Tag Archives: kimberly

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


How to Look Older and More Serious at Work

I remember when I was in my 20’s and 30’s all I could think about was how to look older. It seemed that my friends and colleagues who looked older were taken more seriously… especially at work. If this is a challenge for you I would suggest the following:

Wear darker colours – Darker colours come across more mature and authoritative. By wearing them you might not look older but you will come across more experienced and will look like you know what you are talking about.

Wear make-up tastefully – For those of us women who look young, we tend to look even younger when we don’t wear make-up. Make-up will not only make you look older, but is the finishing touch in the wardrobe package. When worn tastefully, it draws attention to your face and will increase your look of authority.

Tame the mane – Big hair or long distracting hair will make you look less mature, less serious and less polished. To focus attention on your abilities rather than your hair, keep it neat and away from your face. This can be done by cutting or tying it back.

Don’t be a walking bill-board – Although we do want our clothing and accessories to appear up-to-date and current at work; we don’t want to be a walking bill-board for all of the latest in fashion styles and accessories. When choosing accessories for the workplace… less is better – less quantity; fewer details and smaller scale.

Need to Look Caring in Your Workplace?

Lighter colours, especially pastels send the message that you care. These are great colours to wear when you want to be perceived as reassuring or gentle. They also have a calming effect on others. For this effect a lower contrast or monochromatic combinatioand tie) in lighter colours works well.
light colour

Do Maxi Skirts Work for Work?

This season we are again seeing the new longer ankle length hemline on skirts, called the ‘Maxi’. Many of my clients are asking whether this skirt or dress style is appropriate to wear to work.

This is an interesting question. As image consultants we tell our clients to cover their skin, when dressing for work. And this skirt style definitely covers skin. However, the other thing to consider when dressing for business is, whether your clothing is distracting. Unfortunately the ‘Maxi’s’ falls into the category of distracting, as well. And because of this, it isn’t suited to the work place.

Why, you ask? If the clothing draws attention to itself, it also draws attention to your personality. This can draw attention away from your purpose and what you are trying to convey.

Personality Style VS Image

As an image consultant a lot of people ask me to help them define their ‘personality style’. I find personality style really interesting because I think we all know inherently what we like and dislike. The label, ‘personal style’, helps us to communicate about our likes and dislikes easily to other people. It also can create a topic for conversation. In some ways I really like these labels because as an image consultant it creates an easy way for me to describe an identity to a client, in just a few words. One of the concerns I have with these labels though, is that the client is hoping for a magical way of demonstrating this identity. And although it can be demonstrated effectively, this is just one aspect we look at as image consultants. To do a good job for the client, we also need to consider the persons lifestyle, their body shape, their inherent look… Ok, you get the picture. The ideal reflection of you will incorporate all of these aspects, not just the personality. A good image consultant will consider all aspects of what makes you a person then determine how to bring out your best while helping you establish an identity or image that will reflect you while helping you accomplish your goals.

Hosiery Tips for Longer Slimmer Legs

This season we are seeing every kind of hosiery. Have long slim legs? If this is you, anything goes. Take advantage of any type of hosiery that suits your personality and lifestyle.

However, if your legs are not your best asset, avoid texture, designs and bright colour. These will emphasize your legs and make them look heavier. To make your legs look slimmer and longer, opt for darker colours that are toned to your shoes and/ or your hemline. For natural looking legs, taupe is more slimming than tan. However, for a modern look your first choice should always be the tone closest to the natural skin-tone of your legs.

Fashion Tape Quick Fix for Hems

Leaving the house and just noticed your hem coming down? As a certified professional image consultant my first suggestion would be to change into another outfit. However, in some circumstances this just isn’t possible. Instead of pulling out the safety pins or the duct tape…

Fashion Tape again, is the better solution. It will be less visible and do a better job then a homemade remedy.

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