Jun 17

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Pet Peeves

What irritates you about the appearance of other people at the office, on the street – wherever. No holds barred. Tell it all!

Permanent link to this article: http://sandydumont.com/pet-peeves/


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  1. Sandy Dumont

    My pet image mistake is seeing people in office buildings dressed like they are going to the beach or a garage sale. Even if you don’t work there and are going to visit your tax man, attorney, etc., when you are in a formal “downtown” setting, it is a good idea to at least not look careless and sloppy.

  2. Sandy Dumont

    Maybe they were never really taught how to dress Sandy: http://www.changethis.com/14.PositiveAttitude

  3. Sandy Dumont

    Most often, that is the case. We aren’t born with a manual on Color or on Color Psychology. If you want to make a positive impact upon others, you need to be informed.

  4. Sandy Dumont

    I just read the following in an electronic newsletter, and Katie Couris is in big trouble if she is taking the advice below from image consultant Montgomery Frazier. Professional image consultants don’t have loyalty to any one brand. Their loyal is to their clients. Furthemore, if Katie doesn’t change her image soon, she is in even bigger trouble. She has a soft voice and a “soft” look, so she needs to leverage the playing field by dressing very powerfully. She needs to ditch the blouses and dresses. Suits or suit-jackets make the most powerful impact, especially when they are worn with power accesories (not 80s style, but certainly not small studs of any kind, even if they are diamonds). She also needs to learn about color from a color expert, because she has no consistency in that area either. The colors you wear can make you look happy or sad, younger or older, powerful or wimpy, dull or dynamic. Consistency is the cornerstone of Branding for People (I’ve trademarked that name) or for products. She hasn’t had a consistent look. Here’s the quote from the article:

    “Montgomery Frazier, a New York image consultant who says he revamped Katie Couric for CBS, recommends taking your inspiration from designers Calvin Klein and Carolina Herrera, whose clothes, he says, “are sexy but with some sophistication.”

    Marc Jacobs, Christian LouBoutin and Dior are his favorites for shoes, but good-looking knockoffs are available from Banana Republic and Zara.

    Pearls are “too preppy,” Frazier says. “Wear small diamond earrings.”

  5. Susan Grady

    Hi Sandy- I can sum up my current pet peeve in one word- CROCS!!! wearing shoes that can be hosed out should never leave a garden. I saw a f whole family wearing them in church a few weeks ago! They are everywhere!!!???

  6. Sandy Dumont

    I agree with you completely. They are silly looking and unflattering to the feet. Furthermore, they cause the eyes to be riveted to the feet – which is not a good idea, since the face must always remain the focal point if you hope to communiate effectively.

    I have discovered that there are only two reasons people do not “dress to impress” – ignorance and laziness. Both things are operating here. The people I know who adore Crocs all tell me “But they are so comfortable!” Well, lots of things are comfortable, but we don’t necessarily look good in them. Furthermore, real comfort might be attained by going stark naked, but that just isn’t socially acceptable. As for ignorance, apparently, people have not noticed how silly Crocs look.

  7. Sandy Dumont

    Tell me how you feel about tattoos in a professional environment. Do they decrease cedibility? Raise eyebrows? Create distractions?

    I just read in the Globe & Mail (from Canada) that image consultant Anne Sowden said, “They (tattoos)have become more accepted.” Sowden mentions working with a client who has a tattoo on her hand, and recounts that colleagues didn’t say anything although the woman sensed it always caught their attention.

    That’s one of the problems with tattoos. They catch the eye, which results in attention being taken away from your message. It’s not any different from spinach in the teeth. Something that is out of sync from the norm creates a distraction, and it is nearly impossible to take the atention away from it. Furthermore, tattoos create a degree of doubt in the minds of most people as to a person’s seriousness and professionalism.

  8. Lauren

    My pet peeve is too much cleavage. I’ve seen professional women come into work, and they’re wearing a professional suit, but they have a very low-cut blouse. Why do women think that that dress or shirt will increase their status in the work world?

