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: Wardrobe

How fresh is your image?

brown-shoes-blue-suitA fresh image projects itself when all apparel worn is pressed, stain free, and smells clean. Smells are easily picked up from the office and from restaurants. Have items professionally pressed or cleaned, especially when meeting clients or giving a presentation.

Cotton wool-rayon, polyester and silk favorable fabrics

colortwitpaperSkin sensitivity has been an issue for me, so relying on cotton, rayon, and silk in clothing choices has been a life saver. I stay away from wools and wear heavier cotton knits and layered items. I select dresses with a high-end polyester combination. Putting on cotton and silk blouses and tops with suits adds a layer of protection to keep wool from contacting the skin.  Touching fabric will help determine its quality. It should be soft, not scratchy, and of a good weight.

How much color is too much?

womens-fashion-trends-springsummer-2016-3-620x531Use the rule of thumb about one wearing one dominant color with two companion choices. The new trend for impact is red with camel instead of black. The red shines and it has a more contemporary feel to it. Red with a complementary gray is another good choice.

I have seen red with pink or with orange which is dramatic and can make an intimidating statement. Yellow with gray is a favorite of mine. Yellow with black (the bumble bee look) will make a statement that can hit you over your head but yellow with gray projects a more elegant feel.

Shop in your closet

shopping-bag-iconHow many times do we forget what is in our closets? Recently, I commented to a friend that I liked her jacket. She said she found it in her closet. The best way to remember what is in our closets is to reorganize and / or clean it out at least once a year.

Remove the clothes you don’t normally wear anymore. Consider donating the items that are in good shape and repairing the items you want to keep. The changing of the seasons is a good time to revisit the closet to rediscover items that to wear.

How often does an image need updating?

question_makrs_cutie_mark_by_rildraw-d4byewlIt is important to keep updated and fresh. Anna’s rule is at least once every two to three years to take a look at your hair style, eye wear and clothing choices. When was the last time you refreshed your hairstyle? As women age, makeup can either go lighter or need more color.

Men’s hairstyles change. A young man’s hair style can look foolish on a man over 50 unless he is updating his clothing choices appropriately. Jewelry styles change but good classic lines never become dated. Men’s pant styles rules get broken everyday based on the age, figure shape and industry.

We always want to stay contemporary, especially in a professional environment.

When is Casual Too Casual?

haircut disasterNot long ago, a major US airline stopped two young girls from boarding their plane because their attire did not conform to airline policy. The problem was their leggings.   There was some back and forth on social media, but libertarian impulses tended to dominate and the airline took the brunt of the social verdict. But every once in a while we should use an incident like this to reflect a bit more broadly on how far we have come, and where we are heading in the realm of casual dress. My answer to the first question is that we have come a bit too far and a bit too fast. For example, the time-worn rule of thumb, “No shirt, no shoes, no service” has been up for grabs for many years.   What qualifies as a shirt or blouse these days is not much more than a couple of square feet of strategically stitched fabric. What qualifies as shoes would be called a thong on any other part of the body. It will be difficult or impossible to reverse the trends we have experienced over the 30 to 40 years that casual dress has taken hold in the professional environment. But each of us can do our part to hold the line against future erosion of dignity and good taste.

Sleeveless shirts- business casual

wedding-1Business casual has become mainstream for women in the office. Most senior executives do not go sleeveless without a jacket. If the work population has more men than women, associated must wear sleeveless shirts with a jacket or sweater. This is understandable because sleeveless shirts have a wide range of styles and can be too casual. Sleeveless shirts with collars are an option. They have more polish and in very warm climates can look professional without a jacket.

Hose etiquette

blue pattern leggingsI was surprised to see a Diane von Furstenberg model wearing dark hose with a light color sandal promoting a skirt dress. Wearing hose with open toe sandals is becoming more mainstream. These are a few guidelines to ensure you will look smart and not frumpy:

• Wear dark sheer hose with a dark sandal
• Pattern hose will look best with a sandal in the color same family
• Hose must be toeless – no seams at the toes
• Tights can be the exception in coordinating color with the shoe when the tights match the outfit

If in doubt, chose a color close to the sandal rather than the dress or skirt.

Updating the rules of dress for men and women

1206574733930851359Ryan_Taylor_Green_Tick_svg_medIn is white which can be worn all year round based on fabric; linen for summer and wool for winter

Out is matching colors for shoes and belts unless it is for formal wear for men

In is wearing belt loops beltless on pants and skirts

In is bright pattern hose and socks for men even with sandals

In are single pleated pants for men

1206574733930851359Ryan_Taylor_Green_Tick_svg_med

The untucked shirt

_7467151The untucked shirt is a shirt hanging over men’s pants. Now, there is a shirt for men made especially to be worn outside. The overhang of the shirt is short and sports a finished even hem. My opinion of the untucked shirt is that the jury is still out.

I was just at a major store and younger-than-25-year-old sales person was assisting me in a purchase. The man possessed a stocky build and wore a plaid red shirt untucked. This person also had a fashion sense, wearing black glasses with a touch of red on the side with well pressed slacks and clean athletic shoes. I was impressed the shirt hit his body at the right place. It looked smart and casual and not in a manufactured way.