I’m Michaela Leitz, a Fashion Stylist & Image Consultant based in Frankfurt am Main. My profession focuses on styling and image consultations, which means I have worked with different women, witnessed different heartbreaking stories, and become a tool for positive changes. The most significant thing I learned that I want to share with everyone is that, the key to taking your success to the next level has always been self-acceptance. Accept your body. Love your flaws. Forgive and work on your shortcomings. Embrace who you are — and the rest will follow.
While there is truth to this, the very process where you learn to accept yourself is certainly the most difficult part.
Are styling and image consultation a worthy investment?
With the emergence of highly aesthetic vloggers and influencers, fashion has become more elusive, as many people felt like it is something they couldn’t afford.
Getting a styling and image coach is not just a worthy investment; it’s a powerful, lifetime’s worth of venture that can help you rebuild your self-esteem while saving your precious time and energy. It will help you understand your body in ways you never could have figured out on your own, and teach you how to carry yourself with visible grace.
What is a Fashion Stylist?
While both professions require similar skills, these two function differently. As a Fashion Stylist, I dedicate my time finding a unique style for an individual that would best represent her personality and lifestyle. I teach them how to constantly look their best through wardrobe management, hands-on styling, color analysis and accessory-matching. An individual’s style contributes to the persona that she wants to present to the world.
Moreover, a stylist works on creating a desired image for her client according to a particular purpose. It could be work-related affairs, fashion events, photo shoots and basically anything that requires an individual to look and act at her best. I’ve had aspiring plus-size models under my styling services and since they often work in the fashion industry, I also help them achieve a predetermined look. You see, a styling coach can help you both on your daily and big-day looks.
Now, what is an Image Consultant?
On the other hand, being an Image Consultant goes beyond aesthetics. I have to work on a more intimate level to achieve a particular image or persona based on my client’s style and actions. A well-dressed individual becomes more confident and powerful when she is aware of her body language, of the overall way she carries herself. Styling focuses on the physical aspect, Image focuses on the behavior. The goal is to train an individual how she can possibly shine both externally and internally.
As a consultant myself, I have to make sure that the style I create for my client would highly resonate with her image and goals. There is always a specific style and approach to every objective – be it dating, socializing, or an attempt to get a promotion. I assess my client’s existing skills, or lack thereof, in order to understand the areas in her life that need improvement. To put simply, I lay out a definite plan in order to unleash a very powerful element that would jumpstart their success – SELF CONFIDENCE.
When you actually need one
The pandemic has pushed us to re-evaluate our spending habits. If your closet’s filled with items you no longer use, then you have to reconsider the way you shop and your mindset towards fashion. To be intentional with your style is to utilize 100% of your wardrobe. If you keep useless pieces because you believe you’ll lose weight soon, or because they are too beautiful to let go, this is where it all goes wrong.
A stylist would go through your closet, and categorize everything you have according to your needs and activities. As a Stylist, I have in-depth knowledge on colors, the right cut, the most flattering patterns, and the most comfortable yet secure textile. It’s my job to determine whether or not a piece of cloth suits your shape and curves. I’ll also keep you on the loop with everything fashion, especially the latest trends! You’ll certainly learn what’s a good purchase and what’s not.
Most importantly, this job doesn’t just focus on the technicalities. I don’t simply assess your wardrobe, I assess your personality, your insecurities, and how much work it may take for you to reclaim your confidence and self of individuality. This job requires someone who’s well-trained, educated and has at least one authentic certification. There are so many people out there claiming to be one without the right background and affiliation; it’s important to have their credentials checked first or you’ll be putting your money to waste. Being a Stylist and Image Consultant requires life-long learning. I personally know some people who are in the same field for decades and yet, they still invest in training to stay connected with other consultants and further stretch their understanding on styling.
How is this essential during the pandemic?
The pandemic has left many of us with anxiety, really low self-confidence and the struggles in keeping ourselves motivated to survive. We found solace in our lounge wear and sweatpants that we somewhat forgot our personal, aesthetic needs – just because you wear tight leggings in the comfort of your home doesn’t mean it is suitable for your body shape. Moreover, we face so many personal issues such as weight gain and skin problems. We grapple with challenges at work following the abrupt changes in our working environment. There’s just so many things going on all at the same time and we don’t know how to healthily deal with it.
In fact, some of my clients had the same realization amid the pandemic
One of the most recent clients I had got in touch with me through Instagram. Let’s call her Emma. She struggled with drastic weight gain amid the pandemic. Emma was in denial for months. She told herself she just needs to trim down a little and everything will fall into its place once again. Until she felt like her personal relationship was getting directly affected by her lack of motivation and confidence. She decided to send me a discreet inquiry.
There is nothing wrong with weight gain. It is a natural phenomenon that we’re all bound to experience as we age. What’s wrong is the notion that we will be able to lose weight very soon. It gives us a false sense of hope and takes away our confidence in the process. This is what Emma realized during our sessions. Soon enough, I was able to curate a beautiful and intentional wardrobe for her. Her transformation took some time. But when you realized that your body wasn’t the problem, that’s when you start believing in the power of proper styling. We can dress anyone, in any shape, in any possible weight. Be it a curvy body, skinny body, a tall and petite body — there is no limit. The magic of proper styling can turn literally everyone into a beautiful butterfly.
On rediscovering your sense of individuality
The world is pivoting. And as we look forward to the post-pandemic world, I am rooting for everyone to rediscover their sense of individuality; to reacquire the self-love we somehow lost along the way. I want every woman to understand that styling is more than just an aesthetic; it takes a very deep knowledge and training on every individual’s body. Styling is a reflection of our disposition and values. It rekindles our love for ourselves, especially when it seems easier to give in daily stress.
I look forward to a world where every woman brims with so much love and confidence. Simply because they know how to flatter their body and to dress up according to their goals and comfort.
If you are looking for a Stylist or Image Consultant, I highly recommend you to visit the directory of AICI. The Association of Image Consultants International endorse only the professionals in the field. It is an organization that consists of highly trained and constantly educated individuals who are 100% fit for the job. Here, you can browse a particular expertise that suits your needs. A lot of us also transitioned virtually which also works perfectly fine.
If you think my personality resonates with yours, you can simply write me an email at Michaela@confidence-style.com. Or book me on my website for preset packages 🙂