What do you think of when you think of an image consultant?
Do you think of a slickly dressed 20-something throwing things out of your closet?
Do you think of a 40-year-old in a suit fixing your posture in front of a mirror?
A lot of people have a lot of ideas about the profession of image consulting. And quite a lot is very narrow. There are a lot of myths that circulate around image consulting.
Let’s take a look at a few.
1. Image Consulting is a New Career
You might think that image consulting is a new career. But in reality, it’s just one of the fastest-growing careers out there — that gives the perception that it’s brand new.
As an industry, image consulting dates back to the ’70s and ’80s. As long as there have been widespread media, though, there have been consultants who have worked on it.
Image consulting has existed in some form for hundreds of years. Royal courts had advisors, who told them how to dress and how to act. It’s simply in the ’70s and 80’s that image consulting became open to the general public.
Because image consulting is a long-term, storied profession, it’s also a highly skilled and educated one. It’s not something that just occurred!
2. An Image Consultant is Going to Tell You What You Should and Shouldn’t Wear
Image consultants aren’t going to tell you what is wrong or right. For one, there’s no “wrong or right.”
An image consultant is there to tell you how to best achieve your goals and how to be your best self.
There’s no reason to be anyone you aren’t; it’s being unique that gets attention.
Image consultants may tell you what things are out of style or out of fashion, or which things will cause you to gain a critical eye. But an image consultant is never going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t wear because that’s up to you.
Think of an image consultant as a facilitator. They tell you the best ways that you can display your natural style and zest.
3. Image Consultants are Hired Mostly by Women
Actually, most image consultants have been hired by men. The careers that hire image consultants the most are often politicians.
Women, of course, hire image consultants frequently. Actors, social media influencers, politicians, CEOs — everyone needs an image consultant, including all genders. Men shouldn’t hesitate to invest in the services of an image consultant because they think it’s something women do. It’s something that everyone in a high-powered or public position will usually do.
4. An Image Consultant Primarily Works with Rich People and Celebrities
In the past, this was true. But it’s not true anymore.
Image consultancy is extremely accessible today. You can have a consultation with an image consultant to generally review your style and reputation — and get advice that can help your career. That’s true regardless of how rich you are or how famous you are.
CEOs frequently work with image consultants to ensure that they’re doing the right thing for their career and their business. Even those in local politics, such as a local sheriff, might want to engage with an image consultant; it just provides better optics.
Anyone who is, in any capacity, in the public eye may want to work with an image consultant. Apart from that, anyone who just wants to revamp, refresh, or reaffirm their style might want to work closely with an image consultant to do so.
But you don’t need an excuse to work with an image consultant. If the idea appeals to you, it’s very easy to schedule a consultation at any time.
5. Only Older People Work with image Consultants
In addition to people thinking that only women get image consultants, many think that it’s something for “old” people. Such as for people who have fallen out of fashion, no longer have their finger on the pulse, or otherwise just don’t know how to dress.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
First, very few people have the time and energy after their workday to keep abreast of the most popular fashions. But an image consultant doesn’t just select what’s in vogue from a fashion magazine. Image consultants work to make you more confident, to make your presence more commanding, and to otherwise develop your style. That’s more than just “knowing what to wear.”
Some might get the impression that mostly older people work with image consultants because image consultants frequently work with the rich and the powerful. But it’s more realistically the case that anyone rich and powerful will always have an image consultant. Image consultants work with anyone and are more than happy to help anyone fulfill their image goals.
6. An Image Consultant Focuses on Fashion — They’re a Fashion Stylist
While fashion is a lot of what an image consultant does, it’s not in the way that a fashion stylist works.
Fashion stylists are appearance-forward; they’re focused on encapsulating trends and making someone look aesthetically attractive. An image consultant, however, wants to help you project the image that you want to project.
If you’re in tech, for instance, you might want to appear modern, trendy, and a little avant-garde. If you’re in real estate, you may want to appear confident, reserved, and traditional. Different styles are applied to different scenarios. Your look for a meeting with a client isn’t going to be the same as your look on the cover of a magazine.
So, image consultants look deeper into the image you want to project, rather than just the trendy fashions. Furthermore, image consultants don’t just focus on fashion. They also focus on your body language, your word usage, your social media presence, and your overall brand — everything that impacts how the public looks at you.