New Website!

It is with great pride I announce the launch of my new website with an updated logo by New Orleans based BethanyHeadshots2015-8804Sea Level Design and photos of me by Dallas based Christina Childress. This website looks and feels like the woman I am today. Please look around and leave comments here (constructive criticism is welcomed).

For those of you familiar with my former website, you may notice I am paring down my services. Gone are the custom color analysis, the image & style evaluation and makeup lessons. When I moved to Seattle, I wanted my business here to focus on my greatest strengths and the services I most enjoyed, closets and shopping. I have rolled the style evaluation into the wardrobe consultation as it is crucial to understand the client’s style before working with their wardrobe.

I have added photography as a service. It began as an idea to do street style photography for my blog. Then a couple of people used my photos on their website, and the idea to offer this service was birthed. The photos are web-ready for use on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

I continue to do public speaking as the opportunities arise. I have always enjoyed speaking and educating groups of all sizes, and I would like to see this part of my business grow. Stay tuned!

Last, but certainly not least, my new website features a new blog! I will be adding an e-mail subscription to that blog soon, and once it is complete I will let you know so you can follow me there. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Here’s to the next chapter!—Bethany

There’s Something About a Guy in a Bow Tie

Bethany Siggins Image Consulting

FloralBowTies You have no doubt noticed oodles of bow ties if you have wandered through the men’s department of your local department stores recently.  It’s a big trend in menswear for spring, and you are not at a loss for selection: all manner of colors and patterns are available.  I spotted these cool floral bow ties by Cinabre , a French luxury accessories line, in the April 2014 Neiman Marcus the book .

Imagine my surprise when a local small business owner, Kat Armstrong, recently found me on Instagram and decided my 3-1/2 year old son Nathan was the perfect candidate for a baby bow tie.  Kat’s business, baby bow tie, was born out of inspiration when she opened a bow tie gift at a baby shower when she was expecting her son.  In that moment, she realized she was not just having a baby boy, she was about to…

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Kendra Scott Gives Back

Bethany2013haircutI recently attended a fundraiser for a friend of a friend at Dallas’ Kendra Scott boutique in the West Village where I picked up the lovely yellow drop earrings I am wearing in this blog photo.  I am having a yellow moment to be sure.  Let’s see, so far I have picked up a pair of neon yellow high heel suede loafers, an oversized vegan sunshine yellow purse, a short sleeve scoop neck yellow t-shirt, wedge espadrilles with happy yellow fabric straps and said Kendra Scott earrings.

Upon my purchase at the store, my first acquisition of Kendra Scott by the way, I received a card detailing “Kendra Gives Back Parties.”  In short, they give 20% of sales proceeds back to your cause.  All you have to do is contact your local Kendra Scott store and they’ll take care of the rest.  How wonderful is that?  In a world that seems to be only about “me, me and me,” it is nice to know some companies still remember that without others, “me” wouldn’t be successful.

Not only do they do fundraisers, but Kendra Scott hosts company parties, school drives, philanthropic events and other social mixers.  Give them a call and see if the two of you can partner on your next event.

Let’s remember our blessings and our abundance.  Follow the example of Kendra Scott.  Live a life in service to others, and you will never go without.

I’m Not A Fashion Person

FashionGirlSurprised? This isn’t something you would expect an image consultant to say, is it? It is true. I confess while I love to shop and I have always enjoyed clothes and jewelry, it was not until late 2007 when I began my image consulting career that I took much notice of the fashion industry. My fashion education prior to 2007 came from my monthly Elle subscription, and I am fairly certain I paid little mind to the designer names in the editorial section. Pre-2007, I’d never heard of COMME des GARCONS, Ann Demeulemeester, or Haider Ackermann (my current fav). I couldn’t have told you what a harlequin pattern looks like or what bespoke means. I studied finance in college and worked in that industry for 15 years. I think people are surprised when they know something I don’t know fashion-related. I’m not surprised in the least. Relatively speaking, the fashion industry is new to me. Since choosing this career, I have studied and trained extensively, so I can say with confidence I know what I’m doing. I’m loving every minute of my second career. I am a true lover of fashion now, and I suppose it is now okay to call myself a fashion person.

