Fashion or Style?


Fashion come and go, Style is with you forever.

An Image Consultant is to help you define your personal style.
What is a style? It is your personal identity; the ability to convey to others and how you would like to be perceived. Your own signature style is non-pretentious, vibrates your personality, and you must be able to pull out that look without feeling uncomfortable. You must love it, look great on it and most important, can afford it. It is that simple!

Many would think Image Consulting services are only affordable by those who have a deep pocket. Do your equation strategically, it is worth the cost. To invest blindly on what's available in the fashion market, wearing a garment once, and you feel you're out of this season, purchase items because your friends own it, buying things that you don't know how to mix the pieces; you end up paying even more than investing a knowledge to find out your style.

Fashion magazines display seasonal themes - Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter. Every model on the runaway display a glamorous message to induce a purchase and endorse their designers' creation. There are countless fashion themes:  Arty, Bohemian, Chic, Classic, Dramatic, Exotic, Flamboyant, Trendy, Romantic, Sporty, Foxy, Luxury, etc. How and where to start from?
Here are some basic steps:

Assess your current style :  Identify who you are, what you want to accomplish and what you would be most comfortable changing - hair, wardrobe colours, make-up, accessories, body shape, etc.

Define your signature style.

  • Traditional/Classic (corporate) 
  • Edgy (arty industry) 
  • Romantic (youth) 
  • Chic (anyone) 
  • Glamorous (someone who many luxury, glamorous and balls regularly) 
  • Sporty (fitness trainers, sports professions, active and sports enthusiasts) 
  • Minimalist (fast-pace urbanites) 
  • Creative (retail, advertising)

Purpose : How much time will you spend wearing this style. Equate your style with the amount of hours you spend wearing it. Example, you spend most of your time at work, meeting business associates and in a people management ground, etc. You should start to convey to your audience, your job scope, how would like to be perceived and where you want to be in the future?

Style Versatility:  Everyone can have a mix of two or more styles. I use myself as an example. My signature styles consist of Sporty, Traditional, Minimalistic, Classic and Natural. I feel very comfortable with outfits, I pick that vibrates my lifestyle, characters, personality and my profession. Your weekend style is separated from your work style.  

Do not over accentuate : Don't look like a Christmas Tree. If you start to accentuate every part of your body - neck, waist, wrist, legs, hair, you would just fall short of adding spotlights and be wished " Merry Christmas" - KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Avoid Vague Perceived Message:   Be aware of your implicit style message and avoid too many different (or conflicting) themes in one outfit. e.g.: wearing a strappy transparent, tight-netting mini dress to workplace with a formal suitcase and traditional 1" closed-toe heel is not "putting together".  Never sacrifice your professional image. Traditional style does not equate to plunging necklines, high slits, low-cut back lines. You may say, "Sexy" is your style on weekend, then wear it on a weekend!!  Wear it to the right place, at the right time.

Style staples:  Determine your colours that complement your skin tone (uncover your skin undertone through Colour Analysis).  You will be able to define and substantiate colours you are proud to be associated it. For a safe bet, black outfit is an easy way out. It's lavish, easy-to-match appealing and enticing.  On a contrary, you don't want to wear black at all times.

Update in small doses:  Shop for details and pieces you can mix and match. E.g., a simple pencil skirt can be paired with variety of colourful tops. Add unique statement accessories like belt, accessories, broach, etc.

Wear according to your age : Madonna make shift from her material girl and make way for her daughter, Lordes. Madonna adopts an elegant, glamorous, sophisticated and Elegant, Arty. She has moved away from her foxy, sexy, edgy, flamboyant style. Lady Gaga is lifting the latter.

Today's Madonna's Style.  Glamorous, Sophisticated, Elegant, Arty, Tasty.
Madonna in her 80's. Flamboyant, Edgy, Foxy and don't-mess-with-me.   

Define Your Budget : Determine how much you are willing to spend on the item. If the price exceeds, find alternative and look for a similar range. You can find if you spend sometime sourcing it. 

Establish quality choice : Smart buyer would check on value-for-money fabric, quality, design, finishing, cut and fit.

Refine Your Inner-Peace :  Kenneth Cole quoted:

Happy redefining. Ready for a change? - Find me at


Agnes Koh
Certified Image Consultant