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What is a Personal Shopper?

There is an art as to how one should dress. Many people may find it difficult to put together a coordinating outfit or create a sense of style.  So for those who find shopping a complete headache, they can hire a personal shopper to help make shopping and styling outfits a pleasurable experience.

Many people enjoy fashion; although it takes a person with unique intuition and education in the fashion industry to truly understand the art of successful dressing (you can view my article on Qualifications of an Image Consultant for more details on that subject).  The goal of a personal shopper should be to simplify the lives of their clients by taking the guesswork out of clothing coordination.  A personal shopper must be able to understand the following characteristics of a client:

  • Personality
  • Lifestyle
  • Body Structure
  • Body Measurements
  • Career /Goals
  • Social Activities
  • Comfort box

Below, I will highlight a few rules that a personal shopper must always adhere to in order to provide the best quality service to their clientele.

  • Provide a fresh perspective on fashion - For many people it is easy to get stuck in the same old outfit.  It can be intimidating to take the risk of trying new silhouettes, colors and designers.  Using a personal shopper can assist in opening the door to new fashion possibilities; pushing you to try out new trends you may have never had the courage to do so on your own.  A personal shopper can offer a unique selection of items that will enhance their client’s personal taste and style.

  • Provide brand awareness – Have knowledge of a vast range of designers and brands across variety of price points.  It is very important for a personal shopper to learn about their client's personal style, lifestyle, and personality.  All of these items must be considered when shopping for each individual customer.  If you are 6’2 or a plus size and cannot find anything appropriate to wear to work, a personal shopper should be  knowledgeable about what brands will work best for your body in any given situation.

  • Know Your Body Type- Style rules are anything but generic!  A styling rule is always customized to the individual.  Everyone comes in different sizes and shapes so it is important to know how to apply these rules specifically to adhere to individual diversity.  Working with a personal shopper is a great way for many to learn what styles work best for your body type.  Many people tend to focus on the clothing size, rather than taking the time to find clothing that actually fits.  Many women try to squeeze into a size 8 knowing they are a size 10.  It is important to realize that size is just a number.  Overall, the best way to dress for your body type is to focus on the positive.  Select one body part you love to show off and make that the focal point.

  • Provide innovative solutions – It is important to understand key trends in the fashion industry.  However, fashion trends are not always an innovative way to dress clients.  Trendy looks are not economical and go in and out of fashion frequently.  To incorporate key fashion trends into someone’s wardrobe, you must be innovative.  Add certain trendy style elements like shoes, accessories, or a coat. Be sure not to overdo it! 

  • Maximize  Existing Wardrobe - A closet full of nothing to wear?  Your wardrobe may be full of endless possibilities and with a little creativity, a personal shopper can show you how to create new outfits from existing garments.  It is essential for a personal shopper to know what their client already has in their existing wardrobe, and make use of these items.  A wardrobe consultation gives a personal shopper the chance to provide helpful feedback on how one can make the best use out of their clothing, and what kind of pieces could be added to enhance their look.  A personal shopper must have a creative personality and the talent to envision how to constantly develop a client’s wardrobe.  Have a tired basic black blazer?  Your personal shopper can find a way to make it more exciting by maybe adding a little pop with new buttons or an alteration at your local tailor.  Working with a client's existing wardrobe cuts down on shopping time and simplifies the shopping experience, providing unique and practical wardrobe solutions.
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