I got into this business because I wanted people to feel good about themselves and help them look their best, not because I felt a cosmic pull to the fashion runways. If you are thinking about working with an image consultant on your wardrobe, style and presentation, it is OKAY to not be a fashion person. You don’t even have to like shopping. Let me teach you what works well for you. Allow me to guide you through the sea of options. Image consultants know fashion so you don’t have to. If my computer breaks down, I take it to someone to fix it. I have no interest in learning how to fix it myself. Working on your image does not mean you will learn to love fashion or shopping. My sole requirements of a client are: you want to make a change, you want to look your best and you want to look like “you.” If you need help, call me! I am here to serve you.

95%

In a perfect world no one would judge us based on how we look, what we wear, or the color of our skin, eyes and hair.  But we know this is not a perfect world and humans are visual creatures, innately designed to make judgments based on external appearance.  I think some of this instinct was given to us with good intentions.  We can visually size up a situation and know whether or not it is wise to step in, participate, or walk away.  Certain people could harm us physically or emotionally, and we are sometimes able to identify those persons based solely on our visual instincts.

Unfortunately, there is no on and off switch for this instinct and we judge everyone we encounter based on their visual appearance.  Within seconds we determine whether we want to get to know the new person in the room, whether we are conscious of it or not.

95% of what people see when observing your physical appearance was bought in a store.  Very little of you is visible.  Your head, your hands, and perhaps a bit of your arms and legs are showing.  Otherwise, everything else has been carefully (or sometimes haphazardly) purchased to adorn your body.  I realize most of us wish we could be seen for who we are on the inside, but doesn’t it make sense that it is difficult for someone to see us for who we are when most of what they see are things you’ve purchased and placed on your body?

For that reason, it is paramount that you know HOW TO look like who you are.  Your goal is to mirror your inside with the image on the outside.  The first step is understanding your style statement.  You must identify the words that best describe you on a personal level and formulate a plan for bringing those words to life through your wardrobe choices.  Another important piece of the puzzle is knowing your most impactful and attractive colors.  Color is the first thing people notice about you.  When the colors you wear are in harmony with your body colors (hair, skin and eyes), you appear approachable, attractive and relatable.

Working with an image consultant to understand how to bring your inside to the outside is not vain nor is it exclusively reserved for the fashion set.  Working on your image simply demonstrates that you care about making the right impression every time every day.  Call or e-mail me if you would like to work on your 95%!

I Spy Niven Morgan

Last night Tootsie’s in Dallas was the setting for the launch party for Niven Morgan’s Mustique Collection.  The pretty people were out in abundance nibbling on tasty treats generously provided by Central Market of Dallas and cooling their palates with liberally-poured cocktails by Belvedere Vodka.  The evening was not just about rubbing elbows and sampling Niven’s latest creation, however.  Tootsie’s contributed 15% of the evening’s proceeds to the Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer.  I know of no better reason to satisfy  your urge for a new pair of fall boots than when part of your purchase goes towards a worthy cause.

Niven, a Louisiana native, has built quite a name for himself in these parts through his luxury bath, body and home products. I have wanted to meet him, being a Louisiana gal myself and a fan of his sexy “Gold” perfume for years.  Finally I met the man himself yesterday evening, and he was kind enough to pause briefly for a photo with me.  The night would not have been complete without taking home my very own Niven Morgan “Silver” bubble bath – sudsy luxury in a bottle.  So much for Calgon!  This girl is sold on Niven Morgan bath products.

My hat is off to everyone who made the party a smashing success, including Courtney Edwards of Where Wear in the City and the evening’s hostesses: Brooke Hortenstine, Kristie Ramirez, Capera Ryan.  Have you chosen a signature scent for fall?  If not, consider one by Niven Morgan.  Hope to see you out and about next time!

