Why I Want to Be a Fashion Stylist

Why I Want to Be a Fashion Stylist

posted by grad student Giulia-Christina, Fashion Stylist and Blogger readytoglare.com

I was drawn to this course because fashion has been a strong determining factor in my moods and self-confidence. While I was always highly invested in fashion, whether it be to learn about it historically or take note on current trends, I was recently confronted with its true significance.

As someone who took a hard hit to her self confidence, I soon realized that my choice of outfit, including my comfort level and satisfaction with the outfit, made an extreme difference in how I view myself and how well or badly my days go.

Of course, fashion cannot always create a good day, but it can create a day in which someone feels empowered and attractive. These two things, empowerment and feeling attractive go a very long way in terms of helping men and women achieve their goals since it gives them the confidence they might need to push harder than ever.

I want to be a Certified Fashion Stylist because I am very aware of how terrible it can feel to wear clothes that make one feel badly about themselves or clothes that do not truly reflect who that person is. In becoming a Certified Fashion Stylist, I would be able to help people, who like myself, may be struggling with self-confidence and body image.

Particularly in this time, when it seems like being a size 0 and 6ft tall is expected of women, I would like to be a source for people to turn to in order to re-gain confidence and love who they are and what they wear.

In this way, being a stylist is far more than choosing clothes off a rack and matching them to a body type, a stylist can really change people's lives and their self-perception.

New Course - Become a Makeup Consultant/ Makeup Stylist

New Course - Become a Makeup Consultant/ Makeup Stylist

Fashion Stylist Institute Team is thrilled to be releasing our latest course. Many hands were on this project and its one we are really proud and happy about. Sign up today to learn this key skill and start providing your clients with a true makeover!

Social Etiquette Tips for the Socially Awkward

Social Etiquette Tips for the Socially Awkward

I recently spearheaded a workshop for a local teens group and was struck by their shyness and other signs of awkwardness. Today's blog addresses some of the issues facing teens and young adults today as they make their way into social situations where they HAVE to interact with others.

How difficult is it to simply meet someone new at a party or gathering, get acquainted and part with good feelings? It can be hard when you don't think about what you're doing and you are feeling socially awkward. You can make jokes at the wrong time, make the wrong decisions about offering praise and act too confident, all in an attempt to be liked.

Here's what you might be doing wrong and what you can do better.

Social Mistake #1 - Trying to find common ground through complaining

Many people try breaking the ice with the person sitting next to them by complaining about something. They feel that they feel could establish common ground by sharing a gripe that the other person may have sympathy for. They've seen Seinfeld monologues in which the comedian launches into funny complaints about the Olympics, junk food, cigarettes, travel or anything else, all to applause. Unfortunately, what works for a standup routine doesn't work for personal relationships.

When people come to see a comedian, they are already receptive to listening to his complaints - they've paid for it. With the stranger sitting next to you, though, trying complaints out as a way to find common ground runs the risk of sounding negative. Rather than try to introduce yourself to someone by making fun of tasteless catered food or tacky party music selections, then, it could be a better idea to try coming up with ideas for what would be good party music or catered food. It can make a huge difference to a stranger listening to you whether you say, "Seriously, who comes up with these playlists" instead of "The beat on Need U (100%) sure would work for this party right now."

Social Mistake #2 - Pretending that you don't know anything about the person you're meeting when you do

With social media connecting everyone today, it isn't unusual to know something about the people you run into at parties and gatherings through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or something. When you meet someone whom you know through their social media presence, though, your first instinct can often be to not say anything about it. You can hold back about what you know for a number of reasons - you might worry that it looks disturbingly like stalking to know a lot about someone who isn't a friend. You might be uncomfortable about having to come up with praise for what they've said or posted when you don't really feel much admiration, too.

Whatever your reasons, it isn't a good idea to pretend that you don't know someone when you do know them. It can be difficult to hide anything on social media. Even if you don't admit that you've read a person's posts on Facebook, it's possible that they know that you have.

If you're meeting someone for the first time but you know them through their social media presence, it would be a good idea to acknowledge it. A word of praise in moderation wouldn't be out of place, either. People do love to be followed, Liked and Pinned, after all.

Social Mistake #3 - Not knowing when to tone the confidence down

Standing up straight, looking people in the eye and acting fearless in general can make a strong impression at a job interview or when meeting people for negotiations. It may not make the right kind of impression on a date, though. It isn't the best idea when you want to introduce yourself to new people in social situations, either. If you are the confident type, you don't need to put your strength on display in a social situation. You can simply let it show through in whatever way it will.

In social situations, you need to exclude other kinds of quality to strike up friendships. Projecting trust, for instance, would be a good idea. According to Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, projecting trust is a better idea if you're trying to break the ice and make friends. If you come off as someone who easily trusts people, you'll attract easy friendships. If you're trusting, innocent and accepting, you can draw in people who want to be understood.

