Working with a Stylist

14 Old Popular Beliefs About Working with a Stylist

A few years ago, I entered a very select dance school in Bordeaux; after a very stressful and competitive process, I had just been accepted to attend the ballet classes for the year, free of charge – fun fact about me for those who don’t know; I was a ballerina from age 4 to 24. It’s my forever love..!

Anyway, long story short, after I entered the classroom, I met for the first time the pianist, a very nice, quite old-fashion lady, who, after a polite “hello”, proceeded to redirect me to the “room next door for the modern-jazz class”. Well, without going too much in details here – let’s not try and analyse what about me and my appearance made her think I was not suitable for ballet-, she obviously thought something of me without knowing anything about me, and friends was she wrong! At the end of the lesson, she realised she had been quick to judge without knowing. And that, my friends, is the topic of today’s “let’s get them wrong” list.

If you think you know what a personal stylist does, but still believe anything from the list below, it’s time to let me change your mind. I don’t want you to be like the lovely old-fashioned pianist.

To be fair, before starting as a Personal Stylist myself, what I thought of the whole thing was mainly what TV shows and series make of it – hint: it’s not actually like that… well… not completely! But now, I can give you facts, details and real-life examples. 

So! Working with a personal stylist, what does it mean? And how much does it cost to hire one? But, by the way, first things first, what does a Personal Stylist actually do? Ok, ok, ok. Let’s tackle all this, misconception after misconception, so that it’s clear once and for all, is a personal stylist worth it and what is it like to work with one – AKA me! Let’s dive in.

#1 Hiring a Personal Stylist is expensive

Ok so… There are Personal Stylists at pretty much every range of the price spectrum. From really cheap to really expensive. But the fact of the matter is, when considering the work that goes into personal styling, it’s not actually expensive. More often than not, working with a Personal Stylist will make you … wait for it.. save money! I promise! Let me explain.

When we want to fix our car or our hair, or even paint our house. None of these things is impossible to do by yourself. But the hairdresser is professionally trained to understand the texture, nature, colour of your hair, and what suits your face better, what will make your hair healthy and shiny, right? Well, it’s the same for your style. It’s an investment in yourself, your appearance, making sure that the way you show up when you leave your house – which is quite often hopefully – is the best possible way.

And no, it’s not about always being on heels and cocktail clothes to go to the shop around the corner. But it’s just about 1) Stopping the waste of money on things that are not what you really need. 2) Investing just the right amount in what you need and what reflects you. 

#2 It’s for Rich People and Celebrities

Well, this is in continuity with the previous point. You do not need to be rich to have a Personal Stylist. But apart from that, let’s see why you actually need a Personal Stylist too, even though you’re not a celebrity.

First of all, the role of a Personal Stylist is to help you portray the image you want to portray; one that reflects your life, your experience, your values and of course, your taste. But other than that, it’s also about you owning your image. What image do you want to portray, what’s your brand image if you like?

Working with a Personal Stylist is probably the easiest way to get a boost of confidence. It’s also crucial if you’re going through significant life changes like a career change, an important weight loss, a pregnancy, or any event that changes your world a bit.

So it’s for 1) Those who want to make sure they portray the image they want to portray – which should be you; 2) Those who experience life changes – which could be you!

#3 It’s for People who Follow Trends

Hummmm, no friends, that is not what a Personal Stylist is for. Otherwise, you would need one every year, twice a year (minimum). A Personal Stylist that does a good job – AKA me, I like to think! – Shows you how to build your wardrobe and create the backbone of your closet, with the right pieces and items that’ll last for years. You’re basically creating the backbone of your wardrobe. Everything else is added bonus! And I’ll also teach you how to shop trends in a smart and savvy way.

Jumping from trend to trend will only make you feel lost – without even mentioning that not all trends are for everybody. So we’ll see how to pick and choose the trends that we want to embrace, and why not make them an actual part of your long-term wardrobe? I’ll show you how to fire out what to embrace and what to leave for others – hint: there is WAY MORE in the second category than in the first one.

#4 It’s Just About Looking Good

We all want to look good – to some extent. But the truth is, we all have a different idea of what “looks good”. I mean, I really like what Cleopatra is portrayed to be wearing on most visuals. I also think some celebrities look amazing on the red carpet. But do I want to look like that? Absolutely not!

What a Personal Stylist does is: allowing you and helping you to look like yourself. An image that represents your best self, your personality, your values and your lifestyle. It’s a 100% customised experience that suits you and only you. No matter what others think looks good or not.

#5 It’s a Shallow Investment

I can see why some people might think that investing in a Personal Stylist is a shallow thing to do, and is basically throwing money by the window.

Now let’s take a step back and see if a business should invest in branding and visual identity. How would you trust a company that is continuously changing brand colours? A business that is going plastic-free for a month and then decides to go heavy on the cheap materials pushing the “we-are-the-cheapest-on-the-market” agenda”? A company that is targeting elderly retired English speaking males today, and turning to Tech-savvy French-speaking female millennials tomorrow? Are you confused yet? Well, I am! That’s a business that doesn’t know what to stand for, doesn’t have set values, and doesn’t know itself. And I don’t think it is a healthy way of approaching anything in life – especially not yourself!

So to bring it back to Personal Styling, trust me when I say that it’s a much deeper experience than most would think. It’s about knowing yourself, what you stand for, and having a wardrobe that reflects that.

#6 I’ll Have to Re-Do my Whole Wardrobe

No, you will not. Not at all. Especially not with me. If your wardrobe is overflowing with old clothes and overwork fast fashion items, we might need to put together a list of things to shop. But there is absolutely no emergency. It’s not about building about a new wardrobe; it’s about optimising your own.

Plus, knowing that you bought your existing wardrobe yourself, you very likely already own a lot of what reflects you and your personality. A good Stylist will help you shop your own wardrobe and make the most out of it. “Reusing” and “Being Creative” must be at the forefront of the whole Personal Styling process.

#7 I’ll Have to Invite Her Into My Wardrobe, I’m Not Comfortable with a Stranger Coming in My Home.

While having your stylist coming into your home is a way of making change happen, it is not the only ay. Believe me when I say: it is not your only option. Like… It’s 2019 now, so if you’re anything like me, you’ve nurtured relationships with strangers you met online, and you feel genuinely connected to them.

So with your stylist, it’s the same. Most personal stylist these days offer online services via video calls and conferences. It might be even more convenient as you are not restricted to only working with a stylist in your area.

The cost is often lower as well, as there is not transportation time and fees to pay for. So as long as you feel connected to your Personal Stylist and you have a good WiFi signal, you’re good to go!

#8 My Stylish Friend Can Give Me Advice

So let me be clear: I’m super happy your friend has a good style, and I’m sure she’s rocking it. But I’m not sure she can help you with your own style. And let me explain why.

Your friend has a different body type than you. And she has a different style personality as well.

Which means essentially that 1/ not everything that suits her will suit you. 2/ Even the things she’ll help you find that suit you won’t necessarily align with who you are.

Going through the personal styling journey is a “knowing-myself” journey. And it is something that you can do yourself, or a professional can guide you through the process. Obviously looking good in your clothes is key, but there are many ways to look good AND comfortable AND in alignment with who you truly are. That’s what a professional will help you uncover.

#9 I Don’t Want to Always Look Red-Carpet Ready

Of course, you don’t, unless you’re Beyoncé – how she is always looking “picture-ready” is beyond me and my understanding! But anyway, that’s not the point. Your Personal Stylist is not only there for special events – even though yes, that helps.

Your special events and red-carpet experiences are important of course; but what your Personal Stylist really helps you with, is your everyday self, your identity, and the image you portray daily. From your core wardrobe, the backbone, to your accessories, the accents, to your statement pieces.

#10 It’s Not something I Need to Invest In

I understand why you would think that investing in your appearance and your look isn’t a priority or isn’t essential… It’s often seen as vain, shallow and just ‘not that important’. And I respect people who genuinely believe this. But let me just say one thing: your clothes and the way you show up is important.

Before trying to fix your language pet peeves and bad table habits, try and fix your wardrobe terrible habits: that’s what people see first; that’s the first impression you give before anything else.

Besides, if you are tempted to do it yourself, you might get there eventually, after many trials and errors – and way fewer dollars in your bank account, with all these useless pieces you’ve bought. But if you don’t try and fix your teeth on your own, or your car, or even the paint on your walls, I think you should focus on your strength and let a professional Personal Stylist do the dirty work for you. It’s quicker, and it’s cheaper!

#11 It’s Just About Getting Rid of Stuff

Hmmm… It’s a part of it yes. For efficiency purposes. The idea is for you to get the most out of your wardrobe, and fantastic value for what you have. Everything that’s below that standard needs to go.

Imagine waking up in the morning, late, rushing trying to get ready to an important appointment. You grab the first thing you find in your wardrobe, put it together quickly and go. And you’re still rocking a killer look! Yup! That’s the reality of a beautifully curated wardrobe.

I’ve mentioned that it wasn’t just about your clothes, but also about your mindset and knowing yourself. That’s 100% the truth! You might feel very attached to some specific pieces of clothing but… Is it really about clothes? Or the memory? Yes, it takes time to shift, yes it might be more difficult for specific pieces. But unless we are talking about your wedding clothes, it needs to go. And make space for pieces that serve you and tell ‘the story of you’.

Oh, and by the way, we’re not getting rid of too much… Remember, we are ethical, and we believe in sustainability. Which leads me to my next point.

#12 Any Stylist Will Do

It all depends on your values and your principles. As you probably know by now, I believe in living an intentional lifestyle and conscious choices. Of course, not all stylists hold these values, and some will solely focus on clothes, wardrobe and looks; and that’s absolutely fine if these are what you care about most.

With an Ethical Personal Stylist, however, the focus is on making sustainable, conscious choices and lowering your impact on the planet while looking amazingly good! After having worked with an ethical professional, all you’ll hear is “Sustainability looks gorgeous on you!”. Is that not what we all want?

#13 It’s a One-Off Treat

Hmmm… It can be seen as a treat, yes, but the reality is: it’s a lifetime change. 

When you buy something that’ll have an effect now and just disappear, it’s a one-off treat. When you invest in something that’s going to change the way you feel about yourself, that’s going to transform how you treat your body, that’s going to make your morning easy and efficient, and that’s going to make you proud of wearing your values, I call that long-term investment.

#14 You need to know fashion and Be Creative

Working with a Personal Stylist has nothing to do with knowing fashion or following the trends. It’s about knowing yourself, and your stylist is there to guide you through the process.

In terms of putting the outfit together and being creative? Yes, you might need a little bit of inspiration, but your stylist will very likely help you with that. Fashion in itself is such a broad field; you would never need to know everything about it to be able to dress.

But with a few prompts and a good mood-board, you’ll be able to find news ways of wearing the same pieces you’ve been wearing for years, and feel like you just went on a shopping spree – for free!

So there you have it. A – quite long – list of some of the most common misconceptions about working with a personal stylist. And yes! I used to believe some of these as well. But now you should be much clearer on what it actually entails.

Did you recognise yourself in any of this misconceptions? Which ones did you use to believe? Let me know in the comments.

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