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What is a Fashion Consultant?

A fashion consultant is a person who takes you shopping.

A fashion consultant will walk you into a department store, or a shopping centre, and help you to buy clothes, all of which go together to create a number of outfits. Sometimes they might help you buy clothes that have no interrelationship; in other words, each is a stand-alone outfit. Usually you’ll buy a combination of stand-alone outfits and mix-and-match pieces. For example, you might buy a suit and a shirt that go together, a dress that doesn’t work with any other piece in your wardrobe, and a belt or jacket that works with a number of different outfits.

A fashion consultant’s job is complete if you arrive home with several bags of new clothes. The fashion consultant will help you choose from a limited range of clothing available in one or two stores. They may have shown you various sizes to find the right fit, or a range of colors, but their job is complete once you have an outfit that fits you, that is coordinated, and that you are happy to wear. A fashion consultant will only choose from what’s available at the time. If they’re employed by a shopping centre, all of your choices will come from that centre. That’s their job.

How Do You Hire a Fashion Consultant?

Fashion consultants are listed on the Internet and in the Yellow Pages. Some are independent contractors or small business owners, while others work for department store chains. So contacting the stores is another way you can find one.

Phone your favorite department store and ask if they offer the services of a fashion consultant. You’ll need to book an appointment, at which time they’ll generally ask you what sorts of clothes you’re looking for, and whether you’re shopping for a specific event. Many people, particularly mothers of the bride and people organising events like their children’s graduations, will go into panic mode with regard to clothes. Hiring a fashion consultant to help them choose an appropriate outfit is a stress-free solution.

If the fashion consultant is hired by a particular store, they are obligated to find you something from the store’s stock. They will find you something that fits, that’s suitable for the occasion you have in mind, and that theoretically works for you.

The Difference Between A Fashion Consultant And An Image Consultant

An Image Consultant, on the other hand, isn’t tied to a particular store. If there’s nothing in the store at the moment that suits you - nothing in your range of flattering colors or styles - the image consultant will suggest you look further. Specific colours go in and out of fashion, and sometimes this season’s range is all wrong for you. It may be a red season, a blue season or a yellow season. If the clothes don’t come in your colours, you can walk through a store for days on end and find nothing that suits you. If you’re shopping with an image consultant, their job is to save you time and money and get help you buy an outfit that works. If there’s nothing that’s right for you, they will tell you the truth and advise against buying anything.

Is A Coordinated Outfit The Answer?

Fashion consultants who aren’t employed by a particular store are more willing to try several stores. But whatever outfit you choose, bear in mind that the pieces are coordinated with each other, not with you. The end result may be a beautifully coordinated brown and gold outfit, but if your colors are blue and mauve, the clothes will make you look tired instead of vibrant.

What Does It Cost To Hire A Fashion Consultant?

In-store it costs around $100 for a consultation, which includes a brief meeting to discuss your event, plus two hours of shopping time. With freelance consultants, people usually pay an hourly rate.

The bottom line is, a fashion consultant can show you an outfit that’s black, red and white that will go together and look fantastic - but only on a quarter of the population. Whether you’re part of that quarter or not isn’t the fashion consultant’s concern.

In other words, they will help you coordinate an outfit regardless of whether the colours or shape actually suit you. This is not a criticism; they simply don’t have the training to be able to advise you on these matters. For the same money, you can hire an image consultant to choose an outfit specifically for you. The fashion consultant’s choice might catch the eye, with you in the background as the wearer, while the second outfit, chosen with your shape and coloring in mind, draws attention to you and how good you look - the outfit itself becomes secondary.

© Rita Noon. All Rights Reserved.

. . . What is an Image Consultant?

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