Barbara Ballinger had been married for 29 years when her husband announced he was leaving her.
“I was very embarrassed when it happened,” Ballinger, co-author of “Suddenly Single After 50: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Navigating Loss, Restoring Hope, and Rebuilding Your Life,” tells The Post. “I had gray hair, I had gained some weight, and I just hadn’t been paying attention to my clothing.”
Divorce pushed the Hudson, NY, resident to seek professional fashion help from an image consultant.
Most of us have goals and desires for our lives. Around the new year, like now, you might feel motivated and inclined to do something positive for yourself, like lose weight, learn a new skill, update your wardrobe, acquire more clients, work on getting a promotion, etc... you know the deal. Many of us call them resolutions. Then come February or March, the motivation fizzles and that resolution becomes a distant memory...until next New Year.
How do you materialize an idea you have in your head into tangible, real life results?
Converting an idea into a reality (regardless of the required investment of time and money) is never an easy task. In fact, it is extremely difficult. Whether you are an entrepreneur or corporate executive, “giving ideas life” is much like giving birth to a child.
As the old saying goes, “If it were easy – everyone would do it.”
People believe what they see. If people think you look successful, in their eyes you are successful.
Attractive, quality clothes can change your life. You don't necessarily need to spend a ton of money, you just need to know how to choose the right pieces. You might even have great, hidden pieces in your closet that you already own. If you don't know how to discover great pieces on your own, a good professional image consultant can lead you in the right direction.
Here are some examples of how people improved their income, jobs, and relationships by improving their wardrobes and image.
Christmas is almost here! And we have had some really loving and generous wives buying shopping and personal styling packages for their hubbies. Helping the husbands in their closets for their professional and casual wardrobes have been the most popular requests.
But if a personal styling session doesn't seem right for your guy or there isn't a great personal stylist in your city, The Shopping Friend's Personal Stylist Team has taken the liberty of creating a professional gift list of items we think the men in your life would love.
Christmas is almost here! And many of our personal styling clients who are husbands and boyfriends are scoring some major "thoughtful" points with personal styling packages as gifts for the ladies in their lives.
But if you don't have the funds or there isn't a great personal stylist in your city, The Shopping Friend Personal Stylist Team has taken the liberty of creating a professional gift list of items we think the ladies in your life would love!
When your entire job focuses around beauty, you tend to get a firsthand insight into the body battles women face every day, most of which stem from the perpetual pursuit of an unattainable (at least for most of us) social ideal of the perfect physique.
But what if we told you that same standard not only doesn’t hold true in other parts of the world, but that in many places around the globe, the so-called ‘bulge’ many of [our] clients are attempting to fight off is in fact considered to be the upmost standard of beauty?
Sometimes personal stylists and image consultants get some very...interesting clients and today WhoWhatWear.com reveals some of them! They interviewed us to get the deets on what it's like to deal with our clients who have extravagant demands or super strange requests.
Curious about what goes on behind the closed closet doors of this exclusive world, we spoke to a few personal shoppers with years of experience navigating the luxury fashion market and its biggest customers. Let’s just say their jobs are not always as fun as they may seem!
Wondering which personal stylist to work with? Too many choices? Choosing a personal stylist is not the easiest thing to do, nowadays, with the abundance of options out there. With the economy the way it is and high competitiveness within the job and dating markets, image consulting is becoming a mainstream, standard service no longer reserved for just the rich and famous.
If you're looking to hire a personal stylist and you've never worked with one before you may not be sure what you're looking for. Here are a few helpful tips for you to consider when hiring a personal stylist.
When new clients reach out to us about personal shopping they are always full of questions, understandably. Is working with a professional image consultant the right service for them? Hiring a professional personal stylist is an investment. Working one-on-one with a personal stylist and shopper to polish your image comprises a lot more to it than people initially think. It is an intimate process and involves monetary investment. Like any investment, you want to be sure that value for money is worth it and really going to deliver a result that will benefit you and your life.
One of the biggest goals of most of our style clients is not, necessarily, to look rich. It's to look attractive. To look powerful, competent, and refined for business. To look and feel handsome or stunning, personally. It just happens to be that, in order to achieve these style goals, we have found that most clothing tastes, accessories, and jewelry that accomplish these end goals generally tend to look, well...rich.
But you don't need to be wealthy to be able to find pieces that look wealthy. You just need to know what makes rich people, and you, look rich.
Why colors look great on one person and not so great on another is a person's unique skin tone. Some colors (like pink) can flatter almost anyone because they come in many shades. Others (like catawba) are very specific to certain skin tones.
So let's explore skin tones a little deeper using the "seasons" scale and guide you on the best wardrobe colors for you based on your hair, eye color, and skin tone.
Summer and winter are the cool skin tones, while spring and autumn are the warm ones. Again, this scale is not about how pale or dark you are. This scale is based on your undertones and establishes if you are a warm type or a cool type.
No, we're not trying to be racist or anything like that. We just want you to look your best!
Part of being able to dress in your most flattering styles is understanding what colors look best on you. If you've got that figured out you'll be able to wisely choose outfits that really make you stand out and look your best.
First, you've got to know what your skin tone is before you move on to choosing the most attractive clothes colors for your wardrobe.
