How to find the best personal stylist for you

Need help with your wardrobe but don’t know who to turn to? Find out how to find the best personal stylist for you.

“I just want to feel more confident and less frumpy.” This is the most common phrase I hear when I meet with women for their first initial chat with me.  

However I know feeling this way and reaching out, is something they have thought about for a long time and this chat maybe the big step forward toward making a change, after lots of little steps. 

Choosing the right personal stylist can feel like a bit of a minefield. It is an area which has in the past few years become quite heavily saturated with lots of fabulous men and woman wanting to help others feel good in what they wear.

We all have different approaches, experience, services and style. Which is why when choosing one of these fabulous people to work with, the process can seem very overwhelming and you end up sitting on the fence for a while, not actually choosing anyone. 

It is for this very reason that I want to help you choose the right one, to get you off that fence and feeling good again. So, in this article I am going to outline for you the key things to look out for when looking for a personal stylist, so hopefully you can make those small steps forward too.

What’s your style goal?

To start, you need to decide what it is you want from your personal stylist. It is really important to have a good think about how you want to feel at the end of your session with them.

Are you at a new stage of your life, moving into a different phase, kids left home or certain birthday milestone and want to embrace a ‘new me, new look’ style?

Or is this something you are doing to give you more confidence. Stepping a little out of your comfort zone very gently in the hope they will nudge you a little further and discover something in you that you had forgotten about?

Are you already feeling pretty body confident but want someone to show you new trends, looks and break your style rut? 

Understanding how you want to feel and the style goal you have for yourself will ultimately allow you to get the best out of your personal stylist. They will be able to interpret these goals and apply their skills and knowledge to help you achieve it.

What do you want from your session?

Now you know how you want to feel, what do you want on a practical level? Do you want to feel more confident in knowing what looks good on you? Do you want someone to help you shop for a whole new wardrobe, show you the new trends for the season?

Do you want someone to actually help you edit your wardrobe, tidy it up and take it away?Is it more about colour analysis that floats your boat? You want to know exactly what colours suit you and which ones don’t?

Have a think about basically what isn’t working for you anymore on a practical level, this will help you manage and communicate your own expectations and needs when you start working with your personal stylist. 

How to research the right personal stylist for you

Once you know how you want to feel and physically what you need practically it is time to start researching the right person to help you. Here are four places to look.

1) Ask for recommendations

You may feel self conscious about admitting you want to work with a Personal Stylist and not want to ask around directly, but personal recommendations from friends or acquaintances are one of the best ways to find services. 

You trust your friends, colleagues or family and if they have already purchased a service from this person and had a good experience then you are more likely to take their testimonial on board than that of a stranger.

2) Check stylists out on social media

When you have a few names of stylists, check them out on social media. Any personal stylist worth their salt should have some kind of presence on social media. It may be Facebook or Instagram it maybe both. It may LinkedIn or even Tik Tok. 

Whatever it is dive right in. Look at their content, is it clear and up to date? When did they last post? Do they have any testimonials from previous clients?

Watch any videos they share. Do you like their persona? The way they come across? Do you relate to their message, what they have to say and how they say it? 

Their own personal style may not necessarily be floating your boat but that’s not a deal breaker. Remember….‘Style is showing who you are without having to speak’. They are interpreting their own style to reflect their personality and could be very good at doing the same for you, so don’t discredit them if you don’t like the way their wear their shirt!

That said, you do need to ask yourself, aside from your opinion on their shirt, if they are a good representation for their brand, an appropriate advertisement for their services so to speak.  Essentially, do they look stylish!?

3) Check out Google

The natural step from social media is to search on Google. You may have a specific personal stylist you are looking for, or maybe you are browsing for names. If you are, type in these searches and see who comes up:

  • Personal stylist near me 
  • Online personal shopper 
  • Personal shopper

Pick three of your favourites from the results that come up. What is their Google profile like? Do they even have one to start with!? Is it up to date, are there any pictures? 

Most importantly are there any reviews or testimonials? If so, devour them. Check out the age of the person writing the review, the dilemma they had and how the personal Sstylist fixed it. Can you relate to them?

4) Visit their website

When you find a stylist you like, visit their website. Do you like it? Is it comprehensive and easy to use? And can you find what you are looking for? These are the top three things I would recommend you look for when browsing their website:

  1. About me: Their about me page is where you should get a good sense of your stylist, their tone of voice, who they are and their background. How much experience have they had? Have they been a personal stylist for long? Is there something in personal life or experience that connects with you?
  2. Services: Hopefully they have a comprehensive outline of the services they offer. Is there something on there that ticks one of the goals you had? Ideally you want your Personal Stylist to offer many different services, so that over time they can continue to support you on your style journey.
  3. Blogs: Blogs are another great way to get a real understanding of the kind ‘brand ethos’ of the Personal Stylist. What their beliefs are, their passions, are they aware of sustainability within the industry? What the kind of message are they trying to get across. .

I would recommend at this stage signing up to their newsletter (if there is the option) to continue that initial journey with them, see what else they have to offer and maybe learn more about them. Then sit tight for a couple of weeks.

Assuming if there are a couple of stylists you have liked and followed, in that time you should see some of their content and be able to keep up to date with what they post.

