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Are You Stuck in a Fashion Rut?

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation: Fashion RutHave you noticed how many women are stuck in a certain style or image – a fashion rut? They may look older than they are, or potentially younger. They blend into the crowd, sometimes apologizing for how they look while feeling frumpy and uninspired.

They probably tell themselves and others that looks don’t matter.

But of course, our appearance matters.  We are judged in less than 7 seconds when we meet people for the first time and that first impression is largely based on how we look.  How you look can draw people to you or push them away.  It can build self-esteem or deplete it.

Are you stuck in a fashion rut?  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you had the same hairstyle for five years or longer?
  2. Are you afraid to move clothes out of your closet that no longer look good on you?
  3. Are you too busy to shop, apply makeup, get your nails done?
  4. Do you wear the same things all the time?
  5. Is your closet void of color? You wear black and gray because it is easy and they go with everything?
  6. Do you feel frumpy and uninspired when you leave your closet, look in the mirror before you leave for the day?
  7. Do you wear the same accessories every day or none at all?
  8. Do have a closet full of clothes yet nothing to wear?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may indeed be stuck in a fashion rut.  If this is you, don’t feel bad, you are in the majority.  It’s like diet, time management, and self-care: these things are habits.  How you dress and look, what you eat, how you spend  your time, whether you take the time to prioritize yourself, are all habits and behaviors we have grown up with.  If you want to make a change you need to change a long-established behavior – that’s easier said than done!

So do you just accept a fashion rut or are you ready to make a change?

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation: Fashion RutFirst, you need to determine your WHY.  Why would you want to change your style?  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I feel good about how I look?
  2. Do I feel confident and inspired when I get dressed?
  3. Do I feel current and relevant?
  4. Am I attracting people to me?
  5. Do I get compliments about how I look?

If the answer is no, the next question is do you care and why do you care?  Do you want to grow a sales team, move up the corporate ladder, get more business? Are you ready to feel better about yourself, attract your partner… get a partner? For real change of any kind, you need to have a reason to want to make a change.

Once you know WHY then we move onto HOW.   How do you move past your fashion rut and gain that closet full of clothes that you love?  You can hire an image consultant like me to help you get there, but you can also start with going through your closet and thinking about which pieces you love. If you no longer like any item/s in your closet, then move them aside or give them away. There are countless women out there who would love and need them.

Forget the fashion rut! Why not have a closet full of clothes that you love and learn to put them together so you feel fresh, vibrant, confident, your personal best every day?



It’s Not You, It’s Your Clothes!

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation It's Not You It's Your Clothes

You’re perfect… But your wardrobe may tell a different story.

Has this happened to you? You go to the mall or worse your own closet and NOTHING looks good on you.  The pants are too tight in the thighs and loose at the waist or butt; the dresses hug your hips but bunch up at your tummy.  You look frumpy and feel fat.  You tell yourself, you need to work out more, diet. All things you have told yourself before. Maybe for years.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation It's Not You It's Your ClothesIf you can relate to this, you are not alone.  Many women feel exactly like you do.  Some feel too curvy, others too flat, too skinny, short or fat.  The one thing I know is very few women are happy with the body they have.  They struggle to find clothes that look good, buy clothes they never wear, waste time looking for something that looks great and leaving their closet frustrated and deflated. Believe me, this was my story before I got trained as an image consultant.

Guess what? It’s not us, it’s the clothes.

You are perfect just the way you are.  Look around,  women come in endless shapes and sizes.  There are just over 3.5 billion women in the world and no one looks just like you.  How can we expect the mass clothing designers to make clothes that fit all of us.  Including plus sizes, there are fewer than 20 sizes of clothing available for billions of sizes of women.

Clothes are designed for the mass market.  They are not made for you as an individual, to fit and flatter. They are made to sell to as many people as possible. They are made to make money, not to make you look and feel great.  Just because a piece of clothing looks good on a mannequin, your friend, the salesclerk, doesn’t mean it will look good on you.  Your job is to find a garment that is as close as possible to your size and have it altered.  Yes, you should plan to alter all of your clothes; consider it lucky if you find a garment that fits you perfectly off the rack.

