There are so many things to consider when you’re looking to hire a personal stylist:
- You’re going to want to make sure that the stylist you choose to work with will be able translate your requirements and preferences into a style that not only suits you but looks like you want to look.
- You want us to be able to turn your vision into a reality, to do that within your budget, at a pace of change that you’re comfortable with,
- And you don’t want to feel pressured to purchase clothes you’ll feel too afraid to wear once you get them home.
Add to this the fact that you might feel a little intimidated about working with a stylist (one of my clients was gifted a session with me for her birthday but was so nervous that it took her a year to book in with me) and you’ve got yourself quite a few obstacles to overcome!
But I don’t want you stop at the first hurdle because I know from first hand experience just how much of a positive impact working with a stylist can have on your life. In the words of some of my clients: “it was enjoyable and empowering’, “I feel so much more confident”, “it made a major difference to my self-esteem and has made me walk much taller”, It wasn’t just wardrobe transforming, it was life transforming”.
I want YOU to experience the same kind of transformation! I want you to know how it feels to open up your closet each morning and feel happy and excited about the outfit you’re going to wear, and I want you to feel confident wearing it.
I’ve quelled numerous worries and have answered hundreds of questions from clients over the past 12 years and, in a bid to help you overcome any worries you might have about working with a personal stylist, I’m sharing my answers to the most common, along with some tips to help you find the right stylist for you.
THE ANSWERS TO THE TOP QUESTIONS AND WORRIES YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT WORKING WITH A PERSONAL STYLIST
1/ I’M WORRIED I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD THE ITEMS THE PERSONAL STYLIST CHOOSES FOR ME, AND THAT I’D FEEL OBLIGATED TO BUY STUFF
It’s the job of the personal stylist to source what you need within your budget, and a good stylist won’t try to push you over this and should help you to whittle down the selection until it comes within budget. At the end of the day you should get the last word, and if at any time you feel like you’re being bullied into buying something you need to communicate this to your stylist!
TIP: If you decide you want to set budget, it’s a good idea to inform the stylist of your budget and ask them what measures they have in place to prevent you spending an amount you’re uncomfortable with. And, once you’ve discussed what you’re shopping for – ask the stylist to give you a rough estimate of what it might cost to purchase everything. This will help you to stick to your budget and it gives you the opportunity to make sure the stylist is creating the collection with your budget in mind, before any clothes are sourced.
2/ I ALWAYS HAVE DIFFICULTY PUTTING OUTFITS TOGETHER, HOW WILL THIS BE ANY DIFFERENT?
The role of a personal stylist is to pull together a collection of clothes that not only fit you and your brief, but that mix and match well to provide you with a whole host of outfits. Throughout the process your stylist should talk to you about why they picked the clothes they did and they should not only show you how they go together but explain WHY they go together. You should walk away from the session with a good understanding of how to mix and match each piece, as well as how you might integrate them into your current collection back at home.
TIP: If shopping in person with a stylist, consider photographing yourself in each outfit (some stylists will do this for you) so you have something to refer back to once you’re left to your own devices. If shopping online, the stylist should illustrate how the items mix and match when they present your collection to you.
3/ HOW DO I KNOW THE STYLIST ISN’T TRYING TO SELL ME THE CLOTHES THEY MAKE THE MOST COMMISSION ON?
In my opinion a personal stylist worth their salt will be entirely independent from retails and not be affiliated to any brands. They should be working for you and have your best interest at heart. As soon as there is an incentive for them to source you clothing from a particular brand they are no longer independent, and you can’t guarantee that the clothes they source you will be sourced purely on the basis that they are the best clothes for you.
TIP: Before you hire a personal stylist, ask them if they are independent, or if they are affiliated to any brands and work on commission.
4/ WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T LIKE THE THINGS THE STYLIST PICKS FOR ME?
If the stylist has done their homework and asked you the right questions there will be far less of a chance that this will be an issue, but make sure you pose this question to the stylist. I can almost guarantee that they will have been asked this question many times before, and that they will have a process in place to mitigate this. For example, as well as the in depth questionnaire that I ask all clients to fill in, I make a point keeping my client in the loop throughout the process – sharing a style mood board (if requested) to illustrate the look and feel of the proposed collection, informing the client of my proposed shopping list and regularly updating them on the progress.
TIP: While you’re trying the items on, make sure that you are as open an honest with your stylist as possible. A good stylist won’t take it personally if you don’t like something, or aren’t sure about something – they will want you to walk away with a collection of clothes that you love, and the best way to ensure that happens is for you to be honest with them.
BONUS TIP: One point to consider when you’re trying on your items is that the stylist will most probably have chosen some clothes that you would never normally consider. But don’t let that put you off them, often, it’s the pieces that my client likes the least on the hanger, that become her favorite items in the collection. And if you try something on and aren’t sure about it, stay in it a few minutes and ask yourself whether the issue is that you don’t like it, or that it’s different from what you’re used to. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get used to something new!
