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childhood-style

How early childhood shapes our self-image and style

When Scott* entered my studio for his first consultation, his personal presence was quiet and nearly invisible. In his mid thirties and single, he wore light gray, worn and baggy jeans, an oversized pale blue dress shirt, scuffed and mealy loafers…and had barely combed hair. He wore glasses that were conservative and more of a non-statement than anything else.

This was nothing like the same man I had watched perform a song in front of a large audience with a vibrant and engaging presence. I wondered, where was the disconnect?

He came to me for personal styling and identity work with the goal of improving his personal image and increasing dating prospects.

Before I met with him, I had asked him to bring 5-7 favorite pictures from art, architecture and nature. I call this exercise the Favorites Effect. This simple exercise is remarkably telling. When you describe why you like your favorites you are describing yourself.

Scott’s images were strong and alluring, bold, masculine, exotic. When he began to describe why he liked each image, the words he used were describing the man I had encountered on stage! When I helped Scott to see the connection between these images, his descriptions and his presence during the performance you could feel him begin to integrate. He was connecting with his true identity.

Next, we discovered the design signatures (line, shape, proportion, color…) that Scott shared with his favorite images. This is the second powerful dimension of the Favorites Effect. Looking at the images it was obvious, they were all dramatic, elegant and strong- a significant contrast to what he was wearing and his personal presence in my studio. These images would become design guides to help us create looks that reflected the true essence of Scott!

As we explored the reasons behind this visual disconnect, I found a link between his upbringing and his current style. As a high-energy child who tended toward the dramatic, he quickly recognized that the quiet engineering and math professor parents approved of his quiet studious older brother, and didn’t approve of him. Growing up he instinctively worked at downplaying the drama by becoming invisible. He struggled with feelings of not being OK. We changed all that.

Over the next two months we found clothes that both fit his body and connected to who he was on the inside! We made sure his jackets and shirts were finely tailored, matching Scott’s level of personal vitality and refinement…found new shoes, socks and accessories that added flair and dramatic notes to every look. For the first time, Scott’s style represented his personality and It changed his life! Scott stood up straighter, showed up greater, and within two years found a wife, and his dream job as the head of a university creative department.

Ninety percent (90%!) of my clients have had early childhood environments, relationships, and experiences that have resulted in a self-image that is not necessarily positive, and does not let the world see and experience who they “really” are. This inevitably inhibits them in other ways that they may not even be aware of.

When an individual is not visually appealing… is not well put together… does not dress with a “wow” factor, there is a reason. It could be that being thoughtfully and artfully well dressed was not honored in the family, that he or she has a difficult time finding manufactured clothing, that he or she is not visually sensitive…or it could be that there was an abusive early childhood environment. But there is ALWAYS a reason. This is where we as personal stylists come in.

I often ask the question, “On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being amazingly well affirmed to simply BE…who you were not only what you did…how effective were your primary caregivers in supporting your ‘be’-ing not just your ‘do’-ing as a child?” I have only experienced a handful of people who are above a 7 and most are in the 4 to minus 2 category. If your honest answer is on the lower end of the scale it is now up to you to ‘fill-in’ what you missed out on. I have discovered a wonderful process for guiding clients through this work with truly remarkable results like those that Scott and his new family are enjoying.

I encourage you to reflect on how your early childhood experiences, environment and relationships may have shaped your self-image. There is much to discover, and so much freedom of expression to be enjoyed and cultivated in this life. Consider having a consultation yourself or attending one of my courses to further dive into these discoveries to expand your practice as a personal stylist. So many people are living in limbo, let’s help them make the connection today and start living a fully affirmed and integrated life.

* Name changed for privacy

top-7-signs2

The Top 7 Signs that you are ready for a Career in Personal Styling

So you love all things fashion & style, and the idea of getting paid for it makes you drool with excitement. Getting to do it all the time? Dreamy. You might even follow some Stylists online and envy their job, wondering if you might be cut out for it. Wonder no more. Read on for the top 7 signs that will tell you if this career is right for you. Oh, and stick around at the end for the FREE 7-step master checklist for launching a career as a Personal Stylist!

1. Fashionista is your nickname!

Ok, maybe not literally, but admit it…you’ve been called that before. It’s obvious to others that this is a natural talent for you. You’ve clearly got a knack for it.

2. Helping others feel good about themselves gives you energy.

It’s not just all about you. Helping others feel and look good actually fuels your fire and makes your day better. You fantasize about what you would do to make over that dowdy friend who could transform and come alive with a little (or a lot of) help. Heck, you would do it for a stranger too, given the chance. Does this resonate? Keep reading, and let’s see if you’re a natural fit…

Two Women Meeting In Fashion Design Studio

3. Your look is dialed in.

When it comes to style, you are an artist with putting it all together. Or, maybe you still have a ways to go, but you clearly celebrate your style. Having a strong sense of style, and being polished with your look is key to succeeding in a styling career. That may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget about the cobbler who wore no shoes. It’s easy to neglect yourself, and that’s a big no-no.

4. You’re willing to talk about yourself and what you can offer.

Sure, we can all feel a bit shy when it comes to gabbing about our skills, but there’s got to be a willingness and ability to sell yourself as a personal stylist. If that’s already easy for you, you’re set! If not, don’t worry, this one can be practiced and acquired. And, if you already have the above taken care of, your own style will do a lot of the selling for you. All you will have to do after receiving the inevitable compliments is tell them what you do. Plant the seeds that you can help them too!

5. You are motivated as an entrepreneur.Lovely designer

Let’s be clear from the get-go, being a Personal Stylist is being an entrepreneur. You will create your own opportunities, get clients and build a business around doing what you love. Spoiler alert! It’s not ALL fun. As with any job, there will be parts that you don’t enjoy, but since you are a #GirlBoss you will press through the hard stuff so you can enjoy the fun stuff!

6. Multi-tasking? No problem!

Becoming a successful personal stylist doesn’t usually happen overnight. So if you are willing to hold down an extra job while you build your clientele – you’ve got what it takes. If you already work in a style related field like retail, self care, or beauty…even better. You’ll naturally be able to connect with potential clients for your Personal Styling business. Ok, so what do you think? Sound like you so far? One more to go. Last but not least…

7. You’ve got skills.

We’ve already covered natural talent, but this is different. To be a professional, you need to train with or be mentored by Experts. Don’t fret if you’re not here yet. This is just a step away. Here at The Style Core Institute, with 30+ years of training top Personal Stylists + Image Consultants around the world, we’ve got you covered. Whether you take our onsite 5-day Essential training or the 40-hour Distance learning course, gaining pro skills is totally attainable—Especially with available financing for low monthly payments on tuition.

 

So in review, here are the top 7 signs that you are ready for a career in personal styling;

  1. Fashionista is your nickname
  2. Helping others feel good about themselves gives you energy
  3. Your look is dialed in
  4. You’re willing to talk about yourself and what you can offer
  5. You are motivated as an entrepreneur (#girlboss)
  6. Multi-tasking? No problem!
  7. You’ve got skills (training with the experts)

Euphoric and surprised winner winning online

Do you match at least 6 of these? All 7? If the answer to either is YES, pay attention! You might be the perfect match for a satisfying new career as a Personal Stylist. Like any good idea, this is worth looking into further. Learn more here.

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment and tell us which of these signs are flashing the brightest for you. Which ones are the most challenging?

 “I am getting feedback that my work as a Personal Stylist is really making a positive difference for people. It is amazing to me what an impact this work can make. Women say they don’t care, but really they just don’t know what to do. Anyway, I am seeing my clients wearing new things that work for them and having fun doing it.” - Teresa, Personal Stylist trained by The Style Core

As promised, we have a FREE download for you!

Click here to get the 7-step master checklist for launching a career as a Personal Stylist.

Katelyns_Story

Living the Dream as a Personal Stylist: My Story

Hello! My name is Katelyn Milley. Thanks to The Style Core, I am living my dream of being a Personal Stylist. This May, I celebrated my business’ three year anniversary!

