By Angela Marshall, 17th Apr 2014
Last week I talked about the importance to teach children, from a young age, to have good social skills so that they will have more confidence socialising now and in later life.
Here are some ideas and suggestions that may help you to prepare your children:
1. Ps AND Qs
Children should be taught to say please and thank you in all situations. It shows respect and appreciation.
Teaching children how to introduce them self can be a very useful social skill and will help them when meeting new friends. It is good to introduce your children to friends when they meet them, and teach them what to say in response. On certain occasions let them shake hands and do include girls as well as boys.
3. Letter Writing
Thank-you letters seem a thing of the past and yet the person that receives a handwritten note always remembers it in a very positive way. Encourage your children to send postcards and thank you notes to grandparents, relatives or friends instead of telephoning or sending emails and texts.
4. Telephone Etiquette for Children
Encourage your children, from an early age, to answer the phone politely. Playing with a toy phone or an unplugged phone will help, playing both roles of answering and phoning the person. It can be a fun game for children to play. Also show them how to leave a message on an answer phone.
5. Dining Manners
Sitting down together as a family for a meal is important for both children and adults and no mobile phones is a great rule. Families who share their meals together tend to be more attentive and interested in each other. It is also the perfect time to teach the children table manners. Encourage them to help you lay the table as this will teach them what goes where.
Children (and adults) often eat too quickly which is bad for their digestion as well as bad mannered. Teach your children to eat slowly and not rush their food. Advise them that elbows on the table, making rude noises when eating or wearing hats at meals are not good table manners.
6. Eating out in Restaurants
It is good to eat out with your children so that they become accustomed to being waited upon. However they need to appreciate that meals can take longer to arrive and that they will be served at the table by someone strange. Remind them to say “Please” and “Thank You” to the waiting staff as well as smiling can go a long way!
7. Social Skills
Not all children find it easy to make new friends yet encouraging them when they are with you or another adult, whilst they are young, will help them in later life. These skills will give them confidence to mix with new people. You never know – it may refresh and improve your own skills at the same time!
8. Art of Conversation
It is important for all the family to make conversation and also an important rule for children to learn to listen to what others have to say and to wait their turn to talk. They will find it will help to broaden their interests and it can be fun to talk to them about subjects you would like them to know more about. Meal time is the ideal time to talk about what happened during the day or subjects on the news.
9. Respect Different Styles and Cultures
When people do things differently from your family whether it is due to having a different style, religion or culture then encourage your children to embrace it and appreciate the difference and to respect it and show them how interesting it can be.
10. The Golden Rule
It might seem like common sense, but it’s worth repeating to your child: treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you don’t want someone to be mean to you, don’t be mean to them. If you want people to say nice things about you, say nice things about them.
By Angela Marshall, 10th Apr 2014
The world is getting smaller; competition is getting stronger for obtaining jobs and doing business. We need to ensure we have every advantage when selling ourselves to people. It is, therefore, important for children to learn manners and social skills from an early age, so that they will be ready for interviews for university, jobs and generally knowing how to meet, greet or entertain customers and clients.
So often I have heard or seen how a person has lost out on a job, a promotion or socially due to their lack of confidence in mixing and mingling, knowing how to behave and having good manners at the table.
So many clothes brands are setting up kids departments and parents are buying clothes often for the kids before themselves as they find it easier to spoil them. The best approach is to teach children how to organise and plan their wardrobe on a budget, so that they have clothes they enjoy wearing and yet know how to wear them in different ways and feel great in them. No doubt if you have two or more children you will notice they often want different clothes, due to having different personalities. But be careful – spoiling them with lots of clothes will only encourage them to have too many clothes in the future, with obvious financial consequences!
When your child wants to purchase an item, have them go to the counter to pay for it and teach them to check the change and to thank the assistant and smile. This will encourage them to engage with strangers and to be confident and polite.
For children to be successful in life, they need to have good social skills as well as academic skills. If you help young children to learn how to be polite and caring, they will continue to use good manners and become more socially aware as they get older.
Your kids may not appreciate this advice at the time, but it is one of those things that they will thank you for later in life. The sooner you teach your children, the easier it will be for them as they get older. Good manners do not come by themselves, they need to be taught.
