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Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Personal Stylist or Image Consultant

Most people fall into one of 3 categories.  The first group knows what a stylist, or image consultant is, wishes they had one, but sees them as people that only celebrities work with (aka: no way the “average” person could afford a stylist).  The second group of people has no idea what a stylist is or that they even exist, and the third group of people have either worked with or consulted a stylist or image consultant in the past, and have now been converted into the “what would I ever do without my stylist” category.  These people view stylists as part of their team, just as important as having an assistant, a therapist, or a personal trainer.  If you don’t fall into the third category (don’t worry, most of those people didn’t even know what a stylist was 10 years ago), then let me explain what a stylist can do for you, and how valuable they are in saving you precious time and money.

1. Stylists help you to create the image that you want to present to the world

pradawallWe’ve all heard the phrase “You only have one chance to make a first impression.”  This could not be any truer than it is  now in the age of digital communication.    People aren’t spending the time to formulate the in-person relationships that they once did, and image has become INCREDIBLY important.  In an instant, image can convey so many things, such as success, status, character, personality, and of course style. Whether you like it or not, people will formulate an opinion about you before they even know you, solely based on what you are wearing and how you carry yourself.  A stylist will help you to align your “inner” image with your  “outer” image that the world actually sees.  Simply put, a stylist will help you to create a positive brand and a strong professional image.

 

2. A good Stylist will become a vital part of your team

Wall StreetYou probably already surround yourself with people that help you to streamline your life and make the best use of your time and money, as well as help you to stay fit, healthy, and at the top of your game.   Most busy executives have armies of assistants, employees, secretaries, advisers, drivers, personal trainers, and executive coaches.  With such a strong team in place, the one thing that should NOT fall by the wayside is your professional image.  Just as you would have your assistant schedule your week, it makes sense that you would have a stylist to make sure that your wardrobe aligns with your professional image, and that you are always prepared for that presentation, meeting, event, or trip.  Most people spend countless hours preparing for a meeting or presentation, but only spend about 2 minutes deciding what to wear and how to present THEMSELVES, leaving them to quickly throw something together last minute.  Your image should NOT be an afterthought, and a Stylist will make sure that even though you may not want to focus on it, you are on the top of your game.

Stylists are VERY well connected, and usually work closely with other professionals in the industry such as tailors, hair stylists, nutritionists, personal trainers, plastic surgeons, photographers, and life coaches.

All of these people play a very important part in conveying to the world who you are and what you stand for.  Stylists are connectors, and establishing a relationship with a stylist goes well beyond just clothing.   A personal Stylist will become a close part of your team, and usually a close confidant.  They will know your body better than anybody else, and can be trusted to give un-biased opinions and suggestions that nobody else in your life will give you.

3. You will never have to look at your closet and  think “I have nothing to wear.”

WallStreetStylist (1)We’ve all been there………we stand in front of our closets, which are usually FULL of clothes, yet come to the conclusion that we have absolutely NOTHING to wear.  Although most people may have lots of clothes, a huge portion of them are outdated, don’t fit properly, need to be taken to the dry cleaners, or are items that just don’t go with anything else in our closets.  Sound familiar?  A Stylist will sort and arrange your closet in a way that makes sense.  They will go through your wardrobe and determine what needs to be donated and what can be taken to the tailor (a good stylist will even schedule a tailor to stop by and do alterations on site).  They will then create a list of “fill in the gap” items that will complete your wardrobe, so you won’t have random items that you just don’t have anything to wear them with.   Most importantly, a Stylist will assess your body, your personal and professional image, and your lifestyle, and will work with you to curate a wardrobe fits all of your needs, and will be organized in a way that streamlines your day to day life.

4. You will have a curated closet full of clothes that were hand picked FOR YOU, and fit you PERFECTLY.

WallStreetStyleSMALL (6)Stylists have relationships with stores, designers, and tailors, and always know where to go to get clothes that align with your body type, coloring, and professional brand/image.   They also know where to get the best deals! ;-).  A good stylist will shop from several different stores and designers to bring you a wardrobe that not only aligns with your needs and budget, but also seamlessly integrates into your existing wardrobe.  They will know which designers will work for your style and body type, and which ones to avoid, as well as which items are worth spending extra money on and which items you can save on.  Since no two people are alike, this is a VERY personal experience, as a Stylist will never buy the exact same things for multiple clients.  You will not only have a closet full of clothes that were hand picked FOR YOU, and fit you PERFECTLY, but your Stylist will show you how to pair everything together and will give you a style guide of outfit “suggestions” so you are never left wondering what to wear.

