23 August 2010, cover page, pages 58-61
How you dress may be a personal thing, but ever thought how it comes acress to other people? Before you embark on your new-season shopping spree, step up to the fashion psychologist's couch....
WE ALL MAKE JUDGEMENTS about people based on their clothes. And experts say we do it in a matter of seconds. Whether it's deciding someone looks like a bit of a bitch or is totally laid-back. From someone's outfit we 'pigeonhole' them, subconsciously deciphering all manner of peronality traits, often too easily. Stylist to the A-list Annabel Tollman, who is an expert at finding outfits to match their clients' personality, warns, 'It's really easy to fall into that trap of "she wears florals so she must be a pushover" when the florals could be a total Trojan horse. With the massive emphasis on fashion trends, it's difficult to decipher whether a look is self-expression or just shopping.'
But dig behind the 'mask' and there's no denying that looks provoke a universal unspoken language. But how can you stop your wardrobe saying the wrong thing? Stopping to consider the messages your wardrobe is sending out to the world can be revelatory. Dr Jane Prince, principal lecturer in psychology at the University of Glamorgan, says even the smallest details can, subconsciously, reveal a lot about you to other people. 'Belts worn hight at the waist can make you appear organised; clothes with soft silhouettes say someone is approachable; and rolled-up sleeves suggest a confident person who is reliable,' she says.
Some experts believe it's possible to tell whether someone is single or in a relationship by the fashion choices they make. 'If someone has been in a relationship for some time there will be a definite shift in terms of how much of their sexuality is revealed,' says personal shopper Chantelle Znideric. 'Single women tend to dress more overtly to attract the opposite sex. It sounds cliched but they will often favour deep, plunging necklines, vibrant colours, shorter dresses and body-skimming outfits.'
An area that reveals most about a person is the colours they choose to wear. Colour Psychologist and visiting lecturer at the London College of Fashion, Angela Wright, says, 'Every time you make a colour choice, you're making a statement about what's going on in your head, whether you're aware of it or not. Red might be your favourite colour but another person might hate it. You see it as exciting, friendly and stimulating, someone else sees it as aggressive and demanding.' wearing too much of one colour can be women's biggest downfall. 'Too much orange suggests frivolity and a lack of serious intellectual values,' Wright adds, 'and excessive use of purple can bring about too much introspection.'
As for knowing which colours to put together, the secret according to experts is to wear colours from the same tonal groups. Wright's research has shown that if you 'wear coours from the same families that suit your personality, style and physical colouring, it will help you to feel happy and attractive, be more focused... which in turn will mean you are taken more seriously at work.' And what about all black? 'This creates protective barriers, as it absorbs all the energy coming towards you, and it enshrouds the personality. But it also creates a perception of weight and seriousness,' concedes Wright.
Colour aside, according to Toshiko Kobatake of London image consultancy Talking Image, one of the most significant things we can do to ensure positive assumptions are made about us is to pay attention to the latest trends. 'Women who wear dated clothes project an impression that they not only wear but also "think" old-fashioned,' she says. 'They are also seen as stubborn, weird and stingy (because they don't spend money to buy new clothes). The clothes could have been very expensive, the clothes could still fit, but it is not projecting the right image. We need to keep up-to-date,' she says. Ladies, if you ever need a reason to splash out on autumn's new Burberry aviator jacket, this is it.
For booking appointments or enquiries, please contact Toshiko:
Tel: +44 (0)20 3489 3319
Image Consultation Options
1) Luxury Course: Total Image Consultation (3 hours)
Details as above.
2) Compact Course: Image Consultation & Wardrobe Planning (3 hours)
This session is ideal if you have a reasonably small amount of clothes and would like to do both wardrobe planning and image consultation at your home. (Colour swatches, make up and written profiles are not included.)
3) 'Tea for Two' Image Consultation (6 hours)
This package is dedicated to the pair of you; whether you are a mother and daughter, a wife and husband, partners, siblings or just great friends. You can take the consultation together or individually, it's purely up to you. It's always so fun and relaxing to share an experience with someone you care about. The great news is that you can also take advantage of the special price offered for this package, just for the two of you.
Â 4) Personal Branding Session (1 hour) / Face-to-Face or on
5) Colour Analysis Session (1.5 hours)
6) Colour Analysis Session for Men (1 hour)
This session does not include make up.
7) Style & Personal Branding Session (1.5 hours)
8) Image Review
Even if you have had an image consultation or wardrobe planning before, it is important that you review and update your image on a regular basis. To ensure that you maintain your current image, revamp it further or perhaps project a different look due to change of lifestyle or ideas, we will be at hand to achieve the look that you want.
9) 365 Plan
This plan is perfect for busy people like you who want to always look your best, but in reality, find that spending time for yourself comes last on your do list. This "All-Year-Round" plan ensures that you look and feel great, not just today or tomorrow, but any day, anytime, all year round in the most efficient and effective way.
The benefit of 365 Plan is that it takes you through an image consultation, wardrobe planning and seasonal personal shopping within a one-year period, allowing you flexibility to suit your schedule and is offered at a more attractive price. If you don't look after yourself, who will? We will guide you all the way.
- 365 Plan - Platinum (Luxury Course: Total Image Consultation + Wardrobe Planning + 2 x One-Day Personal Shopping)
- 365 Plan - Gold (Compact Course + 2 x One Day Personal Shopping)
- 365 Plan - Silver (Luxury Course: Total Image Consultation + Wardrobe Planning + 2 x Half-Day Personal Shopping)
- 365 Plan - Bronze (Compact Course + 2 x Half-Day Personal Shopping)