How to Find a Personal Shopper

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Dear Budget Fashionista,

I have gone on a weight loss program this year and have lost quite a bit of weight. I have no idea how to shop for a new wardrobe. Should I enlist a personal shopper to help me determine the best new wardrobe for me?

How to Find a Personal Shopper

Answer: A personal shopper might be a great option. However, they can be quite expensive ($75+ an hour). You should first purchase my book, How to Be A Budget Fashionista, and try to do your own “makeover” using the tips in the book. If that doesn’t work, then head to your favorite department store and use their personal shopping services for free. Some department services are good, some are not so good, but it’s a good place to start.

If you need more one on one attention, then contact the Association of Image Consultants International ( , for an accredited image consultant/personal shopper in your city. Make sure you meet with the consultant first to determine whether it’s a good fit before you engage their services.

You also might like these:

  • Lorene Lechler

    I am a personal shopper. Everyone is unique and I make it my business to understand what you need. I can assist with furniture, clothing, landscaping, art and entertainment.

  • Interesting blog. It’s great to discover great writing for a change.

  • To women like Paula,

    What Erica is saying is true. You need to love your body and always remember you are a great person and that (not your weight) is what define you. I know most people don’t believe in the value of having help from a personal shopper and buy books or shop with friends instead. Even though is true that a book helps you a lot and that shopping with a friend that’s your same size helps greatly, it comes to a point that you need help from a professional.
    If you don’t have a friend you can trust, I rather go to a wardrobe consultant. True it is $75 hour but you will get the value. Just look for someone you feel comfortable with. Someone you can trust and have a good time shopping with. Someone who has YOUR best interest at heart.
    And yes, I am a wardrobe consultant and personal shopper and I love it, not because I spend other’s people’s money but because I put a smile in their faces. People pay to decorate houses and get their nails and hair done right? why not pay to get a personalized wardrobe when you have to wear clothes all the time?

  • Erica

    To Paula:
    First off I think you should buy one or two new outfits for your new weight. Even though you are bigger than you want to be having something fit right and new will make you feel more confident. Start your plan of losing weight again and you know you can do it because you already have. Just believe in yourself and no matter what size you are just remember you are a good person and that’s really all that matters!

  • Paula

    Since Christmas I had lost about 20 pounds getting back into my 8’s and 10’s.  Then in April I had a very stressful month with several different situations in my life and I let ALL the weight come back on and now my 12’s are really tight and I am so miserable.  My son has come home from college for the summer and he was not going to so he eats like a horse.
    What am I going to do?  I loved getting back into my 8’s…..and wanted to get smaller.  I am 5’2” and have a small to med. frame so I could have lost some more.
    I am sorry for this being so long but i need help and I feel helpless right now.  Losing it is so hard and then putting it back on so quickly has me depressed.  I don’t feel good in anything that I put on and know that this is not the size that I want to stay.
    Any opinions or thoughts?????

  • Judy

    After years of neglect I have become seriously shopping phobic which is why I read Budget Fashionista.  I recently went to a WHAT NOT TO WEAR party where a fashion consultant/personal shopper critiqued outfits for us.  It was helpful and fun.  I have also enjoyed the WHAT NOT TO WEAR books if even for the hysterical photos of Trinny and Susannah.  I am using which is fun and has good advice about dressing for you figure type.  In the end I think you have to begin to trust yourself.  Enjoy!  Shopping is supposed to be fun and with a new figure you have reason to celebrate.

  • Mary

    In addition to the Budget Fashionista’s book, I’d also like to recommend ‘Nothing to Wear? – A 5-Step Cure for the Common Closet’ by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo.  The authors are personal stylists and shoppers.  The book helps you first figure out and define your style.  Then, it walks you through the process of cleaning out your closet based on keeping things that not only fit and flatter but are also part of your style.  Anyways, I used the book after losing some weight when I totally needed to make over my closet.  Found it very helpful and fun.  Congrats on your new figure!

  • Marcie

    I also recommend Leah Feldon’s books (although I don’t know if she’s written anything after “Does This Make Me Look Fat?”) and Brenda Kinsel’s books which happen to be aimed at women over 40, but I’m a thirtysomething and I love them. Both taught me concepts about line and proportion that no live person did. Then again, I haven’t consulted with a personal shopper either.

  • fowler

    There’s also a web site,, that offers a free Web-based personal shopping program. It’s simple and easy to use, and best of all it doesn’t cost anything.

  • Meg

    Sounds like a great job!  I’d love to make $75 an hour to spend someone else’s money.

    The cheaper alternative, though, is to enlist a friend or two that has a great sense of style – bonus points if they have a similar body shape.  I love shopping with friends.  They have to be honest, though.  You don’t want to shop with friends that say everything looks great on you just to be “nice”.