Client Story: Meet Jon, New Entrepreneur Seeking an Elevated Professor Style
When a male client reaches out and says he wants an elevated professor style, you don't hesitate! If you were to ask myself or my other personal stylist Sarah, we would both say we love styling men! For me personally, I love thinking outside the box and challenging myself and my client to try something new that not every male does. Jon was such a great client and trooper when it came to this. Honestly, now that I'm writing this, he wasn't a trooper because he actually loved everything and enjoyed every outfit idea I gave him. Now if that doesn't give a personal stylist warm fuzzies, I don't know what does 🥰
Jon is a former teacher turned new entrepreneur as a math tutor. When he reached out, he mentioned he wanted to look the part and dress professionally now that he manages his own business. Additionally, since he works with a wide range of kids and families, we chatted about having different outfits for every situation. If they were meeting in a nice setting, he should have a more dressed up professor look. If they were meeting in a more casual setting, he should have a more laidback outfit but still keeping it professional and elevated. There was no better personal stylist to take Jon as a client than me! Yes, I love styling men, but I also love working with entrepreneurs! It's so gratifying to see them grow as a person and professional then watch it carry over into their small business. Plus, I love teaching people about branding beyond just digital because a lot of people don't think about branding that way. And what better style to go with than a professor look for a tutor?!
Now don't get me wrong, he didn't want the professor look because he's a tutor. I made sure of it! He wanted that look because that's him, the whole look and feel of it resonated with him. And I was here for it! The twist was that I also didn't want to age him. I think the majority of us think of professors as old men. With that said, you'll notice throughout this blog post that the pieces have a modern twist.
Additionally, you'll notice from the photos that we did end up getting a few outfits that were more of a clean-cut lumberjack look. Sometimes when I take a client shopping after getting to know them, I throw a curveball in there because I feel as a personal stylist it matches who they can be outside of work - Example: the shacket seen above and later on below. Jon loved it so he bought it. Nailed it!
Lastly, and the fun part, was that he has this bubbly, positive attitude and just by getting to know his personality even more, I asked, "Would you wear a fun flamingo printed shirt if we found one?" He didn't hesitate to say yes! So overall, we were aiming for that chic professor look, but still honoring his energetic personality, we were going to add some pop to it. Side style for non-working days, clean-cut lumberjack 😉
How to Accomplish a Professor Style
To accomplish the professor look it really comes down to the clean lines, simple layers and textures. Think of tweed, velvet, suede, etc. When it comes to colors, of course, the majority of them are dark colors such as browns, tans, navy, dark green, and a few others - Essentially anything in the brown family alongside jewel tones. But just as a side note, you CAN wear color 😉
Some stores that can accomplish this look are: Banana Republic, J. Crew, a few things at H&M, big department stores such as Nordstrom, and one of my favorites, Express! Again, of course there are many more but this list is just to give you an idea.
Our Personal Shopping Appointment
When it comes to working with a personal shopping client, I always look out for sales as best as I can. This is why I brought Jon to Express first. If I remember correctly, everything was 40% off (or else it was 50%). Express has been killin' it lately so a majority of his basics (tees, jeans, classic button-ups, etc.) and fashion pieces (ex: blazers, vests, jackets, layering sweaters, etc.) came from there when all was said and done. I mean we spent his whole appointment (which can take 2-3 hours) at Express! And let me not forget to tell you that we bought several ties, that finishing touch to a professor style.
The fortunate part of this situation was that Jon signed up for the Closet Overhaul package which means he had more hours. Now some of you may be asking, well why did you only spend 2-3 hours at Express then? I don't do more than that because clients get tired. I can read people and around that time (on average) people start getting exhausted and hangry haha! Going back to what I was saying - Although we got a majority of his items at Express and could have probably gotten more, I want to give my clients variety. One of the lessons I want them to learn with a professional personal stylist like myself is to know what to look for and where to shop when I'm not available and they have to go on their own.
One of the things that Jon needed help with was how to wear everything together. All of my packages are built into a bundle of hours so the client can use them however they want. Every client is different and this is what Jon needed help with most. Taking that in mind, I suggested I shop online because 1) it takes less time than shopping in-person, 2) we could kill 2 birds with 1 stone by doing an in-person try-on with the online items while also styling looks with the items we got at Express.
Side Fashion Tip: How to Shop Online
When it comes to shopping online, some people love it and some people hate it. Here's a few tips on how to do it successfully (yes, these tactics I use as well):
Read reviews and view photos of people who have posted it on themselves (if available)
Zoom in on the photo. When I do this, I look to see if it's see-through (which sometimes the store will color it in so there's a 50/50 chance) and what the fabric actually looks like (aka is it cheap? Are the seams done well? If it looks like a solid fabric, is it really or is there some type of texture/pattern on it? Etc.)
View the product details and see what the fabric is
Most stores now have inclusivity and have it photographed on different body shapes. See what it would look like on YOUR body shape.
Not everyone can afford to do this, but I always suggest to get 2 different sizes. When you think about it, exchanging it via mail can take awhile. Hint: Shop online at stores where you can do in-store returns even if it was bought online 😉
I sent Jon some personal curated items which included Goodfellow slim-fit chinos from Target (they're the best, and let's not forget to mention inexpensive but still great quality too), fun patterned shirts from Bonobos, and a few "grandpa sweaters" from department stores.
Lately, I have been needing to shop online for the second part of my clients appointments because there's not much selection in the stores. It's a lot of dark colors, no fashion pieces, I mean the list goes on. So essentially, shopping in-store means you'll end up with a lot of good basics. Overall, shopping online for the second portion of his experience worked out because we needed to fill in those "fun" gaps that honored his personality (side note: we did not find that flamingo printed shirt, but we will come this spring. I'm determined.)
The Final Personal Styling Consult
Jon and I started working together in October 2022 and the final personal styling consult was this past January 2023. I hate these days. I actually get teary eyed most of the time. I mean think about it - I'm in their life, learning everything about them, watching them evolve not only with their wardrobe but themselves as a person. I'm also there for the big moments that happen during the full personal styling experience. And don't let me forget that most of the time I end up meeting some family members. Just everything! It's honestly like a breakup.
Anywho, the moment I walked into Jon's room, he had prepared our session by laying out all the clothes we bought. His face lit up! Seeing it all laid out I think made him feel so much more confident, empowered, and overall, he just FELT GOOD! When I see this face, I know I'm doing what I was born to do 🥰 In that moment, he was more than excited to see everything pulled together.
Outfit by outfit, we spent a little over 2 hours styling at least 1-2 additional looks with everything he bought. The one thing I try to practice as much as I can and value here at MH is sustainability. This could mean thrifting or this could mean getting the most out of the outfits - this was Jon. I wanted to ensure that not only could he get most out of his, example: velvet blazer, but I also wanted to make it easy for him to style it on his own. I try not to over-complicate styling when it's their first time working with me (unless they ask or it's someone that already knows how to style outfits in a simple way).
At the end of our session, he felt so good AND looked good (if I do say myself 😉). The way he was carrying himself in the fitting room at our in-person session, how he was carrying himself at the final personal styling consult, to the words that were coming out of his mouth, he was happy! Fashion is so much more than clothing. For an entrepreneur, it's a confidence booster and only makes you become a better professional. And that's exactly what it did for Jon.
Cheers to yet another successful client outcome!
Til next time,
If you're someone that wants to go on a life journey, you can reach me via the contact box on my website: MHstyleconsultants.com
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