Transitioning To A Better Image

Why not move quickly and completely remake your appearance into the best it can be? Judith Rasband of the Conselle Institute of Image Management elaborates. "Don't wear every new item at once.... That way you won't overwhelm family or friends with all of what's new." Or be subject to an unusual amount of attention from strangers or people you know casually. Some people cannot take the attention and "retreat back into the security of the old clothes or the old image, and the new clothes never come out of the closet again," (Smart Shopping, p. 40, Conselle Institute of Image Management, 2001).

Also, revamping an image can be prohibitively expensive, which can make a person give up soon after an initial consultation. (That is, if one does not use a service that gives you a comprehensive, cost-effective plan, such as you'll find at http://www.mensimageconsultant.com/services.aspx.)

In our experience, only severe image problems, like a polyester suit for everyday business, should be quickly corrected.

For everything else, a long-term plan should be constructed, based on some general principles.

* You discard worn-out pieces and replace them with slightly better clothes of the same or a slightly higher-status type.

* You replace outdated or inappropriate pieces with clothing items that are in style and right for your image.

* You wait for sales or purchase additional items when you can afford to buy what can meet your long-term needs.

* You move too-casual items to lazy weekends.

Here are some examples of subtle transitions to greater sophistication.

Wide stripes (on shirts) to . . . subtle lines and color-blocking

Jeans to . . . cargo pants and corduroys

Cargo pants to . . . chinos and corduroys

Sweatshirts to . . . sweaters

T-shirts to . . . jerseys and crewnecks

Polo shirts to . . . sport shirts

To . . . layering

Sneakers to . . . casual shoes

Note: you will still need most column 1 items, even if you will seldom use them.

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