We’re chatting with Lauren Solomon this week, trusted image expert, best selling author & media personality. If you are looking to perk up your image (and yourself), you’re in the right place. Lauren gives Wickedly Chic readers free advice on looking like the best “you” possible.
1. I love how your website says “Be Nice to Yourself.” It seems like women beat themselves up often and spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others. What is an easy way to start being nice to yourself?
I believe the easiest way to be nice to yourself starts with the first steps in your day. Right now, most of us wake up, look in the mirror and think OMG, how am I going to get myself together and get out of here in an hour or less. Then we go to our closets and are faced with the three witch sisters – should, would and could. I should wear this but…I would wear this if…I could wear this if only…and our day is already hanging by a thread. We’ve got 30 minutes to go and we’re still not dressed.
While being nice to ourselves is an on-going process, a lifestyle, a belief system, we need to begin somewhere and I believe this is the place. Wake up gently. Breathe in before you breathe out! Take the first breath of the day for yourself. You can’t possibly be of value to anyone else if you can’t first take proper care of yourself. Breathe in. Do whatever helps you welcome the day and the discoveries ahead – meditate, stretch, walk, swim – whatever it may be. Or, simply breathe in and set your intention for the day. Look in the mirror and be your own best friend. Be kind. Be loving. Be unconditional. Then, go to your closet which you have filled with “Magic Outfits.” These are the outfits that you reach for when you have to dress to impress. They satisfy every need in your life and lifestyle. You cannot make a mistake. Whichever you choose will work overtime for you. It will serve as your supporting cast and remind you of the star you truly are in your own life and the lives of those you touch throughout your day. When you close the door behind looking and feeling your best, you open the door for the best of everything to come your way.
2. How did you get started with your business and what made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve been practicing Image since I was three when I got my first make-up kit. Dressing people, styling them and showing them the beauty and potential I saw in them was something I’d always done for fun. It made people feel good to look good. And, I loved making people smile. So, win-win-win.
I realized early on in my corporate career that I was never going to be a good corporate soldier. I come from a family of medical doctors and entrepreneurs. I do believe it was always inside me to find my own way, to create my own path. So, I did. As part of a Business School assignment, I took my hobby and designed my ideal career. I presented it to my classmates, 41 senior corporate executives of every Wall Street firm imaginable. When they raised their hands and asked, “when do we start?” I knew I was on to something real. Two years later when Chase Manhattan Bank created an in-house position for me as Vice President of Professional Image Development, I knew it was really real! Even working in-house for a mega-organization, I was running my own shop. It was the beginning of a life filled with adventures in creative entrepreneurship.
3. Your work involves image consulting. Can you share with Wickedly Chic readers one tip that they can use to create a basic outfit that would look good on anyone?
Yes, my work is 1000% image. And, it is always about understanding the basics of how we show up in every aspect of our lives. Funny enough, creating one great GO-TO basic outfit may be simple, yet, it’s never as easy as it may seem.
So, here’s how I do it. We start with three pieces – 1. top, 2. bottom, 3. topper. #1 – The top can be a simple tank, t-shirt or blouse. #2 – The bottom can be slacks, a skirt, long shorts. #3 – The topper is a third piece that polishes the first two. It can be a jacket, a sweater, a vest, a wrap or a shawl. Keep the top and the bottom in the same color. Keeping tops and bottoms in solids will give you the easiest and most opportunities to mix and match. Create a head-to-toe column of your best color – black, navy, gray, brown, tan, taupe, beige, burgundy, plum – whichever works best for you. Then complete the look with a topper that pulls the two together. In an ideal world, you can build a super classic, hard working wardrobe around a system of columns of color that all work together with only a few toppers. Most importantly, all three pieces must work for YOU. Then, add a rockin’ pair of shoes, a fun bag, your favorite jewelry and you’re out the door.
4. What programs do you have available now or ones that you may have coming up?
Right now, I’m focusing on my one-on-one work with clients who are serious about moving to their next level and showing up in a big way in their businesses and their lives. How you show up tells the world who you are, how to receive you and how to reward you. Once that message is clear from the inside-out and head-to-toe, opportunity can find you more easily. Periodically, I offer a 2-day makeover workshop in Costa Mesa, CA. I don’t currently have one on the calendar. The 10 year anniversary edition of my book, Image Matters! First Steps on the Journey to Your Best Self, will be available in a new e-format as well as hard copy in April, 2012. And, my new blog will be the very best place to come to find tips, tools, and updated visions of Image, Life and Style as I see them.