Tag Archives: image consultant

California Casual Business Attire is Still Professional

Office Appropriate Look

Hi Kathi,

I do not wear any makeup and have long hair. Is there a minimum amount of makeup that is considered appropriate (i.e. lipstick, mascara, etc)?

I have also noticed professional women tend to have short hair.  My hair is always clean and tidy, but I’m not sure (more…)

Posted in Articles & Advice, Blog, Image Tips, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fashon trends for women over 40

Fashion over 40

Dear Advice,

Enjoyed your web article (http://addspacetoyourlife.com/advice08_04_06.html)

and am wondering how the “trendy” part that you mentioned in your article works for a woman close to 50. I adore some of the banana republic and j crew jacket styles, but the trendy baby doll and spaghetti strapped tops I would never wear. I have to get up the nerve to wear the proper jean style even though I have nothing to worry about figure wise. I am 5′ 8″, size 6, and medium to light brown color. I have light skin and hazel eyes. I just feel in a “traditional” time warp and am having trouble getting out. Although I think my daughter really does dress very stylish, I would like to try some upbeat things but not be accused of looking like my daughter. Any advice?

Thanks so much,

Hi Cattea,

I am excited that you are ready to explore breaking out of your current comfort zone. It takes courage and enthusiasm to try on new fabrics and styles. Here are the steps that I would recommend for you:

Enlist the Help of a Friend or Professional

Find a friend whose style you admire to become your second opinion and guiding light

* Tip* This person does not have to be a woman, my personal stylist is a man!

If you want to find the perfect pieces quickly, hire an Image Consultant

* Image Consultants are trained to find the perfect clothing items for your body and coloring.
* They know where to shop, how to show off your best assets and what items you should invest in to remain current for years to come!

Purge and Take Inventory

* Go through your closet with your friend/consultant and get rid of the old, tired and outdated items
* Your friend will help with this process to provide moral support and offer honest opinions

If in doubt, try it on. Be prepared to try on the majority of your clothes.

* Aspire to get rid of at least one third of your current collection.
* You probably only wear 20% of your clothes, so don’t hesitate to go for it!
* Your daughter can also help you decide what to purge. She knows instinctively if something is “mommy material”.

As you purge, make a list of the classic elements that are missing from your wardrobe

* Order the addSpace Women’s 18 Essential Clothing Elementstm on our shop page to help track what you need.

Shopping Tips

Create a wardrobe that includes the classic Women’s 18 Essential Wardrobe Elements tm
Even though you are a size 6, do not go to the Junior Department

* Many clients try to get hip by shopping in the junior section
* Tip* If you are looking at odd size labels i.e. 5, 7, 9 etc, you are shopping in the wrong department. Make sure your label is an even size – these are for women!

Search and find the classic clothing items that fit you perfectly

* Try on and try on again until you find the perfect cut for your body
* Invest in the best fabric and tailoring that you can afford
* Nice fabrics last longer and pay off in spades for the classic wardrobe elements.

Get Trendy with Accessories

* Mimic the current trends with your accessories, not with your core classic clothing elements.
o Update your look each season inexpensively by adding a few new blouses, shoes and jewelry items to your existing wardrobe. Pair these with your existing classic pieces.
+ Blouses in the latest hip color, shape and style will give your existing
+ classic wardrobe an immediate current edge
+ Choose jewelry knock-offs that are featured in fashion magazines:
+ chandelier earrings or whatever is currently in vogue
+ Shoes will keep a classic wardrobe up to date: wear platforms, peep toes or whatever feels fun and current!
# AddSpace tip* If you are over 30, please do not ever wear platform flipflops!

Posted in Articles & Advice, Blog, Image, Organizing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Choosing an image consultant

Image Consultant

Dear Kathi,

I haven’t worked with an image consultant before but have often considered using this type of service. I am embarrassed to say that I don’t know exactly what would happen if I did use an image consultant. Could you explain the process to me?

