Anne Fenner: Making You Look and Feel Good...On the Inside and Out

by Leah Parodi,
Omaha Lifestyles

June 2011


You only get one chance to make a first impression.  And while we all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover, first impressions do seem to make a big impact.  Anne Fenner is an image consultant who realizes that there is power in perception and has spent the past thirty years helping people not only dress for success, but fine tune their approach and attitude to create a better you; on the inside and out. 

Anne Fenner Image Management is dedicated to helping individual clients and businesses be their best through appearance, behavior and etiquette.  Whether someone is looking for a wardrobe update or lesson in social skills for personal upkeep or business advancement, Anne’s business is able to help. 

Anne began her career in image consulting when she took a career development class with the Junior League of Omaha.  “I was an at-home-mom with two children,” she says.  “And I knew it was time for me to go back to work.”  Through the classes at the Junior League, Anne realized that one of her strengths was that she was adept at both right and left brain thinking.  In short, she is both creative and organized. At the same time Anne was aware of the nationally syndicated news paper column and Dress for Success books by John Molloy.  “He called himself a wardrobe engineer,” laughs Anne.  “That got me thinking that no one in Omaha was doing this type of consulting.”  

Anne says that she wanted a job that would fill a need in Omaha, but did not want it to feel like work to her. “I thought; if I can do anything and not get paid for it, what would that be?  I wanted people to feel comfortable about themselves.”  In 1981, Anne began consulting and started by giving free talks on what colors look good on what types of people and soon got her first client, who is still a client to this day. Today, Anne has many more clients, including several businesses in Omaha and Lincoln that hire her for what she calls Style Development that helps clients discover, manifest and maintain their look.  Anne does this though a series of steps. 

First, Anne will Analyze, with the client. This is done by taking a verbal and/or written inventory of values, wardrobe and lifestyle needs and uses a detailed questionnaire (which can be found in Anne’s book). “This is the first step, we size up the situation.” Anne takes time to get to know the personality of her clients as well as surmises body type, color palette and work needs. Next, Anne will Apply, or take what she and her client learn from the initial Analyze process and use it for the client’s present life and business situation. “We then Apply the colors and styles needed for that particular person and situation to the wardrobe hanging in their closet.  I teach the client where to shop and give them a list of stores or go shopping with them.” 

Anne uses her first client as an example. “She was a very busy person with a high profile volunteer job.” Anne says that her client wanted to dress and look better and had Anne help her figure out what her style was. “We went through her closet, kept the best of what she had that worked for her and got rid of what didn’t.  We mixed and matched what she already had and then added certain staples to make her wardrobe complete.  I would then shop for her and then take her with me to check out the items that I had found.”  Anne says that in addition to adding new wardrobe pieces for your image makeover, it is also important to get rid of items that do not work. 

The last step is to Act by taking action and change how clients dress and shop.  But this last step goes a bit further in that it incorporates the most important part of the wardrobe: self confidence. “When you don’t feel that you look good, you act the same,” says Anne.  “I had a client in Des Moines who worked in a bank.  She did the questionnaire and we applied that information to her then present wardrobe.  We then picked out an outfit for a blind date that she had.  Well, she ended up marrying him!  And she is still married to him!  I attribute that to confidence.” 

In addition to Style Development for individuals and businesses, Anne also offers: Head-to-toe Critiques:  conversation on details of dress for office, memos and other business related issues. Color Consulting: that helps clients choose colors that enhance them and their environment. Coaching: by working along side of clients as they work to achieve goals in work and in life.  Workshops: to teach how to make the best possible first impression. 

Anne has also taken her experience and knowledge and put it in a book entitled: Dress Smart. Now in its 2nd edition, Dress Smart features the drawings and insights of Anne’s good friend Sandi Bruns. The book helps readers navigate their individual fashion needs with a very in detailed questionnaire, diagrams and do’s and don’ts when it
comes to fads and fashions. 
Anne’s book, published by Fairchild Books out of New York City, has been picked up by various Community Colleges as a text book for learning how to become an image consultant. Dress Smart is a workbook that encourages readers to document and take notes, learning about themselves and their individual sense of style.  

Anne is available for individual consulting as well as for businesses and other groups wanting to brush up on their etiquette, style and confidence.  Anne has also worked with schools helping students with basic manners and etiquette techniques. 
For more information or to contact Anne, visit or call (402) 598-4898. Dress Smart can be purchased online though Fairchild Books, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. And while you truly cannot judge a book by its cover, it does happen. But with the help of Anne Fenner, you will certainly look like a great read. 

© 2011 Hathaway Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, Hathaway Publishing, Inc. 

Read more stories about Anne Fenner.