It’s Not You; It’s Me. No, It’s You: Fashion Designer vs. Personal Stylist

Bonjour mes amies!

Since I was une petite fille, I knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer. So much so, I used to hand sew entire wardrobes for my (dollar store) version of Barbie. You know, the dolls that were filled with nothing but air.

Non? D’accord, le fromage stands alone.

Now where did a six-year-old get fabric from to make dresses, you ask?

Naturally, the curtain from our living room (the ones behind the sofa). See, we weren’t the type of family to redecorate, so our furniture stayed still until we moved.

Could you imagine the look on ma Mère’s face when we moved years later, and the curtains were 0.6m/2ft off of the floor?

In high school, I began sewing and selling shirts with removable sleeves and a handwritten logo in glitter. Be gracious mes amies; it was 2003.

While I didn’t know what pattern making was, I remember laying a roll of fabric on the floor of our trailer and asking ma Mère to trace the outline of my body. It truly looked like a crime scene chalk outline.

I then drew (on the fabric) the silhouette I had in mind et viola; my prom dress was born.

After graduating high, I went to university to study Fashion Design. I learned everything I needed to become the next Coco Chanel. Pattern making, sourcing, garment, fashion history, and construction, to name a few.

After graduating, I decided to start a clothing line. That experience is an entirely different blog.

A divorce, single parentdom, and deux degrees later, I’ve found myself Personal Styling.

I thought that transition would be a breeze. Fashion is fashion, oui?

Non mes amies, fashion design, and styling are duex separate worlds, and it took me leaving one attempting to enter the other to understand.

Fashion Design simply put it self-centered. That’s not a bad thing. As a fashion designer, I chose what I wanted to create. I decided what fabrics I wanted to use. I chose my color palettes. Do you notice the reoccurring word, I?

Fashion design was all about moi and what I wanted.

Personal Styling requires me to listen to clients and meet them in their most vulnerable moments. I by no means am comparing myself to a physician, but what is involved avec personal styling is similar, sometimes more invasive than a physician’s office visit.

Depending on what is needed, personal style clients are trusting me to enter their homes and, in some cases, the most intimate space of their home; their closet, which is often located in their bedroom.

Personal styling sessions avec moi often turn into therapy sessions. We laugh, we cry, and many times, clients disclose trés, trés unique image, and self-esteem challenges that were brought about during childhood or related to societal norms. Je suis tearing up just thinking about some of my sessions.

To be successful, I have to completely engulf myself in someone else’s lifestyle while helping them realize that they deserve to reflect the best image of themselves.

Personal Styling has nothing to do avec the personal stylist. It no longer matters what I think is stylish; it’s about making you feel seen and comfortable*. That was by far the most complex concept for me to grasp.

It is not about moi

Of course, the career snippets above aren’t a 1/10 of what each profession entails, but due to attention spans, I need to wrap this blog up trés, trés soon.

Time is everything mes amies. Avec âge I have learned that the world does not revolve around moi. This found knowledge has eased the transition from a fashion designer to a personal stylist.

Personally encouraging women who do not look like the models who grace runways to invest in themselves means more to me than seeing my name on a label of a mass-produced dress.

Have you ever worked with a personal stylist?

Ciao for now 💋

*Comfort is often a bad word in the styling world. I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. Being comfortable with yourself is the ultimate luxury.


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