Here is my story…

In June 2012, I attended The Style Core’s Essential Personal Stylist training class. Having previously taken other styling courses, I wanted to build on my personal styling education. I really enjoyed the class and learned important skills that I use in my business today – most notably color analysis and how to give a fashion consultation. 

After completing the course, I went home and mulled over the information I learned from Carla. After a few months, I began creating my business. Over the next six months, I reserved my website URL, www.katelynmilley.com, selected a website template, and had my logo designed. I carefully constructed my brand. Business cards were printed and I wrote my website’s content. Then came the biggest challenge of writing my Fashion Consultation and Beauty Consultation guides. Finally, on May 14th, 2013, everything was ready to go, and I launched Katelyn Milley, Personal Stylist. 

Today, I offer seven different services to my clients including: Fashion Consultation, Beauty Consultation, Beauty Appointment, Closet Edit, Personal Shopping, Personal Styling, and Photo Styling. I work with my clients one on one in their homes, or as you can imagine, in malls and boutiques. Over the years, my client base has grown to comprise of many women from my area (near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), as well as from Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.

I have worked with many women I absolutely loved taking on a styling journey. Here are a couple of their stories:

Amy’s Experience

A therapist her early thirties, Amy chose the following services with me to get her best style: Fashion Consultation, Beauty Consultation, Beauty Appointment, Closet Edit, Personal Shopping, Personal Styling and Photo Styling. I loved hearing her feedback about the process, and hope you do too!

Photography by:@bluepearphoto Styling and Make-Up by:@katelynmilley Hair by: @KelseyLamarra [email protected]

K: What were your thoughts going into your styling experience?

“As a very (very) busy Mom of four girls, style had taken a back seat to the craziness of every day life. I love fashion and frequently look at blogs and spring/fall runways, enjoying the gorgeous details, colors, and artistic statements that a great wardrobe brings with it. In my closet, however, was basically a uniform of black shirts, black pants, with occasional grey thrown in. I had a jumble of clothes in piles that were unused but taking up space, and I was frustrated with the fact that I was wearing the same thing every day. I have a vibrant personality and my clothing was anything but a reflection of that. To add insult to injury, I am very petite, so finding well-fitting clothes is difficult. I would find myself frequently in the junior’s department, buying clothing that was far too young for me and still ill-fitting!”

K: Which part of the Fashion Consultation was your favorite?

“Katelyn had me choose a few paintings/photos that were inspiring/beautiful to me. I thought it was an odd exercise for a fashion consultation, but wow was it illuminating! As I described what I liked about each piece, we found that certain words kept coming up over and over again. As I thought through those words, I realized that they were reflections of my personality, and were things that I find beautiful about myself, too. And we were then able to take those words and apply them to a cohesive style sense that I found truly beautiful and reflective of what I wanted to put out into the world.” 

K: What were your thoughts and feelings after the Fashion Consultation?

“After the fashion consultation, I finally had a clear sense of what my style personality is! I was able to picture a cohesive wardrobe, instead of an ecletic mix of styles, many of which don’t work with each other (which results in buying lots of clothes that never get used).” 

K: What was your biggest takeaway from your Beauty Consultation?

“I have always been a minimalist when it comes to makeup. Which is okay, but I often found myself wanting to branch out and try some fun styles (a bold cat eye, for example), but was too afraid to actually rock it. Having Katelyn narrow down a perfect color palette for my skin, and then playing around with those colors, allowed me to branch out into a lot of different looks that I would have been too afraid to try otherwise!” 

K: What was most helpful about the Closet Edit?

“The most helpful thing about the Closet Edit was seeing just how many things in my closet I had overlooked! There were all these great pieces in there that I hadn’t worn in forever, or couldn’t figure out how to incorporate into my wardrobe, and Katelyn was like a magician – turning a piece that I would have given away to Goodwill, to a piece that will become a new staple in my wardrobe. On the other side of that, though, figuring out what isn’t worth holding on to was so helpful as well. I had a lot of pieces I was holding on to for who knows why, and it was time for them to leave my closet.” 

K: What did you like the most about Personal Shopping?