I recommend allocating a portion of your clothing budget to making sure clothes fit you properly.  Before you wash them or wear them, take them to a great seamstress or tailor to make sure they can make the needed changes so all items fit you perfectly.  If not return them. If the fabric may shrink with washing be sure to wash them before they are altered.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation It's Not You It's Your ClothesMy top tips for altering your clothes:

  • Don’t cut costs when it comes to alterations.  I’ve had pants come back hemmed to different lengths and one was too short which left me no recourse.  Your seamstress will permanently alter your clothing for the better if you find someone with the right skills.
  • Stay away from the dry cleaners, instead find a dressmaker or tailor.  If they know how to make clothes from scratch, they will know what it takes to precisely alter your clothes to your specifications.
  • Don’t worry about the size of the clothes you buy.  I know we all hate it when we find that great new item and it is in a size larger than we want.  There is no standardization in the fashion industry.  One designer’s size 4 is another designer’s size 10.  If you find the perfect item that will help complete your wardrobe, it looks great on you and it fits you (with simple alterations), buy it and ignore that number.
  • Make sure all of your garments fit you nicely at your widest parts and have the garment tucked, hemmed, taken in as needed.

My clients have found that it is better to have fewer items of clothing that fit perfectly and meet their personal style rules so the color, shape, scale and proportion are right for their personal brand and image.  You really can have a closet full of clothes that you love.  You can leave your house every day knowing you look your personal best.  You are beautiful just the way you are, you just need to find clothes that fit.


Choosing Statement Eyewear and Eyeglasses that Communicate

cyndy porter choosing statement eyewear, glasses readers

Prescription eyewear or eyeglasses are probably the most expensive accessory we wear, with the exception of a treasured wedding ring or other signature jewelry.  Many of us wear our glasses all of the time, making a big statement about who we are and our personal and professional brands. Discovering the right way to communicate that style statement through statement eyewear or glasses is a journey that involves developing our personal image and brand, as well as basic understanding of the rules.

The rules for choosing statement eyewear or eyeglasses can be challenging, even if you only wear readers or sunglasses. Finding the right glasses that fit all of those rules can be a struggle because there isn’t one simple rule. 

Personality, face shape, brow shape and color top the list of rules for choosing your statement eyewear or eyeglasses.


Thank about what image you want to project to the world. Start by choosing four or five adjectives that tell your unique story, such as edgy, whimsical, sassy, sweet or sophisticated. Once you know your story, you have your image! I call it your Intentional Image – look for glasses that match your adjectives, your story and see your Intentional Image in action!


Face Shape

Most people have one of six face shapes. Different shaped glasses will work best depending on your face shape. Typically you want to match your glasses shape to your face shape. This is based on the art concept of repeating patterns. Round face – round glasses, square face – angular glasses, oval face – oval glasses, however with an oblong shaped face wide glasses are recommended, diamond shape – consider deep, curved and diamond shapes and a heart shape is best with wide, curved or an aviator style.


Eyebrow shapes should also be taken into consideration. Mimic the shape of your eyebrow on the top rim of your glasses for the best overall look.


Matching your color temperature to the color of your frames will be most pleasing to the eye. Some examples of frame colors best for warm coloring are camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blond tortoise.

For cool coloring, the best eyeglass frame hues are black, silver, rose-brown, blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue. You can also use the theory of the color wheel to bring attention to your eyes. Red or orange glasses will frame green and blue eyes and make them pop. You can also work with the same color of your eyes and an adjacent color on the color wheel.


Matching the scale of your accessories to the scale of your features is always a must. This goes with eyewear and eyeglasses as well. If you are small boned, consider small scale glasses, unless you want to make a very bold statement… then go for it!

choosing glasses eyewear readers with cyndy porterOther things to consider when choosing statement eyewear or eyeglasses:

• Instead of choosing a frame color that “goes with everything,” consider a color that truly flatters you and helps you make your personal style statement.

• If you want to shorten your nose, consider a low bridge.

• If you have low contrast in your natural coloring and would like to wear higher contrast clothing consider high contrast glasses.

• If you are aging and want to conceal wrinkles around your eyes, glasses are a great distraction.

• Consider wearing concealer around your eyes and more dramatic eye makeup to make your eyes really pop.

Choosing the right eyewear or eyeglasses can be an expensive proposition. so it is something you want to get right.  I recommend shopping at a boutique eyewear store with trained experts – not just for the lenses but in the aesthetics of the glasses you choose.  Of course, you can hire an Image Consultant to shop with you to ensure you make the right choice for you.  Remember that it’s all about feeling and being your personal best!

