Ari Rosmarin of Shop-Ari has a great eye for fashion. She works with men and women to help them post-divorce in finding a new style. She does all of the work for you, she shops, she buys, she sends it directly to your home! If you have the budget, she will make sure you look awesome whether you’re going to the gym, the store or out to a party!
- Finding a stylist who works with your budget is really important post-divorce
- Shopping in your closet is always an option
- Removing the clothing and accessories that are not going to be worn again, and getting rid of them is very therapeutic
OUR GUEST – ARI ROSMARIN
Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS Podcast where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it! We’re Jessica and T.H.
Jessica: Today’s podcast we’re talking to Ari Rosmarin from Shop-Ari. She is a personal stylist, wardrobe consultant, and custom clothier for men. We’ll explain what that means in a moment. But we really wanted to have Ari come on, because as we know, it’s very common once someone is finished with their divorce, that they really want to get back out there. A lot of times you aren’t quite sure of what your style has become, who you are, you need to purge things in your closet, and you really want to be able to get out there feeling your best. The truth of the matter is that using a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant is a great way to be able to have that inner confidence that you need to get back out there. Ari thank you so much for joining us today.
Ari: Thank you for having me.
Jessica: I think our first question has to be for people, I think that the terms personal stylist and wardrobe consultant are probably pretty self explanatory, but really quickly, tell us a little bit about what it means to be a custom clothier for men and why you don’t do that for women?
Ari: A custom clothier just means an expert in custom clothing. What I do is I will take about 30 measurements of a guy, and I will help them design a garment for whatever it is that they need at the time, whether it’s for work, suits, sport coats to wear with jeans, shirts, tuxedos, anything. We take about 30 measurements and design the garment. I have different tailor shops that I work with that will make the clothes just for them. It’s something we do for men for a lot of different reasons. I think that women have a lot more options out there, and men are a little bit more in their suits, and there are four coats to keep it super tight, super simple. For them, it’s really when you’re putting on a jacket, it’s just needs to fit right. I think for women, it’s just a little bit–we have more options, we have a lot more brands, we have a lot more fit and styles that we can try.
Jessica: But to specify, the custom clothier aspect of your business is for men only, but your personal styling services and being wardrobe consultant, that’s for women as well, for sure?
Ari: 100%. I think to that point, as I said, we have so many brand options as women, it’s hard to know sometimes what you should invest in, what you shouldn’t, what’s going to fit your body type, all those different things. The personal styling I do for men and for women, because the men I usually do custom for their more formal things and then ready to wear for shorts and T shirts. For women, we can do anything. We can find gowns online, and we can find everyday stuff online, whatever it is.
Jessica: I think that for people listening, because this is how I used to feel, that the idea of hiring a personal stylist or wardrobe consultant was out of my budget. It seemed like something very fancy people did, and did I really need something like that? And then I admit about probably about 10 years ago, I was changing jobs from one TV network to another, and I was running my own shows, and I really did feel like my wardrobe needed a pick me up and I needed to represent a little bit differently. Having worked in TV, I actually knew some stylists, and so that was not difficult for me. But it made a huge difference for me feeling when I walked in on the first day, I was dressed for the role. But what can you say to people who will feel like, why do I need someone? Or is that where I should spend my money right now when I’m working on budgeting things and struggling financially to deal with everything post divorce?