Parents should always remember that the best way to teach manners is to lead by example, although they must also allow the child time to learn. Action speaks louder than words.
Next week I will have some suggestions and ideas to help prepare your children to have a great image.
By Angela Marshall, 3rd Apr 2014
Linen is ideal in hot weather, but a lot will depend on your wardrobe personality whether you enjoy wearing it, especially 100% linen, as it creases easily. Personally I will wear a linen mix but hate my items really creased unless I am on holiday relaxing or travelling and even then I do not feel my best.
Like all fabrics it is important to look after linen.
7 Tips on looking after Linen:
- Keep any pockets empty, avoid putting items in them as the fabric will easily sag and lose its shape very quickly
- Wash in non biological powder without any bleaching agents and use a fabric conditioner
- Do not wring as it will crease too much, if needed only light spin
- Always iron the item of clothing on the reverse side to avoid creating shiny patches
- Don’t iron over zips, fastenings, thick sections such as hems and pockets
- Use a damp cloth on top and then iron or steam-press
- If the item is dry and you don’t have a good steam iron put the item in the freezer before you iron it ( 5- 10 minutes should be sufficient for it to stiffen and get cold)
Picture: Jacket from House of Fraser
By Angela Marshall, 27th Mar 2014
People seem to think women are far more interested in shopping and buying clothes than men, particularly in the United Kingdom. Yet over the 18 years I have been an image consultant , with equally as many men as women clients, I have found that a lot depends on the person’s age, profession and most importantly their wardrobe personality.
Over the last decade, we have seen an increase in fashion brands of clothes for men and department stores have created a lot more space for men to shop for a variety of clothes and accessories. The ease of shopping on the internet has also helped to make it quicker and easier to shop.
With busier lives for women, juggling their time between running a home, children needing a taxi service for attending a variety of hobbies and part or full time working their leisure time has become more valuable and therefore they do not always want to clothes shop. Again this depends on their personality.
Larger Variety of Clothes needed for Women
Also, to be fair to women we need to have a larger variety of items e.g. a man attending a wedding or a ball can wear the same suit or dinner jacket whether or not he has worn it before, whilst a woman has to consider is a new outfit required, what type of occasion – the outfit, a hat needed, what accessories including no tights or tights and what colour.
In general the difference in the shopping:
- Are more focused on what they want and what works best for their lifestyle
- Will look at colour and how it reacts to their face rather than what they fancy
- Are more set in their ways and stick to the same brands and colours
- Are impatient and want to shop quickly not browse
- Like bargains in the sale
- Like to see what choices are in the stores
- Like to look at different brands
- Go by colours they fancy
- Buy at regular intervals
- Shop for an immediate occasion
Do you enjoy shopping for clothes? If not, then understand what brands suit your body shape and use the internet to see what items are available, what colours and styles are in fashion that season. Finally, use mobile apps for checking out which items are in stores or on the internet.
By Angela Marshall, 20th Mar 2014
Your Wardrobe Personality
Whose style do you admire?
Men - David Beckham, Russell Brand, Andy Murray, Ne-Yo, Justin Timberlake, Prince William or Prince Harry or from the past James Dean (a style back in fashion), Clark Gable to Fred Astaire?
Women – Kate Moss, Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Watson, Cameron Diaz or Dawn French or from the past Princess Di, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mary Quant to Audrey Hepburn?
All of these people have a style that reflects their wardrobe personality.
- Do you know your style and wardrobe personality?
- Do you know why some clothes you feel good in and others you don’t even if they all fit you well?
- Have you worn clothes you admire on others, but in which you feel uncomfortable and not yourself?
When you understand your wardrobe personality it helps you to appreciate what styles of clothes you feel good in as well as look good. It, also, helps you to adapt your clothes for various situations and yet still feel good in them.
I spent over 10 years studying wardrobe personality, as an image consultant, before I decided to write books for men and women on the subject. For me to help people have a great wardrobe I needed to appreciate their personality, so that they would enjoy wearing their clothes to suit their lifestyle as well as feeling confident in them.
