Style & Substance Secrets
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About Style for Success
Terry and Joanne
have fun in their seminars
and so do their participants.
Business etiquette, dining, dress and networking have never been so fun and informative.
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How Can Paying More Actually Save You Money
Ever step into a clothing store and hear those two little voices in your head? The sensible one that recognizes the down turn economy and whispers “You don’t need any more new clothes.” Then there’s the devil-may-care voice that whispers “Go on, you deserve a new outfit. Live for today!”
The Sales Gotcha
So you try to satisfy them both and you end up buying a sales item. How often have you thought you had found a great deal on a shirt or a dress and bought it on a whim, only to discover that it shrinks or practically disintegrates with the first washing? (Click here to see your worst washing nightmare)
We get taken in by so-called deals that are really, let’s be honest now, just low prices for low quality clothing. It is not only a waste of your money but your time as well. Just spending $200 a month on poorly constructed clothes means you are wasting $2,400 a year. Yikes!
An Eye for Value
Your clothing can be an investment in your success. Investment dressing requires you to pay more money per item of clothing, especially for your core wardrobe pieces (jackets, skirts and pants) but you are going to be getting high quality items that will look and feel great and last a long time.
The trick is to spot these smart buys that will help you build up an investment wardrobe that you can use for years to come. Once you understand the look and feel of quality, you can spot the treasure when it does go on sale or duplicate the look at moderately priced retailers. Knowledge is power.
When Times Get Tough - Fashion Gets Classic.
Wise women understand that there is something to be said for the little black dress that is appropriate for all occasions. If you look for clothing that has lines that aren’t trendy, but always look good, no matter the latest style, you have a winner. This includes pencil skirts, sheath dresses and simple blouses. For men, that might include a classic blazer or a single breasted suit in more simple, conservative lines.
These are items of clothing that could hold their own in any decade, not for being at the height of fashion, but for their simplicity and quiet class. As a bonus this fall - classic is the new fad. When times get tough fashion gets classic.
Paying more for clothing that is made of better fabric is a smart decision. In fact, the type of fabric used in your clothes can make all the difference in how good you look. A cheap polyester or acetate will look far worse than the exact same design in a classy wool blend. (Click here to see another danger of too much polyester)
Choose the better fabric and you won’t regret it. Real silk, linen and wool are all fabrics that look terrific and will help build your investment wardrobe. Blends are fine too. Wool blends will be more comfortable, linen blends will wrinkle less and silk blends will usually breath more.
More Stuff is Not Better
If you have traveled to Europe, you have probably noticed how great the men and women look. They do not have as many clothes in their wardrobe yet everything they have is made of the highest quality.
Having a few expensive, classic pieces of clothing in your wardrobe is worth far more than having two or three closets full of cheap clothing that will never pass as good quality. Remember this when that first sticker shock hits! You get what you pay for.
The best way to build your investment wardrobe is to plan your entire wardrobe for versatility. Having two or three pairs of pants, three to five blouses, a couple of skirts and a nice jacket and suit can actually work for you if you plan it. For men five or six pants, the same number of shirts and a couple of nice jackets and a suit, works fine if you choose well.
Choose just two or three neutral or basic colors that all complement each other and you’ll be able to mix and match your entire wardrobe, creating dozens of different outfits. Add a scarf or two (men mix it up with ties) and a couple of different belts and accessories and you can have even more looks, all with just a few select items. Opt for mostly solid colors rather than prints and you’ll have more combinations available to you.
Accessories give new life to existing classics, help you express your unique personality and provide maximum mileage from a small wardrobe. Although fashion trends often dictate how to accessorize, your personality and body shape should always be your guide.
When accessorizing, a few things to consider:
If the garment is intended to be the centre of interest and has lots of applied design (contrasting trim, decorative buttons, topstitching) then play down your accessories; if your garment is simple or basic, then feel free to add flair.
The Upside of the Downturn
Investment dressing is becoming a trend these days and it’s one that is well worth jumping on. Take a few minutes to plan out your basic wardrobe and choose a couple of colors to base it on. Then it’s time to go shopping.
Stick to the plan, choose high quality items and at the end of your day, you’ll have a wardrobe that will last you a long time and suit any occasion. You’ll look better, save money, help the planet and feel better too.
If you would like more individual help updating your brand and get an image infusion, check out our fall Brand New You workshops for women.)
Business Etiquette, Dress & Dining
Q: Problem with “No Problem”?
This summer we were having dinner at a nice restaurant with another couple. The food was great and the female server friendly and attentive. But every time someone thanked her during the meal, her response was “No problem”. For some reason this phrase rankles me. I hear it more and more, even phone companies like Telus customer service use “no problem”. Am I just getting old and cranky?