Ari: Yeah, so there are a couple of things there. First of all, I’m so happy that you had that experience. Seriously, because you don’t really get it until you feel it. It’s like one of those things it’s really hard to explain because to your point, it sounds unnecessary. In the scheme of things in the world, okay, sure, we can consider that not the most necessary. But with that said, I think that in addition to all this COVID stuff happening, I think that one thing that I’ve said throughout this whole thing is one of the biggest problems right now is mental health. Part of that is confidence, and being stuck, we all keep saying you get dressed every day, even if you’re sitting on Zoom. You just feel different and that is so much bigger than just that small statement. In terms of it being for everyone, I actually for a really long time referred to myself as a wardrobe stylist for that exact reason, because I think the term personal stylist scares people away sometimes. It sounds like you’d have to be a celebrity or be going to red carpet events. But I think a wardrobe stylist sounds a little bit more like everybody has a wardrobe, and everybody has to get dressed every day. No matter who you are, no matter where you go, you have to wake up in the morning and think about where you’re going, who you’re seeing, and what you want to wear, and how you want to present yourself. I think that that is overwhelming to most people. Then throw in–throughout our lives, things change, and you want to present yourself differently, especially after something like a divorce. It’s confusing, and just trying to figure out which direction you want to go, it’s just all a lot. I think that is where it’s the most rewarding for me and exciting for me to be able to help my clients navigate through that. In terms of the pricing, you’d be surprised. It’s not going to break the bank. Actually, I think ultimately, at the end of the day, you do wind up saving a lot of money, because part of what I do is I’m helping you find the right brands and styles for you. I’m here to tell you what to invest in and what not to, and I know all the sales going on at all times. I know where to get the best things at the best time for you. That’s not to say that everything always has to be on sale, because it’s not. It just depends on what’s going on, but I am super tuned into those things. I think that there’s so much value to it from a lot of different ways. But I really do believe, just like the experience that you had, until you really do it, I always just say just give it a shot. There’s no commitment. Try it out once. What’s the worst that happens?
TH: I’ve never used a stylist. I did have someone come and help me go through my closet, so she was kind of styling me within the clothing that I already owned. I remember her actually being a little bit critical of me because I would never spend money on myself. I had three kids, and I was in a bad marriage. I was a very simple dresser, and I was also a professional, but I was pregnant so many times and the whole thing was so horrendous back then. Really, when I separated from him, I was trying out new things like baby steps and dipping your toe in the water just a little. Okay, I’ll wear this dress a little sexier, it’s a little tighter, and those shoes look bad. I would look at stuff and be like, oh my god, that stuff looks so good on them. Really, trying to help someone realize that could be you, I mean, look, we look through the magazines, we know that’s not us, but there are little bits of it. I like the color of her hair, I like that lipstick, those earrings are cute, or those heels look awesome. I would imagine you’re also part therapist, especially for people ending a relationship and starting anew and trying to figure out their identity. I wanted to get rid of some of that old clothing. Some stuff I still hold on to just because it has significance to it as a breakout piece. But it’s a process to figure out your style, and figure out how you want to present yourself to the world. For you Jess, you’re walking into a job, so it was singularly focused, this is career, but I think it’s probably harder for your personal life. How do I want to get dressed and go to the grocery store today? How do I want to go meet a girlfriend? Who am I?
Jessica: But I will tell you that I did recently do, I didn’t use a personal stylist this time, but there were a lot of things that I didn’t buy in the past because I knew that it wasn’t going to fly. Now I’m in a position where I’m like, I’m buying whatever the fuck I want, and I’m dressing how I want, and I’m going to look how I want. I did make a number of purchases where I was like this is who I feel like I am right now, and that’s what I think. I think that TH to your point, you’re getting out of a relationship and maybe you felt encumbered. Maybe you felt you couldn’t be who you wanted to be, or you just fell into that routine of like, well, that’s how you’ve always dressed before. But yes, you look at other people and you’re like, look at that, look at that, why can’t that be me? So, why can’t it be? This is the perfect transition time.
Ari: Totally, and I think that on two of those points, something that I always generally go into an appointment with a client with is I’m not trying to just completely change everything that you’re doing. That’s not my goal. My goal is always to stay within what you’re comfortable with but help you expand, kind of like to your point. Because I don’t just want to walk in, throw out all of your shit, and then get you all new stuff. That’s not going to feel good.
TH: But people might think that, so it’s really important that you say that. So say it again, because, look, this girl came in and she became a friend, but you’re very vulnerable, right? You’re trying on your clothing, and you’re going to be “judged” by what you bought, so say that again. It’s a no judgment zone. That’s really important for people to buy into your services knowing that you’re going to start to learn who I am, and not judge me for who I was.