Understanding your wardrobe personality includes knowing the fabrics, styles and accessories you enjoy wearing. It can help by asking family or friends to give their opinions and feedback to help you work out what you enjoy.
Here are some questions to help you:
- What is your approach to clothes - love them or little interest in them; like to be formal or informal; trendy, classic, creative, or sporty; relaxed & sloppy or neat & tidy?
- What is your wardrobe like - too many clothes or few clothes, high fashion or not interested in fashion, organised or a mess?
- What kind of fabrics do you like - natural and comfortable, neat and fitted, mixture of synthetics; added lycra for ease of movement? My advise is don’t purchase an item if you do not feel good in the fabric.
- Which styles do you like - do you like a variety of styles, like to make a statement, constantly adapting your look or a person that likes a simple timeless look? Do you like fancy details, plain and simple or high fashion and the latest trends? Do you like layers and an ease of movement, relaxed & comfortable or well-fitted stlyes?
- Do you like sharp crisp or soft fibres - crisp cotton or jersey; velvet or gaberdine; stiff or soft fibres?
- Accessories – little or lots; simple or bold; cheap or expensive, latest style or classic?
- What do you think of when buying shoes - practical and comfortable; colourful or neutral colours; plain or fancy; high fashion or classic; lots or only when needed?
- Colours & Patterns - do you enjoy lots of colour, neutral shades or earthy and soft tones? Plain, pattern or a mixture of items?
Answers to these questions should help you to know what you like and how to avoid what you dislike. Pull out the clothes you love and those you never wear and ask yourself why? Understanding your wardrobe personality will help you not waste money on clothes you will not enjoy, not wear or feel uncomfortable in.
For more information and detail I suggest you read my books for Men and for Women.
By Angela Marshall, 13th Mar 2014
Spring is here
After all the rain it is great to see the sun shining and the spring flowers in blossom. Looking out on our garden I can see daffodils, crocuses, snow drops and soon we will see the tulips.
Colour is unavoidable, it affects everything we do and see. It creates a psychological as well as an emotional response. Colour is a major factor in our personal image – it affects how we look and how we feel and how people react to us. It can affect us in quite dramatic ways – our mood, our appetite, our interest. You may find some days you feel like wearing pink whilst on others its blue, this will vary according to how you feel and your mood. Often we feel like wearing red when we lack energy or wish to be more assertive, whilst we may wear black when bereaving or feel fat.
The shops are full of spring colours from sun-baked hues, cool blues and lots of bold colours to pastel shades. Each season there are always a variety of colours and shades to choose from. The key is to choose what flatters you.
Colours to suit you
Choosing which shades of colour to wear is important as is how you mix the colours. Having analysed people’s colours for over 18 years I notice how some people can look pale and tired because they are wearing the wrong shades of colours. You can avoid this, by learning how to mix and match colours to flatter you. You also need to understand whether you have strong tones or require softer colours that should blend in. For me Spring and Autumn are an ideal time to stock up on some new clothes as I need to wear warm soft shades and there is more choice in these seasons. I love colour and toning in my colours is important.
Tips for Choosing the Right Shades
When you go shopping or when trying items on from your wardrobe don’t just look at what colour you fancy and are in the mood to wear, also hold them up to your face. Observe how your appearance changes with the different colours.
- Does the item make you look pale, tired or washed out?
- Does your skin go a touch yellow or greyish in tone?
Then avoid purchasing this item, or if you already own it, think about adding some accessories e.g. scarf or jewellery that will help enhance the right colour next to your face.
Colours that compliment you will make you look younger as well as your skin look clearer, eyes brighter and give you a healthy appearance.
Wearing the correct colours near your face reflects light upwards, making you look bright -eyed and healthy.
It is well worth having a colour analysis with an image consultant or for a quick idea why not try online.
Spring Summer 2014 Colours
This season you will see:
- Blues in shades of calm seas, open skies to traditional denim.
