Before I begin, I want to ask all of you to think about what you think a personal stylist is? I will ask you again at the end.
For me being a stylist was always a goal I wanted to achieve because I have always been passionate about clothing. From a young age going to the clothes show with my mum was always an absolute treat, I use to love looking at all the catwalk looks and think about how I could adapt my own style into something like that.
I then decided to study fashion design at university, purely because I knew they would hold fashion shows that I could help out with! Spending three years working with some incredible ladies and learning so much about fashion really helped me realise that styling at that time was something only the celebrities did. Gok Wan and Trinny and Suzanna were the only stylists I knew of and I thought to myself there has to be a way I can help people learn about what they can wear too without just watching it on television.
I started to train myself at first, reading books and looking on the internet, each day learning that everybody seemed to have the same idea and the styling world began to grow, there were more ladies who wanted to achieve the same goal as me. It was amazing to watch these ladies train and develop into incredible stylists who were helping people every day and made me want to train harder.
I started training with the London College Of Style two years ago now, they gave me the qualification I have now and opened my eyes to life as a stylist, the training they gave me I would have never got on my own so I am grateful to all of them. Learning about colour analysis and how to find peoples unique style blew my mind and really excited me to start working with different people, I just wanted everyone to know what I knew.
Being a stylist now after two years of training I couldn’t feel more honoured, every day I work with people who really make me appreciate my job. They make me remember every day why I trained. Before I tell you all what I do, I want to share with you all why I do it. Growing up I was always a bigger girl, I was always the biggest out of all my friends and when we all got to being 18 and started going out I never had anything to wear. I wanted to look like them but I didn’t have the figure to look like them so it was made difficult for me to want to go out. I fell into a rut of always wearing black head to toe, even my hair was black because I thought I would go unnoticed. I have obviously found out now that I wasn’t unnoticed, I actually looked bigger than I really was and until I learnt how colours can transform you I went along with the ‘black is slimming’ which I have now learnt is a lie. I taught myself how to love what I looked like and give myself that body confidence back that I had lost. Now I wear any colour but black and I am styling all my friends that I once use to be jealous of. I wanted to be a stylist because I wanted to give people the confidence and the motivation that I gave myself. It is so much more rewarding than I ever thought.
Every day we have clients, they start of as strangers and end up leaving as friends. I meet so many different people from high paid professionals like doctors or lawyers, bloggers, parents, students to celebrities sometimes which is weird to think even in their profession of work in that appointment I am the professional one.
I start of an appointment talking through their colours, I identify their colour palette which means their season, whether they are cool or warm toned and what their WOW colours are. This is my most favourite part because I always find that clients always come in wearing black and I love draping them in a massive array of colours and watching them realise how many colours they can actually wear. If you don’t know which season you fall into or even if you are cool or warm toned I would always recommend finding out! It honestly will change your life. Even down to the type of jewellery you wear.
We then talk body shapes, styles and what they require. Sometimes it can be something small like a pair of jeans and others it can be a holiday wardrobe or a special occasion piece. This is the time they start to open up, we talk about them. At this point they forget about everything, they forget about what they do for work, any problems they are having, at this point the hours we spend together talking is a treat for them. We laugh, we cry but most importantly I remind them how brave they are for opening up to me because that is one thing we don’t ask for. As well as them coming in for a new outfit they also come in for friendship and loyalty because they give us their story whether it be about their body shape or their colours they trust me.
After I learn everything about them I then go and pick their outfits, bearing in mind the style they want and the colours they suit I gather together a small rail of options. Not too many because I don’t want them to feel like they are in a fitting room and could do this themselves, the smaller rail the better because it shows them I have listened and have got them. Like I said earlier listening in key, you have to listen to your clients always otherwise why did they even come and see you.
The trying on session is the best part of the day, watching them try on what you have picked and seeing them look confident and happy in their outfits is such a lovely feeling. Often in my appointments I stick close to the brief they have given me but I also add a wild card, the wild card is something that is absolutely nothing like what they have asked for that when I bring it in they look scared of but then when they try it on they love it more than they thought. Often enough the wild card is the one they buy. In the trying on naturally I have learnt that every single person hates a part of their body, it is something that only they can see and no matter how much I tell them how amazing they look they always tell me otherwise. This is so normal! How many people are confident in what they look like nowadays anyway?
Being a personal stylist every day is a dream, it is a day of me making different connections with different people and making them feel the very best version of them. Every day when I meet people with a story like mine I remember how far I have actually come. I also feel so lucky that they want to come and see me because it is such a personal service. Going into a room with a story to tell to a stranger who is about to pick you an outfit can seem so daunting but it really is not. It is the best way to treat yourself and the easiest way to get out of trawling the shops for hours because I do that for you.
So I will ask you all again what do you think a personal stylist is? Because to me we aren’t just stylists, we are your friends, your therapists sometimes, we are the people who you open up to and trust, you try clothes on with us and you leave us feeling amazing. I don’t forget my clients and I always make sure they will never forget me.
Facebook: Styled by Laura