I was at a Breakfast Seminar on "Image Awareness" sponsored by Holt Renfrew, and the consultant was teaching us to present "our best self" to the world. We have "a pretty sophisticated image to convey," apparently. For instance, our hair colour is so important. We have to choose it based on our skin tone. My husband, when I told him this, opined in all innocence that our hair colour was what we were born with, that we were stuck with it, surely, and some of us at the seminar wanted to ask, "What about grey?"—but we were told that "auburn browns suit the most women. We don't want to look hard." No.
We don't want to look old either. That, and a lack of attention to detail, will convey a negative impression.
|Grommets on a jacket of mine|
Having mentioned the Prada handbag she conceded that some of us "may not want to spend so much on our clothes; we may want to buy antique furniture instead!" Well, as long as we remember to have retro buckles on our handbags. Don't let's forget that there's "more at the wrist this season," besides. (I couldn't refrain from giggling when I saw the PowerPoint slide which went with that suggestion: a picture of an arm absolutely covered with bangles.)
Our inner wrists will show our natural skin tone. The speaker had a volunteer come to the front to demonstrate the importance of colour in our choice of hair and clothes and began by asking her, "Can I see your epidermis?" Like me, the girl had dark eyes and eyebrows and a Mediterranean skin type. The recommendation was for her to give her hair with a copper tinge and to wear blue-based reds, silvers, burgundy browns and blue-based blues. Gold-based blues or gold-based reds would create a sallow appearance.
"How many of you have had your colours done?" she asked the crowd. A few hands went up, not many. In our Prada handbags, we ought to be carrying a swatch of 8 neutral colours and 22 accent colours to suit our wardrobes. The other thing to be aware of ... "I'm not here to depress anyone but we're talking body types!" ... is that, if we carry weight below our waist, we don't go cropped.
She was very enthusiastic about jackets ("and you know how important the piping is"). She told us that "peplums accent the waist" and she talked about "investment suits," a white one for example. We can revive our whites, if they have lost their brilliance, with a sodium bath. "When I approach a suit," she told us, "I do a squeeze test" to see if it crumples if travelled in, and we must not carry a laptop computer over our shoulder in an Armani jacket or it will ruin the finish. Having said that, we can extend our jackets into other lifestyle opportunities. We all have our own clothing lifestyles.
So we do. I doubt if she'd appreciate mine.
The image consultant started her business in the mid-80s, advising "... men only ... then I diversified to include women."
"To me she's married, not unto my clothes!" Petruchio exclaims at a comical moment in Shakespeare's play, and later he has more to say on the subject (more seriously) when he explains to his wife that he and she will dress ...
... Even in these honest mean habiliments;I imagine it takes time to acquire such wisdom.
Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor;
For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich;
And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
So honour peereth in the meanest habit.