Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Lifestyle

Personal Space

Thumbs upThe personal space standard, when standing with a person or groups in conversation, is one arm’s length. Business today continues to be gender neutral with sensitivity whether in formal or casual settings. The only touch would be a handshake depending the culture of the individuals involved. This guideline is even more important today to prevent any misunderstandings.

Do suits fit the man?

brown-shoes-blue-suitRecent articles in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune discussed how the suits for Sean Spicer and Stephen Colbert work or do not work. In the real world, suits for men seem to be evolving daily. That is because the fashion industry has been trying change the look of suit styles mainly to drive sales.

The current style for the slim and younger man is closer fitting jackets and stovepipe look pants. No pleat pants on the fuller body type or older men and lapels are back in vogue on the jackets for everyone.

Sean Spicer suits have a dated look because the jacket fit is too wide. He cannot wear the slimmer, youthful one. However, he can trim down the sides and bring in the jacket shoulder to sport a more fitted, smarter look.

Stephen Colbert finally got the message to wear flattering suits and say good riddance to the awful ones where the jacket and pants made him look like a stuffed sausage. Colbert now looks and moves with ease when performing his monologues.

Unfortunately, Spicer has not transitioned to the custom tailored suits that make him look more elegant and balance his rough speaking style.

Be a master host

entertaining-foodist-484Entertaining a client is a good way to continue to build a relationship. However, if not handled appropriately, the relationship may get damaged. To ensure it is an impactful and enjoyable event, follow these tips:

• Be respectful of the client’s time, let them choose a convenient time and date.
• Pick a dining location that is easy to get to.
• When extending the invite, share the purpose – a thank you or a catch up on a project.

These are guidelines I have used that have helped make entertaining a success for the client and myself.


petrified_woodRecently, when working with a client in refreshing her wardrobe, we realized that the jewelry that worked a few years ago needed to be replaced with more statement pieces for a couple of reasons. She was recently promoted to a senior vice president role and the office went to a more casual environment.

So now, for her, professional casual is more fitting. She also travels internationally. In upgrading necklaces and earrings choosing the right proportion of each is critical. Increasing the size of the stones by one half and wearing a more intense color will add the impact needed to create the elegant, smart, professional casual look.

Road Warrior

earthFor those on the road more than three times a month for business or pleasure, here’s a refresher on what to pack. Always have a quick-start kit of toiletries, packed and to ready to go. Every third trip, refresh the see through bag  with items, such as certain hair or grooming products (women– makeup) (men- shaving and colognes), that may need substituting or replacing.

Keep some zip lock plastic bags in different sizes around. They are very useful to pack items that may leak (The Container Store also carries leak proof bottles.) or food/beverages you could not finish in the airport. Try to pack items in clear cases. I find Travel Smith is a great tool to pick up some new ideas on practical packing.

Reducing footprints – saving clothes

earthThe earth is about minimizing footprints, using natural resources and recycling. My mom was a saver to a fault. So, I learned one way of putting this in practice is about how you can save your clothing and at the same time reduce the wear and tear that occurs in over-cleaning.

Hang your clothing up once you get home to air it out, use spot remover to take out stains and save on cleaning and washing items. Recycle clothing by getting more wear out of them by sprucing them up. For example, new buttons can energize clothing and dresses can be made into blouses. Taking the sleeves off a jacket and turning the jacket into a coat vest is very popular now.

These are a few tips to help conserve your clothing while at the same time, saving the earth.

Do you present a picture of success when in your environment?

a winnerToday, I was at the Judicial Courthouse supporting a friend going through a difficult time. In the building, the only folks who can use a cell phone are attorneys. While in the elevator, I noticed a young woman wearing dressy open toe sandals (more for night wear), very worn jeans and a makeshift jacket who tossed hair and shifted her armload of papers and began using her phone. I casually asked, “You must be an attorney? “Yes,” she replied. I was thinking OMG.

When I got off the elevator, I saw that my friends’ attorney was wearing a lightweight dark suit, modern under pining and great ALG flats. She had long hair and was beautifully groomed.

We saw an attorney (with a phone in her hands) on another elevator ride who gave off an air of poise and confidence. I would hire her in a minute.

My friend thought maybe the first attorney I saw was only an associate. That may be true but it is still no excuse; you always want to look like you are ready to take the next step.


Pattern leggings- business casual?

blue pattern leggingsSince their introduction, leggings have now grown into a staple for most women. Most pants, from jeans to dress pants, have gone slim and skinny. And if you look at what women are wearing today, probably almost 90% wear leggings to slim and skinny pants. The latest fashion craze taking hold is patterned leggings.

I understand patterned leggings with the right coordinated top can be a fun look for the gym and running. However, I do not feel they are appropriate for business casual or casual day at work.


Are tee shirts good to wear for casual days during the summer?

BelkThe challenge for wearing tee shirts are that, in general, they are made in very lightweight cotton and can look like athletic and sleepwear.

But, now, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan have them in fine cotton and silk. These shirts do have a dressier and more polished look. However, wearing them makes it very difficult for senior management to police the difference between the very casual cotton and silk materials.

Maybe, the organization could help by allowing one day a week that tee shirts would be allowed. Further guidelines could be that shirts must not have any wording on them and that solid colors work best. Wearing tees with jeans or twill pants would be fine for casual days.

Ladies, do not wear tees with leggings or capris. That is too casual but capris would work for an outdoor event.


Working from Home? The good, bad and ugly

24Recently in workshop for a Fortune 100 client, the questions came up on how people stay engaged when working from a home office, especially for months on end.

1.Dress as if you are going to the office in business casual attire. Not in pajamas or clothes you would clean the garage in. Dressing up will make you feel professional especially in an isolated setting. Ugly is working in your pajamas. It starts out feeling good but ends up making you feel unaccountable.

2.Do not eat lunch in your home office. Dining out keeps your socialization skills active.

3.Talk to folks in the office. Use FaceTime or Skype so you are on decision makers minds for any projects that may be good for your career mobility.

4.Take on special projects that will keep you visible with leadership.