What is a Personal Stylist? Or a Personal Shopper?

So what do you do, Shelley?


I’ve been working on my response to that question for about 3 years and it keeps changing! Everyone talks about having an elevator pitch – something that explains in about 20 seconds what you do and what problems you solve for people – the time it takes for a lift to take you to the right floor.


I started with “I’m a Personal Stylist”.


Although it’s an industry-accepted term, I often wondered whether it meant anything to my clients.


I concluded that it probably didn’t and even more than that it was more of a barrier for them. It conjures up images of those stylish people, male or female, who dress the Duchess of Sussex or the Head of a multinational corporation in The City and which isn’t really for the likes of us! No way we could afford one!


Does it tell you what I do or what I can do for you? Do you think I’m a hairdresser?? Does it describe me? I don’t think so. So I thought I’d tell you more about who I am and what I do, as well as what I’m not and what I don’t do.


What do you do, Shelley?


Well, thanks for asking! I work with women who are at their wits’ end to sort out their wardrobes once and for all! A client once described me as liker a nicer version of Gok Wan.


And then people get it! Now I LOVE Gok so this is an awesome compliment as far as I'm concerned!


I “do” 2 things which lead to so many great things. I kinda like the term Wardrobe Wizard and this is how I work my magic!


1. Wardrobe Sorting


I go into women’s homes and clear out their wardrobes with them, showing them how to put together outfits from the things they already have. We come up with a Gap List – that list of things to add to your wardrobe to make it work better for you. I advise on shape, colour and style and help you to understand why some things work for you and some just don’t. You’ll know what to avoid and what to binge on to make you look and feel amazing!


And do you know what? I LOVE doing this! There’s a lot of emotion attached to what we’re attached to and I help you to understand and deal with that. It's cathartic for the client and I get vicarious joy from helping them to do it. I sort your wardrobe at your pace but I can be ruthless when I need to be!


I’m your critical wardrobe friend in the nicest most understanding kind of way!


The Gap List


That Gap List. It might be basics in one of your neutral colours. It might be a great pair of shoes. It might be trousers that aren't jeans. I can then take you shopping and together we'll look for the things that are going to make your wardrobe a happy place.


You don’t have to have a Wardrobe Sort before Personal Shopping - both Wardrobe Sorts and Personal Shopping can be stand-alone. But it does help you to understand exactly what you've already got, what you need and what you don’t need. It helps you to be a smarter shopper.


2. Personal Shopping


Again, the term “Personal Shopper”, I think that can be a bit of a barrier for people – “I can’t possibly afford it, it’s a bit of a luxury isn’t it?” Well, yes, in a way it is. But in other ways can you afford not to? It’s time to spend on you. And you matter. We can shop for an outfit for a special occasion or when you know you need someone to push you out of your comfort zone.


If you think about it, society has got used to people having Personal Trainers to help them look and feel so much better. This is the same. It’s teaching you skills and helping you to put them in practice that you’ll then have for a lifetime.


Although I always tell clients to bring a bottle of water with them and wear comfortable clothes, I promise it’s way less sweaty than a personal training session!! But you will burn calories!


So what do you do Shelley?


Back to that question - here's what I am and what I'm not


What I'm not


  • I’m not someone who posts their outfit of the day #ootd every day

  • I don’t have loads of clothes or money to spend on them

  • Sometimes I drop my clothes on the floor or chairdrobe for a day or two (read seven!)

  • I never judge a woman by what she has in her wardrobe

  • I will never make a woman wear something she doesn’t want to

  • I’m not a shopaholic, 4 hours is enough for me!

  • I’m not at the cutting edge of fashion and would look ridiculous if I tried!

  • I like high heels but they don’t like me - I don’t wear them well – I’m a flats kinda girl

  • I NEVER shop with my husband!

  • I’m not soaring over rainbows and living the dream all the time – life can be pants at times!


What I am


  • I don’t have lots of clothes, BUT I do have lots of outfits

  • I am nicer when I like my outfit

  • I love my jeans and can’t imagine life without them

  • I think anyone can wear any colour so long as you get the right tone

  • I have to manage my mental health pixies so they don’t get the upper hand

  • I am in love with the life-changing magic of accessories

  • I have wobbly weight around my tummy that I could really do without

  • I love yellow and blue. I don’t have any red in my wardrobe

  • I sometimes just want to hide away and be invisible to the world

  • I get ridiculously excited about the right coat hangers and the right storage solutions


So forget the terminology. It’s about sorting out your wardrobe so you feel less stressed and more confident. Don’t feel this is for other people, but can’t possibly be for you.


It is for you. You deserve this as much as anyone.


If you are ready to have a chat, please do get in touch – my wardrobe wizardry skills are ready and waiting! Ring me on 07843 006335, email on style@shelleykelly.co.uk or message me through Facebook or Instagram.

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