(Speaker Notes) TEDx Irvington: Is Fashion Killing Your Style?


  • Honor Your Style: The Art of Being Deliberate
  • Being Deliberate:  The Art of Dressing for Life
  • The Art of Being Deliberate
  • Getting Dressed / The Power of Getting Dressed
  • How to/we get dressed: The Art of Fashion as Communication
  • Even if you hate fashion: 5 Things you didn’t know about getting dressed
  • Even if you hate fashion; Honor Your Style: 5 Things you didn’t know about getting dressed
    • It effects you
    • It effects others
    • It improves productivity
    • It improves mood
    • It increases your bottom line
  • 1 thing you should know about getting dressed
  • Nonverbal Communication: Why you get dressed effects everyone
  • Bridging the Communication Gap/Bridging the Gap in Communication
  • Continuity: What are you saying about you and to you
  • How to get dressed: The Power of You
  • Honor Your Style: The Power of You
  • The Power of Style
  • Style as a Second Language
  • Fashion: The Power of Style & Communication
  • Fashion: The Power of Style & You



Whether credit is given to Oscar Wilde or Will Rogers we’ve all heard the adage:

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression

<< SLIDE 2: Image – Gina & Me>>

This is Gina, and this is what she looks like on a typical day.  Gina isn’t a model but was so gracious to work with me on a project to help people see the impact of personal branding.

If people only saw a picture of you and never got a chance to meet you (PAUSE) based on what you’re wearing today what would they say?

<< SLIDE 3-5: Images – Gina>>

Would they say you’re…….

  1. Approachable?
  2. Smart?
  3. Determined? Or even A Power Player?

<< SLIDE 6: Quote – Ralph Lauren>>

It’s been said fashion is for the masses, style is for the individual.

Fashion is a form of communication.  Style is a language.

Ralph Lauren Quotes

  • “It’s easier to follow fashion than it is to have personal style.”

Because really style is about confidence.  NOT about changing the outside of yourself but rather using clothes an extension or rather an expression of yourself.

I’d like to challenge [PAUSE] how YOU get dressed in the morning.

My name is Kendra Porter and I’m an image consultant and wardrobe stylist.  My motto is HonorYourStyle. HONOR YOU!  So what do I do?  I use clothes to tell a story.

My friends call me the Baroness of Style but despite what my friends may say about me, I am not a fashionista and I wasn’t one growing up.  People think I inhale fashion and exhale style.  I swear I breathe air like everyone else. 

<< SLIDE 7 – NYFW>>

For a fashionista, they are in love with the fashion [PAUSE] – the trends, the brands, the designers. Now, don’t get me wrong, [PAUSE] when I’m backstage during NYFW at Prabal Gurung or Oscar de la Renta I’m in awe of the work, the craftsmanship and the beauty of it all. But for me [PAUSE], it’s all about style — taking the fashion you see [PAUSE] and making it your own.

So think of it this way…

As an image consultant, when someone walks into a room and you say Gosh you look a amazing.  The focus is on the person.  When someone walks into a room and you say where’d you get that dress…. its all about the fashion, the statement pieces. That’s the work of a stylist. I [PAUSE] happen to be both.

So YES, [PAUSE] I get paid to dress people for a living and no, you don’t have to be a celebrity. 

“I can shop for you at TJMaxx or I can shop for you at Bergdorfs, it doesn’t matter to me.”

<< SLIDE 8 – BLANK 1/Stats on Perception>>

The question is  [PAUSE] what is your style communicating about you [PAUSE] and even to you. 

So, [PAUSE] Have you ever thought about how you want to be seen or [PAUSE] even how YOU want to feel when getting dressed?

I have this conversation with many people and inevitably there will always be someone who says “Yeh, but people know me so it doesn’t really matter”…. And in return my response is what about those who don’t know you? 

If you’re an entrepreneur, people are searching for you online to provide a product/service.  Their first impression is usually from something they’ve seen thru social media or in the press.

If you’re a professional looking to take the next step in your career are you dressed in a manner that aligns with the culture of your industry or better yet does your personal brand align with the company and how they want to be seen?

How you are perceived by others can determine how they interact with you. AND, you are also influenced by what you wear. (Enclothed cognition stats?)

When it comes to style you can create a whole mood, what I call a style persona.  

Think of that one outfit that you put on and feel amazing in — whether it’s going out to dinner or you’re dressed impeccably for a business function.  Or sometimes a particular item that when you put on makes you feel stylish like a great fitting leather jacket.

