What it was like working with a personal stylist


How We Met

I met Stephanie the way I meet a lot of my small biz friends, the internet! Or more specifically, facebook groups! We are both members of a social media empowerment/strategy group and every week there is a classifieds post to offer your services, seek out services, or establish a trade of services. I love taking a peek at this post every week because if I find the right fit, these posts are a really great way for me to get acquainted with other business owners in my area. This is especially helpful being so new to the Los Angeles area.

So in exchange for photographs, she was offering her expertise as a wardrobe stylist. The most SoCal trade ever? Yes. And I say that proudly! It seemed like only weeks before we connected I was discussing with some friends wanting to create a bunch of go-to outfits for my closet so I can be lazy and look great at the same time (anyone relate?). And not just the sweat pants and messy bun kind of lazy, but like the Steve Jobs lazy. The kind of lazy that says “I don’t have time to pick out an outfit so I’ll wear what I know I look good in so I can focus on my meetings and endless list of audiobooks in my Audible library” kind of lazy.

The Beginning

I’m the kind of shopper (or should I say, I USED TO BE the kind of shopper) that impulse buys based on what I saw someone else wear on Instagram. If the piece itself was cute, I wanted it. No matter that I didn’t love it on me or that it didn’t really speak to my sense of fashion. It was cute on the hanger and on all the other girls on social media! So in the cart it went. I struggled really defining what I wanted my style to be. I love clothes (as most women my age do), and I just want what I see when I see it! Yikes.

Have you heard of “fast fashion”? Jem introduced me to this term last year to keep me in check with my habit of buying cute shirts at H&M and Forever21. Basically all the cheap stores you shop at are CONSTANTLY adding new clothes to their inventory (Target included), so more often than not they aren’t making ethically conscious decisions and underpaying/overworking their labor to make deadlines and create an ever rotating collection of clothing. Not really something I want to morally carry with me!

So my issue became 1. I wanted to shop as ethically as I could, and 2. create a cohesive wardrobe that spoke to me and represented the person I wanted to be. This can get really pricy really quick!

And incomes Stephanie!

The very first thing we did together was create a pinterest board of my “wish list” items, and things I had in my closet already. This would help me eliminate all the items I didn’t love, make room for new pieces, and help Stephanie guide me into creating multiple outfits with what I had so we didn’t have to buy a brand new wardrobe.

To my surprise, I already had pieces in my “now” closet that I wanted in my “dream” closet! This made shopping with her so much easier. All I had to do was create a list of items that would fill in the blanks!

After we talked about my dream style, my sizes, the colors I loved, the items I did and didn’t have, she created an in depth PDF guide filled with my do’s and do-not’s, dozens of outfit ideas with images, and details on what to shop for myself in the future to create a cohesive wardrobe! I was blown away! She took so much of the work off my shoulders, and suddenly my dream wardrobe was within reach.

The Shopping Experience

Probably the best part of this whole experience was that Stephanie and I got two hours to shop together at a store of my choice. Maybe this seems like the opposite store of choice to go to with a stylist, but I decided on Crossroads Trading Co on Melrose here in LA. The reason? The compromise I made with Jem to still get my cute Madewell shirts and endless amounts of comfy tee’s was to shop consignment. Honestly there is nowhere I love more than Crossroads! The pieces I get the most compliments on always come from there, and everything is a fraction of the cost so if I’m feeling like buying five new dresses in one day, I can do so without panic ;)

When I arrived at our destination, Stephanie already had six pieces in her hands she wanted me to try on. We eliminated a few right away based on material, but the others we needed to see on to make the choice. I honestly LOVED having her there as a second opinion to judge without emotional attachment. When I shop by myself it’s so easy to talk myself in or out of a purchase that I might regret down the line. She was super logical with how to approach putting an item in the cart or putting it back on the rack. None of what I bought felt impulsive or unflattering.

She also gave me the permission more than once to break the rules. She said if I saw something I liked, try it on even if there’s something about it that made me hesitate. That’s how I ended up getting a really cute spring cami! I didn’t love the ruffles on it, but once I tried it on, I didn’t notice the ruffles at all! I already know it’s going to be one of my go-to shirts for the summertime. The color also wasn’t one on our list, but she reminded me that if I really love something, I’ve gotta go for it!

And the reverse happened a couple times as well. We found some pieces that were on our list, but once I tried them on, I wasn’t in love with them, whether it was the material or fit. Just because they were on our shopping list didn’t mean I HAD to buy them. That was a relief. I feel like the decisions I made were an even mix of logical and emotional. It’s not like any shopping experience I had before.

At the end of the trip I walked away with some new staple pieces, and unintentionally stayed under budget. We didn’t find everything, but that’s rare to do anywhere staying at one store.

What’s Next

Stephanie assured me that even if we didn’t get everything I needed, she would still be there to assist finding what’s left on our list. She’s created a list of exactly where to find everything I need to continue building my closet. She is also available to assist virtually for any other questions I have so there is no guessing. What a relief! Of course, shopping with her by my side is easy, but what happens when I have to do it alone?! But the advice she gave and continues to send my way has brought me so much clarity and confidence. I also feel assured that whatever outfit and fashion decisions I make from here are only going to continue helping me create that “dream” wardrobe. Even on the laziest of lazy days!

Have you ever considered hiring a personal stylist? I highly highly highly recommend checking Stephanie out, even for her freebies alone! She’s a kind spirit and is so inspiring to be around! If you’re considering working with any stylist at all, I say go for it!

Check out Stephanie here: