Recently I released my new Virtual Styling system as a beta trial, and I thought I should go into some detail about what it is, and why I think you should take advantage of it.
What is it?
I’m awesome, but I can’t be everywhere at once, and even if I could, I know that you likely lead a busy life and might not have the time to meet with me. My solution to this problem is the Virtual Styling system. Currently in its testing phase, the Virtual Styling system allows me to offer you my services from anywhere in the world; all you need is a computer, and an internet connection.
How Does it Work?
If you click on the tab labeled “Virtual Styling *NEW*” at the top of the page, you will be taken directly to the service page. Once on this page, you fill out the form to the best of your ability, answering all the questions, and press submit. I receive this information and use it to develop a profile, which I then use to give you personalised advice. For example, if you are a dock worker whose favourite pastime is playing darts at the bar, I am going to give you different advice than I would to the owner of a law firm, who enjoys opening nights at the theatre. The more information you give me, the more detailed my response is able to be.
I have designed the questions to allow me to learn as much information about you as I can; because the system is currently in a trial stage, these questions are continually being reviewed and updated to ensure maximum efficiency.
The first few questions on the page are fairly straightforward, and just ask for your name, email, age, and occupation. After this the questions are designed to gather more information, and the more time and detail that you put into them, the better. The questions, explanations, and example answers are found below.
Describe an average day at work
I need to know what you do at work. If you spend all your time on your feet working outdoors, the response I give you is going to be different than if you sat in front of a computer all day.
I usually spend my time meeting with clients, usually at either their homes or in shopping centres. Occasionally, I will be employed by a business to give a presentation to their staff. Because I am an Image Consultant, my image is my brand; how I dress massively impacts my potential business. Most of my time spent with clients will be on my feet, so I need shoes that are both stylish and comfortable.
When I am not with clients, I am usually in front of a computer; maintaining my website, answering emails, and doing research. I don’t need to wear a suit during this time, but still like to dress well.
How do your co-workers and your bosses dress for work?
Describe the outfits that you would usually find your co-workers wearing; and pay special attention to what your boss wears. You should never dress more casually than your co-workers, and be careful about upstaging your boss. Telling me the office dress code will help me find a happy medium for you.
I own my own business, so I don’t have a boss, and I don’t have co-workers. If I did, as the boss I would maintain a strict dress code. My co-workers would be required to wear well fitted dress trousers, and a sport jacket or a blazer (tie optional). Jackets would be mandatory when meeting with clients, but can be removed in the office. When working with other businesses, or attending networking events, a suit would be required. Polo shirts, chinos, sneakers, and all similar clothing items would not be allowed. I would expect my co-workers to maintain the same professional image that I do, and there would be no casual dress days. The wearing of suits would be greatly encouraged, but not necessary for everyday business.
What do you do in your time off?
Tell me about how you like to spend you time away from work. Do you spend all your time off at the beach? Or do you just like to sit in front of the t.v and play video games? Do you like to go to the movies? Or do you enjoy a night at the theatre? Are you a t-shirt and jeans sort of guy? or do you err on the dressier side of casual attire? This is mostly for when you are relaxing by yourself, as the next question covers social activities with others.
My time off is spent either relaxing in front of the t.v, or with a book. I also enjoy going shopping, of just to the cinema. I don’t go to the beach much, but I do go the gym at least three times a week. My casual clothing tends to err on the side of dress casual; the most casual outfit I would wear out (when not just going to the gym), is my brown desert boots, dark jeans, and a polo shirt.
What social activities do you enjoy?
Similar to the last question, but this one is more about what you do when you are out with friends. Do you prefer picnics in the park, or fine dining at a five-star restaurant? A weekend barbecue, or a black tie gala? An afternoon at the movies, or opening night at the theatre? Friday night poker, or a game of Pool at the pub? How do you spend your time when you are out with others, and how do you (and they) dress? What sort of people are you likely to meet on your night out?
I enjoy spending time by myself, so my social life is not terribly active. When I do go out, it is usually to the cinema, or to the RSL. I enjoy playing in Poker nights, and on the weekends I sometimes enjoy a game of Pool. I also attend a lot of networking events.
How would you describe your current style?
