Not sure if you should book in with me or choose another type of personal styling or shopping service?
If you've seen other menswear styling services around and are wondering which option is right for you and exactly how we all differ from each other, I've set out to explain who does what, along with the pros and cons of each so that you can clarify which service will suit you best.
What they do:
The only one I know that provides this type of service is Thread.com The service is a combination of a human touch and some AI. The client is sent links by email of suggested clothing to buy online. They then pick what they would like, order and it's delivered to them.
I actually worked remotely for Thread.com for a short time before all the stylists became in-house. The clients could send direct messages to their stylist and you would hand pick some items for them but they would also be sent outfits the algorithm had selected for them based on the information given. As far as I understand, this is how they still operate, and I believe they have also improved the selection of brands they stock beyond the high street ones.
- You don't have to visit the shops
- You get suggestions of items you may not have thought of and how to wear it
- It's a free service
- Some of this will be matched by algorithms rather than a real person and may not be accurate to your tastes
- You have no one to tell you if it suits you once you've received the items
- It might not be as personalised a service as you'd like
Clothing Box Scheme
What they do
There are now quite a few clothing box schemes to help men with their shopping such as The Chapar, Enclothed and Dappad. (You might have seen a couple of them on Dragon's Den?!). The client has a phone consultation with one of the personal stylists, and advises what type of clothing they would like, and for what occasions, plus basic info like sizing.
The allocated stylist will then choose the clothing for the client from their suppliers, and advise on how the items can be worn as outfits. They will be put together in a box and delivered to the client's home, who keeps what they like and the rest is picked up.
- You can do this for different occasions - going away for a weekend, work attire etc
- Free service and you only have to pay for the items you keep
- Everything is delivered to you and you can try it on in the comfort of your own home
- You're limited to the brands they stock
- The stylist will select clothing for you based on photographs and your conversation only - you won't meet in person
- There's no one there to advise if it looks good when you try it on and how to mix it with other items in your wardrobe
In Store Personal Shopper
What they do
Most department stores and some of the other smaller stores have their own in house personal shoppers. When the client books an appointment at the store, details of sizing and requirements will be taken.
Before they arrive for the appointment the personal shopper will choose a selection of clothing from the shop floor in the correct sizes and have it ready to try on in the personal shopping area when the client arrives.
- Everything in one place and someone there to advise on how to wear the items and potential to choose more pieces from the shop floor if sizing is wrong etc
- Personal shoppers know their store and stock well and will have seen many of the items on before so know how they fit and will be up to date on the latest trends and looks and which designer has them
- Free service
- Limited to what they have in store and what they have in stock
- There may be a minimum spend and the personal shopper will probably receive commission from the sale
- It's likely they will have minimum information on you before you turn up for the personal shopping session (though if you are a return customer this will obviously be different)
Freelance Personal Stylist
What they do
This is the service that I provide. An independent personal stylist (also called an image consultant - though I personally don't like this term) provides an in depth service advising the client on how to improve all aspects of his style. This can be done through a one to one Personal Styling session where advice is given on which colours and styles to wear and where to buy things or any other useful information that's needed.
A Wardrobe Edit will show clients how to combine outfits from the clothing they have and what could be bought to improve their wardrobe, as well as advising which to get rid of. A freelance personal stylist can also provide a Personal Shopping service where clients can buy items to fill the gaps in their wardrobes and be introduced to different stores. A pre-shop will have been done ahead of the session.
- Completely independent so no need to be loyal to any store and freedom to shop wherever is best for the client
- Unbiased and honest opinion on clothing
- In depth service which can be completely tailored to the clients needs
- The client needs to be present for the sessions so more time consuming than online services
- A paid for service
- Client may prefer a more detached service and to make decisions and choices on their own