There are so many reasons why hiring a wardrobe consultant can be helpful, but we think Nashville and L.A.-based stylist Katina Brock said it best when she told us, “I love reaching for everything in my closet knowing it fits and it works.” And while you may be intimidated because you think it’s going to cost a lot, there are actually a lot of qualified, reasonably priced consultant/stylists on Thumbtack who can do wonders for your wardrobe with just one or two sessions.
Still not convinced? Read on to see why you should hire a wardrobe consultant everything he or she can do for you.
1. Gives You a Closet Full of Clothes You Actually Love and Wear
A wardrobe consultant/stylist will come in and examine your closet and help you figure out what you need to buy, as well as what you don’t need to buy, which is a great cost-saving measure. In addition, she’ll help you figure out what looks good on your body type and how to put outfits together.
Still not sure if you need one? Brock says hiring a wardrobe consultant could be a good idea if any of the following pertain to you:
- You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time.
- You have a closet full of clothes, but feel like you never have anything to wear.
- You buy beautiful individual pieces, but don’t know how to put them together into an outfit.
- There are several items in your wardrobe you put on, but that haven’t yet made it out the front door.
2. Helps You Create the Image You Want to Present
Brock admits it isn’t ideal, but as much as we don’t want to be shallow, people form opinions about each other within the first few second of meeting. She says, “Your face tells a story of what you’re feeling and so do your clothes.” A stylist can help you pick clothing that shows the world who you are. Still, it doesn’t have to be as big as a total makeover; for the many people who tend to have a “uniform” and buy the same type of thing in multiple colors again and again, a stylist can simply help add a little variety and personality into their wardrobe.
3. Educates You About What to Wear (and What Not to Wear)
“Working within someone’s closet is the most beneficial thing I do,” Brock says. That’s because it gives her a chance to explain what works and why, which is an important learning moment to help the client purchase clothing in the future and continue to purge what doesn’t work. It also gives her a chance to see what pieces are missing and set a shopping game plan based on likes, dislikes, and lifestyle needs.
4. Can Do All of the Shopping for You
Though it’s ultimately up to the client if they want to shop alone, shop with the stylist, or have the stylist shop for them, Brock says after she’s gone through a client’s closet, she prefers to have some input on the purchasing, and truthfully, prefers to do the shopping for them. “We get more improvement in their wardrobe that way,” she says. I’ll bring a bunch of stuff knowing some of it is going to go back because it’s not going to work and I’ll bring things they wouldn’t necessarily usually try on. Once it’s in their house though, they feel an obligation to at least see how it looks and that’s when many clients have that ‘a-ha’ moment.”
5. Will Help You Purge Your Closet
Don’t worry; you don’t have to let go of anything you want to keep. “Ultimately, it’s up to the client if they want to release something,” Brock says. “For some clients, I take bags away; for others, I leave them with a pile they’re supposed to donate and I know full well they’re going to take things back out of it.” She understands that getting rid of stuff can be scary though, so one thing she recommends is picking where you want your clothing to be donated. “Give the clothing to a women’s shelter where they often only have the clothes on their back,” she says. “Whatever will help you release the clothing more easily—putting a story and face to where the clothing is going and knowing it’s being put to much better use than hanging in your closet for three more seasons ‘just in case.”
6. Creates New Outfits Out of the Clothes You Already Own
The “closet audit,” as Brock calls it can work several ways. She has a two-hour minimum and says usually it takes between two and a half and four hours. “We pair things and then discuss why it works or not.” This is also when she creates new outfits from existing pieces. She does point out, however, that different stylists work different ways, so you’ll want to ask about their method ahead of time. Some people will pull everything out, but won’t have you try that much on. Other people will want you to try on almost everything. She says the best thing is for the stylist to be flexible and ask what you want out of the session.
7. Works With You and Your Limitations
The first thing Brock does when she meets a potential client is have a free phone call where the client asks questions and where Brock figures out what they find problematic when they’re getting dressed. Though she thinks it’s best to have at least two sessions, this is when she figures out what the client hopes to achieve, what the budget is, and also gets a sense of their personality so she knows how to approach the task at hand. “It helps to know how much I can push something. Sometimes I think that if I want them to take two steps forward and they take one and get comfortable with that, they can take that next step on their own.”
8. Shops for New Clothing Within Your Budget
Just because you’re hiring a wardrobe consultant does not mean you’re going to be forced into buying $250 shirts. “I ask people where they like to shop and what their favorite brands are,” Brock says. “And then I work within that. Hopefully I can expand if need be, but I don’t want to get people way outside their comfort zone price bracket.” She adds, “I never want to have people buying expensive just to buy expensive. It’s really about figuring out what they want and how you can best make that happen.”
9. Has the Training to Improve the Wardrobes for People with All Body Types, Ages, and Personalities
You’ll want to check your wardrobe consultant’s qualifications and background before getting to work. Brock, for example, was trained by celebrity stylist Stacy London (“What Not to Wear”) and has an education about the science of styling. “Bloggers might know how to make themselves look good,” she points out, “but if the person coming to you is 65 and on a budget, someone who is great at dressing herself may not know how to dress that person.” Basically, you want to be sure the person you’re hiring is equipped to help you look your best, not just good at putting together an outfit for her body type and aesthetic.