Archives for April 2017

Fed Up with Your Look? That’s Step One Toward a New You

by Traci McBride

Q: It’s been more than a dozen years since I’ve done anything new with my hair or clothes “style,” if that is what I can even call it. I’m wearing pretty much the same thing every day, only in a different color. Basic black, with little splashes of color. I’m bored and stuck. Where do I even begin?

A: Well, please know this: It’s realizing you are bored that is the very first step, so you can check step one off your list.

Next, please don’t compound the situation by “doing” something that causes you to run out and spend. At least not until you have a realistic road map. This is a plan of self-discovery. Begin by looking at what is going on in all the retail catalogs. Either order them to come to your home or look online. This is the safest place to begin; not in the store, where you might be tempted too soon.

As for hair, maybe it’s time to work with a new hair stylist. I recommend actually setting up a consultation only with someone who was referred by a friend whose hair you admire. Have them share what options they see with the type and texture of your hair. Bring photos if you have ideas and want to know if they are feasible styles for you. Develop a relationship before just jumping in with both feet.

  • Identify what you like … and why. Is it the color that you’re drawn to in a garment or the cut?
  • Look at store catalogs that you never have before. You want to step outside of the usual retail.
  • Notice the figures of the models. Is it a similar shape to your own or aren’t you being represented in the catalogs?
  • Decide how you want others to perceive you in all aspects of your life: Professionally — polished, modern, detail-oriented, relatable. Socially — fun, easy-going, sexy.
    Now look at those catalogs again while keeping those style words in mind and identify the garments that express that word.
  • Cut out or print photos and attach to a “vision board.” Doing this with clothes, accessories, and shoes will really help you define you personal “signature-style recipe.” You will see colors and patterns begin to emerge. Go for the clothes that make you “feel” good.
  • Get support in understanding your body shape and the styles, shapes, fabrics, and colors that will express your best self.
  • Take the time to plan and clean out your closet. You may find you have a few key pieces that make you feel good and they fit perfectly. Those are the items you may want to build upon with other garments to build a fresh cluster (generally five to 12 items that work into multiple outfits).
Enjoy the process and you will get so much more out of it. If you have an attitude of dread, it won’t turn out well for you. The way you walk through your life will influence everything that happens in your life. Live out loud!
ABOUT TRACI MCBRIDE
Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She encourages readers to subscribe to her timely newsletter, schedule a style strategy call, or request Tee Speaks to infuse your staff or organization with a passionate professional punch of style to elevate and benefit everyone. Visit www.STYLEDbyTee.com to connect and be inspired.

Summer Sneaker Guide

by Traci McBride

Casual SNEAKERS

These are your everyday on-the-go walkers that are perfect for a laid back comfy look.

Active SNEAKERS

No stopping you in these low impact yet BOLD & stylish sneakers that keep you moving!

Fashion SNEAKERS

Looking so good on the runway you can skip the running and instead make a stylish statement.

ABOUT TRACI MCBRIDE: Traci is the wardrobe stylist at TeeMcBee Image Consulting. Subscribe to her newsletter, schedule a style strategy call, or request Tee Speaks to infuse your organization with passion and style.

 

BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS LOUDER THAN VOICE WHILE PRESENTING

by Traci McBride

Q: I’m preparing for my first major presentation in front of our entire company of 200, and I am not sure how to dress. I will be on stage and my image will be projected onto screens — including close-ups.

A: Taking the spotlight is exciting. Remember the percentages: 60 percent is VISUAL, 30 percent is BODY LANGUAGE and only 10 percent is VERBAL. Consider where your audience’s attention will be as you prepare your presentation. Let me share some tips to keep in mind.

Just as you practice what you will say, practice while wearing the outfit you choose for the event. Its best to know how the clothes feel, especially if they are new or you have not worn all the pieces in the same combination before. I actually suggest videotaping yourself in your chosen outfit, shoes included, as you go through your speech. A dress rehearsal will save you from awkward moments.

body-language-group

Being visible is the key to keeping the attention of the audience. Learn ahead of time what your surroundings look like, including the background color of the room. This will help you make the best choices. Consider every angle of your appearance. If you’re a woman, be mindful of cleavage as well as the length of your skirt or dress. If you are on a stage, you won’t want to be giving a “special show” to the front row. Be aware of what angles the cameras will be shooting from — up high, level with you or from below. You wouldn’t want a camera to record you from above at such an angle it appears a normally modest neckline is showing too much. Keep it simple but show your shape. Avoid bulky fabrics like sweaters and complicated designs, as they might not present well for a larger audience.

Wear your POWER COLOR! Your energy will be at its best, and others will respond to your energy even if they are not interested in your words. You want to attract their attention and keep it throughout the presentation. Wear neutrals, rich jewel tones or brights.

Avoid all black, as it makes you invisible. You won’t stand out because (as you will see) that is what most of the audience is wearing. Strong contrast is better than going too subtle, but limit yourself to two or three colors to avoid looking busy. Try splashes of bold prints that are easily recognizable, such as leopard, strips or polka dots. We don’t want anyone spending time trying to figure out if it’s a panda or a tiger on your tie or scarf!

Wear flattering, comfortable shoes so you can easily navigate on stage and any stairs. Yes, a shoe can be both flattering and comfortable! Remember, you are commanding the room and are the authority, so a longer and leaner look communicates just that. Ladies, 2-inch to 3-inch heels are good. Please avoid stilettos, as they are never the right choice for professional meetings, and we don’t want the audience distracted from your message watching you teeter on the stage. On the other hand, avoid clunky heavy shoes – this applies to both men and women. Men, avoid wearing the weekend Docker shoes with the thick sole. Go for a sleeker dress shoe in leather.

ABOUT TRACI MCBRIDE
Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She encourages readers to subscribe to her timely newsletter, schedule a style strategy call, or request Tee Speaks to infuse your staff or organization with a passionate professional punch of style to elevate and benefit everyone. Visit www.STYLEDbyTee.com to connect and be inspired.