Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Should you color your hair?

This is a loaded question. No one can decide for you what steps you should take when it comes to your hair color. This is a very personal choice. Some women look fabulous with salt and pepper or silver hair, while others just look older, significantly older. Yes, I know, I hear it all the time: “Most men let their hair go grey so why should we have to color our hair?”
We don’t, but since women are living longer and working longer, the marketplace has become more competitive. Unfortunately, ageism is alive and well. Speaking strictly for myself, I see haircolor as another tool in my toolbox that helps me feel young and vibrant and more attractive.
Haircolor is not for everyone, but going gray can add 5-15 years to your perceived age; and using the wrong haircolor shade can be worse than using no hair color at all. Drab, ash - tones, harsh, dark colors or bleached - out blondes are simply not flattering to older skin tones.
Getting older is inevitable. Why focus on a number? The important issue to consider when making decisions on your appearance is to think about the goal. In other words, what can hair color, specific clothing or makeup styles, do for you? Often, women’s choice to color their hair is a reaction to the fear of being seen as invisible, matronly or out-dated. Whenever I consider not coloring my hair, images of Aunt Bea still linger in my head, propelling me to run, not walk, down the closest haircolor isle.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Some writers are rethinking their image

I have had an influx of writers seeking out my services this year. Their reasons vary, from wanting to become media savvy for their book tours to learning how to “fine tune” their appearance for meetings with potential clients.
Clearly, people in different industries have different issues that they want to address when thinking about the images they project. Writers often talk to me about the conflict they feel in reassessing their image as they get older. For many, as young women, it was easy to embrace the totally natural look, rejecting certain styles of clothing, hairstyles, and makeup.
This was the frame of mind that intellectual women embraced in the 1960s and 70s; today, many of these women look in the mirror and wonder if their credibility is being sabotaged because they don’t know how to improve their image. It is usually around age 40, that women look in the mirror and realize that what worked for them at 25 no longer serves them well. They used to be vibrant and attractive without having to use makeup or think very much about what they were wearing; and that’s just not true anymore.
Once women come to this realization they often feel conflicted about what they perceive as an abandonment of their values. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, and I understand these feelings of ambivalence.
It can be hard to break through this impasse. Some women feel foolish asking for help; others feel that it’s hopeless for anyone to help them. They feel they are torn between being true to themselves and their basic values, and their dawning awareness that by adopting a few simple skills and techniques from the world of fashion, they could look less out-dated, tired, or washed-up.
As a stylist specializing in credibility, I understand that looking glamorous, younger, or thinner isn’t necessarily everyone’s goal. I know what women mean when they tell me they want to look intelligent, memorable, and credible without sacrificing their authentic selves.
After a certain age, a relaxed, attractive, and natural look may require a little help. Together we can brainstorm the options before you, and take the actions to help you look your personal best.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My work is always confidential

When I go to informal gatherings or parties it is always predictable what will happen about 1 hour into the event. Once it "comes out" that I am a television stylist, I am slowly cornered, surrounded by curious women who want to know who my clients are and what I do to help them with their appearance. I am terribly disappointing speaking about others since I do not reveal the names of clients if they have asked me to keep our time together confidential, plus, even if they have not asked for confidentiality, (as the old saying goes) I do not tell stories out of school. I am quite sure you wouldn't want me telling someone anything about you if you were my client. Whether I am helping a client "fine tune" their appearance or completely revamping someone's image, our time together is so intimate, it must remain private. What makes me so different from other stylists (besides my expertise) is that I am a safe place to land. I see the potential in each person and I feel that it is so very profound and personal to help people evolve and reflect on the outside what they always new was there on the inside.

My work as a stylist is not just about looking younger, thinner, more memorable or more powerful. It is about the possibilities, and about looking in the mirror each day and loving what you see.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Invite me to speak to your organization

I love speaking to groups and this week I had the opportunity to speak to the sisterhood at Beth El Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland. The topic? How to look 10 years younger and ten pounds thinner. We drew quite the crowd and had a lot of fun discussing wardrobe camouflage techniques, haircolor options and makeup products.
I am always amazed to see accomplished, professional women who are 40, 50 or 60, that do not know how a pair of pants or a jacket should fit! Well, we cleared that all up and now hopefully this information will be passed down to their daughters. Think about it-who teaches us this? Women (and men) watch others and emulate the mistakes they see and assume they are doing the right thing. There are so many things we should each know about ourselves: Are you long-waisted or short-waisted?
Do you know which style trouser, skirt or jacket looks best on you?
What are your 5 best colors? What story do you tell the world about yourself each day through the clothing you wear?
Do you know the symbols of authority, the language of clothing, shoes and accessories?
Could you be sabotaging your best efforts by your appearance?
These are the issues that need to be answered so we can soar in confidence while pursuing our dreams.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Helping new grads go from intern to young professional

As a television stylist I primarily work with high profile men and women, but recently several people have given a day of shopping with me as a graduation gift. Students usually have very little to choose from in their wardrobe when it comes to professional attire. Suddenly after years of living in flip flops and jeans, these young women need to look like young professionals and not like interns. Often they panic, not knowing how to bridge the gap between looking too old and looking professional. They are usually relieved to have someone they perceive as objective, guide them in exploring clothing options. I start by having them pull together pictures of ensembles that they would like to emulate and then we discuss what those clothing items say about the individual wearing them. Few people ever stop and think about the story they tell through their appearance. It is critical, before we begin shopping, that individuals clarify what they want to project with their clothing choices.

Another challenge encountered while working with those new to wearing and purchasing professional attire, is teaching them how clothing should fit their specific body shape. Men assume that their new suit has to be tailored to fit them, but women do not realize that they should be willing to do the same. No one tells us that very few women can buy items that fit well, right off the rack. A good tailor is to be treasured just like your favorite hairstylist

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

April in Paris

Paris in April was fabulously delicious in every way- the food, the fashions and the beauty of the city itself. Planning a trip abroad anytime soon? Well, plan well when it comes to your clothing and shoes! I knew I was going to be walking non-stop so I was worried about which shoes to take. Last trip to Paris I splurged on an expensive pair of European shoes that were designed for walking, but, they lasted only 1 day before they were retired to the “3 hour” bin. This time I went for the Munro flats that were chic and comfortable-12 hours a day on my feet-no problem. These shoes were so perfect I want to buy more styles. Maybe I should buy stock?