Style is about being intentional with what you decide to put on.  What you want to express.  How you want feel.

<< SLIDE 9 – BLANK 2>>

I had a client in her 60s, with blue eyes that sparkled, and gorgeous white hair cut into a long bob who once told me that her mother used to say to her I’m the only one who’s ever going to say you’re beautiful because I’m your mother. Welcome to growing up Irish Catholic she said to me.  And I thought this is why I do this.  Because she was beautiful but she was still holding onto what was repeated to her time and time again as a kid.

I wasn’t the girl that flipped thru the cover of Vogue or fashion mags.  Rather, [PAUSE] I was the biggest tomboy who wanted to be a truck driver.  I watched way too much Smokey & The Bandit as a kid…LOL…

For me, my mother wanted me to be “a lady”.  At the tender age of 12, she put me in a girdle.   My self-esteem took a hard hit.  I had this inner conflict. I knew deep inside that I was beautiful buuuuuut…. Was I really? [PAUSE]

I had my growth spurt and grew 6in over that summer.  I was bigger and shall we say more developed than the girls my age. ? Show photos 5th & 6th grade ?

Now to be fair, my mother never called me ugly. But her actions made me question not only my beauty but who I needed to become and to be considered valuable.

<< SLIDE 10 – Bodyheart>>

I started styling because I wanted women to feel good in the skin they’re in.  I quickly learned this wasn’t only about size, shape or even gender, it was a human one. I want people no matter your shape, no matter your size to love yourself, and I mean ALL of you.  You can have goals, lose weight, gain weight (yes that’s a goal for some not mine but for some), build muscle — whatever they are [PAUSE] you also need to LOVE WHO YOU ARE NOW, and honor who you are in this moment. 

This was the Bodyheart campaign by Amber Kryzs that embraced women loving their whole body.

I realized if I didn’t learn to love myself then that meant I was hating myself and well [PAUSE] that’s dumb.  So I wanted other women to feel the same and learn to embrace who they are and own the space their in.


Which means becoming a deliberate creator and being intentional to show up as your best self.  Now this isn’t just for the women, men this is for you too.

How do you do be intentional about getting dressed you ask? Great question.  Think of 3 personal characteristics that you want to be known for. Not about fashion but rather personality traits — Trustworthy, approachable, creative [PAUSE] Got’em? 

Now, think of 2 style words — Edgy, funky, polished. Everyday when you get dressed,  use these 5 words as a litmus test.  Is what you’re wearing reflecting how you want to show up in life and how you want others to perceive you?

<<SLIDE 12 & 13>>

Use color to evoke emotion.  Blue = Trust; Red = Power; Green = Nurturing;

????  Pros and Cons of each color ???

I’ve been doing this work for over a decade.  And during that time I’ve worked in television with on-air personalities, I’ve managed the personal shopping offices for Bloomingdale’s and love of my life R.I.P. Lord & Taylor (A Moment of silence)..LOL. I’ve traveled the country working with clients on their style and to help them become the person they want to be.  So why do I tell you this?  Because I’ve worked with thousands of women and men on how to communicate who they are using fashion as a tool.

I’ve seen clients transform in the course of an hour.  Coming into a dressing room looking like this about to be the bain of their existence or feeling defeated because they can’t find what their looking for.  And in that hour, in the same store they may have tried to shop so many times before I’m able to put together looks that they didn’t know were possible.  As they try on these new pieces that resonate, they stand taller, the grimace on their face turns to a smirk then to a smile and some even start to dance in the mirror.  Really it’s the women that dance, the men just keep staring at themselves posing like they’re on the cover of GQ….LOL (Chris Westfahl)

Look good, feel good. Feel good, look good is like the question of which came first the chicken or the egg.   I don’t care honestly. I just want to get you to the good in your life.

<<SLIDE 14: Mission>>

In helping others to honor their style, I help them to honor themselves.  I help them to see themselves differently when they step in front of a mirror.  I give them permission to be whoever it is they want to be and give them the tools.  And I’d like to do the same for you.

Be intentional in honoring your style. Be intentional not just for others but for yourself.  Define who you are. Determine how you want to be seen and how you want to show up for your life.  Be intentional when you wake up. Decide how you want to feel and dress for the day ahead.   And do it all with confidence.

<<SLIDE 15: QUOTE – Versace>>

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

The last thing I want to leave you with is that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.  Give yourself permission to explore and play with fashion.

And Always remember: HonorYourStyle.  HONOR YOU!