Of Style and Substance, A Conversation with Our Resident Image Consultant Michelle T. SterlingSep 6th, 2011 | By Clout and About | Category: Beauté, Fashion, Women
The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is gearing up in New York City so we’re going to give the topic of IMAGE: Style and Fashion a jump start. Sure, seeing cute waif-like models strut their stuff is always nice but life is a box of chocolates. And some of us prefer to eat the cocoa goodness and will never be toothpick thin! It’s always fun to drool over the designer outfits and check out trends, but returning to reality is where most of us (myself included) will find ourselves in at the end of the day. In line with this upcoming event, I had lunch and a great chat recently with our resident Image Consultant, Michelle T. Sterling, who has graciously joined our group of contributors here at Clout and About. Michelle is highly qualified to speak about image, style and fashion, in all levels of affordability. This young lady who trots the globe speaking and teaching for Sterling Style Academy offers us the perfect lead up to New York Fashion Week 2012.
So let me introduce you to Michelle T. Sterling in more depth. We look forward to her contributions as we enhance our mission to uplift our own personal lifestyles.
A short Q & A with Michelle follows:
Lulu: I’m so impressed by what you’ve accomplished! How did you get started?
MS: I’ve had a love for clothing and shopping since the early age of 3 and I’ve been helping people dress themselves since I was 16 years old. After multiple retail jobs and being an investment banker, I decided to follow my passion and start my own image consulting firm, Global Image Group, 10 years ago. And shortly after that people began to ask me for image consultant training which has turned into an internationally recognized institute known as the Sterling Style Academy.
L: How do you define personal style. What questions does one need to ask to define one’s style?
MS: That’s a personal stylist secret When working with clients, we do a thorough needs assessment to determine the client’s personal style. We ask questions regarding your style preferences, goals, career, and lifestyle in order to accurately assess your needs and based on your responses, we develop an image and style that is unique to you. This technique is also taught to our trainees at the Sterling Style Academy in a systematic and methodical manner to ensure that our students are positioned for success and fully prepared to work with clients immediately upon graduation.
L: I would like to re-do my wardrobe. Can you tell me the 5 basic things I need to get me going?
MS: All female wardrobes should contain the following basic foundation pieces:
- A classic blazer
- A pair of well fitting jeans or trousers
- A skirt that suits your body type
- A shift dress
- A fun top that can transition from day to night
Notice that I didn’t mention color, as that’s entirely up to you. Whether you love black, navy, beige, or camel, select a neutral foundation color that suits your personal coloring and start building a wardrobe from there. This also enables you to easily mix and match as you expand your wardrobe.
L: What is the first thing you notice when you meet a person?
MS: If they have a lovely smile or if they are grumpy – that automatically sets the tone for the conversation. As an image consultant and stylist, I know everyone has their on and off days. Therefore I make it a point not to judge others who I don’t know on the clothing they are wearing. Everyone can always present a better image and has their own style preferences. I am merely an enabler rather than a judge.
L: Can you define the job description of an Image Consultant?
MS: There is no specific job description for an image consultant. Most consultants offer the same services such as a personal style consultation, wardrobe and closet evaluation, and personal shopping. Corporate consultants may offer etiquette and communications training as well. However as a general rule of thumb, an image consultant’s goal is to help individuals look and feel their absolute best.
L: Who are good candidates for a career as Image Consultants?
MS: Those who are passionate about fashion and style, have a love for shopping, and enjoy helping people.
L: What is a typical 3 day course like at Sterling Style Academy?
MS: Our 3 Day Short Certification Course program will teach you the following:
- Day 1: Color Analysis – Learn the theory behind color, how to evaluate individuals based on their personal coloring, and how to select the appropriate colors for an individual
- Day 2: Fashion Styling – Learn the theory behind the different types of fashion styles, how to determine an individual’s fashion style, and how to select the appropriate clothing based on an individual’s fashion style
- Day 3: Personal Shopping – Learn the ins and outs of efficiently and effectively personal shopping for yourself and others, how to work with men and women, and how to work with stores from start to finish
Who Would Wear These Neutrals Best: Cool – Light & Deep Personal Coloring | Sterling Style Academy
Our 3-Day Short Course is designed to get you started in the personal styling and fashion styling industry as the basis for this type of career begins with color analysis and fashion style evaluation and implementation. These are also the foundations to properly executing personal shopping consultations for yourself, friends, family, and prospective clients.
So, now that we have all that absorbed, we can give fashion a second look. It doesn’t have to be unbearably expensive and out of range in terms of our pocketbooks. We’ve got Michelle to help us with tips and suggestions! If you’ve got questions, ask away! We may end up with a “Dear Michelle” column one of these days!
Happy almost end of summer! I hope you didn’t put all the whites away!!!
Check out Sterling Style Academy’s upcoming classes: