Alison Beshai is both a personal shopper and stylist. She regularly works with 10 to 15 clients. Her styling skills are utilized for local magazines and companies – most recently, a television show on HGTV. For the fashion-conscious workingwoman, Beshai favors designers like Theory and Rachel Roy. “I find more inspiration from real women than from runway photos or editorial spreads. Whether it be a woman I pass on the street or a street-style photo, I love to see stylish, confident women who look amazing,” said Beshai.
Kristel Closets serves hundreds of clients in five states. Erica Bondarev is the style consultant for Washington, DC, helping busy men and women dress themselves. Bondarev favors Nordstrom. “I love Nordstrom. We like to say it is the last great department store. Because we focus on efficiency, it’s a great place to start if a client is building a wardrobe and we need a lot of better basics. However, we tend to go where the client is comfortable and what works for their budget. It’s a case-by-case decision. You can get great style anywhere.” There is a three-step program followed by Kristel Closets’ employees. First, the stylist performs a wardrobe edit in the client’s closet, getting to know them and getting rid of clothes they don’t like. Next is a shopping appointment, where Bondarev pulls clothes for the client prior to the meeting. The final step is getting new items altered and a styling session where clients learn how to combine what they purchased to create fresh looks.
Lauren A. Rothman, the Styleauteur, is an expert on all things fashion and certainly knows a thing or two about style. Rothman has appeared on multiple news outlets to give her wanted style advice – Entertainment Tonight, CNN, E! News, ABC News and many more. Magazine editors praise Rothman’s stylist abilities and wardrobe management tips for the everyday woman. The Styleauteur has been featured in Glamour, Real Simple and People StyleWatch. With over 500 individual clients and 50 companies, Rothman has styled professionally for a decade. Rothman writes a column, Fashion Whip, for The Huffington Post on style and politics, and maintains an image therapy practice working with individual and corporate clients to help increase their style quotient.
Style By Patty
A fresh new business, Style By Patty is the brainchild of Patty Chism. Chism grew up styling family and friends and has only recently turned her passion into a full-time career. Her inspiration can come from anywhere, “It’s almost like a thrilling creative moment to get inspired by something so simple and create a look that will have you feeling chic and confident all day,” said Chism. Each new client is asked to go through their closet with Chism, who considers this step a therapeutic experience, so that she can get an idea of what they’re currently wearing, what should be tossed and what key pieces must be added. Chism tries to get to know clients to get a feel for who a client is and what type of attire is required. When personal shopping, Chism favors affordable stores. “My favorite stores for the average woman include Target, Loft, H&M and Old Navy, just to name a few. I also take my clients online to show them how some stores may have ‘It’ pieces you can’t find in regular stores. I love the diverse selection between these brands, as they are typically very budget friendly.” Style By Patty pricing is divided between styling fees and a shopping budget. Chism has a set styling fee, and the budget is a collaborative effort by Chism and the client. “During the initial consultation, we establish what the budget should be and work within the boundaries of the budget. My goal as a personal stylist is to always respect my client’s budget and teach them how to look fabulous without breaking the bank,” said Chism.
Tara Styles DC
A fashion industry insider for nearly two decades, Tara Luizzi started Tara Styles DC three years ago. Depending on the season, Luizzi has 75 clients who use her styling and personal shopping expertise. Luizzi admits to getting inspiration from the internet, but also finds inspiration in her travels. “Though the internet is great, nothing beats people watching while I travel. I love people watching in whatever city I am visiting and seeing how people are dressing. I get the best ideas from these people as well as visiting boutiques you would only find in that particular country/city.” In order to best do her job, Luizzi schedules seasonal consultations with clients and also assesses their closet to better understand what is needed. “It also gives me a chance to get to know my client’s personality a little better. You can tell a lot about a person from their closet,” said Luizzi of closet consultations. On average, Tara Styles DC clients schedule three sessions per season. They also set the budget, so the money spent is in the client’s hands.
Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.