How to Pick a Personal Stylist + Recommendations
Fashion is for everyone. But sometimes it is overwhelming to know what to wear.
Influencers on social media are great because they provide a ton of content on trends and sales and provide a constant source of inspiration of what to wear. But how often have you been influenced to purchase something only to find when it arrives it looks completely different on you?
That is where an image consultant or a personal stylist can help. What you will spend in their services will have a direct and immediate ROI for your closet. With their help and guidance, you will spend more wisely and wear everything you buy because they will help you buy what looks best on you.
But it can also feel a little overwhelming when it comes time to pick a personal stylist. How do you know you will click with them. Will they make you throw out all your clothes (the answer is no). Will they listen to you and understand your style.
Over the years I have worked with a number of stylists - from in store sales consultants at Nordstrom to personal stylists for events or for revamping my wardrobe for my after baby body.
Since launching The Hanger Valet, I've had the good fortune of expanding my stylist network and have come to know some very impressive and talented stylists across the country.
With that in mind, I'm lending some advice on how to pick a personal stylist and recommendations on stylists you will love. A bonus is that a few of them are even able to work remotely so you can get to work on your after-Covid wardrobe plus make additions through the seasons and years ahead.
How to Pick a Personal Stylist
Determine Your Fashion Needs and Budget
Knowing your needs and how much you are comfortable spending will help you narrow in on a stylist and budget. Things to consider:
- Are you stuck in a rut and need some help amplifying your current style?
- Have you lost or gained some weight and need help defining and dressing your body architecture?
- Are you starting a new job and need to create a wardrobe quickly, on a budget and on a deadline?
- What is your all told budget for investing in your wardrobe? How much are you comfortable spending on an on-going basis for style advice?
Get Recommendations & Do Research
Turn to fashionable friends or sales associates at your favorite stores for advice.
- There is nothing like a recommendation from a stylish friend on who they use or would suggest.
- Some stores such as Nordstrom, JCrew, Anthropologie and more offer in-store consultants that earn a commission on sales but do not charge for stylist services. While you can quickly create a wardrobe this way, it could still leave you confused for shopping at other stores and with other brands.
- Sometimes sales associates moonlight as personal stylists and can work with you in that store as well as create looks from other complimenting stores.
Use Google and social media to help narrow in your demographic and geographic location.
- Google search terms like "personal stylist near me" or "personal stylist in (city)" to discover options.
- On social, use hashtags like #fashionover40, #fashionover50, #imageconsultant, #personalshopper, #fashionstylist, #clevelandfashion (or hashtag your region fashion), etc.
- Follow a few stylists that resonate with you on social media and see how they offer advice and tips. Do you align with their personality? Can you imagine being vulnerable and spending time with them?
- Sign up for their newsletters and get style advice delivered to your inbox.
- Look for testimonials on their website and social media pages.
Keep in mind that a stylist is dressing for themselves and their body type. If you align with the spirit of the stylists but not necessarily every item they wear, that is okay. If you hate everything about their style, then maybe they are not for you.
Give Them a Call
Most stylists I know value their time and how they spend it. So they are perfectly happy having an introduction call to determine if you and the stylist will be a good fit for each other.When you talk to them, ask how they work and charge.
- Do they charge by the hour, by the project or a hybrid?
- Do they markup clothing they pull?
- Do you meet them at the store or do they pull items and you try on in your home or at their office?
- Who makes returns of items if you've changed your mind?
- Do they have ongoing services or allow you to call or text them while you are shopping for yourself?
- Can they create lookbooks for you based on the items in your closet and the items you purchase?
- Do they have hair and makeup stylists they recommend if you've determined you are doing a mini-makeover?
The more clear you are about what you need and are looking for, the better they are able to help you create a wardrobe you will love to wear.
We've compiled a running list of some of our favorite image consultants and stylists from across the country, many of which can meet virtually. Take a look at their businesses, follow them on social and reach out to work with them if you think you are aligned in style. We promise it is one of the best investments you will make in your closet (next to a Hanger Valet, wink wink).
Hallie Abrams - The Wardrobe Consultant
Hallie Abrams is a fashion stylist, styling real people for real life in all shapes and sizes. As an independent stylist, she shops your closet first and then turns to department stores, boutiques, consignment, discount, online and brick and mortar stores to create a wardrobe that fits your lifestyle and your budget.
Kendra Bissig - The Blonde Mom
Kendra Bissig is a practical fashion stylist and personal shopper. She weaves high end items with discount and rental items to give her clients - both female and male - a well rounded wardrobe that they can wear for events, work or simply every day. Her high enthusiasm Instagram account will have you swooning over the coolest looks and laughing at the best memes.
Pat Gibson - The Artistry of You
As an image consultant and stylist, Pat Gibson is uniquely positioned to work with female clients to develop a consistent and powerful visual brand by building a strong sense of their personal style, coloring, body architecture, and wardrobe, so they can confidently show up every day for every occasion. Pat offers a number of packages but from experience, I recommend starting with a color analysis so your new and improved wardrobe is created from colors, patterns and textures that flatter you best.
Theodora Pace - ChachaOlivia
Theodora is uniquely positioned as a stylist given her area of study in psychology in education and a career in women's retail. She innately understands how anxious getting dressed can make women feel and helps to teach them what works best on their body type and how to shop for garments that fit and flatter.
She often starts by shopping a client's closet first then turns to retail to fill in the gaps with garments to create effortless and stylish outfits. She offers a variety of level of services and can grow with you long term with her Stylist In Your Pocket service where she delivers monthly outfits right to your device.
Iva Marie Creed - Styled by IMC