A Personal Guide To Your Style Upgrade
Dear MN Community,
Hope you are all doing well, staying inside and creating healthy habits. These are certainly challenging times, but even within the worst situation, we can find some nugget of good.
I don't know about you, but I am normally running on fumes. Not only do we not take the time to fill our own metaphorical gas tank but all those things that we should do, well that will happen when there's time. Well, guess what?! We have the time NOW. This is a time for self care, a time to slow down a bit, look within and make some much needed changes for which we have all been too busy. Could you gift yourself a little indulgence to upgrade that look? Or maybe simply begin to create habits to take care of yourself more?
The other thing that we can do in times of crisis is giving back. Case in point - take a look at your closets. Do you see things you don't wear anymore? Is there someone out there that might need the suit you have not worn in 5 years to an interview when this is all over?
Ginger can you help with both self care as well as revamping your closet. I met Ginger a few years ago at a local market. She was always one my favorite people to see there. She is kind, she is elegant and just a straight up super decent human being. And secretly, I wished I could be more like her. She was always so well put together - not flashy, but I noticed how well she put together a few simple things to look -- well, just so well put together! So recently, we chatted.
Below is my interview with Ginger of Total Image Consultants. Coincidentally, she is beginning a new online course that starts next Thursday (April 9th). What better ways to spend your quarantine days! And as Mayur Natural subscribers, you get $30 off! See link and coupon code below.
A Conversation with Ginger Burr
What made you create Total Image Consultants? Give us a little background.
When I was a teenager and in my 20’s I struggled daily with my wardrobe. I kept trying different things, but I didn’t know how to dress in a way that made me happy. I always felt like I was guessing…which I was. I even tried copying what my friends wore, but somehow no matter what I did, they looked great and I felt dowdy.
People are surprised to hear this because they often think that an image consultant has always known how to put herself together. But, that’s not true for me. I had to learn exactly what I now share with my clients and it’s part of what makes me so effective—I completely understand where they are coming from.
It wasn’t until I was 30 that I found the answers I wanted. I attended a 3-day workshop on ‘fashion, color & image’ and it changed my life. With my new found knowledge, I finally felt that I could look good in my clothes and I could begin to understand why some things worked and others didn’t. I saw how my self-confidence soar. I realized it wasn’t that there was something wrong with my body (which I had always thought). It was finally understanding how to make choices that flattered my body, worked in my lifestyle and made me feel good.
I see my work as an image consultant as a way to empower other women to feel good about how they look…to take the stress out of getting dressed every day and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 30+ years. All the women who come to me are looking for the same thing – they want to feel good in what they wear and have it be easy.
What is image consulting and how does it work? What is the difference between styling and image consulting? Is it a one time appointment or an on going engagement etc.
While people use the terms styling and image consulting interchangeably, I think of image consulting as going deeper. It’s not just about buying clothes so you have something to wear. It’s about looking at your wardrobe and personal style in a holistic way. Who are you and how do you dress to reflect that? What clothes do you need to flatter your body shape and fit your lifestyle and personal preferences?
I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of women and no two have ever been exactly the same or had exactly the same needs or likes and dislikes. For me, it’s like working a puzzle: how do I help my client create a wardrobe that meets all her needs and makes her heart sing?
Sometimes someone will come to me for a color analysis and that’s all they want. That’s fine. Many of my clients, however, have worked with me for years. Recently, a client called me and said she just found out she had to be part of a very important video and she didn’t know what to wear. We only had 3 days to figure it out and she lives 2 hours away. Because I know her wardrobe and I know her, we pulled an outfit together in about an hour that she looked and felt terrific wearing.
What are your clients like? Do you help both men and women?
All of my clients are women most of whom are over 40. Once women reach their 40’s or 50’s we become invisible to the fashion industry which is primarily designing clothes for tall, thin, young women with straight bodies. They aren’t thinking about women who have had children or gone through menopause and find that their bodies shift and now have more curves. The fashion designers don’t like to think about that and, as a result, many women are frustrated and confused about what really works on them anymore.
