Mar 232015
 

On the Entreleadership podcast today, one of the featured interviews was with Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver. When I heard the following list, I hit pause, rewound, and made note.

Five elements of value

  1. Excellence
  2. Consistency
  3. Attention
  4. Empathy
  5. Appreciation

Chewing on this, it occurred to me that these elements, or their lack, probably constitute the primary reasons women don’t seek help with their looks. Remember when I had my virtual makeover? I was sincerely surprised that Carla Mathis (one of the premier image masters in the world) and Erin Mathis (another highly-skilled stylist) were able to suggest anything to which I connected. But they did. I value empathy. What I didn’t expect was for anyone to understand what it was like to be me enough to suggest what I should wear. 

Since beginning this journey from homeschool mom to blogger to personal stylist, I have become aware that many women don’t value, or understand, how a stylist can help. I didn’t get it either. But now, almost everyday, I see women beginning to experience more fun and less hassle with their clothes.
What qualities would you particularly value in the person you trust to help you with your look?


  5 Responses to “Elements of Value Demonstrated (or Not) By Stylists”

  1. That really is a tough question. I’m personally not so trusting but a bit experimental and adventurous. I have my doubts about whether every stylist could actually feel empathy for their client’s goals. For example, I think you once mentioned offhandedly about alluring being a style you wouldn’t embrace (paraphrasing loosely). My whole look is built around alluring but in a particular way: no skin tight jeans or leggings, no cleavage, open to the possibility of a thigh high skirt with something opaque or semi-opaque beneath but not so open as to actually seek or own one and I don’t mean the bandage-y looking Eileen Fisher stuff where the skirt part seems pointless to me. Now, is someone who, for example, strongly rejects alluring as a dress concept for herself, able to be empathetic with my desires without uncomfortably compromising her own values? I’m thinking, no.

    On the other hand, what I do when I dress is aim to please and be understood by a stereotypical traditional joe sixpack kind of guy. I don’t want head scratching pieces like Allsaints mismatched buttoning or weird drop crotch pants or shoes a person obviously can’t walk in and has to mince along. I do want any garment I have to be able to be described in a word or short phrase. Red. Stripes. Flowers. Jacket. Pants. Dress. IOW, recognizable. So for a person like me, it might be helpful to demonstrate what are the elements that would cause women to feel secure with me, give some credit for looking nice/appropriate/cute, not show them up, not look too much this or not enough that. 😀 In fact, I think whoever bluntly addresses the issue of women being judged by other women is going to make a fortune and the heck with this dressing for yourself stuff.

    One of my favorite all-time articles:
    http://qbox.wharton.upenn.edu/documents/mktg/research/Sticky_priors_identity_effects.pdf

    You can’t get people even to consider trying something, let alone changing, unless you demonstrate to them that it will make them even more of the person they wish to see themselves as.

    Also, I would value pedagogic ability. Perhaps that would look like photos with notations and arrows drawn on them to remind me of the bones of the newer looks. In other words, I wouldn’t want to pay someone to dress me up but what I think is worth paying for is instruction, so that I could see things afresh that I was otherwise oblivious to. A kind of science of the art.

    • Lol, idk whether it is counter-factual, counter-identification, or social influence, but just knowing an actual person who embraces alluring as her style makes me intrigued to dig in and try to understand it. But I totally get why you wouldn’t be drawn to work with a stylist who doesn’t.

      I have two,possibly conflicting, responses to the concept of the alluring persona (however, when I had the assignment of selecting a wardrobe for one, I did like what I found). One, does it rightly belong to a category separate from Romantic? Or is it more a subcategory or a combination (maybe romantic and classic)? The other is trying to understand the alluring mindset. When I think “alluring”, I think – it is really a struggle to put into words – “I have no interest in relationship with you (a woman). My look is about demonstrating my power over men.” That is as close as I can come to explaining what is in my head, which is probably not based in anybody’s personal reality, and probably not at all what Carla meant when she invented/discovered the alluring persona. It does connect to your later comment about women understanding or judging one another. Ouch! Sort of embarrassing …

      Anyway, I love your concise summary of that article, and I can really see how that relates to how Carla and Erin communicate with me, and how I communicate with people. The importance of asking questions and listening cannot be overstated. And it is so exciting – to get to know what people are thinking, what they find beautiful, and so on. 🙂

      The last bit you said is also an encouragement to me. I am actually not that interested in applying my artistic vision to someone, but in helping them to discover their own. Photos with notations and arrows on them would be a great way to communicate! 🙂

      • Power was the furthest thing from my mind. While it might be an intriguing fantasy to imagine bending everyone to my will – how much more efficient! – actually it would make life into a puppet show and also leave no room for excitement, discovery, learning… when you are forced to find a workaround to what you think you want. And also I think everything is about personal relationships. So it might be a fantasy way of my signalling: I might be a person you would want to know for some reason.

        I think people look for who’s on their team. And it doesn’t have to be about clothing. Your clothes might signal to another woman that you are not like her but if you use your intellect to offer her some appreciative acknowledgment of who she is, she will like you and feel safe with you and she will like being around you because you make her feel good about herself. It’s just like that sticky priors concept. Make her feel more who she wants to be and she won’t care what you yourself look like.

        The alluring concept, agreed, is a toughie. I happened upon a picture of Monica Bellucci. I never can find a style icon when asked but she might be it. Not all the nudie pix where she’s draped over the furniture. If I google: Monica Bellucci street style or dresses, I would wear most of those. They have a slight retro Euro 40’s look to me. A lot of Dolce and Gabbana florals and red-based prints. OTOH, in some of her own clothes: jean jacket and maxi skirt, for example, she looks just as blocky and weighed down as I would in them.
        But it isn’t just in the clothing. It’s about her eyes and mouth. Her eyes are often hidden (sunglasses), directly gazing at you or looking past you to something only she perceives.
        And her mouth is very expressive, as well, as though, perhaps she *could* say something about the situation if she chose.

        http://la-pulcinella.com/2014/01/20/monday-inspo-monica-bellucci-in-flowery-dolce/

        Look at the 2d picture there. And isn’t that the most amazingly erotic dress without showing a thing.

        https://www.pinterest.com/pin/416583034254698741/

        I often do that kind of outfit. And it’s clear she isn’t going to talk to or answer that fella but that she has something on her mind she could say if she was willing to.

        http://vipphoto.ru/t449/fashion-i139834-s0.html

        Scroll down for the picture of the totally covered up but alluring (to my mind) red polka dotted dress. I’d wear that. And don’t neglect to observe the expression there. Usually
        polka dots are associated with frivolity and light-heartedness and her expression is
        counter to that. Makes ya wonder, is she determinedly brave or what. 😀

        • “I might be a person you would want to know for some reason.” I am going to adopt that as the motive (in my mind) for the alluring style. Thank you! 🙂

          This style essence illustrated by Monica Bellucci in these photos reminds me of a couple of things: one, it seems ladylike, but also adventurous, and two, it reminds me of the quality Sally Hogshead calls “mystique” (http://www.howtofascinate.com). Hmmm. Thinking …

          Btw, you know the picture on pinterest with the red lips and the crown? I chuckled a little to realize that in my own mind I still sometimes think I look a little bit like that! Lol

          • ohhh, you know I can see that – the red lips and crown picture!

            You nailed it about me: ladylike and adventurous. Will take a look at
            the mystique material, thanks!

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