Category Archives: Confidence

The Eyes Don’t Have It- Nine Essential Shoe Tips for Men & Women in 2014

by Cathy Berger, Fashion Societe

shoes zillions

Why since the dawn of time is there so much fascination about footwear? After all, shoes simply provide protection from the dirty mean streets of the world, right? A “good pair” will outlast most clothing. But does a pair of shoes get noticed before a pair of eyes? Eyes are windows to the soul but shoes, they say, Make The Man – and women are, admittedly, addicted.

For anyone female or male, young or old, rich or poor, who is looking to sartorially reveal something about themselves, shoes are a most popular indicator. The wrong ones invoke hushed snide remarks. The right ones invoke stares and envy. Articles abound that proclaim to reveal what shoe choices really mean about the wearer.

So Ladies first – here are five points for successful shoe looks at work and play:

1. High heeled pointy shoes are all the rage. Studded, colorblocked, ankle-strapped, D’Orsay– we encourage you to peruse with pleasure. Problem is, this trend is hell on toes. If you can’t/won’t wear them because of discomfort, there is an option: Companies like Nike have paired with Cole Haan to offer sleek looks that offer delightfully comfortable toe boxes. This allows breathing space at the point via an ever so slightly round or square “cut off” that still has that desired sex appeal like the pointy toe sports.

2. Know how high a heel you truly can pull off . Face it, not everyone is meant to walk around in five inch stilettos! While sky high heels do look great and make legs look long and beautiful, so do certain lower heels when cut low on the vamp and high on the back of the heel. This gives the illusion of a deeper decline. If you still can’t balance yourself properly with a heel, then try a platform shoe which conceals the elevated area underneath the ball of the feet.

3. Ever leave the fun behind because “my shoes are killing me”? Proper fit is key to happy feet and a good attitude. Make sure your shoes hug the sides and length of your feet regardless of the “size”. Space = Sliding and sliding creates nasty, painful blisters.
Dr. Scholls and others sell padding options that close gaps and ease pressure — use them!

4. Treat yourself to a stylish pair of flats which have been and will remain so on-trend in 2014. Carla Bruni looks hot in them standing next to her husband, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. For us mere mortals, choose something pretty in a neutral color with a little sparkle for an easy go-to, run- around shoe. And a word to our fellow party-lovers: always keep a pair on standby for those nights when you know your feet will need a break from heels.

5. Take care of your shoes. Clean them, polish them. If they are becoming
worn-looking, take thee to the shoemaker and have them repaired with new taps or soles. [This goes for men too, who also should make sure laces are in good shape and not frayed.]

Shoe Article Mens Pant Length 500We find men often have more questions about what pant length should be worn with their shoes, rather than what shoe styles are essential.  So Men — here are 4 pointers to guide the right overall look from your knees down:

1.  Jeans – look best when worn with boots or sneakers or casual loafers. The hem should cover the back heel and you should not be able to see the socks (if worn at all).

2.  Chinos – best worn with edgy (not gym) sneakers and should hang quite long over your shoe.

3.  Cuffed [Suit] Pants – should be worn with classic, clean line shoes, nothing casual or thick-soled. Wear with a sharp crease down the front; let them cover and sit on top of the shoe.

4.  Un-cuffed Suit Pants – can be worn with classic, somewhat casual yet current shoes and the hem should come down a little further than with cuffed suit pants and allow for a small break.

With a new year ahead, what better time to “get it right” by starting at the bottom and working your way up! Style and comfort is our fav blend for 2014. Just don’t forget to think of something as you walk that makes your eyes sparkle as well. ~

Brrrrr… 3 Ways to Pamper Yourself on Extremely Cold Winter Days

blog cold 1The bitter cold winter can be tough on our looks, so here are 3 tips to keep warm and look hot!

1. Make sure your hands are dry from the cold winter with your favorite pair of gloves. We personally like leather gloves; they are chic and protect hands beautifully- especially when they are lined.  Remember to apply hand moisturizer a few minutes before donning a good pair. Keep it close by and reapply often.

2. Lips are always exposed to the elements so we need to avoid the dry, flaky consequences of leaving them bare. Make sure to re-apply lipstick, and use chap stick, lip gloss, or any lip balm at all other times to create a protective layer.  Soft kissable lips are possible all year round if you take care of them!

3. Cold, grey dreary days are depressing, so try to occasionally head to the spa or salon. Make sure you take time to pamper yourself.  Get a haircut, manicure, pedicure, back massage. Any of these are wonderful pick-me-ups, and come with the bonus of lovely lasting effects. Hang in there ladies!!

