you look and feel great?  Gain clarity on your style, your goals and your vision for your life through a mini-closet and color update.  

Personalized Color Analysis

Style Assessment

Wardrobe Planning in your Closet (I will help you go through your closet to determine what stays and what goes.  Time to get clarity in the closet!)

Special Price through September 2018:  $250.00

Contact Lori Barber at 717-435-0255 or lori@elementsimage.com to sign up or for more information.

Clarity in the Closet

You know the expression “a cobbler has no shoes”?  Well, this image consultant had “no clean closet”.  As an image consultant, my job is to help people find their confident style through color, style, fit and closet evaluations.  Naturally people think I have a perfectly clean closet all the time.  Not the case.  Over the summer my closet has been less than perfect and very messy.  Part of that is the summer relaxation - just throw your clothes in the closet and go.

Part of it is a little personal turmoil in my life - I generally find that my closet reflects my state of mind.  Messy, confused, frustrated?  Crisp, organized and focused?

When things aren’t settled or stable in my life, my closet shows it.  I have been evaluating my personal and professional state of mind as I settle into my 50’s, and it has been tough some times.  My oldest daughter left for college and with that brings change for the whole family.  Who am I now?  What do I want to do with my time?  What do I want to wear?  All of those questions can be overwhelming.  

So today, first day of school for my younger 2 kids.  Summer is over.  Time for action.

First thing I did today was tackle my closet.  I knew that if I wanted to get clarity in life, having a clean closet was the beginning.  And believe it or not it was spurred me to action in other areas.

I reached out to 2 clients, wrote this blog post, and created a Fall Style Special to help clients get clarity through clothes.  We will figure out what stays, what goes, and how you can achieve clarity in your life.  After all, we have to start somewhere.


Atlanta Style Boot Camp - September 15th, 2016, 6-9pm


Create a powerful personal brand and visual image!

Are you ready to revitalize your personal and professional style and discover the clothing that will make you look and feel great? Learn how to build a wardrobe that works for you and develop a unique style that fits your body, budget, lifestyle and vision for life.

Certified Image Consultant Lori Barber, President of Elements Image Consulting, presents:

A three hour, interactive, personalized workshop for women that will take the stress out of getting dressed and will save you time and money by providing you with information to learn about YOUR personal style.

•Determine a professional image for greater career success.

•Business power colors and personal color harmony.

•Body & Line Analysis: Dressing for your body type; look taller & thinner.

•Style Analysis: Understand levels of business dress & style personality.

•Learn how to use accessories to add personality, style and trends to

your wardrobe. Live demonstrations.

Thursday, September 15: 6:00 - 9:00pm

1 Concourse Pkwy, NE #140

Atlanta, GA 30328

Fee: $95.00.

Sign up today and make getting dressed every day a stress-free process!  RSVP and questions: Contact Lori at 717-435-0255 or lori@elementsimage.com


Is your image an asset or a liability?

Do you want to increase your success?  Are you hoping for a promotion? Are you re-entering the workforce and interviewing? In each scenario, you have studied, prepared and analayzed the client, the project, your skills and technical considerations.  But have you thought about what to wear?  Have you thought about your image - including your appearance, behavior and communication techniques?  These soft skills make up your personal brand and it is an important part of success.

What you wear matters.  It matters to pilots, who wear calming blue, professional uniforms to inspire trust and assurance.  It mattered to Tiger Woods, who wore red on Sundays to express a competitive, aggressive demeanor.  It matters to the financial industry, whose professional attire shows conservative values.  It should matter to you.  

A consistent and authentic image validates your professional and personal skills.  It displays your capabilities, financial worth, goals and desired position in life faster than any words or resume.  

As an industrial sales engineer for Eaton Corporation, I was responsible for selling $200k electrical systems to customers in the Silicon Valley.  More often that not, I was the only female, and the youngest person in a meeting of engineers and management.  I was focused on the specifications, pricing and function of many large projects.  

One thing I never worried about was my attire.  I always dressed in classic skirt or pant suit, with conservative accessories.  My goal was to appear professional, credible and organized.  In being clear in my image, I was able to not worry about what I was weraing and focus on the clients needs and closing business. 

