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.
By Angela Marshall, 13th Feb 2014
As an image consultant I am often asked by men, whether they should wear a tie to meetings? As always there is no one answer to this question.
Ask yourself what image do I wish to portray? How do I wish to come across in the meeting? How formal is the meeting? Do I want to look authoritative, friendly or relaxed? Do I feel more comfortable wearing a tie?
The benefits of wearing a tie:
- A tie adds colour to dark suits and white shirts.
- It’s a way to show your individual personality.
- A tie can improve your appearance and enhance a traditional work appearance.
- Depending on your age, a tie will cover up a wrinkly neck; it certainly can make a man look younger!
- A shirt and jacket collar generally falls better.
- It gives a smart, elegant and professional look.
- A tie is a quick way to update and modify your look.
Mistakes on how to wear a tie:
- Incorrect length of tie – wearing a tie too short or too long will throw out the entire look – it should end near the middle of your belt buckle.
- Uncomfortable - a tie is uncomfortable if it is tied too tight or your shirt collar is too small.
- Poorly tied tie - inappropriate knot for the collar which leaves a gap between the tie and the collar.
- Badly hanging tie – a knot that shows any part of the narrow end of the tie.
- Stains on tie - send it to the cleaners and if it still remains, unfortunately you will need to get rid of that tie.
- Wrinkle tie – hang your ties on a tie rack or at least over a hanger; the fabric will then straighten itself out over night. Also never wear the same tie two days in a row.
Tips for choosing a tie:
- Size of tie – the width of a tie should be similar to the lapel of your jacket.
- Colours - select a tie that is darker than your shirt for a professional business look. It should have the colours of your suit and shirt plus preferably one other colour to provide an accent. For a formal appearance, choose a solid coloured tie and one darker than your shirt.
- Patterns - a plain jacket and plain shirt is the easiest with a pattern tie and plain tie best with a pattern shirt. If you wear both a striped shirt and tie ensure they are different sizes. When in doubt stay subtle. Novelty ties are not professional, just fun.
- Match your body physique - a pattern tie and width need to suit your build; small frame small pattern and a large frame needs larger patterns.
- Mix & match – choose a tie that you can wear with several shirts, suits or jackets. It will give the appearance you have more ties than you do and allow you to create a variety of looks.
The Right Knot
Your choice of tie knot should be appropriate to the collar of the shirt. For example a standard collar suits a four-in-hand (although this is less neat and professional). A cut-away collar suits a larger knot such as a full Windsor. A Half-Windsor knot can be used for both standard collar or cut-away collars and is neat and professional.
Need help to tie a knot- Check out YouTube for the various demos such as on “How to do a tie Half-windsor knot.”
By Angela Marshall, 9th Feb 2014
Today is my first personal blog about my favourite things food and wine.
My husband and I are very British in that we love Sunday Lunch. He loves cooking and I love matching the wine to the food. So here is an insight into what we ate today, which is one of my favourite Sunday lunches.
We started off by having a half bottle of Blanc de Blanc Ruinart. I had it for about 12 months which to me helped as it was lovely and smooth, less acidic.
1st course – tropical shrimp salad (a fresh any time of year starter) from Asian Tapas cook book sent to us from friends in Singapore. It includes mango, papaya and pineapple. I decided not to have wine with this as it included chilli. We had just water.
2nd course – roast chicken, roast potatoes, broccoli, swede & carrot, small homemade sausages and gravy with wine – Puligny Montrachet La Garenne – Dom Leflaive Les Combebles 2003. This was absolutely wonderful. Dom Leflaive is very different to his brother Oliver Leflaive whose wine I also like. It was ideal and drinking well for 2003.
Dessert - Waitrose citron tarts with crème fraises and the wine – NED Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2009. A very good choice and complimented the tarts well.
The wines and food were great and to me a wonderful way to spend Sunday, chilling out.
