THE STYLE JOUR­NEY

NZ Business - - FROM THE EDITOR -

In the cor­po­rate world is the way you look and dress im­por­tant? While in the big pic­ture of world chang­ing events that seem to swamp lead­ers daily, it may seem a triv­ial point, but first im­pres­sions count and what you wear may even af­fect your psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­cesses. By An­nie Gray.

In the cor­po­rate world is the way you look and dress im­por­tant? While in the big pic­ture of world chang­ing events that seem to swamp lead­ers daily, it may seem a triv­ial point, but first im­pres­sions count and what you wear may even af­fect your psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­cesses. By An­nie Gray.

As New Zealand lead­ers grap­ple daily with the bar­rage of change that must, and does, oc­cupy their at­ten­tion, the small mat­ter of what peo­ple wear might seem triv­ial. And yes, in com­par­i­son with the march of AI; cli­mate change; an ag­ing work­force; and work­place health and safety, it prob­a­bly is. But in our work­ing life we judge, and are judged, by those we meet on a daily ba­sis and that judge­ment is of­ten made be­fore we have ut­tered a word.

There are many stud­ies around how quickly we make an as­sump­tion about some­one, be­fore we have even been in­tro­duced and it’s of­ten our cloth­ing we are judged on. But, it seems, our clothes don’t just re­flect who we are; they can also al­ter our psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­cesses. So much so that one study found that putting on a lab coat, like that which a doc­tor might wear, in­creased the at­ten­tion to de­tail of the wearer.

Pro­fes­sional stylist Jackie O’Fee of Sig­na­ture Style is un­der­tak­ing a makeover for Adrenalin Pub­lish­ing’s CEO, Cathy Parker, who wants to take her style of dress up a notch as she takes on more gover­nance roles af­ter 25 years lead­ing a busi­ness. In our Septem­ber is­sue Man­age­ment fol­lowed along as Jackie

took Cathy through a colour anal­y­sis, style anal­y­sis, an au­dit of her ex­ist­ing wardrobe and make up lessons.

The next step in the process is a visit to Jackie’s own hair stylist Tr­ish Matthews of the very el­e­gant M11 Stu­dio in New­mar­ket which, Jackie says, styles for a num­ber of lo­cal celebri­ties. Tr­ish, who is part owner of the salon, is skilled at putting her clients at ease and work­ing to en­sure they leave look­ing nat­u­rally glam­orous.

Cathy gets the full treat­ment and Tr­ish and Jackie have de­cided short hair ex­ten­sions will help the look Cathy is go­ing for and help thicken her fine hair. Once the ex­ten­sions are added and Tr­ish has ex­pertly styled it, Cathy loves the look of her fuller, slightly longer hair. She later says the ex­ten­sions are a lit­tle un­com­fort­able to sleep on, but a few days later she’s con­vinced and de­cides she will keep them in and per­haps even re­turn for more.

Then it is off to some Auck­land bou­tiques – both main­stream and higher end, where Jackie knows they will have styles of cloth­ing to suit Cathy. She has pre-selected a range of gar­ments she has de­ter­mined will work and they are wait­ing in the chang­ing rooms.

On the whole the clients Jackie usu­ally shops for are time-poor but they also in­clude men and women who hate shop­ping and “don’t get the nu­ances of it. They don’t know how to put things to­gether and are not good at vi­su­al­is­ing how some­thing might look”.

And Jackie has a keen eye for what will work on Cathy’s tall, long-legged frame.

The three-hour trip is ex­haus­tive as Cathy tries on what must have been about 40 items of cloth­ing and then mixed and matched dif­fer­ent tops with dif­fer­ent trousers, jack­ets and skirts.

For Jackie it’s just what she does, but for an un­sea­soned shop­per the wilt-fac­tor was kick­ing in af­ter a cou­ple of hours as Cathy tries on stylish com­bi­na­tions of tops, skirts, dresses and trousers.It’s all some­what rem­i­nis­cent of Trinny and Su­san­nah of tele­vi­sion fame or the fa­mous British stylist Gok Wan, who Jackie worked with when he un­der­took a New Zealand tour some years ago.

On av­er­age Jackie’s clients spend $3,500 to $4,500 and while Cathy doesn’t want to spend quite this much at present she is very taken with many of the items Jackie has cho­sen. She loves the long soft cardi­gans in grey and navy that flat­ter and drape; and a very smart shorter jacket that can be worn with the wrap around dresses that suit her shape. She also splurges on three blouses, one in a very soft pink with a tied neck that is far from her com­fort zone but it looks so good she can’t re­sist. Jackie also finds navy and black slim fit­ting pants that work well with a very high heel and some fun an­kle skim­mer jeans for a smart­ca­sual look.

All up Cathy pur­chased 11 gar­ments and since the makeover she has also bought a skirt and an­other blouse to match those that Jackie had selected.

Once the pur­chases are se­cured, the

next ses­sion sees a re­turn to Jackie’s Par­nell stu­dio where Jackie also has some other gar­ments wait­ing. Th­ese are higher end and lift Cathy’s pur­chases an­other notch when matched with the el­e­gant flow­ing skirts and a beau­ti­ful silk trench coat.

Jackie says that work­ing with Cathy was like her ex­pe­ri­ences with sev­eral other clients. So many of us stick to the prin­ci­ples of dress­ing we learned years be­fore, for­get­ting to re­visit them to ask if they’re still rel­e­vant for who we are now. She says Cathy’s wardrobe needed re­fresh­ing “but she had strong ideas as to what she liked to wear and like many of us, emo­tional at­tach­ments to gar­ments that re­ally were past their best. The trick is, tak­ing those likes and recre­at­ing them to en­sure that you look cur­rent.”

Cathy’s shape and stature dic­tated a lot of the choices made. “We wanted to soften and bal­ance her shoul­ders and de­fine a waist for her. Wrap dresses do that bril­liantly, with the added ad­van­tage of be­ing easy to wear for a busy work­day and suitable to wear un­der a jacket. That said, my favourite pieces were the flo­ral pants and long-line cardi­gan, as this is a great look that is smart enough to go any­where.”

Cathy says she has now worn all her new gar­ments. “I love the fit, feel and look of them all and def­i­nitely feel it has added to my style and met the brief to dress at a higher level. But they can also be dressed down (us­ing cardi­gans and the flo­ral pants).

“Apart from that I have learnt new ways to wear my ex­ist­ing clothes for ver­sa­til­ity and what I can add to my wardrobe to achieve the re­quired look.”

Cathy says it’s al­most too hard to count the com­bi­na­tions from the new clothes but pretty much any of the three pants and blouses go with the jacket or ei­ther cardi­gan and the jacket and cardi­gans go with the dresses, adding a match­ing skirt has ex­tended the look fur­ther.

It’s all some­what rem­i­nis­cent of Trin­nyandSu­san­nah of tele­vi­sion fame or the fa­mous British stylist Gok Wan, who Jackie worked with when he un­der­took a New Zealand tour some years ago."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.