Hey ladies, happy Fri-YAY! Now when most people think of personal stylists or wardrobe consultants they immediately think of flawlessly dressed celebrities and wealthy moguls, but that simply isn’t the case anymore. With the rise in not only wanting but needing to look good, finding a personal stylist to fit your budget is a lot easier than you think! Today I’m starting a new mini series here on Lil Miss JB Style called the Ultimate Personal Stylist Guide because I’ve received a lot of questions about what exactly personal stylists do, how to choose one and of course how to get the most out of your sessions. So I’m partnering with four other Metro-Detroit area personal stylists to create a 4 part series debunking a lot of myths as well as answering FAQ about personal stylists.
Courtney: My mission is to show women that they can love their wardrobe AND look amazing everyday. Getting dressed does not need to be a stressful event, rather you should feel like you have the luxury of “shopping” your own closet. My job is to help my clients fall in love with their clothes all over again, discover new possibilities for how to wear what they own, and make smarter purchases to enhance their current wardrobe. Ultimately, it’s my job to help my clients feel confident in their image and what they are wearing everyday.
Dana: My main job is to inspire confidence and empower my clients by helping them to find a personal style that resonates with their tastes and lifestyle. I’m part organizer, part shopper, part stylist and some days, part therapist. It can be a very vulnerable experience for clients to allow someone into her closet—lots of emotions can emerge in that process. My job is to approach each client with kindness and a judge free attitude as we figure out what fits – and doesn’t fit – with one’s current stage of life, body type, and style aspirations. I also try and take an experience that can be stressful and make it fun and liberating.
Leah: Stylists wear many hats…literally. We bounce from being what the client wants to being artists, creators. At the end of the day, my job as a stylist is to make YOU feel good about YOU utilizing wardrobe and accessories. An effective stylist not only deals with the external physical factors of your body but the internal/mental as well. When I work with individuals, I like to make sure that the inner reflects the outer.
Grace: As a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant, my job is to help women appear and feel the best that they can about themselves.
2. Do you think that everyone should have or consult a personal stylist at least once in their life, why or why not?
Courtney: Of course everyone should have or consult with a personal stylist! 😉 The testimonials from my clients speak volumes to the benefit of having a professional go through your wardrobe and help you define your personal style.
Dana: Definitely. Even if you are confident in your style and your wardrobe, I think everyone can benefit from having an outsider come in and mix things up. Most of us tend to wear only a small percentage of our wardrobe the majority of the time. Having a different perspective is a great way to see all the creative ways to wear your wardrobe. It is invaluable to have an expert come in and show you the best shapes for your body type and what fits and what doesn’t fit (and why!). Even if you only hire a personal stylist once, you will learn tips that will forever change the way you shop and style yourself. Stylists provide an objective view based on your goals and your situation. Personal style is something you do everyday! So, having a coach from time to time is a great idea to help women feel and look their best!
Leah: I don’t think everyone individual on earth needs to consult with a personal stylist. I think that there are people who could benefit from a style consultation more than others.
Grace: Of course they should! The most obvious benefit is that a fresh set of eyes, especially those that are well trained and experienced, will help you see yourself as others do. Who you really are and what will or will not work for you. We can also see what you have in your wardrobe and advise you on what to keep and what might look better on someone else.
3. How do people benefit from having a personal stylist over using sites like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club?
Courtney: Truly, the benefit is the intense personal relationship that you build with your personal stylist when you are working together. The time you spend talking about your lifestyle, your wants and needs from your wardrobe, and the frustrations you may have about what to wear is so important to building a lasting professional connection. Also, having a stylist who knows the contents of your wardrobe, your life events, and you as a person makes their advice so much more relevant rather than a service that is suggesting items for you to buy based on an online quiz.
