What is an Image Consultant?


Which colors are best for you - Warm or Cool?
Which colors are best for you – Warm or Cool?

When I tell someone that I am an image consultant, one of the most common questions I am asked is, “What’s that?” This should come as no surprise when you consider that our worldwide organization of Image Consultants had a membership of just over three hundred. Obviously, it is a specialized field! Let me help define Image Consultant versus Stylist.

Stylist: A Stylist is usually called on to help put together a specific look for an event. In the film industry, stylists are often used to create the right image for a specific character. Someone may consult a Stylist to help them in choosing a total look for a special event. Stylists may have some special training or they may just have a very good sense of how to put a look together.

Scarlett Johansson - Romantic Persona
Scarlett Johansson – Romantic Persona

Image Consultant: Services of an image consultant are much wider and more varied than those of a Stylist. Indeed, an image consultant can act as a Stylist but let’s look at the greater breadth of an Image Consultant.

My best explanation of what I do as an Image Consultant is a combination of science, art and psychology.   If you are wondering how that can be, let me explain.

First, I like to help clients discover which colors are most flattering for their natural coloring. But it is more complex than simply which colors best complement the client’s hair, eye and skin tones. Colors need to be complementary to the wearer’s personality. For example, a very shy, timid person might look beautiful in bright red but they would not be comfortable wearing something so bold.

Diane Von Furstenberg - designer or wrap dress Strong, Dramatic Image
Diane Von Furstenberg – designer or wrap dress
Strong, Dramatic Image

Secondly, I do some exercises to discover who a person is deep down. You can imagine that Scarlett Johansson, Diane Von Furstenberg, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston all project very different images. Each should choose clothing that portrays her authentic look.

Since we each have different shapes, an image consultant guides her client to how to choose the styles that are most becoming. 

Nicole Kidman - Elegant Persona.
Nicole Kidman – Elegant Persona.

Wrapping this all up, an image consultant helps her client choose a great wardrobe that works for her and for her lifestyle.

Now to further complicate your understanding of what an image consultant does, each one often chooses an area of specialty. I know one who loves helping clients with manners and etiquette. Another specializes in working with executives on how to move ahead in the corporate world.  And, let’s not leave out personal shopping and closet edits.

If you are thinking or working with an image consultant, I encourage you to compare web sites in order to find the person who specializes in the services that meet your needs. Each will have different training so that will help you evaluate who has the best credentials to guide you.

Jennifer Aniston - Natural Persona
Jennifer Aniston – Natural Persona

Whether you are considering using an image consultant or not, you now can confidently say, “Oh, I know exactly what that is!”

On second thought, what a great Valentine’s Day gift!

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