Tag Archives: aici cip

Use Your Manners at the Canada Day Barbeque

Canada Day and the USA 4th of July is the perfect occasion to get outside and gather with family, friends and business colleagues at a picnic in the park or a summer barbeque.

However no matter how good the food tastes, bad manners can leave a bad taste in the mouth of your host and those of the other guests. Yes, how you behave can leave a lasting impression. One that may not only be the deciding factor on whether the barbeque becomes an annual event… or not, but also one that may determine your position on the next barbeque guest list.

Last year I wrote a post called ‘What Not to Do at The Company Picnic’.  By using the good manners in this post at every outdoor event, you can ensure you will act your best and be more likely to rise to the top of the guest list for the next picnic, barbecue or summer celebration.

Meet the In-Laws: How to Enhance Your Success

Happy Easter!

Let’s face it – meeting the in-laws for the first time can be a daunting experience. Whether you are hoping to be welcomed into the family, or your role is to welcome someone into the family, the first gathering can feel like going for a job interview. The knowledge that you will be judged, evaluated, and compared to or potentially competed with by everyone that came before you can leave even the most confident person feeling nervous about that first meeting.Even though I think most would agree that a couple’s happiness should be the most important consideration in a relationship, those of us who have gone through the process of meeting the in-laws or future in-laws would also agree that, as a couple, knowing you have won the family’s acceptance and respect can be essential for the future success of any relationship. Uncertainty of how the in-laws will respond over time, and possibly impact your relationship with your partner or family member can leave anyone feeling insecure.

Having been through this three times – first with parents-in-law; second with a parent of mine entering into a relationship; and most recently with adult children, his and mine; I can say I have seen all sides. I can also honestly say that experience has not made me an expert on winning over family members. However, eliminating additional barriers can increase your odds for success. When meeting your new or future family – prepare ahead of time, be on your best behaviour and dress appropriately.

The success of the gathering weighs heavily on the partner or spouse bringing the families together. If that’s you, take the lead. Help reduce unnerving surprises by providing a heads-up about what to expect. Prepare both sides by disclosing likes, dislikes and personality quirks before the gathering.

• Even though you may be a new family member or want to feel that way, making yourself at home in the home of your host can be perceived as offensive unless invited to do so. Some hosts want their guests to act at home right away and others find guests’ feet on the coffee table, helping ones-self to the fridge, or casually lighting up a cigarette in the house, among other things, enraging. Learn your host’s expectations ahead of time. Then follow their lead.

• If you are one of the in-laws, never bring up the past relationships of your affiliated family member. i.e. “Oh, by the way I saw _____, last week. She said to say, hello. She is such a nice girl.” Fondly bringing up old relationships can bring up new wounds in new relationships. Don’t say or do anything that might hurt or embarrass your new or future family member.

• Don’t leave your child or parent’s date sitting in the living room alone, while you and other family members are in the kitchen. Include your guest by treating everyone equally and with respect. Don’t let your guest feel like an outsider.

• Brush up on your dining skills. Some families dine formally and others are very casual. However, knowing how to navigate the table and what not to do will help you feel more confident and leave a good impression in any situation.

• Find out ahead of time what is considered appropriate dress. Some families dress up for family gatherings and others don’t. Either way leave faded jeans and t-shirts at home. Slacks and a collared shirt, blouse or a lightweight sweater would likely be a better option for casual dress. It will show respect to the host and it will show that you care.

The road to family acknowledgment, acceptance and support can be a long and bumpy one to travel. However, knowing ahead of time what will be appreciated and what will be considered appalling may help ease the tension and make the journey a little smoother.

©Kimberly Law, AICI CIP 2014


Make the Most of Your Handshake

I have written about handshakes in past blog posts. However, occasionally clients ask me questions about how to make the most of your handshake. Next time you shake hands consider the following:

  • When shaking hands in western society the hands should be parallel and hands should be clasped web to web. This isn’t the case with all cultures, so it is important to be understanding.
  • If you have small hands and want to make your hand seem more substantial when shaking hands, separate your index and middle fingers slightly with extending your hand for a handshake.
  • If you wear rings on your right hand when shaking hands, you may hurt the other person if you clasp their hand too tightly. This is the same when shaking hands with someone wearing a ring.
  • When seated, always stand to shake hands. This will bring both parties closer to the same level and both will feel more comfortable.

Consistency is the Key to a Professional Image

There are times when I get up in the morning and I don’t care how I look. I think everyone has those days. When getting dressed in the morning, we throw on the first thing that looks comfortable. And even though we may think it doesn’t matter, this can sometimes get us in trouble.

As an image consultant, I have made a few embarrassing mistakes of my own. One day, I ran down to the grocery store to grab a few things. Wearing sweats and no make-up, I ran into a past client. Oops! You never know where or when you might bump into someone important.

Even though there are days when I would rather not dress for success, I have learned the hard way that I really do need to look the part. Even though we may not care how we look, others might. For more on how to make the right business impression see ‘Upwardly Mobile Clothing for Upwardly Mobile Women’

Use Colour to Instantly Look More Authoritative

Darker shades of most colours are considered more formal. They help you appear authoritative, confident and mature. When you wear dark colours such as navy or charcoal grey people will assume you can handle t he job. Black is the most formal and authoritative colour. Too much black can be intimidating. When worn alone, dark shades are dramatic and unapproachable. For a confident, authoritative look a dark suit with a light dress shirt and a brightly coloured tie, a coloured scarf and/ or metal accessories make the most effective combination. For more on this topic see ‘Upwardly Mobile Clothing for Upwardly Mobile Women’

How to Look Slimmer in Your Warm Colour Palette

In my previous blog post, “Heavy or Slim…Not as Simple as Black or White!’, I talked about the effects of various colour qualities and how you don’t need to stick to neutrals like black or white in order to look slimmer or balance your body shape. Since then I have had questions from clients about what to do if you want to look slimmer but don’t suit cool colours.