Dana: I definitely get the appeal of companies like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club. As someone who loves getting mail, there is something so exciting about surprise packages full of clothes showing up on your doorstep. I get it. But I have also spent a lot of money on impulse buys, poor quality trend items, and pieces that don’t seamlessly fit in with my style or wardrobe. These companies rely on trends and the adrenaline rush you feel over those new pieces, pushing you to keep something you might not really need or want. With style, I believe in a less is more approach. Quality pieces that fit who you are instead of the latest and greatest across the web. It starts by investing in a wardrobe that you really love and really fits. It takes thoughtfulness and time. With a personal stylist, you not only maximize your current wardrobe but you add quality pieces that really match your individual style, as well as receive the support of an expert to help you figure out what fits your specific body type. To me, it’s worth the investment.
Leah: I found several reasons how sites like these may not be helpful to every shopper. First, they’ve created standardized questions to ask everyone. From those standardized questions, the ‘system’ or ‘stylist’ miraculously figures out your style needs. You need a lot more than a few questions to pinpoint a person’s style. I just don’t think the accuracy is there. Secondly, the sites leave out plus-sizes. So if you’re plus-size then you’re basically out of the loop. Thirdly, these sites don’t factor in if the person knows how to put together or even mix & match the items that they are sent.
Grace: There is nothing like a personal one on one interaction. Any time you use a website you are subconsciously influencing the results. You can never be truly impartial when it comes to inputing information. A personal stylist has the ability to be both helpful and objective. This will in turn open new doors for our fashion sense. Plus they interact in real time; Which means they can improvise on the fly. If something isn’t working they will see it immediately. You’ll never be able to get that with a website.
4. What do you think is the biggest misconception about personal stylists?
Courtney: I’m sure I won’t be the only one who says this, but it’s not just a service for celebrities! Yes, it is very important for celebrities and those in the limelight to portray a certain image, and consequently they benefit from the services of having a stylist. I also think many view it as a luxury service, one that they may not be able to afford.
Dana: There are so many! First, as a potential client, that you have to love fashion or be up on what’s trendy to benefit. Or that you have to be rich or a celebrity to hire one. Or that your stylist is solely a personal shopper trying to push you to spend a lot of money. The majority of my clients are busy moms and professional women on a budget. They are more interested in feeling confident in their style than being up on the latest trends. My job is to help you hone in on your unique style and build confidence. Before I work with any client, we discuss our expectations – that includes budget and priorities. It’s a process that anyone can benefit from.
Leah: The biggest misconception is that personal stylists are only for celebrities or the wealthy. So far from the truth, stylists are for anyone who finds themselves needs a stylish boost!
Grace: The service won’t be able to answer your particular needs. A lot of people think the tips from personal stylists are not practical and can’t be used in their daily life. That couldn’t be further from the truth of course. Most stylists have had similar training as I have. We learn to identify body types and what works best with each. Also colors and patterns and how to keep them pleasing without clashing. We stylists make it our mission to keep up on the latest fashions and trends.
5. How does the everyday woman or man benefit from having a personal stylist?
Courtney: My goal is to help the everyday woman and man feel amazing in their own clothes, save them time worrying about what to wear, and save them money that would have gone to new purchases and now doesn’t have to. The confidence that comes from looking your best spills over in to all areas of your life. Everyone deserves to feel and look amazing.
Dana: The biggest benefit is to eliminate the stress associated with how your clothes look and feel while getting dressed every day. To avoid waking up, staring in your closet full of clothes, and thinking “I have nothing to wear!” Each client is different, but those benefits include sorting through and organizing your current closet, learning to shop smarter (or if you hate shopping, have me do it for you!), and learning how to style your clothes to maximize your entire wardrobe. Having a personal stylist is about empowering yourself to own what you wear instead of just wearing what you own. And everyone can benefit from that.
Leah: They’d benefit by having a professional guide them in the direction of new trends, but most importantly boost confidence and make them feel good about shopping and fashion.
Grace: Simply put, we help eliminate the guesswork. When you’re looking your best it naturally makes you feel more confident. And that shows through both at work and at play. When you look the part it’s easier to play the part. And after a while it just becomes natural for you. We’ve all heard the old saying “Dress for Success” and it’s true. You wouldn’t give yourself your annual physical or cut, color and style your own hair, so why not see a specialist to help you get better in something you do every single day of your life, getting dressed?
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming next month where we will discuss the different types of stylist and how to choose the best one for you!