  9. Sara

    In office settings, I tend to reflexively dislike or mistrust women who wear large costume or statement jewelry, flaunt high-end brand name handbags, float in a cloud of perfume, display talon-like fingernails, big hair, or do anything else that draws more attention to what they’re wearing than to who they are. Another type of problem is visible underwear, which may show through clothing, such as bra straps, or visible lines and bulges. Clothes that are too tight, too short, too revealing, low-cut – in a business setting I’m not going to trust a woman who looks she’s vamping. Facial hair on women is not attractive. Most men don’t dress in a way that makes them noticeable. I don’t care for goatees, which make a man look dangerous, or moustaches, which just seem messy. Other sartorial offenses of men include broad flowered neckties, gold snake chains, white patent leather shoes, and mullet hairdos.

  10. Sara

    Tattoos suggest to me that someone has an Alternative Lifestyle History of some sort, although I know this is not necessarily the case, because I know someone with a tattoo who is very conservative and traditional – except for the tattoo! If I met a banker wearing a tattoo, I would wonder what sort of enterprise my money was being used for.

  11. Sara

    On men: I don’t trust a goatee, and think a moustache looks sloppy. I don’t care for wide flowered neckties, gold snake chains, white patent leather shoes, suspenders, sneakers with suits, balding heads with pony tails, mullets, combovers, or hair tonics that make the hair look slick or wet. In an office setting, I don’t want to see chest hair.

    On women: Loud costume jewelry, clouds of perfume, name-brand handbags, talon-like fingernails, cleavage, big hair, visible panty or bra lines, or anything that looks vampy.

  12. Sandy Dumont

    You are not the only who is peeved by too much cleavage. University studies have proven conslusively that too much cleaveage or any othr kind of provocative dressing will get you labeled Bimbo and halt your climb on the corporate ladder.

    And it is the male executives who hire me that ask me to do something about it. They tell me they dn’t want to see any more bulging bosoms.

  13. Sandy Dumont

    Well put, and you hit the nail squarely on the head. When you walk in a room and your clothes, accessories or talon-like fingernails are noticed before YOU are, you need to go back to the drawing board. A successful image is one where the sum total is greater than all its parts, and that sum total is the impact that YOU make, not one of the components of your image.

    All those little distractions I call “image dust.” Just like when you have a dinner party. You have the best food, your china, crystal, wine, music and candles for ambience. However, you forgot to dust the dining rom table, so the only thing your guests look at is the layer of dust there. It’s a huge distraction and undermines all the positive things. Image Dust is the same. You do everything right except for one thing, and that’s all that is noticed!

    Your comments about males is interesting. A successful Power Image for men is the opposite of a “fashion” look. It is a Board Room look dripping with Old Money. And Old Money is subtle, never shouting or conspicuous. Hence, goatees, loud ties (including flowered ones) and all the other things you mentioned are far from subtle.

  14. Sandy Dumont

    Let’s hope that tattoos will prove to be a passing fad, because they are one of the top Pet Peeves of corporate executives who hire me to do image workshops for them. Apparently, Cher has had all her tattoos removed, because she said “everyone” has them now and she initially did it to be different!

    It is sad when a person lessens his/her chance for success because he/she has a tattoo. Unfortunately, they do suggest an alternative lifestyle that may plant the seeds of doubt with some people.

  15. Sandy Dumont

    I think tatoos look cheap and somewhat low class.

  16. Andy

    As an attorney, I know that you have to dress tastefully and properly to present a good professional and competent appearance. I once had anoccasion to meet with a banker, who dressed in casual clothes and it detracted from his competency as a banker. I still won’t go downtown to eat at the club in casual clothes, although it is allowed. Thank goodness there is someone in the fashion field who knows that tasteful, traditional and appropriate styles are the most impressive. First impressions count!

  17. Sandy Dumont

    You are right. First impressions count. The way you look and dress announces the outcome other people can expect from you.

    You are not the first person who has told me of a loss of credibility when meeting a professional who does not dress professionally. Most people think of their comfort first these days, not how they impact others via their apperance.

    Ultimately, you are the smart one, not your banker friend.

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