The Value of Image Consulting

What would you expect a manager or supervisor would do if his or her employees started showing up to work in ratty sweat suits, jeans with holes in them, or t-shirts with questionable messages? Even if their office or business is not open to the public, you would still want to maintain a professional atmosphere before staff start showing up in pajamas with slippers in tow. These are extreme examples, to be sure, but in businesses of all sizes across the country, these scenarious are played out over and over again.

How do you begin to convey and define an appropriate dress code and an appropriate company image while making sure that employees and associates understand the difference between ‘weekend casual’, ‘business casual’ and ‘business appropriate’ dressing, and reduce or avoid the inevitable confusion among employees?


Over the past several years, companies who have found their staff dressing in too casual a manner have started hiring Image Consultants and Coaches to present seminars on smart, comfortable dressing for the office. Individuals who are being groomed for management or supervisory positions and current or future entrepreneurs also use these experts to improve their Total Image (visual, Verbal and Vocal), their self-esteem and even their relationships.

The way you feel about yourself can really affect how you interact with the rest of the world, your professional behavior at the workplace, and the way you feel inside. Amazingly, finding a style of clothing that accentuates your good features or a color that harmonizes with your natural coloring can drastically modify your outlook in a number of ways. When you love who and what you see in the mirror visually, you then are freed up to gain additional confidence emotionally. You may find that a polished and professional exterior – even in business casual clothing – makes you feel more confident and powerful, more accomplished and capable. Looking the part helps you to feel and act the part as well!


Image consultants are personal appearance and presentation experts, specializing in visual appearance, verbal and non-verbal communication. They counsel individual and corporate clients on appearance, behavior and communication skills through individual consultations, coaching, presentations, seminars and workshops.

They can act as pure consultants, brought in to solve a specific problem or provide training and assistance on a specific issue, and some Image consultants are also experienced coaches that can facilitate change with a specific employee over a longer period of time as part of a coaching relationship.

Often, an Image and / or appearance issues are related to a person’s self-esteem or self-confidence. A national study performed for the Association of Image Consultants International found that a majority of clients that worked with an Image Consultant experienced significant positive changes in their self-esteem and self-confidence from measurements of pre-service and post-service needs. Following the consultation sessions, clients perceived their image and personal appearance needs to be lower; the sessions were described very successful at answering clients’ image concerns and questions.

Clients’ self-esteem, as measured by the Hartmann Self-Esteem Index (administered before and after the services) also increased. Of the clients who completed the self-esteem index, over half experienced gains as a result of working with an Image Consultant.

Image Professionals can offer visual appearance services which can include body frame and color analysis, wardrobe development and management, and personal shopping. They can also offer services to improve behavior and communication skills, including social etiquette skills, public speaking training, and improvement of self-esteem and self-confidence through personal and group coaching.

The focused application of the knowledge gained in working with an image professional can help you look, sound and interact more effectively with those around you so that you achieve specific personal or professional goals with authenticity, credibility and confidence, while becoming a more polished and professional representative of your employer or your company.