Are you a makeup artist who’s recently decided to add Fashion Styling services to your business? Do you simply love all things fashion, and want to devote your career to helping others dress their best? If so, then it’s important that you learn the appropriate questions to ask your clients during the initial appointment!
Just like with makeup, a consultation needs to be held when acquiring a brand-new client. The desired outcome behind this meeting is exactly the same. You want to:
- Get to know your client
- Allow them to get to know you
- Determine what their goals are
- Determine what they do NOT want
- Figure out their budget
- Plan out how you can give them their preferred results
A good consultation will then allow you to use your knowledge, experience, and professional training to help clients achieve their goals!
The Fashion Styling Consultation: Asking the Right Questions
As a rule of thumb, try not to ask questions that have a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Unless the question itself is incredibly detailed, such closed-ended answers aren’t going to be able to provide you with much information.
Instead, aim for questions that encourage your client to expand a little. In order to best assist them, you need to make sure you fully understand their mindset. What better way to know how they feel, what they like, and what they want, than to hear it in their own words?
So, what is some specific information you need to obtain from a new client during your first consultation together? Let’s take a look at a few key examples!
Question #1: “Where are you in your life right now?”
What age range does your client fall into? Is she currently a student? Does she work full-time? Is she in the middle of any type of transitional stage in her life, such as a big move, etc.?
There are endless possibilities for what the answer to this question can be! The events, trials, and circumstances of your client’s life can play a direct role in:
- Who she is
- What her current lifestyle is like
- What her budget might be
- What her clothing should say about her
Importantly: no matter what info your client provides, it WILL be valuable! So, make sure not to forget this question.
Question #2: “How would you describe your everyday lifestyle?”
Some examples to consider when posing this question are:
- Is your client a fitness enthusiast?
- Does she travel a lot?
- What is her job like?
- Is she vegan?
- Does she devote her life to eco-friendly practices?
- Does she have strong moral views regarding fair trade practices?
You’ll often encounter clients whose everyday lifestyle won’t necessarily sway their fashion styling one way or another. But just as often, there will be clients whose personal beliefs and/or hobbies will directly affect the types of clothing you can (and can’t) recommend.
For instance, if your client is athletic, she may benefit most from stylish, breathable clothing that also allows for a large range of movement. Alternately, if traveling is a regular part of her lifestyle, she might be better off with versatile clothing that can be utilized in multiple different ways.
If she works within an office, for example, the dress code may be stricter. In such a case, more subtle personalization, creative expression, and overall fashion styling may be required.
If your client is vegan, be sure to ask what her clothing preferences are. You’ll probably need to steer clear of any products made from fur, leather, or suede. Some vegans object to other materials like wool, too, but don’t make assumptions.
Similarly, if your client happens to be eco-conscious, she could be partial to second-hand clothing or clothing made from renewable resources and/or natural fibers.
Question #3: “What do you want to communicate through your wardrobe?”
What does your client want people to see when they look at her and her style? What impressions does she want to give off? What emotions does she want to evoke?
Is your client looking for fashion styling assistance for a specific event, such as a job interview, a party, etc.? Or is she looking for more general help for her day-to-day life?
The answers to these questions may vary, but they all share something very important in common: what we wear plays a strong role in our overall image!
But your client may not fully know who she is or what she wants to convey to the world. A lot of people are unsure how to utilize their wardrobe to reflect their personality – be it for a specific occasion, or as part of their everyday life. It can pose a confusing challenge, and your client may need some help.
That’s okay, though, because that’s why she’s coming to you!
If your client doesn’t really know how to answer this question, try posing it to her in a slightly different way. Ask her to describe herself in a word or two. You can also ask her to describe what she wants others to see when they look at her.
A client who uses words like “kind” and “thoughtful” will help you to create an image in your mind for what her fashion styling could look like. Similarly, we’re sure that the creative gears start turning in your head as soon as we use descriptors like “ambitious” or “fierce”.
You get the picture!
The Best Way to Ask the Right Questions is…
…getting proper training under your belt! Having a keen eye for trends and enjoying fashion styling isn’t enough. Not if you want to make a real name for yourself and stand out from the competition, anyways!
To illustrate: we’ve just listed 3 fundamental questions to ask your clients. The initial consultation is just one small part of what you’ll face in your fashion styling career – and yet, even that contains so much crucial knowledge that you simply MUST know!
QC Makeup Academy’s Fashion Styling Course, as an example, teaches you 14 critical questions that always need to be asked during your client consultation. PLUS, you’re taught how to navigate sensitive subjects, and understand which questions are best avoided altogether.
But this isn’t all an accredited Fashion Styling Course will offer you! In addition to various other aspects of maximizing the client experience, you’ll also have professional industry experts teach you:
- How to start your very own business (or add your services to a pre-existing business)
- The history of fashion styling
- An understanding of fashion trends, and how they’ve evolved
- Exactly what your role is as a certified fashion stylist
- The basic elements of fashion
- Accessorizing and personalizing based on each individual client
- Building different wardrobes based on age, gender, lifestyle, etc.
- How to effectively maximize your client’s budget
- Second-hand and consignment shopping
- Bridal fashion styling
- Maternity fashion styling
- And so much more!
The fashion industry is a competitive one. Ascending the ranks and being the best of the best requires hard work, dedication, and a constant desire to learn and improve your skill-set.
If you’re committing yourself to this type of profession, there has to be some passion behind it. And if you’re passionate about what you do, this challenge will never be one you’ll want to shy away from!
Off the top of your head, can you think of more questions you feel are worth asking during a fashion styling consultation? Let us know in the comments!