What is a personal stylist? What do they really do? Do I actually need one? How expensive are they? Are they worth it?
Let’s break it down.
A personal stylist is simply a person who advises.
They advise you on your current wardrobe, new fashion trends, personal styles, and body type. They identify gaps in your wardrobe and formulate a specific plan for your style needs. Rest assured that their main focus is you—not a label or brand.
There’s a difference between a personal stylist and a fashion stylist.
A fashion stylist is typically brand-focused. They cultivate looks for public appearances and photo shoots for the wealthy or celebrities.
A personal stylist will focus on helping you take back your wardrobe—to feel confident in your clothes, whether it’s from the PX, Target, or Neiman Marcus.
You may be thinking, “Is this service out of my league?”
The truth may shock you. No, it isn’t out of your league.
Personal stylists are no longer only for the rich and famous.
They’re being hired daily by “real people”—you know, people like you and me. The military spouse who wants to elevate her look. The stay-at-home mom who doesn’t want to live in gym gear anymore. The teacher on a budget. The startup entrepreneur who’s booking meetings. The church leader who speaks in public and motivates others—it’s for anyone and everyone looking to update their day-to-day look.
Let’s be honest—there are a few more reasons why women are seeking out the help of personal stylist.
My personal favorite reason is that we (women) are starting to invest in ourselves! Hallelujah! We, you, deserve it. How you dress is an extension of who you are and how you communicate to the world (if you remember my last column).
With women investing back into themselves, they no longer view this service as a luxury but as a tool to create a happier and simpler life—you know, so your blood pressure doesn’t rise at the thought of going shopping alone and figuring out what looks best on you.
There’s also a secondary reason why personal stylists are hired—money.
Take a minute to think about the clothes in your closet. What’s the actual percentage of items you don’t wear. Now calculate how much money was spent on those untouched (don’t spark joy) pieces.
There you have it. The second leading reason why ladies are booking personal stylists more and more each day. A personal stylist will help you curb your impulse buys. They will develop a shopping strategy to fit your needs. They will help you focus on pieces that showcase your personal style. And my personal favorite, they’ll help you maximize every piece you own (which in military life is essential) by showing you how to pair separates and create outfits and looks you didn’t know were possible using only the pieces already in your closet.
The golden question: “What will this cost me?”
On average, hiring a personal stylist can range anywhere from $25 to $125 an hour (prices will vary from zip code to zip code.) Most personal stylists will offer an “a la carte” price list along with pre-packaged options that include closet editing, shopping time, and inspiration boards. I know these prices can be daunting, but reference the money spent on pieces you didn’t wear, items you didn’t like or didn’t understand how to wear, those impulse buys, or all the time you spent getting frustrated while shopping or getting dressed.
Is it now worth investing in a style expert? Think of a personal stylist as an investment—both in your image and your mental health.
When looking for a personal stylist, make sure to find someone you trust and feel comfortable with (check with your fellow military spouses for recommendations). This can be an intimate process. Find a price point that best fits you and your lifestyle.
Most importantly, be receptive and open to their styling tips and suggestions. The goal is to walk away from this experience feeling happy and confident!