 

5. You will never have wardrobe envy, as YOU will be the one that has the coveted wardrobe.

Photographer Natalia ArtemievaWe all know someone that is ALWAYS soooooo well put together and “in fashion.”  Their suits are always perfectly tailored, shoes polished with a matching designer belt, sharp tie with a perfectly tied knot, and they always seem to be able to pull off perfectly coordinated accessories such as pocket squares, colored socks, tie bars, cool wallets that don’t create that unsightly pocket bulge, glasses, briefcases/bags, and luxury watches.  To top it off, they always have the perfect jackets, vests, and sweaters to transition with all of the weather changes.  They never seem to have the awkward fashion moments that the rest of us have.

For some people, this comes naturally (usually these people actually enjoy the process), and for others, this is absolutely overwhelming.  This is where having a Stylist comes into play.  A Stylist will make you look like one of those people that can flawlessly put themselves together, but will make it absolutely effortless.

6. When you travel for business or pleasure, your wardrobe and packing will be taken care of.

Executive Travel StylePacking for a trip, whether for business or pleasure, can be overwhelming.  Business trips in particular  can carry an added stress since they are usually last minute, and you already have a million things on your mind.  This becomes even more stressful when you have nothing to wear, or are going to a location that will require specific wardrobe elements such as a warm climate, a cold climate, or even another country with different fashions and customs.  Whether you are meeting an important client, are giving a presentation, are going to enjoy a round of golf with your clients, or are going to dinner or drinks, you can be assured you will have the appropriate things in your suitcase.

 

7. You will always give the perfect gifts, without you having to search high and low for them.

HermestieGift giving is an art, and one that leaves most people throwing their arms into the air.  Stylists have worked with a million different types of clients, and are consistently “in the know” with trends, designers, sales, stores, and luxury experiences.  They know what the coveted gifts are for different types of people and professions, and know where to get them for the best deals.  A good stylist will consult with you to get the most knowledge and background on who you are getting the gift for, then will curate a selection of gifts for you to choose from.

 

8. Your stylist will keep you in the loop with all of the latest trends, designers, stores, and of course, SALES.

wallstreetstyleStylists shop for a living.  Simply put, they are ALWAYS shopping.  They not only have relationships with stores and designers, they also know what is on the market, and where they can get a specific item for the best deal.  Also, since they have relationships with stores and designers, they are usually the first to be “in the know” about discounts, sales, and best of all, sample sales, and of course they are always very eager to pass these on to their clients.  In the long run, Stylists will SAVE YOU MONEY.   No more wasting money on buying things online that don’t fit, or expensive items that you were forced to buy because you needed something last minute and didn’t have the time to price shop.  A Stylist will always have your best interest at heart, and since they usually work on fixed rates, it is always in their best interest to get you the best deals.  Watch out of store personal shoppers, as they work on a commission, and are VERY different than personal stylists and image consultants.

 

9. With a Stylist in your rolodex you will NEVER have another fashion emergency.

Throughout the course of your day a million things can happen.  Perhaps you spilled your coffee during the morning commute, you ripped your pants getting out of a cab, or plans changed unexpectedly and you are expected to attend a last minute event.  Whatever the case may be, don’t worry, your Stylist has you covered!  They are always on the ready to take care of your fashion needs and emergencies, especially if you have an ongoing relationship with one.  They will have worked with you, know your body and how things fit, and which designers and stores will have what you need.  They will even be able to bring whatever you need right to your home or office so you don’t have to divert from the course of your day.

10. Hiring a Stylist will save you time and money, and is MUCH more affordable than you might think.

Stylists, and image consultants, are no longer just for the rich and famous.  In the past few years, a lot of busy professionals have also hired Stylists to be a part of their team.  Hiring a Stylist is much more affordable than you might think.  Each Stylist works differently.  Some work hourly, while some work on day or “project/package” rates.  They are also usually more than happy to negotiate rates on a retainer or on-going basis for clients that need their services more than a couple times a month.  Depending on their experience, a Stylist can commission anywhere from $40-$150/hour, between $500-$1200/day, or offer packages starting at around $400.  The time and money they will save you will be invaluable, and their fees can usually be written off come tax time.

 

 

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“The Right Fit” Editorial Published in Cool America Magazine Styled by Wall Street Stylist, Jacci Jaye

 

Mens Style

The 70’s are back in a big way this summer via large geometric prints, eye-popping colors, and large 70’s inspired belt buckles!  Lulu’s at the W Hotel in Hoboken provided the perfect backdrop for Photographer Geoffrey Badner and I to play with all of the bold patterns and styles of the season.

