Imagine this. You walk into a well-lit dressing room full of clothes in your size arranged in outfits ready for you to try on. You have a personal stylist available to help you make decisions, give feedback on outfit choices and pull other sizes or colors if you need them. You breeze out of the store feeling and looking great. It seems like something out of an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, right? I’m here to tell you this can be your reality and you don’t even have to win the lottery to do it!
There are still a few places around that offer Personal Styling. Some on the high end and then a few in a range that normal people can afford. Here’s the list of stores I know provide the service. The list is ordered by price point, low to high.
My Personal Stylist Experience
Before this post, I had never worked with a Personal Stylist. I have friends who rave about how wonderful it is but I always felt a little nervous. (Trying new things gives me anxiety.) I knew this was a great way to find a few pieces for work so I set aside my fears and scheduled a styling session with my local Nordstrom. That’s the store closest to me and let’s be honest, they have (a few) clothes there that I can actually afford.
To set up the appointment, I went to their website and clicked “Book an Appointment.” I chose the store closest to me, chose Women’s Styling and the website led me to choose my appointment type.
The appointment options were:
- Quick Update – A 30 minute appointment for a few quick tips or a new item
- Trend Update – A 1 hour appointment for seasonal trends and “under the radar” arrivals
- For All Appearances – A 2 Hour total wardrobe revamp
- Custom Consult – A 1 Hour appointment for a specific occasion or reason
Since I was looking specifically for clothes for work, I chose “Custom Consult.” I provided a brief overview of what I was looking for (work separates) in the description box with my sizes and hit submit. The appointment was booked!
The day before my appointment, my stylist called (I didn’t answer the random number) so she left a message asking what brands I liked, what my budget was and how many pieces I was looking to purchase. She said I could call or text her back. Being the awkward person that I am, I texted her all of my information. I was looking for 3-4 pieces in the $50-$100 range per piece. She let me know this was a little lower than the typical Nordstrom customer (this I knew #bargainhunter) so there may not be a ton of options to choose from but we should be all set!
I arrived for my 11AM Appointment about 5 minutes early and met my stylist, Ashley. She was sweet and friendly and immediately showed me to my dressing room.
Above is the first setup of outfits. At first glance, I love the looks! She picked pieces that were work appropriate, but still on-trend and appropriate for the season. Below is the second set of looks. A little more fall-flavored and a notch up on the trend scale. There were a mix of prices within my budget and then also ‘no way am I ever going to pay that much for this’ prices. The range was $79-$500.
Time for a few #dressingroomselfies!
I didn’t take pictures of all of the outfits because there wasn’t time but I did get a few snaps of things that I really loved.
The trench coat was my favorite out of all of the things she picked for me. I have been on the lookout for a great trench but the ones with belts feel really stuffy and dated to me. I love the lines of this because it’s almost like a cross between a blazer, a trench coat and a duster. All the heart eyes. Also – friend to tell you if you look great or awful in the back. Very important.
That brings us to my second favorite item that Ashley picked for me. This dress is business in the front, party in the back. But like, a work Christmas party where everyone has two drinks and some chex mix and opens their Secret Santa gifts and goes home. No shenanigans. At $99, it’s a good, quality dress to have in your closet that can serve a lot of functions. Like if you actually have to go to a work Christmas party. Wearing with my favorite heels. They have a 3 3/4″ heel, so they’re pretty tall but also very comfortable and super flattering. Worth.The.Money. Trust me on this one.
Shoes: Sam Eldelman Hazel Pumps
Once she figured out which styles I was into, she brought a variety of purses and shoes to try on with my outfits. She also brought a couple of necklace/earring sets that were VERY cute which I did not remember to get a photo of. This is a great help if you’re looking for a full outfit and an awesome upsell for your Stylist if you also get the $300 purse she brings in for you to see.
Things to Remember
- Go in with a set budget.
- Keep your head about you. This is very fun and exciting. It’s easy to get caught up and spend A TON of money. Unless you want to spend a ton of money, then ignore all of the things I just said.
- You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t like anything. Personal Stylists DO make a commission off of what you buy, but don’t let that pressure you into going home with something you don’t love.
- Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get it right. The more you work with a stylist the more he or she will understand your personal style and your willingness to part with your money. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything you love the first time.
- Have fun! This is basically like when you were a kid and you got to play dress-up in your mom’s clothes. It really is a great time.