Style & Select is a service used by professional photographers to select outfits for their clients and manage their client closet. Style & Select has a yearly subscription, but, they also offer a short-term subscription. It’s $15 for 15 days of access to anyone! So, I decided to try it out while planning our Christmas 2021 Family Photoshoot and this is what I learned! (P.S. I am not an affiliate, I was not paid for this review, it is just my honest opinion.)
How I Found Style & Select
Before I get into the review, let me tell you how I found Style & Select in the first place! I created an Instagram account after planning and having our last Family Photoshoot in the Spring of 2021. The account, FamilyStylin, is focused primarily on all that goes into planning a Maternity or Family Photoshoot – choosing a color palette, outfits for everyone, places to find those outfits, hair and makeup preparations and the ups and downs of planning itself (it can get a bit stressful). My hope is to build a community of moms to share tips with and support each other while planning.
So, as a new account I began to follow family photographers for inspo. I of course started with our Family Photographer Kimberly Minor. As I followed more and more photographers, there were certain pictures that stood out to me. Those pictures were not only well shot but well styled too! The styling added an extra layer of great to the photos! I wondered how those families had styled their shoot so well?
There was one photographer in particular whose clients outfits were always stunning and so well coordinated, Lisa Rhea. I looked at her website and found out that she used a service called Style & Select to style her client sessions. I began to follow Style & Select for more inspo and finally decided to join in the end of October 2021 to plan for our upcoming Christmas Photoshoot.
One Thing to Consider Before Joining Style & Select
I may have joined a bit early… There weren’t as many options for cold weather clothing available the first few days of my membership. But, more options began to show up towards the end of the time I had left in my 15 day trial membership. So, if you are thinking of using Style & Select, contact them first to find out when would be the best time to join for your trial membership.
You’ve got to be Quick and Decisive to Get the Outfits You Really Want
Retailers stock certain styles throughout the year and it’s best to join at the time the outfits you are seeking are available. The choices Style & Select provide are live and active shoppable links. It’s not just ideas for outfits that you can never actually find. Some pieces sell out quickly. So, if there’s something you really really love, it’s good to act quickly!
A Walkthrough of the Style & Select Service
When you first enter their system you are led through a questionnaire. You get to choose the type of styling you’d like, there were three options when I joined. Then, you enter the amount of people you are styling, their size ranges and gender. Finally, you are able to pick two color combinations, there are two in each, so a total of four. I was a little confused at first on what colors to pick so I contacted Style & Select through Instagram DM. They helped me to choose colors that would help me to get recommendations in line with my goal of having plum in my outfit choices.
After you choose your two color combinations, the next screen shows your outfit choices by person. You can select up to 6 pieces (including shoes and accessories) for each person by pressing the little hearts next to the pictures.
It was fairly easy to style my husband and sons, although it took some practice choosing. I went through the questionnaire many times, choosing outfits, changing color combinations, and changing the style of the choices available. I wanted to see everything that was available and was a bit indecisive.
Each time you fill your outfits choices for each person, you can email those selections to yourself for later. The email contains each selection you made for each person. When you click on the pictures it takes you to the link to buy each piece.
I had a harder time choosing outfits for myself and my daughter. There were so many cute options available for my daughter that I couldn’t easily make a decision. I also wanted to have a few options chosen for any sizing and fit issues. Also, to have options in case she wasn’t comfortable in something once we got it. So, I made a plethora of choices for my daughter and myself! Then, emailed myself all of the different choices to parse out later. I did this to make the best of the time I had on the subscription. I wanted to have enough options to pick from after my trial ended.
The Problem I Encountered While Using Style & Select
As I mentioned before, I really wanted plum to be the main color for our outfits and the color of my dress. There were a few plum options in the selections available, but they just weren’t the right style for me. I am only 5 feet tall so maxi’s usually aren’t an option for me. There were some midi’s available, but the one that was plum was the same exact style I used in my last photoshoot. I wanted something new.
Great Customer Service
I wrote to Style & Select inquiring about any plum options being added soon and they were so helpful! They said that retailers were stocking different colors this season although plum is a great choice for Christmas photos. Towards the end of the membership more plum options appeared for me to select. So, I ended having a few options to work with after all. I felt like make they had maybe added some more just for me! Or maybe it was just timing, no matter what it was great!
The Most Helpful part of Style & Select
The most helpful part to me was being able to see all of the choices for my family together. When you make all of your choices and see them placed all next to each other… it all starts to make more sense. You can see how the colors and patterns blend and create a cohesive look with some contrast too for interest.
I also mixed together colors and patterns I wouldn’t normally. I’m not naturally good at throwing an outfit together. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I don’t dress up often. But, I do wish that there was a bit more guidance on which tops and bottoms to put together. I would feel more confident in my decisions with that guidance. But, even without that help, I was able to make some choices despite my lack of confidence in my choices.
Pros of Using Style & Select
- The outfit choices are in all different price ranges.
- There are plenty of options to choose from.
- The outfits they recommend can be worn normally as well as for your photoshoot! It doesn’t feel like a waste of money. I actually feel like it has given me a more stylish wardrobe for my family!
- It helps you to focus in on the style you are trying to achieve.
- Seeing the outfits all next to each other really helps to solidify your choices
- I was able to plan and buy my outfits easier than if I had done it on my own with Pinterest or a Style Board.
- Introduction to unique retailers and items.
Cons to Using Style & Select
- It’s a bit challenging at first to choose outfits that go together, it takes some practice and trial and error.
- There are so many great choices provided that it gets hard to choose final selections.
- It would be nice if they recommended which pieces (tops, bottoms, accessories) go together best. Maybe a color coded system to make selections. Or an option to have Style & Select review your choices.
- More petite retailers would be a nice addition.
Was it worth the $15?
Yep! All in all, I would recommend using Style & Select to plan the outfits for your next maternity or family photoshoot. I plan to use it again in the future! I did not ultimately find my dress using Style & Select. But, I did find some options for the rest of my family member’s outfit via their service. We had to find my husbands sweater and pants on our own since the ones we found in Style & Selct had sold out. I also got our shoes on our own, from different places than recommended by Style & Select.
Using Style & Select made the process of styling my family a bit easier. I think it may be even better the second time around, after I’ve practiced a bit more.
If you’d like to see what I ended up picking out for our photos please head over to the Family Stylin Instagram to check it out! I’ll be sharing all of the outfits and final selections there!