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A Complete Guide for Working With a Personal Stylist


Christine Coughlin

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If motherhood has left you with no clue how to live outside your Lulu Aligns, the complete guide to working with a personal stylist might be just what you need.

If you’re thinking, How dare you shame me for my fashion choices!” I love my Lulu’s. Please understand; I fully get it! I didn’t start “Project Rediscover My Style” until my third kid was 4, a FULL decade after becoming a first-time mom.

The goal here is not to shame you or burn the leggings completely but to swap a day or three out of the week for intentional clothes that show yourself and the world you are worthy of investing resources (time, money, effort) into yourself.

Christine Coughlin standing in Studioture coworking space, she is smiling at the camera
Styled by: Lerit Nifesi, Photo by Bethany Anne Photography

Why I Worked with Personal Stylists (Even Though I’m Not Rich)

After becoming a mom, moving to an incredibly casual small town, and covid left me feeling very out of touch with styles and trends, I began researching Vancouver personal stylists to help rediscover my long-lost style.

My pattern goes like this. I fall in love with a piece at the store, buy things that don’t fit quite right and struggle to create outfits, so items sit in my closet because I don’t know how to work them into my wardrobe.

Also, although I have been a stay-at-home mom for a decade, I am still drawn to workwear and dressy outfits, so my day-to-day outfits lacked direction and effort, basically I had no idea how to dress for my running-around-mom lifestyle.

Styled By Tatum, Photo by Mad Magic Photography

The Complete Guide to Working with a Personal Stylist

Because I’m such a giver, 😘 I’ve created, The Complete Guide to Working with a Personal Stylist to share what I’ve learned while working with a personal stylist over the years. (I’ve worked with three different personal stylists to date.) I hope it saves you some time and effort.

As a bonus, you can consider this post the perfect resource to help justify to yourself and your spouse why you should work with a personal stylist. 😂

I have included the names of some Vancouver personal stylists, personal shoppers and a few of my favourite online fashion stylists at the bottom of this article.

7 Reasons You Should Work with a Personal Stylist

You Matter

As moms, it’s easy to believe what we look like doesn’t matter, but if you walk around the world thinking you don’t matter, people will treat you like you don’t.

When you take time to care for yourself, your energy will shift, and you’ll carry yourself differently. Your family and the world will pick up this energy and treat you accordingly. We teach people how to treat us, and if we don’t believe we are worthy of investing in neither with those around us.

Save Time

You will save time. Often as moms, we throw on our Lulu’s because it’s fast and comfortable, but a stylist can help you find easy pull-on, more elevated, and comfortable pieces. Getting ready in the morning will be easier because you will have a streamlined wardrobe of items you love.

Save Money

You’ll save money in the long run because you won’t purchase items that aren’t right, and a stylist can help you decide which pieces to invest in. 

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”

Increase Your Confidence

A stylist will help you understand what styles and colours work best for your body type and will help you create a cohesive wardrobe that reflects your style and personality. 

Spice Up Your Love Life

Feeling more confident is one of the best ways to spice up your marriage. Your spouse will pick up on the shift in energy if you feel great in your clothes. It’s a gift for your partner as well. 😘

Stay In Your Zone of Genius

If fashion isn’t your passion, staying current on the latest trends feels daunting. Stylists are educated in the latest trends, so you don’t have to be. A personal stylist can be your style saviour, ensuring you’re dressed to impress and allowing you to spend your energy on things that light you up.

“Fashion is an expression of how you are feeling”

Styled By Tatum, Photo by Mad Magic Photography

How To Prepare For Working with a Personal Stylist

Consider the following things before picking up the phone or heading to Google to search for a personal stylist.

Where Do You Need the Most Help

Think about your actual life, not your dream life. Where do you spend the most time? Where are there holes in your wardrobe? Do you have a special event or photo shoot coming up?

I needed help most in the daywear. I did pretty well for special occasions because I could justify a trip to the mall for a special occasion. It is the regular life, like working around the house, doing errands and just plain old living life, that I struggled with. I knew an upgrade here would significantly impact how I felt as I navigated life.


