How To Find A Personal Stylist: Tips From an Actual Stylist

October 27, 2023

If you’re one of the millions struggling with their style, you’ve probably wondered about how to find a personal stylist. 

How do you find someone who actually gets your style and helps you dress like the best version of yourself? How do you know who’s worth your time and who only cares about a commission? (Or someone who just tries to turn you into a clone of themselves.)

On top of that, you might be wondering if a personal stylist is even worth it. Can you just do it yourself or get by with a subscription box guessing at your preferences?

Well, as personal stylists ourselves, we have answers to all of those questions and more. Sit back, relax, and read on for everything you need to know about finding the right stylist for you.

But before we get into all that, let’s start with the basics.

What Does a Personal Stylist Do, Anyway?

Woman working with a personal stylist

A personal stylist is someone who helps you dress yourself. They find out your style goals, listen to your style challenges, and pick outfits specific to your needs and lifestyle.

At least, that’s what a good personal stylist does. 

Some stylists have degrees in fashion or merchandising, others have years of industry experience. No matter how they got into the field, a successful stylist worth their salt should be:

  • A fit expert
  • Have a killer eye for quality
  • A phenomenal listener

Personal Shopper Vs. Personal Stylist: What’s the Difference

The main difference between a personal stylist and a personal shopper is that a personal shopper’s main responsibility is to find and purchase clothes for their clients. The objective of a personal stylist is to identify and develop their client’s style. 

For example, if you hire a personal shopper, you probably already know what your style is and what you like. 

They’ll likely still have knowledge about fit, fabrication, and brands, but they’re not finding and building your style from scratch. 

If you’re trying to find a personal stylist, you’re searching for a professional who can go deeper than that. 

You want them to be your coach for all things clothing, accessories, and presenting yourself to others. 

How Much Does A Personal Stylist Cost

Personal stylist helping a man

How much a personal stylist costs varies greatly depending on their location, experience level, and whether they offer in-person or online services. According to Thumbtack, their hourly rate ranges anywhere from $20 an hour to over $100 an hour. 

We know that the cost of a stylist is one of the biggest concerns people have before hiring one. 

We get it. You work hard for your money and you want to make sure you’re investing wisely. 

It’s tempting to go with the cheapest option, right? Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Eh, styling someone can’t be that hard. Maybe I’ll just pay for the budget option to learn some pointers and then I’ll do the rest myself.”

But let’s look at it a different way. Afterall, buying cheap can be expensive.

Think of how much an hour of your time is worth. This is an hour you could be spending doing anything. Bonding with family, making memories with friends, leveling up at work, traveling, or recharging. 

Take all of that into consideration, and give yourself an hourly rate. 

Now, think of how long it would realistically take you to makeover your style completely by yourself. That means cleaning out your closet, researching brands, shopping, making returns, trying stuff on, and actually figuring out what the hell your style is. 

How many hours would that whole process take?

Multiply that number by your hourly rate, and you’ve found the true cost (and value) of outsourcing that work. 

Investing in a personal stylist saves you all that time and stress. If presenting the best version of yourself is important to you, a stylist’s cost is well worth it.

Do I Need A Personal Stylist?

Working with a personal stylist

We might be a little biased, but in our opinion, yes, most people need a personal stylist. Why?

Because most people aren’t experts in style, and most people don’t actually want to be. Most people want to stop feeling anxious every time they open their closet. They’re tired of staring at a bunch of clothes they don’t like, don’t fit, or don’t represent who they are today. 

They want someone else to do the heavy lifting so they can focus on the things they actually care about. 

If you’re not sure if you need a personal stylist, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Have you recently undergone any sort of life transition? This includes anything from a career path shift, a promotion, becoming a parent, gaining or losing weight, or even moving.
  2. Do you ever find yourself looking at other well-dressed people with envy? Does looking polished and style-savvy feel unattainable to you, or are you unhappy with the way you dress?
  3. Do you hate shopping? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, guess what? It’s time to call in the big guns and hire a stylist.

How To Find (the Right) Personal Stylist

Stylist measuring their client

It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to find a personal stylist. And not just any stylist, but the one that’s right for you.

Step 1: The 360 Review

A 360 review is what we call the process of learning as much as you can about your potential stylist. This means you go beyond a cursory Google search of “personal stylists near me.”

Instead, you visit their website, review their social media pages, and take notes. 

When looking at their website, ask yourself: Do I like what I see? Is the website current and well-designed? Is it appealing and easy to navigate, with aspirational images? 

Here’s what to think about when reviewing their socials: Do they have recent posts? Does their feed feature real images of themselves and their clients? Do I want to dress like them?

Step 2: In Yelp & Google Reviews We Trust

Not sure how to find a stylist? Make Yelp and Google Reviews your best friends. Look up each stylist you’re considering, and read what real, verified people have to say about them. 

Pay attention to their experiences and look for common themes. For example, do people say they’d love to work with this stylist again? Or does the stylist have more than a few bad or “just okay” reviews?

We recommend only working with stylists with solid, 5-star ratings from a minimum of 15 people.

Step 3: Look at Before and After Pictures

A good stylist proudly shows off their work. On their social media and website, they should share images of their clients before and after working with them. 

If you can’t find before and after images for a stylist, cross them off your list. 

When you do find those images, make sure you like the end result! The after photo should feel aspirational and inspiring. You should be excited to be as well-dressed as that client.

Remember, your goal is to LOVE the way you look. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

Tips for Working With a Stylist

Personal stylist with her client

So how do we know so much about finding a personal stylist? Well, we’ve been in the fashion industry for over 20 years. We’ve seen hundreds of closets and helped just as many people to level up their style and confidence. 

That means that we’re not only experts when it comes to finding your dream partner in style. We’re also experts in knowing how to get the best results from your experience.

Here are our top three tips for working with a stylist.

1. Do Your Homework

At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to thoroughly research and vet your stylist. You’re trusting them with your clothing, closet, and your personal brand

That means you want to be sure that you’re investing your time, energy, and money into the right person. 

You’re not just hiring someone to put a bandaid over your bad shopping habits. You’re building a real, long-term partnership. 

2. Be Teachable

Have you ever heard the saying: in order to change, you have to want to change? 

The same goes for working with a stylist. Our most successful clients are open to change and willing to learn. They know they’re not the expert in this field, so they’re willing to listen to someone who is.

You wouldn’t tell a Michelin Star chef how to do their job, would you? The same goes for stylists. 

3. Invest

We’re not talking about investing money. Here, we’re talking about investing your focus and care. When you’re working with a stylist, you should be totally present. That means no texting or taking calls, and no bringing along guests to distract you. 

During your sessions, you should be paying attention to every part of the process. After all, the whole point of this is to better yourself, your appearance, and your lifestyle. Clothing isn’t just the stuff you throw on to get you through the day. 

When you use it intentionally, it can make a huge difference in your career, personal life, and in your self-esteem. 

So make it count!

Ready to find the best personal stylist for you? 

Apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s in-person and virtual styling services for men and women. Our experts pride themselves not just on their fashion know-how but also on their listening skills and talent for personalization. We’ll transform your closet, improve your shopping habits, and help you dress the way you always wanted.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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