Time to toe dip

Once you have devoured their online content I would suggest maybe taking a small step further in getting to know them a little better. This could be signing up for a masterclass, downloading a freebie or anything similar that they offer.

Also check out if they are hosting or talking at any events, doing workshops near to you. This is good way to see the stylist in action, potentially meet them and decide if they are right for you.

Book a taster session

Many personal stylists (me included, c’mon I had to say something about myself!) Have the option to book a ‘Style Taster’ call.

A no-obligation call which usually last from 15-30 minutes (mine are 20 but will usually run over… well we have a lot to talk about!) and this is where the time you took to understand your goals and challenges can really help. 

As you are clear about what you want, you can maximise that free time with them to really understand if they can help you. 

Take lots of notes, always ask for a follow up email (if they don’t already offer) outlining the service you are interested in, costs etc.

See how well they listen

This sounds silly and maybe obvious but the key to being a good personal stylist is listening; understanding your clients so you can really help them.

Now you may have found they didn’t really talk a lot about themselves, but they listened quite intently, made lots of notes and asked quite inquisitive questions. 

Alternatively you could have got on like a house on fire… chatted easily the whole time, felt like you could happily go for a coffee with them, but didn’t really see them write down very much or ask you any questions about your actual style dilemma. But they did ask questions about you and your lifestyle.

At this point you need to go with who you truly connected with. Did you feel that they were approachable, friendly, down-to-earth and passionate? Could you be relaxed and totally at ease in their company?

Everyone is different. Everyone connects in their own way and the way you connect with your stylist is one of the fundamental parts of having a successful styling experience. 

I will always encourage my clients to talk to the other stylists at the initial stages. This is because I want them to make the right and best decision for them. 

I truly want each client I work with to have the best experience possible and despite all that intention if we do not connect and they do not feel like they can be real and honest with me, then I know that experience will not be the best it can be.

Don’t be afraid to continue the conversation after that call if you are still not sure.
Ask more questions, read more testimonials or if it is from a recommendation go back and speak to them about your concerns.

Make sure they offer value for money

Now I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the elephant in the room: money and cost. 

Working with a personal stylist is what marketers call a ‘considered’ purchase. This means it is generally not an impulse, quick click, buy it and off we go kind of purchase.

Which totally makes sense, and links back to my point that you have to consider who you want to work with. You have to take the time to get to know the personal stylist because generally you are paying a higher price, certainly more than the late night click and buy, Amazon delivery that is on its way! 

Which brings me on to another point.

Why cheap doesn’t always mean value for money

Don’t necessarily be lured by the cheaper price points, as this rarely will be the best option. If someone is offering services below the market rate, then this could mean they are struggling for business. Or they could be a newbie, in which case be kind and be prepared for it to not be as smooth.  

If you value experience then be prepared to pay a bit more. By experience I mean both the experience you will have and the actual industry experience of the personal stylist.

Have they worked in the fashion industry for long or at all? Have they got any experience of style/ fashion outside of being a personal stylist?

These factors may not be important at all if you connect well with them, but it is always something to be mindful of when doing your research. 

Do you get any extras? Think about the experience you will have, are they maximising that opportunity for you. Have a look through the service offering or their follow up email from your initial consultation. Have they suggested or offered any additional perks or nice little extras as part of the service you are interested in?

This could be a take-away colour card or even your bespoke style guide but all these little extras just increase the value of the service. 

Are there any follow-up offers too? Do you have ways to keep in touch with your stylist after the service, are they easily accessible?

Building a relationship with your stylist is so important, as I have said throughout, you need to feel like you can be honest and feel comfortable with them enough to share your body insecurities, so accessibility is so key.

Check where they are located and whether they work online

Now let’s be honest, the pandemic has changed how we view online services. Where we were once limited by location we are now able to virtually meet whomever or visit wherever in the world! 

Which has of course, opened the Zoom doors to us meeting and working with people we would have otherwise not had access too. As a result, many personal stylists offer online services which can vary from a mini-consultation to a full wardrobe edit and personal shopping experience. 

If you have filtered down to your two or three favourites see if they are online. Their service options maybe cheaper than face-to-face which may help affordability if that is holding you back.

Alternatively online may be the only way you can work with this particular stylist due to location and distance from them.

Online resources and consultations can be just as effective as face to face and may also allow you to build your service experience with the stylist at a slower pace.

Ready to find the perfect personal stylist for you?

So there we go! Hopefully you have found this useful and it will allow you to either hope off that fence and move forward with a personal stylist you like or given you knowledge on how to look for one when the time feels right. 

While we’re here and you have read my blog, I am assuming dug a little deeper into my website and maybe looked on my social media?

Yes? Fabulous! Well next step, take that toe dip… book your free Style Taster call with me and let’s get chatting! I look forward to hearing your style goals and seeing how we can potentially work together to achieve those (and more). Alternatively sign up to my newsletter and get to know me a bit better first!

Alice Nichol is a fashion stylist based in Bournemouth, Dorset, and the founder of Buddy & Noo. her aim is to help women discover their own unique style and grow their confidence through their wardrobes in an easy and sustainable way.