Choosing an Image Coach
Like any coaching relationship, image coaching is based on trust; so choosing the right person to coach you is a decision to make carefully.
Many traditional dating agencies offer image coaching as a service - something you can check on the ABIA website. These will often be a good choice, because they are used to working with single people who are looking to polish up their image for dating. Some image consultants concentrate on corporate work and will be more accustomed to working on the image of business people in (eg) selling or presentation situations - a slightly different situation from dating.
By way of example, dating agency RSVP chose well-known image coach and author Sue Donnelly to be their retained image coach and she works with members either one-to-one or in workshops open to all members. Sue was a particularly fine choice for RSVP, because she is also President of The Federation of Image Consultants, the professional organisation that supports, develops and regulates the image industry in the UK. Choosing a TFIC member is your guarantee of quality and fair treatment. There is also an international professional body - The Association of Image Consultants International - which offers wider geographic representation for image consultants.
What to expect
Services on offer from image coaches typically include:
- Colour Analysis. Identifying colours that enhance your skin tone, eyes and hair so you’ll always look fabulous. This sometimes includes a booklet of colour swatches that you can carry around so shopping becomes easy.
- Coaching on your personal style. This goes beyond clothing to include hair and personal grooming, the way you present yourself and - if you've picked a good coach - the impact you have on others.
- Wardrobe weeding. Working through your wardrobe, weeding out anything that is unsuitable, unfashionable or beyond repair. With the clothes that remain, your coach will help you work out combinations that you may not have thought of and suggest ways to update some old favourites.
- Personal Shopping. Armed with the knowledge of your personal style, the gaps in your wardrobe and your budget, you and your coach shop together for clothes that suit you, your wallet and your aims.
Whilst most image coaches are women, generally it's men who are more in need of their services. Don't be afraid to get some help. The dividends come quickly and cheaply.