STORY BY GIULIANA LAMANTIA
While one may imagine a personal stylist as a luxury to the high class breezing through all the upscale stores of New York City to bring home a polished look to his or her clients, technology has expanded the stylist business to all sorts of people.
Companies such as Trunk Club and Men’s Style Lab have taken personal styling to a whole new level by allowing customers to submit information about them online and have outfits and products sent to them.
However, there are a variety of outlets for online personal styling, shopping and advice.
Katelyn Herlein, a fashion blogger based in Des Moines, has a part-time personal styling business through her blog Katalina Girl.
Herlein offers four different services through her business, including going shopping with her clients for a flat rate, monthly regular clients, specific special events shopping or sending ideas via the Internet.
“When someone first contacts me via the Internet who does not live in the area, I send them a questionnaire of what are your favorite pieces, colors, what colors do you hate, what’s your best body asset,” Herlein said. “I think the main thing for me is I really stress that I need you to be as honest as possible so I can get into my customers head and figure out what they need, what they don’t need, what they like, what they don’t like.”
For clients who live in the area, Herlein tries to get to know them on a personal level first by meeting for coffee.
“I think [personal styling] is really different than ‘Oh, you need a dress, what’s your size?’” Herlein said. “To me, for personal styling, the first word of that is ‘personal,’ so you have to get personal with people.”
Herlein believes online styling and fashion blogs have advanced the fashion business through promotion. In addition, it has helped bring in more revenue.
“I definitely think personal styling is changing the consumer market just because I feel like as bloggers and online stylists we are pushing products so much more,” Herlein said.
Sophomore fashion blogger Molly Lamoureux feels the Internet has helped enhance personal styling for the middle class and the Midwest.
“As far as personal shopping goes, it’s been around before the Internet, and the Internet has enhanced the availability of this service to people,” Lamoureux said.
While junior Brandon Bader has never personally used an online stylist company, his family and friends have had successful experiences with it. He feels it is something he would be willing to try in the future.
“With the one my mom uses, she gets cosmetics,” Bader said. “Some of the stuff she likes, some of it she’s not a big fan of or she already has, but a lot of the new stuff she gets she’s a fan of.”
No matter the method, personal styling is about providing a service to others.
“I really love styling people and making them feel good about themselves,” Herlein said. “That’s kind of my tagline, I really like to ignite confidence in my readers and people that I style.”