Tuesday Beauty Tips: Step Up Your Style Game with a Nordstrom Personal Stylist

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun

Oh! I wanted to tell you how my appointment with the Nordstrom personal stylist went yesterday. Before I met with Rob, the stylist at my nearby Nordstrom in Corte Madera, California, I told him over the phone what I hoped to achieve. Among other style suggestions, I wanted a cute, fashion-forward, age-appropriate spring dress to hide my tum and minimize my bum.


The whole personal stylist experience was very cool, kinda like being on one of those makeover shows, except you don’t bring home the clothes for free (dang!).

To schedule an appointment with a Nordstrom personal stylist, call (877) 283-4048, or shoot them an email here. The appointments themselves are free, but you should have a budget in mind for any clothes or accessories you decide to buy.

Rob usually asks clients to start the styling process by getting fitted for a bra, so when I arrived at the store I headed over to Rachel in the lingerie department. She took care of the fitting for me and also introduced me to the preternatural power of Spanx (OMG! Review coming soon!).

After my fitting, Rob took me to a dressing room filled with dresses, shoes and accessories he pulled beforehand and then left me to start trying on clothes. Every 15 minutes or so, he’d check in and bring over some new things for me to try. Throughout the process, we gave each other feedback on what was and wasn’t working, both trying to get to the same place.

If you’re shy when it comes to discussing your appearance with strangers, you might want to mentally prepare yourself beforehand. Giving and taking feedback helps the stylist get you where you’re trying to go with a look or an outfit, but it can be difficult if you’re not used to it.

It helps to keep an open mind. Rob urged me to try on this purple dress by Amanda Uprichard, even though I wasn’t feeling the ruffles at first. I didn’t think it would look good on me, but after I tried it on and Rob explained how I could work the dress in different ways, I fell in love.

The dress came home with me, along with a couple of accessories — a skinny, studded gold belt and a whimsical Betsey Johnson kitty ring. The best part? I didn’t have to buy shoes since I already had a pair a home that worked with the outfit.

All in all, it was a great experience that lasted about two hours, and I left with a new outfit that I feel really good in. Do I plan to do it again? Heck, yeah!

If you you plan to visit a Nordstrom personal stylist, here are a couple things which might help:

  • Take stock of your closet beforehand. Especially if you’re on a tight budget. Rob repeatedly asked me about the jackets and shoes I had at home and would recommended certain colors and cuts to work with my existing items.
  • Try things on, even if you don’t think they’ll work. I can’t stress this enough! Keep an open mind, and try on some things you wouldn’t normally pick for yourself. Why? Because you never know until you try. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 72 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Yay! i was hoping you would let us know how the appointment went! You’ll have to show us a picture with your dress on and you all dolled up! How would you wear your hair with the dress? Waves would be pretty… or would that be too many ruffles?
    Jessi (Lacquered, Painted, Polished) recently posted … Holographic Plum Frankenpolish

  2. omg, this sounds like SO much fun! the only department store in my side of canada that does this is holt renfew and the selection they have is a bit over my budget (and by a bit, i mean A LOT).

    i get what you’re saying about keeping an open mind, though. i always had a certain idea of what i could and couldn’t pull off and it wasn’t until i gave in to friends/family’s suggestions that i thought maybe i should reconsider my perceptions.

    also, the dress is gorg (the colour would look just lovely on you) and the ring is super cute!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … All About Eyes – The Tropics

    • Karen says:

      I hear you about having certain ideas. I tried on one dress that didn’t do anything for me on the rack but it ended up being really cute on. You never know until you try it on. 🙂

  3. Vijaya says:

    What an interesting experience… I don’t think I could do it though. Discussing my appearance with someone else? I’d just feel like I was being judged. xP
    Vijaya recently posted … Versatile Blogger Award- Thanks- Vulcan Butterfly!

  4. Rae says:

    This sounds so cool, Karen! I 2nd Jessi’s comment – we’d love to see this outfit on you ^^

  5. Fefe says:

    Wow. This sounds cool. Once Im done with this NutriSystem weight loss thing I may try this. A person could definitely help fit my new body into the right clothes. Thanks Karen. Never knew this existed.
    Fefe recently posted … Photography- Attempt Numero Uno

  6. nekosan says:

    Nordstrom’s is quite good with bra fittings, in my experience. If they don’t have your size, they will generally tell you so, instead of trying to cram you into something that doesn’t fit. If you know you’re a hard-to-find size, call ahead, and they’ll try to pull inventory from other stores or special-order bras. =)

    Bravissimo still owns my heart, however. =D

    • Karen says:

      I haven’t tried that brand yet! I’m a DKNY girl myself… they seem to fit me well and are girly, but not overly fussy. They have a brand at Nordies called Cantelle that I also liked, but it’s super expensive.

