Do You Need a Personal Stylist?

By Megan Sever, GalTime.com

Are you in need of a personal stylist?Are you in need of a personal stylist?In an ideal world, we all want to look our best. But, in the real world, we have constraints. We have budgets. We have tons of errands to run and feet that hurt.

And often times, we have no idea how to wear the season's latest trends. Faux fur? Seriously? I look like a fat teddy bear! Leather wedges? Love them, but it's pouring outside! Whatever the completely understandable and logical excuse, we have it.

The good news? A personal stylist can help. The even better news? Hiring one doesn't have to be expensive. It can even save you money in the long run!

Paula O'Neil and Tracy Pendergast, co-founders of Portland based Est Ovest Style, explain how a style consultant can help transform you into your best self.

Talk It Out: Get ready to get personal! The first step is to talk with your stylist. You'll cover everything from your lifestyle to your personal style. You'll also talk about what pieces work best for your body type, how to highlight your best assets, and how to create the perfect proportions...what Est Ovest calls the "science of styling."

Related: The Changing Shape of Women

"You need to know the basics - what works for your body. Your silhouette doesn't change, so create a base around that and go from there," Pendergast says. "If you're wearing clothes that fit, you have a lot more room to take style risks."

Closet Consultation: The next step is a closet audit. In most cases, your personal stylist will come to your house and raid your closet with you. You'll talk about what to keep, what to toss, what to donate, and more!

The goal isn't to change your personal flair, or to dress you up like every other gal on the street…it's to make your style work for your life. Est Ovest says it's a process and a discovery!

Retail Therapy: Now that you know the basics, it's time to hit the stores. Your stylist will know which brands are the best fit for your body, your budget, and your lifestyle. She'll pull clothes for you to try, and point out what works and what doesn't. Together, you'll figure out which pieces to splurge on (like a classic, cashmere sweater) and which to save on (like a trendy faux-fur vest.) And if your schedule is packed, your stylist can even help you find amazing deals online.

"Most clients are spending money on their wardrobes getting random pieces throughout the year. It adds up for their wallet, but not to much effectiveness in their closet. Our idea is to have them shop in more concentrated, strategic bursts so that their wardrobe works harder for them," says Pendergast.

Money Matters: On a budget? No problem! Most personal stylists are willing to work with you so that you don't land in the red.

Related: Celeb Wardrobe on a "Regular" Gal's Budget

"We don't want anyone to spend more than they can afford, or we're not really helping them. It's our job to educate our clients about what kind of clothing they can get the most wear from, what lasts longest, or can be worn in the most versatile ways," says Pendergast.

"We work with all types of clients and strive to make the experience as fun, efficient and ultimately effective as possible because it is an investment - an investment in oneself, that ultimately will pay itself back tenfold," adds O'Neil.

Remember those excuses? Budgets, errands, money - don't let them stop you from looking and feeling your best. Given the right tools - with guidance from professional stylists - everyone can look good. And when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, good things happen. And who wouldn't want that?

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