Have you never worn some of your clothing?

By Joanne Blake | Dress & Image

Jul 21

Joanne reveals an embarrassing secret that many of you Too many Clothesshare

One of my most embarrassing moments came in the early days of my business. I had been hired to speak to 250 hotel managers and their spouses on  tips for credible business wear. I was a little excited and nervous as it was the largest audience I’d ever spoken to.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping

I worked hard on the presentation and added lots of humor to my advice. But I needed a boost for my confidence, so I did what most women do. I went shopping and bought a new outfit for the presentation.

Looking good

Now let’s fast forward to the day of the presentation.  I’m on the platform… I’m looking good…  I’m feeling great.  My audience is responding well.  They’re laughing where they should be… but they’re also laughing where they shouldn’t be.

A real showstopper

In fact every time I raise my arms there’s laughter.  I’m a bit confused. I look out at the front row and notice a couple of women pointing under their arms and mouthing words that I can’t quite make out.

Mortified? Moi?

They do this a couple of times and then I look down.  Well, I’m shocked to see there’s a price tag hanging down under my arm pit. Mortified? You bet but I’m on stage so what could I do? I grin sheepishly, yank the tag off and say, “I guess the secret’s out. Even image consultants aren’t perfect!”  We all had a good laugh but now I always check for tags before stepping out.

Speaking of tags

A week after the Suit Yourself Charity tea, one of the judges, journalist Marta Gold contacted me to follow up on our charity clothing sale as she was doing a story on why  women purchase clothing and accessories they never wear. My comments and advice appeared in the Style section of the Edmonton Journal.  See the link for full story, tips and photos. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Lost+closet/4968783/story.html

Mea culpa. what about you?

I admit I have occasionally bought things that I have never worn (FGS don’t tell Terry). I know I’m not the only woman who does this, judging by the number of items in the sale with their original price tags still on.

Do as I say not as I do

As a corporate image consultant, in our business dress seminars I always focus on having a plan for your wardrobe and getting the biggest bang for your buck. So although occasionally (very occasionally) I have bought something that I shouldn’t, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide some advice and tips to prevent buyers’ remorse in your clothing purchases. Here are my top tips for minimizing unnecessary and unwanted wardrobe purchases:

Ask yourself:

  • How often will I wear it? (cost per wear)
  • Do I want to spend time & money caring for it? (dry cleaning is expensive)
  • Where will I wear it ? (consider your lifestyle)
  • Will it coordinate with other items I own? (consider colour, pattern and texture)
  • Is the style flattering for me? (this is probably the #1 reason items don’t get worn)
  • Does it fit well? Can it be altered to fit?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Ask yourself the $50 question – Would you buy it even if it cost $50 more?

We’re all human

Don’t beat yourself up too badly if you occasionally end up with an item sitting in your wardrobe with the sales tags still on. You can always donate it to an organization like Suit Yourself.  (My advice is just don’t wear it to a major presentation with the tags still on.)

Posted by Joanne Blake – Corporate image consultant and closet tag person

About the Author

JOANNE BLAKE Canadian speaker, corporate image consultant & business etiquette expert. If you're interested in booking a presentation, keynote or coaching, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

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