Get clear on your budget. Personal stylists offer everything from complete overhauls to pay-per-hour services at all price ranges.

If you have a smaller budget, you can work with someone starting to establish their career. If you are trying to prepare for family photos or a special event, the pay-per-hour service might be all that you need.

Styled By Tatum, Photo by Mad Magic Photography


What traits are essential for you in deciding which stylist to work with? I wanted someone who was playful with fashion and whose personal style was dynamic. I also felt more comfortable working with someone who was a mother.

It’s essential to consider your personality as well. Are you someone who cares about staying current with the latest trends? Do you prefer classics, outfits that push barriers or is comfort king? Are you drawn to colours, patterns or neutrals?

Styled By Tatum, Photo by Mad Magic Photography


What season are you shopping for? Can you stretch your shop into multiple seasons? Shopping for fall outfits is much different than sprucing up your summer wardrobe. It’s important to schedule your appointment for the time of year you struggle with most.

Styled by: Lerit Nifesi, Photo by Bethany Anne Photography

A Word of Caution, When Working with a Personal Stylist

Communication is Key

You must be comfortable communicating with your stylist. I worked with a stylist about ten years ago that I found intimidating, and we didn’t set up clear parameters. I ended up returning everything we had purchased together. Talk about a waste of time and money! Don’t be like Christine from ten years ago! 😅

Get Your Timing Right

If you need help preparing for a special event, make sure that you leave plenty of time to source your items. Personal stylists often send you links to what they have sourced for you.

You need to
1) Order immediately to ensure the items are currently in stock.
2) Account for shipping times.

Styled by Lerit Nifesi, Photo by Bethany Anne Photography

What You Can Expect When Working With a Personal Stylist

You will need to discuss what services your stylist offers. However, the following is a list of the most common services are:

  • Go through your current wardrobe and help you decide what works, what doesn’t and what needs to be altered.
  • Teach you what styles suit your body and help you navigate current vs. outdated trends.
  • Help you to create a shopping list to fill in any holes in your wardrobe.
  • They may either shop with you, send you off to shop or send you online links to suggested items.
  • Help you create stylish outfit options from all the items in your updated wardrobe.
  • Act as a sounding board when shopping in the future or for special events.
Styled by Lerit Nifesi, Photo by Bethany Anne Photography

What’s the Difference Between a Personal Stylist and a Personal Shopper?

A personal shopper is someone who works for a specific store. You can give them some guidelines, and they will use their knowledge of the store’s inventory to pull items that could work for you.

The real value in personal shoppers shows up when you work with them several times, and they get to know your style and tastes. They can keep you updated on the latest arrivals and upcoming sales. The drawback is that they only work in one store where a personal stylist can source from all stores.

Vancouver Personal Stylists

Lerit Nifesi

Lerit is an image consultant and personal stylist. She specializes in event, bridal, and brand styling in Greater Vancouver.

I recently worked with Lerit for our YVR Moms Creative Content Creation Day. From our initial consultation call to after the event, she was very professional and thoughtful in every interaction. We met three times before the event on Zoom. She was very open to my feedback and easy to work with.

You can connect with Lerit at or on Instagram @leritnifesi.

Styled By Tatum

Tatum Blize is a local mother of two who is just starting toward her goal of becoming a Vancouver personal stylist. She is a fashion lover, as dynamic as they come, and her confidence is inspiring. We connected over Instagram in 2021, and she felt like the perfect fit to help guide me through “Project- Rediscover My Style.”

You can see some of the outfits from my shop with Tatum in this reel.

Tatum has helped me several times. She came to my house, did a closet cleanout, and helped me make outfits out of items I owned. We also had a shopping day to fill in the holes I had in my wardrobe. She is like the cool friend you always wanted. 😂

You can read more about Tatum Here, Ladies to Know, Tatum Blize, Styled by Tatum.

Connect with Tatum on Instagram @Tatumblize.

Vancouver Personal Shoppers

Photo credit: Michelle Addison

Michelle Addison Style

Michelle Addison is a personal shopper at Holt Renfrew who shares high-end designers from Holt’s. She shares outfits, styling, and fashion tips on her Instagram account @michelleaddisonstyle. I love her funky and edgy outfits. I’m not sure I’m cool enough to pull them off, but I find inspiration in her out-of-the-box styling.

Photo credit: Kam Bhalla

Style By Kam Bhalla

Kam has been a Personal Stylist/Shopper for ten years. She helped entire families with Nordstrom for eight years before they abruptly closed in Canada. Kam is now working as a personal shopper at Holt Renfrew.

She also runs a Vancouver personal stylist company called Style by Kam, which offers various packages from in-home closet edits, shop from your closet, virtual appointments and shopping excursions outside of Holt Renfrew.

Style by Kam personal shopping services take all the guesswork and time out of the equation. Whether you need to find a perfect dress or refresh your wardrobe without missing a beat at work or home, Kam’s personal styling services can take care of you.

Kam is also focused on sustainability and is the cofounder of a consignment store, Style Reissue, in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood. Helping women and men find one-of-a-kind pieces to add to their wardrobe.

Kam is available for consultations through her Instagram account, Style by Kam Bhalla.

Instagram: @stylebykamhalla

Online Stylist You Should Follow

Photo credit: Charly Goss Style Inc.

Charly Goss Style Inc.

Charly Goss Style is a Toronto-based style agency that occasionally travels to Vancouver for wardrobe overhauls. The founder Charly Goss made her agency famous with her no-bull-shit flavour of tough love that challenges women to shake off their fashion comfort zones. Charly passed away in July 2023 from her third battle with tongue cancer, but Charly’s Angels are working hard to carry on her legacy.

Charly Goss Style keeps their community updated with the latest in upcoming fashion trends, even if we don’t want to hear them. Their job is to help us navigate modern style without being left behind.

Charly Goss Services:

Free style advice on Instagram @charlygossstyle
Style advice and behind-the-scenes on YouTube @charlygossstyleinc
Digital Style Guides, Style Memberships, Personal Shopping and Closet Overhauls and Mini Interior Makeovers


Rajbinder K Grewal

Raj is a Toronto-based mother of three, an Instagram fashion influencer and the newest style consultant on City Line. I am drawn to Raj’s classic and elegant style and her philosophy of not chasing every trend and using what you have in your wardrobe if it feels good.

Rajbinder K Grewal
Raj is a Punjabi Style Expert/ Content Creator/ Stay-At-Home Mother of three.
Instagram @ThisMamaNeedsAVacay

Antonia Fifi

Oh my goodness! What’s not to love about Antonia Fifi? “Toni was born on the Island of Trinidad and Tobago to a Venezuelan mother and a Trinidadian father of Portuguese and Belgian descent. This fusion of cultures has directly affected her style, making it as eclectic as her ethnicity.” She is the On-Air Fashion Expert for CTV, and as a 40-year-old woman, she empowers women to wear what feels good and not wear the weight of other people’s opinions. She is full of life and unapologetically embraces her vibrance. I promise she’ll add inspiration and colour to your feed.

Instagram: @tonififi

Is Personal Styling Worth It?  

While the initial investment can feel daunting when deciding if working with a personal stylist is worth it, if you find the right personal stylist, they will make your life more streamlined, help increase your confidence, and save money in the long run.

If you are ready to make a significant shift in your life, there is nothing like shaking things up with a wardrobe overhaul.

Why have you been considering working with a personal stylist?

XX Christine

About the Author

Christine Coughlin blogger and writer

Christine lives on the West Coast of Canada with her husband, their three kids and approximately one million plant babies.

She is the creator of the Rise & Monetize Creator Summit and the co-founder of YVR Moms Creative. Christine is passionate about female empowerment and advocating for maternal mental health. She loves all adventures on the water or in the forest and connecting with other open-hearted, lifelong learners.

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