There are many different ways to get help with your personal style these days. As an image consultant and a personal stylist, people often want to know the benefits and differences between hiring a personal stylist or using one of the many sites out there to help you shop. Should you hire someone like me who has over 15 years experience and can shop for you anywhere with your budget, lifestyle, and challenges in mind, or should you use a site like Stitch Fix or a Nordstrom Personal Shopper to get help with your wardrobe? The answer really depends on a few of things: what’s your goal and what’s your budget and how much help you need. These three questions will really help you understand whether or not to hire a stylist and what kind of stylist. This is very important to be clear about so that you have the best experience and get what you are looking for. Finding the right person to overhaul your look can change your life and help you achieve your goals faster. Whether that’s trying to get the promotion at your job you’ve been striving for or finding the love of your life, you’ll be ready to take your life to the next level.
What’s Your Goal
When deciding whether or not you need help with your wardrobe, first ask yourself what is your end goal. What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to make more money, need to get out of a rut since you haven’t shopped in 10 years, need help determining what looks good on you for your lifestyle or really want to be in a relationship and attract the right person? These kinds of questions are important because it gives you an idea of what type of help you will need from a stylist.
What’s Your Budget
The grand question of how much you are willing to spend is a big deciding factor in which type of stylist you should go with.
- Advice from a friend
- Working with a personal stylist at a store
- A monthly subscription to an online company
- Hiring a professional image consultant
These are all great options but your experience and the end result differ. Knowing exactly what you can afford will determine the time and effort that will be spent on elevating your look.
Types of Stylists
Now that you have answered the two major questions listed above, here are your choices when it comes to a stylist. These options will also help you in understanding their process and ability to help.
FRIEND – We all have that one girlfriend that is super stylish and fashionable. We ask for her advice and she gladly gives us her two cents. This kind of help is free and makes it fun to shop. However, asking a friend who is known for great style doesn’t necessarily merit great advice when it comes to your body or goals. They may know how to dress themselves and what they think is cute but it may not necessarily resonate with your body type or your personal goals. Although, it is affordable.
PERSONAL STYLIST – There are three types of personal stylists: the retail personal stylist like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, the online personal stylist like Stitch Fix or Keaton Row, and finally the professional personal stylist/image consultant like the business I run.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Retail Personal Stylist –Stylists at stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are great when you have a good grasp of your own sense of style and are able to articulate what you are looking for. These stylists are free and typically pull items that you are looking for and bring them to you in the fitting room. You can then decide whether or not you like them. The one thing to be cautious of when using a retail personal stylist, however, is that most of them are paid on commission and they also haven’t taken the time to get to know you at a deeper level. So be cautious and understand that they are sales representatives first and stylists second. If you love a particular store, they will make shopping there a breeze.
Online Personal Stylist –There has been a surge of online businesses that provide customers with a monthly subscription of boxes filled with clothes they might like assembled by a personal stylist. Companies such as Stitch Fix or Keaton Row provide such services. Typically what happens is you create an account online and fill out a survey with your size along with your likes. Then, a personal stylist will virtually curate a box that they believe will look good on you based on your survey. You pay a monthly fee and can return what you don’t like in your shipment. This can be great in finding new pieces and brands but still has a lack of personalization. For instance, they don’t know your personality, lifestyle, body and often times don’t even ask for a picture of you.
Personal Stylist/Image Consultant –If you are limited on time, don’t know where to begin, and budgeting isn’t your top concern… this is going to be your best option. As an image consultant myself, I can tell you that this type of stylist will really get in-depth on what your wants, needs and lifestyle is so we can cater your wardrobe to fit those categories. We help you create your own style and understand your body type. In many cases, not only do you get a new wardrobe that really fits your needs, but an education in dressing yourself properly. You learn what works for you and why.
Most professionals in this category will go to stores before you and hand select the best items for you and have them ready in a fitting room for you. The only down side to this is you will be going from store to store and fitting room to fitting room to find your new wardrobe. The Style Studio and other personal styling firms around the country take the process one step further and offer the VIP experience. After meeting with you in-depth on your needs, wants, lifestyle and challenges, we go through your closet ensuring that everything matches your first impression or we get rid of it. Then the best part is we go to 3-7 stores and buy everything you need and bring it back to our studio for you to try on. We call this one-stop shopping and personalize the experience for you with your favorite beverage and snacks. Once you’ve selected your favorite items, we even have an on site tailor so you don’t have to handle that later. (For more information on my personal services, visit www.keriblair.com).
I hope this post helps you understand what kind of personal stylists are out there and how they can help you look and feel your best everyday!