5/ I’M WORRIED THAT THE STYLIST WON’T CREATE THE LOOK I WANT AND WILL WANT ME TO FIT IN WITH THEIR IDEAS OF WHAT WOULD WORK
This is probably one of the biggest concerns clients have, but a good stylist won’t impost their style on you and should be able to leave their style preferences at the door. When I’m working with a client I have a very comprehensive questionnaire that we go through that asks everything from your sizes to what you do, what a typical day looks like for you, how you feel about your current style, what you wish your outfits said about you, what you’re passionate about, what your hobbies are etc… The stylist should be guided by you and focus on dressing you in the pieces that not only suit you but that suit your lifestyle and style preferences.
TIP: Read testimonials from past clients. This is a great way to get a feel for whether the stylist has a ‘look’ that they stick to, or whether they take the time effort to gather pieces that suit their individual clients. Another tip is to check out their social media profiles and see if you like their personal style or share the same philosophy.
6/ I’M NERVOUS ABOUT DOING THIS!
This is totally normal! Most new clients initially experience some nervousness – Not only are you putting your style and budget in the hands of someone else, you are opening yourself up to change. Our brains are hardwired to resist things that make us feel uncomfortable or that scare us. It’s their way of protecting us and conserving energy…because making changes is hard work! Anyone who is trying to force a change or learn a new habit will go through this but stay strong and keep a vision of how much better your life could be if you stick with it.
I recommend chatting to the stylist on the phone, or via email, to get a feel for how friendly, knowledgeable, non judgemental, and encouraging they are. Many of us are nothing like the stereotypical ‘fashion person’ that’s painted in the media, and want you to develop your style at a pace that is right for you.
TIP: Inform the stylist of how much change you’re your comfortable with, on a scale of 1 – 5 for example.
7/ I WORRY THE STYLIST WILL DRESS ME IN WHAT’S IN FASHION. I DON’T WANT TO LOOK MUMMSY OR OLD FASHIONED, BUT NOT FASHION LED EITHER…
It should not be the stylists priority to dress you head to toe in the latest trends (unless, of course, that’s what you want!). In my opinion, it’s the job of a stylist to gather together a collection of clothes that suit YOU, make you feel good about yourself, that create outfits and looks that fit your lifestyle and that will last…and we all know that fashion items date quickly. Ideally, your stylist will be able to create a mix of staples and fun on trend pieces that blend to create an authentic style that looks contemporary.
Have a conversation with your stylist and make sure she knows how ‘fashiony’ you want to go. If building a collection of clothes that lasts you for years is your priority, make sure you communicate that.
TIP: Do your research and look for stylists who talk about creating a style that is individual and authentic as opposed to one that talks about being on trend and in fashion. Scroll through their Instagram feed and stories and if it looks like their priority is wearing the latest trends, maybe they’re not the stylist for you.
8/ I WORRY THAT HIRING A PERSONAL STYLIST IS UN-CREATIVE AND THAT I’LL END UP LOOKING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
It’s the stylists job to turn your vision into a reality, and if standing out from the crowd, and being unique, is important to you then you need to communicate this with the stylist before you hire them. Some people like to fit in, like to have a uniform that links them to a tribe or community. Others prefer not to. A good stylist will be able to do both and should spend time getting to know the client, understanding their unique style and asking you questions such as – what you wish your outfits said about you, what’s important to you and what you’re passionate about etc… One of the things I love the most about being a personal stylist is giving my clients the ability to turn their individuality into a personal style that represents them!
TIP: Read through testimonials to get a feel for whether previous clients felt the stylist had taken their interests and style preferences into account or whether they felt they were a carbon copy.
9/ I’M NERVOUS THAT I’LL END UP WITH A WARDROBE FULL OF REALLY COOL CLOTHES THAT I’M TOO AFRAID TO WEAR
A good stylist will guide you through your transformation at a pace that is right for you and, if they’ve taken steps above, then they should have no trouble sourcing you a collection of clothes that you can’t wait to wear!
TIP: Have a think about how radical a change you would be comfortable with and make sure you communicate that to your stylist. Give them a number that’s comfortable with you on a scale of 1-5 (1 being no risk, 5 being very risky)
10/ I WORRY IT’S A LONG PROCESS, WHEREAS I WOULD JUST WANT SOMEONE TO VERY QUICKLY FIGURE OUT WHAT I NEED AND SEND ME A LIST OF WHAT TO BUY AND HOW TO STYLE IT! – MINIMAL EFFORT.
In this instance, I think online styling would be the way forward. It’s simple, straightforward, and can be done from the comfort of your own home! Not all online shopping services are the same but, in general, you’d fill in a questionnaire and the stylist would use that to source you a collection of clothes online. They’d then illustrate the collection in some form of look-book or catalogue, containing direct links to purchase the items, along with tips on styling the pieces and outfit suggestions. So all you’d have to do is order what you want and have it delivered direct to your home, where you can try everything on in comfort.
So there you have it! Those are the most common questions and worries I get asked, but if you have any that I haven’t addressed here, get in touch and let me know!
And if you’re wondering what questions you might want to ask a personal stylist before you make the decision to hire them, head on over to this post: THE 8 MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK A PERSONAL STYLIST BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM