3 Color Tips for Flawless Fashion

Cyndy Porter's 3 Color Tips for Flawless Fashion

Image is a powerful communication tool, creating an impression of your personality within seconds of a first meeting.  Fashioning a polished style that allows you to look put together and tells the story of who you are can be life changing.

Unfortunately, most of us were never taught how to do this.

It’s a process that involves learning new techniques. As we practice these techniques, like anything else, over time it becomes second nature.

Color image style fashion Dorri Scott BeforeThe single easiest thing you can do to change your style is to add color to your wardrobe.  My clients tell me just making this one change can have significant results.  I have been working with one client, Dorri C. Scott, for just over a year.  She already had a beautiful style that she credits to her life experience as a church-goer.  Dorri has a larger-than-life personality and therefore felt it was appropriate to downplay the vibrancy in her wardrobe.  She wore a lot of neutrals and mostly black.  I shared with her that this approach doesn’t usually work.

Unconsciously, we expect people to mirror on the outside who they are on the inside.  If you are in vibrant colors, we expect a vibrant personality.  If you are in soft, muted colors, we expect a soft muted personality.  Unfortunately, if you wear dull, neutral colors we expect you to be dull.  If you are NOT dull, as in Dorri’s case, it is psychologically jarring to see you in nondescript clothes.  Today, Dorri wears vibrant colors, she looks amazing and is received as the successful, vibrant and powerful woman she is.

Dorri knows what colors to wear because I gave her a professional color analysis and she has a great eye.  She mixes and matches colors in interesting ways.  Popping a cobalt blue dress with red shoes and a red patterned shawl for example.

Color image style fashion Dorri Scott BeforeTips to Add the RIGHT Colors to Your Wardrobe:

  1. Dorri is not alone.  I find most of my clients have closets that are void of color.  What about you?  Take a look next time you’re in your closet.  I recommend organizing your closet by color.  Put all your jackets together, hung from lightest to darkest with similar colors together. Do the same with your pants, tops and dresses, etc.  You will quickly be able to see what you have.  Do you have lots and lots of black and gray?  If so, that is common and a sign that it is time to add some color.
  2. Of course, your personality is only one factor.  You also want to consider your skin tone.  Are you warm (with yellow undertones), or cool (with pink or blue undertones), what color is your hair, your eyes, and your skin?  Do you have hair, skin, and eyes that are similar in tone or do you have dark hair and light skin; thus a higher natural contrast.  All of these things impact the best colors for you.  Learning about yourself in this way helps you make smart choices about the colors you should wear in clothes, eyewear and jewelry.
  3. Next, get creative with color combinations.  Use the color wheel as a tool like an artist.  At a basic level, colors that are adjacent on the wheel (blue and green for example) work well together, as do colors that are across the wheel like blue and orange.

Cyndy Porter's 3 Color Tips for Flawless FashionAre you energetic, dynamic, vivacious?  If so, you need bright, happy colors to match your personality.  Are you lovely, sweet, demure and soft spoken?  Then muted colors, maybe pastels, are right for you.  Maybe you are elegant, sophisticated and refined?  Color is still good but in a less dramatic manner.

The bottom line: learn your colors and incorporate them into your wardrobe.  It is the easiest thing you can do to take your style to the next level.  You will get compliments and feel great about yourself just by implementing this one technique.


How to Frame Your Face with Color Contrast

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation Framing Your Face with Color Contrast

What is your color contrast level, and how can you use it to frame your face?

Think about someone who has a fair complexion with light eyes and hair.

framing your face with color contrast by Cyndy Porter DC Image Consultant

Or, a woman with a darker complexion, dark hair and eyes.

framing your face with color contrast by Cyndy Porter DC Image Consultant

Perhaps, someone with dark hair, a light complexion and red lips. framing your face with color contrast by Cyndy Porter DC Image Consultant


Which woman can best wear bright or patterned clothing? Who will look washed out when wearing light, monochromatic colors? 

When I tell women it is best to match their clothing to their natural contrast level, they typically look at me bemused.  But if you think about it, if you put a bright color or a strong pattern next to something that is monochromatic or muted doesn’t the latter just visually disappear?

The same principle holds true for us. Our contrast level can be used to frame our face, naturally and quite beautifully!