Do you do special occasions like wedding for example? I could very much see the family of the bride and groom needing some help? Is this common?
Absolutely! Since most of my clients are over 40, many of them have children who are getting married. Trying to find a beautiful dress in the stores can be overwhelming or simply discouraging—especially in prom season when all the dressy dresses seem to be designed for 16 year olds! I have helped many of my clients find exactly what they want to wear whether in the stores or having it made. A wedding should be a happy experience and I help take the stress out of finding what they want to wear and pulling all the pieces together.
Here’s what one of my clients had to say. It wasn’t her child getting married, but she was attending a wedding and didn’t know what to wear. “It is so amazing that within the span of two hours you helped me find a complete outfit to wear to a summer wedding including a dress (one that I would not have been confident enough on my own to purchase), sandals, earrings, a bracelet (actually you found 3 that were great so I got all of them), and a handbag.”
What if I lived in California and I wanted your help. Can you still help me?
Yes, I can. Technology is a wonderful thing! I have clients all over the world including Florida, Oklahoma, Guam, Singapore and the UK and we can do everything from wardrobe consultations to color analysis to personal shopping all long distance and with very good results.
Our exterior image can be a combination of our internal image as well as our habits. For example a busy mom may not always make time for herself or take care of herself on a regular basis. These are long term changes and not just someone picking out a few dresses to wear. How do you deal with this and do you have any perspectives to offer? Do you ever run into someone you worked with and they still look like their "before" version?
Great question! You’re absolutely right that there are lots of elements that go into creating our exterior image. Our history, body image, personal habits, lifestyle needs and personality are all powerful components of how we express ourselves in the world. And they all need to be taken into consideration to get the best results.
What makes my work so exciting to me is that I dive in deep with my clients. We uncover who they are at their essence. So, for instance, someone who has a ‘delicately vibrant’ personality is going to wear something very different from someone who is ‘a little bit wicked’ (those are examples of some of personality traits (I call it their ‘inner beauty’) of some of my clients. Once I show someone how to reflect who she is on the inside through her wardrobe choices, it’s like a light bulb goes off. It makes shopping easier, getting dressed easier and she feels great in what she’s wearing because it feels like HER!
You’re absolutely right that creating a personal style is a journey. Once you have the tools to guide you so you know what colors look great, how to fit things to your body, how to meet the needs of your lifestyle and express who you are, the journey becomes fun.
By the time someone comes to me for help, they are usually pretty disheartened by trying to figure it out on their own and are VERY ready to learn how to make choices that work for them. When they have the tools and use them effectively (with my help, of course), they never look back!!
I'm sure you meet lots of different types of people with different needs. Do you have any interesting stories you would like to share? (Keeping clients anonymous of course, but I think stories of transformation that others have gone through is very motivating)
One client was invited to attend a local movie premier and she called me in a panic. She had never been to one and had no idea how to dress. She considered turning down the invitation because she was worried about feeling self-conscious, but she really wanted to go. Together we came up with a look that made her feel ‘amazing’ (her word). She was able to focus on enjoying the event and ‘not waste time looking around comparing myself and regretting that I hadn’t worn something different.’
I received this lovely note from one of my clients who lives pretty far up in Maine. She said, “It has been 2 weeks since I met and shopped with you, and every day has been a good 'clothes' day. My mornings are easy as I search for what to wear based on the weather. I have less clothing now but more options. Thank you so much! My husband has enjoyed my new look and has noticed that I have more confidence. The closing for selling the business is next week, and thanks to you, I feel confident every day.”
What is the best way to get in touch with you?
You can reach me at https://totalimageconsultants.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-872-4791.
A new online course that starts Thursday (April 9th). Check out https://totalimageconsultants.com/events/create-your-personal-style. Use coupon code Mayur to get $30 0ff!
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Be well. Stay healthy.