Your Style Your Way

If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you know I started it to help others discover their signature style and to feel better in their own skin.  I hope you are finding juicy bits of style information as well as encouragement from reading it.  Something occurred to me during a restorative yoga class this week (when I am supposed to be not thinking).  It is very important to ask yourself this question:  Who am I dressing for?  The answer I’d like you to utter is, “I am dressing for myself.”

However, too often we find ourselves dressing for others.  We dress in a certain way to fit in (or so we think), or we dress in a way we hope will cause others to like us or to gain acceptance from our family.  While it is nice for others to enjoy what you are wearing and to receive compliments on your appearance, ultimately the only way to be happy with your style is to dress in a way that is pleasing to you.  We’ve all heard women don’t dress for men, they dress for other women.  What woman hasn’t put on a dress that looks smashing and had thoughts of her girlfriends being jealous?  Those fleeting moments in the style spotlight are fabulous, but at the end of the day you have to feel good about yourself and project an authentic style every day of the week.

What do you love to wear?  What colors, fabrics, textures, cuts and styles do you enjoy?  What puts a smile on your face and makes you feel more like yourself?  Those are the things you should be wearing.  Don’t worry what your partner will think or what your friends and family might say.  This isn’t about them.  This is about you.  Your style is YOURS.  It is as unique as you are.  Discovering your style and living it out is simply a matter of self-awareness and being yourself regardless of what others think.

If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: buy what you love.  If you see a piece that is just okay or good enough, put it back.  It doesn’t suit you.  When you follow your instincts and stop worrying about everyone else, you discover yourself and your signature style in the process.

One of my specialties is helping men and women discover their style words, which work together in creating their personal style statement.  If you would like more information about this process, please get in touch with me.  I always love hearing from you!

Guys – Your Trends & Your Classics

Gentlemen, I know deciphering the fashion landscape is tough, but then “they” go and change what’s in and what’s out every six months and it’s enough to make you throw up your hands in frustration.  Help has arrived.  First, below is a list of the Men’s Fall 2010 trends.  I know, it’s another “what’s in” list, but trust me, the styles for fall are worth knowing.  Plus, because designers showed many classic pieces, you may have several items lurking in your closet on this list.  No shopping required!

 Men’s Fall 2010 Trends

                Colors: spruce, mustard, orange, purple, gray, leafy green and black (naturally)

                Knits: oversized scarves, pullover sweaters, cardigans, sweater coats

                Outerwear: lots of leather, military coats and jackets, shearling, pea coats, long topcoats

                Layering, v-neck sweaters, trim pants, blazers, double-breasted jackets, velvet, quilted fabric

                Shoes: lace-up boots, army / combat boots

Trends are good to know, but they should never dictate your personal style.  I teach my clients to wear what they love and wear what works on their frame whether it’s a trend or not.  In other words, forge your own fashion path.

Investing in classic pieces that will serve you many years is the best way to stretch your wardrobe dollar.  Here’s my list of the classics each man should have in their wardrobe:

                A well-fitting suit (buy the best you can afford)

                A leather strap or metal watch (buy the best you can afford)

                A blazer or sport coat (much better with jeans than a suit jacket)

                Leather briefcase or messenger bag (look like you mean business)

                Plain loafers (black or brown depending upon your wardrobe)

                Cap-toe lace-up dress shoes (black is the most versatile)

                Long sleeve cotton button front shirts (tailor them to fit)

                Dark wash jeans (nothing baggy; tailor the length)

                All weather trench or top coat

Guys, looking great and stylish is not as tough as it looks.  If you need help navigating the fashion battlefield, give me a call.  I’d love to help you find the right mix of classics and trends to suit your lifestyle, your career and your personality.  Don’t take fashion too seriously, and always feel free to put your own twist on it.  That’s the definition of true style!

What’s So Scary About Vintage?

It is a mystery to me why anyone would find it scary to pick up fun and interesting pieces at a vintage or resale clothing store at a fraction of the price you’d pay for new clothing and accessories at a boutique or department store.  It today’s economy, it’s truly a must to stretch your dollar as far as possible. Granted, you don’t want to look like you were plucked out of 1953 ala the lady in this photo, but there IS a way to go about vintage shopping wisely and still look modern.

