If you have watched celebrities on the Red Carpet, or have seen stunning photo spreads in magazines, you have witnessed the work of a Personal Stylist. The focus of Stylists is more on fashion and trends. They “style” celebrities for events, they “style” fashion spreads in magazines – they do everything they can to make their clients look beautiful in that specific moment, and usually with a focus on what’s current and what’s in. In other words, they often (though not always), deal with the world of fashion – and whatever is popular now. Sometimes, they style people in a certain company’s clothing or accessories. Sometimes, they style photo shoots based on a certain theme. And they do the actual dressing for the client. They bring the goods and do all the prep work to make the client shine for the occasion.
While a Personal Stylist could potentially work with you just once during a photo shoot, a Personal Shopper could be someone that does your shopping on a regular basis. You can tell them what you are looking for, your sizes, your budget – and let them do the heavy lifting. A good Personal Shopper can save you lots of time and money and bring you everything you need without the hassle of you having to go shopping. A word of caution, though, about Personal Shoppers that work in particular stores. Personal Shoppers who work in a certain store are there to sell you the items sold in that store – oftentimes, they work on commissions – so, when they praise how great something looks on you, keep in mind that their intentions may not coincide with making you look your best.
Image Consultants, on the other hand, are trained to analyze and identify exactly what will work best for each individual client and they help the client define their unique signature STYLE. Style is not bound by time. Style is not bound by trends (though it can be influenced by them). Style is what every person deserves to find within themselves – a way of looking that expresses who they are on the inside through appropriate, timeless, and unique-to-them way of dressing.
BUT… Image Consultants are also not just about clothes. The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) outlines the “ABCs of Image” as Appearance, Behavior, and Communications. There are so many elements to Style other than the clothing we wear. Think about a Stylish person – how they hold themselves, how they talk, how they walk – these are all aspects of their IMAGE.
So, Image Consultants are experts at helping people create and maintain their image – from dress, hair, and make-up… to etiquette… to public speaking. Image Consultants can help you figure out and polish up your style and your image, so you can reflect on the outside who you are on the inside.
Image Consultants are not limited by clothing choices in a particular store or by fashion trends coming from the magazines. Their job is to make you look YOUR absolute best. They are trained in identifying your best colors, silhouettes and fit, proportions, fabrics, and styles. They help you figure out how to express you through your clothing choices. And more importantly, they teach you how to apply these discoveries so you can always look your best going forward. Image Consultants build up your confidence through your appearance and your non-verbal signals, teaching you how to make great First Impressions with your body language, how to use your voice more effectively, and even how to command a room!
Now, here’s the fun part – Image Consultants can then also become your Personal Stylists and Shoppers. Because they understand exactly what works for you and what doesn’t, they are able to help you get dressed for special events and shop without you to bring you seasonal updates for your closet. They help you build your perfect wardrobe over time, because they develop a relationship with you – they become your style genies, shopping BFFs, and confidence confidantes.
So, when you are considering hiring an expert, whether it’s someone to help style you for an important event or to help you discover a whole new look, be mindful of what type of service you are seeking.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are searching for style help:
- Are they trained in color and fit analysis?
- Are they affiliated with a particular brand or store?
- Do I need them just once or am I looking at a longer style transformation process?
- Do I already know exactly what I want/need or do I need help figuring that out?
- Do I need help/advice on verbal and non-verbal communication, body language, and confidence building?
Your answers to these questions can help you determine what kind of professional to hire for your exact needs! I hope you enjoyed reading about the different style services you can find and you now have an answer to the question, “What does an Image Consultant do?”
Please comment below with your biggest takeaways and questions! I would love to hear from you and if you think your friends would enjoy this article, please spread the love and share it with them 🙂