If your image is not an asset to your success, call me to schedule an complementary consultation to bring your image from a liablility to an asset. 


Five Common Executive Image Mistakes - and How to Avoid Them

Your professional image matters.  In today's business environment, judgments are made in the blink of an eye.  Are you representing yourself in a positive light - appearing professional, trustworthy, cutting-edge, creative?  Or have you slipped into a business casual "rut" with the focus on casual, not business. 

According to a2010 article at Forbes.com, "In a tight job market, appearance is everything."  This applies if you are in the market for a job, or if you have a job and want to succeed and get promoted.  Follow these five tips to avoid common executive image mistakes to ensure your effectiveness.

Clothing that Makes You Appear Invisible (Boring)  Color is a powerful business tool that you do not want to overlook as you build your executive image. When you use appropriate color in your wardrobe, you can dress strategically for every situation and will feel more confident.  Colors send powerful psychological messages.  Think about the color BLUE.  It is worn by pilots, policemen and by most high-level interview clients.  It is a color of trust, serenity and calm. RED on the other hand is an aggressive color.  It demands attention and is quite bold.  Use it in small doses if you want to get noticed or to give yourself an air of confidence.

Inappropriate Office Attire  Business Casual Dressing is a hot topic in the corporate world today.  My advice is to remember to keep it "business" first, and "casual" second.  Do not wear anything to work that you would wear in the garden, at the gym, on the beach or at a nightclub.  I will also add, on the golf course, unless you have high quality, ironed polo shirts, with nice dress slacks.  Also watch for low-rise pants, short skirts, rumpled khakis, open-toed shoes or hints of cleavage.  All of these are inappropriate for the workplace. Bare legs and arms send a casual message that may not serve your career goals.

Even on Casual Friday do not get too casual - skip the T-shirt and tattered jeans. If you are in a position of authority or if you want to increase your credibility, always wear a third piece: a jacket or a sweater over your blouse or dress for women, and a sport coat for men. This is your authority piece and an important part of your wardrobe.

Falling into Fashion Trends  Choose timeless pieces that you can bring in to mix-and-match with your current wardrobe without breaking the bank every season. Remember, a working wardrobe should be 80% classic pieces and 20% trend.

If you really want to be fashion forward from 9-5, consider wearing only one trend piece at a time. This way you will still look current and hip without looking like you care more about fashion than looking professional.

Forgetting the Boyscout slogan: “Be Prepared”  I was recently hired by an executive to talk to her team about professional presence and dress code.  She explained to me that she hoped to get her team to a place where at a moment's notice, she could call any one of them into a high level client or management meeting and be confident in their professional attire.
Are you prepared to represent your best self at a moment's notice? Think about your clothes and your image each day so you will always come across as the competent professional that you are. Keep a blazer or sport coat at the office to add instant credibility.

Out-dated Clothing, Hair style, Shoes  Nothing says, "I am not on the cutting edge of my profession" quicker than an out-dated suit, hairdo or glasses. Men and women should keep their hairstyle and glasses current. Review your wardrobe on a yearly (at least) basis to determine if your clothing is out of date. A suit, sport coat or blazer are considered out of date if they are more than 5 years old.

Select one or two of the tips above to focus on over the next two weeks and make the necessary adjustments to your executive image. You will see results and garner the respect and attention you deserve, while having more confidence in your executive image.


    College Graduates - Professionalism Matters

    As college graduates continue the job search, there is good news coming from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Job Outlook 2016, which states that, “employers expect to hire 5.2 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2016 than they hired from the Class of 2015.”  These employers are looking for essential skills among job candidates, including “critical thinking/problem solving, professionalism/work ethic, teamwork, and communications skills.”  

    As more and more companies allow business casual dress, and successful Silicon Valley execs are shown wearing hoodies and t-shirts to work, one might think that professional appearance no longer matters.  However, professionalism/work ethic is rated among the top competencies for successful employment.  Professionalism includes, “understanding the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image.”

    Well-dressed, well-groomed and polished individuals are routinely awarded better salaries, win top jobs, are promoted and win the approval of their peers. Your professional appearance is an important part of your personal brand, which also includes your behavior (work ethic) and communication skills (body language, online reputation).  You will have a strong professional presence if you represent yourself consistently with an excellent image appropriate for your brand, your industry, your talents and your skills.

