Recently, I was browsing in one of my favorite stores, and one of the sales women said to me, “Oh, one of your clients was just in, and she bought that necklace you told her about.” (I had seen this necklace that was SO her and sent her a picture). She then said, “I showed her another necklace as well that she loved, but we couldn’t find earrings to match so she didn’t get it. She told me that she’s ‘matchy-matchy’ like Ginger.” I laughed. Yes, there are a few of us left!

No, I do not go so far as to have my handbags and shoes be exact matches, but I do insist they blend and make sense together. I sometimes watch “What Not To Wear” and, while I think a lot of their advice is valuable, I sometimes look at the outfits they create and think “Really! It looks like a mish-mash – like they got dressed in the dark!” It just goes to show you that fashion is not an exact science and personality and personal preference play into it. Clearly, there’s a stylist for every taste.

So, while I never expect my clients to be matchy-matchy, I do know that most of them rely on me to help them know how far they can push the envelope (if that’s what they want to do). It’s funny, too. Twenty years ago, as a new image consultant, I attended a fashion seminar at Henri Bendel’s, and I clearly remember the woman saying with great disdain that matchy-matchy was so “out!” I briefly questioned my style, but then I took a long look at what she was wearing and thought, if that’s the alternative I’ll stick with what I’m wearing.

I have remained true to my personal style preference and wear it with confidence. I admire those who are funkier and trendier than I am and who wear the look well (not everyone does!). I also know that there is no one right way. If there were we’d all look like clones – what fun would there be in that?

So, matchy-matchy or not, honor your own preferences. That said, don’t be afraid to step outside your self-imposed box and try new things. That’s how we keep it fun and fresh. But if a trend doesn’t work for you, that’s absolutely fine. Just know (or find out) what does and be true to that!

Author's Bio: 

Over the past 22 years, Ginger Burr, believing that your image is about representing the best of you (not making designers happy), has built a remarkable career as an expert personal image consultant working with women from all walks of life. Whether it’s the “dynasty” shoulder pad era, the never-ending confusion of business casual, or the low-rise pant controversy, she has helped women navigate through (and sometimes completely ignore!) the styles of the season and feel good about how they look.

In 1987, Ginger launched her own company, Total Image Consultants, with the simple credo that a dynamic personal and professional image could be created without having to relinquish personal style or comfort. Today, Ginger offers private consultations and remarkable makeovers for women, brides-to-be and transgender clients. Ginger also directs corporate seminars and community education programs for some of Boston's most prestigious organizations including Harvard Law School, Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels Law Firm, and Fidelity Investments and has been the media spokesperson and fashion expert for Rowenta, Inc.

In 2005, Ginger adopted veganism as a way of life and quickly realized that this personal commitment directly impacted her business. At a time when the terms stylish and vegan rarely appeared in the same sentence, Ginger’s mission became to prove that the two could happily co-exist. Her passion for health, beauty and her commitment to a cruelty-free way of life also led to her being selected as one of VegNews Magazine’s “25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians” in 2007. She now offers guidance, support and insight to her vegan (or just curious and open-minded) clients showing them how to dress fashionably and still be true to their values.

Ginger is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (a music major -- who would ever think that would lead to a career in fashion!). She is also the Past President of the New England Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) and has served on the AICI's International Board as the Vice President of Member Communications. In addition, Ginger is a past President of the Boston Wedding Group.

Ginger recently launched her one-of-a-kind body image, self-esteem, and style home study program “Who Taught You How to Dress?” which allows women to overcome the obstacles and learn the skills they need to create a wardrobe they love all in the comfort of their own home! In addition, Ginger's book, Fashion Secrets Mother Never Taught You is used today as a style and wardrobe consultation tool.