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ADELOWO: New monthly column focuses on style, image and more

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adelowo-stylematters-sig.jpg“He looks so professional.” 

“She just looks like a leader.” 

Even before you deliver your prepared message, your physical presentation has a real impact on whether others will accept or reject your ideas. And, right now, Indianapolis—in the midst of its own important perception-management campaign—still has a ways to go.

Yes, we had a successful Super Bowl and, yes, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association has been renamed Visit Indy. (According to Visit Indy President and CEO Leonard Hoops, the new name is more “edgy, hip, trendy, fun, hospitable and endearing.”) We’re getting good ink across the country and people are paying attention.

But there’s more work to do. For all of us. Every one of us participates in our city’s bid to be known for more than corn and racing. It’s up to us to present a compelling image that maintains our good-natured appeal while expressing just how forward-thinking we truly are.

Which brings me to the purpose of this new, monthly column. Knowing that we all play a role in establishing Indianapolis as a world-class city, I want this column to be a practical one that helps make modern fashion and image awareness work for all of us.

To be viewed as talented and credible in almost any setting here or across the country, oversized suits, unflattering dresses and disheveled hair simply won’t do. It’s time for us to do more than show up wearing something comfortable. Our community and business leaders must make sure they are polished, presentable, and well-styled ambassadors. We’ve come too far as a city to let poor appearance and lackluster fashion get in the way of reaching our goals.

Now, I would be remiss if I ignored the fact that people don’t like change. As a certified image consultant who works with both men and women, I’ve found that most people want to be perceived in a positive light. They typically are aware that models in magazines, actors in movies, or travelers from other cities present a more polished image. But, the mere thought of initiating their own transformation is scary. It’s much easier to leave things as is, scuffed shoes and all, than to work on an authentic yet polished image.

Plus there’s a very real risk of being ridiculed for daring to try something new.

Notice this is a conversation about image and not just style. Image includes style, but it also considers your personality, your goals, your body type, your work space and other factors that influence your appearance and how others experience you.

In upcoming columns, I’ll address a range of topics, including:

• tips for business professionals for adapting their appearance for different audiences.

• fashion trends worth incorporating into your style.

• style challenges for human resources professionals and business owners.

• advice on what to wear (and what not to wear) to various business functions and outings.

• social graces and how they affect perceptions of professionalism.

Whether the goal is to gain new outside investment, land the next Super Bowl, or to make words like, “edgy, hip, trendy, fun, hospitable and endearing” real, our Hoosier hospitality has to go beyond a smile and a handshake. Image matters.

So come on, tuck in those shirts, straighten that hem, and polish those shoes. Because, Indy, we’ve got places to go.

(And, no, I don’t intend to try to make over Indianapolis in New York’s image. That wouldn’t be genuine.)•

__________

Adelowo is the founder of ImageCube LLC (www.imagecubellc.com), and a certified image consultant of the Association of Image Consultants International. She can be reached at sadelowo@ibj.com.

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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