I’m a new person! Well, not quite, but almost. I’m feeling refreshed and newly inspired about everything to do with personal style, having just returned last night from the Association of Image Consultants International annual conference, in Orlando, FL. (No, I did not have time to visit Disneyworld, I’m afraid.)
At the conference were a few hundred women, all beautifully turned out, whether in their 20s or their 60s (or older). There were fashion show producers (including the woman who produces the Kentucky Derby fashion show every year), accomplished public speakers, dating coaches, and many others. I learned so much that I hope to share with you over the next few weeks and months. For the moment, I’ll share these three thoughts for the moment.
1. Color is everything. Okay, it’s not everything, but it matters — a LOT. You’ve heard me say it before but it bears repeating: When you wear your most favorable colors, you like more lively, energized, young, pretty, and well-rested. When you don’t — at least for most of us — you don’t. (There are the lucky few who can wear most colors and still look great.) This includes handbags, shawls and scarves, eyeglass frames, nail polish, and jewelry. It doesn’t mean being a slave to your color palette but it does mean knowing the consequences of choosing unfavorable colors.
Don’t know what colors are your best? I’m expanding my basic color consultation to include more advice about how to use what you learn in the session, so it’s even more useful and actionable. (Find out more here.)
2. Functionality is pretty important, too. The women at the conference — image consultants like me — mostly looked phenomenal. There were a few missteps, though. I’m thinking in particular of those who wore shoes they couldn’t walk in and consequently ended each day grimacing in pain or wearing no shoes. So I have to say my favorite ensembles featured functionality … either a knee-length full skirt worn with ballet flats (a look that worked well for this conference — stylish but wearable) or crazy-high heels switched out for cute, flat sandals as the day wore on.
3. A smile is most important of all. The women I met at this conference were almost to a person kind and generous, not just to me but to everyone. Whether it was asking someone dining along to join a large group on the other side of the restaurant to going out of their way to facilitate introductions, this group of women showed a spirit that was incredibly gracious. It reminded me that personal style is important but how we treat each other is even more so.
As I ease back into my regular life at home, I am trying to shift my focus so I remember these three things — and the many other important things I learned, and which I look forward to sharing with you.