Networking: If at first you don’t succeed… by Robyn Hatcher, SpeakEtc.

Our charming and beautiful speaker at last night’s Image of Success Networking Series has an arsenal of key techniques for us professionals to know when it comes to “working the room”. She refers to this as “Lessons Learned from Sticking it out When You Feel Like You Have Two Heads!“.  We at Fashion Societé especially adhere to Lesson #5, but recognize that are all important!

For a sole proprietor, marketing is always a challenge. Recently,  I closed an extremely lucrative deal to create and deliver a training workshop for a  large corporation.  I did not get offered this job as a result of Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter or any other media outlet. I got it through good old fashioned face to face networking. As I’ve mentioned before almost 99% of my work comes from networking. But this particular networking connection almost didn’t happen since I  almost left the event prematurely in an “I hate networking” funk.
I had really been anticipating this event. It was being hosted by a woman’s organization I had just rejoined and it involved shopping – one of my all time passions. But something felt off as I entered. I ran into two people I knew right off the bat but I felt like they both kind of dissed me.  And it went downhill from there. It seemed as though everyone I made eye contact with quickly looked away thinking they could find someone better to talk to. Had I had grown a second head or something? Was I wearing the wrong dress/shoes/makeup? I watched other people chat and exchange cards while I could only manage a few fleeting encounters.
I had really been anticipating this event. It was being hosted by a woman’s organization I had just rejoined and it involved shopping – one of my all time passions. But something felt off as I entered. I ran into two people I knew right off the bat but I felt like they both kind of dissed me.  And it went downhill from there. It seemed as though everyone I made eye contact with quickly looked away thinking they could find someone better to talk to. Had I had grown a second head or something? Was I wearing the wrong dress/shoes/makeup? I watched other people chat and exchange cards while I could only manage a few fleeting encounters.
I battled my inner evil twin – I’ve named her Clarice –  who kept chattering very negative thoughts in my head. She was encouraging me to leave and avoid further embarrassment and failure. I convinced my evil twin that we needed to stick it out a little longer, and possibly this was a test of our confidence. Overcoming this would be good for us, I told her. I promised her that even though we seemed to be striking out socially, we were in a designer clothing boutique…. we could do something we are very skilled at – SHOP!  Evil twin was appeased.  And wouldn’t you know it, while waiting to try on some dresses, I started chatting with a woman who had an immediate need for someone to deliver a presentation skills workshop.
Five lessons I learned from this experience:
1.       If at first you don’t succeed… don’t leave!  Our evil twins – read fears – can be very powerful. I very easily could have given in to her and chalked this event up as a failure. But instead, I revised my expectations and decided I would stay long enough to meet just ONE more person. (and try on one dress)
2.       Don’t make it about finding the most effective connections. Make it about connecting effectively. Once I quieted my evil twin and I stopped worrying about whether people liked me or not I could focus on just being me and concentrate on finding people that I could like.
3.       When you feel like you have two heads, it may be all in your head. What allowed me to stay at the event was reminding myself that my perception of what was going on might not be accurate. Were people really ignoring me or did one or two small things push the button on an old negative self-talk tape?
4.       And even if you DO have two heads…Own it! I don’t know why I wasn’t connecting with people at first. I don’t know why or if the people I knew were really dissing me.  But once I turned off the negative tape and replaced it with a positive one, I was able to say… “Wow… it’s unfortunate that there’s something getting in the way of me connecting but I know that this isn’t a reflection on the valuable person I know myself to be.  And finally…
5.       Shopping cures all ills!

Robyn Hatcher, not Clarice, wrote this post, not as much as a lesson in perseverance or in overpowering your evil twin or as proof that shopping always saves the day. She wrote this because often, people treat going to networking events as a sort of Supermarket Sweeps – how many cards can I collect before time runs out.  But remember, networking is about creating relationships not filling card files. Realizing that it’s quality over quantity makes a huge difference to your experience and ultimately to your bottom line~.

10 Powerful Secrets To A Winning Image -fantastic article from Canadian Expert Charmaine Mills

Having an image that is of a consistently high standard projects a message of quality and self confidence; it increases your responsiveness to your clients and colleagues, and removes the attention of yourself and onto the needs of the ones you are serving.

As people begin to see your name and become aware of the benefits and knowledge that you offer, before you know it thousands of people will not only know who you are but they will begin to seek out your services and expertise. They will identify with your brand which is you.

