What Exactly Is A Stylist

by Danai (other articles by Danai)


Take a Quick read of the interview I did with Delia Timms the founder of the What Should I Wear website.

We've been very lucky to have a range of stylists provide advice to our community through our 'Style Panel' every month.  Have you ever wondered exactly what a personal stylist does?  Have you ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of styling? Have you ever worried that if you DID engage a stylist they might dress you like Lady Gaga?  Well we asked Danai Roussos, head stylist of 'The Style Project by D' to help shed some light on these intriguing questions and more!!  Meet the delightful Danai...

Delia: Firstly, what is a "personal stylist"?
Danai:  A person who helps you identify your body shape, goes shopping with you and helps you build a sense of style and a wardrobe that suits all of your needs.

Delia: What is a “personal shopper”?
Danai: A person who selects clothing/accessories based on a brief they are provided with by you. Sometimes they receive commissions from stores. This is a valuable option if you are very time poor and cannot hit the shops with a personal stylist. 

Delia: What are the most common questions people have when it comes to their style/wardrobes?
Danai: Most people tell me that the main concerns are -
·         I don’t know what I like.
·         I don’t feel like the stores cater to me, my age, budget, lifestyle, personality.
·         I spend ages shopping and find nothing I like, how will you find outfits for me that suit my style In such a short space of time?
·         What’s my body shape?
·         What shops are best for me?
·         Is my budget enough?
These are very common questions and stylists are very happy to help solve these problems!  

Delia: What types of services do most personal stylists provide to regular (non celebrity) women like us?!
Danai:  It depends on what the client needs and wants.  But the main services include wardrobe management (cleaning out your closet helping you sort out gaps in your wardrobe, putting your clothes into outfits for you), shopping expeditions (often 2-4 hours), colour consulting and body shape analysis. I also think it is important that you end up with complete outfits. You shouldn't walk away from your shopping trip with a top that you love and nothing to wear with it. Most importantly, time with a stylist should teach you the skills to shop for yourself confidently.

Delia: When selecting a personal stylist what sort of questions should be asked?  
Danai: It's important to ask questions about your personal fashion concerns i.e. "I seem to have lost my way with fashion, can you help me find my style?"  “I can't seem to find jeans that fit me, can you help with this?" "I have a wedding to attend on a beach and I have no idea what to wear!". Importantly ask where the stylist will take you shopping and why. Check their hourly rates and if they have any 'packages' (i.e., a wardrobe and shopping package).

Delia: What do you look for when choosing the right stylist?
Danai: A connection is paramount. You need to feel confident working with them.  Look for a stylist who asks questions and listens!  Before booking you should check their credentials (qualifications/experience).

Delia: What do you expect in terms of the process, the cost and time?
Danai:  If you've covered off all your concerns over a telephone conversation first then you'll be able to determine the best service for you.  Whether it is a 3 hour wardrobe edit, or a 2-4 hour shopping trip. Or both!  The cost varies anywhere from $50-$200 (at the top end) an hour for a shopping trip.

Delia: At the end of a styling consultation what should you walk away with?
Danai:  These are the 5 key things you should gain from time spent with a stylist:
1. An analysis of your body shape.
2. Stores that work for you.
3. Tips on how to shop more effectively.
4. Do’s and Dont’s specifically for you, not just generic to your body shape.
5. Fashion items that you should aspire to, it’s important to step outside your comfort zone.

Delia: So how do I make sure a stylist doesn't dress me like Lady Gaga?  :)
Danai: I can pretty much guarantee that no stylist worth her salt would dress you (or anyone else for that matter) like Lady Gaga.  Unless it was for a costume party!  On a serious note, a professional stylist is an expert at helping you uncover your personal style.  They use all of their clever skills and tips to put together outfits for you.  They don't want to push you in to something that is completely wrong for you, your lifestyle and your personality.  By the end of your session you should shine with confidence, based on your own unique style and the outfits that you've created.


Thanks Danai!  It's great to find out more about the styling industry and what stylists do.  Danai is on our style panel this month - so feel free to ask her more questions via our App or site.  We also have a fantastic list of stylists on our 'Style Panel' page, if you ever need this resource. 

Are you thinking about summery clothes, shoes and accessories?  You are welcome to join the conversation at 'What Should I Wear?', sharing ideas and advice about style!

All the best --