Fashion

Question Time: Taranaki’s personal shopper and fashion stylist


Marianne Nairn is a stylist and personal shopper in Taranaki and loves helping clients discover their personal style.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Marianne Nairn is a stylist and personal shopper in Taranaki and loves helping clients discover their personal style.

After 10 years in retail Marianne Nairn went out on her own and became a stylist and personal shopper with her business Styled by M. Reporter Stephanie Ockhuysen finds out what that involves.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I have a great sense of humour and often laugh at myself; I love exercise, socialising with my friends, hanging out with family – and I do enjoy a drop of shopping!

I moved to Taranaki a number of years ago, am married to a wonderful man, and have a 27-year-old daughter who lives in Wellington as well as two step-daughters who live in Southland. The four-legged members of our family are Dougal (an eight-year-old Spoodle) who is first in the car to go to coffee in the morning, and Bruce our 14-year-old cat who has made sleeping 20 hours per day his speciality!

What does your job entail?

I always like to have an initial consult with a client over a coffee to introduce myself, and to discuss the various elements of my styling process; this process consists of assessing style personality, body shape and colours, and these three steps are crucial to discovering my client’s unique sense of style.

The next step in the process is a wardrobe edit during which I demonstrate how to pull together various combinations using the existing wardrobe and then compile a shopping list which will complete the wardrobe, making it functional and cohesive.

And finally, the fun part- shopping!

One of her favourite New Plymouth stores is Tempt on Devon Street West.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

One of her favourite New Plymouth stores is Tempt on Devon Street West.

How did you get into being a stylist and personal shopper?

After ten years in fashion retail, I realised that I had a flair for styling. I was also aware that professional styling often conflicted with the need to make the sale, and from there it was a natural step to train as a stylist. I was very fortunate to have been trained by NZ’s top stylist, Stacey Beatson in Auckland and I haven’t looked back!

How long have you been doing this?

More than five years.

Where is your favourite place to shop?

That’s a hard one as it depends on my client’s budget and their style personality. I will shop anywhere, but I am frequently in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on shopping trips with clients. I also spend quite a bit of shopping online.

What is the biggest perk of your job?

Watching my client get excited about the number of different ways they can pull together outfits from their existing wardrobe, as they embrace new looks and styles.

What’s the biggest challenge?

Probably the biggest challenge is to get women to be open-minded to new looks and styles that they haven’t considered before.

Nairn says the biggest challenge of her job is getting women to be open to new looks.

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Nairn says the biggest challenge of her job is getting women to be open to new looks.

What is your top fashion tip?

Find your unique sense of style and own it. And if an outfit doesn’t tick all the boxes for styling, body shape and colour, my philosophy has always been “if you love it, wear it anyway!”

How would you describe your own style?

I like to be creative in my look, embracing my individual style in a way that makes ME feel good about me. I wear anything from pretty to grungy to classic; it all depends on how I feel on the day!

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

Working with animals

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