A Chat With Alison Knox: Personal Stylist + Wardrobe Expert

It's no secret that I truly and deeply believe that a good grasp of personal style is essential for moving towards true "slow fashion" and conscious consumerism. I am beyond elated to introduce you to Alison Knox. Alison is a personal stylist who works in both Portland and San Francisco. I've been lucky enough to become friends with Alison over the last several months and am in awe of the skill she has for helping both men and women discover their true style, and in many cases, a confidence they didn't know they had.

Leave a comment on this post with any questions YOU have for Alison about personal style and she'll be offering some answers next week in a follow-up post!

What does a personal stylist actually do?

What do you actually do as a personal stylist?

I work with men and women to help align who they are as a person with how they present themselves to the world.  Together we discover their own personal style, create clarity and freedom in their wardrobe and all along the way I share tools and strategies for maintaining a versatile, cohesive wardrobe that reflects who they are.  My job is to empower individuals to do what they're good at with greater confidence and style. I do so by entering these super vulnerable spaces with people - closets and dressing rooms - and help make it encouraging, beneficial and fun.  I provide context and language for why things aren't working to thus bring clarity and focus for what will be better.  

What are some misconceptions people have about stylists?

This industry is really still 'up-and-coming' and it feels exciting to help better define it.  One misconception I love blowing up is the idea that there is a picture of 'cool and stylish' that I am going to force everyone into.  Since I start by getting to know the individual, who they are, how they want to feel in their clothes and the message they want to send to the world through what they wear, I get to help elevate and sharpen that.  My role becomes encouraging people to push past lies they've believed about their bodies and what they can and 'should' be wearing.  I get to help them see themselves through fresh eyes and reflect the amazing individuals they are through thoughtfully chosen pieces.

Why do you think personal style is so worth investing in? 

Style is a powerful means of communication, both to ourselves and those around us.  We carry ourselves differently when we know we look good.  We engage with the world differently when we're not feeling lost or misrepresented in our clothing.  It can communicate to the individual a message of our own value and worth when we put thought and intention into how we're presenting ourselves.  Focusing our attention on style versus fashion is what can ensure a more timeless, sustainable wardrobe that will shift with us as we grow and evolve as people.  

Personal Stylist | What do they actually do?
Personal Style and Slow Fashion

What do you think about trends? Do you think they're always to be avoided or worth trying out in order to expand personal style boundaries? 

I definitely have mixed opinions on 'trends' (I'm looking at you cold-shoulder tops and endless ruffles).  By definition, trends have a shorter shelf life in a closet and are not areas for great investment.  That being said, they can be a good opportunity to take new risks with our style.  I am not typically an early adopter and like to observe styles in real life before I decide if it fits my personal style.  I also like to ask a few questions first:

1.) Will this item work with at least 3 other pieces currently in my wardrobe?

 2.) Do I already own shoes that fit this style?  

3.) In my guess-timation, what will be the 'cost-per-wear' for this item? 

I have been consistently surprised that the new trends I end up adding to my wardrobe end up becoming my new favorite pieces, i.e. jumpsuit, overalls, mules, neck scarves etc.  Also, if you're thoughtfully jumping on board with a trend, there's no need to succumb to 'fast-fashion' for it.  I love perusing consignment shops for others who've tried it and decided it's not for them.  You can still seek out quality while not breaking the bank.

Tips from a personal stylist
Personal Stylist Tips for Slow Fashion

Leave your questions for Alison below!

(If you'd like to work with Alison, find out more about her styling service at alisonknox.com)