I have a question for you.
What is your most valuable commodity or possession?
A lot of you will answer time. Absolutely. But I would argue there is something more than time, and that is physical and emotional energy. Without that, we cannot make use of the time we have.
With this in mind I want you to put yourself in my shoes for a minute as I was shopping with a client in John Lewis Cambridge last Thursday.
A lady a little older than me was shopping with a friend. She held up a garment under her chin and said to the friend “Do you think this is a good colour on me?”
I saw her later in the changing rooms. She tried on about ten garments. She bought six of them. The problem was that the garments she bought were just clothes. They had no relationship to each other, they could not have been mixed and matched into outfits. Most importantly, they said nothing consistent at all about the woman herself.
This woman had just sentenced herself to more hard work each morning as she puts her outfits together. And to the undermining uncertainty as to whether she is even wearing clothes that suit her in the first place.
With my client, we shopped within her seasonal range. We know she needs texture, softness and drape. We were looking for an entire seasonal wardrobe plus a suitable outfit for a wedding.
In two and a half hours she had tried on about thirty pieces, bought eighteen of them, and walked away with a smile on her face.
Those eighteen garments will mix and match. Putting outfits together each morning will be simple; saving her time and energy. The dress for the wedding will do equally well for her more formal business meetings –with just a change of accessories and shoes. Most importantly she knows that each of those garments not only suit her, but say something true (and positive) about her.
She needs warm autumnal colours to bring out the warmth not only of her face and eyes and hair, but of her character. She needs texture and softness in her clothes to again reassure her clients that she is approachable. She IS approachable; she is warm and compassionate, but if she were to wear smooth tailored clothes in cool colours she would appear remote, judgemental and cold. She knows this for sure, as before she came to House of Colour, that is what she wore.
Ladies – we do not do business in the nude!
And like it or like it not, most people make instinctive judgements about us based on our visual appearance. It just doesn’t make sense to leave those judgements to chance.
I strongly believe that one of the best investments we can make is to discover which palette of colours best enhances our own natural colouring, and to spend the time to investigate what shapes, textures and characterisations of clothes correspond to our own personal brand and enable others to access our best qualities more easily – in just one glance.
And I’m never averse to having a bit more time and energy available in the morning!