Dressing against the norm — What does it say about you?

Dressing against the norm — what does it say about you?

From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer…

Against gendered expectations

The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations?

Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014.

There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour.

Eccentric wear

Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style it through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.

For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s formal shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace.

Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself.

Against the dress code

In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do.

Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful.

Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit.

In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence.

In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better!

As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead.

 

UN-LOCK THE SECRETS TO A NEW YOU TODAY WITH RACHEL,YOUR PERSONAL STYLE COACH!

 

 

Love clothes, hate shopping?
Wardrobe full but nothing to wear
Lost in the fashion jungle?
Love Colour but don’t know how to wear it?


Rachel’s complete colour, style and shopping experience is here!


  • Colour Analysis
  • Body shape analysis
  • Face shape analysis
  • Wardrobe Check
  • Personal Shopping
 for further information on your transformation Get in touch!
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Grooming Tips For Men!

Attention to detail when dressing, allows you to carry a clear and successful image to work from the word go. If you don’t want others’ to decide what your message is for you, then take a few pointers from the tips below- Taking care about the way you look shows others’ you are in the driving seat and you care who you are, and what you stand for. Because if you don’t, why should anyone else?

Stand out for the right reasons and short-cut your way to success in your business life.

Olu Eletu

 

1.Bin The Bag– There are no excuses for carrying around old conference bags with fading logos and torn straps. This is a pet hate of mine. An old bag looks only two things. Lazy and sloppy. No one is interested you went to Comic-Con six years running, so give it to your kids! Invest in quality, preferably dark brown or black leather in a briefcase or wallet. It looks the business, because it is business and will far outlast anything else you own.

2.Scent– If you wear after-shave, make sure it is not too over powering or distracting to your message. Aftershaves & perfume have a shelf life and can go rancid, especially left in the sun and out of the box. For something classic, go for Aqua di Parma. If its good enough for Cary Grant…

3.Giveaway-If you have a penchant for Mickey Mouse, that’s fine, but remember to leave your personal trinkets behind at the start of the working week. It could say more about you than you were willing to reveal and may even jeopardise important decision making!

4.Nailed it– This one is obvious, but keep your nails clean and groomed. When it comes to climbing the career ladder, details matter and people do notice.

5.Footsie– Women regularly check each others’ shoes out, so lets assume men do the same. How do yours measure up? Check your shoes are at the very least, polished and up for the job. If you are wearing a great suit, then a pair of shoes in good repair will amplify your whole look.

6.Talking Head– If you are in the corporate world, you will also be a talking head. Keeping things groomed on the upper half, is already half the work. Keep hair clean and in check. Dandruff and greasy hair doesn’t work, whatever the occasion. If you are a beard man, keep your hairstyle neat. Too much hair can be distracting and take away from your message. (unless Grizzly Adams is your message!)

7.Pit Guy– Not wearing deodrant is not an option. If you wear after-shave, go for a perfume free deodorant so they are not fighting each other.

8.Smokin’– If you have a penchant for a smoke, remember to cleanse your breathe afterwards with a mint or mouth wash. You, as well as others will be grateful!

 

Are you, or someone you know transitioning from a previous job and would like to know how to start with a successful and clear personal image? Then get in TOUCH today for a style session with Rachel!

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Happy New You!

I recently met up for breakfast with my brother in my home town of Okehampton, West Devon. We met in The White Hart hotel, a 17th century coaching inn, now converted into a J D Wetherspoon pub and hotel.

The buildings history is tastefully honoured with a decent collection of nostalgic photos and paintings including the town and surrounding area. We were trying to pinpoint the year of a particular black and white street scene of Okehampton when I saw a lady in the foreground of the picture.

She was wearing a white buttoned up three quarter length dress, a neat collar and short capped sleeves with a fitted waist and a pattern around the hem. A pair of cream courts, a matching bag and her hair was styled in a neat flipped bob.

I shouted out ‘‘It’s the 60’s’’ like a crazed pub quizzer.

And then we saw the date. 1960.

