Category Archives: look, style, appearance

The Truth about Style Transformations

I want to talk to you for a moment about the transformation that results when a woman takes the time to refine, revamp or revitalize her image.

For some women, it just takes one style consultation session with me at the right time, when they are primed and ready to take action to achieve quick and life changing results.  This group is a lucky minority! For some women, transformation is slower, more paced, more trial and error, but successful nonetheless in the long run. I would say this is true for a third of my clients.

Still other women need multiple ‘sessions’ to make it ‘click’, for all the pieces to come together before they start to see the results they seek. This is probably true for the majority of women. For the rest it is a lifelong refinement, a continual tweaking, an ongoing quest and desire to shine as brightly as possible. I have a special passion for the ladies who recognize the value in investing in themselves this way and continually seek to up their style game.  Some of the most fabulous women I know fall into this category!

The point is the journey is unique and individual to each woman, pretty much like in life. I was a ‘late bloomer’ in most facets that give meaning to that phrase. I survived a very gawky teenage phase, endured a very self-conscious 20’s, and really only started to realize my brilliance physically and in totality much later in my life. Our journeys to self -acceptance and embracement are as unique as we all are and I wanted to take time to acknowledge and celebrate THAT!

Regardless of where you on your own journey, be present, be authentic and really go for it. Reach for the stars and push yourself to be as brilliant as you can. If we collectively take that approach, think of all the twinkling, shining, magnificence that we’ll manifest. Awesome!

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, image consulting

Even models have ‘frumpy’ days

We revere models. We want to look like them. We think they have close to perfect bodies. Perhaps? Well I’m here to say hogwash! Find me a model who isn’t dependent on her stylist to look pulled together, and I’ll  show you a woman who struggles to get her look down pact like everyone else. What we often forget when we drool at glamor shots in magazines or watch celebs on the red carpet or being interviewed on TV is that 9 times out of 10, that woman (or man) has had a lot of help and time to look fabulous. There are glam squads behind the scenes, makeup, hair, wardrobe stylists, you name it, to ensure that person looks polished from head to toe.

Want proof? I want to use this post to share photos of two models who are having off days (in my esteemed opinion). Clearly the wardrobe stylist or image consultant had the day off. The first is the usually fab Selita Ebanks at a recent Prada event. Two words: School Marm! I mean really, this looks out of date, out of proportion and simply not well executed. Yes her makeup is pretty, but not loving the hair. Yes there is a necklace but the top washes her out and is so baggy and then  paired with the overly long ‘granny’ skirt, that it ages her by 10 years at least. And sorry, not digging the shoes either which could easily pass for running shoes. Thumbs down on this ensemble!

A better interpretation of this look keeping skirt intact? A more fitted, body contouring top in a color that pops with her skin (let’s say bubble gum pink). Then a belt at the waist to give further definition. I would change the necklace to one that had an edgier vibe. Finish off with nude tone strappy heels so there is no mistaking that she is young hip and gorgeous. Can you picture the difference?

I present next, popular model Christy Turlington. That boxy black jacket with a white lace summer dress? Really? This simply does not work-the black overpowers her face and is just too heavy for the white lace. Her hair pulled back with minimal makeup does nothing to hide the starkness of the jacket. I feel like I want to see a necklace to break up the drab. And again the shoes–ick! This looks like she was trying to be comfortable yet stylish but so did not pull it off.

What would have made this look work? Lose the black heavy jacket and instead opt for a cute cropped number in blush or even light denim. Hair needs to be down so the look says feminine casual. Drop earring and an elegant necklace would be great compliments. No black bangle but instead maybe a collection of skinny silver ones stacked together for a relaxed vibe. And the shoes? A wedge sandal in nude (still comfortable) or a cute ballet flat with a bow or other accent. Better!

 

I am being overly harsh in my critique of these models, yes. It is just to make you, average woman reading this post feel emboldened to know that ‘perfection’ is just an illusion. And even those we hold on pedestals can fall from grace quickly…without the help of their glam squad

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, image consulting. Author: Frumpy to Fabulous, Flaunting It

Oprah’s Finale Dress: On brand and On Point

Oprah has evolved into a style icon in her own right. She has found the perfect hairstyles and makeup to complement her features but more significantly understands how to dress to flatter her killer curves. If she has taught viewers anything about style is how to be comfortable in your own skin and look fabulous whether you’re an 8 (her smallest size) or a 16+. What I have always loved about Oprah is how she showcases her feminine sensibilities in understated ways and embraces color in its full glory. Who can rock yellow and hot orange better than Ms O? She wears every color under the sun and looks amazing.

