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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tweaking Your Image by Internet

Clothes make the man, so the saying goes. And in the business world, a fashion faux pas could affect the bottom line.

But don't despair: There's a whole industry of professionals out there to help the style-challenged get the right look.

Of course, one-on-one consulting may carry a hefty fee, but the Internet is a cheaper and more discreet way to be sure of making the right impression.

A simple search for "image consultants" on an engine such as Google will not only turn up sites advertising consultancies and industry bodies, but also a wealth of free advice from the experts.

One such site is clarespiegel.com, on which consultant Clare Spiegel offers a list of "Big Bold Image Breakers."

Spiegel's list of taboos includes: overstuffed briefcase or bag; cheap pen; athletic shoes with career clothes; missing buttons; and perspiration stains.

For business women, the style mistakes include: white pumps; decorated nails in a professional setting; cheap belts; and inappropriate handbags, for example, a day bag with evening attire.

The advice to men includes avoiding jacket sleeves and pants that are too short or too long; white belts; socks with loafers when wearing shorts; socks with sandals; and "walking in front of his spouse, date or mother."

Another image consulting web site, bremercommunications.com, includes such articles as "Making Business Casual Work for You," "Ten Ways to Screw Up an Interview" and "Body Odors -- How Not to Offend."

An article on the site called "The Power of First Impressions" says the movie "Working Girl," in which Melanie Griffith plays a woman who climbs to the top by adjusting her look, is a good illustration of the power of image-making.

"This movie illustrates beautifully what psychologists, communication experts and image consultants have been saying for years. First impressions count," says the article. "When you step into a room, people make subconscious decisions about you. Within about 30 seconds, they've judged your economic and educational levels, your social position and your levels of sophistication and success. ... They're basing those decisions purely upon what they see, i.e. your wardrobe, hairstyle, smile and posture."