As social distancing guidelines continue to lift and we start to go out and socialize more, thinkpiece after thinkpiece after thinkpiece has covered the sartorial crisis happening in our heads. What do we wear now? Of course, there really are no rules as to what exactly you should or should not wear, but for those who are seeking some guidance, there are plenty of ways to get inspiration.
Wishi, an online personal styling service with celebrity stylist Karla Welch behind it, launched in 2019, just before our go-to wardrobe was a consistent rotation of loungewear. But the timing was nearly perfect for Welch and her team, as they were able to give the one-on-one attention that Wishi’s users were craving from the stores that they weren’t able to visit IRL, while saving the time and decision fatigue that may come from online shopping. Plus, it’s tapping into a new business model of virtual styling that’s growing into a niche of its own on Instagram.
“We received endless requests for Zoom attire, particularly tops, and in the last few months we’ve seen an astronomical uptick in our bookings,” Welch tells NYLON on Wishi’s demand for the past two years. “Clients are telling us they are tired of living in sweats and are asking for lots of color.”
Wishi offers three types of bookings for its service: the “Wishi Mini,” which costs $40 for a one-to-one chat with a stylist, a personal style moodboard, and two boards of outfit ideas; the “Wishi Major” costs $90 and is a bit more in-depth when it comes to getting a style overhaul, totaling to five mood boards (and revisions). There’s also the “Closet Clean Out” for the same price ($90) that Welch notes has been a top choice for users.
“Less is more in the new normal, and shoppers are looking to invest in a few key closet staples at a higher price point,” she says. “Our ‘Closet Clean Out’ package has been a real hit because clients like having the eyes of a stylist to digitally edit their closet and recommend the missing items they need.”
As of Thursday, June 17, Welch has also added celebrity stylist Maeve Riley to her roster. “I couldn’t be more excited to have Maeve on the Wishi Style Council,” she says. “She is the definitive street stylist and I love her looks.” Known for being the mastermind behind Hailey Bieber’s everyday and red carpet looks, users can now book her services (for 24 hours only) so they can stock up on their own wardrobe essentials.
“Karla and I have worked closely as Justin and Hailey’s stylists, so when she asked me to join her on the Wishi Style Council, I couldn’t wait to say yes,” Riley tells NYLON. “By styling on Wishi, I can connect with my followers directly to spread kindness, positivity, and light one outfit at a time. Empathy and connection are super important to me and The Local Love Club, and Wishi is the place for collaboration and connection between stylists and our communities, so it’s the perfect partnership.”
I had the chance to give Wishi a try, along with the rare opportunity to get some expert fashion advice from Welch herself. Ahead, find out more about the personal styling process and what to expect.
Wishi Personal Styling Service Step #1: Taking The Style Quiz
Once you sign up for an account on Wishi, you’re given a quiz to help define your personal style. Questions range from what your favorite brands are and if you align with certain aesthetics, to picking and choosing what celebrity or street style looks you love (or hate). This survey will also determine which stylist will be your best match to work with.
Wishi Personal Styling Service Step #2: Pairing Up With A Stylist
Welch and Wishi will find a stylist that fits your fashion needs, but you can sometimes book an exact stylist for their service. In my case, I paired up with Welch for a “Wishi Mini” and she kicked off our session in a private chat on the app to get the ball rolling. While she was going through my profile and quiz results, I made sure to let her know of any specific requests I had. I told her that I recently moved to the west coast after living in New York City for more than a decade, so I was looking for some suggestions to update my wardrobe.
Wishi Personal Styling Service Step #3: Kicking Off With An Inspirational Moodboard
Welch first sent over my inspirational moodboard, using my celebrity style icons and their outfits. I was given the chance to give feedback, or choosing the auto-replies, “Love all your ideas!”, “Like some ideas,” or “Not really my style.” I mentioned that a few of the looks were a bit too polished for me but, overall, it was great inspo, and Welch took note of that with her two style boards.
Wishi Personal Styling Service Step #4: Style Boards And Figuring Out What Works
The style boards show a slew of pieces for outfit ideas, and the first one from Welch was on point for what I was looking for: a mix of clothes fit for layering, stylish sandals, as well as some cool jewelry pieces (ear cuffs!) to finish every look. You can also ask questions about the chosen items if you need more style tips. For the second board, I asked for more casual looks, mentioning that I’m almost always wearing comfy, oversized silhouettes with sneakers or sandals.
This time around, Welch’s picks didn’t really reflect my style. I chose the auto-reply option “not really my style” and gave some feedback on what pieces had to be swapped (a backpack, fleece jacket, and denim shirt). Afterwards, she came back with a brand new style board that hit the mark, and just like that our session was complete.
Wishi Personal Styling Service Step #5: Go Forth And Get Dressed!
I find the “Wishi Mini” sessions to be great if you need some styling ideas for a specific event but if you’re looking for a major post-vax fashion revamp to your wardrobe, then the “Wishi Major” is definitely worth considering. Each item from Wishi’s style boards is shoppable straight from the app or website, so you can make your purchases right away. Since I do enjoy hunting around for the best deal and I’m always browsing on retail sites for work, I’ve let the style boards serve as a reference point anytime I get the shoppies, which, right now, is pretty often.