“The personal shopping was perhaps one of my favorite parts of the experience, and something that will forever change the way I dress myself. I was able to see, in person, how to sort through the enormous amount of choices presented by a store, and quickly decipher what will work for me and what won’t. As a woman who is very, very busy, being able to quickly see that the strap on a top will be to clunky for my small frame, or that the rise of a pair of jeans won’t flatter my proportions, will save me huge amounts of time and frustration in dressing room. When I go shopping now, it is such an amazing experience – being able to take all that knowledge that Katelyn imparted and put it to quick use is a life-saver!”

K: What have been your biggest takeaways from your styling experience?

“I think I have two biggest takeaways. The first, is that I have been able to define myself stylistically, and present myself outwardly in a way that matches how I feel inwardly. Expressing to the world who I am through the art of style is an important and wonderful skill to have!

The second is learning how to shop for clothes that fit my body. Learning how to scan for proportions on clothing has already saved me literally hours of time in a store, and much frustration. I am able to dress myself confidently in the mornings without fear that the look doesn’t work for me!”

K: Do you feel that you have become more aware of the importance of fashion and personal style in your life? If so, in what ways?

“I have definitely become more aware of the importance of style in my life. As I move forward with my career and with my life, how I present myself will be looked at and evaluated, and those evaluations with form the basis for my success. Using style to further myself and my personal brand now isn’t a huge hurdle to overcome, but a joy and a pleasure, and a tool that I can use skillfully and easily.” 

K: How would you say your styling experience has impacted your life?

“Apart from giving me the ability to confidently and easily dress myself every day, the styling experience gave me the ability to re-examine my own passions and priorities. As I learned more about how I project myself, I felt like I reaffirmed skills and gifts I have had, and uncovered new interests and ideas that had been lurking in the back of my mind, but hadn’t quite come to light. It gave me the time and space to make myself a priority, too, which had fallen by the wayside in my recent busy times. I am incredibly grateful for the experience, because I feel like I uncovered my most authentic self, both inside and out.” 

Andrea’s Experience

A pilates studio owner + instructor in her her early thirties, Andrea received a Fashion Consultation with me. She also gave me feedback about her experience…

Photo by Sarah Rachel Photography www.sarah-rachel.com

Photo by Sarah Rachel Photography www.sarah-rachel.com

K: Why did you decide to hire me as your personal stylist?

“I needed direction for style, shopping and how to dress to highlight my body and express my personal style.”

K: What were your thoughts going into your styling experience?

“This will be fun! Finally, I will be able to shop with confidence.”

K: Which part of the Fashion Consultation was your favorite?

“Choosing the best colors for me.”

K: What was your biggest takeaway from your Fashion Consultation?

“Learning how much science goes into it, much more than I thought!”

K: Do you feel that you have become more aware of the importance of fashion and personal style? If so, in what ways?

“Yes – color, proportion and ways to make myself appear thinner or taller all have been a huge benefit to me.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Being able to work with women like Amy and Andrea is a huge blessing. Thank you, Style Core for helping me be able to style people for a living. It truly is a dream come true!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Blog feature photo collage (from top, counter clockwise) – # 1 &2 by Blue Pear Photography: www.bluepearphoto.com. #3 by Sarah Rachel Photography: http://www.sarah-rachel.com
recapture

How To Describe This Thing We Do

Calling what we do “styling” misses so much of the point. Style, whether it is strong or hodgepodge, is almost always thought to be about the surface. Tweaking and preening the details to make someone or something look “of the moment” or “better” than they really are. When it works, an essential truth about the person, place or thing is revealed. Style has resonance when it supports the identity of the one being styled. This is NOT what people think of when they think of styling.

Rather than trying to redefine or expand the definition of styling, it might be more meaningful to hear from clients who have experienced the work. This serves two purposes; it toots our horn and personalizes the description.

“My tDavid_faves3ime with Carla was a transformational experience. Through a series of simple exercises, she helped me accurately identify and define my authentic self and gave me the tools to visually project my true self in the world.

I did not realize that things like color, clothing, “the stuff” in my home have such a huge impact on my behavior and how others perceive me. I never would have guessed that being intentional about what I choose to wear and surround myself with would be so empowering. It is.