- Peach to strong shades of orange (my favourite colours)
- Duck egg to bright turquoise
- Plus – Clay red, romantic pinks, variations of green, white, black & white
By Angela Marshall, 9th Mar 2014
With the cost of living increasing and the credit crunch, most of us will be considering ways of economising. Shopping smart is important but organising and planning a wardrobe is the first crucial step to having a wardrobe to suit your lifestyle, needs and budget. Most women have too many clothes in their wardrobe and cannot see the wood amongst the trees. Men often do not have an up to date or organised wardrobe and there are men (mostly fashion conscious ones) who also have too many clothes.
Re-examine your wardrobe and ensure you have the classic items as your key pieces. Good quality clothes will last, so purchasing items that are value for money is vital. Purchase less expensive items for your occasional wear that you infrequently wear.
CPW – Cost per Wear
Think CPW (cost per wear). If you purchase an item costing a £1000 and wear it 100 times, its CPW is only £10. Purchase a top for £50 and wear it once and its CPW is £50.
Wardrobe of Clothes
To look and feel good in your clothes you need to have a wardrobe of clothes that suits your wardrobe personality, your natural colouring, suits your body shape plus fits you correctly and finally that reflects your lifestyle. Too many people have too many clothes they do not wear, the 80/20 theory. If you lifestyle changes ensure you adjust your wardrobe. Are you in a rut with your clothes? Does your wardrobe need a makeover? Then consider sorting, organising and planning your wardrobe.
Give yourself a CASH BUDGET whether it is every month or every three or six months for essential items. Check how much you are spending. Make notes of what you need and what needs replacing for the season and have an idea of what you need before you shop for clothes. Your wardrobe should be co-ordinated with versatile separates. Classic items (e.g. suit, jacket, trouser, skirt) should be the basics and your wardrobe should be planned around these key pieces and then adding fashionable items each season. Learn to mix and match your colours in different ways. Ask yourself what slight adjustments you need to make e.g. buy a new top in the season’s colours that mix with several items and/or a few new accessories.
Creating an up to date look — check out magazines or look at merchandise in shops for ideas. Ask yourself what slight adjustments you need to make e.g. buy a new top in the season’s colours that mix with several items and/or a few new accessories.
Accessories are essential — they can update and change the look of your outfits. Buy the best you can afford. A good quality belt makes cheaper quality trousers look more expensive and the same with your shoes. Your accessories say a lot about you and your personality. You should spend around 30% of your clothes budget on accessories. Most people do not spend sufficient on their accessories or buy enough.
By Angela Marshall, 6th Mar 2014
Last week I discussed how our appearance gives out messages to people. When we dress well, including being well groomed, and walk with confidence we give out a positive message that we know who we are and where we are going. I, also asked you to ask yourself what kind of message you think you give out. Well here are some suggestions on how to make the most of yourself and represent who you want to be and how you want to come across to people.
Here are some reminders and tips to help you:
Good grooming is about perfecting the fine details of your appearance. If you are clean, polished and look presentable people straightaway think you are professional in your work and are more trustworthy than someone who looks scruffy. Always check, before going out, in a full-length mirror how your clothes look on you from front and back and check them during the day. Being well groomed some days and not others indicates you are not consistent and therefore not reliable.
Well-fitted clothes show your figure at its best and distract from your weaker areas. The clothes look like they belong to you and make the difference between being poorly dressed and well dressed. Clothes that are too tight bring attention to the area that is probably your weakest. Items that are too big will make look out of proportion. Wrinkles create horizontal lines! Having alterations is often essential and the extra expense is well worth it. You will look better, feel great and the clothes will last longer.
Personality – you need to feel good as well as look good and that is different for different people. To feel comfortable we need to wear clothes that represent our personality. Your style will indicate whether you are conservative, chic, dramatic, romantic, formal or informal, sporty, trendy, artistic or theatrical. Check out my blog on this subject or for full details and information purchase my book from Amazon “Being Truly You Discovering Your Own Unique Personality ” for Men or for Women.
- Posture – Don’t slouch. Give eye contact and remember to smile.
- Greeting people - greet properly with a firm (but not too firm), dry handshake, smile and give eye contact.
- Work friendships - keep in mind work and personal friendships are quite different. Don’t gossip or give too much information away about your personal life.
- Be a good listener - pay attention to people, not gadgets. Show interest in others and they will show interest in you. Give active signs of listening – nod or comment e.g. ah, oh or mm.
