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'In that situation, you don't want to knock them dead as you walk though the door,' says Ms Wood.
'I advise nothing too colourful - stick to neutrals.
'They've lost the art of dressing well and making themselves presentable.' Men, on the other hand, don't seem to find this part of the service necessary.
Despite the fact that their own appearance may leave a lot to be desired, their standards are, says Mrs Heber Percy, often too idealistic. 'I do try to tell them to stay flexible and open-minded.' Women, it seems, are more willing to take criticism and pay for it if it means improving their chances of impressing that special someone.
The only comforting thought is that appearance can be as much about presentation as the looks we were born with.Consultants will spend a day at the client's house, usually before the first date, imparting sartorial advice and criticism. If they are fat, we'll tell them,' says Mrs Heber Percy.'It's a tricky task, but hopefully people are receptive; to be able to help them, they've got to help us.' The prospect of inviting a complete stranger into your home to comment candidly on your appearance may sound a little daunting.The mistake is to look really stunning - people are looking at you, not your mind-blowing clothes,' she insists.Katherine (not her real name) is 53 and lives in London.
Mrs Heber Percy reports that, unsurprisingly, it is nearly always women who seek this sort of image advice, liberally supplemented with kind comments and reassurance.