You’ve decided that you want to hire a personal stylist to help you transform your style.
This is an exciting, big decision that will help you feel confident day to day, have peace of mind knowing that you love everything hanging in your closet and make sure that you’re investing in the right pieces.
But no two personal stylists are alike!
It can be confusing to figure out what questions to ask a personal stylist, yet it’s important if you’re going to make the investment- no matter your budget.
Here are the 7 most important questions when hiring a stylist:
1. “Tell me about your qualifications.”
The threshold to start a personal styling business is very low and because of the low barrier to entry, you have Instagram influencers or anyone that dresses cute starting their own personal shopping business.
If you’re looking for long term style results, the credential question is an important one because it can help you weed out who is actually qualified and has the expert knowledge to help you reach your style goals.
Let’s face it- anyone can claim their ‘an expert’ nowadays.
I’ve personally worked for over 15 years in the fashion industry– earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising, completed a postgraduate program in London, created Soulcycle’s very successful retail business and most recently was a Senior Buyer at Equinox. (read more about me here)
2.“Who are your typical clients?”
NYC personal stylists specialize in certain areas.
For example, there are personal stylists that focus on men in tech, or they’ll focus on executive women- some even just do general styling or celebrity styling.
I personally focus on work wear personal styling for successful men and women.
Asking a potential personal stylist about who their typical clients are will give you a bird’s eye view into who they have experience working with and if that’s right for you.
3.“Do you get commission from what I buy?”
This is one of my favorite questions to advise people to ask.
Because this will expose how your personal shopper will be getting paid and this method will influence how they work with you.
Typically, many NYC personal stylists, have backdoor dealings with certain stores, so they’ll only take their clients to those stores. Which is not in the best interest of the client.
At Next Level Wardrobe, I don’t earn any commission off of what my clients buy, so they have a 100% guarantee that I’m a free agent and take them to whatever store is most suitable for their goals.
4.”What’s your styling process?”
Depending on your goals for hiring a NYC personal shopper, you’ll want to ask this question to see if the personal stylist can help you get there.
For example, if you’re just looking for guidance to get 2 new outfits for an upcoming event- you’ll want a personal stylist that can focus on a shopping trip only and probably charges hourly.
I focus on clients who want a more comprehensive, style and personal brand overhaul, completely tailored to their lifestyle, body type as well as professional goals.
A closet edit, shopping experience and digital outfit guide are all steps within my wholistic style system that help get my clients where they want to be.
5.“What’s your styling philosophy?”
This is a great question to get the core beliefs of the stylist and also see if they even have any that guide their business.
These beliefs should also align with your goals and beliefs as well. If they don’t, you know that it wouldn’t be a good fit.
(Click here to read about Next Level Wardrobe’s core styling philosophy)
6.“Do you offer on-going styling services?”
Upgrading your style once is not a one time thing, it will continue to evolve as you become more successful professionally and it’s important to continue for your style to communicate that.
Asking a potential personal stylist if they offer on-going services will give you insight if they can be an on-going trusted style advisor for you.
I offer ongoing style services for returning clients, that even includes a Style Advisor Yearly Membership, so I can completely manage their wardrobe for them.
7. “What are your rates?”
There are different investment options when it comes to NYC personal shoppers so this question is a must for anyone that you’re considering.
I’ve seen service investment structured in one of two ways– either by the hour or by package.
To give my private clients peace of mind during their transformational experience, I offer personal shopping services in a package structure so they don’t have to be watching the clock during our time together.
Remember, if you’re serious about making the investment of feeling more confident in your work wardrobe- it’s worth every penny to have peace of mind that you’ve paid for the best and it was done the right way– the FIRST time around.
Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals. Cassandra’s been featured in Greatist, Livestrong and NY Mag.