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Some helpful definitions of widely used terms in the Image Consulting business:

ACCESSORIES:  Any item that completes or finishes an outfit, expresses personality and adds polish to the total look.

AICI:  The Association of Image Consultants International is a worldwide, professional nonprofit association of men and women specializing in visual appearance, verbal and non-verbal communication. The members serve individual clients and corporate clients.

BALANCE:  How lines, shapes, colors, textures and patterns are used to break up an area or space.

BODY LANGUAGE:  The messages communicated by facial expressions, posture, gestures, visual body displays, territorial behavior, orientation and proximity of one human body to another.

BODY TYPES:  The shape of the female figure or body. Most popular categories include: triangle, hourglass, inverted triangle, rectangle, oval.

BUSINESS CASUAL:  Standard of dress for the working professional that is both comfortable and looks professional while avoiding the risk of looking provocative or overly trendy in the office.  Combines the professionalism of the business look and the comfort of the casual look.

BUSINESS DRESS:  Structured and formal, tailored clothing in somber tones.  It is not a vehicle for self-expression.  Usually a matched suit for men and women.

CAMOUFLAGE:  The practice of using visual perception techniques to enhance positive body characteristics and hide or minimize negative characteristics.

CASUAL CLOTHING:  Relaxed, loose and colorful clothing appropriate for after work hours.

CLASSIC:  Trends that are sustained in the marketplace beyond 3-5 years.

CLOTHING STYLE:  Accessories, fabrics and silhouettes that communicate a particular effect in dressing.

CUMMERBUND:  A men’s waistband of solid or patterned silk made with or without upward-facing pleats in place of a formal waistcoat with a single-breasted dinner jacket.

ETIQUETTE:  Rules governing socially acceptable behavior

FACE SHAPE:  Silhouette or outline of the face as it relates to geometric objects: square, circle, triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, heart

FORMAL WEAR:  Tailored dress used at weddings, black tie events, balls and parties. The term includes garments such as tuxedos, tails, formal white shirts, bow ties, cummerbunds and ascots. Women’s formal wear includes cocktail and long dresses and ball gowns.

GENDER ETIQUETTE:  Accepted rules of etiquette as they relate to males and females.

GROOMING:  To care for the appearance of; to make neat and trim.

HIGH-FASHION:  Styles that are introduced each year by the world’s leading fashion designers.

HUE:  The name of the color.

LINE:  Narrow elongated mark that connects two or more points.  Line encloses space and creates shape, whether it is straight or curved.  Line defines the shape of the body in clothing.  Determines fabric drape.

IMAGE  CONSULTANT:  A man or woman who works with a) individual clients to attain authenticity, credibility and self-confidence; or b) corporate clients to attain alignment of their employees’ appearance, behavior and communication with the corporate goals.

MANNERS:  Ways of behaving with reference to polite standards; social comportment.

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION:  Body language and also a person’s behavior, practices, mannerisms and habits.

PERSONAL STYLE:  Choice of an individual’s clothing styles and accessories that support his/her personality.

PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION:  1) Often demonstrated in an alteration of the outward appearance, transformation implies a metamorphosis and paradigm shift in the thinking and self-awareness of an individual. 2) The ability of individuals to let go of limiting mindsets and set their sights on future possibilities rather than the past.

PROPORTION:  Refers to how lines and shapes divide the body, garment or outfit into parts.  It involves the relationship of one part to another and compared to the whole.

PROTOCOL:  The customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality; precedence and etiquette.

PRESENTATION SKILLS:  Skills needed to speak in public, at a podium or from a stage, on TV or radio, in interviews or performance reviews, sales presentations or anywhere clients are speaking publicly. The skills include voice articulation, projection, audience rapport, breathing techniques and acting techniques.

SELF-BRANDING:  1) The consistent experience people have of you based on your values, formal and informal contribution, performance, manners, visual, verbal and non-verbal messages, your vision and what you stand for in the world.  2) Your unique qualities that set you apart and allow you to stand out from the crowd.  3) A way of differentiating yourself from the competition and promoting yourself in an interview or other competitive situations.

SKIN CARE:  Appropriate cleansing, toning and moisturizing to meet skin type needs.

TAILORED:  A clothing style designed with predominantly straighter lines.

TRENDS:  Colors, fabrics, prints and silhouettes favored by the world’s leading fashion designers which are copied and reinterpreted for the mass market.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION:  Words. Tempo, tone and inflection used to communicate an idea.

WARDROBE:  A larger group of clothes and accessories serving all the needs of the individual.

WARDROBE EVALUATION:  The process of deciding what works in a wardrobe, what does not work and why.