How to choose a Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper Part 1
Personal Styling is now a more recognised concept, in the advent of Trinny & Susannah advising us on What Not To Wear, Gok Wan teaching us How to Look Good Naked and 10 Years Younger. Although in the real world there are no 3D mirrors, glamorous photo shoots or invasive surgery, the general principle is the same – helping people to look and feel their absolute best.
However, who you choose to give you a Fashion Makeover is a big decision and therefore one you need to make carefully.
Whatever has prompted your search for a Personal Stylist (e.g. new mum struggling with her post baby figure and/or wardrobe, getting older but not sure how to evolve your look, wardrobe full but seemingly have nothing to wear etc.), you need to choose a Personal Stylist you can trust to achieve the best results for you.
There are three steps to selecting a personal stylist &/or personal shopper:
Step 1: Objective
Establish exactly what you’re discontent with, what don’t you like about your look/wardrobe/shopping habits? Why doesn’t it work for you?
Step 2: Research
Compare the service offering and pricing and pull together a shortlist of Personal Stylists / Personal Shoppers in your local area.
Step 3: Enquiry
Engage with the Personal Stylists you’re considering, to ensure the service is right for your needs but more so that the Personal Stylist is right for you.
As you go through this process there are a range of criteria to consider – there’s probably more to think about than you may at first believe. In fact when I sat down to write this I didn’t expect to have to divide the post into two parts to make it more easily digestible! However, I didn’t want to miss anything out so that you can choose a personal stylist or personal shopper wisely.
Are they a good personality fit for you?
Be sure they are going to deliver a service in a manner that is right for you? Are they approachable, friendly, down-to-earth and passionate – ultimately you should enjoy your experience and feel totally at ease in the company of the Personal Stylist (rather than be intimidated by their knowledge and experience!) I’d recommend phoning a stylist to get a sense of whether they are a good fit for you. Talk through your needs – they should be able to advise you accordingly but also reassure you as to how they can help you.
Ultimately, it’s a two way process – you are working together. It’s not just the Personal Stylist doing their thing. Do you feel at ease talking to them? Are you able to communicate well? Judge them on their response to your requirements and situation.
Some stylists will have video on their site or on YouTube so you’ll be able to get an idea for their personality from that. After all, you are going to be spending several hours together on something very personal so you want to be sure.
The best sessions feel like shopping with a friend – one who just happens to be able to help you with your personal style!
How experienced are they?
You are putting a lot of faith in this Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper for something that is very important to you – so do check how experienced they are. How many years have they been working in the personal styling? Have they had professional training – was it a vocational hands-on, practical course or just a correspondence course? Do they have a real aptitude for Personal Styling? Which brings me to my next point…
Do they look GREAT?
If you go to the hairdresser you look at their hair. If you are having a makeup lesson you check out the artist’s own make up. The same applies with choosing a Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper. Do they look like the living embodiment of what they offer in a good or bad way?
Think about what you want to achieve in your session. For example, if you are interested in Colour Analysis are the photos on their website proof that they can mix and match colours well? Or are they just dressed in black or white? Similarly if you want to dress a challenging body shape flatteringly have they managed to achieve that with their own look? (Assuming they aren’t a lucky blighter who doesn’t need to!)
This doesn’t mean that they have to be dressed in a look that matches your style – a skilled personal stylist and personal shopper who listens to their brief will be able to reflect a client’s style personality – but they should look like they know a thing or two!
Don’t be shy – if there’s little evidence on the website (or just a head and shoulder’s shot) then ask them to send you some photos of them in a range of outfits.
What is their approach?
There’s a lot to take in whether you are considering a Personal Styling, Personal Shopping or Wardrobe Styling session so will the stylist’s approach suit your style of learning? Will it be delivered in a manner that will ensure you follow and do what you have learnt? One way to check this is if you speak to them on the phone – when they talk through what will happen in your potential session was it easy to follow or did they use jargon that wasn’t clear to you?
Look out for How to Choose a Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper: Part 2 where I’ll share 7 more tips on how to make the right decision about your Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper.
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