Only disappointment – I was very upset with the way Wales played yesterday against Ireland (Rugby), Stuart couldn’t even look at the Scotland game against England and today my husband is shouting at the TV, so I guess Man United are not playing so well. Time will tell!
By Angela Marshall, 7th Feb 2014
It seems “men in suits” are back in fashion and I love seeing a man in a suit that fits him well. We are seeing 2 and 3 piece suits on many of the television entertainers; young trendy pop groups; actors as well as your usual professional business men walking around the City of London.
The question is how many look smartly dressed and like a true gentlemen – Look the part, think the part and behave the part!
To look great in a suit you need to consider the finer details. Ensure the suit fits you correctly and is comfortable. Many slim fit suits, which are in fashion, look rather too tight and snug on many people. Better to buy a larger size and have it taken in.
When shopping for a suit wear the style of shoes and shirt you intend wearing with it.
Here are some tips on what to consider when buying a suit:
- A good suit should hug your shoulders, not slouch off them.
- Ensure the jacket is the correct length – hang your arms straight and cup the jacket hem in your hands. If you cannot reach then it’s too long and it will make you look shorter.
- The jacket should easily button up without straining or gaping.
- Sleeve lengths correct, quarter of an inch of shirt sleeve showing, slightly more if they have cuffs.
- The length of trousers is appropriate – the fashion trend at present is a shorter length only suited to the slim trendy styles, avoid for a classic look.For correct trouser length check out this video.
Care of the Suit
Do not over dry clean, a couple of times a year at most is all that you need, especially a wool suit. Brushing removes particles of dirt and grit that is caught in the fibres of your suit, so brush it after wear.
To look great in a suit remember you need to keep your suit well pressed, clean and hang it up each night. Steam your suit to help creases drop out. When away consider hanging it in the shower after you have used it but ensure you do not get it wet. Stubborn creases may need an iron, but remember to use a damp cloth over the fabric. Don’t fasten the bottom button of a waistcoat or jacket. Clean shoes, clean nails and hair must look great to complete your look!
Always wear a belt if your trousers have hoops and the belt should match the colour of your shoes. Choose a tie knot that suits the shirt collar .
My next blog will cover more information on choosing a tie.
By Angela Marshall, 30th Jan 2014
Over the last few weeks I have talked about being a good neighbour at home, work and now consider when you’re travelling. Are you helpful, patient and considerate to fellow travellers? Whether we travel by plane, train or bus we can all improve on being more neighbourly to our fellow travellers. People seem more busy nowadays, short of time particularly in large cities. Always in a rush, lacking patience for people who are slower and possibly less able. Yet if we can just be a little more neighbourly then the journey may well be more pleasant for us all.
Suggestions to consider to be more neighbourly to fellow travellers:
- Be polite – remember your please and thank you, say sorry when necessary, say excuse me
- Be courteous – Offer elderly people, pregnant women or those with children to go first
- Be Helpful – if people are unsure where or what to do offer your advice, or if someone is disabled offer support, for example: holding a door open for them to pass through
- Smile if people look at you especially sitting opposite show some friendship without having to engage with them
- Take notice of your surroundings – avoid bumping into people or knocking their belongings
- Know your space – avoid taking up extra space or putting your legs or elbows in other people’s space
- Communicate – ask the person next to you, if you think you will annoy by doing something or if you need to pass or open a window
Things to Avoid
- Speaking loudly – avoid speaking loudly to fellow passengers or on your mobile when sitting or walking close to people
- Being impatient in a queue – whether in line for traffic, boarding on to a bus, plane or train
- Eating smelly food- if you need to eat try to avoid food with a strong odour e.g. orange, fish, hot food.
- Holding up a queue – not being ready with your ticket, not having the correct information.
- Blocking areas – standing or talking in corridors or empty space
- Luggage – avoid wheely bags or knapsacks tripping or knocking other passengers
- Sneezing and coughing – use a handkerchief and try to avoid doing it directly at people
Travelling with Children
It isn’t always easy to travel with children especially if the journey is long. Try to take interesting items e.g. toys, crayons and books or videos to keep your children occupied and teach them they also need to be patient and wait inline.
