Menu

FAQ

For many, hiring and using a personal fashion stylist is new territory. To get an idea of what to expect, listed below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions I receive from new clients. Please read through each answer and e-mail me if you have any additional inquiries.

I get booked up very quickly, so there’s generally a 4-month wait until our first meeting. If you see no availability on my online booking system, that means I am currently booking 6 months in advance. I do not allow clients to book more than 6 months in advance.

When booking your appointment, you must book all the sessions you anticipate needing right away. Every new client must start with a consultation appointment and then book 3 additional sessions. This means 4 appointments total. Please book them 10-30 days apart. Please do not book two appointments in the same week.

If you are not able to schedule all your sessions needed because of the 6-month cut off, set an alert for the first day of the following month for when the next month’s availability opens up.

Three months after the first round of sessions with me, clients tend to book another two “Wardrobe Planning” appointments for the next season. Once their summer and winter wardrobes are covered, clients book another couple of sessions each year for updates, events, trips or personal changes. Clients who travel often and attend many events prefer seeing me regularly, so they book a session with me every month.

The 20-minute consultation takes place via Skype, Zoom or Facetime. The consultation is complimentary with the booking of 3 additional appointments. Each appointment must be scheduled 10 – 30 days apart. 
I will travel as far as needed. A small travel fee is required for areas 15 miles outside San Diego’s 92103 zip code. For travel by car 45-min or more away, my hourly rate goes into effect. Simply give me your address when you e-mail me to find out the travel fee.

For travel by plane, I require reimbursement of airfare and hotel stay. I only charge a small fee for my travel time since I love to travel.

Update: Due to the high demand for my service locally and virtually, I am temporarily suspending service to areas that are more than 40 minutes away by car. Thank you so much for your understanding!

Unfortunately, most of the time, no. If you are running late the day of one of our appointments, texting is absolutely the correct form of communication. Beyond that, email is the best form of communication with me. As you will learn, I use my cell phone to take pictures, make notes, and contact relevant professionals for you throughout each of our sessions together. I am completely dedicated to you during your allotted time with me, so any texts that are not relevant to our session are ignored. This means if you text me while I am with another client, that text can easily be accidentally opened and missed. Email is the only way to ensure I have received your communication.

Lastly, after 15 years as a personal stylist, I have finally learned to carve out more time in my schedule away from work. Texts from clients can disturb this time reserved for myself. Thank you so much for your understanding!

I currently charge $200/hour with a 6-hour minimum per client that you can use as you please. You pay me at the end of each session, unless otherwise discussed. I accept cash, check, Venmo, Paypal, and credit cards.

If my rate is outside your budget, I have less expensive stylists I can recommend to you. Just email me for a referral.

Fun Tip! For free style and shopping advice from me, sign up for my free monthly newsletter. I also post free shopping advice on my Instagram stories.

I have done virtual styling with clients all over the country for years. Due to the pandemic, local clients are also now enjoying my virtual styling process. Click Here to see my instructions on how it works.
I almost exclusively do online shopping now since it is more efficient than going to numerous physical stores that often lack the styles and sizes we need. When shopping online, I utilize numerous online retailers to give you a selection of what we are seeking. Most of the time I use free shipping/free return retailers to ensure no money is wasted. Once I have picked out the items, I send you the links via e-mail for you to purchase them.

After the online purchases arrive we look through the items together at your home. If you are a virtual client, we go over the online shopping via a video call.

First time clients generally need 2-4 rounds of online shopping. When booking me for online shopping, select the “Wardrobe Planning” option on my booking software.

Note: If you would like me to purchase your online shopping for you, I just need your credit card information. If you want me to do your returns for you, it would be my assistant who does that, but I charge you the same hourly rate for her hours. These hours can add up, so I encourage clients to do their own returns if they want to save money.

I am delighted to work with any and all body types from plus size to extremely petite. It does take more time to work with a unique body type though as we do multiple rounds of online shopping, and work with a tailor. Below are examples of unique body types that are not readily available in physical stores and tend to take more time to work with…

Unique Sizes for Women:

  • Size 00 or smaller
  • Size 14+ in petite sizes
  • Size 20+ in regular sizing
  • 34-inch inseam or longer
  • 25-inch sleeve length or longer
  • 3+ size differences between one body part and another
  • 10 shoe size or larger
  • 5 shoe size or smaller
  • Narrow shoe sizes
  • Wide shoe sizes

Unique Sizes for Men:

  • 35-inch inseam or longer
  • 40-inch waist or larger
  • Size 29 waist or smaller
  • Size 50 chest or larger
  • Size 36 chest or smaller
  • Size 18 neck or larger
  • Size 14 neck or smaller
  • 3+ size differences between one body part and another
  • 13 shoe size or larger
  • 8 shoe size or smaller

I shop everywhere! It all depends on my client and their needs, but here are some stores that I use consistently: Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, Madewell, Zappos, Revolve, Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, Amazon, Farfetch, Matches, MyTheresa, Etsy, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Macy’s, Hugo Boss, GAP, and more. Seriously, no store is safe from me 🙂

Note: I occasionally utilize discount retailers like Nordstrom Rack and DSW, but that is rare. Discount retailers lack quality and sizes, so I tend not to use them.

On the rare occasion I do in store shopping, I generally stick to Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego unless my client requests otherwise. I arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the shopping appointment to pull all the clothing my client will be trying on. Billing begins when I arrive. The session is 2-3 hours and we do 1 – 2 stores.

 Yes, I make commissions on most online purchases I recommend. I am partnered with virtually every single online retailer in existence through affiliate marketing programs, like Rakuten and RewardStyle, so no store is favored over another.

I do not make commission on your purchases when we shop in physical stores and I do not work for any of the stores that we shop in, nor am I affiliated with the mall in any wayThe sales associate that assists us in the store makes the commission. 

With that said, I want to emphasize, whether shopping in-store or online, every store and garment I recommend is based entirely on what I think is best for you, my client. Honesty and ethics are of utmost importance to me.

If you are looking to remodel your wardrobe, anything less than $4000 is inefficient. $5,000+ is best for a new core wardrobe. Another way to look at it is, on average, a quality garment costs $200. This average takes into account more expensive items like cashmere, silks, coats, and boots as well as less expensive garments and items on sale. For clients with high-end interest, suit needs, or a varied lifestyle a much larger budget is needed.
I no longer work with tight budgets, but I can most definitely refer you to a few trusted personal stylists that do. They work differently than me, but they are a delight. Simply contact me and I will send you their information.

Fun Tip: For free style and shopping advice from me, sign up for my free monthly newsletter. I also post free shopping advice on my Instagram stories.

All my clients need some tailoring. For particular body types, many items we buy will need something taken in or hemmed. This can add to the budget, although absolutely worth it. Another surprise can be the extent of clothing you are lacking. Most people need/want much more than they realize, which adds up in both the cost of clothing and my hourly rate.
The closet purge generally takes 1.5 – 3.5 hours, although I have had a closet purge that lasted as little as 20 minutes and as long as multiple, lengthy appointments (10+ hours). It all depends on how much clothing you have. Yes, you will be trying on most things.

You don’t need to do anything before the closet purge. I can show up and do my job no matter what situation your closet and wardrobe are in. But if you want to enhance efficiency, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Have all your clothing available. This means make sure you have all your clothing back from the Dry Cleaner and your hamper for dirty clothes isn’t full of garments we would want to work with during our session.
  2. Have all your clothing, shoes, and accessories in one room. Again, this is not a big deal, but it does make the closet purge more efficient.
  3. Having your wardrobe somewhat organized is always helpful, but again, not necessary.
  4. We often dip into the far reaches of your wardrobe where dust lies. Any sort of dusting before we dive in there can be nice for us 🙂
  5. Feel free to do a pre-purge without me. Identify unusually old, seriously outsized and unneeded items before I come over to get those easy to purge items out of the way.

If you want to keep it simple, donate everything to your nearest thrift store/donation center. For those who want to put more effort into this…

  1. Donate overworn, ruined and stained clothing to For Days (do not throw it the garbage)
  2. Take Dry Cleaner hangers back to your Dry Cleaner (do not throw it the garbage)
  3. Donate gently worn clothing, accessories and proper hangers to Amvets or Father Joe’s
  4. Consign mid to high-end clothing and accessories to The Real Real (how to sell here)
  5. Consign high-end bags and jewelry to Fashionphile, (how to sell here)
  6. Send in mid to high-end clothing to sell on Thredup (how to sell here)
  7. Sell vintage and mid to higher end clothing at Buffalo Exchange (in person – how to sell here)
  8. Sell mid to high-end clothing and accessories on Poshmark. This option is often too much effort for most people (how to sell here)
  9. Donate new and gently worn shoes to Soles 4 Souls
  10. Donate sneakers to a Nike store
  11. Donate coats and jackets to One Warm Coat
  12. Donate jeans to Madewell
  13. Donate formal gowns to Princess Project
  14. Bring Eileen Fisher clothing to Any Eileen Fisher Store, or Mail It In

My assistant routinely makes donation, recycle and sell runs, so I am happy to take a bag or two off your hands free-of-charge. If you want me to transport more than two bags of donations, or if you have a specific location you want your donations to go, I do bill you for that time. With this in mind, most clients handle their own donations/recycling/selling.

Note: my offer to take discarded clothing off your hands free-of-charge is to ensure no clothing ends up in a landfill. I am passionately anti-waste. On the rare occasions my assistant sells something from a client’s donation bag, we put the money towards recycling fees and my assistant’s time. 

You can find a list of all my recommended tailors and other professionals here.
Yes! You can buy a gift certificate for any number of hours with me with a minimum of six. All hours depend on what your goal is for the recipient of the gift certificate. If your goal is for them to get a few outfits, 6-hours is perfect. If your goal is to give a wardrobe makeover, more hours are necessary. Generally, my clients hire me for the three main services in this order: closet purge (1-3+ hours), shopping (3-6+ hours), and outfit creation (2-4+ hours). To purchase a gift certificate, email info@vanessavaliente.com.