Ari: And ultimately, half my business, that is who I am as a person. Any of my friends, my family, will tell you I’m just a very supportive person in general. It’s not my goal to come in and just wipe someone out and completely change everything. Unless they said to me Ari, I want to throw out every single piece of my clothes and just buy all new things. That’s never my mindset. It’s always okay, what things are we done with? What do we need to move on from? What looks old and worn? What is we were wearing 10 years ago, and we don’t want to be wearing going forward? And then how do we fill in holes? How do we fill in those gaps? If I see a person and they have these great pieces, and we purged the old and then we have what’s left and there are some awesome things in there, but it’s like, okay, what am I dealing with? How are we making this current? It’s filling in those holes more than anything. It’s not a full redo of everything. That’s not what we’re trying to do here. And then after I get to know somebody’s style and what’s going to make them excited, that’s when I would start to say, like you were saying before, “You know what? Let’s try this dress. It’s totally not you, but you know what, what’s the worst that happens? It’s one dress. We’re not all of a sudden replacing every item in your clothes with everything that’s this style, but let’s see how you feel. If we don’t like it, we won’t buy another one like that. If we do, awesome, we found something new that you like.” That’s kind of always my mindset, guy or girl, whether it’s someone in their 20s or in their 60s, that’s always how I originally approach it.
Jessica: While I ask this next question, I’m wondering if you can also take your earphones out. I feel like your audio is going in and add a little bit. It might be more suitable without your headphones. But what I’m wondering about is in terms of the difference of your clientele with regards to women and men? You have said that you have a number of male divorced clients, which I love. I think that it’s so interesting that guys will acknowledge that they need that kind of help, especially if they don’t have a woman in their life to do it. I’m curious, what do you find that men need the most help with in what area of their wardrobe help? Then with women, what are the most common areas that women are looking to tackle or ask for help with?
Ari: Yeah, I think that’s a good question. The men are easy. It’s everything, literally everything. Everything. Socks, underwear, like literally from socks and underwear to custom suits.
TH: What do you know anything about SAXX underwear? Have you ever heard of SAXX?
Ari: No, I don’t know it.
TH: You should check it out.
Jessica: I just feel like one of the grossest things about guys is they don’t even care about their underwear. They’ll have underwear that’s 10 years old, that’s ripping, the elastic’s all stretched out, and there are holes. You’re like, seriously? Whereas women are–
Jessica: Immediate turn off! Immediate.
Jessica: But go on, men, everything.
Ari: Men, everything. I mean, what they say they need the most help with is date night outfits when they’re newly single. They’re always like I don’t know what to wear on dates, which makes perfect sense. Then after talking to me for five minutes, they quickly realize like, oh, I also need socks, and I also underwear. Then five minutes later, it’s like, I also need a T shirt, oh, I’m going on a trip in one hour, I need this. That’s men. It’s like, okay, uh huh, got it.
TH: I feel men don’t want to be bothered with it in general. I know my boyfriend doesn’t want to be bothered with it. He gets Stitch Fix delivered, he keeps hoodies every time, and everything else goes back. It’s been two and a half years. Still gets the box, pulls out the hoodie, and everything else goes back. I’m like, why are you still doing this for a hoodie? I don’t understand. And I understand, because they don’t want to bothered by it. I understand why guys would totally be like, “Listen, go make me look hot, cool, sexy, sporty, whatever, and then bring it back.” Women, I feel like want to like play the game a little. They want to be involved, they want to touch, they want to see, and they want to try it on.
Ari: You nailed it. You literally hit the nail on the head. If you look on my website, it says in big letters, ‘Style x Convenience’. That is to encompass everybody there. The men, exactly, they’re like, “I have five minutes. I need 50 things. Can you get it to me yesterday?” And I’m like, uh huh, great, awesome. We’re going to do that. That is so guys. They don’t want to think about it, they want it as easy as possible, and once we find one thing that we like, we’re buying every color and we’re buying multiples.
