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Omaha Magazine

Investing in You

Jun 20, 2014 11:02AM ● By Kristen Hoffman
From the time I was a child my parents instilled in me the importance of quality.  We were of little means, but my mother and father appreciated quality and understood its value as an investment. My mother loved to shop. She would take me shopping for clothes, gifts, household goods, furniture, everything! She would compare and show me what made a difference of quality. She often pointed out that quality didn’t always cost more, but when it did, the words I heard her repeat over and over were: “Quality is long remembered once price has been forgotten.”

When, at the age of five, I decided to become a fashion designer, I was already aware of the significant difference that quality made in design. I knew that when the day came along that I’d design clothes with my name on them, they would have to be beautifully made of very fine fabrics. It was not only the design, but also the quality of my work that attracted my clientele. They were people who appreciated quality and knew that in order to be perceived as a person of quality one must wear quality. It shows that you are of value and that you value yourself.

As an image consultant, I preach quality wherever I go. In today’s fast-track world where nothing is about more than a minute, people seem to have forgotten about investment dressing.  They don’t realize that the investment is not about how long the clothes last.  It’s about that single moment you have to make the right impression. Too many people think a first impression is relative only to a job interview. It’s not. You are making first and lasting impressions everyday, everywhere.

When you invest in yourself, it shows, and it changes the way you’re treated by everyone.  It makes you stand out in good way. I personally have experienced hotel and travel upgrades, better tables at restaurants, special seating at concerts, invitations to select groups and parties, all because of the quality I project with what I wear.

So many people put their homes, cars, collectibles, jewelry, hair and nails before their clothes as a priority. They cannot justify their bodies as deserving of good clothes, but they are.  You are!

Sometimes as people age they lose interest in clothes because their faces and bodies don’t look like they did in their prime. They get frustrated shopping then convince themselves that they don’t need new clothes and don’t deserve good clothes because they don’t look like the models who wear them so well. I tell everyone over 60 that new clothes are important, because it’s important to be current, and everything, even casual sportswear, will make you look better if it’s quality.

Now just because it’s summer, don’t think you can forsake quality for throwaway fashion. Quality is as important in summer as in fall, winter, and spring. Regardless of the season, there is no performance value in throwaway clothing, and what a difference a polished look makes over a distressed look.

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