The way you look and dress announces how you feel about yourself, and you’ll be treated accordingly. I learned this concept at a young age. I was a painfully-shy and introverted teenager. My low point was during a high school piano recital when I was sixteen. I walked across the stage with a disastrous haircut, in a dress my mother had made; it was a dreary color and horrible style. I sat down to play and completely blanked out. I hated the way I looked so much that I wanted to crawl in a black hole and disappear.
Graduation time arrived one year later and, to my utter amazement, I reached for a red dress to try on. I gazed at the image reflected in the mirror and, in that exquisite moment, I saw my own self peeping through. My new red dress had transformed me. I scoured magazines and taught myself how to do makeup; I went to a hairdresser and used my hard-earned babysitting money to get a decent haircut. And, of course, I wore red a lot. Unexpectedly, the most astonishing thing happened – for the first time in my life, people told me I was pretty. They saw me. That dress and my new found self image gave me courage.
I gathered all my expanding courage, enrolled in a top-notch fashion school in Washington, DC and became one of the top fashion models in town. Top designers and fashion coordinators shared their secrets. My life was changed dramatically and it all began with a simple red dress that gave me hope and inspiration.
That red dress taught me this: when you change the way you look on the outside, people treat you differently, and then you change on the inside. I have had many clients tell me they were hopeless cases. They discovered what I learned when I was seventeen: there are no unattractive people; only those who haven’t yet learned how to look attractive.
If you would like to change your image, here are three proven things you can do:
1. Find the colors that make you look better. Most people look better in cool colors than those with yellow undertones. This means that you will probably look better in navy blue than in brown, for example; and you may look better in fuchsia than in orange.
2. Find a hairstyle that suits you. A dated hairdo can seriously undermine your image. If your hair is a drab color like “dishwater blonde” (as mine was), you may consider adding a few blonde highlights around your face to illuminate your skin. Men needn’t worry about coloring their hair, but if it is graying, it is best to avoid grey suits.
3. Choosing clothing styles that flatter your body type. Get your clothing tailored and it will camouflage little “figure distractions,” so that the eyes will sweep upward to the face and remain there. Avoid styles that are too trendy. It is better to be “eternally stylish” than “in style” for a fleeting moment.
Change your image and you just might change your life!
Sandy Dumont is an image consultant with 30 years experience. She is also a professional speaker and author on the subject of image. Get a free book, “Tattletale Looks” on her website theimagearchitect.com.