Last week I went out with friends in Singapore who all work together. There was a new guy who was a new co-worker at their company. He was from Canada, so I figured it would be fun to chat with a fellow North American here in Asia.
He kept talking about himself. Leaning in way too close to me. Spitting on me. Talking too loud. Invading my personal space, not just physically but audibly. Trying to elicit some kind of impressed reaction from me that would validate him.
Are you unknowingly doing things that are making people dislike you?
Looking young is one of the biggest desires of human kind. The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry annually. We want smooth, supple skin. We want thick, shiny hair. We want bright, vibrant eyes. We want an image that attracts...everybody!
So don't mess it up!
Taking care of your health is a huge part of maintaining an attractive, polished image. Many of us spend thousands upon thousands of dollars buying products that "rewind time" and clothes that bring out our best, only to demolish those efforts with spoonfuls of unhealthiness.
I introduced a new friend to some of my family members the other day and was completely embarrassed by my cousin. My cousin was not in a good mood and had no qualms of showing her displeasure, even to a perfect stranger. She stood 10 feet away from the rest of my family and when I introduced her to my friend (from 10 feet away I had to shout a little), she turned her back and gave a dismissive hand gesture. I was shocked and embarrassed.
Horrible first impressions can kill a lot of opportunities.
Most of the time, people’s first impressions of you is established in 5 to 7 seconds. It doesn’t take long. That first impression will most likely stick with them for a long time. Or make them forget you in an instant. Or even worse, want to forget you. Those 5 to 7 seconds are crucial.
To successfully communicate, you need to have a strong grasp of two languages. No, I don’t mean like Chinese or French. Although, kind of! I am talking languages where you need to learn how to "read", understand, interpret, and "speak" clearly to be effective. So in a way, yes, these languages are exactly like a spoken language.
The first is verbal language, also known as words. The second is non-verbal language, which consists of your facial expressions, your body language, your tone of voice, and your style expression.
Did you know that most communication is 93% non-verbal and 7% verbal? In some romantic situations, it’s 100% non-verbal! So what your body movements, facial expressions, and image are projecting are far more powerful than the words you are saying!
As always, I like products that tend to be more organic and toxic-free because I believe the health of our bodies adds to our outer beauty. The deodorants listed here have minimal to no toxic chemicals with maximum effectiveness.
There is much debate about aluminum in antiperspirants. Antiperspirants rely on various forms of aluminum salts to block and dry out sweat. Since it’s known that aluminum is a potent neuro-toxin and has been linked in some studies to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer, I figure, better safe than sorry.
Do we really need to be concerned about what's in our shampoo? It's on our heads for, like what? 2 minutes tops?
Okay. You’re thinking that it’s just hair. It’s dead. Who cares if there are some toxic ingredients in it? Hair can’t absorb it and we’re washing it out anyway.
It sounds like a logical argument. It's wrong. But it does sound logical.
This is not the area to be lax with your health awareness. Your hair isn’t the concern. It’s the wonderfully thirsty, porous, spongy layers of your scalp! They are the most sensitive and absorbent part of your body.
Being a fashion and wardrobe stylist is not easy, but it's one of the most glamorized behind-the-scenes jobs around. Lots of young, aspiring people ask me how they can "become a stylist", like it's as simple as choosing to bob their hair or eat a burrito for lunch. They see stylists depicted in the media as getting to attend the hottest parties, being gifted items all the time, and getting to "shop for a living". This then makes them think "OMG, that would be so fun to get paid to do!"
What most of these people don't realize is that even Rachel Zoe worked very hard to get to where she is, and any of us actively in this career have dedicated years and lots of money (stocking our extensive kits, throwing freebies to potential clients/traveling distances to build our books, attending fashion/business school, agent fees) to get to where we are.
They happen to be meeting Zoe's public persona after she's been in it for over 20 years...
Many people think that fashion is shallow. That fashion and clothes don't contribute much to us as human beings and certainly doesn't contribute much to society. Well, fashion gurus are no Albert Einstein or cancer curers. But those who work in fashion and styling do serve a beneficial purpose to mankind. They provide awesome expressions of communication for us.
Yep. That is God's honest truth. Clothes can help you communicate what you're feeling or thinking.They can tell your story. Not all of us are great at telling people exactly what is on our mind.
Men DO have opinions about women's fashions...and it may not be what you think.
Face it girls. Many times we put tremendous effort into the outfits that grace our bodies in the hopes that our guys will find us that much more attractive...but then their reactions make us feel like they wouldn't even notice if we were strutting our stuff down a Dolce & Gabbana runway.
But there are some men who have their two cents to put in when it comes to women's fashion. So when Glamour magazine asked 300 men if your trends turn him off, turn him on, or confused him, they definitely got an earful.
Tricking the eye with "Body Blocking." No, we're not talking football here, ladies.
Who wants to have a more fit looking body and look like you just lost a few pounds without having to hit the gym or do one of those cayenne cleanses? The new black and white "body blocking" trend helps women look sexy and slimmer. I have good news ladies, you don't have to skip dessert!
You're dying to know how on earth a dress can magically take off unwanted weight? It's all about tricking the eye.