Special occasion shopping is a popular request for all Personal Stylists. The client may be attending a wedding, a special birthday party, an interview or even going on a hot date. When we say ‘special’ what we really mean is it’s an important event to the client and yes she/he is willing to pay for a Personal Stylist to get her look just right, to make her feel special, admired and to stand out for all the right reasons. This is a big responsibility for any personal stylist because their reputation is on the line; they only have one chance to get it right, so they are equally invested in choosing the perfect outfit.
Our training courses have equal amounts of theory and practical work and the ‘special occasion’ styling tasks play a big part of the practical work. For example I may say to the delegates: “find me the perfect wow outfit for a client’s 50th birthday party”. 9 out 10 times the delegate will underwhelm, she’ll play it safe, maybe be a little too matchy matchy or too conservative, thinking the woman is 50 years old so lets be comfortable. This in when I intervene, you see you have to get into the psychology of the client and remind yourself that the client is not only paying for the outfit she’s paying an additional £300 for the stylist’s fee too, so the outfit must impress!
She has in fact hired a stylist to get her out of her comfort zone. 50 is the new 30 after all! The worst feedback any stylist could receive is: “the outfit was fine but I could have probably bought it without you” ouch there definitely won’t be any future recommendations coming from her…What could be worse though is getting an angry call from the client saying she looked ridiculously overdressed and totally inappropriate! You see to the client you are their fairy godmother they are putting their full trust in you, that’s why they’ve hired you to take the stress away from them and get it just right.
So how do you get it right? How do you make people stare and do a double take for all the right reasons? Firstly you understand where your client is going; researching the dress code.. then comes the fun part; you get into her shoes, how does it feel to be her, who does she want to impress? Then finally you choose her an outfit that delivers her that feeling of confidence and excitement.
This is why knowing your clients colours and body shape is essential. Nothing will make your client stand out more than a beautiful pair of statement shoes or statement earrings but if she’s going to splash some cash on it, surely you want the item to be in a colour that actually physically compliments her, as that way it will always be on trend for her not just an “It” colour for this season… By understanding your clients body shape you will know where her assets are and that is what you focus on: Great legs? Then show them off in a statement shoe. Small boobs? Then go backless as she can go braless…
Personal Styling is all about creating balance, we never want to make too many statements and the statements we choose should still look subtle as if the client is wearing them not the other way round. The best compliment a client can ever receive is: “wow you look amazing” and contrary to belief not: “Where are those shoes from?” (As that is just complimenting their good shopping skills….) The key is to add a bit of mystery, it shouldn’t look like the client had to get a stylist instead it should seem as if they effortlessly put the look together herself…
All our delegates start by playing it safe but by the of the training they are colouring blocking to perfection confidently putting all the theory into practise and totally styling out of their comfort zone, raring to go and wave their magic wand!
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Image: Jimmy Choo Instagram – Regram