Travelling with other people and especially at busy times is not always pleasant but by treating others as you wish to be treated can make the journey more pleasant for you and other people.
By Angela Marshall, 23rd Jan 2014
Over the last two weeks I have discussed being neighbourly in general and at home. This week is about being neighbourly at work.
Are you a positive and happy person at work? People like to work with people that are positive as they project confidence and success, whereas people who are negative lack energy and show low self esteem. The energy of positive people can rub off on others.
It is important to be neighbourly in work as well as at home. Being thoughtful and considerate to our colleagues creates a better atmosphere and in turn it makes the environment a better place for all.
Here are some suggestions for being neighbourly at work:
- Say good morning and good night when you arrive and leave.
- Introduce Yourself – to new co-workers and when you attend other areas.
- A smile is a much underrated business tool. It conveys enthusiasm, happiness and interest. It is a sign of friendship and fosters goodwill in business. It also helps to relax muscles in your face.
- Good Body Language – walk with energy, give a good handshake, sit and stand upright don’t slouch.
- Listen and Give active signs - nod or comment.
- Be friendly in Lifts – smile and say a general comment – e.g. busy today when lift is busier than normal, network, it’s a good way to meet people from other areas as well as your bosses.
- Communicate regularly – update them on changes, promotions or events; they may well keep you informed.
Always Be Polite
Remember your please and thank you and show your appreciation when others do you favours. It’s always good to treat others how you wish to be treated.
Some people are shy and can appear unfriendly so break down the barriers, even when people are unfriendly or miserable better to be known as a positive person with enthusiasm and energy. You never know when bosses will notice or be speaking to you especially in a large company.
Next week I shall talk about “being neighbourly when travelling” in the meantime practise being a good neighbour in general.
By Angela Marshall, 16th Jan 2014
Last week I mentioned about being a good neighbour in general, this week I shall concentrate on being a good neighbour around our home. Whether you live in a flat, a semi or a detached house we can all make a little more effort to show interest in our neighbours. It may be that we find some of them are not very pleasant but that doesn’t stop us from being pleasant and perhaps one day they may surprise us. The more we are kind and thoughtful to them the more we should feel better and one day it may return back.
General suggestions on how to be a good neighbour:
- Get to know your neighbours – introduce yourself whether you are new or not. Advise them of your name and if appropriate your family names.
- Smile and say hello when you see them - show signs of neighbourly friendship.
- Communicate with your neighbours – keep in touch advising them of anything that may affect them e.g. cutting your hedge, having a party, events on locally, garbage collecting days or changes.
- Be aware of your surroundings and theirs. Keep an eye on anything suspicious and notify the police if you are concerned. You don’t need to be nosy or pushy.
- Be aware of shared walls – any structure where you and your neighbours share living spaces, whether sideways, above or below then be aware of noise, especially late at night.
- Control Your Pets – keep your dog on a leash and make sure you clean up after them.
- What are their schedules - will your parking affect them if they rush off to work early in the morning; do they work shifts at night – be aware of noise in the day; had a new baby - so avoid being too noisy at certain times of the day.
Treat others as you wish to be treated and try to put yourself in their shoes. So many disputes have been caused by lack of communication and people not talking to one another. If something annoys you or causes you problems, first of all be polite and try to discuss it. Talk to them face to face or drop them a note to say how you feel and could you have a chat about it as you don’t want to cause offence.
Parking Etiquette – avoid blocking a neighbour’s drive or space. If you need to for a short time, knock on their door and ask them if it is ok. Park in front of your home, not theirs. Avoid slamming your doors, beeping your horn, shining your headlights into their windows, particularly late at night.
Next week will be about being neighbourly in the office, but in the meantime practise being neighbourly at home.
Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog.
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners."