Thinking Of Booking A Personal Stylist Service In A Prescription Box?
Think again. If you have been looking for the best personal stylist service subscription box, read this before you decide. Over the last few years, several subscription services have cropped up, offering a range of niche services. For as little as £10 a month, the subscription boxes are advertised as providing ‘Personal Styling For Women And Men’ or ‘Get clothing hand-selected by our expert stylists’. It sounds like a good deal right? I mean, who would not want their own personal stylist for £10 a month?
Having spent 22 years working as a personal stylist with celebrities and personal clients worldwide, let me explain why.
You Get What You Pay For
If something looks like it is too good to be true, it usually is. Considering a personal service should not look like that, whatever kind of service it is. When you purchase, you pay for the experts time and experience. That experience means that you get what you pay for. Whether it be a hairstylist, a dressmaker, a photographer or a personal stylist, it takes years of experience to gain that title. Anyone can say they are any one of these experts, but unfortunately, they will not deliver the goods.
Personal stylists, like any expert, will often have studied their craft at university and then spent years working their way up in their field. That experience of working their way up is where they learn their true craft. Working with different clients from different backgrounds, with various budgets and timescales, means they can deliver what the clients want. A professional stylist will learn the tiny nuances of two clients with the same body shape and how to assess a person’s size by just looking at them or knowing from experience what colours will suit them. None of this expertise can be taught in a few weeks. It comes from real life, in-person experience.
To apply to be a ‘personal stylist’ at any number of the popular subscription box services, you need NONE of that experience. Check out their application pages yourself, and you will see requirements like ‘you are passionate about fashion’ and ‘you like to inspire clients to try out new trends’. So essentially, the ‘personal stylists’ do not need ANY experience when they start.
Does that not seem a little odd to you? How can you gain real experience as a personal stylist when you work from home?
Believe me; you can’t.
So What Do You Get With A Personal Stylist Subscription Box?
Well, one thing you do not get is a personal stylist choosing the outfits for you, whatever it says on the description. Just to clarify, I have no problem with the people who work for any of the subscription box services; I am sure they are good at what they do. However, I do have a problem with the companies tricking the public into thinking they are getting a service they are not.
Recently, I highlighted this with Stitchfix on social media. I put it to them that the people choosing the clothes were not personal stylists because they did not have the experience of a personal stylist, so it was false advertising to claim they were. I told them that a person trained to use an algorithm was not a personal stylist. I said that no personal stylist would work for £10 an hour because the experience they bring to the client is worth much more. They skirted around my statement by answering that the ‘stylists certainly are real people’ and that ‘I could see more about them here’ where they included a link. If you look on Stitch Fix’s website and go to ‘Careers’ and ‘See All Openings’, you will see the first, and one of the largest sections is titled ‘Algorithums’.
Now my question to you is this;
If personal stylists choose the clothes, why do they need such large teams dedicated to algorithms?
When you sign up for a fashion subscription box, you fill out a series of questions. Those questions go into a system where algorithms filter out suggestions for you. Next, a person who is trained to use the system chooses an outfit from those suggestions and arranges to have them sent out to you.
That is why it never quite feels right. An algorithm is taking the answers to your questions and filtering what you should have.
That is not a personal stylist.
So when you sign up for a subscription box, for ten pounds a month, you get an algorithm and a person trained to use it choosing your clothes.
So What Should You Look For In A Personal Stylist Service?
First, look for real-world experience. A good personal stylist service provider will have a minimum of five years of experience behind them dressing clients in person in various situations and backgrounds. Ask them about previous clients, check to see if they have any testimonials. If they do, you could even ask if you could contact one of them. Look for any published work either online or in hard copy. Check out independently where their experience lies by doing some searches away from the website. A personal stylist service provider with decent experience will have references of work elsewhere online. Look for experience in a variety of backgrounds. If they have gained their experience working in a store, that is pretty limited. Variety is key.
If you are looking for a genuine personal stylist, you should NOT settle for anything less.
Alternatively, if you can not get to the shops to talk to an experienced shop assistant, or do not have the budget, try out a subscription box, but go into it knowing full well what you are signing up for. Alternatively, check out the capsule closet stylist membership where you do get regular access to a professional stylist for a small monthly fee. If you are a man looking for help with your wardrobe you can get help here.