How does the world SEE YOU?

NICHE Magazne - - Romantic Fantasy - by Eric Himel

Grow­ing up in Toronto in the 70's (North York to be ex­act) I was liv­ing in a small idyl­lic com­mu­nity not dis­sim­i­lar to Leave It To Beaver. I was shy and re­served and not ter­ri­bly out­go­ing. I was al­ways the short­est boy in my class, skinny to the point that if any­one tells me I look skinny to­day, I get wor­ried in­stead of tak­ing it as a com­pli­ment. I was also very pale from my diet of lots of sugar and no veg­eta­bles and had ex­tremely buck teeth from suck­ing my thumb un­til I was 10 years old. I re­mem­ber when I was about 12 or 13 and by then liv­ing Dal­las, I was on the precipice of pu­berty and be­came hy­per-aware of how peo­ple looked and of my clothes and my hair. When I was about 14, I an­nounced to my mother that I wanted to go to a ‘real' hair sa­lon and start shop­ping at places like Saks Fifth Av­enue and Neiman Mar­cus. She said, “get a job if you want to shop there”. So I did.

My very first makeover was done on my­self and be­came the ba­sis of what I do when styling peo­ple to­day. I ex­pe­ri­enced a mini trans­for­ma­tion through a good hair­cut, a good wardrobe, 3 1/2 years of braces and grow­ing into my face and body. I no­ticed peo­ple who had never given me sec­ond glance were now look­ing at me and I re­ceived many com­pli­ments. On one hand, this felt great. On the other, I knew I was still the same per­son on the in­side which made me sad. But, upon fur­ther re­flec­tion, I re­al­ized the power of how you present your­self to the world and how you can use it to your ad­van­tage. That is when and why I be­came a stylist.

To­day, I un­der­stand that while the out­side is su­per­fi­cial on it's own, it is just as im­por­tant as work­ing on your in­side, so you present the best you both in­side and out, invit­ing peo­ple to get to know who you are on the in­side. The num­ber one qual­ity that I con­sis­tently try to in­fuse and teach my clients is con­fi­dence through how they dress and present them­selves.

True per­sonal style and con­fi­dence should be in­trin­si­cally con­nected but get­ting there on your own is not al­ways an easy task.

Here are six things that you can do on your own to take charge of your per­sonal style and have your outer look mir­ror your in­ner con­fi­dence.

PER­SON­AL­ITY

In this age of social me­dia and celebrity, it has never been harder to find your true self. Mes­sages in the me­dia con­stantly tell us who we should be or why we're not good enough, all in the name of try­ing to sell some­thing.

Ask your­self these ques­tions:

WHO AM I? WHAT IS AT THE CORE OF ME? WHAT DE­FINES MY PER­SON­AL­ITY?

From a style point of view, I al­ways start by ask­ing a client to try to de­scribe them­selves us­ing ad­jec­tives - are you con­ser­va­tive? preppy? edgy? al­ter­na­tive? fem­i­nine? an­drog­y­nous? These kinds of things serve as a start­ing point to find­ing your style, a style that re­flects who you are on the in­side and what you are com­fort­able with. Iden­ti­fy­ing who you are on the in­side, and what types of style you re­late to is a great launch­ing point for fig­ur­ing out who you are stylis­ti­cally.

AGE

These days, age is just a num­ber, so don't worry about dress­ing your age. Age ap­pro­pri­ate­ness, is an­other mat­ter al­to­gether. 30 is the new 20, 40 is the new 30 and so on… but you don't want to dress like your daugh­ter and you don't want to dress like your mother did at your age, so what's a gal to do? My ad­vice is to do a ma­jor closet purge ev­ery new decade, and re­assess where your body is ver­sus your age and where you are in your life. My per­sonal style mantra is that each decade should see you have qual­ity or quan­tity of items in your closet, don't be a slave to trends and in­vest in lux­ury items. Re­mem­ber, this doesn't mean you have to be bor­ing.

