Confessions of an image consultant

Confessions of an image consultant

Ms Joanne Lim tells people to change their most intimate habits, including their personal hygiene regimen.

This, on top of recommending colours, clothing, and hairstyles that suit her clients. It's all part of her job as an image consultant.

"It's my job to fix the first impressions you make," says the 39-year-old woman, who comes for the interview impeccably groomed.

There is a client she remembers - for all the wrong reasons. His body odour was upfront and centre when she first met him.

So how does one broach such an intimate subject?

Tactfully, she replies with a short laugh.

"I started by pointing out that I did not want anything to hinder his success," she says.

Off-the-shelf deodorants simply didn't work for him - so it was off to the dermatologist for the client.

Ms Lim, who also owns a branding and public relations agency, has been offering image consultancy services since 2005.

Her services don't come cheap - $200 an hour and there is a minimum of two hours per session.

She declines to reveal how many clients she sees, stating that it is a "trade secret".

Her clients are typically aged between 28 and 50.

Some hope to revamp their wardrobe after losing (or gaining) significant weight. Others come knocking because they haven't been able to land a job despite attending numerous interviews.

Remembering one such client, Ms Lim says: "He told me that he had received feedback from a hiring manager that his dressing was a contributing obstacle to landing a job.

"I noticed immediately that his clothes were very baggy because he had lost about 25kg in weight in stages, but somewhere along the line, he stopped altering his pants. So they were very oversized, resulting in gathers and pleats around the waist and a very unkempt, sloppy look."

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