An Image Consultant Shares How to Build a Post-College Wardrobe

July 27, 2016

This past weekend we had the pleasure of meeting up with Ginger Burr of Total Image Consultants, one of the most popular image consultants in the Boston area. I had first learned of Ginger while doing extensive market research on starting my own image consulting business when I was in college. Now, years later, we finally had the chance to meet in person! Laura and I drove to Ginger’s studio late Saturday afternoon and spent hours chatting about image consulting, style, what it means to be a female entrepreneur and so much more. Laura and I instantly felt at home in her space and began talking with Ginger as if we had known her forever.

We were taken aback by how humble and honest Ginger was in recounting her personal story. It’s not every day (especially in the fashion industry) where a person will openly share how they built their business and give you insider tips. When sharing stories of working with her plethora of clients it was evident that she deeply values empowering women of all backgrounds. This was one of the many ways that Ginger demonstrated her true authenticity and warmth. As soon as you walk through her door, you enter into a comfortable sitting space composed of cozy furniture with touches of teals and golds.

We are very eager to share with you some of the questions we talked to Ginger about. If you are also in a transitional point in your life, then you may find her words truly uplifting. As any young adult beginning your career, it is crucial that you understand more about yourself and identify what you want out of life. What we loved most about our conversation with Ginger was that she also did not have her whole life put together by her mid-twenties. Her story reminds us that no one does. These years can be tough, but they can also be immensely transformative. Becoming a top image consultant, or obtaining any impressive job title, really, is not achieved overnight. It is a journey. 

totalimageconsultantsTell us a little about yourself. If anyone had suggested when I was in my 20’s that I would be an image consultant I would have laughed. I grew up in a little town called Feeding Hills. No one there knew what an image consultant was let alone used one. Add to that the fact that I felt totally clueless about how to dress myself so how could I help someone else dress! I did, however, have a great desire to learn about fashion, but it was a different world back then – no internet, no makeover television shows and no one I knew could help me. Thankfully, when I was just about to turn 30 I met a woman, Nevena, who changed my life forever. I attended a 3-day workshop she offered called, Fashion, Color & Image. I knew immediately that it was exactly what I wanted to do with my life and that Nevena was the one to teach me. As a result, for the past 29 years I have been doing something I love that helps empower women to feel great about who they are and how they look. I feel blessed to do what I do every day!

gingerburrWhat can people expect when working with an image consultant? First of all, image consultant services are not just for someone who is famous or wealthy. They are for everyone. Most of my clients are regular women who understand the power of their image but feel they need help making that happen. When I work with my clients there are several things they will receive:

  1. Help creating a wardrobe that truly reflects who they are and meets their lifestyle needs.
  2. A plan that honors their budget. A great wardrobe can be had at any budget and knowing where to shop to maximize their budget is important. I remember asking one young client what her budget was for our shopping spree. She said $300. I asked her how many items she wanted to get for that amount and she said 10. This helped me make suggestions for where to go and we did well at H&M.
  3. Styling tools so they can feel more confident shopping and making choices for themselves. There is no exact science to creating a wardrobe and there is plenty of conflicting information available about what you should or shouldn’t wear. The tools (a personalized color palette, Fashion Fit Formula and their own inner beauty words) will help them navigate the stores with more ease and success.

imageconsultantmentor copy copytotalimageconsultantsgingerWhat advice do you have for young women who are looking to build a career wardrobe post college? Find out what others more senior in the profession you are pursuing wear to work. Yes, we live in a more casual world than we used to, but an employer wants to see that you have made an effort to appear professional – it is an act of respect. Once you have a job you represent the company while you are working and you want your image to reflect positively on that company. Employers and managers notice these things so if you want to advance in your profession this will go a long way to help that happen.

What advice do you have in general for young people who are in such a transitional point in their lives? What do you wish you could go back and tell your 23 year old self? I would tell myself two things:

  1. Stop trying to dress like everyone else just to fit in. It is your uniqueness that is beautiful and you should celebrate that not try to hide it.
  2. Get help if you need it. I wish that I had not spent so much time floundering with what looked good on me. I wasted a lot of money and never felt empowered in my clothes because my efforts were all hit or miss (mostly miss!). If I knew then what I know now about how to dress I would have had so much more self-confidence at a younger age.

accessorizeLastly, what things can young women do to help build their overall confidence? 

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Celebrate your uniqueness. For many years in my youth I compared myself to others both in terms of how I looked and my accomplishments. I never felt like I measured up and that thinking never helped me feel good about myself. When you cultivate what makes you special and believe in yourself, your positive energy is contagious and others will believe in you, too.
  1. Appreciate what you have. It is so easy to let negativity infiltrate our lives. Years ago I watched a video called ‘The Strangest Secret.’ It was a precursor to today’s popular law of attraction philosophy. The takeaway was that, ‘you become what you think about most.’ In our world, where bad news is everywhere it’s so easy to get bogged down in that. But, that negativity is not what you want to cultivate in your life. Spend some time each day—maybe during your morning shower or before you fall asleep at night—expressing all the ways in which you appreciate what you have. Even simple things like being thankful for your hot shower or the sun shining will make you smile. This one small act can help draw more good things to you.

imageconsultantsThank you so much again Ginger!


If you are interested in learning more about Ginger Burr, or about her services, you can reach her here


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