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Everything you want to know about working with a personal stylist or personal shopper

You've Got Questions? We've Got Answers.

Who is your typical client?
We do not have a "typical" client. Everyone from moms, students, CEOs, actresses, producers, music composers, military, political figures, DJs, lawyers, mining employees, insurance agents, etc...benefits from our services. Every single one of our clients is unique but they all share a common value - the understanding that your image is an expression of who you are and how you feel about yourself.  There is a holistic factor involved...what is going on on the inside will be communicated and show on the outside.

I am visiting from out of town. Do you have a pickup or transport service?
Yes, we do. There is an additional fee for the transport service, depending on the location of your hotel and where you'll be shopping. Your stylist will pick you up from your hotel, take you to the shops, and drop you back off with all your new purchases at your hotel.

I'm a tourist and don't really need styling advice, per se, but I'd like someone who knows where to shop to take me around and be more of a shopping guide. Do you provide that service?
Of course. Just tell us what your needs are and we'll set you up accordingly.

How do the shopping sprees work?
The shopping sprees work a few different ways and depends on your circumstances:

  1. You can shop with your stylist. Chill and stroll along with her with your coffee or tea (sometimes champagne depending on the store ;) while she pulls pieces and sets up your dressing room. She does the work and shields you from pushy salespeople. You can watch and discuss and see why she does and doesn’t pull certain things for you. Once you’re in the dressing room that was set up just for you, you will try on different outfits your stylist puts together for you and start learning how to choose items that are flattering for your body, your wardrobe goals, and your personality.
  2. You can have your stylist shop for you on her own and set up the dressing room for you prior to you going to the store.
  3. You can have your stylist shop for you and bring the items to your house. You can try on and make wardrobe choices in the comfort of your home. Your stylist will handle all the returns (payment for clothing must be given to your stylist prior to the shop).

What kind of shopping packages do you have?
Every service we offer is on an hourly basis. We do it this way because everyone is different. One person's closet consultation may take 6 hours while another's only takes 2 hours. If you're shopping for a special occasion or event we may find the perfect outfit in the first hour of shopping or it might take all day, visiting five different shops, before we find your ideal outfit. Everyone's needs are different and so shopping packages are determined by each individual's circumstances. Please contact us for rates which vary based on the services you desire.

Is there a minimum number of hours per appointment.
Yes, our stylists have a 2 hour booking minimum. This means that if you only shopped for an hour and a half, the payment for your stylist will still be for 2 hours.

What if I overestimate my shopping package and use less hours than I purchased?
If your shopping or styling session was shorter than the package of hours you bought you have a few options:

  1. You can use the hours for another shop or service for yourself on another day
  2. You can gift the hours to someone else and we can style them
  3. We can refund the remaining, unused hours back to you (calculated in half hour increments)

What is the average budget for your clients?
There really is no average budget. Each of our clients have different style goals and needs, so it really depends on what you’re looking for. We recently had a client who did a big overhaul of her professional wardrobe for about $1,700. And we had another client previous to her who did an overhaul of her entire wardrobe for about $17,000 (over the course of few shops). We have clients who hire us for one outfit for an event. We have ongoing clients who hire us every 3 or 4 months to buy 6 to 8 pieces to keep their wardrobes refreshed without having to buy a ton of stuff. It really does depend on what you need and how many outfits you’d like. If you have a little more flexibility with budget, we can obviously get you more pieces for more versatile looks. But you just have to let us know what you’re comfortable with (within realistic terms) and we can work with that.

How do you determine which shops to take a client?
The shops that we choose are based on each client and what their style needs and budget are. We will shop for clients from Macy’s and J. Crew all the way to Barney’s, Neiman Marcus, and the boutique shops on Rodeo Drive. It truly depends on what the client is looking for and prefers. We do tend to stay away from deep discount shops, like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and H&M, unless specially requested. It takes more time for us to find good, quality pieces in those types of shops and your time with your stylist is generally not utilized effectively.

How long is a typical shop session?
Again, it depends. Customized services really have huge variation and there isn't a "typical" any thing. However, many shopping sessions with first-time clients, who start off with a bit of a wardrobe makeover, generally last between 5 to 10 hours. And that is usually done in one or two shops, depending on their schedule.

I hate shopping. I hate trying on clothes. How do you overcome that?
Welcome to the world of almost all our clients! Most of the time, our clients come to us because they hate shopping. Some won't even step foot into stores with us.

Part of the reason many of them hate shopping is because when you don’t know how to choose the most flattering, attractive pieces for yourself, your shopping trips will never be that rewarding for you. Who would enjoy something when all they get out of it each time they do it, are results that they don’t love?

Unfortunately, you can't avoid the "trying on" part. Rest assured, however, when you shop with us, a good chunk of what you try on in the dressing room will look great on you. Most of our clients with budgets actually face the dilemma of having to decide which pieces to purchase and which ones to (sadly) leave behind.

Being educated on how clothes are supposed to be cut and fit your body type will massively change your ability to choose pieces AND possibly change the results you get at the end of a shop. You might find that you actually enjoy shopping because you enjoy the ending results when you're done.

I love shopping but still want a stylist with me. Does that work?
Of course! We love shopping with our clients who enjoy the process. And some of our clients who love shopping don't always know how to pick the best pieces for themselves so we enhance their shopping experiences that way as well.

Can I bring my friend, husband, wife, etc...along with me during my styling/shopping session?
Of course. As long as it is understood that the entire focus is on the client. Bringing a companion along can not only make the experience even more fun, but can be encouraging as well. If you are being gently nudged outside of your fashion comfort zone you might appreciate the extra support and reassurance.

We find that the best companions are spouses or super close friends (of the same sex) who have known you for decades.

Most people don’t have the ability to view style beyond their own tastes and opinions, which doesn't help our clients if their friend has a vastly different style than them and isn't taking all factors into consideration. In this instance, that can actually hinder our clients from discovering their true authentic style. They get hung up on approval from the friend. And if that's all they wanted, they could easily shop with their friend. So we caution you to be careful who you choose to bring to this sensitive time of discovery.

Can you shop for more than one person at a time?
We have done it, yes. But even our clients have remarked they prefer to do two shops and focus on one person at a time. However, if you desire doing that, one stylist can work with two people as long as both people are the same gender and of similar size. It would be difficult to shop for a husband and wife simultaneously because the departments and shops are in different locations for men and women. And it would be difficult to shop for someone who is plus size along with someone who is not, for the same reason - those departments and shops are located in different places.

Why don't you have Before and After pictures?
We used to showcase before/after photos years ago but there were a couple reasons we stopped:

  1. Too many of our clients were uncomfortable with their pictures on the internet, especially the before pictures (we are in LA after all) and we hated the process of trying to convince them of it. Many of our clients prefer anonymity and confidentiality when it comes to this service so we respect that.
  2. The pictures we took in people’s homes or dressing rooms were sub-par. We really like for everything to look first rate here at The Shopping Friend and the only way to do that would be to set up actual photo shoots with proper lighting and makeup. We (and our clients) really didn’t have the time to do all that.
  3. Every client’s style and taste is different and we, as professionals, understand how to dress each person to their unique style. Looking at pictures of other people's style doesn't necessarily communicate the look you may be trying to achieve and might mistakenly mislead you.