Social Mistake #4 - Introducing the wrong person first

If you have an important person in the room that you wish to introduce your friend to, would you bring your friend up and then proceed to first say, "This is School President Williams?" Many people do make this mistake - they keep the important person waiting to be introduced, while they tell their friend who they are. The important person wonders if he isn't important enough to be spoken to, first. The rule, rather, should be to first speak to the most important person in the gathering. Not keeping him waiting is what matters.

Social Mistake #5 – Hiding in Your Cell Phone

If after practicing these tips you still feel socially awkward do resist the urge to hide in your phone by playing games, checking texts or even texting someone in the same room. This kind of behavior shuts you our immediately from meeting others. They can see you are not interested in engaging. This doesn’t help your cause to make new friends or meet others – instead it signals non-verbally to others that you are indeed awkward. Put the phone away, shut it off and take a step toward meeting one new person in the room.

Keep practicing engaging with others in social situations and you will learn to avoid social mistakes that work against you. Stay friendly and at ease and soon you will find that others are drawn to you as you engage them in correct conversation with skilled social etiquette.

The Job Interview: Your Image and Your Energy Matter

The Job Interview: Your Image and Your Energy Matter

By Gillian Armour, CMFS

In Part 6 of our ongoing series "You're Hired" we review energy management:

You expect a potential employer to look at your resume, your experience, your qualifications, and your training. But did you know they’ll also be looking at your energy?  Dave Watson defines energy as the ability to make something happen. Certainly an employer needs people who can make things happen. Without energy business and the world would grind to a halt. 

Not only does energy get things done, it is contagious. It is magnetic and attractive. As a general rule, we prefer being around people who are energetic. An interview, whether consciously or unconsciously, will be looking for energy signals. If you don’t communicate great energy it’s impossible to have a successful job interview. 

So how can you non-verbally send the message that you’re a high energy person? It’s not just one thing but your whole presentation that tells the interviewer what kind of energy you have to contribute. An interviewer will make judgments about your energy based on:

§  The vigor of your stride

§  Your handshake

§  Your eye contact

§  Your posture

§  Your listening skills

§  The quality of your voice

When you can show an interviewer you have a steady flow of energy, you’ll stand out from the completion. Catherine Pratt explains that, “If a company has the option between choosing someone with the skills but with no energy and someone who doesn’t quite have all the skills but has a lot of enthusiasm, they will choose the enthusiastic one every time. You can teach people the skills and knowledge to do a job, personality and high energy is much harder to teach someone.” Preparing for a Job Interview – How Your Actions Speak Louder Than Your Résumé

But did you know not all energy is equal? Robert K. Cooper, Ph.D., explains that research has identified two very different kinds of energy. As with cholesterol there is both a good and a bad kind of energy.  The good energy is calm energy and the bad energy is tense energy. Calm energy is what an interviewer will want to see.

So, the obvious question is, can you do anything to increase you calm energy. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do. They include things you can do on the day of an interview and also include things you can do on an ongoing basis that, over time, will improve your overall energy. Not all strategies work for everyone so you’ll need to experiment and find what works best for you. 

Let’s look at some of the most successful ongoing strategies.

A healthy diet is the source of your energy flow. You’ve probably heard the expression; junk in junk out. This expression certainly applies to your body. If you eat a junk food diet you can’t expect to have high energy - junk food in, low energy out.

Right up there with diet is exercise in its ability to create a positive energy flow. With energy and exercise going hand in hand, it makes sense to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Sad but true, exercise will not have the desired effect if you wait until the day of the interview to begin your exercise program. 

Drink plenty of water. You’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating. Your body is approximately 70% water. Your brain has an even higher percentage of water, somewhere between 75 and 85% depending on who you believe. This means you must stay hydrated just to function properly. Without enough water both your physical and your metal energy is impaired. Eight to ten glasses of water a day is what most experts say you need.

Practicing some form of meditation or visualization has also been shown to increase energy levels. People who mediate have more energy, are healthier, live longer, sleep better, and have more mental clarity. It sounds like we should all be meditating! These effects are so pronounced and well documented that some insurance companies have actually instituted reduced insurance rates for policy holders who meditate.

Maintaining happy, healthy personal relationships with friends and family is another way to keep your energy high. If you are happy and fulfilled in your personal life you’ll have more energy and optimism to bring to the workplace. An interviewer will be alert to the subtle non-verbal signals you send that indicate how satisfied you are with your life in general. Employers know when an employee is unfulfilled in their personal life there is a high probability it will negatively impact their job performance.

Now let’s look at energy boosting strategies you can use on the day of an interview.

Breathe! Well that sounds easy enough. You’re breathing right now, right? But it’s not enough just to breathe. You need to breathe in a certain way. Deep slow breaths relax and at the same time, energize your body. Notice how your breathing changes the next time you’re stressed. Your breathing becomes both shallower and more rapid. Shallow, rapid breathing places a greater demand on the muscles responsible for breathing. It actually burns up more energy. So, if your breathing is shallow and rapid during an interview, you’ll have less energy to focus on the interview.

