When I asked myself that question over 10 years ago when I had just started styling I definitely remember thinking NO! Not because I didn’t like menswear but because I just couldn’t imagine actually styling them and I honestly didn’t think there was a market for it. Don’t get me wrong I saw plenty of men on a daily basis wearing badly fitted suits, terrible jeans and not to mention awful shoes but would those men actually pay for a Personal Stylist?
Roll on a few months and after styling several women during our congratulatory drink celebrating their new look, I would always ask if they knew anyone who would love my services and almost all of them would reply: Yes, my husband or yes, my boyfriend! This would always make me a little anxious because apart from my first client who was actually my male boss I hadn’t actually styled any men!
After much persuasion I agreed to style these lovely ladies partners. What I soon realised with personal styling it’s all about building trust. These ladies were clearly confident of my abilities and in return they trusted me on every level with their husbands and boyfriends. I also believe because they had invested in themselves they also wanted their other halves to look fantastic and feel great too!
After styling around 10 male clients something crazy dawned on me, in that I could easily categorize these men into different body shapes and to my almost disbelief men actually had the same body shapes as women! So roll on 2 years when we set up the training academy, writing the Menswear styling course was effortless as it was such a natural progression from writing the womens wear course due to the body shapes being the same.
So you may be wondering if the body shapes are the same as the women’s do I need to attend a training course for men? And you absolutely do, just because they share the same body shapes it doesn’t mean they share the same attributes. For example a female ‘rectangle’ is defined as a rectangle because of the lack of curves but has amazing slim arms and legs and in our society her shape is the envy of every women, she can wear anything, she has the model figure so you most likely won’t be having her as a client! But a man who’s defined as a rectangle is considered to be the skinny guy who lacks strong muscle definition, and as a result may feel less masculine so he more than any man is likely to become a client of yours!
Personal styling is so much more than working out what colours suit you and defining your body shape, winning a client and styling them well all comes down to client psychology. You have to understand the difference between peoples needs, have empathy and then of course come up with solutions to build them a wardrobe that not only suits their body shape and colouring but their lifestyle and objectives too.
One thing I can say for sure, styling men and women couldn’t be more different. I’ve found with women they generally want to feel more attractive and that’s why they’ll book a stylist but men are less bothered about attraction, what actually motivates them is that they want to feel more distinguished and to be taken seriously. If they feel getting a personal stylist will help them with a look that will get them that dream job, or promotion, or girlfriend they will pay for it and the best thing is they have a no fuss attitude, meaning they won’t be asking you for a discount or hesitating whether or not
they are deserving of a personal styling session, they will just book it and the best part is, there won’t even be a budget, if you say “this looks great” they’ll simply reply “brilliant, let’s buy it then!” How refreshing!