I love to network, to brainstorm, cross-promote call it what you will. Every day I talk to my clients’ therapists and trainers, chefs and doctors. In NYC, it does indeed seem to take a village. A couple months ago I was contacted by an image consultant who had worked with a client of mine. We exchanged a few emails but, to be honest, an image consultant sounded hoity-toity though I’m far from low maintenance. In June, I received a phone call from the impressively persistent image consultant  Amanda Sanders. I explained how I worked; she did the same and then through my multitasking haze heard something that aroused my interest. She said “I can’t tell you how often I work with people and when I see them again, they’ve lost weight without necessarily trying.” If weight loss without trying isn’t music to a nutritionists’ ears, I don’t know what is.

I set up a meeting with Amanda at my office. In person, I could see why clients would be comfortable with Amanda. She was easy to talk to but full of energy when talking about her work; she is beautiful yet approachable. She mentioned working with men and I joked I should send my husband to her. Before I knew it I made an appointment for my fit and handsome but clothing indifferent husband to sample Amanda’s styling services (thanks Amanda). I fired away a few questions for the expert to answer:

OK so what is an image consultant? Somehow the title intimidates me a little.
I start with a questionnaire to get a sense of client’s lifestyle, career, budget and size. I used to work with celebrities styling for movies and TV but my clients now are everyday people who just want a change. After getting a sense of a client, I’ll edit their closet and then take them shopping.

We all want to look our best, for many people that means slightly thinner (or in my case taller!) what clothing tips can you offer or what are common “don’ts” in this department?
We can all look thinner and taller! Long thin verticals create the illusion of being taller and thinner. A slightly pointy, preferably nude shoe works well for women, nothing should wrap or tie around your ankles! Also, an updated bra fitting is crucial, the higher the “girls” the longer your waistline will appear. Long necklaces can create a good vertical line and long earrings elongate a round face. Boot cut pants balance out slightly larger hips and dark colors make you appear smaller.

In terms of mistakes shapeless or ill-fitting clothing is a big one. A lot of what I worked on with your husband was sizing and tailoring. People often have emotional attachments to pieces that no longer fit or are dated.

What are other tips or tricks for appearing more fit?
Good posture is a biggie, Pilates and yoga can help with this. Other helpers include a spray tan, heels and spanks.

I loved these tips but still couldn’t get out my head what Amanda had mentioned about her clients losing weight after working with her. When we met, I asked Amanda and she said clients gain confidence after receiving advice and “have a better sense of how they want to be perceived.” It’s almost as though something as superficial as clothing has the ability to affect much deeper things such as our self image. I have seen the same thing with weight loss over the years. At times, the sense of accomplishment or success with losing weight is a springboard for career changes and new relationships. It’s not that looking better enables these things to happen. It’s almost as though both clothing and weight loss have the ability to inspire other changes. And hey, if cleaning out my closet with an expert or going to the tailor will make me lose weight, I’m in!
What do you think of the confidence/weight  connection? And what experts do you depend on (therapist, organizer or maybe Mom)?


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