Get a good night’s sleep the night before an interview. Plan on going to bed a little earlier than usual. Don’t schedule a special event or a big night out with friends the night before an interview. Instead, go to bed with a something to read (but not a page turner), something warm to drink (preferably non-alcoholic) or invoke any other ritual that you know will help you relax and fall asleep quickly.  

Wake up early. This is especially important if your interview is in the early part of the day. Don’t get off to a bad start by oversleeping and then feeling rushed. If you’re a very sound sleeper you might even ask someone to give you a wake-up call. Waking up to music rather than an alarm can also help you start your day on the right note. 

Start your day with a good breakfast. Even if you usually get going without breakfast, do yourself a favor and take the time to eat breakfast on the day of an interview. Choose something nutritious but light. Remember, junk in junk out. Not only will you have more energy, you’ll eliminate the need to snack on the run which could be disastrous if you’re unlucky enough to spill food on your interview clothes.

It’s natural to have some pre-interview jitters. You can minimize nerves by making time for some light exercise in the morning before an interview. If you still feel tense just before your interview do some simple stretches to help you relax and get energized.

If you do only one thing for yourself on the day of an interview, organize your day so you can avoid feeling rushed. If you are worried about being late, your focus will be scattered and your energy will be tense rather than calm.

Beware of taking in too much caffeine before an interview. Everyone has a slightly different tolerance to caffeine but whatever your tolerance level, be careful not to exceed it. Too much coffee or high caffeine soda can quickly change your energy from calm to tense. 

You can often calm your nerves just by focusing your attention outside of yourself. So, during an interview, direct your attention to the interviewer. This is easy to do when you practice active listening. Active listening is a special kind of listening in which you:

§  Focus all of your attention on the interviewer

§  Non-verbally signal your acknowledgement and involvement,  for example, by nodding your head or leaning slightly forward

§  Observe the interviewer’s body language cue

Next week  Interview Etiquette points will be reviewed.




Brand New Course Released - Makeup Consultant

Brand New Course Released - Makeup Consultant

Most successful makeovers happen when a client’s face is fierce. Learning how to apply makeup puts a consultant into the next level of consulting. Whether you are studying to increase your service offerings to clients or starting your own business as a makeup consultant this course prepares you for a very exciting career.

We at FSI train our consultants to have a business of their own, to be able to provide services to clients and to earn more money. If you are ready to be in business and offering full face make-overs then enroll today. What you learn in this course should bring you years of rewarding experiences. The transformations you help make in your client’s lives will be remembered by them forever.

Check out the preview video here:

Enroll today and get your free bonus FACE KIT  (a $69.99 value) and Business Start Up Course (a $299 value)

3 Simple Fashion Rules for Building Your Spring Wardrobe

3 Simple Fashion Rules for Building Your Spring Wardrobe

Winter officially ended last week and it's now time to put all those dark and "blah" clothes away.  Spring is your big chance to take your attire from drab to fab and ignite your passion for fashion!  Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the latest fashion choices (bomber jacket, hoodies (again!), floral pants etc.), keep things simple by switching up color, style and rely on your personal taste.

However, you may be feeling a bit intimidated about how to fill up your closet this spring.  If you aren't consulting one of our fashion experts, or aren’t one yourself, how can you know what you should be wearing? Here are some simple fashion rules for building your spring wardrobe:

1.     Choose pastels. 

People often obsess over what the "it" color will be in the springtime.  Some might say coral.  Others insist it's tangerine.  With so many people giving their opinions, it can be tough to know which hue to choose.  A good solution is to opt for pastels in general.  From minty green and light lavender to buttery yellow and sky blue, you really can't go wrong with any cheerful, springy pastel.  Don't worry about trying to pinpoint the exact shade that's trendy.  None of the fashion magazines or clothing stores can ever seem to agree anyway. However, one color they all seem to agree on this season is ®Pantone's Rose Quartz (this year’s Color Of The Year). It is a key color and flatters most skin tones.

2.     Go with layers. 

Spring is a beautiful season, but that bright sunshine can sometimes be deceiving.  In other words, the temperature may not match the sunny skies!  The up-and-down temps can make it difficult to decide what to wear.  Should you choose pants or a skirt?  Do you need long sleeves or can you break out a tank top?  Instead of ending up hot or cold, try opting for a layered look.  You could pair a sleeveless, floral-printed shirt with a khaki jacket for a smart ensemble.  An elegant asymmetric hem cardigan could also be thrown on over a fitted blouse.  As for legwear, choose a pair of denim capris that can be rolled up or down depending on the weather.  Some cute leggings could even be worn under an oversized white shirt.  By wearing layers and more flexible garments, you'll be able to adjust the amount of clothing you have on while staying in style.

3.     Wear what you love. 

Perhaps the best advice of all is to trust your own fashion instincts.  If you aren't comfortable with the latest runway look, you'll never be able to pull it off.  It's always better to select outfits that you feel secure about wearing.  That doesn't mean you should go out in a T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants.  There are plenty of fashionable options out there that will fit a variety of shapes, sizes and budgets.  No matter what your body type is, you're sure to find something that suits your style.  When it comes to fashion, it's all about the attitude.  Wearing something in line with your own personal taste will allow you to project confidence.  Don't follow the trends; set them!




Grooming Skills for Success

Grooming Skills for Success

By Gillian Armour, Certified Image Professional

Part 3 in our series explores the importance of modern and appropriate grooming + beauty

Grooming is simply what we do to take care of our appearance. You may be naturally neat and tidy. For you it’s easy to keep up with a daily routine and neat and tidy feels like the natural order of things. Or neat and tidy may be a stretch for you, something you manage to pull off only occasionally. For you keeping up with a daily routine isn’t a high priority.

The interesting thing about grooming is that almost no one will tell you if you aren’t getting it right. Grooming is so personal there is a taboo about bringing it up. Even the people who are closest to you hesitate to tell you when your breath is bad. Just because people aren’t lining up to tell you, however, doesn’t mean it’s going unnoticed. 

This makes it critical that you take it upon yourself to do the very best job you can of keeping up a daily grooming routine.

No interviewer will be inclined to seriously consider you for a position if they find fault with your grooming. Interviewers are accountable for their decisions and you can be sure no one wants to run the risk of being the person who hired ‘Ed the unshowered.’

The National Association of Colleges and Employers report that 94% of respondents to their Job Outlook Survey 2006 said an applicant’s grooming would have an influence on hiring decisions.

The areas of grooming that need constant attention include: (click links for more info)

§  Nails and cuticles

§  Body odor and fragrance

§  Hair

§  Oral hygiene

§  Makeup

§  Facial hair

Manicures are not just for women! There was a time and place when men could get away with rough cuticles and uneven nails. It was a consequence of living a life that depended upon manual labor. But today, when most work happens if an office, there is no excuse. Every time you shake hands, every time you use your hands to reinforce a point with a gesture, your nails and cuticles are on display. You definitely don’t want to trigger an interviewer’s ick response by having unsightly nails or cuticles.

Manicure no-nos you should avoid include:

§  Nails that are too long

§  Nails that are uneven or rough

§  Nails that are too short, especially nails that are bitten

§  Dark, or non-traditional nail color

§  Rough, dry cuticles

§  Dirty nails or cuticles

Odor and fragrance are especially tricky. We are each somewhat immune to our own personal body odor. It’s not that you can’t smell yourselves, it’s just that you’ll usually be the last one to notice if your body odor starts to get out of hand.

When it comes to fragrance, whether perfume, cologne or aftershave, what smells wonderful to you may be highly unpleasant to the next person, for example, to the interviewer. 

The best approach is to follow the rule of non-invasion. Your personal scent, whether body odor or fragrance, should never invade the personal space of the interviewer. This is a safe and respectful approach to take both for the interview and in the workplace more generally. If you’re ever unsure about whether you’re scent is violating this rule, get a second opinion. Here‘s where having a friend around can come in handy!

Keep body odor in check by bathing or showering daily, using a good deodorant or antiperspirant, and wearing natural fiber clothing next to you body.

Your hair is another one of those areas that requires daily attention. Hair blunders to avoid on the day of your interview include:

§  Greasy or oily hair

§  Dandruff

§  Non-traditional hair color

§  Non-traditional or extreme hair style

§  Hair that is uncombed

§  Hair that is wild and unruly

§  Hair that covers the face, especially the eyes

§  Hair that needs trimming

§  Hair with visible color ‘grow out’ at the roots 

Not only will ‘bad hair’ negatively influence the interviewer, it will also negatively impact your self confidence and your chances of performing at your best.

How you choose to style your hair communicates information about you. A future employer will be looking for someone who can be a good match for their corporate culture. No employer wants to hire a round peg employee for a square whole position. If you’re interviewing in a conservative business sector, your hairstyle will need to acknowledge that reality.

One last thought about hair, the day of your interview is not the right time to try a new cut, new style or new color. You want your stress level to stay as low as possible on the day of your interview. Introducing an element of the new and unknown runs the risk of increasing your stress.

Good oral hygiene is a must. Without a confident smile you will be seriously handicapped. So give yourself every chance at maintaining a healthy smile by practicing good daily oral hygiene. You should:

§  Brush at least twice a day, three times is even better

§  Use mouthwash

§  Floss

§  Have your teeth cleaned regularly

§  Visit a dentist regularly and immediately address any issues

§  Use a teeth whitening system if your teeth are discolored.

You’ll never regret taking good care of your smile. With care and a little luck your teeth can last as good long as you need them.

For women, wearing some makeup will increase your professional presence. Even a small amount of makeup can make a woman look more polished. Makeup works its magic by eliminating distractions that can interfere with successful communication and by focusing attention on the center of communication. Blending uneven skin tones, concealing blemishes and eliminating shine all help to eliminate unnecessary distractions. Using makeup to draw attention to the eyes, define the lips and create a strong brow line focuses attention at the source of communication.