What struck me, is that it took a dress and a particular time in fashion to pinpoint the age of the photo. Not from looking at the cars, buses or buildings, but a simple cotton dress.

Whether you were born during these times or not, most of us recognise something from the fashion eras of the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and many of us will have a favourite style from those times. Any one of these eras is always a great excuse for a fancy-dress party too!

The styles of these times stood out not only for their individuality, but were clear signposts and maps to what was happening socially and politically in the country and around the world.

The wartime rationing of food and clothing in the 1940’s literally forced fashion into slimmer silhouettes using cheaper and less material. Tights and stockings would be a thing of the past as women learnt to ‘draw’ on their back seams or go without.

This all changed with the end of war in 1947. Christian Dior showed 90 creations to an audience in Paris. The skirts and dresses used huge amounts of material with equal quantities of netting underneath. It was the famous Bar jacket and full pleated skirt that epitomised what was coined The New Look. It marked the end of rationing and the doom and gloom of war and gave way to a booming time in fashion as well as in dance and music.

Fashion nowadays is a massed produced affair and there are few ‘stand-out’ moments when a new fashion season comes around and lets face it, there are only so many ways you can design another cotton t-shirt.

With charity shops in almost every town and city in the UK, it is not hard to pick up a bargain and a a complete outfit while supporting a charity or two and you will often find original pieces from way-back-when.

On top of that, you are helping to recycle the burgeoning clothes mountain we already have.

Would you like a new look?

Are you are overwhelmed or lost in the fashion jungle? Then get in touch with me today and find out how you can update your style, wardrobe and image in three easy steps!

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and stylish 2018!

Clem Onojeghuo

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A Step By Step Guide To Personal Shopping

When people ask me what I do for a living, I try to sum it up as concisely as possible. From the What image would you like to project conversation to the full menu. Wardrobe PlanningColour Analysis Makeup and Personal Shopping
From the menu, It is the personal shopping that still leaves people the most puzzled. To clear things up, this newsletter will come in two parts: The guide to personal shopping and the guide to wardrobe planning. 

Being a style coach is about listening and building trust. It is creating an arena that is comfortable, inspiring and motivating. The results are a personal style that is relevant, authentic and highly successful in a social and professional context.

I would like to thank two people who have inspired me to create this newsletter (and whose testimonials you can read at the end)

KAREN  Travels between Munich and New York with her career as an opera singer. She came to me looking for more colour and to move away from her New York black. Being a few inches shorter than the average German woman, Karen wanted to find a European chic and for things to fit her height and shape. Read how her shopping trip went below.

JOHN  A long time friend and actor, continues to reap the benefits from his wardrobe, colour analysis and personal shopping sessions. Being colour blind, we had to build a strong wardrobe in identifiable colours, tones and styles to help him secure acting roles.The investment continues to pay off and allows him to feel on top of his game. Read more about his experience below.

 PERSONAL SHOPPING IS FOR EVERYONE ELSE!

Having spoken to various groups of people over the years, I have come to realise that although many have heard of personal shopping, they think it’s not something for them but rather for everyone else. It can seem intimidating or out of reach. It’s what rich people do or bored hollywood housewives, right?

Wrong!

The people who use a personal shopper, use one from all kinds of reasons, backgrounds, cultures, ages, shapes, sizes and budgets. (and no, not just actors and opera singers!)
It is why talking to people, and creating workshops are important. They help bring the subject closer to the audience, making it more attainable and less intimidating.

You dont need money to look good, but you do need to know how to use the right tricks and techniques that apply to you and everything that is unique about you.

WHO USES A PERSONAL SHOPPER?

Take for example business professionals. They need to project an image that matches their role and responsibility in the company they represent. How they look and what they say should be unequivocal and create an impact before a word is even spoken. When it comes to climbing the career ladder, details matter and people do notice. 

Actors need to create a strong first impression. New York based John Pirkis has often seconds to gain the confidence of potential investors when he goes up for a new role. Dressing the part requires attention to detail.The suit John wears is from one of our shopping trips and continues to earn him praise in castings. His blog: ‘Diary of a Failed Actor’ describes perfectly the highs and lows of his profession.

