It is my dream that someday soon everyone will work with a personal stylist at least once in there lifetime. Perhaps I am biased because I am a personal stylist but if you think about it, the idea isn’t completely far-fetched. A large part of the population has (at least once) worked with a personal trainer, has a hair stylist, gets their nails done by a manicurist, and the list of little self-care luxuries goes on. Why not add a personal stylist into the mix? After all we do save you a ton of money.
More and more people are hiring personal stylists – and no I am not talking about the rich and famous. Normal people just like you are investing in themselves by hiring a stylist.
If you are thinking about hiring a stylist, I suggest you do your research first because no two stylists are exactly the alike. I believe the client and the stylist have to click in order to make the relationship work. I’ve had situations in my career where I didn’t “click” with the client and that made for a less than enjoyable experience.
So before you fork over that hard-earned cash, ask your potential stylist these 5 questions …
You don’t have to have some fancy degree to work as a personal stylist but there are a ton of workshops, organizations, and work experiences available to personal stylists – and you’ll probably want a stylist that has partaken in some of that action. Hiring someone who “dresses cute” isn’t going to give the bang for buck like a stylist with credentials.
I have worked my butt off (4 years of fashion school, 1.5 years of interning for Hollywood stylists, studying under Stacy London from What Not to Wear, teaching others how to become stylists, and the list goes on) to get where I am today. And if I am being completely honest, it pisses me off when some street style blogger chick decides that she is suddenly a stylist too because everyone “likes” her pictures of her wearing the clothes. Knowing how to dress yourself doesn’t mean you know how to dress other people. Do your research and put your money into someone who cares about making you look like a million bucks.
Find out the type of clientele that the stylist typically works with. A great personal stylist can honestly style anyone but they will also have a specific niche where they really excel. Me for example, I work mainly with creative professional women in their 30s who are smart, funny, and talented. Some stylists work with teenagers, some with older wealthy women. Find out if you fit your stylists mold and if you don’t, ask yourself if you are still comfortable working with that stylist (a lot of times the answer is yes).
Different stylists offer different services. Some like to shop with their clients, some without. There are stylists who are all about getting rid of your old clothes and replacing them with new and others will re-style looks using the existing pieces in your closet. Get a menu of services they provide and if you don’t see what you like ask them if they do custom packages. Again, it has to be a fit. Don’t settle because it will effect your experience.
Stylists typically charge in two ways, through custom packages or by the hour (sometimes both ways). Get a clear picture on what they charge before proceeding. You can expect an experienced stylist to charge anywhere from $100-$500 per hour. It may seem like a lot but the work that goes into crafting your look is no easy task. If your stylist does charge by the hour, get an estimate on how much the entire project will cost.
Styling packages are the way that I roll because I don’t want my clients watching the clock (and their checkbook). Ask your potential stylist what is included in the package and how much they charge if you go beyond what is outlined in your contract.
This might be the most important question to ask: what is your styling philosophy? Sounds corny but, to me, its the most important part. Why does your stylist do what she goes? If it’s because “she loves to shop” it might be time to move on to the next prospect. Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop but the reason I style is because I genuinely believe that clothing gives people power. Women (and men) should be able to kick ass in life and their clothing is one of many tools in their tool kit to get them there. I love working with smart and powerful women (and the occasional dude too) because they motivate and inspire me through what they do and I hope to do the same for them through what I do.