TH: Totally. He’s got every color, design, hoodie, and thin, thick, waffle, cotton.
Ari: Exactly. Amazing. That’s kind of the main piece of it. Yeah, the men they like to be on a schedule. They like to shop with me, every other month, once a quarter, they want minimal communication. We’re shooting the shit, sure, but they don’t want to talk to me about clothes for 20 minutes. They’re basically–
Jessica: What does that look like for them? Is it that whenever there’s a text, and it’s like, “Hey, I need some new stuff” and then you’re picking stuff and having it just shipped to them, and then they send it back?
Ari: Basically, once I get to know your fit and your style, and this could be for women too, just most men tend to be more quick about this, I’ll get them on a schedule and ask them how often do you want me to send you stuff. They’ll tell me every other month, quarterly, whatever it is, and basically, what I’ll do is when that time comes, I’ll shoot them a text, “Shopping for you today, anything on the top of your list?” That is it. And they’ll say, “Whatever you want” or they’ll say, “I need some tees, whatever the rest else you want” kind of like that. Then what I do for both men and women is I will then go online, decide what I want to purchase for them, I’ll approve it with them first and make sure that everybody’s comfortable with everything. I ship it directly to them, and if I’m in the same city as them, I can go do an in person appointment. If we’re in different places, then we could do a virtual appointment. That way, I can see the things on them and help them decide, keep, don’t keep, I like this, but we need to alter it here, I’ll have my tailor come to you, whatever it is. I have tailors that I work with that will come to your house, so it’s really like it could not be easier. I track everything for you, I manage the returns, and everything that you could possibly think of. It’s just you have to put the tape on the box.
TH: It all goes back to you or you direct it back to the stores?
Ari: Directly back to the stores. Just send it, it’s the quickest, it’s the easiest, and it just makes the most sense. Basically, I’m here to pick the things out, find the best brands, styles, pricing, all of that, and help you facilitate the whole process. A lot of these retailers include a label and you just slap it on the same box that it came in and just send it back. It really couldn’t be easier.
TH: I might get you for him for his birthday.
Ari: I love that.
Jessica: Yeah, that’s a great gift.
TH: He’s doing Stitch Fix anyway, so you may as well have someone who’s actually sending stuff that he’s going to wear. I mean, that’s like a no brainer. What are your favorite stores for men and your favorite stores for women?
Ari: Oh my god, I love this. Okay. I mean, it really depends on who I’m shopping for. I’m a big Saks shopper. I do so much on Shopbop. For my younger girls, I’ll do Revolve a lot of times for, I’ll do a lot of FWRD. I do Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. Friends and Family was two weeks ago, so I did so much Friends and Family shopping for people. I’ll also do Zara if people want fill ins. I’ll literally shop from anywhere.
TH: Yeah, they have very cute stuff.
Ari: Yeah, they have great stuff. It’s like awesome for filling in all the million tops that we want when you want a new top for every day, and you don’t want to spend $300 on each day.
Jessica: How do your services work in terms of pricing? Is it like by the hour? Is it like people are buying packages with you? How does that work?
Ari: Yeah, so my sale fee is by the hour. I do have packages if you want to sign up for–if you want to be on a schedule, so like the year commitment, but I charge hourly for everything because I just find that that’s the way I could be the most inclusive. If somebody is hesitant or they just need help with like five shirts, it’s not a whole shop, whatever it is, I could do as much or as little as the person wants and tailor it to them. A lot of my clients I’ve been working with for years, you realize that I’ll be able to recommend how much time we need basically.
TH: So you’re not always–I hate paying full price for anything, and so I’ve been a very loyal Rue La La customer for a long time until I noticed that the sale price was actually the same as the regular price. They just put a line through the regular price, but if you don’t look carefully, you think you’re getting a deal, but it’s the same price, which was totally a turnoff.