For her show’s final episode, her complete look was a slam dunk. The well coiffed hair flipped up at the ends, the makeup to perfection (subtle smoky eye), her nude heels and THE dress. It was the perfect choice in my opinion. She chose a soft pink, silk dress from designer L’Wren Scott that was custom designed for her. Every detail from the chiffon belt off to the side, the wide scoop neckline, three quarter length sleeves, nipped in waist and just to the knee length, worked to enhance Oprah’s curvy figure. The fit–sublime. The effect–stunning!

The color choice was perfect. Pink as a color conveys softness, femininity, approachability, and warmth.  This was perfectly aligned with her core message in her final show-a show dedicated to her fans. She thanked them for their lessons and for letting her share in their journey’s but she also uplifted and inspired by using her own journey as an example. "There are no coincidences" she underscored. She shared that the past 25 years have been a divinely inspired master plan (led by God) that allowed her to use her stage as her platform.  She wanted her fans to takeaway simple  truths and the things she knows for sure from 25 years helping people live their best lives. Her look, her message, her persona were all aligned. I listened to every word.

 

Oprah, you are loved and your show will be missed.

 

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, image consulting

Dress to impress: 5 tips to dressing like a winner

We’ve all heard the phrase “dress to impress” but when you get to the nitty gritty what does it really mean? Dressing to impress is more than just the clothes you wear. It is your total image presentation, including your clothing, how you accessorize, how groomed you are, your poise and posture, non verbal cues, and more. Because research has proven that people make first impression judgments about us primarily based on how we look, the “dressing” part of dressing for success is very critical.

Dress like a winner and you’ll find that the way the rest of the world interacts with you will change for the better. So how does a winner dress? Here are five tips.

 

  1. 1. They own their signature style. Your style is an integral part of who you are—it is your personal stamp. A woman of style has a particular way they carry themselves–it stems from confidence but its more than just that. It’s perhaps the ultimate physical manifestation of their self expression.
  2. 2. They understand the benefits of investing in high quality clothing. High quality is not mean the same thing as “expensive” or designer brands. You can find quality clothing at many price points. But the common denominator is that the clothing is manufactured well, holds up to multiple washings and wears well over time. Moreover it fits well because it is made with better fabrication and attention to detail.
  3. 3. They ensure their clothing fits them impeccably whether they are wearing a suit or a sheath dress. Have your clothing altered by professionals as needed or pay attention to the designers and brands that work well for your figure and proportions. When your clothing fits you well you feel better in it and are able to exude mire confidence.
  4. 4. They pay attention to the accent pieces that impact their image and make them a stand out. Accent pieces are like the bow around the wrapping of a present—it makes the gift look more pleasing to the eye, more polished. It is the same with your ensembles. Accents your shoes, handbag, jewelry and scarves punctuate your look and takes your image up several notches.
  5. 5. They look fabulous regardless of the occasion and know that the way they dress speaks loudly about the type of woman they are. They choose classic or timeless designs. They don’t follow fashion trends but instead invest in clothing uniquely appointed to reinforce their style, lifestyle and preferences. In many cases they are the type of women we all look up to and admire.

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, an image consulting firm

Fashion Consultant: A Few Cool ways I Can Serve You- Styling & Skype

I have had some really cool engagements with clients and it made me think this was a good time in the year to remind you of all the amazing ways I can serve you or your loved ones.  One of the offerings I have always had available is styling and wardrobe services for photo and video shoots. These can be for websites, book covers and book launches, professional photos or glamor shots.  So how exactly do I help you, you may be wondering? Well, I can help bring the team of experts together with a shared vision of making you look amazing. Typically, the dream team includes a photographer and/or videographer, makeup artist, hair stylist, and your very own personal image consultant–me.  I can help you select outfits in your best colors for the camera, which brings out exactly the essence you are trying to convey, in a way that flatters you and makes you feel at ease. I consult with you on how your hair and makeup should be styled and communicate the desired looks to those experts.

