Style Guide

Gustavo Tabares, a consultant at Saks Fifth Avenue in Biltmore Fashion Park, loves his job because his mission is to make clients look and feel their best. As a personal shopper, he pulls fashions and accessories that he knows will look smashing based on the person’s figure, coloring and personality.


“I already know their sizes, their likes and dislikes,” he says.


Here are some of Tabares’ style insights.


How do you decide what looks best for a client's body type?

It’s by trying things on. You cannot just come in and say, “I have to buy this dress.” You have to have confidence in me and listen to me. I have a very good eye and know what looks good on you and what doesn’t.


What if a client loves a trend that’s not flattering?

If it doesn’t look good on you, why wear it? You don’t want to look foolish. I think you just need to dress appropriately for your age and your body. For instance, I don’t like to sell strapless gowns to women who are older. Once you get older, your skin is not the same. I’m very honest with people. Sometimes I say, “It’s just not for you.”


Are certain looks flattering on everyone?

For women, sheath dresses. If you buy the right size, it will always be perfect.


Men can always wear a very classic trouser with a flat front. That has become such a trend now, and everyone can wear it. It used to be a trend only for young men, but not anymore. And a V-neck sweater with a white shirt. It’s a look that’s clean and easy.


What is one of the trickiest items of clothing to select?

Jeans are probably one of the most difficult items of clothing to buy. It’s weird. Jeans are so popular, you would think buying them would be easy, but it isn’t.


What are some of the biggest style errors you see?

Sometimes people wear their clothes too tight. People wear the wrong sizes a lot. You should see how many people wear the wrong undergarments. For the ladies, it’s the bra. If you have the wrong size bra, believe me, you will not look good. It’s not always too small – sometimes they buy the bra too big.


People wear the wrong colors. We cannot all wear the same colors. Not everyone has the same skin tone.


The wrong shoes with the wrong clothing.


The wrong handbag. For evening, you should carry something a little bit smaller. You don’t want to bring a briefcase to dinner unless it’s a business meeting. Sometimes you see someone with a beautiful cocktail dress with a big handbag. It almost looks like a gym bag. Especially with the bags being so big now, it’s easy to put a little clutch in there and then after work, just pull it out.


Is it pricey to hire a personal shopper?

Everyone can afford a personal shopper because no one charges for this service. The only charge is, you have to pay for what

you buy.


Do men use personal shoppers?

It’s 70 percent women, 30 percent men. Men are so busy that you would think it would be perfect for them.


Do you use a personal shopper?

I do my own. When I go to the stores, I don’t like anybody to

help me.

Story by Geri Koeppel


This story originally ran in "AZ Society" magazine and is courtesy "The Arizona Republic."


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