My Nordstrom Personal Shopper and Stylist Experience

After Trunk Club shut down, the Nordstrom Personal Shopper department reached out to let me know that they could set me up with a personal stylist near me.

That is, since I was already an established customer at the Pittsburgh Nordstrom department store, I could work with one of their stylists at any time.

Again, without Nordstrom Trunk Club styling service available anymore, the staff wanted me to know that I could work with a Nordstrom personal shopper there whenever I wanted.

Then, a few months later, they reached out again.

They wanted to let me know that if I came in during late September, I could earn 3X points for my purchases.

This was because I have a Nordstrom card and because I’m a Nordy Club member. I knew that one of the benefits of Nordy Club membership was early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

But earning extra points for working with a shopper? I’m in.

I love shopping at Nordstrom, because of their great product selection and their excellent customer service. Note: the links I provide here are called affiliate links. That means if you click through them to shop, I will receive a small commission. There is no cost to you for using my links.

Whenever there is a sale or a shopping coupon code, I’ll post information right here, along with a link to Nordstrom or a link to Nordstrom Rack to make your shopping (and saving) easier.

Review of Nordstrom personal shopping

If you’ve read my articles about using online personal stylists, then you know that I’ve worked with a personal shopper in person before. In fact, it’s been years since I last hit the stores with a stylist. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect when working with Nordstrom.

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Before my actual appointment, I exchanged emails with the folks at my local store. They asked me lots of questions, some of which I’ve reproduced below. This included questions about my style preferences and body type.

It seemed they really wanted to do their homework on me before I arrived. I really appreciate that and, honestly, I wasn’t surprised. If there’s one constant with Nordstrom, it’s excellent customer service.

FYI, in most instances you’ll log into your Nordstrom account to book a personal stylist or shopper appointment. While there, you can also book a Nordstrom bra fitting appointment.

Pre-personal shopper communication

Kristin from the customer relationship department sent me the following message:

“I am excited to hear you are interested in working with one of our personal stylists! I just have a few quick questions to ensure I find the best person.

  • What are your go to brands?
  • How would you describe your style?
  • What sizes do you currently wear in shoes/clothing?
  • What day and time works best for you to shop Triple Points? (I have availability through the entire event)

Once I receive your answers, I will set up the appointment with one of our stylists, who will curate a personalized fitting room.”

Here was my reply:

“My go to brands are NYDJ (pants only), CeCe, Nordstrom brand, Caslon, Treasure and Bond, Halogen, Lucky Brand, Wit and Wisdom. I do own a few Eileen Fisher pieces, too.

My style is casual preppy, comfortable business attire. I’m self employed but I walk my dogs 2-3 times a day so I need comfortable clothes that I can go from my desk to outside easily. 

My size is 12 or larger. I’m 5’4″ with a 28-29 inseam so I’m short.

However, my bra size is 36G. I have a large chest so finding shirts that fit is a challenge. If a shirt doesn’t have stretch to it, it rarely fits across my chest. 

Also, with jackets I wear a petite. Otherwise, sleeves are too long. But with shirts and sweaters, that’s not a problem.

My feet are extra wide or double wide. I’ve never been able to buy shoes in my size at the store, only online. So if we can skip that and you tell me what kind of existing shoes to bring, that would be great.”

Day of my personal shopper appointment

Turns out I got my timing wrong. That resulted in me showing up 30 minutes early for my personal shopping appointment. Ooops. I guess early is better than late.

Thankfully, my personal shopper Laura (that’s a pseudonym; she asked that I not identify her) had already started pulling items for me. In fact, this is what I saw when she showed me to my dressing room.

clothes in nordstrom dressing room horizontal

Shopping with the stylist

I thought I would start trying things on right then and there.

However, Laura suggested I follow her back onto the floor.

She explained that when I’d shared my favorite brands and my style, she was so excited to work with me.

“This is my department,” she said, motioning to the area of the Nordstrom women’s department with my favorite brands–Caslon, Nic + Zoe, NYDJ, etc. 

Even though she’s already pulled more than a dozen pieces, she wanted me to do a once around with her, just in case.

I’m so glad she did. Because we ended up discovering a few more tops to add to my options.

Clothes in nordstrom dressing room 2

Stylist suggestions for outfits

Now it was time to start trying things on.

I’ll admit that, at first, I was a bit overwhelmed on what to try on first.

Thankfully, Laura sensed this.

So she started showing me ways I could mix and match the tops and bottoms on one wall of the dressing room.

“Start with these navy blue Liverpool trousers,” she said. “They fit so well, and all of us have a pair.”

