Interview with an image consultant

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This week we met independent image consultant Jackie Crawford and gained some interesting hints and tips to help us make the best choices when selecting activewear. It was a real eye opening experience to discover some of the science behind why some garments make the best of us and others quite frankly spoil our best assets.

First of all, I’d like to introduce you to Jackie. On her website she describes her service as ” dedicated t@jackieCrawford_o helping women enhance and develop a more confident and positive impression. I work with proactive women who want to take a fresh look at how they present themselves”. Jackie was beautifully presented when I met her. She wore a tailored purple dress with a quirky, textured necklace also in purple and heels to finish the outfit off. She really practices what she preaches as the colour worked beautifully with her blonde hair and blue eyes. We settled down with a cappuccino and note books at the ready and discussed our mission to help women feel fabulous in everything they wear.

Why do some women wear colour whilst others stick to black?

Our choice of clothing is influenced by our physical characteristics and our style by our inner personality – natural instincts and upbringing. Women reflect their personality through their clothing. Some may want to be seen and will use their attire to attract attention. This can be the case with dramatic personalities where bright colours and patterns may be worn. Many do not wish for their clothing to make a statement preferring to wear a plainer or darker colour in order to avoid any attention. More classic dressers may avoid colour and pattern but may introduce it in their accessories. We can all develop a personal style which determines the brands and styles we choose.

So how does colour work for exercise?
This depends on whether you want to project the fun side of your exercise. The choices you make will influence whether people see you as approachable or authoritative for example. Understanding the choices you make and what works well for you, your individual colouring such as hair, eye colour skin tone and body shape helps you to make the right clothing choices. So no more purchases which sit in a drawer or at the back of the wardrobe unworn.

At this point I started laughing as I realised that the hot pink shift dress that seemed such a good idea at the time, was one of those purchases. If I’d thought harder, I would have realised there were more such examples….many more.

I learned from Jackie that knowing which colours, patterns and styles work for us makes it easier to go shopping. Who wouldn’t want that? As I explored further I uncovered more beneStyling Brasilfitfits to gaining an understanding of our own, personal style through using an image consultant such as Jackie Crawford.

I learned that whether a pattern works on me or not is dependent on the scale of pattern. As I’m a small framed person large patterns don’t work well, so I need to choose small ones. Also, and this was a real ‘wow’ moment, as I have rounded features, rounded patterns work better for me. So this is why geometric patterns have not really worked for me all these years! Geometrics work better on people with angular features.

So, what about animal prints Jackie?
Animal prints always remain a fashion statement in some way or another! They are a dramatic statement, so suit the personality of somebody who wants to stand out from the crowd.

What are the hot items for Spring?
Spring fashion includes lots of neons in greens and yellows and right now silver reflective jackets are really popular in the shops. This is quite a young look, but for people with a more classical style, they can introduce the trends with accessories. The good news from the recent catwalks of New York, London, Milan and Paris for 2018 is that your clothing should reflect the person you are. Whilst I love fashion, clothing is about self-expression.

I’m curious to know why I look good in full length mesh leggings, but not so good in plain leggings.
As a rule of thumb any break in the legging with pattern or colour block will ordinarily make the leg look shorter. Why your leggings are working with the triangular pattern at the side is that the point of the triangle is drawing the eye upwards and giving the appearance of elongation.

Hmmm, that’s really interesting. So there’s important decisions to be made when choosing fashionable leggings?
Yes, the break in the line of the legging can make you look shorter. By having the mesh detail diagonally counteracts this and draws the eye upwards.

Clever- so with our two mesh designs we can get away with the fashionable blocks of mesh without shortening how we look!

There’s clearly a lot we can learn to make good choices. What are the benefits when we do?
I had a customer recently who told me that she was changing multiple times a day- school run, cleaning, shopping, out for lunch, school run again. When you know your colours the best colours to flatter you, everything in your wardrobe should work together. We call it a ‘capsule wardrobe’. So, thinking about Brasilfit, you would put on your leggings in the morning with a t shirt and chunky jumper, stylish boots and handbag to take the kids to school. Pieces should be versatile and move from one activity to the next. The same leggings and t shirt could do the cleaning and then back to the jumper again for the shopping and lunch. Having the right things to wear that work together means you have more time for other things and less stress in making your selection! This works equally well for both your social and business wardrobes.

Having seen multiple clients transform the way they dress, I can certainly see how their confidence and self-worth improves. If you look good, you feel good!

In our next blog we will hear Jackie’s top styling tips.

To book an appointment with Jackie Crawford contact her on 07494 644788 or email her on image@jackiecrawford.co.uk.

Models:  Deborah Hirzel and Elise Evers

Photography by Lily North