What’s Your Your Image and Style IQ?

Does Your Image Pass the Test?

What's Your Style IQ?You have 10 seconds to make a first impression. How you dress and groom yourself speaks for you even without you saying a single word. It’s not just what you’re wearing but how your clothes fit you.

How do you score on this image and style test? Give yourself two points for every statement that you can say “yes” to.  This quiz applies to men and women so go for it!

  1. I know my personal brand, I always shop and dress with this in mind, I never wear clothes without thinking about what image they will project.
  2. I know about my body proportions and my body shape; I know what clothes look best on me.
  3. My clothes fit me very well. There is no pinching at the waist, my pant length is right where it needs to be, the cuffs of my jackets are just right.
  4. When people look at me they can tell right away that I’m someone who takes care of details. My shoes are polished, my purse or briefcase is of good quality, and my belt doesn’t show any hints of wear or change in waist size.
  5. My hair is more than cut, it’s styled by someone who knows how to make me look my best.
  6. My clothes are always clean and if a shirt or jacket needs pressing, it’s pressed. No one has to say to me, “Hey, did you know you have a stain on your shirt?”  I take care of my clothes. I always present myself in a respectful way.
  7. When I shake someone’s hand, I’m never self-conscious. I groom my fingernails and don’t have chipped polish.
  8. I know which colors make me look the best. My wardrobe consists of only clothes that help me reflect my best self. Colors that don’t flatter me left my wardrobe long ago.
  9. My tailor knows me by my first name. When I purchase clothes I visit my tailor right away because he knows exactly what to do to help me get the best fit. I take pride in knowing that I’m someone who walks out the door every day in clothes that fit well. I never look sloppy or disheveled.
  10. I don’t wear too much cologne or perfume, people are comfortable around me.
  • If you scored 18 to 20 points, read no further, you are most definitely conveying a strong, polished image that is making heads turn. I’m sure this will impact both your personal and professional success. Great job!
  • If you scored 12 to 16 points, you’ve got some understanding of how image works for you or against you in the workplace. With a few tweaks, you’ll be on top of your image game in no time.
  • If you scored 8 to 10 points, your image is not working in your favor. Don’t panic.  But if you want to project a winning image you might want to consider making some changes.  There are people who know how to do this and can help you along the way.
  • If you scored 0 to 6 points, hmmm, I recommend you stop everything and find some assistance.  Your personal image is your brand and your brand needs updating.

Thinking about yourself as a brand is a powerful concept and dressing this way is something you can do on any budget.  It all starts with knowing who you are and deciding what image you want to convey.  Getting to the point where you have a closet full of clothes that work for you takes time.  By shopping with a plan, spending the time to think about how you look now and where you want to take your personal image will pay off. It will leave you feeling empowered and you will exude self-confidence.


First Vlog: “What’s Your Why?”


Why I’m Passionate about being an Image Consultant.  My Why. 



11 Spring Styles for 2015 You Might Already Have in Your Closet

W151_038The headlines are screaming about spring fashion. The stores are filled with the new spring styles. Have they gotten your attention yet?

I recommend starting each new season by educating yourself on the trends, then check out your closet for things you may have from a time past that you may be able to revitalize.

Next, make a list of things you can easily add to your wardrobe that will spruce up your look, provide you with a current, youthful image while staying within your budget. Being mindful of the trends, and of the clothes and accessories you already own will allow you to shop and dress with intention, saving you time, money and allowing you to look your personal best.

Here are some items that are trending now that you may already own:

1. Obi belt. This Asian inspired simple belt looks great wrapped around a fine-gauged cotton or silk dress. A great look to show off your waist.

2. Small bucket bag. If you held onto your smaller bags when the big bag trend came

3. Clutch. Clutch bags are great for nighttime outfits. Clutch bags that are leather and not too bedazzled are perfect for daytime outfits when you don’t need to carry so much with you on the scene, you may have some bags that are currently in style.

4. Fringed items. Ankle boots, booties, handbags, and clothing come with fringe benefits this spring season.

5. Small silk scarves for a neckline accent. Remember the small scarves that flight attendants wore around their necks in the ‘70s? That style is back and is perfect when worn with open necked shirts.

6. Mid-calf skirts. This length, ostensibly gone for good in the 1980s, is back.

7. Bohemian long skirts or dresses. Anything long and flowy is back in high fashion.

8. Peasant tops. Loose fitting tops are a great alternative to the cropped tops that are being shown this season. If you kept any loose-fitting peasant tops from years back, they’ll be perfect over flared pants.

9. Stripes.They aren’t for everyone but if you love them, pull them out and you will fit right in. Look for vertical stripes which will do wonders to elongate your frame.

10. Shirt dresses. This was a classic style that had a long shelf life before it was pulled. It’s back again and looking modern, not stuffy.

11. Denim skirts. Denim is fashion’s best friend this season. Fabric technology has advanced, however. If your denim skirt is as stiff as cardboard, you may enjoy the softer fabric choices that are available now.

A word of caution: be sure you know the fashion before you resurrect your clothes of yesteryear.

Know what image you wish to project and which styles are right for your body silhouette. Need help? Attend my Socialize with Style event February 21 at 11:00 AM. The topic: What’s In Style for Spring – and How to Know What Styles are Right for You. You should have received an invitation. If you haven’t, let me know.