With this small shift in my thinking, I have experienced profound and positive change in my daily life. Suddenly people know what to expect from me. They have a better understanding of who I am because they see it first. I am more confident, at ease with myself and a more effective communicator.”

- David, Durham, NC

You can see in David’s writing and hear in his voice the newfound clarity and confidence he is talking about. This personal confidence is more important to David than any new look. This begins to touch the essence of the work we do. Yes, its about clothes and the styles of clothes & accessories we wear, but its all in the service of revealing who we are.

“I wanted to thank you for yesterday! It was really eye opening not just for my style, but my heart! It is crazy actually, seeing on paper who I am. I recently have started rebranding my photography studio and was going to make it into this LA hip idea…But in all honesty, that is just not me! I’m a nature, and clean air and waterfalls kinda gal. It made me realize that I was trying to fit in here, but in that, somewhat loosing myself. It opened my eyes to why I shoot photography the way I do. Why when I look at people in LA who are wearing black clothing, why it makes me feel uncomfortable. Seriously, yesterday opened my eyes to so many things!!!! So thank you!!! It was a pivotal point in my life to have this done for me! I never would have seen all of this if it wasn’t for you.”

- Yvonne, Los Angeles, CA

Ok, the integration Yvonne is talking about is why we love doing what we do. She was about to make life decisions that were going to take her farther from her true self. She was rebranding her studio to look like what’s trendy and culturally hip now, at the loss of authenticity. We’ve all been in studios like this, where you can feel that the true identity, the real personality of the person doing the work is submerged. They’re doing what they think will appeal to the largest number of potential clients, rather than seeing the world the way they see it and offering this unique perspective to everybody whose interested.

Becoming integrated is a beautiful thing.

I’ll finish with a Yelp review from a recent client. She’s a graphic designer who lives in Los Angeles. She saw a local review and took a chance.

“Carla has an amazing gift. Her styling sessions/consultations are really a service to empower a person to visually express who they honestly are. The Style Core has connected different disciplines and has developed a way to create an individual style that is truly an extension of who one is.

I had the fortunate experience to give myself a full consultation. Wow! What a great experience! And what an education! The awareness!!!

To start, the office is a peaceful and lovely creative space near Sunset Blvd., in Silver Lake. Carla is very friendly and puts one at ease immediately. It’s a very safe, and oh so creative environment.

We started with a review of the online worksheet I filled out. This included submitting visual images I love, along with answering a few questions.

We went through some exercises where I picked out visuals that spoke to me. From this Carla distilled what it was about the imagery I was attracted to and how to bring those elements into my own wardrobe. And it resonated, because those were the exact elements in my 2 favorite “go to” outfits that NEVER EVER let me down.

Then we chose colors. Mind opening to see the subtle differences between tints, shades and hues of similar colors against my skin. The awareness of what works for me is huge!

And that leads to the next part of our session. Carla analyzed my coloring and the shape & proportion of my body and features. She showed me clothing styles, shapes, lengths, etc. that complimented my body shape. Clothing shapes/drape that helped visually relate my body measurements to body proportions identified in the art world as visually attractive to the human eye.

The exercises, color exploration, and body shape analysis gave me a vocabulary of why I liked somethings and permission to not like others. It gave me an elemental rock to stand on and hold fast to when tempted by magazine articles to try a fashion trend not meant for my coloring/body shape. And it stopped me from blaming my body for not looking good in something. It’s the fashion, or non-fashion that’s to blame!! Everyone’s body is perfect.

What I came away with makes me so happy. The Style Core system is like Human Centered Design, except the product is you. I whole heartedly recommend The Style Core. Their service is very empowering. It makes me so happy just thinking about my consultation and what I’ve discovered from it.”

Ann, Los Angeles, CA

There we go! The joy Ann is feeling, the empowerment, the clarity she now has about herself is what our work is all about.

Styling is about the surface, yes, AND its about what lies beneath the surface. We are integrated beings; body, soul and spirit. Seeing the connections between Who We Are on the inside and How We Look on the outside can be life-changing.