      • Futuralon says:

        Omg Chantelle is totally worth it for large breasted women. Me 40ddd, my mum 40dd, and my 32i sister all wear them. The price is reflected in the quality. I’ve never popped a wire or ripped one. Plus they are way cute with the best lace. Try it!

  7. natalie says:

    how cute, i am taking a fashion class and learning how to make dresses, ill try my hand at your since id need tailoring. i have the body of a 14yr old boy

  8. Mehak says:

    I heart everything you got, specially the cat ring..lol fun!

  9. Rona says:

    My sister went and saw a personal shopper in topshop and they were brilliant! She came home with a gorgeous outfit, within budget and it was a look that she never would have thought of herself

  10. Aparnaa says:

    This sounds so awesome, I’d totally do this! I mean, that outfit really rocks. Question – does one have to tip the stylist? (I’m paranoid about tipping.)

  11. Kim says:

    It sounds like you had a great time! I’m so happy for you! 🙂 I love the ring and think you should definitely model the dress, too. It’s funny that the things we think look awful on the rack often look the best when we put them on (my sister’s prom dress is a perfect example). I’m terrible about trying new things and would definitely benefit from a stylist. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      I’m terrible about trying new things too — it’s so easy to get stuck in a style rut (which is made painfully obvious by the surf tees and plaid button up shirts in my closet, LOL).

      • Kim says:

        You’re talking to the girl who has drawers overstuffed with sweats and running pants. 🙂 I know that there are comfortable, yet stylish, clothes available but they seem so hard to find! Regardless, a big, ol YAY to you for taking this step. I’m sure you’ll be rocking your new look! 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Have you gotten to the point where you find yourself wanting to buy a pair of Pajama Jeans? ‘Cause that’s when you know it’s time for an intervention.

          • Kim says:

            HAHA! No, but I was certainly encouraging everyone I know to get them when I first saw the ad. I was very curious to see what they would look like in real life. No takers, though. And I’m too label snobby to actually buy/wear them myself. 🙂

  12. Ruchita says:

    Thanks for sharing about your experience! I feel like I’ve been stuck in a style rut lately, so this is something I would definitely consider. I love the dress. What a gorgeous color!

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome, Ruchita. Oh — if you’re going to go in one thing that helps is to tear out outfits you like from magazines for inspiration.

  13. Dao says:

    Karen, I really want to see you in that dress. Love the color! I think it works really well on your tanned skin 🙂 Also, I heart that kitty ring. I bet Tabs is going to be all over you.
    Dao recently posted … Makeup in Pencil Zip-up Bags- Just Throw It in the Bag!

  14. Nina says:

    first off — i love the dress! its lovely and flirty and just oh – so – you!!! awesome choice.

    second — i <3 the cat ring — crazy cat ladies, unite!

    lastly — my sister has been nagging me about how i dress like im either a tween or an old lady (LOL!) so, for my birthday, she made a personal stylist appointment @ nordies for me. im pretty excited, esp now that you wrote about your experience. she said she will spring for one outfit, but that the rest is up to me!

    i cant wait!!! <3

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      How exciting (and happy early birthday)! So, what kind of outfits are you thinking about? Stuff for work or maybe a special occasion?

      I feel you the whole dressing like a tween thing, LOL! Sometimes I see kids out and about and think to myself, “Holy crap, I have that outfit.”

      • Nina says:

        i actually need a better work wardrobe. its weird that my clothes kinda transition from workweek to weekday. or vice versa.

        i know for sure i prefer dresses and skirts/tops to pants. so thats a start.

        exactly!!! its weird to be told by my 12 year old cousins/nieces that i dress “cool”!!!! 😀

        • Karen says:

          HAHA! Okay, so I had the same thing happen to me… a random tween asked me where I got my sweats (MARSHALL’S, YO!). Yeah, it was high time I got professional help, LOL!

  15. Melissa says:

    Love, Love, Love Betsey Johnson jewelry! I’m dying for one of her necklaces, so much fun 🙂 The dress is such a beautiful color – thanks for sharing Karen!

  16. Katrina says:

    Oh how fun! I love Nordstrom. I really love the personal attention you can get there, and they have the best plus size department around!

  17. Karin says:

    That is such a cute ring 😀 And that dress looks so nice, love that colour!

  18. Christy says:

    glad you had such a great experience! I love Nordies for this. All of the employees are wonderful & attentive. I only go here for bras & the lingerie team is amazing. The girl who sized me gave me her card and told me to call her whenever I want to go shopping. Love it the personal stylist thing you just did. I’m kind of scared to try this out but I think I need to. Oh and you no buy spanx?
    Christy recently posted … Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast from Iconic-Ironic Spring 2011 Collection- Swatches &amp Review

    • Karen says:

      GURL, I sooo bought the Spanx. They didn’t exactly mesh with the photos in this post, so I left ’em out. But they’re in my closet, waiting to encase my chub.

  19. larie says:

    I think I would be terrified – I have a hard time saying what I think to people I don’t know, and so I’d just be like, “Oh sure…this dress looks great…” while I was thinking, “Um???”

    Your dress is gorgeous, though! 🙂 Glad it was such a good experience!
    larie recently posted … Cute and Pretty- Hello Kitty Perfume

  20. Christy says:

    P.S.S. I just emailed them about an appointment. I need a few power pieces to guide my wardrobe like a dress, blazer, belt, etc that can be worn different ways with multiple things 🙂

  21. Pretty dress, love the color! The belt is great too. You reminded me to bring out some of my Betsey Johnson jewelry. What do your shoes look like?

  22. Marian says:

    I love that dress! Can’t wait to see it on you!

  23. Carrie says:

    The dress is pretty and I love the ring! 🙂

  24. marisol says:

    I may need to do this down the road. I’ll need some help as my sizes are changing.
    marisol recently posted … Dealing with Ups &amp Downs

  25. Emily says:

    Wow great dress! It sounds so cool and fun! Was there a minimum amount of money you had to spend? Did you have to tip?
    Emily recently posted … Stila Silk Shimmer Gloss

  26. amy says:

    That dress is soooo cute! If you are looking for shapewear, I highly recommend Flexess by Maidenform. The quality and comfort is much better than Spanx, and the price point is easier on the pocket book too. More money for shoes…yay!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy,

      Do you have a piece that you absolutely can’t live without? I need to know!

      • amy says:

        HI Karen,
        A few actually! The easy up thigh slimmer is my favorite for under dresses. It controls the tummy, butt and thighs and is comfy beyond belief! I also love their shapewear leggings. They hold everything in and still look like regular leggings. I really love all of their products (shapewear and bras). I recently re-discovered this brand and am loving their styles (and price!). Let me know if you need any more suggestions – I have lots of shapewear that I use under many different outfits. Happy Shopping!

  27. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    That dress is gorgeous, and I really want that belt! I’m tempted to try the personal styling now, but I need to take stock of what I have first.

    Also, I’m so hard to fit off the rack :/. I’m particularly leggy for my already tall height of 5’11” (inseam = 35″ in skinny jeans/36″ in other pants/37″ in heels), and my arms are long, too. Pants and jackets that fit are hard to find. Sometimes, I wish I could just go everywhere in my bathrobe, lol!

  28. steph b says:

    Oooh! I was thinking of doing this for work. I can do suits no problem but am hopeless with non-suit business clothes. I’m tired of looking out of synch with the office.

    • Karen says:

      You should! Maybe bring a few magazine pages for inspiration… or if your stylist contacts you via e-mail send along some links to things that you’d like to wear. I found a lot of outfit ideas via shopstyle.com and sent the links to Rob beforehand.

  29. Sandy says:

    This dress is such a gorgeous color and must look lovely on you….was hoping you would post a photo of it on!

  30. Leah says:

    Nordstrom customer service is like no where else. Thank you for this article because it reminded me that yes, I can get the clothing item for less at Marshall’s (like a Calvin Klein bra) but…why bother doing that all of the time when the staff at Nordstrom is so professional. Plus, we also have a Nordstrom Rack in my town. Yay!
    Leah recently posted … Rainy Day Fun Book

  31. Christina says:

    What a fun thing to do! The dress looks GORGEOUS! …but like you, I may have passed it up. Love it!

  32. Perri says:

    i have the earring version of the betsey johnson ring you got! i think i have at least three cat-themed jewelry items from her. ^^

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