In part two of a two part series (see part one here), Amber Mizerak discovers that getting dressed in the morning is a whole lot more scientific than she realized. Read on to see how she and the rest of the "Ctrip Bombshells" fared under the color-coordinated eyes of image consultant Tricia-Ann Kee of Shanghai shopping tour.>>
After our color, style and bodyline analysis session with Tricia, the other Ctrip Bombshells and I had five days to process everything she'd taught us. It was a lot of information to take in but now it was time to put ourselves to the test with phase two: a shopping challenge at H&M in Zhongshan Park. Who would emerge victorious to claim the Ctrip shopper's crown? More after the break....
With just 45 minutes to shop for an outfit, we would be judged on appropriate choice of color, clothing that enhances our bodyline, personal style and how well we pulled together an iconic look. With the clock ticking we scoured the store in search of our colors. We filled our arms with dozens of items and took the dressing rooms by storm. I rushed to gather dresses, pants, skirts, shirts, purses, belts and jewelry from around the store. This wasn't any old shopping trip and we couldn't revert back to our old habits. We had to step out of our comfort zone and into the reality that some of our favorite colors and styles didn't necessarily look the best on us; a sad, but true realization. The pressure was on—we had to choose our outfits, try them on and be judged by the pro, Tricia, and time was of the essence. I felt the same dread I felt in second grade when we had to do "mad minutes" (a timed math worksheet). It was stressful but I wanted to win.
In our analysis session we determined our own personal styles. Mine was "creative" and I therefore decided on a fun blue and gold paisley springtime dress, perfect for my birthday party the next day. The colors matched my "cool winter" palette, but it turns out I needed more contrast since my value contrast is pretty high, which means a combination of darker and lighter colors works well for me. The blue dress was the right kind of material for my body type, but it wasn't necessarily the best shape as it had a pleated waist and I'm meant to be concealing my challenging areas. Even with Tricia's warnings not to let your heart rule because you'll end up splurging on clothes that aren't suitable ringing in my ears, I passed up a more flattering solid color dress for this fun blue one knowing it might cost me the win. I couldn't help it though, I loved this dress!
Since I have a large frame and larger facial features I'd learned that I should incorporate larger accessories in my look so I added a large brown leather purse to my outfit. I also added a large silver and gold bracelet and a gold fishbone necklace, which Tricia liked paired with my already existing silver necklace. I never usually mix silver and gold, but according to my complexion, it's a good idea. Who knew?!
Aimee's style was "sporty" and struggling to break away from her usual safe and somber colors she tossed around the navy-and-white sailor look with numerous variations on the same cropped blue trousers and white shirts. Emily—arguably the most practiced shopper among us—came to her rescue with a knee-length, fitted, button up dress in khaki she'd spotted on her own rounds. Although the color was nice, it wasn't in Aimee's "cool summer" palette and instead she found a pale pink version. A group vote put the more flattering pink unanimously in the lead for bringing out the color in her cheeks and paired with matching pale pink sandals and a medium-large size pink-grey tote it was an outfit that could be worn in the office or on a casual day in the city.
Emily's outfit was more traditional to suit her "classic" style but with a little nod toward her secondary "dramatic" style; her flattering beige sheath dress was backless and the peach-colored jacket she paired with it had a sheer back panel. It was the ideal combination for a business meeting during the day and, if you removed the jacket, the dress was just the right amount of flirty for a night out with friends or a happy hour after work.
We each geared up for the final judgement. Pictures were taken, assessments were made. Prayers to the shopping gods were said.
And the winner is...
Emily! She got it all right from the colors that complemented her warm skin tone and offered the perfect level of contrast to the shape of the dress and scale of her accessories. I had a feeling she or Aimee were going to win (I still love my dress though; I guess I'm just a girl that follows my heart!).
The next day we each received a personal shopping analysis which included comments on our personal colors, bodyline, personal style and areas of improvement—a document that is going to be very useful when it comes to putting together a new summer wardrobe!
Personal shopping consultations
Tricia recommends that for once you let your mind rule. She'll first do a brief personal color assessment with you to determine (or remind you) if you should wear warmer or cooler colors, brighter or softer tones and what your contrast levels are. A bodyline assessment determines the style of clothing and choice of accessories and, taking your personality into account, Tricia will help you determine your personal style (e.g., "sporty," "classic"). Finally, you'll be turned loose to shop for your perfect outfit (with a helping hand from Tricia, of course). A two-hour personal shopping consultation with Tricia is RMB 1,200 and together you can tailor your personal style and optimize your look forever.
Wait, there's more!
As well as personal shopping, personal colors, bodyline and style consultations, Tricia also offers classes in make-up artistry and wardrobe management, all of which are fantastic ideas for a girlie get-together or if you're just feeling in need of a personal overhaul. A a session with Tricia is also a great idea for visitors with an eye on the shops and fabric market as an excellent way to make sure you maximize your Shanghai shopping experience.
If you'd like to book Tricia or find out more, visit her image@inspire website or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not be disappointed.
Tricia-Ann Kee is the founder and principal image consultant of image@inspire. She is a firm believer that anyone or any company can achieve astounding breakthrough in their personal or corporate lives when given the opportunity to unleash their full potential. The key is to create a powerful brand that leads to personal empowerment, which in turn can impress, influence and impact others. She has more than 14 years of extensive experience and a successful track record with world-class multinational corporations that include Estée Lauder Cosmetics, Mattel and Starbucks.Tricia is a Certified Image Consultant and Makeup Artist and an associate member of the Association of International Image Consultants (AICI), the leading professional association of personal and corporate image consultants worldwide.