One thing to consider is that there are so many variations of colour that can go into the mix. There is usually one colour quality in the mix that will suit your colouring and have a slimming affect. For example: if you look great in warm colours but also want to look slimmer, you may also look great in muted colours or dark colours, which will make you look slimmer. By taking advantage of these slimming colour qualities you can look slimmer and look great in your warm wardrobe colours.

Holiday Dressing on a Budget!

For those of us on a budget, holiday dressing can add to the stress of the season. However, there is no need to spend a fortune on holiday clothing. Here are three ways to stick to your budget and still look great!

Choose Versatile Clothing – When you are buying a new holiday outfit, avoid making it too holiday specific. A dress or tie with an embroidered Santa can only be worn during Christmas, and chances are you won’t want to wear it to every party, so it would get very little use.

Look at What You Already Own – Use items that are already in your closet and add inexpensive, current accessories to make them look new. If you have a nice red or green blouse or shirt, for example, you might add some sparkle with a pair of earrings or festive necklace from the current season. For men, it can be as simple as wearing a new tie or a shirt with cuff-links. Pair this with a nice black skirt or pair of slacks to complete the look.

Christmas, Hanukah, New Years… Holidays in general are A Great Time for the Classics – Do not be tempted by trendy holiday outfits, as they can cost a fortune and you will not be able to wear them next season. Save money and get more wear out of your clothing by dressing classically for the holidays. It is the perfect time for the classic little black dress. Use trendy accessories to add interest or glamour.

Follow these strategies look great and to make your holiday dressing just a little easier.

Happy Holidays…

Start with a Strong Foundation when Getting Dressed

With the holiday party season arriving, we are likely to be dressed up more often. But, no matter what outfit you are wearing, be sure to start with figure-enhancing underwear. If forms the foundation for the garments worn on top, so it is really important to choose the right size and the right style. Instead of bumps and bulges, go for smooth lines. They will automatically make you look slimmer and your torso will look taller.  Smooth lines make your clothing hang better and look more expensive. It also helps to keep the eyes away from your liabilities, so they can focus on your assets. There are so many options available these days and the right bra, slip, pantyhose or even a comfortable shaper can make a huge difference.

SUCCESS? Not with this Dress

One of the things that I have learned as certified professional image consultant is that looking successful is not just about the garments that you wear. It is also about how they are coordinated, the garment details and your body language. At first glance these men and women look quite professional (okay, except for the elf shoes). They are all wearing what would be considered business attire. But look again, how many mistakes can you see??

What not to wear for Success
What not to wear for Success

The man on the left:

  1. Notice the ripples on the jacket. Either he is pulling down too hard on the pockets with his hands or the jacket is too big around.
  2. His tie is also crooked. (Okay, these things happen)
  3. Shirt sleeve should extend about ¼ to ½ inch below his jacket sleeve for a classic business look.

The woman to his right:

  1. The skirt is too short. For business it should never be shorter than 3 inches above the knee.
  2. A little too much cleavage for work.
  3. The shoes would do better at a night club than at the office.
  4. The hemline of her top worn below the jacket might be alright in a casual work environment, but in a formal office it comes across too casual.

The man with the elf shoes:

  1. Assuming he is wearing a shirt, his shirt cuffs also should be ¼ to ½ inch longer than the jacket sleeves.
  2. With those shoes, his pants are too long. There should be a slight break at the bottom of the leg, not the rumpled look we see.

The woman on the right

  1. The sleeves appear too long, although it is hard to know for sure, since they are buried in her pockets.

Advice for all…

  • Putting hands in your pockets ruins the line of the garment
  • Don’t draw attention to your legs when you want attention on your face
  • Shirt cuffs add sophistication to tailored classic attire
  • Crossed arms send a negative message – she looks angry
  • Make sure the width of your pant legs coordinate with the style of your shoes.
  • Elf shoes have no place in the workplace

Cell Phone Etiquette – By Kimberly Law AICI CIP

Cell phones are everywhere and used all the time. Over the past few years, cell phone use and misuse have gotten out of control. They can cause everything from general disturbances to road-rage. When it comes to mobile phones, be courteous to others and use a little common sense. Consider the following cell phone etiquette tips:

  • Keep cell phone calls quick and to the point.
  • Chat or text on cell phones when you are alone, not in public.
  • Quirky ring tones can be very annoying. When in a public place or business setting, set phones on silence, vibrate or use a traditional ring tone.
  • In a business setting, personal cell phones should be turned off.
  • Keep personal matters personal by having these discussions in private.
  • Don’t disturb people around you while talking on your mobile phone.  Keep your distance from other people while talking.
  • Don’t yell. Monitor the loudness of your voice and keep it at a low to moderate level.
  • Use hands free devices while driving, for your safety and to alleviate the aggravation of those driving next to you.

Cell phones should be turned off in the following circumstances:

  • During a meeting, public event, lecture or in a classroom.
  • Restaurants.
  • Places of worship, weddings & funerals.
  • While watching a movie, play, or musical event.
  • In someone else’s home or office.
  • Public transportation.
  • Hospitals.
  • Elevators.
  • Any time you may be disturbing others.