On the day of your shoot I am there as your advocate, making sure you feel at ease and of course look and feel fabulous. I loan accessories as needed as well.  In a time when our photos carry so much more weight because they are plastered everywhere-on social media sites like Facebook and Linked In, on your own website, as a representative of your company’s brand, and more often on the front or back of a book, you want to rest assured that your photo is representing you in the most favorable way. I would be delighted to be your fashion consultant.

I also want to remind you that I serve clients nationwide (and a few outside the US). In a world when we have so much fancy technology at our fingertips, it is really easy to be resourceful with a pc, phone and web cam. I have worked with many clients using Skype to critique their wardrobes, coach them on their image and even shop for them online. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish with neither of us ever physically meeting.  So distance is no longer an excuse for not investing in sprucing up your image. Neither is time, because tools like Skype make it really convenient for you to set your own schedule and relax in the comfort of your home while I refine and tweak your image.

Have questions? Give me a holla!

Natalie Jobity, Image Consultant, Elan Image Management.

Look Stylish and Feel Great as you Drop the Weight (Part 2)

We blogged about the challenge of dressing a changing body back in January  and gave you 4 concrete tips to help you look and feel great during weight loss. Weight loss is a time of change and any change is a little scary.  Modifying your wardrobe to adjust to your smaller frame is one more change many women find hard to grasp mentally and emotionally. Weight loss is so deeply tied to our self-image and that get’s so personal doesn’t it? These tips are meant to ease you into these changes with less frustration and angst. After all, you are in the midst of  achieving an important milestone that is all about you—getting to your ideal, healthy weight. So awesome for you!! Here are a few more tips to help you look as good on the outside as you are feeling on the inside!

1.    You may be used to ‘hiding’ your figure in big, bulky or baggy clothing. No more! Hiding actually makes you look bigger and definitely frumpy. Avoid boxy, baggy, loose, bulky clothing or anything that adds the appearance of unnecessary weight on you. This means thick fabrics, too many layers, and designs such as double-breasted jackets, flared baloony skirts, cargo pants with flap pockets where you don’t need them and elastic waistbands. We don’t want you to look like a boxy rectangle or an oval anymore. We want you to revel in your curves and flaunt them. Your new goal is to accentuate, enhance and highlight. Start looking at yourself objectively. What do you like about your new body? Find at least three things. Focus there. Look for details in clothing including vertical seaming, empire waists, ruching, pattern or print to highlight your best features and truly embrace them while camouflaging areas that still need work.

2.    If you have a tummy (or remnants of one), try slightly longer tops with some contouring or cinching near the waist. This is critically important so you avoid a square silhouette. A peplum style jacket in a soft fabric is your best friend; it can camouflage your tummy and is very figure flattering. Steer clear of elastic waist bands or front pleats which only make your tummy look bigger. Flat front pants with side or back zips are wonderful and have the added benefit of flattening out your tummy.

3.    Many plus size women feel they must wear black because it’s a slimming color, and typically restrict themselves to an all-black wardrobe. I want you to embrace color ladies. This is your time to shine! If you want to start with baby steps, know that any dark color is flattering and slimming, so consider, cranberry, grape,  forest green, magenta, navy, brown or plum, which all look fantastic if you choose the shade that best suits your skin tone. But don’t be shy to experiment with bright colors either. Hues like turquoise, yellow, orange, salmon, coral, fuchsia and kelly green have a fun, playful, free vibe. These shades can add spice and sass to your wardrobe and much needed variety. Bring it on.

4.    No one’s shape is right or wrong, good or bad – they are just different. As you get close to your ideal weight, learn to make friends with your body, and like any friend, love it for its positive features and be compassionate towards those that may still need work. If you are a good friend to your body it will return the favour in kind. Suddenly you’ll realize it wasn’t the enemy after all—that was just in your head. Your body loves you. Love it back. Get very clear on your figure type and how best to highlight your assets and minimize flaws. All women have to do this. Once you master the art of figure flattery, you will be unstoppable. Take my word for it.

Look for part 3 of this series next month!