Professional. Authentic. You. How to Discover Your Style for Success

Cyndy Porter Photography Image Consultant Professional BrandingCyndy Porter Style and Photography empowers professional women through personal branding, image and
fashion consultation.

Do you want more customers or a promotion? Do you want to attract like-minded people into your life? First impressions are formed in less than 30 seconds and your appearance significantly shapes that first impression.

The first and most important question: What do you want to convey? Creating a mission statement, a logo, a look and feel are among the first things a new business does as it puts it’s business plan together. I suggest you do the same. This will drive all other decisions you will make about your wardrobe.

In general, we know what not to wear. Too much leg and too much cleavage may get you undesired attention and impair your climb up the ranks. Dressing unkempt is equally an image killer. How you dress tells a story and it should be unique to you. It will set you apart from the crowd, and get you noticed in desirable ways.

Personal Stylist, Image Consultant and Photographer in Northern Virginia


Are you edgy, driven, confident and smart…  or, approachable, loyal, trustworthy and dedicated?

These are two different women and they should have different hairstyles, clothes and accessories. Will they still have a professional wardrobe? Definitely.

Be authentic.

For the moment, set aside preconceived ideas of what an executive, CPA, doctor, lawyer, banker, or business owner, should wear. Accept that you can also be feminine, bohemian, creative, edgy, genuine – however you may see yourself. Find four or five adjectives that define you. Now ask yourself if your clothes, accessories, make-up and hairstyle tell the story you wish to communicate? These adjectives should become your style words and they should be your key when shopping and dressing.


Is Your Professional Headshot Working for You?

How's Your Professional Head shot Photograph Working?Odds are your ideal client will see your headshot before they meet you, creating a first impression of you and your business. Professional headshots are so crucial in today’s connected world that doing business without one is much like doing business without a logo.

Your headshot should tell the story of who you are. Easier said than done? Indeed, it is a challenge if you do it on your own, but a good professional photographer will know how to capture what you need.

I always hold a pre-session consultation with my clients to be sure we both walk into the session prepared to make a great image that tells the right story. Whether you work with me or another professional photographer, these are the seven key ideas you should consider and discuss with your photographer to be sure you get a great headshot:

1. Wardrobe:

Find clothing that compliments your skin tones. Clothes that are the same color as your eyes or blend with your hair, skin and eyes are always a good choice. A headshot should bring attention to your face so be sure you clothing is subtle and does not lead the eye away from your face and to your clothing.

Wear clothing that matches how your customers or clients see you. If you show up for a client meeting in a suit and tie, that is the style you should wear for your headshot. If you are more casual then that is what you should wear.

2. Setting (environment and backdrop):

Professional head shot photography in Loudoun Northern Virginia DC

The setting is important and needs to compliment your wardrobe choice providing color harmony. It also needs to match your business model and job position. Think about where and how you work, and make sure the backdrop or environment matches. For example, a CEO or lawyer would most definitely have a different setting than a Realtor or an owner of landscaping firm.

3. Props:

Props can be great for storytelling. Think about an artist in her art gallery, a photographer with a camera in hand, a CEO in her boardroom, a lawyer in front of a law library, a realtor in front of a white picket fence.

4. Pose:

Posing is important; it is something that takes professional photographers years to master. Here are a few trade secrets:

  • If you want to look thinner turn sideways.
  • Whatever is closest to the camera will look exponentially larger than what is further away, most of us want large eyes and small bottoms so lean in and push your bottom side away from the camera.
  • Most people have one eye that is smaller than the other, it is often best to put the smaller eye on the side towards the camera unless you have another reason to prefer the other side of your face.
  • Your stance will also tell a story so think about who you are and your professional persona when you strike a pose.

5. Lighting:

Studio lighting can make or break a great headshot. Lighting is key to the concept of taking a three-dimensional object (humans) and putting us on a two-dimensional medium (business card, photograph, screen). We do this with the use of shadows. Like other art concepts that have been in existence for hundreds of years, there are lighting techniques that are proven to complement the human face. Make sure the photographer you work with has an understanding of natural or studio lights to maximize your appearance.

How's Your Professional Head shot Photograph Working?6. Expression:

Your expression is not the icing on the cake, it is the cake. A really good photographer can do everything else right: a great choice in clothes, backdrop, pose, and lighting but if the expression looks forced or unnatural it will not be an effective headshot.

My suggestion is to find a great photographer who has credentials and proven technical skills and who can make you feel comfortable.

Your new headshot will not only improve your professional image it can help stimulate sales; depending on how and where you use it, it can even get you dates!

7. Post Processing:

A professional photographer will allow you to pick your favorite headshots and then enhance them. A good image becomes great in post processing; blemishes are removed, stray hairs cleaned up, skin softened, eyes brightened, and teeth whitened. Make sure your photographer plans to enhance your headshot after you see the proofs.

Cyndy Porter is a DC Metro image consultant and professional photographer with the experience and understanding you need to make your best first impression – in person and across all business and communication channels. Contact Cyndy today for more information on her image and style consultations, workshops and professional headshot photography!