- Ami Krankie
Of course you’re not just getting old and cranky, we feel the same way. Hearing the words “no problem” subliminally implies that there is a problem, or you’re being demanding or it is an effort. A better response would be a phrase such as “my pleasure”, “you’re welcome” or simply to nod and smile.
There is a lack of awareness of how this phrase diminishes effectiveness especially when dealing with customers. This may be an old school or generational thing.
We welcome any thoughts from our readers on Is no problem, a problem with you? or other ways of acknowledging thanks in a positive manner.
What other phrases bug you?
Dining Etiquette Advice
Q: When One Plate Isn't Enough
Just when you think you've seen it all. I was at a professional association luncheon and the businessman seated to my left took my bread plate and proceeded to eat my bread roll. Instead of compounding the error by using the person on my right’s bread plate, I did what you suggested in one of your dining articles, I chose to skip the roll.
Then I looked over at my dinner partner again. He had by this time finished the roll on my bread plate and without batting an eye he picked up the roll on his left side and ate it too. I almost burst out laughing.
I still giggle when I think of this. It is amazing what you see for table manners these days.
- Breadless in Seattle
Thanks for sharing that with us. It made us smile. (Here is a link to that bread plate tip) With the tighter economy businesspeople are taking it upon themselves to upgrade their skills and many are even recognizing they need to upgrade their dining skills.
The Wall Street Journal acknowledged this trend in a recent article where they tested the best self-help dining training resources. We don't want to boast but guess whose video dining training was rated number one.
See what The Wall Street Journal liked-
Just enter user id - diningsample
and password - sampleit
Click here to order video training
Our business and marriage has survived, just barely. We renovated this summer and it's still going on. Will it never end?
Click here to see how bad it looks and feels.
But ... The Wall Street Journal Likes Us
We're very proud Canadians. Our Business Dining Etiquette video training was rated best of the top US offerings.
"The software that helped us best learn about tableware and all other aspects of business dining was the Dining for Success online course."
- Peter King
Joanne's got some great public image workshops coming up.
Sorry guys, they're for women only.
There are some co-ed seminars listed below.
‘Brand’ New You - One Day Image Enhancement
Limited to just 8 participants these 1 day workshops combines Joanne’s exclusive individual consulting with the best of her popular image seminars to give you a Brand New You. This transformational workshop will pay dividends year after year.
Click here for more info and to register for workshop.
Terry and Joanne are co-facilitating these half day seminars:
Etiquette Power - Gain a Competitive Advantage
Make a great impression with clients and colleagues
Half-day seminar in Edmonton Fri. Nov 20
Savvy Networking - Rev Up Your Relationship Building Skills
Boost your profile and your ability to converse and network
Half-day public seminar in Edmonton Fri. Nov 20
Click here for more info and to register for either seminar
CMAs Are Creative Accountants
This October Terry is providing presentations on Professional Presence for CMA Alberta's CLDP Week (Continuous Professional Learning and Development) If you are a CMA he looks forward to seeing you there.
FYI - a little bit about our personalities
For those that haven't attended one of our co-facilitated seminars, our personalities are quite different from each other and we have some fun with that. Joanne is more relationship oriented and Terry is more a Mr. Logical - read the manual type of guy.
We're thinking of starting a blog so guess who is studying all the manuals.
Terry is reading Blogging for Fame and Fortune and The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. He says the Huff Post book has more interesting examples but both have good info. Joanne says "Enough reading already, let's start the blog."
Joanne is reading Being in Balance by Wayne Dyer, an excellent choice to show you how to restore balance to your life. She says "After the renovations Terry really needs to read this one too."
Two films we both enjoyed were -
Mother of Mine - a moving and heart wrenching Swedish/Finnish film about a young boy who must come to terms with his mother sending him away during the war to live in safety in Sweden. directed by Klaus Haro.
To Be and to Have - An uplifting French documentary about an amazing teacher in a modern one-room school with mixed ages (from four to twelve years), who shows patience and respect for the children as we follow their story through a single school year. (Terry says - Yes, it is another foreign film, but I'm learning to love them and you will love this one too.)
We love books and movies. Please share your finds and favorites with us. (foreign or otherwise)
Speaking of books -
Joanne's new book!
Executive Image Power
Executive Image Power is the key ingredient to building confidence, making a great impression and getting what you want every time.
More savvy and sophistication are yours with the insider insights of top corporate image experts. With Executive Image Power you can be your best everyday.
Click here for more information or to order
Not to be outdone -
Terry has a book due out very soon. Joanne says "As soon as he's finished reading the manual." Ouch that hurt.
Looking for entertaining and empowering presentations with a difference for your next conference or retreat?
Check out our website and give us a call.
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