I started my training with a degree in Clothing and Textiles from Brigham Young University, and my first position after college was as to head up a personal shopper service in a high-end clothing retailer, but over the last 15 years my focus has changed from having the latest “must have” trends to a practical approach for women to have a functional and flattering wardrobe. I often tell people, “You take a shopping list to the grocery store; you should have a plan for wardrobe.” Creating a strategy for your closet helps people to save money and reduce frustration, but it’s the emotional benefits of putting some thought into your clothing that is most fulfilling to me.
When I work with women during my one-on-one consultations, I always ask them to identify at least three parts about their body that they like. Most women can’t. They are quick to list off what they don’t like, or the part they will like after they lose this much weight, or after that happens… I interrupt them, and say, “What do you like about your body as you are right now?” My experience as a professional stylist for 15 years is that women are way too hard on themselves; they often focus on the negative instead of the positive.
At the heart of my Fit & Flatter Dressing Guide is helping women to identify their body assets and then I teach them how to dress to flatter those assets and then also how to minimize any “challenge” areas they struggle with. For many women this is that proverbial paradigm shift as they look at their body with a less critical eye. In fact, with my experience working with women of all sizes and shapes, I use this knowledge to focus on the positive and flaunt their assets and to be beautiful as they are right now.
Clothing is the vehicle I use to get women to focus on the positive. As they learn what their body-assets are and how to dress to bring out their personal best, they look at themselves in the mirror differently. Instead of focusing on what they don’t like, they see how wearing certain styles and cuts of clothing can make a huge difference on what they focus on. Their self-perception changes and their confidence skyrockets. How a woman how feels in her clothes has a great affect on her self-perception, outlook and life.
But there are three benefactors of an improved body image are:
2. Your Spouse and Your Marriage
3. Your Daughter(s)
I’ve had many husbands contact me after I’ve worked with their wife to thank me. One memorable comment from a husband was, “Thank you for helping my wife to see herself as beautiful as I see her.” And others have gone into some detail of how having a wife that now focuses on the positive in her body has affected their physical relationship in a positive way.
Society often tells women they will be beautiful when they do this, or when they have that, or when…it’s truly an endless list. So to help a woman to see herself as beautiful as she is right now is not a small thing. This change in perception also has a rippling effect with other women in their lives, especially their own daughters. A mother is always teaching her daughter(s) to have either a healthy body image or an unhealthy body image. And it matters more what your daughter sees you doing and your attitude towards your own body than what you say. As young women growing up and changing, we pay special attention to the older women in our life. Those subtle statements by an influential mother can have an indelible effect. If you want your daughter to have a healthy body image, she needs to see that in you.