The goal is to bring attention to our faces not our clothing or our body.  Even if you have a rockin’ hot body, that’s not what you want to lead with.  You want people to pay attention to what you have to say, to look into your eyes not elsewhere.  Supporting your face with the clothes you wear is just one of the many principles that should make up your personal Style Formula™.  Your formula of what to wear and not wear so you look your personal best every day.

Are you high, medium or low contrast?  Grab a mirror and map it out:

On a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 as very light and 10 as very dark what are your:


scale-1-10 face contrast mapWhites of your Eyes




If you fall within a few points on everything (you are all light, all medium, or mostly dark) then you are low contrast. 

framing your face with color contrast by DC image consultant Cyndy Porter

If you are all over the map with dark hair, light skin, white teeth, and dark eyes, for example, then you are high contrast.

framing your face with color contrast by DC image consultant Cyndy Porter

If you are pretty balanced or in-between those
two levels, then
you are medium contrast.

framing your face with color contrast by DC image consultant Cyndy Porter

So, now what?

You will find if you match your natural contrast level you will look harmonious.  Your clothes will support your facial features and you will not draw attention away from your face.

If you get dressed and you aren’t sure, try this trick: look in a full-length mirror and close your eyes. When you open your eyes, do you see yourself or your clothes?  If you see your clothes they are too strong for your face and should be toned down.

There are always exceptions to the rule. If you have worked with me you know I always start with your personality; your personal brand.  What if you have a high contrast personality with low contrast features?  Then this is a factor. If you are the life of the party with a big personality, then you can wear bigger bolder prints and colors.  People will expect your personality to match your visual presentation.  It is a bit confusing if you don’t.  Personality as well as the occasion matters; if you are shy or bold, if you are presenting to a group of 500 or a librarian, make sure your clothes and their contrast are in sync. 

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation Framing Your Face with Color ContrastIt is easy for a natural “high contrast” woman to wear lower contrast clothing and still bring attention to her face.  But if you are a “low contrast” woman you will want to consider darker hues in your hair, brighter lipstick colors and statement eyewear to balance things out.

If you want some more examples check out these Pinterest Boards:

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!



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?

10 Techniques to Dress 10 Pounds Thinner

10 techniques to dress 10 pounds thinnerWe would all like to be thinner, I know I do and I work at it all the time. But, there are wardrobe and fashion techniques to look thinner, too.

Let’s be happy with who we are in the present and honor the body we have right now: I bet you can think of curvy women who look stunning, who show up with self-confidence every day and achieve great things because of it.

Whether it is ten pounds or more I believe we can look stunning at any size.  If you struggle with your weight, you are not alone.  Did you know the average dress size is a size 14 and 63% of all women are plus sized?

As an image consultant, my goal is to help your outside match your inside. It starts with defining a style that reflects your personality, lifestyle, values and tastes. You can learn to dress elegantly, polished, professional, happy, creatively, and yes, thinner.

Try these ten easy techniques to dress 10 pounds thinner:

  1. Monochromatic Dressing – There is no better way to look leaner and taller than wearing a solid color from head to toe. It is sophisticated, trendy and it can be very interesting if you vary the textures worn.
  2. Column Dressing – Similar to monochromatic dressing, column dressing is very elongating. The only difference is the addition of a jacket that compliments the solid color of the underlying pieces.
  3. Increase Your Height – Taller equals thinner. Wearing heels, 3/4 length sleeves and/or skirts above your knees will make your legs look longer.
  4. Matching Shoes – To elongate your legs and look leaner, match your shoes to your legs (nude hose, bare-legged) or to your pants.
  5. Shapes – Learn to dress your shape. To look thinner, emphasize your “smaller” parts by wearing empire waisted dresses or shirts or cinched in waists with belts, or peplum tops.
  6. Proper Sizing – Forget about what size you are, and don’t expect clothes to fit you off the rack. Find clothes that fit your widest parts and have the rest altered so they fit you perfectly.
  7. Solid, Complementary Hues – Solid colors are better than patterns if you want to look thinner, especially if you are petite.
  8. Flat Panel Pants with Flare – Look for flat panel pants, i.e. no pockets, gathering or pleats. With a flare pant, the hips align with the flare, helping you to look proportionate and smaller than you would with tapered pants.
  9. Foundation Garments – Get a proper bra fitting. It is magic when you get “the girls” in the right position. The same goes for shape wear that now comes in a large variety of shapes, colors and sizes.
  10. Accessorize Upward – Bring attention to your face. Raise the eye upward. Wear scarves, necklaces, earrings. V-shaped necklines are very slenderizing. Update your makeup so you have a current style that showcases your features without overdoing it. Short current hairstyles are more slenderizing than longer hairstyles.