Show your story! Don’t hide it behind clothes that tell the story of some hot brand or ‘of the moment’ look. Integrate. Share who you are with us, we want to celebrate you.

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To learn how to see yourself in this new way. Book your own Complete Consultation.

TIS_Cover2

Recapturing a Childlike Wonder at How We Are Made

Girl-in-mirror

Girl In Front of Mirror, Norman Rockwell, The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge (detail).

My 6 year old daughter Sierra, comes to my wife and I and presents what she is wearing and how she looks. She wants more than approval, she is seeking validation; for the choices she has made, yes, and she is looking for more, she wants to know that she is ok. The external validation supports and gives shape to how she thinks about herself.

The Triumph of Individual Style is a book that speaks to us in this way. We are able to find ourselves in these pages; the works of art teach our eyes to see and believe that we are beautiful.

Feeling beautiful and being Ok
are often the same thing to a girl.

If we are brought up in a home where this kind of external affirmation is non-existent we become alienated from our own bodies, we become split, our sense of self is diminished. The Triumph of Individual Style reconnects body, soul and spirit. It speaks clearly and directly to us in the loving tones of a parent with a vision for our wholeness.

Starting with the Introduction, Carla Mathis and co-author Helen Villa Connor place before us Norman Rockwell’s, Girl In Front of Mirror. They speak of the beast of self-hatred, that troll at the foot of the bridge that leads to self-acceptance, to a lifetime of being beautiful. It accuses; “I hate your nose. Your eyes are too small. Why does your hair have to be so curly? And my God, your feet are HUGE!”. Mirrors are designed to be our friends. They are often our enemy.

Using artworks from all over the world they present feminine beauty in all her lovely forms. In chapter 2, for example, they show us how to identify our bodies natural silhouette.

Are you a RECTANGLE? rect
(Your shoulders are as wide as your hips/thighs, your waist is relatively the same width)

Mars and Venus United by Love, Paolo Veronese, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910 (detail).

Mars and Venus United by Love, Paolo Veronese, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910 (detail).

Are you an OVAL? oval

(Your shoulders are narrower or as wide as your hips/thighs, your waist is wider)

Girl in Red, Edgar Degas, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Chester

Girl in Red, Edgar Degas, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Chester

Are you a FIGURE-EIGHT? figure8

(Your shoulders are curved and as wide as your hips/thighs, your waist is narrower)

Parvati, standing, Islamic, Sculpture, South Indian, Chola Dynasty, ca. 900, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Cora Tinken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Tinken Burnett, 1956 (detail).

Parvati, standing, Islamic, Sculpture, South Indian, Chola Dynasty, ca. 900, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Cora Tinken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Tinken Burnett, 1956 (detail).

Are you an HOURGLASS? hourglass

(Your shoulders are square and as wide as your hips/thighs, your waist is narrower)

Madame X (Mme Gautreau), John Singer Sargent, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Arthur H. Hearn Fund, 1916 (detail).

Madame X (Mme Gautreau), John Singer Sargent, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Arthur H. Hearn Fund, 1916 (detail).

Are you a TRIANGLE? tri

(Your shoulders and waist are narrower than your hips/thighs)

Bather Arranging Her Hair, Auguste Renoir, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Chester Dale Collection (detail).

Bather Arranging Her Hair, Auguste Renoir, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Chester Dale Collection (detail).

Are you an INVERTED TRIANGLE? inv_tri

(Your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips/thighs)

Nude, Roger de La Fresnaye, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Chester Dale Collection (detail).

Nude, Roger de La Fresnaye, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Chester Dale Collection (detail).

In each of these beautiful paintings the artist has celebrated these women and their bodies AS THEY ARE. There are no value judgements! We look at these paintings and marvel at their beauty. The Triumph of Individual Style teaches us to look at our body’s with the eye of an artist.

You are a work of art.

To be painted by an artist is to see yourself in a new way. To see what she or he sees; an extraordinary creature with a form unlike any other!

