By Megan Sever, GalTime.com
Score a TOP personal stylist! "Everyone, not just the rich or famous, should be able to get personal help with style."
It is with that belief that famed stylist of the hit show "What Not to Wear," Stacy London, teamed up with friend and businesswoman Cindy McLaughlin to co-found Style for Hire (SFH), a national network that helps you find an A-list stylist in your area. (And couldn't we all use one of those?!)
Right now, no official standards exist for stylists; there's no board or council overseeing or certifying stylists like other professions. That's why SFH put its own standards in place. Now, Paula O'Neil, regional manager, West Coast, of SFH and co-founder of Portland, Ore.-based Est Ovest Style, is revealing the secret to vetting your own stylist, and making sure she is the right "fit" for you!
Look At Experience Level: Generally, if you are ramping up your wardrobe or feel like you have some specific styling challenges that you want to address once and for all, it's probably worth splurging on a more senior level stylist.
Related: Do You Need a Personal Stylists?
Do A Background Check: Check out the stylists' bios and see what their styling background has been. Check out their top tips and before-and-after photos of real women they've worked with; that will help you get a sense of their individual work and expertise.
Talk It Out: Once you've identified someone who seems like a good fit, schedule a 30-minute to 1-hour complimentary consultation. Discuss your goals and desires - and your budget and plans. Be sure to ask what the stylist's fee structure is so you know up front what you'll be paying for.
Ask For Referrals: Questions to ask previous clients might be, "How did your stylist get to know you as a client?" or "Did you feel like your stylist really listened to what you needed and then did she help you meet those goals?"
Another important question to ask is "Did your stylist take the time to educate you on why she was suggesting something for your wardrobe or body type?"
Any stylist worth their salt (and their fee) will take the time to make sure that their client understands the "why" of any wardrobe decision. That way, you can put together the perfect head-to-toe outfit when she isn't with you … or in your closet!
More from GalTime: