The benefits of working with an online stylist vs. subscription stylist

So you are considering a personal stylist.

Congrats on taking a step towards improving your wardrobe, confidence, and personal style!

While both online personal stylists and subscription stylists have benefits, there are some strong reasons to opt for an online personal stylist, such as my online services for men and women.

Luckily, there are styling options for every budget from those that just want a few additional stylish pieces to others who want a full fashion education and closet overhaul.

Who could benefit from a subscription box stylist?

You may be familiar with popular subscription style boxes, such as Stitch Fix and Bento Box, which mail you clothes to try on and purchase after filling out a questionnaire about the types of clothes you need, your sizing, and your body type.

Most boxes give you a few days to make your selections, purchase the ones you want to keep, and to send the rest back.

These boxes are a subscription based model, so once they have your initial information– they’ll send you box delivered eve

Sounds easy, but is it too easy?

If you just need a few pieces as an update to your wardrobe or a quick fix, a subscription box stylist may be the way to go.

This version of personal styling is a lower investment option, as you have the choice to return the items that you don’t like or don’t fit you.

It’s also a great choice for beginners who are looking for a very basic, ad hoc upgrade of their current fashion choices, especially those who aren’t concerned with cleaning out and repurposing pieces you already own.

What’s wrong with a subscription style box?

In a review of the top subscription boxes, one Glamour writer notes that the questionnaire took just a few minutes.

While that seems like a positive, and a time-saver, what it really means is the subscription service hasn’t truly taken the time to get to know you, your needs, and your body type on a more personal level. There is no personalized style system.

It’s also important to consider that stylists most likely get a commission from brands they are wanting you to choose, and/or suggesting you a product that is owned by the company that they work for.

Most importantly, if you’re looking to learn the WHY behind style– what is a good fit for your body type, how to put outfits together, or what your go-to brands are–  subscription boxes don’t actually teach you anything. It’s all about the volume of customers for subscription boxes.

For example, if you pull out a top in a style you never would have purchased before, and you love it, there’s no way to recreate that because you haven’t learned exactly why it’s working for you.

It’s a bit harder to determine exactly how much you will spend on a subscription box styling process as well. While it may seem the $20 styling fee is much cheaper for a subscription box, you may not be seeing all of the costs up front.

What does an online personal stylist do?

It’s essential to not just seek personalized fashion advice, but to truly build a relationship with a professional who knows your goals and unique personality.

Anyone can recommend certain clothes, but an online personal stylist spends time learning how you feel about the clothes you wear, and what recommendations will fit your lifestyle long after your sessions with them end.

If you’re like any of my personal styling clients— you may not have a lot of time, feel overwhelmed by the whole shopping experience and have hired other expert coaches to help you reach your goals. 

There’s a reason people like personal trainers, life coaches, and one-on-one sessions with their psychologist rather than a larger support group.

Clients have hired me because they don’t have enough time to spend hours in stores or online figuring out through trial and error what styles, color, and fit do and don’t work for them. 

I take the guesswork out of that difficult process. If you are overwhelmed by options (some even find the subscription box surveys tough to figure out), an online personal stylist is for you.

As a men’s and women’s online stylist, I get to know you, your body type, your lifestyle, and your style goals as well as dream scenarios.

I start with a complete closet edit to figure out what you already own, what we can keep, and what we need to get rid of, by developing a personal style system unique to you.

I also educate my clients about how to create outfits using items you already have, and how to make long lasting style choices going forward.

You’ll leave our sessions with a go-to list of brands that work well for you to help you purchase clothes well into the future, making online personal styling an investment that you’ll use for years to come. And you’ll even learn to have fun with your style again!

Not sure if you should hire a personal stylist? Check out these resources:

8 Reasons To Hire A Personal Stylist

7 Important Questions to Ask  A Personal Stylist

4 Myths About Working With A Personal Stylist

Picture of Cassandra Sethi

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.


For immediate help to upgrade your work style (virtually or in person), use this link to apply for a style consultation.

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Next Level Wardrobe
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