As a lazy fashionista, I have something of a love/hate relationship with shopping malls. Going to the mall requires dressing up, battling traffic, and staying hydrated and fed while trying to focus on what I really need instead of being swayed by what I don’t. (Yes, I have that same challenge too.) As much as I love fashion, it all pushes me out of  my comfort zone.

But after a recent conversation with my friend and colleague Hella Tsaconas, the new West Coast rep for Personal Style Counselors) I was reminded about a very practical and delightful alternative to mall – and even online – shopping. Hella explained, with enthusiasm, that she’s been finding a lot of great things for her clients at our local Nordstrom (I love Nordie’s and have bought a lot of my wardrobe there, so much so that I became one of their affiliates.)

So this is the deal:  Nordstrom has a service, called Trunk Club, that rivals some of the most popular fashion “subscription” services but differs in what I consider truly great ways.

Your Personal Stylist

Here’s how it works. Nordstrom employs their best stylists to work with you, individually, to create an outfit – or outfits – based on your criteria. You go online to fill out an extremely thorough questionnaire (I mean, really thorough) indicating the types of clothes and silhouettes you prefer, what you’re willing to spend, your best colors, names of other stores and brands you typically like, etc. That helps your stylist really “get” who you are and what you’re looking for. You can also chat with your stylist in real time. (You’ll feel like those celebrities you read about in the magazines at your hairdresser: “So-and-so’s stylist is the go-to person this year for the red carpet looks of “whozewhatsis” and “whatshername”…I have no idea who these people are anymore.) Anyway, with Trunk Club, you get to have your own personal stylist who will put together a great look for you. And if you have seen something in an ad that you like they can find something similar. This is really a terrific way to augment or update your wardrobe or just have an expert find you an entire outfit for a special occasion.

Best of all, this is not a subscription service. There’s no long-term commitment or contract. You can have them send you a single one-time outfit or request something every month or periodically. You only pay for what you like and return the rest – or send it all back. (You do pay a $25 styling fee if you send back everything, unless you have a Nordstrom credit card, in which case the fee is waived. When you add up what you’d pay for gas, parking, lunch, and likely buying impulse items at the mall, $25 is a bargain.) You get free shipping, free returns, and you call the shots. I like that. And, they have stylists for both men and women. If you know a guy who is really into fashion or one who is simply clueless about how to dress, this would be a great service for him too.

I don’t have a Nordie’s credit card, (trying to keep them to a minimum these days) but for those who do, the bonus is that they not only waive the styling fee but they give you two points for every dollar you spend. Teal shopping bag illustration

So, if  you have read my book and now have a pretty good idea about your style and your best colors but are still kind of intimated by shopping for yourself (and you don’t have a stylist on speed dial) this is a really great alternative. Please let me know if you try it out and what you think of it. Here’s the link again.

Happy (letting someone else do the) Shopping for the Real You!

Learn more about your best colors and your unique style essences in my book, Shopping for the Real You.

Andrea’s books and new video series:

Shopping for the Real You front cover image