1.  Don’t overlook the power of a good first impression. People make amazing assumptions about your professional  credibility and potential performance based upon your appearance during a first meeting. It’s very difficult to overcome a poor first impression, regardless of your knowledge or expertise.

2.  Be notable! Identify the components that differentiate you. How do you stand out among the other options? Perfect an eloquent descriptive and memorable introduction of yourself and your position. To promote yourself effectively, you must know (and be able to articulate) who you are and why you do what you do.

3. Ultimately, it is always the person who dignifies the position, and not the position that dignifies the person. If we want others to take us seriously and view us as a professional, we must first view ourselves as one.

4. Body language is defined as a type of communication between one or more persons which does not utilize verbal words. Instead, body language is read by each person by carefully watching the facial  expressions, hand gestures, posture, and movements made by another person.  Body language can dominate the spoken words.

5. Raise your professional and personal standards until even you are impressed. The pursuit of excellence is not only politically correct it is also highly profitable. Do not settle for mediocrity.

6. You are always making visual statements. No matter where you are going or what you are doing, you are telling people something about yourself.  Thinking “big picture” means that to get where you want to be in three years, for example, you may have to pay extra close attention to those visual statements you are making today.

7. Invest in quality instead of quantity. Have clarity about the purpose you are buying for. Don’t spend money on something that doesn’t look great on you even if it’s almost free! Dress better than you have to and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

8. One of the main elements of an introduction is your smile, or at the very least, a pleasant facial expression. A smile sends a positive message and adds warmth and an aura of confidence. Others will be more receptive if you remember to check your expression.

9. Managing your attitude is an important business tool for every successful leader.  Your attitude is infectious and drives behavior, make it work for you.

10. There is power in perception. To those you meet, how you are perceived is who you are. What kind of image are you projecting? Remember, your career could depend on it.

Charmaine conducts transformational Image & Etiquette consultations worldwide through teleseminars, phone coaching and face-to-face consultations.  Her head office is based in Toronto, Canada.   http://www.advanceimageconsulting.ca

Fashion Societe and Stylista Shopping Tours present – Sep 23 2011 | Crain’s New York Business

As seen in Crain’s New York today:

Fashion Societe and Stylista Shopping Tours present – Sep 23 2011 | Crain’s New York Business.

Recipe for Seduction

by Samantha von Sperling of Polished Social Image
Fashion Societe Style Meets seduction seminar by Samantha von Sperling
Seduction, it makes the world go around. Sex, food, money, power, fame, glamour, glitter, it’s all seductive. It’s what pulls at our egos and into our ears whispers our deepest desires.

Seduction is about attracting someone to you by offering the promise of what they want. Any advertising expert will tell you to sell the dream, not the product.

Recipe for seduction:

Start with a specimen that caught your eye at the market. Add flirting to make it interesting. Fold in spontaneity to make it come alive. Next, pour on playfulness, a bit of intrigue, a dash of dramatic flourish, a sprinkle of glamour, a heaping spoonful of kindness, stir in some generosity and let simmer. Now blend in food, wine and spirits to make it especially delicious. Whisk in interesting ensembles that beckon to be touched for texture. A dab of fragrance to awaken the senses, candle light for glow and music to suite your taste. A bit of dancing if you dare! Now turn up the heat! Presentation is crucial, serve warm with imagination. Garnish with a sense of adventure. Enjoy!

Style, Certified.

In the world of image consulting, being a certified member of the AICI puts this industry and our clients at an advantage. Not only does the certificate add to the accomplishments of many of Fashion Societe’s team of speakers, it also opens a world of resources to you, the reader/consumer who can benefit from a qualified image expert guiding you to express your highest potential in a) physical appearance, b) behavior (including social skills, stress management, etiquette, cilivity and protocol) and c) communication skill (including body language, relationship-building and conflict resolution).

Like any learning process, pursuing a certification keeps image consultants working towards their full potential and stay competitive within the industry. There are three levels of certification with the AICI—First Level Certification (FLC), Certified Image Professional (CIP), and Certified Image Master (CIM). With an FLC the consultant has met business standards in industry development and technical awareness; as a CIP the consultant has proven that they are well-versed in hands-on training methods and have passed the AICI FLC Test in addition to submitting the AICI CIP Application; a CIM is the most accredited of image consultants and has worked, with verification, over 2,000 annual full-time hours while establishing a sound continuing education track along with acquiring a lineage of professional achievements. With each of these certifications an image consultant is afforded public exposure and professional support while their clients are assured guidance by a competent and trained individual.

Learn more about the certification levels with AICI and how you may begin your road to becoming an image consultant.