The better I can understand your current style, the better I can help you improve it. Do you wear a t-shirt and jeans all the time? Or do you prefer a dress shirt and tie? Who inspires your sense of style? What sort of clothes do you have in your wardrobe?
I am a very traditional person; my suits tend to be a British cut, my dress shoes are oxfords and semi-brogues in brown and black, my suits are black, grey, and navy, I prefer to wear braces rather than a belt, and my shirts are typically semi-spread or point collars. My ties are average width, and I wear a tie clip and cufflinks. I refuse to even consider any item of clothing that possesses the word ‘skinny’. Overall, I would say that my style is greatly influenced by traditional British tailoring.
Is there anything else you think I should know?
Is there anything else you think I should know? Are you 5 foot tall and skinny, or 6’4″ and full of muscle? Do you have light skin and dark hair? Or are you a redhead with fair skin and freckles? Are you on a strict budget, or is money no issue? Do you have any specific questions you would like to ask me?
I’m 5’11 (6′ in a good pair of shoes); I have very dark brown hair, and a reasonably fair complexion, and my favourite colour is blue. I am on a budget, so I am looking for reasonably good quality products that won’t cost me a great deal of money.
I don’t feel like my style needs updating so much as I need some advice on what I can add to my current wardrobe. Thank you in advance.
What Happens Next?
After you fill out the forms and click submit, all the information that you entered is sent to me. I take some time to review it, and then I send you an email. I will give you my advice and information, and if I have any more questions for you, I will ask them and give you my advice based on your response. My first response (to the examples above) would typically look something like this:
Thank you for contacting me. It sounds like you pretty much have matters under control; the best advice I can give you is to keep doing what you are doing. I do have a couple of questions though, just to clear some things up for me:
You have told me a little about your wardrobe, but do you think you can expand on this for me? How many dress shirts do you own? What colours are they? How many pairs of trousers do you have (that aren’t part of a suit), and what colours are they? What casual clothing items do you have, and in what quantity?
Do you travel a lot? Is travel usually for business or on holiday? What brands do you like to buy the most? And what is the general price range for each item you are looking to purchase (e.g. Suits – $500, Trousers – $150, Shirts – $60, etc.)? What is the weather like where you live? Does it snow, or get cold enough to need a winter coat?
Like I said, it sounds like you have things pretty much figured out, so until you get back to me, I’m just going to give a general list of wardrobe items that someone in your line of work should probably have:
- 5+ Suits
- 3+ Pair Dress Shoes
- 2 Pair Casual Leather Shoes
- Belts that match the shoes
- 10+ Dress Shirts
- 15+ Ties
- 2 Pairs of jeans
- 4 Pairs of Trousers
- 3+ Button-up collared sport shirts
- 2+ Solid Polo Shirts
- 3+ Sweaters
- 10+ Undershirts
- 2+ Sports Jackets
- 1 Navy Blazer
- 10+ Pocket Squares
- 2 Simple Dress Watches
- 1 Overcoat
- 1 Pair Leather Gloves
Depending on your location and climate, you may or may not need some of these items. Because you are on a budget, my best recommendation is to buy the items individually, and shop during the sales. Another option is thrift stores; if you are willing to put in the time and effort, a lot of great items can be found second hand. As you already seem to have the dress clothes sorted, my recommendation is to take a look at your casual wardrobe, and see what can be expanded on there. If you think you may have need for it, purchasing a Dinner Suit may also be a good decision.
I will be able to expand more on your options and my recommendations after I receive your reply, so I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Men’s Image Consulting
While it is in its trial phase, the Virtual Styling system is completely free. Once I am satisfied with the service and start charging for it, it will cost $20, to be paid in advance through paypal. I am still working on the specifics for the payment system. You will only be charged when you initially go through the contact form; any further contact through email is included in the service, but contact will only be allowed via email for a reasonable time. If I feel that the system is being taken advantage of in some way, you will be directed back to the contact form to start the process again. My aim is to have the service running fully by the end of the first week of December, so you have until then to take advantage of the fact that it is completely free. Some companies charge $100+ for this service, so being offered it for free is incredible, and even $20 is a bargain.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the Virtual Styling system while it is free; you literally have nothing to lose except 20 minutes, and will walk away from it knowing you are getting expert advice completely free of charge.