Introduction "I have a closet overflowing with clothes -- but nothing I put on feels right for me. Every morning when I go to my closet to get dressed I just stand there and stare. I feel I have nothing to wear and I get upset. It's a terrible start to my day." -- Janet "I know that my image is not up to par with the position I hold at my job. I want to look more successful." -- Alan "A few days ago I wore my favorite jeans, and I felt and looked great in them. Only a couple of days later I put them on and they made me feel fat and I thought I looked terrible in them. What happened? What's going on?" -- Christine "My husband and I fight about his clothes every weekend. He always looks like he doesn't care." -- Vicky "I hate shopping. I've gained some weight and nothing fits me anymore, and I feel self-conscious when I go shopping." -- Jake "My children are no longer living at home, and I'm starting a new career. All of a sudden I have absolutely nothing to wear and no idea where to start." -- Anna "I have a pretty conservative dress code for business. How can I put my own stamp on my wardrobe without rocking the boat?" -- Andrew "I'm too old to wear trendy and certainly not old enough to wear matronly. How can I look stylish and current on a reasonable budget?" -- Fran How do you feel when you look in your closet every morning? Do you feel confident that your clothing choices allow you to present yourself most effectively in business? When you are in social and casual environments, do you feel self-assured and comfortable with the way you look? Or do you find it a challenge to get yourself dressed for the day? Do you constantly worry about the way you look, never quite satisfied with your overall appearance? Do the clothes you wear express who you really are? Everyone we've met -- clients, associates, friends, ourselves included -- has experienced some form of insecurity, confusion, or dissatisfaction about his or her image. Our clients have included celebrities, politicians, world leaders, business executives, homemakers, models, teachers, and people from all walks of life. Although the scope of their image concerns have varied widely, all of them have had one thing in common -- they had not yet discovered their own personal style. You have a personal style. You have specific and unique tastes. You have your own sensibilities, values, passions, and dislikes, as well as your own sense of what image you would like to project. But self-doubt, conditioning, and the desire to please others often combine to prevent authentic self-expression. Being concerned about other people's opinions of us becomes a habit, so much a part of ourselves that we lose our true identity. You may simply be unaware of what kind of image you are projecting. You may deny or ignore your own desire to cultivate your image. Perhaps, as you grew into adulthood, you left behind your personal style because of conditioning from family and friends or the demands of your business or career. Perhaps your mother repeatedly told you when you were younger that you could never wear a certain color. Or maybe the demands of your business restrict your image. Have you been running after an image you want to project but are now becoming worn out from the race? Many of you are projecting a style that is not your own personal style but a composite of others' interpretations of a particular style. And some of you who think you are projecting your personal style may not actually be doing so. Your desire to look a certain way -- cute, manly, sexy, strong, younger, fill in the blank--has camouflaged the most interesting aspect of your image -- you. That's right, the real you is so much more interesting than the "you" that you attempt to project. Each and every daLevene, Malcolm is the author of '10 Steps to Fashion Freedom Discover Your Personal Style from the Inside Out', published 2001 under ISBN 9780609606452 and ISBN 060960645X.