The main reason I haven’t used an image consultant is that I am nervous about the expenditure. I feel like I spend a lot on clothes that I don’t wear, for one reason or the other, and would like to buy the right items the first time around. I hate to shop!

Meryl, entrepreneur in Encinitas


There are many people who do not know what an image consultant actually does while on the job. I understand why you might be uncomfortable but there is no need for embarrassment. Working with any type of personal consultant is always a learning process.

Keep in mind that image consultants will operate slightly differently from each other but typically charge for their time by the hour. Although an Image consultant might seem like an unnecessary luxury, in the long run most people end up spending less for their wardrobes while using a consultant.

They know which items to buy in the future and are less likely to bring home the mistakes that frequently entered their closets before. Once you understand what it feels like to wear clothes that really work for your body and image, you will never be tempted to buy sale items simply because they are discounted! Instead, you will know exactly what department to shop in and which items will serve you in the long run, meaning fewer clothes to buy and more to wear often!

Some Image consultants will interview you, take notes about your size,determine your needs and actually shop for you. They will meet you and help you locate the pieces they feel will create an upgraded image. They base their choices on your body shape and coloring, as well as recommend or accompany you to a hair stylist, and, if needed, an optical store. They may be with you every step of the way or simply refer you to other hair/makeup/optical professionals who are most appropriate for your needs.

As a professional organizer and image consultant, I always start with the client’s closet and wardrobe at hand. I first assess what the client owns -which items work and don’t work for him or her.

Items that don’t fit or are the wrong shape or color are typically donated to others who might benefit. All good items in disrepair or dirty are scheduled for alterations or cleaning.
As a general rule of thumb, people only wear 20 percent of the clothes that they own, so there are usually a lot of clothes that leave the closet. Think about which items have not left your wardrobe for over a year or even the last six months. These are likely suspects for donation. If you haven’t worn them, often you know instinctively that they don’t help your image.

Based on the essential elements for creating a balanced wardrobe, I, as the Image consultant create a list noting the already owned, appropriate items and the items that are needed. A game plan is formed based on the client budget. I then pre-shop and rack potential pieces from the list.

The client meets me at the store to try on the clothes and find the perfect fit. Nothing is purchased unless it is a “wow” or has the potential to be made perfect in shape and fit.
Regardless of an Image consultant’s personal process, most will choose a basic color palette for each client. This provides a solid guideline for the client to determine future wardrobe decisions. The ultimate completed wardrobe will mix and match, with numerous variations.

Finding clothes that flatter will boost your confidence and help you develop a sense of style. A good Image consultant will teach you the rules to follow for future purchases and how to coordinate your new wardrobe in the future.

You will feel really good about your appearance and be able to make proper clothing decisions. You will learn to how to camouflage your weak spots and appreciate your body as it is.
We all have good parts and parts that could use de-emphasizing.That is what an Image consultant does: Teaches you how to draw attention away from your challenge areas. Shows you your assets and how to highlight them. That is fashion in its highest form.

Thanks for writing and don’t hesitate to write with any other specific questions.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com

San Diego Professional Organizer

Posted in Articles & Advice, Image | Tagged | 4 Comments

Men’s suits

Dear Kathi,

I read your column regularly and have just noticed that you are an organizer and an image consultant. Why would I need an image consultant? If I wear a
classic dark suit, isn’t that good enough?

Josh, Encinitas


A classic dark suit is a step in the right direction. The question is, do you feel powerful and/or fantastic when you wear it? Does it make you stand out in a crowd of colleagues? People hire Image Consultants to search out and find the perfect clothes for their individual body.

Once a person wears clothing that is perfectly suited for their body, they understand its importance. Subtle changes include increased confidence, respect and often a rise in career stature. Remember the old adage, dress like your boss to get the promotion? It is still a viable reality.

There are tens of thousands of dark suits on the market. Image Consultants find the one suit in the one store that is the perfect suit for that client. Many people do not have the knowledge or the patience to seek and find the perfect suit. This is why, more often than not, you see people wearing clothes that don’t fit or accent their owner’s best features.

Hiring an image consultant can save hours shopping. One of my clients states frequently that he knows the clothes I choose will make him look exceptional, feel great and stand up through the test of time. In the long run, he saves time and money. He no longer owns a pile of clothes stuffed in the back of the closet that he will never wear. His closet now features a cohesive ensemble of clothes that mix and match for work as well as leisure.

How many times have you been disappointed by the clothes you brought home and wore a few times? This is exactly why people hire Image Consultants.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com
San Diego Professional Organizer

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Learn Muck Mastering Skills at the Carlsbad Chamber Networking Event Aug 3rd 7-9 am

Learn Muck Mastering Skills

Are you bogged down by paper piles and clutter, a stuffed email inbox or other bad habits? Then join us on August 5 for our next First Friday Breakfast, which will feature professional organizer Kathi Burns, founder of add Space To Your Life, and the writer (more…)

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A Career Transition is the Perfect Time for a Makeover

This discussion was recorded between myself and a client who came to me to review and update her image and wardrobe. The common denominator of many of my image clients is that they hire me when they are going through some type of transition.

A life transition is the perfect time to hire an image consultant. We help clients reevaluate their wardrobe and image to ensure that it will serve them as they move into a new phase in their life.

This client graciously describes her thoughts (more…)

Posted in Articles & Advice, Blog, Image, Image Consultant Before & After, Image Tips, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a New You by Investing in a New Image for The New Year

So you invested in a personal trainer to get your body in top condition last year. Now it’s time for the next step. Once your body has been given a makeover, it’s time to do the same for your image, and the person who can do that for you is a professional Image Consultant.

A top-flight Image Consultant can work her magic to make you look and feel your very best. She’ll upgrade (more…)

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Image consultant / creative uniforms

Uniforms Make It Easy to Forget To Think Outside The Box!


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Image consultant / business owner

Successful Business Owner Grows Up

Before / After Case Study:


This client was lost about how to dress as a woman over 30. She still relied on styles that she wore in her twenties and had not yet discovered the right departments to shop in as a mature adult. She would constantly find herself in the Junior section by default and didn’t know where to look in women’s departments. Her employees were constantly telling her to wear grown up clothes!


Show her what clothes worked for her body shape and position in life. After all, she was now a mom and the owner a very successful salon. Once she saw how great she looked in the clothes that actually worked for her body shape she learned her rules in a flash! With a little guidance, she quickly absorbed her new clothing guidelines and developed a style that was a WOW!

What My Client Said:

“I feel like a grown up now. I had not been going to the right types of stores since I have been in San Diego. Working with Kathi has been a life-changing experience. My confidence level has soared and people are now taking me more seriously. Now I know what to shop for and where to get it.”

Lisa Knight

Employee Comment:
“She looks great and now wears real clothes instead of teenage stuff. You did a great job!”

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Image consultant / casual friday

Scientist Caught in Casual Friday

Before / After Case Study:


This successful scientist wore jeans and casual clothes to work five days a week. She managed a small department but did stand out as a manager.


We upgraded her wardrobe so that she was still casual but had an edge of professionalism. This suit can be worn as a whole during presentations but also broken up to wear more casually with jeans or a casual top. We found shoes that were more professional than tennis shoes but still comfortable enough to wear all day. One week later, her new hair, makeup and glasses frame her face perfectly. One year later, this client reports that she now heads a staff three times as large as her last department proving to me that a professional image does help you move up the corporate ladder!

What My Client Said:

“I am not sure if the new image had anything to do with my promotion, but I am certain that it has helped me to be taken more seriously at work. You really opened my eyes to that fact that I was not dressing as well as the other management-level associates in my company. Looking back, I don’t know why I did not see that on my own, but I didn’t! I guess it is very difficult to see yourself objectively.”

Thanks again,
B.Y. San Diego

Posted in Image Consultant Before & After, Women | Tagged | 2 Comments