If weight loss is one of your goals, be sure to honor the body you have while you are on the path. You can and should be comfortable in your own skin and dress in a way that makes you feel as powerful on the outside as you are on the inside.


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.

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.


7 Shopping Tips to Create your Best Image on a Budget

7 budget shopping tips wardrobe clothingYou know your professional and personal success largely depends on your overall image.  You’ve heard the statistic that people judge us in the first 10 to 30 seconds they see us and it has everything to do with how we package ourselves.

Maybe you’re daunted by the idea of spending mega bucks on a new wardrobe. The following 7 tips will show you how to acquire an amazing wardrobe without breaking the bank. 

First, know what image you wish to project and how to dress your body, then jump in with both feet following these strategies:

1)      Shop Off-Season.  That means now!  It is the end of January and what’s in the stores?  Spring clothes.  Buy now for the rest of the winter season.  Buy that new coat, winter dress, or the beautiful designer boots and statement pieces you’ve been eyeing – the cost of which may be hard to justify!  You can get it now for 40%, 50% in some cases 70% off.  The selection may be limited but there are “finds” out there.  Here’s a tip: many major high-end stores allow you to pre-order sale items up to 13 days before they go on sale, even over the phone.  What’s your favorite store?  Ask your personal shopper or get to know a sales associate who will tip you off when the sale is about to occur.  You’ve missed it this time around but keep that advice in mind for fall shopping (June or July).

2)      Shop Sample Sales.  Direct sales companies like W by Worth, have sample sales twice a year.  The merchandise from these companies is sold in a private individual basis from samples.  It’s a terrific way to shop during the season and at the end of the dual fall/winter and spring/summer seasons; the samples are available for purchase at up to 50% off.  There is often new inventory leftover as well, which can be ordered at a discount.

3)      Shop Outlets. Premium Outlet Stores have risen in popularity and they are everywhere.  They used to carry leftover inventory that didn’t sell.  Now clothes are made for the outlets.  They are commonly a lower quality product but if you stick with the designer outlets you are getting a great quality product at a reduced price.  If you really want a deal, see #1 above and shop the outlets off-season where their already low prices are marked down.

4)      Check Prices on Amazon.  Download the Amazon Shopping App and check out the items you want before buying.  You can often save 20% or more by purchasing online.

5)      Consignment Shops.  They are fun, they are great for the environment, it is basically recycling clothes and you can get some great finds at amazing pricing.  In a future blog, I am planning a DC Metro Area consignment shop review.  But for now, I say do it.  Here’s the caveat emptor:  you will find a lot of outdated clothing in consignment shops and the proprietors are not usually fashion savvy, so take a personal shopper with you if you don’t know what’s in style or shop for classic timeless pieces.  In addition to your local consignment stores, check out, an online designer consignment shop.  Look for those really special statement pieces at huge discounts.

6)      Shop on Specific Days.  Did you know you can actually save on specific items by shopping on certain days of the week?  You can, according to, a San Francisco company that analyzes more than 750,000 sales items a year from more than 200 online retailers.  By running averages, the company found the following patterns:

  • Mondays: Shoppers can save nearly 50% on men’s and women’s dress pants, and about 55% on sunglasses.
  • Tuesdays: Expect to save more than 40% on men’s apparel.
  • Wednesdays: Shoppers save about 40% on shoes and children’s clothes.
  • Thursdays: Save 36% on handbags.
  • Fridays: Pay 42% less for jewelry, belts and scarves.
  • Saturdays: Lingerie can be found at 37% off and jackets/outerwear at 51% off.
  • Sundays: Swimsuits at 52% off.

7)      Use this app.  Check this out… Shop it to Me,, the same company mentioned above has a terrific website where you can identify your favorite designers and items of interest, tell them your size and you will start to get daily emails on items on sale in your size by your favorite designers.  How cool is that!