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Kirstie Clements and the Vogue Factor

By 
Kristie Clements

Style coach, Kristie Clements

Updated October 2018

Kirstie Clements was one of the very first guests of Balance by Deborah Hutton.

We interviewed Kirstie in 2012, shortly after she published her memoir ‘The Vogue Factor'” which sent ripples throughout the fashion world.  In 2016 we interviewed Kirstie again, this time, to discuss her latest book “Impressive: How to have a stylish career”.

Kirstie Clements is the former editor in chief of Vogue Australia and has more than 25 years experience in luxury publishing.

Clements spent more than two decades attending the international fashion shows, travelling the world and interviewing every top designer, but she also has a realistic view on the type of advice women are looking for when it comes to style.

Kirstie says, “We all need a little help with our wardrobes, even if it’s just a seasonal update which can be achieved with a new pair of shoes, or piece of costume jewellery”.

In our first interview with Kristie in 2012 we talked about

How we define style

Is there a difference between fashion and style?

Should our style change as we get older

Kirstie’s tips for looking good as you get older:

  • Having a great haircut that shows of the angles of your face
  • Less make up is more
  • Black is always fabulous
  • There are no hard and fast rules but it’s generally sexier to not show off so much skin
  • Subtlety is an asset as you get more mature

5 core pieces for your wardrobe

Clements spent more than two decades attending international fashion shows, travelling the world and interviewing top designers, but she also has a realistic view on the type of advice women are looking for when it comes to style.

In this clip Kirstie tells us her wardrobe essentials.

Kirstie says you can’t go wrong with;

  • A beautiful pair of black pants
  • Sandels
  • The best jewellery you can afford
  • Well fitting jacket in black or navy
  • Pair of jeans

What to wear on a date

If you are going back into the dating game, it can be daunting!
The task of thinking of the perfect outfit is just another hurdle we don’t want to face. Kirstie Clements advice will help you decide what the outfit is for you that will make you look healthy and glowing, and feels right for you.

Kirstie advocates an outfit that is simple, suits your style, and gives you confidence.

 

 

In 2016 Kristie wrote the guide-book for working in the fashion industry “Impressive: How to have a stylish career”.

In her book, Impressive: How to Have a Stylish Career, Kirstie Clements offers her talents as a mentor for anyone looking to grab that dream job, make a transition or advance in their current career. With close to three decades of experience in luxury publishing, Kirstie offers her unique advice and strategy on the necessary skills for success.

So what inspired her to write her second book?

After leaving Vogue Australia and writing The Vogue Factor, Kirstie found countless young women asking her how to gain access to high demand jobs in fashion.

“When I realised I couldn’t mentor them all, I thought, why don’t I write a book about my experiences,” said Kirstie.

Her first tip for all job seekers… start with the basics.

“You literally have to go right back to, how do you do a CV, what should you wear (and) how should you behave in an interview,” said Kirstie.

Within the book, Kirstie also draws on an incredible list of industry insiders, top executives and leading fashion designers to gather their expert opinions and then presents the reader with an impressive guide book.

What is holding women back from making a career change?

Many women in their 40’s and 50’s face the challenge of a career change. Being suddenly thrust into the unknown can cause many job seekers lose their confidence.

Deborah and Kirstie share their insights on what they believe is holding women back. They discuss strategies on how to overcome those career change fears.

Kirstie suggests that many women, in this age group, believe they “aren’t digital enough”. Therefore, feel that they don’t have anything to add to a business.

For those with a vast work history, drawing on your experience, wisdom and knowledge can be the answer.

Kirstie believes there is a learning curve to all new jobs. The digital medium is just another skill to learn on that curve.

“You have a wisdom that you can bring to anything,” said Kirstie.  “You must never devalue the content that is in your head and in your experience,” she said.

But how to do you project this wisdom and experience in an interview and make a great first impression?

“Being honest and being able to say what it is that you know, and what it is that you’re willing to learn, but that you still remain curious,” said Kirstie.