Photograph of John Pirkis by Dan Harwood Stamper

 SOCIAL-There are social reasons. Someone may have lost their confidence (and their way) from a separation or divorce.They want to bring back some of the style they once had and start dating again. A session with a style coach can help them find a more relevant image while giving them the confidence and motivation to make a fresh start.

FAMILY-There are those who have raised a family and are looking to return to work or start a new career. This means bringing an image up to date and in line with other job applicants and is also an opportunity to turn a new page.
Personal shoppers are booked for birthdays, anniversaries and as leaving presents and gift vouchers are a popular choice.

gift

COPY CAT- It is no good copying a look in a magazine if it doesn’t translate to your body shape or the person you are. We all know that models don’t represent the majority of womens’ body shapes (or mens for that matter) but copying them can take out the hard work for us.

It takes time to develop a style and find something that you are comfortable with.
Being in a neutral, non-judgemental position allows me to speed up the process!
ON THE STREET- Surveys say that women dominate 65% of the global market. When it comes to retail shopping, It is evident there are still huge gaps in the market. Often I see women (and men) walking around stores in an effort and a daze trying to find something to wear. Help is either minimal or intrusive and not much in between.They exit the store minutes later, only to repeat the process somewhere else.

The experience is nil and the frustration is high.

collageps

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO SHOPPING

  • MEETING UP- To begin with there is an informal but focused consultation to discuss specific desires and goals. Meeting in person works two ways. It allows me to get a clear idea of bodyshape, height and natural colouring, aswell as the persons character and personality. It also helps build a level of trust and establish a friendly working relationship.
  • LOOK BOOK- Having a photograph to work with beforehand, allows me to prepare a few images I think are suitable (like a look-book) for the person I am working with. This helps establish a focus for ideas and drums up excitement. Together we discuss style, shape, colour, fabric, accessories and anything else that is important
  • RESEARCH-Before a shopping trip, research has to be carried out. This is an important aspect for a successful shop and the focus of everything I know about that person so far. From where to find the right length pair of pants, skirt, dress, jacket, collar type, material, tailoring, colour, pattern, accessories and so on. This also applies to skin care and makeup

 

  • SHOPPING DATE-The big date has arrived and what we’ve been waiting for! When trying on clothes, I advise people to come wearing (easy to get in and out of) clothing. To bring heels if trying on dresses and business shoes if trying on suits. Clothes that are hampered with buckles and buttons will only slow down the process!

 

  • SUCCESS- Of the clothes I select, 99% of them are bought and successfully integrated into the wardrobe. The selected items not only double the outfit choices but work with existing pieces and new alike. Guided shopping can seriously breaks old habits because they are intensive one-to-one style workouts and a time of real focus. Many people report that they not only save money on future trips but are able to shop in half their normal time.

 

  • SELF AWARENESS- Finally, these sessions are a reminder that is important to highlight the best of ourselves for ourselves. Unique aspects that over time have been forgotten or buried under the layers of life.They are about bringing those positive aspects to the surface by recognising what we have got, not what we haven’t. Knowing how to reflect these qualities increases confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness and is always an inspiration to others.

See what Karen and John had to say!

Rachel is fantastic – she is smart, talented, genuinely positive and amazingly tactful.   I am a typical New York “everything in black” girl, and also a good 6 inches shorter than the average German woman.The lovely european chic-casual style has been a mystery to me since I moved here. I had pretty much given up on ever finding clothes in Germany when I went to Rachel for help

She has a brilliant eye for colour and form, and after our initial consultation, even before we went shopping, she had me thinking differently about how to dress and what to put together.She has the patience of a saint – I had extremely vague answers to her questions about my personal style, since “black” has been my answer to everything for years.The shopping experience was amazing.  

I generally give up after one hour, but two and a half hours with Rachel passed in the blink of an eye.Not only did I end up with some beautiful clothes in lovely colours, but we also got some fantastic things in black that actually fit me.

