An experienced personal shopper should be naturally helpful and have an excellent all-round knowledge of fashion, possess good verbal communication and organisation skills with the ability to be diplomatically truthful. Moreover, a personal shopper should boost client confidence and naturally be stylish to gain client trust.
When shoppers book a private personal shopper experience the first private personal shopping appointment should be formal although, depending upon the price range of the shop and the service offered to the client the shopping experience and outcome will differ. The first personal shopping appointment should be formal and make the client feel relaxed, happy and comfortable. If it is your first time with a personal shopper/stylist, you should be asked fairly thorough profiling questions over coffee or a glass of wine (depending upon the brand). A private personal shopping appointment should always be useful, confidence-boosting, relaxed and above all - fun! A personal shopper will profile the client during a private consultation session. the client should feel relaxed, be able to put their feet up during a 15-minute Q&A then you simply need to back with a drink while the personal shopper goes shopping for you. So you know what to expect, here is a list of some typical questions;
1. What are you hoping to achieve from this session? Special occasion outfit, seasonal wardrobe update, power-dressing for a corporate/create job, a weekend wardrobe, a capsule wardrobe, new mum, awards ceremony, lunch with the Queen and Meghan Markle etc.? Be clear about what you are looking for. If a client doesn't have a personal stylist, the personal shopper will probably ask additional questions above lifestyle to find out how to comfortable create a fitting style. If you are looking for inspiration then say so. Be clear. An experienced personal shopper should source what you are looking for and give you inspiration. Unless you are short of time! If you are hoping to find your style, then this is your opportunity to share information about yourself, your hobbies, your job and lifestyle information. If a personal stylist is going to style you, as well as shop for you, finding a comfortable fitting style is an objective and key to a successful session.
2. What size(s) are you? Be accurate. If you don't know - measure up or quicker still, check what size you are wearing in the consultation room. An experienced personal stylist will be able to tell you, alternatively, they will whip out a measuring tape
If your weight fluctuates, then your bra size will fluctuate too! Relax, have fun and share your credentials.
If you have a figure concern it is important to share this with your stylist. Most commonly: tummy, upper-arms, ankles, scars, boobs and any disabilities you may have. Areas of concern are relevant when styling a client in practical, functional or special occasion clothes. For example, when styling elderly or wheelchair-bound clients, only certain styles and fabrics work effectively, so ensure you share any relevant information and trust in your stylist.
3. What is your favourite go-to outfit and why? This allows the personal stylist to engage on a practical level and further tune into your way of thinking.
4. Do you have a fashion colour you dislike, something you would rather I did not source for you today? People get stuck in a rut with colours and styles. A colour that once suited you in your teenage years or your thirties, may not work twenty years late, so be mindful of your own colour palette changing (often every seven years), moreover, after 35-years of age. During the consultation, your personal shopper should make notes on your natural colour palette (hair, skin and eyes) this is paramount to personal profiling.
5. What is your budget? Not all personal shoppers will ask this question. A good stylist will source a variety of garments with different price ranges. During the sales, you should expect a couple of sale items, not just in a colour you like, but in clothes that actually fit you properly and suit your frame. 6. Visualise your existing wardrobe, what is missing? Most people own too many clothes. We continually buy stuff, allowing our closets to double in size year by year. I admittedly own too many clothes, however, I have dramatically culled over the years. Moving house encourages culling. Giving clothes to charity or friends is the most sustainable way to refresh your wardrobe. Style tip: One in, one out! (this method is not always achievable, but it is practical).
Basically, if you haven't worn a garment for the last three years get rid of it. I find this process difficult, "what if I want to wear it later on". But, believe me, you will always have 'something' worn and old to get rid of.
7. Do you have any questions you would like to ask me? If you are paying for a service it is important to ask questions. You need to know you can fully trust your stylist/personal shopper.
Here are a few common questions;
How long have you been working in fashion?
How flexible is your calendar? *Client's often ask for private sessions outside of working hours - know the rules.
I am on holiday for two weeks before Christmas, can I rely on your to source Christmas gifts for a list of people?
*If a client's request goes outside of working hours, be clear of your price per hour. The above personal shopping questions are part of a profiling shopping service. However, questions will always differ, depending upon the quality of the service and the brand (shop).
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