The key to pulling off these types of looks is to not over-do it with the patterns, allowing your look to have a retro feel with a modern edge.  Choose one key statement piece, such as David Harts yellow and black geometric blazer, or Marc Jacobs floral t-shirt, and  allow the rest of the outfit to really show off this piece as opposed overwhelm it.  These kind of bold statement pieces can be very intimidating to a lot of men, but done right, you will be the most stylish man in the room! (I promise!).  An easy rule to follow when styling an outfit around a piece with a bold pattern is to choose one of the secondary colors in the pattern and integrate that color somewhere else into your look (for example: I paired David Harts yellow geometric blazer with a black Kooples shirt and white Vince Camuto pants).  Yellow is such an overwhelming color that the black and white were really needed to tone down and modernize the look.  You never want to match it exactly, as more often than not this will leave you looking like you are wearing a costume from the 1970’s, as opposed to modernizing a specific trend.

mens suit with trainersAnother way to integrate this trend into your look is via accessories.  I LOVE large belt buckles like the one on the Prada Belt that I paired with David Harts burgundy suit.  Click here to read my article on my favorite large buckle luxury belts this season.

The final trend I focused on in this editorial was the huge trend of wearing white trainers with tailored pieces for a clean, fresh look.  I LOVE these white Penguin trainers with gold accents, as well as these ones from Ted Baker.  Every man should have a pair of basic white trainers in his wardrobe.  They are fresh, clean, modern, and can go with pretty much anything.  I LOVE how fresh white trainers look with outfits that are a bit more tailored and polished…………adding just enough of a casual, fashionable edge.

mens suit with trainers

 

 

Why Buying a Custom Suit Makes the Most Sense

Wall Street: Welcome to Summer! Now that the weather is warming up, street fashion is becoming alive with pops of color.  I had lunch with menswear designer David Hart the other day on historical Stone Street, and we spent a couple hours people watching and talking about new trends in menswear.  In particular, there is a huge trend in going custom.  What was once a service reserved for the very wealthy, is now officially mainstream.  Long past are the days of boxy, oversized suits and shirts.  Now everything is very fitted and streamlined.  There is no room for error, making buying a custom suit the most economical option.  Rather than pay thousands of dollars for a suit off the rack, and then having to take it to a tailor anyway, you can get a suit made exactly to your measurements for less than half the price.  On top of that, you can choose EVERYTHING about it – from the fabric, to the cut, to the lapels, to the buttons, to the vents, to the color of  lining and stitching…………and even customize pockets depending on your needs.  With all of these customizable options, AND a perfect fit, there is absolutely no reason to buy off the rack (unless your lack of planning has you in a pinch and you need a suit for an event this week).  Short of that, go custom.

CHOOSING A TAILOR FOR YOUR CUSTOM SUIT

Now that you see the HUGE value proposition of taking the step of getting a custom suit made, let me walk you through some of the things to think about before you start diving into the details.  For starters, there are a  million tailors and online sites offering custom suits, so much so that even deciding where to go can be a bit overwhelming.  Choosing the right tailor is incredibly important.  I DO NOT recommend taking your own measurements and just ordering a custom suit online, although there are plenty of companies offering this as an option.  If you are going to get a custom suit made, you want it done right.  Not to say that these places aren’t good (most of them are probably still better than off the rack), but you will most certainly be compromising in quality and fit.  A tailor will not only be able to take your measurements, but also assess the nuances of your body and posture, which is incredibly important.  Anybody can take measurements, but the true art is in the translation of the measurements.  Also, unless you are a designer or mens fashion guru, you will definitely benefit from having the opinion of a professional to guide you through the process.  Finding a tailor that has a bit of fashion sense is very important, as you want to walk out with a custom, modern, fashion forward suit, not a suit that looks like it belongs in the 80’s.  For example, a British tailored suit is VERY different than an Italian tailored suit (British (Saville Row) is much more tailored and fitted, whereas Italian tends to be a bit more relaxed).  There is no right or wrong, they are just different, and it comes down to a matter of preference.  Find a tailor that fits your style sensibilities, has good customer service, and has good ratings and customer feedback.  A good tailor will be a perfectionist, and will place the utmost of importance on you being 100% satisfied.

