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Difference between store shoppers & personal stylists

This is an educating read about what personal stylists really offer... “What’s the difference between using a store shopper and hiring a personal stylist?" More and more retailers are offering styling services to customers (store shoppers). They are bringing a more personalized experience to the table in the hopes of building brand loyalty and that you’ll refer your friends. Hiring an independent personal stylist was once reserved for the rich and famous, but is now very accessible. Everyday women (and men) are using stylists to teach them how to dress for their body or simply to outsource the pain and anxiety of shopping to name but a few services. It depends what your personal style goals are. If you’re in a pinch for time and need help with dressing for an event (i.e. interview tomorrow, or wedding this weekend) then a store shopper might be the logical option. If you’re looking for more of a style education and want to enhance your personal style, then a personal stylist might be the way to go. Read on to weigh the options. Cost: Store Shoppers: Free (plus cost of clothes) Personal Stylist: Hourly Rate or Service Packages Consultation: Store Shoppers: Minimal consultation process, usually conducted over the phone or quickly in-person at the store. Less focus on building your personal style and more focus on getting what you need to shop for. Personal Stylist: In-depth consultation process (that should be minimal or zero cost) to learn about your style wants, needs and frustrations. This lays the groundwork for teaching you how to dress appropriately for your body, budget and lifestyle. Less focus on “filling-the-gaps” and more focus on building personal style. In-Closet: Store Shopper: Store shoppers don’t come to your house to see what you already own. There’s no guarantee that the new pieces you purchase will fit in with what you already own. You could end up in a cycle of buying/wearing new stuff and pushing old things to the back of your wardrobe. Great for if you just need a few new pieces, less helpful if you’re building a new wardrobe. Personal Stylist: A stylist will come to your home to help sort through your wardrobe and determine what’s working and what’s not. A stylist will help you build a shopping list so you’re not buying things all willy-nilly. A stylist is not only concerned with helping you build an updated look but also helps you utilize everything in your wardrobe. Variety: Store Shoppers: Store shoppers are limited by what’s in stock. You’ll find more variety using a department store shopper as opposed to a smaller brand but regardless your options are limited to that stores merchandise. Personal Stylist: A stylist can shop with you at multiple stores; from thrift to high-end and department stores to boutiques, showing you items at varying price points and aesthetics to meet the individual needs of your wardrobe. Knowledge: Store Shoppers: Store stylists most likely won’t/can’t teach you how to dress for your body type. A lot of store employees work in retail because they love to be around clothes/fashion, but they aren’t necessarily trained in the “science” behind styling. They aren’t usually able to teach someone why a certain shape does or does not work for their body. Personal Stylist: An independent stylist is not just someone who works in fashion for “fun”. They will likely have a background/education in styling. Honesty: Store Shoppers: Most stores/employees are there to sell clothes and earn commission on whatever they sell and therefore more likely to push a sale, regardless of the way it may look on the customer. Personal Stylist: A stylist is vested in telling clients like-it-is and will explain why something might or might not be good for them. Relationship: Store Shoppers: Shoppers are great in a pinch and can help walk you through any style situation. However, a store shopper is not likely to build as in-depth of a relationship with their customers. Plus, employees come and go (leave/get promoted) thus you’d have to start the relationship all over again if you’re looking for a long-term help. Personal Stylists: For personal stylists, building relationships is a huge part of understanding and anticipating clients’ wants/needs. Many stylists keep in touch with clients for years and can pick up where they left off even if it’s been a long while since working together. Aesthetics: Store Shoppers: Most stores have a limited staff who works in the Personal Styling department. You may or may not mesh well with this person and their personal aesthetic or aesthetic of the brand. Personal Stylists: Most stylists will cater to a particular niche (i.e. petite, plus-size, high-end, men, children, over 50, etc.). Prospective clients should interview a few different stylists to narrow down to someone that meets their needs with whom they also mesh well. Many personal stylists often know each other and can refer you to someone who may be better suited to your needs if necessary. Convenience: Store Shoppers: Best for when you want just a few seasonal wardrobe updates or when you’re in a pinch for a situation (i.e. funeral, job interview, or last minute invite to an evening event). Personal Stylists: Once you’ve established a relationship with a stylist they are there to cater to your needs. Have a style question? Give them a quick call. Have an event this weekend? Have an outfit sent over. Need a full overhaul after losing 20 pounds? A personal stylist are there for all your needs.

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