Kirstie states that many employers are looking for people with a level head and broader knowledge. The key is to remain honest about your strengths and interests when convincing the interviewer of your suitability.

The mistake people make when changing careers?

Kirstie believes there is a learning curve to all new jobs and the digital medium is just another skill to learn on that curve.

“You have a wisdom that you can bring to anything,” said Kirstie.  “You must never devalue the content that is in your head and in your experience,” she said.

But how to do you project this wisdom and experience in an interview and make a great first impression?

“Being honest and being able to say what it is that you know, and what it is that you’re willing to learn, but that you still remain curious,” said Kirstie.

Kirstie states that many employers are looking for people with a level head and broader knowledge and the key is to remain honest about your strengths and interests when convincing the interviewer of your suitability.

 

What is an anti-mentor?

While a mentor can help build you up and provide the support needed to bolster your career, today, Kirstie Clements discusses the idea of the “anti-mentor”.

According to Kirstie, the “anti-mentor” in a workplace can have the potential to knock your confidence and inflict emotional damage if endured over a long period of time.

So, how long do you deal with a difficult boss who has a rocky management style, who may be a bully, is inappropriate or makes you uncomfortable?

“It depends on how much you want that job,” said Kirstie. “It’s very emotionally damaging to have a bad boss,” she warns.

In this clip, Kirstie recounts a time where she worked for an “anti-mentor” and describes her reasons for staying at that particular job despite the conditions.

On a positive note, Kirstie believes that having an “anti-mentor” gives you an opportunity to learn the lesson of “what not to do” when developing your own management style.

“(But) I don’t think it’s a lesson that needs to be learnt twice, and it’s not a lesson that needs to be learnt for long,” said Kirstie.

The secret to a good job application?

Hundreds, maybe even thousands of curriculum vitae (CV) cross the desk of an employer or HR manager every year, particularly in high-demand jobs like fashion and publishing. So what’s the secret to making your CV and job application stylish and stand-alone?

 

For a CV, “Brevity,” says Kirstie Clements. “Short, and to the point and truthful.”

Kirstie insists on getting the basics right including references, dates and places of employment and warns against making it too humorous or ornate as this style may not appeal to the employers taste.

However, the CV may not be the key factor in determining your success.

“The covering letter is everything,” said Kirstie.

A covering letter can make a great first impression and entice the employer to take your application further.

“It says everything about who you are as a person as to what are your hopes, your dreams, what you’re good at, how you explain yourself, what you bring to the table, your tone and your personality,” said Kirstie.

Kirstie believes the covering letter is the best way to demonstrate a sense of professionalism while giving an insight into your emotional personality.

 

Following up a job interview?

So, you think you’ve nailed the interview. Great! Now, what? Today, Deborah and Kirstie discuss the etiquette for following up on a job interview and what you should do if you encounter the dreaded “wall of silence”.

According to Kirstie, silence from a prospective employer after the initial application or the interview is, unfortunately, fairly common.

All too often, calls and emails go unanswered and applicants are left wondering how they performed.

Once you’ve sent in your application or been through the interview process, what is the follow-up protocol?

Due to the commonality of non-response from many employers, Kirstie advises applicants to initially “get a thicker skin.”

Send an email or physical letter to thank the prospective employer….then go “old fashioned” and pick up the phone and call them!

Always be polite, thank them for their time and if you aren’t successful, resend a copy of your CV and offer your services should anything suitable arise in the future.

“You never know, the person who gets the job could not work out,” said Kirstie.

Kirstie also emphasises the importance of manners in the follow-up process.

“Manners more than ever, are remembered,” said Kirstie.

How to stand out in a world of online applications

A common problem for today’s job seekers is the frustrating impersonal nature of online job applications.

In many cases, job applications can only be submitted online, a relevant contact person is not advertised, no phone number exists and applicants are only contacted if they make a short list.

This can leave a large void for job seekers uncertain of where they stand in the process, and what their next move should be if unsuccessful in securing an interview.

Kirstie Clements says therefore, a more tactical approach may be required when searching for jobs in your chosen field

“Ascertain where you want to work and if your skill set fits that, then literally send through something solid (on paper),” said Kirstie. “In a way, create your own job,” she said.

In the online world of limited face-to-face contact, Kirstie’s promotes joining networking organisations to make connections with potential employers and those who could assist in your job search.

Networking also presents an ideal environment to develop mentoring relationships, especially for those who have been in the business for a long time.

 

“Like” it or not – you need to be on social media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn…..Social media is an inescapable force in our lives, so how relevant is it in today’s job market, and how does it influence the outcomes for job seekers?

While many people in the 40’s and 50’s are not accustomed to sharing their interests or opinions for the world to see, Kirstie suggests that an appropriate online presence is essential to the application process.

“I think now you do have to have a social media presence,” said Kirstie.

Kirstie believes this can demonstrate an applicant’s level of social media understanding and their willingness to engage.

Additionally, in the very impersonal nature of online applications, a social media presence can give the employer an insight into the applicant’s personality.

“It actually gives them a good idea of your aesthetics (to) say this is what I follow and this is what I like,” said Kirstie.

However, Kirstie warns that while this can have its benefits, particularly when applying for a creative role, there is always the risk that the interviewer may not agree with your particular taste.

Importantly, she urges us to keep our private life private by ensuring those settings are activated on your accounts.

 

Competing with the younger generation

 

The thought of competing with Gen Y when job searching can cause many people in their 40’s and 50’s to doubt their ability and run for the nearest exit.

Kirstie Clements believes radical changes in the job market have forced us to take a more entrepreneurial approach when it comes to applying for a job.

Rather than seeing it as being in competition with a younger person for the same role, Kirstie suggests trying to create something we know we are good at and “packaging” it with our skills and experience to sell to the potential employer.

“Maybe they didn’t know that’s what they were looking for,” said Kirstie.

In terms of gaining confidence and shaking off the self-doubt, a mentor can highlight your strengths and shift your thought process into a more productive state of identifying what you are good at and what makes you happy.

“If you are happy doing something, presumably you are going to see some level of success with it,” said Kirstie.

“Draw on those people who support you and always have and they will bolster your confidence,” said Kirstie.

So rather than seeing the younger generation as competition, look inward to your skills and experience and develop your own unique job search strategy.

How to update your wardrobe

Dressing for success, remaining fashionable and presenting yourself in the best light are key concerns for many women searching for a job in today’s competitive market.  In this video Kirstie Clements, former editor-in-chief at Vogue Australia give us some classic wardrobe and makeup tips.

Kirstie believes in building an ageless “core” wardrobe with great basics and then adding fashionable elements at your price point.

Some of Kirstie’s style essentials include:

  • Trench coat
  • Pants that suit your body type
  • Leather Jacket
  • White shirts
  • Cashmere sweaters
  • Black dress for every occasion

Once you’ve got the basics right, add contemporary and seasonal accessories such as shoes, handbags, scarves and jewellery.

“It doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be expensive because you can put your personal element to it,” said Kirstie.

As for workplaces that have a very casual dress code, Kirstie urges us not to “under style yourself” and dress to project confidence.

“Dress like you’ve got somewhere better to go later,” said Kirstie.

Makeup tips for older women

 

You’ve got the CV, you’ve prepped for your interview, you’ve got the attitude and confidence, now it’s time to put your best face forward.

If you’re lacking confidence in how to apply your makeup, Kirstie’s advice is to focus on grooming.

  • Really good hair – a great style and colour
  • Beautifully shaped eyebrows
  • The freshest skin possible
  • Polished nails

“It’s not about piling on makeup or pretending to be any younger than you are,” said Kirstie.

“It’s about looking fresh and polished,” she said.

 

Jack Delosa, Passion to Purpose, Reinvention, Empowerment, Business advice for mature, Online learning, Self help, Self improvement, Find your passion

Balance Team

This article was written by the brains trust of Balance . We are a talented team of writers and contributors with real life experience and a passion for finding balance.

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