...according to Narwondtha Zaharustapon, 46
Dressing to make yourself look older won’t automatically earn you the respect of others
My job is to help clients define the way they dress with regard to four factors: body shape, style, social status and appropriateness. The latter is important because, regardless of how expensive your clothes are, if they aren’t appropriate, they’ll detract from your image. Some people think that dressing to look older will make them look respectable, but, in fact, it’s the total look, style and quality of clothing that matter.
Personal shoppers do not force their clients to buy clothes
If I can’t find the size or a style that fits the client, I’d recommend other brands. It would be inconvenient for a customer to buy an outfit and have them fixed. There was a female client of mine who was in need of a business suit, but we only had fashion-forward ones. So I suggested that she waits for the next season’s collection. If the client isn’t happy with all the outfits you present, you might want to ask their reasons. Some may have budget issues or may not truly know themselves well enough and only dress to please their partner, for example. You also need to make them feel comfortable enough with an outfit for them to buy it. If we try and it doesn’t really work out in the end, I’ll say, “It’s okay. Next time, maybe” and leave them with some useful fashion advice.
Changing the client’s mindset can be very challenging
Personal shoppers see the potential of a client when they choose outfits. The thing is, clients sometimes can’t see what we see. Everyone who comes to see a personal shopper wants to get from point A to point B; often, point A is where somebody else wants them to be and B is who they really are. Some clients, however, haven’t found themselves yet. I then need to change their mindset slightly by giving them advice, and show them an overall look by juxtaposing it with different outfits and suggesting that they experiment. When you have a healthy mindset, you’ll know not to care what other people think, but if you don’t really know who you are, you may change according to what others tell you—and most people are like that.
Colors play a big role in enhancing your skin tone
You need to know your skin tone first. Most Asians have a yellow undertone with a spring (golden) shade or autumn (deep gold) shade. Only a few have pink-toned skin. Orange, green and yellow outfits will compliment people with a spring yellow undertone very well, while maple leaf colors are flattering on those with an autumn yellow undertone. For people with pink undertones, gray outfits enhance their skin tone best.
The proportion of your clothes can help make you look younger
Suits look beautiful on mannequins, but people’s bodies are imperfect. We need to think about proportion. An outfit needs to keep the balance between the torso and the legs. For example, if you pair a long suit jacket with a pencil skirt, no matter how tall you are, it will lengthen your torso and give an illusion of shorter legs—the proportion then becomes off. Wearing outerwear, like a cardigan, that covers your hips will always make you look older. To create a more youthful look, choose a cardigan that ends at your hip bone. But if you plan to wear a three-piece set—top, cardigan and skirt or trousers—the cardigan can fall a maximum of two inches below your hip bone
Narwondtha is a personal shopper at Central Chidlom.