Business is Going Great for Personal Stylists

I cleaned out my closet, setting aside clothes for donation – clothes I hadn’t worn in at least a year. I confirmed what I’d always felt inside my heart: I’m pretty good with spring/summer clothes, but my fall/winter attire is subpar. It may have something to do with the fact that I hate cold weather. I never know what will keep me warm and still look fashionable. My friend has worked as a fashion stylist for years. I asked her if she’d help me with my fall/winter wardrobe. I said my only requirement was that it had to be all second-hand and vintage pieces – because I care about the environment, or whatever. Also, I’m financially challenged. She said yes. She’d be my own Carson Kressley, except not gay and not a man.

Why did I want someone to pick out my clothes? I try things on in dressing rooms and think they’re great. Somehow I never wear them as well in real life. I don’t trust myself to know what works and I’m never sure what “my look” is. I’m very impressionable. Celebs and rich people hire consultants for much the same reasons, and they’re under constant scrutiny. But non-celebs are hiring such professionals too – if they can afford it, that is.

The Washington Post recently reported that personal stylists are busier than ever, not just with public figures, but also with women in search of dream jobs. Yet, they say the biggest trend is makeovers for pop-culture-obsessed high school girls. Unless the parent of the style-seeking teen is in an “income” bracket akin to one of the Real Housewives, consultants will lower their fees or barter for good press.

Recently a woman posted in an invite-only Facebook group – the members of which are young New Yorkers desperately looking for jobs and affordable apartments – offering her pro stylist services. She’d pay for US$200 worth of clothes, no mention of a fee. She was clearly catering to the 99 percent. Admittedly, I was curious.

Having another set of eyes to put together your look can be invaluable. Because my stylist friend has known me since we were teenagers, she’s the perfect person. Unfortunately, she moved to Colorado before we could set up our spree. Since I can’t afford a consultant, I’ll send an inquiry to that Facebooker, or I’ll just have to figure it out myself. You know, like most people.

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