- Your voice conveys a variety of feelings – anxiety, concern or interest. It can betray your mood, sound positive or negative.
- The use of space is important. A powerful individual feels quite comfortable taking a lot of space and will use expansive gestures.
- Your voice conveys a variety of feelings – anxiety, concern or interest. It can betray your mood, sound positive or negative.
- When talking, you need to consider pitch, tone, rhythm and speed of your voice.
- Your voice is particularly important on the telephone – ensure you speak clearly, concisely and at the correct level of tone.
- Smile when leaving a greeting or message on the telephone.
It’s about how you look, how you feel, and how positive you are when you meet people.
By Angela Marshall, 27th Feb 2014
The way we dress has an impact on the subconscious and affects people’s views about us and their behaviour towards us. The way we dress is the first thing noticed and the last thing forgotten. We cannot please everyone but we can aim to communicate who we are, our personality and how good we are by having a little attention to detail.
Our appearance will give out messages to people who will in seconds decide whether they like us, trust us and want to do business with us. The way we look conveys various messages – our sex, age, status and wealth and what type of person we are likely to be. It reveals how conservative, trendy, dramatic or creative we are. When we dress well, including being well groomed, and walk with confidence we give out a positive message that we know who we are and where we are going.
What message do you give out?
So ask yourself what is your appearance saying about you? What message do you wish to communicate? No doubt you will wish to communicate different messages in different situations, particularly between your private and business life.
We are all in the business of promoting ourselves, either directly or indirectly. You may have views on how good you look but have you ever stood back and really analysed yourself or asked for honest feedback on how you come across to others. You may be surprised on what comments you will receive.
- Learning how to change aspects of our appearance whether they are large or small can change people’s reaction to us.
- Even subtle changes in our style or colour of clothes or accessories, together with our body language, will improve reactions.
Benefits of a Good Appearance
Good appearance makes you feel good, it gives you self-confidence, projects a positive image and in turn people are more positive to you, which makes you more confident.
Learn to understand how to make the best of yourself. Practise having positive body language; ensure your clothes fit you well and that the styles of clothes compliment your shape and represent your personality. If there are certain people you admire then take notes of why and learn from them, but ensure you represent you as we are all individuals.
Next week I will give some reminders and tips on how to give the right impression to suit you and your personality.
By Angela Marshall, 20th Feb 2014
Over the last month many people have been dieting after the festive season. Sometimes people diet wishing to lose weight in the areas that are not natural to their shape and build. We are not all the same shape. Some women have great legs whilst others have a curvy figure with a naturally slim waist. Understand your body shape and how to wear clothes to compliment it.
Tips on looking slimmer:
- Choose good underwear to suit your figure and avoid the “muffin look” spilling over your waist. Buy the correct size and not too tiny!
- Choose styles of clothes to compliment your shape. This applies to men and women. Avoid nipped in waists if this is not your best area and short skirts if your legs are not your strength.
- Bring attention to your best areas and camouflage your weaker ones. e.g. Women – empire lines bring attention to your bust and camouflage your middle. Men – layer a shirt and wear a waistcoat to hide your round tummy.
- Avoid clothes to big and loose e.g. baggy tops or baggy trousers will make you look bigger.
- Avoid clothes emphasising your weakest area e.g. midriff, tummy, thighs, waist or legs. Be honest about this.
- Buy a size to fit the largest part of your body and then have alterations e.g. curvy figure, trousers to fit your thighs and have the waist taken in. Men – a jacket to fit your larger waist and have the shoulders altered.
- A weight of fabric that suits your frame and size, lighter fabrics for slimmer build, generally mid-weight suits most people.
- If you have a tummy, avoid pleating around the tummy wear flat front trousers.
- Wear necklines to compliment you e.g. high necklines suit longer necks, V necklines suit shorter necks.
- Colour – all one colour will help you to look slimmer and taller
- Patterns – vertical stripes to look taller and avoid horizontal stripes
- Materials – some lycra in the fabric will give more comfort and stretch
- Avoid heavy or chunky fabrics e.g. heavy tweed.