Want more tips, tricks and information on upcoming workshops and speaking engagements? Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Cyndy’s e-mail list and JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Hats! Wear this Statement Accessory with Confidence

Which Necklines are Right for You?

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution?

Do you have a new year’s resolution?  I know a lot of people who have chucked their list of resolutions and instead have adopted one word which will be their mantra for the year. Me too.  Yes, I want to lose ten pounds, I want to be more organized, I want to exercise more, grow my business, etc., etc.  But when I thought about what one word encapsulates the change I want to occur in 2016 it is INTENTIONAL.  I love this word.  I use it in my business.  I’ve been teaching how to create an Intentional Image for years.  Now it’s time to live an intentional life.  What does this mean?  No more shiny objects.  I will plan my life and stick to my plan.

The following are my intentions for how I will spend my time and run my business:

  • I am opening up my Essence of YOU Facebook group to the world. It has been just for my clients and it is underutilized.  If you are one of my clients that emails and texts me with images and style questions, please keep them coming but post them in the group.  That is one benefit of the group learning and sharing on a case base case basis, together. I plan to post daily and provide unique content in that group so please follow, share and recommend it to your friends.
  • I will be taking Sundays off to spend dedicated time for myself and my family.
  • I will be checking my email, phone and texts twice a day, if you would like to talk to me, please leave me a detailed message and I will call you back within 24 hours.
  • I no longer carry a line of clothes.  I have gone brand neutral. I am on a mission to help my clients NEVER PAY RETAIL – unless it is something very special.  I am doing online shopping for my clients and it is turning out to be an amazing experience.My workshops are now a one day experience and they will be held quarterly. The next one is February 20th. I still have space so if this is on your list for 2016, give me a call.
  • I am doing many more individual consultations.
  • I am speaking more.
  • I am working with companies of all sizes to help their employee’s create a personal brand, dress that brand, look their best – Create an Intentional Image.
  • I will continue with Socialize with Style the first Saturday of most months. The next one with be Saturday, March 5. I will be introducing my new program called Your Style Formula. I hope you can make it.
  • I will be organizing some special events including a Consignment Shop Hop and a retreat in Ocean City.
  • I will continue to create compelling headshots and professional portraits.  I have a new Frequent Headshots program to make it more affordable to have headshots taken often. Changing your profile picture is the best way to get noticed online and if you have a professional headshot to grab attention it will help grow your business. So jump onboard the Frequent Flyer program.

Wow.  What a fun year this will be.  I am excited to share it with you.

Six Products to Save You From a Wardrobe Malfunction

I recently put together a wardrobe malfunction kit.

Bag-7707I call it an Essence of YOU® Wardrobe Emergency Kit. It has great, inexpensive products that can help you look your best and present your best image. No, I don’t sell the kit, I give it away. Sometimes at charity events, sometimes as a door prize.

A wardrobe malfunction can include an unraveled hem, a gaping neckline, a deodorant smudge, fuzz on your sweater, or a stain on your slacks.

Hollywood TapeSo, what’s in the Essence of YOU® Wardrobe Emergency Kit?



1) Have you ever had a gaping neckline that wouldn’t stay closed??? What about a hem that unraveled halfway through the day? This always seems to occur right before an important appointment, a job interview or presentation! That’s why I recommend Fashion Tape. It is double sided and sticks on fabric and has saved the day for many of my clients.


2) Okay, what about that zipper you just can’t get up on you own. I love, love, love this item by The Peach Company.


3) There was a time, back in my corporate days when I had a one-day business trip. I flew to New York and back the same day, I didn’t have a change of clothes with me. While on the plane I dribbled coffee all over my white skirt. I had no way to cover it up. For those unforeseen mishaps, I now carry Tide to Go with me.



Static Guard




4) What about those clothes with static electricity that cling to you at all the wrong places? Static Guard will save the day!



deodorant sheets


5) What about those white smudges from deodorant gone awry? A special sponge or sheet can wipe it away.



swater shaver



6) The best cashmere can leave fuzz balls on your sweater. They can ruin your look. A gentle once over with a sweater shaver will leave these items looking brand new.


Try out these products and let me know what fashion malfunction you were able to avoid.



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.


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.