THERE ARE A MILLION CUSTOMIZABLE OPTIONS: WHERE TO BEGIN

Now that you have selected your tailor, and they have taken your measurements, it’s time to dive into the design of your custom suit.  First, you will want to begin with fabric selection.  Most tailors will have several price tiers of fabric, with the finer fabrics usually being the most expensive.  As a general rule, if you are looking for a sturdy everyday suit, stay away from the fine fabrics.  These fabrics will not only wear out faster, they will also wrinkle more.  These are more for special occasions.  Once you have selected your fabric, you will select the lapel type and width, jacket style (one, two, three button, double breasted), middle or side vents, pockets, buttons, and button holes.  I never recommend the 3 button style, as in my opinion it is outdated and stuffy. My advice to you is to not go crazy.  You want to add a bit of style, but not have it be so trendy that you won’t be able to wear it next season.  I absolutely LOVE adding a contrast color button hole to 1 or 2 of the sleeve buttons, as well as a contrast under collar.  This is enough to add style and say that it is custom, without being ostentatious.  Next you will select your lining fabric (I LOVE contrast linings), as well as pockets.  With a good tailor, the sky is the limit when it comes to interior pockets.  You will also be able to select a monogram to put into the lining of your jacket, which is a nice added touch.

Once you have selected all of the options for your jacket, you will have a few decisions to make regarding the pants.  The waistband can have side tab or standard belt loops, and you will be able to select pocket types for both the side pockets and the back pockets.  You will also be able to select different types of fit and pleats (I’m NOT a fan of pleats), as well as whether you want a standard or cuffed hem (go standard for a more modern look).

COST

OK, the hard work is done!  You’ve selected your tailor, had your measurements taken, and selected all of the options for your perfectly tailored custom suit.  Now, let’s talk about how much all of this should cost.  Your fabric choice will determine your base cost, but  most of the options come at no additional charge.  Some of the options that MIGHT be an additional charge (depending on your tailor), will be things like elbow patches, special buttons, adding a different fabric lapel, and adding special interior pockets (other than the styles offered).  A good custom suit will cost you between $590-$2,000.  Most of my clients have AMAZING custom suits made for between $590-$750, with the experience of having a tailor AND a fashion stylist accompany them through this process (sometimes even in the convenience of their home or office).  For that price, and for that service, it is a no brainer that having a custom suit made is the way to go.  If you are in the NYC area, myself and my tailor will be happy to walk you through this process.

 

 

 

 

Wall Street Stylist Guide to Dating & Being a Gentleman

Let’s start with dressing like a gentleman, and the assumption that if you dress like a gentleman, you ARE a gentleman.

OK, now that that has been established, let’s move on to exactly what it means to “dress like a gentleman.”  I know, this is a VERY general statement…………..I will elaborate.

1. Tailoring is SUPER important!

Make sure everything is fitted and tailored appropriately.  This means taking note of your hem length, your sleeve length, and certainly no large or boxy shirts or jackets.  Think modern, clean lines.  Your clothes should skim your body, and show off your best assets.   I HIGHLY recommend you invest in at least one custom suit and shirt.  This will not cost you any more money than off the rack, but will make you look and feel like a million bucks!

 

2. Details are equally as important!

Jacket linings, working button holes on jacket sleeves, pocket squares, accessories, contrasting dress socks, layering appropriately………..these things are all really important.

 

3. NO GYM SNEAKERS!!!

If you must wear sneakers wear them because they are fashionable, NOT because they are comfortable or the closest pair of shoes you have to the door.

 

4. Get inspired!

Choose a theme or style icon to gain inspiration.  This can be a person (or a combination of people), an era, a movie, or even a location.  Having a theme will help you to remain focus and put together a “style guide” so to speak.  I do this for myself, as well as for all of my clients, and it helps tremendously.

 

 

 Now that you know how to dress like a gentleman, let’s get to the good stuff…………..what it means to be a gentleman on a date.

Recently I have have found myself having the same conversation over and over again with various clients.  Obviously dressing like a gentleman is a huge first step, but when it comes to dating that’s just what it is………a first step.  Now it’s time to step up to the plate so to speak.

Through speaking to my clients and male friends, I have discovered that most men really want to know what to do, and what will set them apart from the crowd, but are just clueless as to where to even start.  Wanting to be a gentleman really has to come from a genuine place……this is not something that you can fake (trust me, women can tell if it is contrived, or you are just doing it so she will sleep with you).  This is character, and something that will stay with you forever.

As a woman, I have been on several dates, and have experienced the whole spectrum of male behaviors (unfortunately).  I can say with a lot of clarity what the qualities are that I look for in a man, and what sets a true gentleman apart from the crowd.  This is definitely something that sets the men apart from the boys so to speak.

