This is a very common misconception in the image world. Due to the popularity of style shows where people are torn apart, given a set of ‘rules’ to follow and made up by pros, many people think that a professional image consultant or stylist has all the answers.

Since there is no regulation in the image industry, no training required and no skill set that consultants are supposed to get before they start working with people, it’s important to work with a consultant instead of expecting them to tell you exactly what to wear. Ideally, professional stylists have a certain body of knowledge that they can use to assist clients in finding their personal style, but there’s no way they can know everything about you without asking at least a few really good questions before you work together.

Here’s a perspective shift that many people find valuable to make before they begin searching for or working with a professional:

A stylist or consultant helps you find your style and teaches you how to put it together yourself. 

Everyone filters information through their own life experience. A stylist needs to remove their own bias from the equation as much as possible. It’s really important for stylists to see the person in front of them, listen to their needs carefully and help them find the path to style that will work best for them, instead of offering a quick fix, wear this, kind of approach. Although this type of approach can be helpful in a deadline oriented situation, it often doesn’t stick if it doesn’t relate closely enough to the person’s lifestyle and personality needs.

Make sure that when you’re searching for help, the person you’re seeing has some training, some experience and some credentials behind them; whether it’s certification or the experience of owning a boutique and working with hundreds or thousands of people, and then work with them to let them know who you are so they can help you express yourself through your clothing.

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