Rachel very tactfully explained to me how to mix and match to achieve the look I wanted, and much to my delight, I can apply her advice to both my old and my new clothes.My “What Not To Wear” moments have dramatically decreased and miraculously, my mother, my husband, and my garment-district friends all love my new clothes!If you want assistance, advice or even just a ray of sunshine in your wardrobe, I highly recommend consulting Rachel for any and all of your fashion needs.

 

John
Rachel, I cannot thank you enough for the extraordinary results you have achieved for me! Not only restyling my wardrobe, but also taking the dread I had of shopping for clothes. Being colour blind just added to my problem.
Your patience, calm energy and passion for the task in hand made the event and effortless joy and education.
I feel confident to venture out on a shopping trip of my own and even look forward to it.
Thank you again.

 ‘‘People will stare. Make it worth their while” Harry Winston

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Step By Step Guide To Wardrobe Planning

collagevistawoman

There is no getting away from it. My work is personal. In order to get to the heart of someones style, I have to get to the heart of their wardrobe. This means sifting through items that no longer measure up. (literally) ultimately clothes that stay, should fit into two categories. They should Fit and they should Feel Good (lets call it FFG!)

COLOURS- should compliment the natural tones of skin, eyes and hair and styles should match body shape, frame and personality.

DRESS UP-Many people dress older or younger than they really are, or in clothes that are larger or smaller than their true size.

REASONS-Over time, we can lose sight of ourselves. Styles we once looked good in, no longer fit and the colours we used to love, no longer make us feel or look as good. There are clothes handed down by well meaning friends or relatives which don’t fit (they don’t have the FFG!) and why in the end, they get discarded.

They were bought with someone else in mind. certainly not for you and not for your body shape or character. Whether you are selecting your own clothes or given them, try them on first. If they don’t have the FFG factor then please don’t feel obliged to take them or buy them!

love

SHOPPING-With relatives can prove tricky. In the heat of the moment, outfits are bought that you wouldn’t otherwise see yourself in but you oblige (because they bought something too) It’s not something you would have chosen, and most likely will be worn once.Well meaning relatives can play dress up in things they think you will look good in.This also comes with obvious problems. Then there are just plain old habits of buying the same styles in the same colours like, forever!

GRACEFULLY AGEING- Take my mum for example. She used to apply the Mary Quant style eye makeup that was standard in the 70’s. She even painted in her lower lashes. She looked amazing. By the 80’s though she adopted different methods in both makeup and dress. This didn’t diminish from her style but only increased it. With each decade she made small changes that bought her up to date.These changes were subtle but transformative. Now in her early 70’s she is as stylish (and as beautiful) as ever.

It is so important to try things on and see why they don’t work on a particular body shape and to get into the habit of looking in the mirror!

collagemohrmann

 STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO WARDROBE PLANNING

  • Firstly, an informal consultation is arranged to establish specific desires, goals and problem areas. Whether you want to create a formal business look, a change of style or to add a few key pieces. An appointment is made to visit your home and your wardrobe!
  •  Clothes are tried on to establish what should stay and what should go. This is based on Items that no longer fit the body shape, personality or lifestyle, aswell as colours that no longer flatter the natural colouring of hair, skin and eyes and finally clothes that are old and worn out. Where there are any gaps, a shopping list is made of the necessary items to complete the wardrobe.
  • Once the wardrobe is de-cluttered and organised, the next step is to mix and recycle the remaining clothes back in. Planning a wardrobe is not about spending money on new clothes but knowing how to breathe new life back into what you already have. Mixing suit jackets with jeans, and skirts with vintage tops and jackets. Utilising hats, belts, scarves and other accessories to maximum effect.
  •  By the end of a wardrobe session, you will have gained awareness for styles that fit your body shape and personality creating your unique look. You will find shopping and choosing individual pieces easier and faster and will have the confidence that the pieces you do pick will sit comfortably into your wardrobe. This is the true meaning of finding your style!

We often stop wearing things that dont make us feel good without knowing why-you already have the answer-Trust your instinct!

If you would like to see what a wardrobe session can do for you, please get in touch for an informal and friendly chat: rachel@rachel-moss.com

collagepugs

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