While artfully applied makeup can do great things, poor makeup can hurt your chances of landing the job. Makeup should always be:

§  Appropriate to the workplace

§  Appropriate to your skin type

§  Appropriate to you personal coloring

§  Appropriate to your personality

§  Appropriate to your age

  Anything extreme will generally hurt your chances of getting the job. For example, it’s almost always best to avoid the temptation to wear no makeup. Even if you are young and have gorgeous skin, a small amount of makeup will enhance your appearance. Certainly avoid wearing too much makeup. Also, avoid wearing outdated makeup. Your makeup, like your wardrobe and your hair style, should be current. If you’re doing the same things and using the same products you used five years ago, it’s definitely time for a tune up! Leaf through a fashion magazine or visit your local cosmetic counter for a little inspiration.

Attitudes around facial hair for men have softened in recent years. But if you wear facial hair you should be aware that for some employers it’s still perceived as a negative. According to the National Association of Employers and Colleges, 22% of employers respond negatively to a job applicant with facial hair. If you make the choice to keep your facial hair, do keep it neat and well trimmed.

While you’re looking in the mirror, notice what your eyebrows are doing. Eyebrows should frame the eyes. You have two eyes. Each eye requires its own frame. If, on the other hand, you have eyebrows that grow together or almost together, it’s time to get out the tweezers or wax. No unibrows allowed! If your brows have long or curly hairs that stick up, stick out or hang down, use a pair of small scissors to tame them. 

So now we get to the really personal and embarrassing stuff, all that hair that grows in unexpected places, especially as you get a little older. Men (and women too), all hair that grows in or on your ears or nose has to go! No exceptions. Women, if you have hair on your upper lip or chip, get rid of it! If this is a major issue for you, the new laser hair removal procedures might be a solution worth considering.    

How to Communicate Using Your Body

How to Communicate Using Your Body

our continuing series on impression management:

Body language is how we communicate when we use our bodies rather than our words to send the message. We all communicate continuously with our bodies. You might say we’re all fluent in the body language. The problem is we aren’t always aware of what we’re saying.

When you can become more aware of body language, both your own and the body language of the interviewer, you’ll have a great advantage over other job candidates who aren’t so in tune.

So what do we know about body language?

Body language is primitive. It predates human speech. Long before we were able to tell each other what we wanted, we were pointing and grunting to get our point across.

In your personal development, body language preceded speech. You were pointing and gesturing before you were using your words. The next time you’re around small children who aren’t yet verbal, notice how well they manage to express their needs and wants using only body language. Body language is our first language.

You are always, always are sending messages with your body language. It’s impossible not to communicate in that way and those around you are constantly reading the messages you send.

But it’s also true that you’re not always aware of the messages you’re sending. Because body language is often subconscious, it tends to fly under the radar. You’ll often send messages with your body that might not want to put into words. This makes it a very reliable source of information.

The four major ways we communicate using our bodies include:

§  Movement

§  Facial expression

§  Posture

§  Gesture

According to Lillian D. Bjorseth, author of What Actions Say About You “…body language conveys more than half of any message in a face-to-face encounter…”  This means your body language is going to have a major impact on whether you’ll get the job. Yes, an interviewer is going to look at your resume, your experience, and your qualifications. But if they don’t like what your body language is telling them you’re not going to get the job regardless of how well qualified you are.

Your chance to make a great impression starts when you walk into the interview. How you walk says a lot about your energy and confidence. Develop a stride that is energized and sure. Avoid a stride that might make an interviewer doubt your abilities. For example, don’t:

§  Walk too slowly

§  Walk too quickly

§  Walk with a heavy, flat foot

§  Drag your feet

§  Take tiny steps

§  Take overly large steps

  Do walk briskly with a little spring in your stride. This will make you look competent and purposeful.

Your posture speaks loudly and good posture can sometimes be enough to help you get the job. According to Dr. Tim Langley, “There are many ways an employer…will decide how you fit into their plans. If the only difference between the two candidates is that one has poor posture and the other looks like a Marine, who wins? The Marine always wins.” Your Mama was Right, Posture Matters!

So what was it you mother told you? In case you’ve forgotten, here are the basic elements that make for good posture.

§  Stand up straight

§  Stomach in

§  Chest out

§  Shoulders back

§  Head up

§  Feet placed six to eight inches apart

§  One foot slightly in front of the other

§  Weight evenly distributed

§  Ears, shoulders and ankles aligned

§  Stance balanced and relaxed

This is the posture that will get you noticed every time. It sends all the right messages. Don’t forget that posture is just as important whether you’re standing or seated.

Facial expressions are responsible for much of what you communicate through body language. During an interview especially, make sure your facial expressions support a positive message.

Positive facial expressions begin with a warm and sincere smile. When you smile often, you communicate warm, enthusiasm, pleasure, interest, and a sense of connection. It’s a great way to say, “I’d make a great addition to your team.”

