Anyone who has ever seen a makeover on TV has seen someone taken from one look to another virtually overnight. Can I do this for you? Yes. We can find someone to do your hair and makeup, I can treat you like so much raw material, and in a few days, you’ll be a whole new you.
But. If I do that, you might find the woman in the mirror makes you cry – and not from joy.
Clothing is intensely personal. My philosophy is that we should reveal the woman you are within, show the world the “real you”. That can take us to places where you’re not just outside your comfort zone (which is necessary to make change) but pushing into places you’re not ready (now, or maybe ever) to expose. Those are your hard limits.
Hard limits are the colors, the textures, the shapes – whatever – that you are absolutely opposed to. The ones that make you angry. That make you want to cry. The things that when you see them on yourself, you want to rip off all the clothes and hide in your bedroom for a week. This differs from person to person. Some folks have very few limits, some folks have quite a lot! Sometimes when we shop together, we find hard limits you didn’t know you had… this happens, and it’s okay. Learning is always good.
This is very different from the comfort zone, which is composed of the things you’re used to – you might or might not be emotionally attached, the comfort zone is just “easy”. Sometimes comfort zones contain bad habits that we’re just used to. It often contains self-imposed limits that we’d like to leave, if only someone would tell us that it’s really okay. Comfort zones become stagnant, which is why we need to constantly push ourselves to leave them. That’s why you employ an image consultant!
One of the arts to image consulting is gently shepherding you into new ideas, new places, new colors – without stomping on your heart. My job is to come alongside you, to encourage you to try new things, to introduce you to the woman you can be with as much (or little) change as you’re comfortable embracing today. Sometimes I’m a little like a mother – “No, you may never wear that in public again. Toss it now.” and sometimes I’m a cheerleader, “Oh, you look wonderful! Please wear that tonight!”, and very often, I’m a lot like a counselor, “Okay. You don’t wear that color because X – we can work around that”.
That’s what makes me a good image consultant. I have ten thousand ideas and I’m endlessly enthusiastic. I love color and cloth and am passionate about Beauty. But with all of that – I care about my clients, and my final goal is to leave them happier and more fulfilled than the day they met me.
I’m never going to push you past those hard limits, as stubborn as I will be in getting you out of your comfort zone. Communication is the key – and caring is the difference.