    So what does that mean for your wardrobe.  And should all students look alike, wearing boring suits, sensible shoes and white shirts?  No!  It is important to think about who you are, what your goals are, your experiences, talents, skills and personality - this will help you achieve an authentic image which will increase your confidence and success.

    Think about the industry you are looking at.  Is it formal (bankers, financiers, lawyers, insurance), semi-formal (public relations, retail, IT) or casual (creative, some IT).  For interviews in all industries, I recommend a suit for men and a skirt suit or pant suit for women.  This should be a modern, well-fitting suit.  Depending on industry, you can add your personality and flair in the accessories, dress shirt pattern, tie and color.  Generally speaking, big purchase items (suit, blazer, briefcase, shoes) should tend towards classic and neutral.  Classic pieces should make up about 80% of your wardrobe.  Use trendy or colorful pieces to show your personality.  

    When heading out the door to a job interview, first job, internship or long-time place of work, always think “business” first, “casual” second.  After all, you are getting a paycheck, so show respect to your employers, clients and co-workers.

    Awareness of your Personal Brand

    Recognize the importance of image as a component of corporate and personal values of integrity, accountability, business results and work-life balance.

    Awareness of current image and dress—how this reflects on you and your company. What message do you want to project?

    What are you projecting with your current image—is it consistent with: corporate identity, values, skills, goals and employee brand?

    Five Tips to Success For Appearance and Dress

    "A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life." - Dr. Joyce Brothers

    Update. An outdated wardrobe can rob your credibility and add years to your look. When your image says contemporary and modern, not dated and old-fashioned, people are drawn to your message and your company. Suits become outdated every 3 - 5 years for men and women.

    Fit. People commonly wear clothing either too big or too small. Either of these makes you appear heavier than you are. Excellent clothing fit is a sign of elegance and helps you appear slimmer and taller.

    Quality. I love to shop. And I went through a phase where I thought that more was more! Now I know that fewer pieces of higher quality are a better investment than lots of lower quality items. Invest in the highest quality business clothes that you can afford.

    Color. Color can make a powerful statement. Colors like navy blue and charcoal grey convey authority, while orange and purple showcase creativity. For spring and summer, step away from black suits and look for light grey, taupe and khaki. These neutrals looks great with a pop of purple, coral or turquoise or softer florals and pastels.

    Details. Accessories add personality, interest and excitement to your wardrobe. If you are feeling frumpy or boring, or are not getting noticed at events, try adding some great accessories to match your personality. Men, this can be a luxurious belt, shoes or briefcase. Women, add color with a statement necklace or scarf.

    Business Casual Not Business Catastrophe

    According to a June, 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey of nearly 2800 U.S. companies, 35% of employers have sent home an "inappropriately dressed" worker. My guess is that the percentage is much higher of inappropriately dressed workers in general (that weren't sent home). In my small survey of 10 Atlanta companies, almost all are struggling with employees that have taken business casual to business catastrophe. In addition, many professional men and women don't understand the "rules" of business casual dress.

    Here are my Top Three Tips for business casual dress:

    RESPECT THE PAYCHECK! Remember where your paycheck comes from and respect the company and the employees by dressing "business" first, "casual" second.

    KICK IT UP A NOTCH! As highlighted in a July 2010 article in Forbes.com, "in a world where jobs are few and far between, never has office attire been as important as it is now." Think about your choices when going to the office ~ retire the cotton t's, denim and flip flops, and opt for gabardine wool, rayon and dress blouses. Dress up one level from where you are now and become more productive and get noticed!

    COMFORTABLE DOESN'T MEAN LAZY. As Nina Gleyzer, Russian fashion designer, with a boutique in Buckhead says, "People are less productive because of their laziness of clothes." You are more productive when you dress for work. That means do not wear to work any clothing that is meant for: gardening, athletics, the beach, the bars, vacation or golf.

    Not every business or office is the same, and dress code policies vary across the board. When in doubt, look to exceed the standards of the company policy. Even if you are dressing in a business casual look, you want to convey credibility and authority. I am conducting several corporate seminars about Making the Connection Between Professional Presence, Corporate Identity and Personal Achievement. Contact me today for more information.