Monday, September 10, 2007

Your Momma Dresses You Funny

clothingIn my last post, one of my regular readers, Jacki Hollywood Brown, commented on the need to dress for success. She further recommended, for those of us who are "fashion challenged", to take along a friend who knows something about how to put an outfit together. I thought I would share my experience in this area, because I agree wholeheartedly.

About eight years ago, I was going through a hard time in my life and my mom decided I needed a little "retail therapy". She took me out clothes shopping. Now, don't jump to any conclusions. I enjoy clothes shopping about as much as any guy (not much at all -- I don't shop, I go to the store to buy). The difference this time was that we enlisted the help of a professional.

Caroline Bishop worked for Marshall Fields at the time as a personal shopper. When I showed up at the store, she had already reserved a large dressing room with a plethora of shirts and slacks waiting for me to try on -- many in colors I would never have picked for myself.

Here's the funny thing. With Caroline's help, I found out the colors I had been wearing (dark greens, deep blues, and a "rainbow" of browns and golds) were completely wrong for me. They made me look washed out and some brought out the dark circles under my eyes quite nicely. It turned out that the colors that looked best on me were bright blues, cool mint greens and even, yes, vibrant pinks.

And I didn't just take her word for it. I could see the difference with my own eyes.

Dressing well, and knowing that I looked my best in the clothes I was wearing made a major difference in my attitude and the way I carried myself when it came time to meet with people, especially in a networking environment.

Of course, having confidence in your appearance is only half the battle, but when you are going into a potentially uncomfortable situation, it's better to start out with that half won.

So, if you are considering a wardrobe upgrade, and like my friend Jacki, I would recommend it if you are planning on going out on your own, I would consider looking into working with a personal shopper at your local department store. At least when I went, it was a service they offered free of charge -- a small price to pay for a dose of confidence.

So, have you ever worked with a personal shopper? What was your experience?


Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

I whole heartedly agree with a personal shopper! They will be TOTALLY honest with you where as a friend might just say something (s)he thinks you want to hear.
I am very lucky. I have a sister and a best friend who put themselves through university by working fashion retail (they know how those stores work and not only can they find great clothes, they can find them on sale!).

Ooohh, clutter free gift for someone...hiring a personal shopper for them!

Thanks for another great idea!

Debby said...

Yo' mama here! And what a monster that shopping trip has created. I laugh at you knowing exactly what colors are yours and the fact that you won't wear the ones that aren't for you.

As you know I also have used a personal shopper, an independent. She has no ties to any store. I hired her to help me create a "going to the charity event" wardrobe. That was several years ago and I'm still wearin' everything I bought. And it only took two hours.