Last Thursday I was at a business networking event by Corey Perlman of eBoot Camp (www.ebootcamp.com... check it out!) and during a short break I made a visit to the ladies' room.  From the stall next to me I heard a woman say, "I know what I want for Christmas."   Curiosity peaked, I waited for a reply. "What?" her friend responded.

"A belt," she answered, "mine is falling apart."

From another stall I heard a woman say, "Christmas is an awfully long time to wait for a belt."   (I couldn’t agree more.)

To this the young woman replied, "I'm too lazy to get it myself."

While this little bathroom exchange may have seemed insignificant to the other ladies in the room, it made a bell go off in my head.  It occurred to me that maybe not everyone knows that there is such a thing as a personal stylist, or maybe they think it's only for the rich and famous.  Not so! 

There are many terms out there that all refer to pretty much the same thing: personal stylist, wardrobe consultant, image consultant, fashion stylist, and more.  However generally speaking a good personal style consultant (see there’s another one!)  offers many different services and can usually tailor those services to meet your needs and budget.  Here is what they can do for you:

  • Clean out your closet

"One day I'm gonna wear it!"  No you're not.  It's just taking up space in your closet and mocking you every time you look at it.  Your very own wardrobe consultant will help you let go of items that take up space and bring you down.

  • Define your style

Variety is the spice of life.  A good personal (emphasis on the “personal”) stylist should help you define a style that lets people get a sense of your personality through your appearance.  I would never want my clients to look like clones; I want each of them to feel their individual best.

  • Build a functional wardrobe

By functional I mean that your clothing and accessories should be flattering, versatile and meet the needs of your lifestyle.  If your work environment is business casual do you really need 5 suits?  No.  Your consultant should help you identify the items you need to meet the needs of your life as well as the proper silhouettes and colors to most accentuate your attributes.

  • Personal shopping

Some people love shopping, some people would rather pull their toenails out with tweezers.  (At least that’s how one of my clients put it when we first met.)  A personal stylist can either serve as training wheels by going shopping with you and teaching you how to shop for the best items for you.  Or they can be a huge time saver and bring items to you at your convenience.  For example, the young woman in the bathroom really needn’t wait another 6 months for a belt when she can have options, all her size and flattering to her figure, brought right to her.

As far as cost goes, there are different rates out there but most style consultants charge by the hour, which makes it easy to stay to a budget.  Don’t be afraid to tell your consultant that you only want a certain number of hours and ask them to define what can be accomplished in that time frame.  I’ve lost potential clients because the time they needed was longer than what they were willing to spend, but I would rather be honest than have them go over budget or not achieve their goals.  And just for the record, in case you watch the show, some of us are much nicer than Stacy and Clinton on “What Not to Wear”! 

Got questions?  Clothing conundrums?  Style emergencies?  Please comment on my blog or email me at: Jodi@stylesuccess.net

Thanks for reading!