The likeability factor can’t be overestimated. The interviewer is going to hire someone they like and a great smile is an easy way to instantly boost your likeability. Susan Bixler and Lisa Scherrer Dugan writing in 5 Steps to Professional Presence say, “A smile is one of the most important business tools we have, and the one we most frequently forget to use.” So don’t forget to use your smile, especially during an interview!

We mentioned eye contact earlier when talking about your handshake but eye contact is so important it deserves another look. Nothing will make an interviewer doubt your suitability for the job quicker than poor eye contact. Talking to someone who can’t maintain good eye contact is actually uncomfortable.

Poor eye contact sends multiple messages and all of them are negative. Poor eye contact can suggest to the interview that you really don’t care if you get the job; that you’re bored, shy, unsure of yourself, nervous or even dishonest.

What does it mean to have good eye contact. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer 90 to 95% of the time and you will be doing it right. You’ll find it easy to establish rapport with the interviewer and, research shows, there’s an added bonus. Your self confidence will increase. Increased self confidence can only improve your interview performance.

Gestures you use, many times unconsciously, can also help or hurt your chances for interview success. Here are a few gestures you should try to avoid during an interview.

§  Tilting your head backwards

§  Tilting your head down

§  Pointing

§  Making a fist

§  Hiding your hands

§  Covering your mouth

§  Crossing your arms over your chest

§  Putting your hands on your hips

§  Looking over the frame of your glasses

§  Very large or grand gestures

§  Touching yourself

§  Fidgeting


series continues next week: Grooming For Success

No Limp Hands! How to Get a Grip When Meeting Others!

No Limp Hands! How to Get a Grip When Meeting Others!

Your handshake is a powerful business tool. Think about it. How many other opportunities do you get to be physical with an interviewer or any other business colleague? In our culture physical contact in the workplace is strictly limited and for good reason. Touching is the exception not the rule. A handshake is your one chance to make a physical connection and bridge the distance between yourself and the other person. Knowing how to execute a handshake with ease and confidence is absolutely essential to your interview success.   

I’ve been told and I believe that jobs have been won or lost even before the interview began, simply on the basis of the handshake exchanged between the applicant and the interviewer. Your handshake can give you an advantage over other applicants. and that makes your handshake a big deal!

A great handshake communicates warmth, confidence, focus and energy. It makes the interviewer want to get to know you. A poor handshake communicates lack of confidence and discomfort.  It’s your job to know what makes the difference between a great handshake and a poor one.

Your handshake consists of five distinct elements. Understand the five elements and practice their execution until your handshake feels relaxed and natural. You should be able to shake hands without any thought about what you’re doing.

Those five elements of a handshake are:

§  Body position

§  Eye contact

§  Hand position

§  The clasp

§  The pump

When you shake hands with the interviewer, stand facing them. Your feet should be pointed in their direction, not angled away from them. This sends the message that they have your full attention.

Pay attention to how much distance the interviewer establishes between the two of you when they extend their arm to shake hands. This gives you valuable information about how much personal space the interviewer needs to be comfortable. Use this information to avoid unintentionally intruding in their personal space.

Good eye contact is part of a good handshake. If you’re not looking in the interviewer’s eyes, you’re not doing it right. Good eye contact communicates good will, energy, focus and personal connection. Poor eye contact communicates discomfort, lack of self confidence and can even suggest dishonesty.

When you extend your hand and clasp the interviewer’s hand in yours, big things happen. This is the heart of the handshake; the time when each of you actually ‘feel’ the warmth and energy of the other person. And wouldn’t you know, there’s a right way and there’s a wrong way to do it. 

To do it correctly, extend your hand with your palm held vertically at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Your thumb will be pointing up toward the ceiling.

Your hands should meet with full palm to palm contact. The web of your thumb should meet the web of the interviewer’s thumb. As your hands meet firmly curl your fingers around the interviewer’s hand. This completes the clasp

The final element of any handshake is the pump. This is just what it sounds like. It’s the act of pumping your arm up and down while clasping hands. Regional and cultural differences affect the number of times people pump but one to three pumps is the norm. Pump more than three times and you’re overdoing a good thing. It can feel very uncomfortable to shake hands with someone who doesn’t know when to let go. You don’t want to be that person!

Guideline #1 - Begin every interview with a handshake. The initial handshake sets the tone for everything that comes after.

Guideline #2 – End every interview with a handshake.  This is your opportunity to cement the relationship and good impression you’ve made.

Guideline #3 – Stay focused and alert when you’re shaking hands. Use this opportunity to gather information about the interviewer at the same time you’re reinforcing positive messages about yourself.

Guideline #4 – During an interview, avoid using any non-traditional form of the handshake. Non-traditional handshakes are popular but they’re too informal to be appropriate for a job interview. 

How We Differ From Traditional Colleges

How We Differ From Traditional Colleges

We get lots of phone calls asking about our job board. But we don't own one and never will. We aren't a job referral company - we are a business training private school. If you are ready to have your own business, one that you run, one that you cannot wait to start, then we are the trainers for you.

