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Managing the image mayhem

brunch Updated: Jul 18, 2013 09:36 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times
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“Lifestyle is what you pay for, first impression is what pays you,” believes Suman Agarwal, co-founder and director of ICBI (Image Consulting Business Institute), which opened a brand in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Suman holds a Masters Award in image consulting and is a master image consultant from Federation of Image Professionals International (FIPI), UK.

“Managing your perception in people’s minds is image consultancy,” explains she.

Further defining image and the need for image management, Suman adds, “Your image is continuously at work. You can’t hide it. It can work for you or against you. Your image can be a major asset in achieving your goals or it can act as a liability that holds you back.”

“Image management is creating an appropriate and authentic personal or professional image, which increases your confidence and productivity while contributing to success,” says she. Adding to it, principal consultant Bindu Mukherjee says, “Image has a huge spectrum — it includes clothes, grooming, etiquettes, body language etc. In today’s time, even a book is bought because of its cover, a salad is picked because of its presentation; and same is applicable for one’s image.”

Talking about the difference between impression and image, Sumna says, “They are different, but inter-related. The image we project is with which people form negative and positive impressions of us. Clothes play the most important role in people’s perception of us. Now, if I, a working mother, am attending my child’s parent-teacher meeting, I should know what to wear. I must look intelligent and realistic.”

What do your clothes say?

1) Dark colours grab attention
2) Stark contrasts reflect authority
3) The tie colour that has the highest level of authority is burgundy, followed by navy blue and then yellow.
4) In formal suits, pin-stripped charcoal suit resonates authority, followed by navy blue, dark brown and dark olive, in that order.
5) To look soft, friendly and approachable, florals always work.
6) Half-sleeve shirts are low on authority

People who have a strong image?

Sonia Gandhi: “She always wear solid saris with angular borders. No skin show also depicts authoritativeness. When she travels, she wears blazer over her sari, which further adds to her persona.
Kajol: “She is managing her image perfectly. Although she isn’t active, she is always around. Whenever she gives a public appearance, she is perfectly dressed for the occasion.

People who need image consultancy?

Narendar Modi: “His body language is negative and he exuberates arrogance, which, being a leader, he must work on. As a leader, one must possess a friendly body language.”
Priyanka Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha: “The day I get an opportunity, the first thing I’d do for Priyanka would be empty her wardrobe. Her dresses do not go with her body type. Sonakshi, must try a different hair cut to cover up her forehead.”