By Jane Keller Gordon, Assistant Editor
Lynn – For over 30 years, Ginger Burr has worked as an image consultant, helping women look and feel their best. Whether she’s working one-on-one with a client, leading a seminar or workshop, conducting a color analysis, or analyzing fit, her goal is always the same. “Beauty, style & grace,” which is also her email sign-off.
Burr grew up in Feeding Hills, Mass., near Springfield.
“People dressed nicely, but there was no internet, no makeover TV shows. I became aware of fashion in my late teens,” she said.
After graduating from Mount Holyoke College as a voice major, Burr worked as an administrative assistant at MIT. During that time, she struggled to find her place, always thinking that everyone else was dressed better.
Her turning point came just before her 30th birthday when she took a three-day workshop on fashion, color and image. The workshop teacher, Nevena Cranney, became Burr’s mentor. The next day after the class Burr launched her business, Total Image Consultants.
“I work with women mostly over 40 who struggle to put themselves together… With the advent of business casual, it’s more of a challenge to put together an outfit. Before clothes were more like a uniform.”
Burr also commented that TV shows like “What Not to Wear” have shown regular women that they can get help, and don’t need to struggle on their own.
Burr offers the following 10 fashion secrets to jump start the New Year.
Expand your wardrobe beyond black.
“Add some color to your life! Four colors that look good on most people are forest green, deep periwinkle, rich teal and watermelon.”
Fit is important.
“Don’t be afraid to buy something that you love that needs alteration. Tailoring a garment so it fits you perfectly makes even an inexpensive piece of clothing look great!”
Make sure your wardrobe reflects you.
“Are you sweet, dynamic, feisty or serene (or something else)? Make sure that what you wear reflects your inner beauty, and you’ll always be excited to get dressed.”
Think carefully about where you put your handbag.
“There are nasty germs everywhere. Don’t put your handbag on the floor of a public bathroom and then your kitchen counter.”
Start with a good foundation.
“Your clothes fit better when your bra fits you well – it can even make you look and feel slimmer. If it has been more than 18 months or you have gained or lost weight, it’s time for a professional bra fitting.”
Do not over wash your clothes.
“Turn your clothes you wore today inside out and hang them up overnight. Doing this lets air circulate and helps odors dissipate. In the morning you can decide if something needs laundering. Of course, toss your clothes in the laundry or take them to the cleaners if you spill something on your clothes or sweat profusely. Less washing means clothes last longer and it is better for the environment.”
Never settle for good enough.
“Good enough will never feel good enough. Buy clothes that you love, and that make you smile when you wear them.”
Pay attention to what catches your eye.
“It never hurts to try something on, and it might surprise you and look great!”
Stand up straight.
“Remind yourself regularly, especially as you get older, to stand tall with your shoulders back and see how good you feel. Don’t slouch!”
Fashion myth alert: You do not have to have a lot of money to look great.
“It doesn’t matter where you shop. What does matter are the choices you make in color, fit, balance, proportion and expressing your authenticity. These principals are the same whether your shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue or Kohl’s. And remember, there are a lot of great clothes at Kohl’s.”