You’ve heard the saying ‘everything old is new again’ or this one ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’  In fashion it is true.  Current designers are notorious for copying collections from the past, putting their own twist on it.  Why not own the original? I have successfully shopped in vintage stores for years.  Here are a few things I’ve learned:

Focus on accessories.  It is a given that it’s much easier to find the right fit with accessories, wouldn’t you say?   It is always appropriate to add a retro accessory to a modern outfit to keep your look grounded and interesting.  I own more vintage accessories than anything else because they’re easy to work into an outfit and they’re one-of-a-kind.

Think of your top half.  I find it much easier to mix in an interesting top, a fitted sweater or a flattering jacket into a modern ensemble than vintage pants or skirts because bottoms often are cut in a dated way or made in undesirable colors, patterns or fabrics.  A little bit of vintage goes a long way.  Just one piece on your top half is all you need to make your outfit pop.

Consider condition.  Give the garment a very close inspection before purchasing it.  Granted, the store likely did this when they purchased the item; however, after being tried on various bodies, a garment can begin to show signs of wear and tear.  Most resale and vintage stores do not allow returns once you have made a purchase.  If you notice a problem and still want the item, as for a discount.

Buy what you love.  You might grow weary of hearing me say this, but here goes:  Buy items you love, items that speak to you and communicate to the world who you are.  Who cares if it is from 1966?  If you can envision it working in your wardrobe, get it and enjoy it.  You are guaranteed to be the only person wearing it.

You can’t go wrong by occasionally mixing a vintage piece into your outfit.  It’s one of the secrets of the fashion savvy.  Shhhh.  Who knew that’s how they always manage to look so intriguing?  As with all items you purchase, make sure to have your vintage pieces fitted by your tailor so it looks like it was made for you.

A local favorite:  Dallas gals, are you familiar with Vintage Martini in Carrollton, TX?  It is situated in old downtown Carrollton off 35E.  It is WORTH the trip!  Believe me.  Co-owner Ken Weber knows his fashion stuff from top to bottom, and his selection is amazing.  Tell him I sent you!  www.vintagemartini.com

The Perfect Body… Yours

I gave a talk last week to a group of teen girls on modesty.  My blog entry before this one was about modesty since I feel it applies to all of us and has a place in our lives regardless of our age.  In my talk to the girls, I felt it was important to emphasize an acceptance of one’s body and to point out the wide spectrum of beauty from slim to curvy.  Yet again, I find myself compelled to share this message with you, also.

Great style has nothing to do with your size, your wallet or your education level.  People with great style know how to dress their body shape and they are respectful of their body as it is. I encourage you to pursue a healthy lifestyle; however, I also strongly encourage you to carry a healthy image of yourself with you at all times.

A survey of 600 women on Glamour.com revealed 48% thought they were hourglass shaped.  North Carolina State University researchers measured 6,000 women and discovered only 8% had hourglass shapes.  If hourglass is the supposed “perfect” body shape and only 8% of the female population is hourglass, one could rightly surmise hourglass is not a mold we should be trying to fit ourselves into. The majority of the women measured, 46% to be exact, were rectangle shaped (meaning almost equal shoulder and hip measurements and less than 10 inches difference from shoulders or hip to waist measurement).  Even models aren’t the “perfect” shape.  Most are rectangles!

You were carefully crafted with a certain nose, a particular skin tone, a specific hair texture, etc.  This crafting included your body shape.  Nature intended you to have curves in certain places and perhaps for some of you very little curve in other places.  Don’t aspire to a shape that the media tells you is perfect.  What you see on TV, in magazines and in movies is manufactured, illusions crafted by special makeup, lighting and airbrushing.

The sooner you accept your shape as nature intended, the closer you are to attaining great style!  Accentuate the positives and hold your head high.  YOU are the perfect shape.