Pack Like a Pro

By , May 30, 2012 1:20 pm

Here is a snippet of my recent blog post from my website. To read the rest, go to

Suitcase Full of Clothes“Pack Like a Pro

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer – and summer getaways!  During the next few months, opportunities abound for short trips that can provide a welcome break from the city or just your usual routine.  So take advantage of these occasions and be prepared to ‘get out of Dodge’ at a moment’s notice.  The trick is to know what to pack and be able to do it as effortlessly as possible.

Most people straddle two sides of the fence – either they pack too little and don’t feel they have what they need, or pack enough for several days longer than they’ve stayed. The goal is that sweet spot where you have everything you need and use; and wear most everything you brought.  How does one do this?   Read on, my compadres.

Less is more.  For a three day trip, think two bottoms, three tops, and a sweater or jacket.  Add in a dress that can be dressed up (no pun intended) or down.  A maxi is a great choice.  It can easily work pool or beach side with a big hat, sunglasses, and flip flops.  Or, for drinks and dinner, you can add embellished wedges and an armful of bangles. …”

To read the rest, go to

Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

How to Wear Your Color ‘Crush’

By , May 10, 2012 12:56 pm

Here is a snippet of my recent blog post from my website. To read the rest, go to

“Just like men…sometimes we love a color that is simply not a good match for us. For instance, I’m crazy for the “solar power” yellow that’s in stores this season, but it doesn’t love me back. (It makes me look a little “unwell” in fact!) While admittedly there’s a potpourri of colors to choose from this season, sometimes we just can’t break the attraction to the colors we know are not well suited for us. (Sound familiar?) How can we wear the colors that are not necessarily ‘our best’ and still look fabulous? Read on for some helpful hints.

Tangerines/Oranges are everywhere this spring season. If you love the color, but it overwhelms your features or leaves you looking tired, here are some suggestions:

1. Pair orange with your favorite neutral. Let’s say navy looks great on you (and it does on many people.) Pair your favorite navy blouse with tangerine jeans! This is a great way to brighten your outfit and to be right in step with the bold pant trend. The trick is to keep the orange hue away from your face.

2. Accessorize in orange. If adding an orange top or bottom seems like a bit too much of a good thing, look for an orange accessory! An orange skinny belt can add a pop of color to your outfit. Tuck a white blouse into a high-waist tan pencil skirt and add a skinny orange belt to your waistline or just wear it with your favorite jeans to spice things up.

3. Think outside the box. Make orange your go-to color and enjoy it many times a day by using orange-colored zipper bags to help you organize the contents of your handbag.”

Read the rest at

Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

Office Image Spoilers

By , July 20, 2011 7:22 am

Summer is always a time when businesses cringe in anticipation to see what their employees will be wearing to the office.  Flip flops come out, a little too much skin is exposed, and workers tend to get a little sloppy in their dress.  This is a perfect opportunity to offer our services as image consultants to guide our clients to appropriate attire this season.  Especially in this competitive economy, employees need every edge they can get to succeed in the workplace, including a wardrobe that means business.

Sure, coming back from a summer weekend may tempt them to roll into work wearing cut offs, but do our clients really want to project an image that says  “I just got back from the beach, I’ll get to that report when I re-acclimate”?  No!  We want our clients to always appear confident, capable and ready.  As the workplace gets more and more casual and more and more competitive, our services may be needed more than ever.  It can be confusing as to what is OK to wear to the office and what constitutes a major faux pas. That’s where the savvy image consultant comes in!

Offer your clients a summer spruce up to go through their closets and help them find what works for work.  Make a list of what they need.  Maybe it’s camisoles to go under those low cut tops and dresses?  Or, a light sweater or jacket to cover bare arms and stay warm in the frigid air conditioning?   Or a casual work shoe that’s not a flip flop?  Put together a few summer outfits for them:  casual, yet neat and business like.  You can help save them embarrassment at work and project a professional image.   After all, getting ahead never takes a vacation…why let their wardrobe?

Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

Shop Savvy During Summer Sales

By , June 29, 2011 1:28 pm


As we near July 4th, summer sales begin to pop up in every direction. This season’s clothing and accessories are currently in stores at 30, 40 even 50% off of original prices!  It’s a great time of year to take advantage of the sales with your clients and grab those fabulous finds for less.  Encourage your clients to add a few more summer staples to their wardrobes—T’s, dresses, sandals – and to replace some of those summer whites that may have gone dingy.

Truth be told, I’m a big proponent of shopping the sales, but I’m not a big fan of shopping them exclusively.  My shopping philosophy is to shop twice a retail season: in the beginning of the season for pieces your client must have to fill major wardrobe gaps (like that great pair of dress ‘em up, dress ‘em down black trousers or a classic trench) or items that are needed to complete an outfit. Those should be purchased at the beginning of the season—when the selection is best.  Then, at the end of the retail season, I recommend adding those pieces that are the ‘nice to haves’—items that are not critical to your client’s wardrobe but rather add spice and variety to their existing pieces. They may also be repeat purchases (aka ‘back stock’) to items that they love and wear now.

Remember, our clients sometimes go into a shopping frenzy at sale time and buy things just because they are on sale. As their image consultant, it’s our job to help them determine what items are smart purchases, regardless of the price.

Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

Befriend Trends

By , June 9, 2011 2:17 pm


I love the title.  But to be fair, I cannot take the credit. It was the name of another fabulous workshop that was given at the AICI conference by west coast image expert Brenda Kinsel.  Brenda opened the workshop up with a conversation about our love/hate relationship with trends.  (Isn’t it the truth?) She offered that we may love them because they offer choices for us (and our clients) and solutions to a case of the wardrobe blahs.  And, we may hate them because they can seem irrelevant to our (and our clients’) lifestyle and needs.

Each season designers give us a potpourri of new trends – color, style, and silhouette – that we can say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to.  (Ahhh, the power!) And, as image consultants, it is important that we first have our own point of view.   With each trend, we want to consider the following:  What do we like?  What is a good buy – that will maybe work past the season?  What is a splurge item?

We then need to interpret the trends for our particular clientele.  This involves understanding our individual clients’ goals, preferences, and lifestyle as well as things like their age, shape and personality.  We must remember that with trends, sometimes too much of a good thing, is well…too much.  Take graphic prints, for example.  We all know some people who can pull them off from top to toe and others who are better suited with just a touch in a scarf or blouse.

I often gauge if a trend works (or not), by how my client stands in the dressing room when trying something new.  Does she stand tall, look me in the eye, maybe even have a bit of ‘tude?  Or, does she look like she just borrowed something from a friend and it just isn’t her?

Regardless of the client, each season I encourage her to try one or two new trends – even if she’s not trendy, per se.  Just the very act of trying a trend on can keep someone current and open to new possibilities.

By the way, Brenda shared some wonderful broadcast, print, and online media trend resources.  Some of her picks (and mine) include:

E! Entertainment’s:  Fashion Police

People magazine

This season, move yourself and your clients ‘fashion forward’ by embracing some of the newest, latest and greatest.


Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

A Bonanza of Blog Ideas

By , June 1, 2011 9:54 am

I just got back from the AICI (Association of Image Consultants International) annual conference in Orlando and feel energized and ready to ramp up my image business!  The AICI conference always gives me a booster-shot business-wise, as it provides an excellent opportunity to share ideas and techniques with consultants from around the world.  After all, some of the best take-aways come not from a book or classroom, but from each other!

That said, I did attend some really phenomenal workshops and will enjoy sharing some of the highlights in the weeks to come.   The one that an immediate impact was called  “Blogging and Writing Your Way to Expert Status.” It was presented by Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP from Melbourne ( . She’s one of the most successful Image Consultants in Australia – not to mention lovely person and so incredibly generous with her information…something I really appreciate as an image educator!

