In the real world we see the female figure in many shapes and sizes. Yet, unfortunately our perception of perfection is usually based on what female celebrities look like or what we see in fashion magazines like Vogue, InStyle and Harpers Bazaar. This can cause confusion and lead women to feel that they are too tall, too short, too thin or too heavy.
Often my clients ask me what the ideal balanced figure would look like. This is what I tell them…
A women’s figure is considered balanced when the shoulders and hips are approximately equal width and the waist is proportionately smaller. The legs are approximately the same length as the rest of the body above the top of the leg. And your weight is average in proportion to the height. Believe it or not, the average height for a woman is between 5’5” to 5’7”.
Since most of women don’t have all of these attributes, we need to learn to make the most of what we have. As certified professional image consultants we show our clients how to use camouflage and illusion to bring out their personal best.
It is an exciting time to be living in Vancouver. With the Olympics less than two weeks away, there is a buzz of excitement in the air and a lot of controversy. Over this past week I had calls from Global TV news and CTV news asking my impression of a etiquette / protocol policy guide that the City of Vancouver, created for it’s staff members. The media wanted two questions answered. 1) Is a protocol policy manual a waste of tax payer’s money? 2) Does the policy manual go overboard with the amount of detail and some of the items it covers? Here is what I said on CTV.
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??
The man on the left:
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.
His tie is also crooked. (Okay, these things happen)
Shirt sleeve should extend about ¼ to ½ inch below his jacket sleeve for a classic business look.
The woman to his right:
The skirt is too short. For business it should never be shorter than 3 inches above the knee.
A little too much cleavage for work.
The shoes would do better at a night club than at the office.
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:
Assuming he is wearing a shirt, his shirt cuffs also should be ¼ to ½ inch longer than the jacket sleeves.
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
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.