This book elevates self-perception to an art form. It guides us step-by-step through every feature and facet of our bodies on a journey of self discovery, a journey of self-acceptance at a level that is at once new and as old as art itself. We have forgotten how to perceive ourselves aright. We have forgotten how beautiful we are.

work_of_ArtThis book will help you recapture a childlike wonder at how you are made. It will change how you approach getting dressed in the morning. It will transform what for many of us has been a painful reminder of our own failings (Putting on clothes and still not looking as good as we had hoped) into an opportunity to express what is unique about us, to affirm what we now know to be true; we are beautiful and worthy of recognition.

We know how to admire paintings. Let’s learn how to admire ourselves.

In each chapter you will learn how to make the connection between an element of art and your body (In the example above, you learn how to identify the SHAPE of your body’s natural silhouette). You then learn how that art element translates into selecting clothing and accessories that are in harmony and balance with your body. You become a living work of art.

art-to-body

There has never been a book like this one that not only helps us to see ourselves as works of art, but also teaches us step-by-step how to create a beautiful and artful composition every day.

As a father, I am in awe of my daughter. As a son, I am in awe of my mother. She has created something (So beautifully expressed with co-author Helen Villa Connor) that teaches us all how to see ourselves in a new way. I use this language with my daughter all the time. It has helped me see myself in a new light as I look in the mirror every morning and throughout the day. I look at myself with affirmation now. The negative, critical thoughts have been replaced with a new language, the language of art and affirmation.

Thank you mom for a new vision. It is now up to us to open our eyes and hearts to this new way of seeing ourselves and other people. Together, let’s make the world a more beautiful place.

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TIS_Webinar_SeriesWant to learn more? Join a live, interactive chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of “The Triumph of Individual Style” with co-author Carla Mathis being held July & August 2015. Participants can send photos for personalized advice related to each topic. Following the live sessions each webinar will be available as a recorded session. Sign up here…

Get the Book here

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Reflections of Self

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we have it not.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882).

When you are ready to go out the door, and check the mirror for that last-moment look, you might say, “Wow, this is good.” If you can say this and mean it, you are one of a small percentage of women who likes her reflection. If, however, you give a sigh or a groan it’s important to know what prompted that sigh or groan. Is it your body? You might wonder why you were born the way you are, and would like to change things about your body. What would you change if you had a magic wand? What is your list? Whatever it’s, there are ways to dress in a way for you and your friends,and everyone you meet to say, “Wow, she’s beautiful!”

The form, shapes, proportions of your body are what make you distinctive and memorable. It’s critical to the health of your soul that you begin to honor your body and speak encouraging words about yourself. Rather than saying you have thunder thighs, or saddle bags, you might say you have a full womanly curve in your thigh that is asking for skirts that gracefully flow over the thigh and continue on out in the form of an A-line skirt or bell-bottom pants. As you begin to speak positive messages to yourself you begin to see possibility for your individual beauty and style.

It could be that you think your body is fine but you still don’t like your reflection. Trust that something is wrong with the picture in the mirror. Your clothes might be too bright or too dull. Your accessories too flashy, or you need to accessorize your outfit. Maybe you don’t know how to apply makeup, or you need a new hairdo. It could be that you simply want to make the most of how you look. The reality is: You don’t have to change your body, you probably need to change your clothing…. Or your makeup, or your hairstyle.

Diana’s story

Diana came to me having no idea how to dress her size fourteen, five foot eleven inch body. She had a large head for her short waisted, long legged body that looked even larger because of her short permed hair and old-fashioned owl-eyed glasses. She did not wear makeup, and felt hopeless in the beauty department. In her words, her mouth was too big, her eyes too tiny, her bust too small, and her hips too big. Not only that; she was too tall, and her legs were bowed! She was shy and unsure of her social skills so hid herself on the night shift of a large hospital.

After working together for the few months it took for her to believe she had a beautiful body it was as though a magic wand had been waved. She stopped perming her hair, and had grown it to shoulder length, bought new glasses, gone on a major shopping excursion, taken a trip to the tailor, and booked a session with a makeup artist who taught her ‘natural’ makeup techniques. Her self-esteem catapulted, heads of friends and strangers alike turned when she came into a room, and she had the confidence to pursue her hidden dream of becoming a graphic designer.