Let’s start from the beginning………..before you even ask a woman on a date.  Most men these days don’t have the courage to actually ask a woman out, so they do it in a very casual, backhanded way by sending a text msg or asking if they would like to “hang out sometime.”  I don’t want to be asked to “hang out.”  If you would like to take a woman on a date, then ASK HER ON A DATE!!!  A man that is forward, confident, and knows what he wants is incredibly sexy, and she will have so much more respect for you if you have the courage to ask her on a formal date.  She will feel like a lady………and yes, this is part of being a gentleman………..treating your woman like a lady.

Now, let’s assume she says yes.  As a gentleman, it is YOUR job to PLAN A DATE.  Don’t be generic.  Take into account who she is, what would make her smile.   Perhaps this means taking her to a really well designed restaurant or lounge, or to see live music (my favorite dates are at supper clubs where we get to have dinner then listen to live jazz), or perhaps to a museum or special event that is happening in your city.  Every woman is different, and it is your job to plan accordingly.

MANNERS ARE EVERYTHING!!! This should go without saying, but sometimes it is the little things that mean the most to a woman.  Open doors (and let her go through first!), pull out her chair at dinner (and let her choose which seat she wants), be polite and show respect to the waitstaff, make eye contact, and pick up the tab.  At the end of the date make sure she gets home safely.  Either put her into a cab, drive her home, or at the VERY LEAST, call her an hour later to make sure she got home safely and wish her a good night.   To me, this seems so obvious, but by the amount of men that don’t do these things, it clearly is not.  It is amazing the amount of men that take me on a date, do NONE of these things, then call me 2-3 days later telling me that they had an amazing time and they would love to see me again…………seriously?!!!  Ummm, no Sir, you will NOT be getting a second date.

 

 

 

 

Ties: 18 Ways to Tie a Necktie and Achieve the Perfect Knot

It’s a fact: when wearing a tie most men wear the same knot over and over again, forgetting that there are several different ways to tie a tie and add a little variation to their wardrobes.  A short while ago while searching for a diagram to send to one of my clients, I came across this infographic from our friends over at “Real Men Real Style”  titled “18 Ways to Tie a Necktie.”  Previously I had scoured the internet and found various videos and diagrams in different places on how to tie different knots, but to find it all in one place, and have it be sooooo self explanatory – amazing!  The guys at “Real Men Real Style” have broken down 18 different types of knots all in one infographic.  I know when looking at this it might seem overwhelming, so start simple.  I believe the “staple knots” are the “four in hand,” the “half windor,” and the “full windor.”  My favorite knot, by far, is the full windsor as it is a large, even knot, and exudes a certain status and confidence.   Once you master these 3 knots, I suggest trying to master a more fashionable knot such as the “Cafe Knot,” “Eldredge Tie Knot,” or the “Trinity Knot.”   The 3 knots are a bit more complex, and determining which to use will really depend on the pattern of your tie as you want the knot creases to be more interesting and sophisticated rather than “busy.”

 

18-Ways-To-Tie-A-Necktie-POSTERv1r1

How to Tie a Bowtie

 

I have always had a fascination with bowties.  Perhaps it’s the elegance that they exude, or the stereotype that only gentleman wear bowties, but whatever the reason, I think they are an incredibly dapper fashion accessory.   That being said, all bowties are NOT created equal.  A true gentleman actually knows HOW to tie a bowtie (no cheating with the pre-tied kind).  Like ties, the sophistication lies in the knot, and in this case, the fullness of loops of the bowtie.  There is nothing worse than a flattened bow tie that looks like it is paper thin and has been stuck in the bottom of your drawer for 10 years.  Unlike ties, bow ties are a little more challenging to tie, which is why I have discovered 75% of men don’t know how to tie them.  I am always amazed at how many of my clients have no idea how to tie a bow tie, but am always very eager to give them a tying lesson! Below I have included 2 videos that will walk you through tying a bow tie. The first video is from menswear designer David Hart, www.DavidHartNYC.com. Along with his full menswear collection, David has an amazing line of ties and bow ties. The second video is from Details Magazine. Before watching these videos make sure to have your bow tie and a mirror handy! It will take you a few attempts to perfect, but will be time well spent!

If you still need some clarification, our friends over at “Real Men Real Style” created this brilliant infographic that not only details how to tie a bowtie, but also breaks down styles and proportion.

Bow Ties

Bow Ties

Bow Ties we LOVE!!!

Here are a few Bow Ties that perfectly combine colors, patterns, and textures to create modern, sophisticated looks.

 

 

Brooks Brothers