LIFE­STYLE

Buy­ing fab­u­lous clothes just be­cause you love them isn't nec­es­sar­ily the best ap­proach to cre­at­ing your own style. There is a prac­ti­cal ele­ment to your per­sonal style as well, namely what your life­style

dic­tates. Where do you live? Do you have kids? What kind of work do you do? Do you travel? What are the ac­tual re­al­i­ties of your dayto-day life? Take a good look at these fac­tors be­fore re­ally in­vest­ing and in­dulging in your wardrobe. If you have small chil­dren and don't go to black tie events, don't bother in­vest­ing in for­mal dresses. If you spend 60 hours a week at work, put a lot of your bud­get into your work wardrobe and make it fab­u­lous. If you travel a lot, make sure that your clothes work for all types of places and cli­mates that you ven­ture off to.

BODY TYPE

The term ‘off the rack' is mis­lead­ing. One per­son's size 6 may not be an­other per­son's size 6. With mis­lead­ing siz­ing these days, one can no longer state with ab­so­lu­tion that you are one size. There is a def­i­nite time and in­vest­ment in try­ing things on as you may be a size 2 in one brand and a size 6 in an­other or a small in one brand and a large in an­other. While shop­ping on­line can be highly con­ve­nient and with brands lib­eral and easy re­turn poli­cies, where items were made, what sea­son they were made in and who de­signed them, etc., can make you a dif­fer­ent size within the same brand. On top of that, iden­tify your body type and be hon­est about it. Are you short-waisted? Pear shaped? Have no waste? Plus size? Pe­tite? Have ex­tra long arms or legs? These are all things to be hy­per aware of when look­ing at clothes and iden­ti­fy­ing the pieces. Once you get this down, this is half the bat­tle for es­tab­lish­ing a great style.

KNOW YOUR AU­DI­ENCE

Dress­ing to please one­self is lovely and fine but could be an­ti­thet­i­cal to what you're ac­tu­ally dress­ing for. When it comes to dat­ing, work and social events, you re­ally need to ask your­self, ‘Who am I ad­dress­ing for?' in or­der to get the best re­sults. That is not to say you should be a slave to other peo­ple's ex­pec­ta­tions, but it just makes sense that if you work in a con­ser­va­tive en­vi­ron­ment, take that into con­sid­er­a­tion when pick­ing out­fits for work. If you're go­ing to an af­ter­noon wed­ding on the beach, don't wear a long black gown and heels. If you are go­ing on a va­ca­tion where you will be walk­ing a lot on cob­ble­stone streets, you can still be prac­ti­cal in your out­fits and footwear and still chic. Part is es­tab­lish­ing your own style and us­ing it to your ad­van­tage and any spe­cific sit­u­a­tions in life.

TAILOR­ING

By now, any­one who has read any of my style do's and don'ts or has seen me on TV knows that I never stop talk­ing about proper tailor­ing. Peo­ple seem to think tailor­ing is a lux­ury and not a necessity. Un­for­tu­nately, most of us are not fit mod­els and be­cause of that, all our bod­ies are dif­fer­ent and very of­ten need tweaks via tailor­ing. Whether it's short­en­ing a hem, rais­ing a shoul­der, short­en­ing a sleeve, tak­ing in a gar­ment at the waist or nar­row­ing a dress or skirt, tailor­ing is the num­ber one most im­por­tant thing that any­one can do for their per­sonal style. It can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween shlumpy and chic. And re­mem­ber, buy­ing an in­ex­pen­sive gar­ment and tailor­ing it is a good in­vest­ment — re­mem­ber, you are sav­ing money on the gar­ment it­self so in­vest in the tailor­ing which will take an in­ex­pen­sive com­mon piece from reg­u­lar to fab­u­lous. Trust me, it's worth the in­vest­ment.

Club Monaco Fall 2017

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Gucci Fall 2017

Ralph Lau­ren Fall 2017

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