Choosing an Image Consultant
Have you ever wondered how some people always seem to look effortlessly put together? Chances are they might have had some help from an Image Consultant.
The truth is we all go through periods of change throughout our lives, and this can mean we grow out of our usual style. Once we get stuck in that style rut it can be difficult to choose anything new. Instead, we fall into the habit of repeatedly buying the same type of clothes. We become bored, uncomfortable, and can feel invisible.
Some of the changes that are likely to affect us at different times are:
- A new job or promotion
- A completely new career
- Starting our own business
- A new relationship
- Having children
- Global pandemics!
So, what exactly is an image consultant and how do you go about choosing the right one for you?
The good news is that this is a growing industry, and the choice is wide and varied. We should note though, that there are different ways to describe the people who are doing a similar job. If you do a Google search you will find listings for Image Consultant, Personal Stylist, Style Coach and Personal Shopper.
Therefore, you will probably initially narrow down your choice by deciding on which service is the most appropriate for you.
For instance, many stylists and consultants will offer a selection of different service options. These will typically include:
- Learning about dressing for your body shape
- Dressing for your lifestyle and personality
- Colour analysis
- Wardrobe management
- Shopping for clothes and accessories
- Hair and make-up consultations
- Confidence coaching
- Full image makeover
Each stylist or consultant will have their own version of these service options, and prices will vary too. It is worth shopping around to find the right one for you.
Other things to take into account
Some consultants will specialise in a particular service, such as colour analysis, or make-up, and may not offer all the options.
Many stylists will have previous experience in other fields of work, and will specialise in helping a particular demographic, or people in a specific industry.
Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a quick style refresh for the new season you can book a personal shopping experience with most department stores. These sessions are often free of charge or if you have to pay then you get discount on any items you buy. However, they won’t necessarily have an in-depth knowledge of you and your personal style. They will only be able to offer what the store has available and you may feel obligated to make a purchase.
Many small boutique owners are now also offering a personal shopping service to their clients. This can be a good way to build your look. And by having this relationship with them you will be able to find out early whenever new pieces arrive in stock.
The latest trend in personal shopping is to sign up with an online service such as Stitch Fix. . You fill in a style questionnaire and have a selection of clothes sent to you every month on a sale or return basis. This can sometimes be a bit hit and miss and you need to be prepared to send things back if they don’t fit or you don’t like them.
Once you have an idea of the type of service you would like to experience then you can narrow down your search further.
Here is my list of things to consider to help you make that choice.
- Are they local to you so that you can meet up face to face, or visit the shops together?
- Do they work online only – many consultants have switched to virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Would you prefer to work with a male or female consultant?
- Do you want to work with someone whose personal style you admire or aspire to?
- Would you like to work with someone who is of a similar age and background to you?
- Do they have a presence on social media so that you can follow them and get an idea of what they are like first?
- Have you had a personal recommendation?
- What is your budget?
Connecting with your Image Consultant
Because it can sometimes be quite an emotional and lifechanging experience for you, it is important that you choose someone who you feel 100% comfortable with.
Most image consultants will be happy to chat to you before you commit. Giving you a chance to find out if you will be a good match.
I normally work with people over the age of 35 who have reached the point where they are unsure how they want to present themselves in the next phase in their life. Quite often they are changing careers, or lifestyle, or are thinking about doing so.
They need help with building up their confidence and developing their image. They want to shine but in an authentic way, and so I support them to do this. It is a process and usually involves more than a simple one-off appointment.