 

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management. Image Consultant and Author of "Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It"

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7 Ways to Look Fabulous & Flaunt It on Valentine’s Day!

I love this quote from Michael Kors who was recently interviewed for In Style magazine. He shares, "Don’t dress to go with your age. Dress to go with your body. So much depends on self image! I know women over 49 who love their legs and 29 year old girls who hate their arms. Don’t let ‘age rules’ dictate what you wear." If you read my book ‘Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It‘ you’ll know I highly endorse this perspective. Sometimes we are what we wear and if you dress frumpy,  you sure won’t be turning any heads.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Celebrate your inner lioness and break out all the stops, regardless of how you spend your evening. Here are 7 quick tips to guide you!
 

  1. Take time to style your hair. So many women I work with just don’t bother and they have a litany of excuses as to why. If merely to please the man in your life on V-Day (or to get glammed for yourself) take the time to style your hair in a way that makes you feel beautiful.
  2.  Wear a skirt or dress. For most of us it’s winter and we’re all clothed up. Show off some leg on Monday. Don a pair of textured stockings that are all the rage now. Or show your arms. Or a little cleavage. Or a peek of your back. You will feel more feminine and will exude allure.
  3.  Please go the extra mile with your make-up, especially your lips and eyes. You can’t imagine the difference it makes to your sparkle quotient. Dare to paint your lips a shade of red. Put on a couple coats of mascara. Try a new eye shadow.  Make your command central, your face, simply irresistible.
  4. Come thee bejeweled. This is one of those days when you want to bring your ‘A’ game. Dangly earrings, a statement necklace, killer cuffs on the wrists, blinging rings-all good. Wearing jewelry will make you feel as fabulous as you’re going to look.
  5. Even if you’re a tall gal like I am, heels really do make you strut that much more convincingly. I’m not asking you to wear them all day now and they don’t have to be 4". Just skip the flats, ok?
  6. Wear a color that makes you pop! Ensure that there is no mistaking that you are Present and just radiating beauty. Any color that makes your eyes sparkle will be a winner.
  7. Wear a scent that will make your man want to cuddle with you all night. Perfume is an invisible accessory but on a day like this it can seal the deal. Your man will be hopelessly and happily yours all night long.

 
Be Fabulous!!

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, an image consulting firm

Shoe challenges: Finding the Perfect Fit

There is something incredibly alluring about a woman wearing heels.  And with 5 " heels all the rage, women are stepping it up–literally.

Yet at 6 feet 1" tall, I never had any inclination to rock heels (after all I wasn’t trying to add MORE height to my stature) so I never learned how to walk in them. I think my  very narrow, long feet also play a role in the wobbly unattractive gait I develop when I try to wear any heel higher than 2 " –forget it if they are kitten heels! The unfortunate thing is that all this limits my  shoe options considerably!  I have two pairs of love sandals with kitten heels or the equivalent that may be 2.5 inches and I swear I have never worn them outside my house. I have tried (unsuccessfully) to walk around the house in them in an effort to dare to wear them out, but the wobbly, shaky ankle look is so not cool and bordering on spraining my foot. I’m averse to injury so the moment my whole foot bends while trying to walk it’s over.

I don’t need heels to add height I want them for the sex appeal–and 3 inches will more than suffice. If only…I got excited recently when I tried on a pair of Sam Edeleman’s that were SO cool–funky and edgy–just the type of shoe missing in my closet. Amazingly I was just almost able to walk in them–they may have been 3.5 inches but they had a nice solid heel base (which makes a huge difference BTW). The problem however was that my feet were too narrow for the shoe–argh!! That is always the ultimate "gotcha" with shoes and me.

What is interesting though is I thought I was alone in my shoe challenge. But as an image consultant I have met so many women –petite, average, tall–who struggle with shoes that fit comfortably for one reason or another. For some its the inability to master walking in them. My heart goes out to the woman if she is petite and actually could use the height leverage heels provide. For others, it is a too wide foot that limits their options. Others have unique foot issues (large or narrow heels, one foot larger than the other etc.) that make finding shoes period very challenging. Then there are the MANY who used to rock heels decades ago and now suffer the consequences with ailments from foot pain, bunions, arch issues etc.

Moral? There are lots of women out here needing options that are stylish and funky in a variety of sizes and widths and styles. I have met women who wear their heels but then they have to sit down in them because to walk in them is torture. I’m sorry– comfort over style is my mantra-if I can’t sit, stand, walk or run if I have too in complete ease I’m not wearing the shoe.

Shoes are a critical part of one’s style and look. I’ve had to ‘make do’ and it’s unfortunate. Unfortunate for me and the many women who wistfully long to rock a pair of really hot shoes but struggle to find styles that work. Designers like Softspots, Clarks, Sofft, Cole Haan, Naturalizer, Munro, Trotters, Van Eli and even Aerosoles are trying to provide comfortable options for women like me. Nordstroms now has a section called comfort shoe shop on their website. If I can find a shoe like this Sofft peep toe that fits my narrow feet that I can walk in, I’ll be a happy gal.

Sofft Raine pump @ 3.5 "

 

For me Van Eli is really the only brand that gives me my length and width (11AAA) in lower heel options. Suffice it to say most of my shoes are mail ordered and made by Van Eli. But options have definitely  gotten more promising in the past two years. The gladiator trend put flat shoes back on the market and a big hallelujah for that!  And the recent trend in boots of all heights and styles is a huge boon–its one of the (few) reasons I look forward to fall/winter season so I can wear boots from my increasing collection of riding style boots.

So there is hope! Looking forward to being pleasantly surprised this season!  I just found this cute pair from Van Eli that comes in narrow that might work–don’tbe surprised if you see me Flaunting It!

 

Van Eli Phebe Calf

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management

What to Wear? Your Style, In Context

I have been very excited about the responses to a thread of a Linked In group I’m a member of.  We’ve been discussing ‘what makes style’ and I want to share here one of my responses.

I conducted a dress for success seminar to a group of students on Friday and was explaining the point that how you ‘show up’ depends in part on the other person’s expectations–your example of dressing for a fashion shoot in corporate attire and almost losing your account is spot on. We need to express our style–that distinguishes us from everyone else and allows us to be authentic, creative and unique–all hallmarks of a great personal brand! But we have to express our style sensibilities also in context.

I am an image consultant and I dress and express my style differently depending on who I am interacting with and my desired outcomes. To speak to a group I usually wear an outfit in a power color for me that makes me feel confident and in command –meeting clients one on one, I dress more accessible and approachable. My goal then is to get them to trust and engage with me on an intimate level. My style is my style but it can be molded to suit the environment and goals I want to achieve.

Another point that is key in what you said is "poise". A person of style has a particular way they carry themselves–it stems from confidence but its more than just that. It’s perhaps the ultimate physical manifestation of their self expression–that ‘carriage’.

I don’t think everyone dresses with intent or an objective. This is one of the things I coach frequently about–many people unfortunately dress very haphazardly and do not realize the impact this has on the ability to achieve their goals.

More on honing your style in later posts.

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, image consulting

‘Packaging’ your Personal Brand”: NAPW seminar for Women

Is your image conveying the message you want it to convey? Are you an entrepreneur or professional who needs to step up her look so her image speaks the words aligned with her company’s brand? Then, join me on Thursday June 17th at 4:30 for a great networking event.

The NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) Annapolis Chapter, is pleased to invite you to attend a 90-minute interactive workshop with Natalie Jobity, image consultant, an expert in the areas of image, personal branding, and dressing for success.

Our image or personal brand speaks volumes for who we are.  It sends signals about our intelligence, competence, confidence, level of success, and a host of other unscientific output, which may or may not be true.  For optimal impact, we must be sure to make focused and conscious choices about the messages our image ‘business card’ is transmitting.

Here are a few of the highlights of this workshop:

*   Learn the key elements of an effective personal brand
*   Get smart on why dressing with intention and purpose can be a pathway to success
*   Understand the impact of first impressions and how to ensure yours are positive and lasting
*   Explore ways to use your signature style and image to reinforce your businesses brand image

Join other women like yourself for this engaging and valuable seminar at the Naval Reserve Club in Annapolis MD. To register and for further details please RSVP HERE.
Hope you can join us!

 

Elan Image Management, Image Consulting