We are a private company, built by entrepreneurs with REAL entrepreneurs training you to be successful.  If you are looking for a JOB - this is not the field for you. If you are looking for a BUSINESS then you've come to the right place to kick start.

Having a business of your own in the fashion consulting field brings you into close contact with men, women and teens who need help building their wardrobes, their style, their confidence and their body acceptance. This requires highly specialized training. The kind of training they don't teach you in colleges. The kind of hands-on, personal and intimate service level that only image consultants working in the field have experienced. 

So, don't call us asking for a job - call us asking how you can start to be of service helping men, women and teens and how you can pursue your dream of a self sustaining business of your very own.  We will be happy to get you up and running.

4 Reasons to Embrace Your Boyish Figure

4 Reasons to Embrace Your Boyish Figure

Are you tired of being told you're not a "real woman" due to your lack of curves? First of all, relax. Breast size and waist-to-hip ratio is far from the deciding factor in femininity. You are a woman because you are a woman. That being said, you probably do want to look sexier and feel better about your body. Here are five reasons to embrace your "boyish" body shape.

Create a visual waist with a waistband.

Create a visual waist with a waistband.

1) You Can Wear Anything You Want

The boyish figure (also known as the rectangle) can pull off more styles than any other body shape. With balanced shoulders and hips, you don't need to draw attention away from any problem areas. While boyish-figured women may not have a well-defined waistline, creating the illusion of one is easy with the help of belts, blazers and A-line skirts. Straight-bodied women are chameleons of fashion, going from sporty to glam without a hitch. 

2) The Androgynous Look is Pretty Cool

The straight body type lends itself to the androgynous style. Some days, you may want to downplay your femininity. It's much easier for boyish figures to pull this off than women with hourglass or pear figures. 

3) You are Probably Athletic

The straight body type is typically the most athletic. Many professional athletes have this streamlined shape, and most of them look fit and phenomenal. Athletes are never derided for their lack of curves, but rather celebrated for their lean, strong, and beautiful physiques. Leaner boyish figures are born to run. Embrace your shape and all that your body can do. 

4) Many Female Celebrities Have Boyish Figures

Some days you wake up wishing you looked like Christina Hendricks or Kim Kardashian, but don't forget that many of Hollywood's most glamorous women have straight, boyish figures. 

Keira Knightly, considered one of the most beautiful women to appear in film, has a famously straight and lanky body shape. Cameron Diaz is a glamorous example of a straight-shaped woman with broader shoulders and thicker muscle tone. Evangeline Lilly has a muscular, straight body, but no one would argue that she's not a beautiful woman. Singer and fashion icon Taylor Swift is about as curve-less as they come, but dresses like an absolute knockout. With so many beautiful women gracing popular culture with their boyish figures, there is absolutely no reason to feel bad about yours. 

No Curves? No Problem!

As latest fashion preferences have tilted toward curvier figures, women with boyish figures may be feeling out in the cold. Bear in mind that figure preference is in constant flux, so your body shape is likely to come back into fashion sooner or later. In the meantime, embrace the figure you were born with. With a straight body, you will rock everything you wear.

Tips for dressing the boyish (rectangle) shape:

Define a waist with fit – belts, sashes, buttons and waistbands draw attention to the mid-torso and visually draw a waistline where there isn’t a definition of one

Don’t wear curved lines such as ruffles, circular prints, rounded design elements – these suit the naturally curved shapes. Your figure is classified as an angled shape and the lines you wear should reflect that- straight lines, square details, angles and asymmetric prints for example can serve to flatter your shape rather than detract and emphasis its lack of curves.

Skintight fit on your torso only enhances the boyishness of your shape – look for styles that will create an angled hourglass (think peplum jackets or Dior wasp waist dresses).

Hire a fashion stylist to help you! Visit our grad directory to find a professional in your area.

Own it! Your Business Belongs to You

Own it! Your Business Belongs to You

How to Embrace It and Build a Confidence Platform

by Gillian Armour

“I don’t have confidence in my product. How do I overcome this feeling?”

I heard this from a young entrepreneur recently. My first reaction was – how can you not have confidence in something that is your creation? And it got me questioning further – is this a newbie entrepreneur issue?  Does this happen when a consultant is taking those first steps toward growing a business? I paused for a moment before answering her to think about my own journey as an entrepreneur. I do recall that when I started I too had thoughts of doubt and insecurity about the business I was creating.

This opportunity to look back over my career enabled me to remember what steps I had taken to get from self-doubt to the point where today I have strong confidence in my product and have built a successful business.

1)      Don’t dwell in what you don’t know (such thoughts as “Gosh, I don’t have a business plan”, or, “I don’t know what to charge, etc.  just bog you down). Go get help. There are so many free agencies set up to help small business owners since they are the lifeblood of all economies.

2)      Don’t dwell in fear – you create the fear and can just as easily destroy it. Replace that negative thinking because it holds you back.

3)      Get rid of the doubt and when it creeps in substitute it with confidence – so instead of holding yourself back, support yourself, cheerlead for YOU and your product.

