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 them 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 I set up a survey to find out what obstacles were preventing people from hiring a personal stylist, 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 make sure you find the right stylist to guide you through your transformation. (Side note, my survey is still live, so if any of your concerns aren’t addressed here, click here to take my survey!)
HOW TO OVERCOME THE BIGGEST WORRIES YOU HAVE ABOUT HIRING 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 stylist to spend your money wisely and most stylists will be mindful of this while working with you but it doesn’t do any harm to ask them what measures they have in place to prevent you spending an amount you’re uncomfortable with. Before you start working together, inform the stylist of your budget and, once you’ve discussed what you’re shopping for, ask them to give you a rough estimate of what it might cost to purchase everything on the list. This will give you the opportunity to check the stylist is creating a collection to suit your budget before any clothes are sourced.
Tip: Remember, 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 be able to guide you towards a collection that provides you with what you need, 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!
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 perfectly, but that mix and match well, easily, so getting dressed is a breeze and enjoyable! A good stylist will educate you throughout the entire process but if you feel yourself getting confused or lost at all, encourage her to explain to you:
- Why she chose these particular items for you
- Why certain styles flatter you so well (and why others may not)
- Where you can wear the items, what they’re suitable for
- How the items can be worn together (and why certain combinations work so well)
- How they can be dressed up or down
- How they can be accessorized
- How you might integrate them into your current collection
You should walk away from the session feeling empowered to effortlessly and confidently mix and match each piece to create all the outfits you need, and that you can’t wait to wear!
TIP: If shopping in person with a stylist, and she doesn’t photograph your outfits for future reference, do it yourself so you have something to refer back to once you’re left to your own devices. If shopping online, make sure the stylist illustrates how the items mix and match when they present your collection to you.
3/ HOW DO I KNOW THE STYLIST WON’T TRY TO SELL ME THE CLOTHES THEY MAKE THE MOST COMMISSION ON?
If this is something that you’re worried about about then I highly recommend you ask the stylist if they are independent, or if they are in any way affiliated to any brands before you hire them. If a stylist is connected to, or works with, a brand then there is an incentive for them to sell you a particular type of clothing. In my opinion, a personal stylist worth their salt should be entirely independent from retailers as this gives them the freedom to source the best items for YOU and enables them to provide you with the best service possible.
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.
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.
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, be open to trying on everything in the collection as, often, it’s the pieces that my client likes the least on the hanger, that become her favorite items in the collection.
BONUS TIP: If you try an item on 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 people have when they’re thinking about hiring a stylist and is another subject I think is important to talk about with the stylist before you hire them. A good stylist won’t impost their style on you, they will be able to leave their style preferences at the door and focus on dressing you in the pieces that not only suit you and your shape, but that suit your lifestyle and style preferences. To help put your mind at ease ask the stylist what measures they have in place to make sure you can effectively communicate what you want to achieve. And be sure to read testimonials from their 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.
TIP: If you still have concerns, check out their social media profiles and see if you like their personal style or whether you share the same philosophy. If not, you might want to keep searching.
6/ I’M NERVOUS ABOUT DOING THIS!
This is totally normal! You’re worried that you won’t like what the stylist chooses, that she won’t understand what you want to look like, that your body shape is like no other she’s come across before, that she’ll be bossy or bully you into buying clothes you don’t really want. You are putting your style and budget in the hands of someone else, and are opening yourself up to change. It’s a vulnerable position to be in and our brains are hardwired to resist things that make us feel uncomfortable, or that scare us, it’s their way of protecting us!
I recommend speaking to the stylist and discussing your worries with them, most stylists are nothing like the stereotypical ‘fashion person’ painted in the media, they’re friendly and very non-judgemental…and we totally understand that most new clients experience some nervousness initially. A quick chat over the phone or Skype (or via email if you’re feeling particularly nervous) will help put your mind at ease.
TIP: Try to stay strong and remind yourself why you’re starting this journey and what your life will look like once you’ve completed it. With the right guide you’ll come out the other end more confident and will be the proud owner of a collection of clothes you can’t wait to wear!
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…
Wearing outdated pieces will age you so there is merit in incorporating the trends into your personal style, however, it will not be the stylists priority to dress you head to toe in the latest trends (unless, of course, that’s what the client says she wants!) as their objective is to create an individual look for you…and slavishly following the trends is not unique!
Do your research and look for stylists who talk about creating a style that is individual and authentic, as opposed to one who prioritizes trends and strives to be in fashion. And once you’ve found someone who shares your ethos, make sure she knows how ‘fashiony’ you want to be and, if building a timeless collection of clothes is your priority, make sure you communicate that.
An experienced stylist will keep abreast of the latest trends and will have the knowledge to adapt them to suit you and your lifestyle so you build a genuine and classic yet contemporary collection of clothes.
TIP: Scroll through their Instagram feed and stories and if it looks like their priority is wearing and shopping 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.
This is one of the biggest myths surrounding personal stylists. It’s the stylists job to turn your vision into a reality and most thrive on turning their clients individuality into a personal style that reflects that! An experienced personal stylist will have honed their detective skills over the years and will be adept at uncovering exactly what it is you want to achieve so they can help you develop a style that truly reflects your unique personality, individuality and lifestyle, but if standing out from the crowd and being unique is important to you then I recommend that you ask the stylist who they typically work with, and request testimonials to back this up. I also suggest taking some time to figure out what you want your style to be so you can articulate it effectively to the stylist. Think about things like:
- What do you wish your outfits said about you?
- What’s important to you?
- What are you passionate about?
TIP: Do a little reconnaissance, spend some time on their social media profiles and blog (if they have one) and see if you can personally relate to their style. If not, keep looking.
9/ I’M NERVOUS THAT I’LL END UP WITH A WARDROBE FULL OF REALLY COOL CLOTHES THAT I’M TOO AFRAID TO WEAR
Most personal stylists strive to empower their clients to effortlessly and confidently build a closet of clothes that they can’t wait to wear, and they know that if they guide you through your transformation at a pace that is right for you, the life changing effects will be lasting.
We’ve all seen the makeovers on the TV where the stylist takes their subject through a dramatic change in a matter of days, only for them to return to their old style habits a month or so later. Everyone is different, and as such their pace of change need to be tailored to suit, and an experienced personal stylsit will know this.
TIP: Have a think about how radical a change you would be comfortable with. Be honest with yourself and mark it on a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being no risk, 5 being very risky) and then make sure you communicate that to your stylist so they know how far they can take you out of your comfort zone.
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!