Did you know that you are viewed longer and more critically (or more longingly depending on the viewer) from behind?
I always tell my clients that you have to look good when you ‘leave‘ the room! Why? When you enter the room, you are making eye contact with others and it is a normal response to look away or down if you don’t know each other, unless you live in the Southern States where they actually embrace the opportunity to acknowledge the contact. Here in New England many people don’t even thank you for holding the door – but that’s for another post possibly entitled ‘Missed Manners’! But I digress. When you leave the room, it’s a whole different story because the viewers have all the time in the world to check out both your assets and your liabilities.
Let’s back right into the potential rear view pitfalls and highlight a few ways to turn your liabilities into assets.
Before we start, let me ask you…do you have both a full-length and a handheld mirror? If the answer is no, stop reading, start the car and head to Target to spend a whopping twenty dollars on your future! Once your mirrors are in place, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
We will start at the top with the back of your hair. Been to a Bingo hall lately? Seems like the most common affliction amongst those jet setters is the sleep spot (aka bald spot) dead center on the back of the head.
The fix – a hand held mirror, a good pick and a bit of VO5!
Let’s move down to ill-fitting jackets. News flash – the 80’s Working Girl shoulder pads are out of style. Even Oprah had a good laugh at her historical pad drama – check that out here. If your jacket is styled with pads, make sure the actual sleeve head sits where it should, right at the edge of your shoulder bone. When you purchase the jacket, look at all the points that should fit properly or could use a bit of expert tailoring such as how the neckline sits, whether the button placement is at a flattering stance and be sure the length of the sleeves actually expose your hands!
The fix – try two sizes of the same jacket before deciding and check in with the tailor for fine-tuning.
What’s under that jacket? Are you showing the dreaded back fat? Be sure to check the back of your blouse or sweater even if you plan to wear a jacket all day. You should always be prepared to remove layers. You shouldn’t be held prisoner by wearing a black bra under a white blouse, or too tight a bra strap that causes visible back baubles, or armholes that droop too low and expose under-arm carnage.
The fix – go for a bra fitting, own a white, nude and black bra and invest in a shaper.
Let’s move on down to your pants. Seriously, there really is no need to advertise the ‘ass’ets or the undies. Take a look back there…do you like what you see? Do you see too much? Is the rise too low, are the back pockets too fluffy, is there unnecessary bling back there, is there fading on the butt cheeks or do you have the dreaded underwear lines?
The fix – Pay attention! If the backside is a liability for you, follow some basic styling tips. No pockets, no bling, no low rise, no muffin tops, and no panty lines! Our underwear choices are numerous including thongs (admittedly not everyone’s favorite), boy shorts and shapers. Check out my previous post ‘Boobs, Bums and Back Baubles’ for some tips.
Let’s finish at your feet. Have your pumps been chewed up by cobblestones? Are the backs discolored from pumping the gas pedal? Here’s a good one. I was sitting in a room filled with corporate women at a Boston Chamber breakfast. The woman in front of me was impeccably dressed and accessorized. Then she crossed her leg and exposed a big round red sticker with an ‘8’ on it – not the lucky ball 8 mind you – it was the size sticker from Marshall’s!
The fix – take all your shoes out of the closet, line them up by category and assess their condition. Do they need new heels; something called shoe polish or maybe just a ride to the dump? Did you buy a pair to replace a pair but somehow still have both? Move on and perform a shoe cleanse.
Lastly let’s look for stylish details on the back of your clothing such as jackets or dresses with peplums, half belts, detailed stitching or color blocking.
Remember, before you leave the house, check out the rear view – if you like what you see, no doubt others will too! However, if you haven’t checked for cat hair, wrinkles, or ‘tag me’ post-it notes, it just might come back to bite you in the asset!
Having trouble keeping up with all the details of your wardrobe? Let’s talk! Sign up here for a complimentary 30-minute
Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session. We’ll chat about how you look from the front and the back! Then we’ll move on to your closet, your image, your budget and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!
Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.