4)      Keep working on getting rid of doubt, millions of people have trod this path – get going.

5)      Own your business. It’s your baby. Nurture it, nourish it, grow it, baby it and own it. And then tell everyone you meet all about it, about the process, about your product, about you!

6)      Put 1000% into growing it, don’t slack off one bit FOR FIVE YEARS (and if you get to your goal of a profitable, successful business before then – bravo!)

7)      Even in the depths of doubt, when you want to stop and give up, DON’T. This is the big test for the successful entrepreneur. There will come many times when you just don’t want to do it anymore. Weeks when you don’t make any money. Days on end that the voices in your head tell you it’s a failure blah blah blah…. Are you going to pass the test and endure? If you pass you are on your way to success.

8)      There are no set rules for your success. As an entrepreneur how you define success is in your court. If it’s getting one new client a week or two a day it’s all up to you. Celebrate each success as it helps you build that confidence platform.

9)      Make a list of your successes to build your platform bigger, then study that list and add to it daily. Be sure to put at the top of the list “I have confidence in my product”

10)   And if, after at least a full year you still don’t think you have accomplished anything and you still don’t have confidence in your product, then maybe it’s time to get a regular job because you probably don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

This may sound harsh but it’s reality and the nature of owning your own business. Becoming an entrepreneur is not an overnight success story. You know this. So keep going, don’t dwell on what you don’t have and start to attract what you need and want – more confidence.

The Annual Big List - 100’s of Ways Our Image Consultants Are Expanding Their Businesses

The Annual Big List - 100’s of Ways Our Image Consultants Are Expanding Their Businesses

At FSI we thrive on helping our students achieve success. We try to give them as many resources as possible so they can build a strong foundation for future success. One of our favorite end-of-year “thank you’s” is to share the posts our students create while in school. We can’t print them all but here are some of our favorite tips, resources and recommendations. Just click title at left to get your copy.

Spring Summer 2016 Trend Videos

Spring Summer 2016 Trend Videos

Here at FSI we relish the change of seasons the fashion industry offers. These changes come to us in the form of trend reports for the coming year. These reports hit our in-box with the speed of light quickly after the close of fashion's Fashion Week. In September '15 the shows were held (as they always are) in New York, Milan, Paris and London. Following fashion week are reports from journalists across the world on the themes and trends that will be impacting the fashion styles consumers will be wearing in the following season - September shows = Spring Summer fashion. 

We compile these reports into video format and release them to our YouTube channel. We also use these trend reports in workshops for students and supply our gradates with this material so they too can educate their clients. Here is a sneak peak at Hair+ Makeup:

2016 Hair+Makeup Trends

Crew cuts, pony tails, fades and braids of wet, dry and greased hair played out on the runways in New York...In makeup trends - heavy eyebrows dominate, natural and makeup free faces (imagine THAT), and the big, bold red lip appealingly presented throughout the Parisian collections." We are in for a me,me,me face in Spring '16, high def makeup for all those close ups and selfies and are moving away from the heavy paint of the contoured style so en vogue in recent seasons. Its a fresh, spring, sunny day, lightly kissed face that shows its beauty and even the "fake natural" look (applying makeup so it looks like you aren't wearing any) is super gone.

More soon!!


Getting Ready for Holiday Business

Getting Ready for Holiday Business

by Gillian Armour, AICI CIP

There are a number of major holidays coming up and for image consultants it’s time to get busy. Clients need our help with a range of services – from helping with shopping to buying a new dress for the office holiday party to learning new trends.

How can you tap into this holiday business quickly? Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

1)      Promote to your existing clients with holiday discount offers on your services.

2)      Advertise in local holiday gift guides.

3)      Post key holiday related tips to your blogs, newsletters and website.

4)      Set up those trend seminars (Winter Sweater Looks, Boots for Navigating the Snow, Colors of Spring, etc. etc.) and invite your clients to bring a friend – then offer gift cards for a DOLLAR amount. There really is a difference between offering a discount percentage and offering a dollar amount - most clients prefer the dollar amount (even if the cost to you is the same).. It just feels like money in the pocket.

5)      Even though it is not to promote your services it’s always a good idea to send your clients holiday greeting cards.

6)      Send out a challenge to clients – whoever submits the best “Ugly Sweater” photo wins a free whatever (makeover, makeup consult, shopping trip etc.). Remember to post results and photos to your social media sites as they come in!

7)      Offer mini closet edits to pull old clothes for donation to a charity this giving season.

8)      Promote a Holiday Makeup session to your clients (or coordinate a session with your local makeup professional).

9)      Invite your top ten to a holiday shopping spree (or fashion show event) at the local discount store (or mall). You’d be so surprised at how many of your client’s want to shop as a group.

10)   Don’t forget the teens and men of the house either – remind clients that you are here to help with the holiday needs of their family members as well.

Most of all – it’s the season to be happy and spreading the joy of fashion, style and image is an important job.  Get started helping your clients enjoy the season and you’ll find this is one of the best times to grow your consulting business.