I was skeptical. You see, my Trunk Club stylist had sent me Liverpool trousers in the past.

I hated the way they looked on me.

However, I knew that the way to get the most out of working with a personal shopper was to keep an open mind.

So I tried them on. Boy, am I glad I did.

Whereas those other Liverpool trousers were a lower rise–and therefore emphasized my abdomen in an unflattering way–this pair was a higher rise.

The waistband came right to my belly button. And they looked great and felt even better.

In fact, I spent most of my personal styling appointment with these pants on as I tried on all of the tops. 

The importance of trying everything on

And I did try on everything that Laura had put in the dress room.

I’ve learned that it’s important to put everything on, whether it shows up in a box from an online styling company like Stitch Fix or is in your dressing room when working with a personal shopper. 

As I mentioned in my article about bras for big busts, this is something I know personally–having big boobs.

And I’d explained that I have a challenge with tops because of how they pull across my chest.

Well, Laura explained to me that it wasn’t actually my bust size that caused the pulling. No, it was the breadth of my back.

So she worked hard to find me tops that could accommodate the front and back of my torso. And she succeeded.

What did I buy

In the end I purchased six items. They were:

  1. NYDJ Marilyn straight leg jeans
  2. Liverpool trousers in navy
  3. Nordstrom brand long cardigan sweater in light pink
  4. Caslon navy blue and burgundy blouse
  5. Caslon navy blue and white striped long sleeve polo shirt
  6. Nic + Zoe tropical bring high-low v-neck short sleeve blouse

My budget

The one thing Laura and I never discussed was my budget.

In fact, when I was emailing the personal shopping staff before my appointment, they never asked me my budget.

I brought this up with Laura and asked why no one ever asked.

She explained that based on the brands I’d said were my favorites, they had a sense of what I would be comfortable spending.

That is, I wasn’t asking for high-end designer labels, and no one pushed any on me.

In fact, the most expensive item I ended up buying was the NYDJ jeans. They were $119. 

The least expensive item? The Caslon long-sleeve polo shirt. It was $39.

Caslon is a Nordstrom private label brand. More about that here.

Price of NYDJ jeans

I’ve paid about this for NYDJ jeans in the past.

So while the price tag might shock some, it didn’t shock me.

And let me just say that I believe the NYDJ brand lives up to the notion of you get what you pay for.

I have pairs of NYDJ jeans from years ago. And they still look brand new.

So, I know I’ll get lots of wear out of this new pair, too.

NYDJ fit

I learned something really important about the NYDJ fit.

And that is this: you should always size down when buying NYDJ jeans. 

For example, Laura had me try on NYDJ Marilyn straight leg jeans in my normal size–size 12. These pants were in dark wash denim.

They fit well and were comfortable.

But they also felt like they could easily stretch out and become baggy.

nydj jeans

So she grabbed me two more pairs of the NYDJ Marilyn straight leg jeans in size 10.

One pair was in the same dark wash denim; the other was a more distressed, whiskered denim.

“Not Your Daughters Jeans should be tight when you first put them on but not too tight,” Laura told me. “If you can sit down and cross your legs, then that’s the perfect fit. But if you can’t breathe, then they’re too tight.”

I tried on the first pair of the Marilyn straight leg jeans in size 10 in the dark wash.

Guess what? I couldn’t breathe, let alone sit down and cross my legs.

So onto the second pair in the more weathered-looking denim.

Yes, they were a little tight but as soon as I sat down, they were instantly comfortable.

nydj jeans

Don’t always trust sizing

Laura emphasized that you can’t always trust clothing manufacturer sizing.

Just my experience with the two different NYDJ Marilyn straight leg jeans in the very same size explained this perfectly. 

That is, two items in the same size from the same designer can fit completely differently.

And different clothing from different companies fit differently, too. 

That’s not your fault. There’s nothing wrong with your body. That’s just the way things are.

Laura told me that she currently has clothing in her closet that she wears regularly in three different sizes.

In my shopping haul, I purchased clothing in four different sizes.

There were the NYDJ Marilyn straight leg jeans in size 10.

Those Liverpool trousers I fell in love with were size 12.

Then, the cardigan and floral print blouse were both in size medium.

Everything else was in size large. Go figure.

Price adjustments

One of the things I plan to do is keep an eye on these items on the Nordstrom.com website.

Because if any of them are marked down in the next 10 days, I’ll ask Nordstrom to refund me the difference. 

That’s because Nordstrom is one of the stores that offers a price match or price adjustment.

Usually, you can see price matching right on the Nordstrom website or in the app.

However, you can also request this adjustment after the fact. It just has to be no later than 10 days after your purchase.

nordstrom price match nydj jeans

Questions about the Nordstrom personal shopper experience

Maybe you’ve never worked with a personal shopper or stylist. So, perhaps you’ve got lots of questions.

In this section of the review, I’ll try to answer what I imagine would be the most common questions about Nordstrom stylists. 

How much does a Nordstrom personal shopper cost

One of the great things about working with a personal stylist at Nordstrom is this: it’s free.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Nordstrom card holder, a Nordy Club member or just a shopper new to Nordstrom.

There is no fee when working with the store stylist in the capacity that I did. However, since then, Nordstrom has added additional styling services — some with fees. More about that in a bit.

How long is a personal shopping session

I spent about an hour working with Laura.

Later, I found out that they block off 90 minutes for most personal styling sessions.

However, my total time in the store was a bit longer.

That’s because my NYDJ jeans needed to be hemmed.

So I had to wait for the alterations department to come to the dressing room area to work with me.

alterations at nordstrom jeans hemming 2 cropped low res

FYI, when you buy jeans at Nordstrom, the store will hem them for free. More about alterations at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack here. 

Does Nordstrom still offer online personal styling

As I mentioned at the top of this article, Nordstrom shut down its Trunk Club personal styling service in 2022.

However, in-store personal styling and shoppers continue to exist.

If you’re not comfortable going to a store or don’t live near a Nordstrom store, you can still use the personal shoppers.

In fact, Nordstrom offers virtual personal styling appointments via video chat. Again, this is all free. 

I grabbed this description from the Nordstrom website so you’ll understand how they work.

“1. Schedule a 30-minute session. Choose a stylist from any Nordstrom store.

2. Meet with your stylist online. Talk about your style, fit and budget preferences.

3. Get styling recommendations. Your stylist will email or text you outfit ideas—there’s no pressure to buy.”

You can book your virtual styling appointment on the Nordstrom website.

Do you have to buy everything

You absolutely do not have to buy everything or even anything that your personal shopper selects for you.

As I mentioned, my dressing room had more than a dozen pieces for me to try on. I ended up buying six.

Of course, if you have no intention of buying anything, then I don’t think it’s fair to waste a salesperson’s time.

But if you go into a personal styling appointment with a genuine interest in trying out new clothing–and nothing legit works out for you–then you shouldn’t feel obligated to buy anything.

What if I like something but they don’t have it in my size

There were multiple times during my appointment that I tried something on that didn’t fit. Laura offered to order it for me and have it shipped to my home. 

I didn’t love any of the items that were the wrong size.

So, she didn’t end up needing to order anything.

But it was great to know that I had this option.

Do you tip a Nordstrom personal shopper

No, you do not give a personal shopper at Nordstrom a tip. They work on salary and commission.

So, if you buy anything, they will get a commission on that.

Funny thing about working with Laura: at the end of our session, we both went in for a hug.

It was such a pleasant experience that we both felt it was natural to give each other a hug. 

Let me know if you have any other questions about my experience working with a Nordstrom personal shopper.

Finally, if I was invited to a black-tie optional event and didn’t know what to wear, I’d definitely use this personal styling service again.

Additional Nordstrom personal styling services

Since working with the personal shopper in Pittsburgh, Nordstrom has added a whole host of styling services. Some of these come with a fee. I’ve outlined them below.

Nordstrom In-Store Styling: Women’s Fashion Expert

  • 1 hour
  • Free

Get free 1:1 personalized style advice from the in-store women’s fashion experts. Hit refresh on any of your style needs — tailoring and fit advice, or item and outfit recommendations.

In-Store Styling for Someone Special

  • 1 hour
  • Free

Give the gift of styling! Book a free 1:1 personalized style advice session with Nordstrom in-store fashion experts. Help your someone special hit refresh on their style — or help with tailoring, fit advice and outfit recommendations.

Nordstrom In-Store Shopping Help: Baby Gear Expert

  • 35 min
  • Free

Book a personal appointment with an educated baby gear and safety experts. They can help make sure you have everything you need for your newborn, growing toddler or shower registry. Feel confident that you’re getting items from strollers and car seats to bath essentials and linens you can trust and know how to use.

Womenswear: Nordstrom to You Styling

  • 1 hour
  • $50.00

Nordstrom will come to you for your styling appointment. Seriously. A stylist and tailor will meet you at your home, office or hotel to help with any and all styling needs. Plus, the $50 fee will be applied toward any purchase or alteration, with no pressure to buy. You have to live or be located within a 15 mile radius of your selected store. Also, Nordy Club Ambassadors get one Nordstrom to You Styling service free annually.

