A S K style & substance creative life coaching solutions
We often get quick questions that require quick, short-and-sweet, answers…so we have decided to group these together for a energizing spring column. Happy SPRING!
Q: My girlfriends often ask me to go shopping with them so they can try things on and get some honest feedback. Some of the outfits are truly awful. What should I say that doesn’t hurt feelings but helps my friends find the right look?
A: Verify that they want honest feedback before you get started. Once shopping, ask them to only present the outfits that they think are pretty good and then comment honestly…specifically about fit, length, color and/or qualities that flatter their best features. Targeted comments move the focus to the look and not the person, thereby minimizing the potential for hurt feelings. If really at a loss, discuss when they would wear it and with what….fleshing out the whole outfit with shoes and accessories will sometimes make it clear that it is good…or not so good.
Q: You often talk about updating wardrobes, homes, etc…everything in my home is dated, like 1980’s, where do I start?
A: Set the mood with a little Cyndi Lauper playing in the background and decide that this girl is going to have fun joining the 21st century. Start with the wooden furniture in the room(s). Clean it all with a lustery wood cleaner. Most wood furniture is classic in style and can be incorporated into any updates you make. Next, if you have stuffed/upholstered furniture, decide which pieces you like, and then try to experiment with patterns and textures; a little layering, a few pillows, new colors, mixing florals with plaids and prints…..take some risks and your style choices can go a long way! Lastly add a fresh coat of paint from the palette you are using for accessories. Be bold in your choice of color, you will find that a bright setting will reenergize your surroundings.
Q: I see a lot of women with great haircuts/colors, but always come away from the salon disappointed. Why can I not seem to get it right?
A: First, tell them you LOVE their hair and ask those women who cuts and colors it! Most women will take this as a huge compliment and share the details of their stylist. Try them out, and be sure to share how you came to be a client. We believe that everyone responds to a sincere and genuine compliment and your new stylist is no different. He or she will be flattered that you made the effort to seek him or her out of the crowd. We believe that you’ll have the best luck with a stylist who takes the time to understand your hair type and asks questions about your lifestyle. Bring a picture/photo and ask for honest feedback, BEFORE the process starts. If they say it won’t work for your hair type/face shape…they are the professionals, believe them! Hold out on making your next appointment by washing and styling yourself for a week to see how you manage your new look. If you are struggling, ask for an appointment for styling instructions.
Q: This may seem petty but I find myself in this situation often enough that I welcome your advice. I love to entertain but I find that many people do not RSVP to an invitation. Is this a lost social courtesy? I find myself calling my guests a few days before a gathering to find out if they plan to attend. I find this awkward for both of us. Do you have suggestions for how to handle this with tact and grace?
A: We share your frustration and believe that responding is still a social courtesy that should be paid. Good manners never go out of style. We applaud your straightforward approach to getting your numbers set; however, you may want to try an e-vite. Many of us are electronically connected and you may find your guests respond more quickly and with greater frequency when they can reply via email or text. While this may seem a bit far removed from a warm response, you may find your guests appreciate the convenience and will RSVP as the new habit.
Q: My mother recently signed up with an on line dating service. My father died quite a few years ago and while I do not have an issue with my mother dating and meeting new people, I am finding that she is not good at dating. In fact, she is rather aggressive and even a bit demanding of her dates. How can I delicately talk with my mother about this situation?
A: Your mother may be dating in the same way she approached dating with your father, years ago and years younger. You may begin the conversation with asking your mother what qualities she is looking for in a companion. Having a non-threatening talk about dating in general may help her begin to clarify as she gets out there. She may be looking for a replacement for your dad and this may breed too much familiarity. She may have the expectation that any new man will respond to her in the same way your father did. This conversation can help her see what her expectations are and if they are realistic, or not…she could be missing out on discovering a wonderful new and different type of relationship.
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