A fashion consultant is a paid professional who will advise you on what to wear and how to wear it to fit your desired lifestyle or career goals. A fashion consultant can provide many services including personal shopping, closet audits, beauty consultations, style consultations and ongoing seasonal services. A fashion consultant often has a design or fashion background (although this is not required) and an innate sense of style. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the colors, cuts and designs we think suit us. A fashion consultant comes in with fresh eyes and provides constructive feedback to guide your style choices.
During your initial meeting, your fashion consultant will take stock of your current clothing selection and learn what you hope to achieve. They’ll identify core wardrobe pieces you need, as well as advise you how to wear items together. Many consultants create style lookbooks for their clients explaining things like exactly which shoes to wear with what pants and how to accessorize each look. Fashion consultants are a great option for people who are updating their style due to age, career changes or body changes, or who are just ready for a new look and feel. Most fashion consultants charge by the hour, with some offering packages and others working from a retainer.
Image consultants help people look and feel their best by coaching them on their clothing and beauty choices. An image consultant can be hired for a one-time occasion, such as an awards ceremony, big birthday party or photo shoot. The consultant will recommend clothing, hair and makeup to suit the occasion either using either what the client owns or taking a targeted shopping trip. For a complete fashion consultation, the image consultant will assess your wardrobe, your lifestyle, and what you hope to present to the world, and will then determine the best colors, styles and cuts for you. You can get help streamlining your professional appearance, adjusting your style after a change in body size, solidifying a new look, or finding clothing to fit one area of your life like work or weekends. Image consultants also provide closet edits, going through your clothing and paring out what isn’t right for the look you’re trying to achieve. Personal shopping is another service that image consultants provide. After an image assessment, they can either shop with you or shop on your behalf to find you key pieces you need.
To find a fashion consultant, start by browsing portfolios online. Styling is a visual art, so finding a fashion consultant who fits the style you desire is key. Great personal stylists aren’t confined to one style, but if you’re seeking a hipper, fashion-forward vibe, you’d do well to find someone with a modern portfolio, while a fashion consultant with a consistently refined style could be a better fit if you’d prefer a more conservative look. Reading reviews is also helpful for learning more about the fashion consultant. Research their training, background and years of experience. After reviewing websites and Instagram accounts, meet with the stylist in person to learn how well they fit your personality; some fashion consultants offer a free phone consultation prior to hiring. Before hiring, make sure you clearly understand their terms of service and payment.
Personal shoppers take the pain out of having good fashion. Personal shoppers are paid professionals who work with women, men or children who need style assistance. If you are stuck in a fashion rut, are unsure how to dress in a way that flatters your body, need to revamp your image, or want a more professional career look, personal shoppers can help. Personal shoppers identify the look their client wants to achieve and purchase the necessary clothing and accessories to achieve it. The process often begins with an initial consultation with the client to understand their style goals. This consultation may include a closet “audit,” an assessment of the client’s current wardrobe to see what items can be eliminated and what must be purchased to achieve the desired style.
The client and the personal shopper can shop together, selecting items as a team. The personal shopper may also shop on behalf of the client, then bring all items to the client for a final decision. A third option is pre-shopping, where the personal shopper reaches the store(s) ahead of the client and sets aside clothing for the client to try on, expediting the whole process — a win for anyone who hates spending time in the mall. Personal shoppers can also be hired for one-time events such as weddings, vacations or birthdays. You can also enlist a personal shopper to do your gift shopping for you. Overall, a personal shopper is an investment in making good style choices.
If you’re ready to upgrade your look, you’re ready to work with an image consultant. The national average cost for a style consultant ranges from $120 to $200. An image consultant helps you pinpoint the look you’re trying to present to the world and steers you toward the clothing, hairstyles and accessories that will achieve it. Having an image makeover can boost self-confidence, help you portray a more professional work look, let go of styles that no longer suit you, and find the best fits and colors for you. Style consultation is for any gender or age. Rates for image style consultants can vary depending on where you live and the consultant’s background, reputation and training. Here are some examples of average costs for image consultant services:
- Hourly rate for personal styling and personal shopping: $55-$100 per hour, depending on your location.
- Fashion consultation: $500 for 3 hours. Includes a full assessment of closet and personal style goals of client.
- Four-hour package: $320. Includes a closet audit, outfit planning and shopping game plan.
- Eight-hour package: $640. Includes a closet audit, outfit planning and shopping game plan, and personal shopping services.
- Beauty consultation: $250 for 2 hours. Overview of best beauty products, colors, applications, and hairstyles for the client’s goals.