Menswear: Nordstrom to You Styling

  • 1 hour
  • $50.00

Just like the women’s appointment described above, male Nordstrom customers can get the same services:

  • A stylist and tailor will meet you at your home, office or hotel (within 15 miles of a store)
  • Your $50 fee will be applied toward any purchase or alteration
  • Nordy Club Ambassadors get one Nordstrom to You Styling service free annually

Nordstrom In-Store Styling: Men’s Fashion Expert

  • 1 hour
  • Free

Get free 1:1 personalized style advice from our in-store men’s fashion experts. Hit refresh on any of your style needs — tailoring and fit advice, or item and outfit recommendations.

Nordstrom In-Store Gift Help

  • 30 min
  • Free

Book a 1:1 session with an in-store gift expert who can help you find the perfect gift for someone special.

Men’s Made to Measure

  • 1 hour
  • Free

Free consultation for Made-to-Measure Suiting. From fit to finish, Nordstrom made-to-measure suiting is personalized for your needs. Get help choosing your style, fabric, pattern and other details that make it exclusively yours.

Nordstrom Womenswear: In-Home Closet Consultation

  • 3 hours
  • $300.00

Need a wardrobe edit? A stylist and tailor will come to your home, create looks from your current wardrobe, measure for alterations and recommend new items to add to your rotation. You have to live within a 15 mile radius of your selected store. Also, Nordy Club Ambassadors get one In-Home Closet Consult free annually. However, unlike the other in-home services, it doesn’t appear that you get to apply the $300 fee to any alterations you might need.

Menswear: In-Home Closet Consultation

  • 3 hours
  • $300.00
  • Same services as the womenswear in-home closet edit.

Update on Nordstrom personal shopper experience

Since first writing this article, we’ve moved from the Pittsburgh area to Southern Maine. Sadly, there isn’t a Nordstrom department store near me.

Instead, the nearest, full-service Nordstrom is in Peabody, Massachusetts — about an hour away. It’s similar to the drive I have to make to Danvers, Massachusetts to get gas at Costco until the new (and first) Costco in Maine opens.

I do have a Nordstrom Rack near me in South Portland. However, you can get all of the services at Nordstrom Rack that you can at Nordstrom.

Anyway, I’ve just updated the “My Store” section in my Nordstrom.com profile from the Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh to the Nordstrom Northshore in Peabody, Mass.

It will be interesting to see if, with this change, the personal styling department from that store reaches out to me. If they do, I’ll definitely go again so I can compare experiences.

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7 Comments

  1. I recently had a very disappointing experience with Nordstrom’s personal stylist service at the Manhattan flagship store. I needed to find a dress to wear for my son’s wedding..in hindsight I think they aren’t very interested in a customer shopping for just one item, but still….I had corresponded with my stylist several times, including 24 hours before the appointment, and had answered all her questions about my age, taste, budget etc. i also mentioned a particular line of occasionwear I had seen and liked on the Nordstrom site. Well…when I arrived for the appt I was told it was my stylist’s day off! They found a replacement, and after a 15-20 minute wait she invited me into a dressing room where I found 6 or 7 dresses that did not remotely resemble what I had requested. When I asked about the line of dresses I had seen on the site, she said they were not sold in the store, only online. After that I went up to the sales floor, where I found a rack of dresses from this very same line! I found one that I liked and ordered it. In a way the most disappointing part of my experience happened after I sent an email to Nordstrom to complain. I received a reply that was written either by AI or by a person who speaks English very poorly. I was told that the store manager would look into it and reply to me. Two weeks later, I’ve had no reply…but now my inbox is bulging with promotional emails from Nordstrom. All very disappointing for a store that prides itself on customer service.

    8.88⁷

    1. I am so sorry that this happened. To be honest, I did a bra fitting at the flagship store and was underwhelmed. Maybe the Nordstroms in the suburbs are better? Again, sorry that happened to you and thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. I’ve been contemplating this for some time now and you have convinced me! Thanks for the wonderful insight and information!

  3. I’m so appreciative of your article Leah, thank you for sharing your experience!
    As someone who is new to the US, I already know I’m going to struggle to dress appropriately for the different weather haha, so I’ve been considering a personal stylist experience to help, but have never tried it before so have no idea what to expect. Your article has given me the insight and confidence I need to set up the appointment!

  4. Great article Leah! It was fun to read and I appreciate the personal information you shared. Your article made me more comfortable and excited about using a personal shopper! Thank you!