As Stylists and Wardrobe Consultants, one of the most important preliminary discoveries we must make when starting with a new client is identifying their unique personal style. Chances are, if you’re like most of the individuals we’ve worked with, this may sound like a challenging task and not something you’re able to pinpoint with certainty. This is quite commonly the case, because while most people know what they like and dislike, they’re not always able to explain what led them to that conclusion or where the commonalities lie amongst their preferences. More often than not, items and styles that are considered favorable are just things we’ve been selecting for as long as we can remember without any causality other than repetition.
At MiKADO we relate to personal style as a framework or foundation to build off of; something that has an ebb and flow, may deviate over time but generally has consistent guiding principals. It is the overall aesthetic and personality an individual seeks to put forward through their image, and we use it as the main point of reference whenever shopping on someone’s behalf.
The primary benefit of identifying your unique personal style is that buying new clothing and getting dressed in the morning becomes a whole lot easier. Once clothing is selected for a purpose, and not at random, it works almost like a uniform or dress code. A wardrobe chosen with intention is much more interchangeable and easy to navigate than a collection of pieces without connecting ties.
To begin this process we like to ask new clients who they aspire to dress like or which public figure/fictional character has a wardrobe they’d love to emulate. For some people this exercise can be challenging, often because it feels nearly impossible to imagine ourselves in clothing so different than our own. We suggest starting by just thinking of individuals you feel always look put together or well-dressed without envisioning how you would embody their look. Once you begin to create your list, look to see where the commonalities are amongst the names you’ve included. What type of aesthetic do they all share? What is similar about their styles of dress?
From here we will ask a new client to use words which describe their current and/or aspirational style. This helps narrow down preferences into categories, with most people often checking more than one box. We are always careful to throughly dig into descriptive terms however, as one word may mean entirely different things to different people. ‘Edgy’ for example may draw up images of leather jackets and studded belts for one client, whereas another may see it along the spectrum of distressed jeans and graphic tees. For this reason in specific, it is always important not to rely too heavily on terms and focus more intently on images.
The final stage in identifying a client’s unique personal style is to comprise a visual representation of the image they seek to portray. While words may have different meanings to different people, photos eliminate all the guesswork. We may guide someone with suggestions if they’re uncertain as to the look they like, but more often than not people can say without hesitation what they like and do not like when they see it. We execute this step by showing a client a series of photos that fall into categories, which we call ‘Style Identifiers’. In each category they get the opportunity to select the things they love and add them to their own personal collection. Most clients will have preferences across various categories, and when this step is complete they will see how the images they’ve selected come together as their unique look.
We use this collection of images, along with the descriptive terms and aspirational public figures to guide us when shopping on someone’s behalf. Even if you aren’t working with a Personal Stylist however, it’s always a great idea to hone in on the look you’re going for and become more calculated in your decision making process. If you’d like to try making a visual collection of your own to work off of, browse through our ‘Style Identifiers’ below and pull off all the images that suit your desired look. Once completed, you will easily be able to see where the commonalities lie in your preferences.
We execute this process at the start of every service during our in-home Initial Consultation. If you’d like to set one up, give us a call or send us an email. It’s completely free of charge and provides a great opportunity to discuss your unique personal style and how to achieve it.
Personal Stylists, Personal Shoppers and Wardrobe Consultants available in the Los Angeles and New York City areas.
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