Here are some of Imogen’s suggestions for articles or blog posts  (as well as some of my own):

  • Current events (the Royal Wedding was a blogger’s dream!)
  • Client questions (is it appropriate to wear sleeveless tops to the office, white after Labor Day, etc.)
  • Movies (Bill Cunningham New York, the YSL movie)
  • Inspiration from museum exhibits (isn’t the FIT museum just fab-u-lous for that?)
  • Seasonal challenges (how to look great when the temperature heats up)
  • Celebrity style (who wore it best, how to achieve the look, etc.)
  • Your favorite picks (5 favorite shopping web sites, tote bags, makeup items etc.)
  • Comments on a famous fashion quote (“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – YSL)
  • Topics covered in image or style books (how to dress slimmer, on a budget, for an interview,  etc.)
  • Something you’ve learned about in one of your FIT classes

I was grateful for all of the suggestions because, let’s face it… sometimes the well runs dry!

Do you have other suggestions?  If so, please share!  After all, isn’t that what writing in a public forum is all about?!

BTW, next year’s AICI Conference is May 17-20, 2012 in Hawaii.   Talk about a marriage of business and pleasure!


Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

In Good Company

By , May 18, 2011 5:30 pm

There’s nothing like a little PR.  As MasterCard says, it’s priceless.  It’s especially important for those of us in an industry like image consulting, where advertising is not generally regarded as the most effective medium to get the world out.  I guess that’s because image consulting is such a transformational – not to mention – visual experience that advertising copy hardly seems to do it justice.  Also, it’s one of those services that people seek  referrals from a trusted friend or hears about by way of word-of-mouth buzz.  Like your doctor or dentist, it’s hard to imagine picking your image consultant from an ad in the yellow pages!

When anyone from the image consultant gets mentioned in the press, it’s not only good for the person it’s good for the industry!  I know it’s hard to believe, but image consulting is still a young and growing profession. The more that Image Consultants are ‘in the news;’  the more visibility the industry has; and the more people realize this isn’t just a service that’s for rich and/or famous. This is a good thing.

With that in mind, I encourage you to share your press mentions with me so I can share them with others.  In the interim, I’m thrilled to share a recent press mention of mine from the Wall Street Journal.  While I only have one mention, I am quoted with the likes of Lloyd Boston, Stacey London, and Nanette Lepore.   Now, that’s what I call being in good company!  Enjoy.



Ace the School Reunion

Avoid Being Branded The Class Clown; Clothes That Work For Night, Day, Facebook, Too

Read the WSJ article.




Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

The Perpetual Image Student

By , May 11, 2011 12:52 pm

When I started in Image Consulting some 14 years ago, I was one of only a few.  Fast forward to present day, I am thrilled to see that I am now one of many – and in such good company.  Some people wonder why I have decided to train my “future competitors.”  There are two reasons, actually.  First, I had very generous people educate and mentor me along the way (I, too, went through the Image Consulting Certificate Program at FIT way back when) and I feel a very strong need to pay it forward.  Second, I am not worried about a scarcity of clients.  I truly believe that there are enough clients to go around. Regardless of the economy, people still have a need to get dressed and look good.  Quite honestly in bad economy people are even more sensitive about making smarter buying decisions. (That’s where we come in!)

All that said, I am often asked by new consultants how to stay ahead of the competitive curve.  With that specific question in mind, I recommend that Image Consultants should continue to learn and study, even after they are credentialed. Some 14 years later, I still take new classes at the Center of Professional Studies!  In addition to FIT, I think some wonderful classes can be found at the Association of Image Consultant International’s annual conference.  This year’s conference is in Orlando, Florida on May 19-22nd.  For information, check out  Hope to see you there! BTW, if you can’t make it this year, no worries.  They usually tape the concurrent sessions and have the downloads available for sale on the website.












Carol Davidson teaches SXF 810: Color for Wardrobe Planning, SXI 100: Introduction to Image Consulting, SXI 110: Image Consulting Confidential.

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