About the author: Dave I. has been a Dappered reader for several years. His interest in fashion started with shoes and expanded to encompass watches, suits, and general men’s style. When not thinking about his next purchase he can be found enjoying a pint of locally brewed craft beer.
Look. It’s no secret that keeping on top of your style game 24/7 can be a full time job. Surfing the #menswear blogs and perusing the #menswear forums can leave you thinking it’s all been done and there’s nothing new or exciting out there. Kinda like “Meh. Been there done that”. Or maybe you’ve opened up your closet and were tired of looking at row upon row of clothes that aren’t doing it for you anymore. What to do?
Well, there’s always Style Scenarios to help you out. But where do you turn for inspiration when you’re looking for something a little more interactive? Maybe a little more personal? In my case, I didn’t know how to shop for stylish clothing and I was concerned that my closet was filled with dated clothing. With this in mind I figured it was time to use a style consultant.
I say good man, your socks should match your pants.
For the man who is either a) looking to get into the style game and not knowing where to begin or b) looking for some creative input, a style consultant can be a breath of fresh air and perspective. Trouble is, how can you tell the good style consultants from those who just want to impress upon you their fashion knowledge and take your money in return? Well as said in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 8 “Lay on, Macduff.”
Kicking off with Google or your search engine of choice is first and foremost the best place to turn. Using a variety of terms such as “style consultant + [insert your region here]” will likely result in more people looking to help you spend your money than you can shake a worn and shiny suit jacket at. So who do you trust and how do you tell good consultants from the bad?
Let the Google shine a spotlight on the consultants in your area.
Simply put, go to their websites and see what before and after pictures look like. If the before picture has the person dressed in shambles and the after picture has the person dressed in a style you could see yourself in, then some further exploration might be in order. How much do they charge? Are there other reviews on the internet you can find? Etc. On the other hand, if the style consultant is dressing the person up in clothes that even your nerdy high school self would never be caught dead in, it is likely time to check out one of the other results from the initial style consultant search engine.
I settled on my style consultant because a) I liked her personal style that she wore on her website, b) she offered a free one-hour consult to go over my style woes and c) when I spoke with her over the phone she was genuine and nice.
Style consultants offer a range of services. Some might focus solely on clothes, others might focus on improving general grooming, while others might focus on getting you ready for a special event such as job interview. Whatever the case, costs range from consultant to consultant and is usually charged on a per-house basis. Be prepared to take a hit in the wallet here guys. Many stylists charge around $100/hr and up.
Purging; a likely step your style consultant will take with you. (photo credit)
With this in mind, perhaps one of the most beneficial services a style consultant can offer is the closet clean out. All guys can be guilty of keeping articles of clothing past their best before date, but for reasons of sentimentality just can’t seem to part with them. Maybe it’s that Van Halen concert T-shirt from the 1984 tour, the concert where you kissed your girl for the first time. Or maybe it’s a pair of bootcut jeans that you’ve been holding on to for the past four years, convinced they will come back in style. Whatever the reason, having an independent (read non-emotionally attached) person come in and assist you in cleaning out your closet can pay huge dividends. You’ll regain closet space, feel good about giving some clothing to Goodwill, and have a reason to go out shopping again. Now we’re talking win-win-win.
This somewhat mirrors my own experience. After meeting with the style consultant and explaining my predicament, she came to my house and sorted through my closet. Gone were the old (shiny) suits, the much too big leather jacket (that I thought was oh so cool), and other ‘past their due date’ button down dress shirts. Basically it was the closet clean-out I knew I needed to be done, but I could never have accomplished on my own.
Making use of a style consultant is not for everyone. For me, I found it beneficial as I was introduced to the art of looking good and understanding the importance of small things such as ironing dress shirts. Yes, believe it or not this is something I didn’t do before meeting with the style consultant. Seems obvious in hindsight, I know.
Even small details like ironing your shirt might be part of your consultation.
Some people though have an innate sense of style and always seem able to throw an outfit together. For those people, a style consultant is likely not going to be a priority. But for those who are looking for a starting point in their #menswear journey, or perhaps have come to a crossroads and don’t know where to turn, an independent second voice can often be a source of reason.