Ari: That’s weird.
TH: I got into Rue La La because I was like, well, those are kind of trendy things, and they put the outfits together for me already. So I can wear these skinny jeans with that cute thing, and then I’ve got myself an outfit. So that was kind of how I started to break out a little bit. I got cuter tops, and then there were designers I liked, so for me it’s like a slow thing. Jessica’s way more of, I mean, we’re both shoppers, but I like a deal. And I like a deal, but if I find something that I like, I’m going to buy it anyway, so I don’t really care what the name is on it. But I was just at Bloomingdales outlet thing, whatever, buying pajamas, and I saw these awesome white sunglasses. I was like, great, I’ll buy them. Oh, and they’re Jimmy Choo? I don’t care. I love them. I want them. For me, it’s like if I like it, then I don’t care about the brand. The brand doesn’t precede anything for me.
Jessica: No, but there’s something really helpful to know like which brands are your best fit and which brands you go back to. [Absolutely] And it’s like you always know that it’s generally going to be your style. I feel like I have brands that I just gravitate towards. It’s just easier that way. Oftentimes, I’ll see things online and I’ll be like, oh my god, that’s so cute, and it’s a brand I’ve never heard of. And honestly, I feel like 85% of the time I’ll order it, I’ll try it on, and it doesn’t friggin’ fit. It’s all wrong and I’m like, yeah, I’ve got to stick with what I know.
Ari: That’s exactly like–and that’s the thing. I literally know all these brands because this is what I do all day long. And I mean, sometimes they don’t of course, and then I’ll order two sizes for someone and I’ll say, “Let’s try it together. Let’s see.” Again, there’s no downside to any of this, honestly. I only shop from returnable retailers and there just really is no downside, you’re just going to learn.
TH: So is everybody just buying loungewear this last year? Did anybody buy jeans, or a suit, or anything?
Ari: Let me tell you, so 2020 was interesting. I actually launched on March 3rd 2020, so like 10 days before the world blew up. It had its positives and negatives, and it wasn’t exactly how I anticipated my business to start. I’d been doing this for five years previously, so I thought it was going to be like a pretty seamless transition. Well, it changed. And in the beginning, we were doing all loungewear. It was just workout clothes, loungewear, and that was it. But in the last three months, people are getting vaccinated now in the last couple of weeks and things are opening up and people are coming out of the woodwork. I knew I was going to be really busy at this time, but it’s been really fun to see people just be like, okay, well I don’t need loungewear anymore, but I also don’t need full suits. What do I need? Kind of in between.
Jessica: And people coming out of hibernation. And this has also been, I feel, a great year with regards to people with a divorce who are coming out now. They’ve lost weight, and they’ve been exercising at home and getting in shape. It really is the perfect time for people to start thinking about okay, spring is here, summer is coming. What do you want to look like and feel like and gain back that inner self confidence to be able to get back out there and really put yourself out there. For people–
TH: Wait, not yet. Not yet. You can’t wrap it up yet. How much lead time do you need with someone? I’m already thinking I’m having a party in May, and guests are asking me what I’m wearing, and I don’t know what I’m wearing. I’ve got so much clothing, but I have no idea of what I’m wearing. Now I’m thinking, well, if I tell Ari now, how much lead time do you need to put something together for someone?
Ari: I mean, look, in an ideal world it’s not super last minute, but to know me is that I am like the most determined person you’ve ever met. So if you need something in a couple of days, I will get it to you like 100%.
TH: Yeah, I think I’m going to have you [inaudible] that outfit.
Ari: Also, the other thing that I do a lot of, if you wanted to do like a style consultation, if you’re saying you have so much in your closet and you don’t know what to wear, we could go on Zoom and first see if there’s anything in your wardrobe that would work.
TH: There probably is. There probably is.
Jessica: She just feels like she wants something new for her big birthday party. Yeah, you know what–
Ari: Oh, is it a big birthday?
TH: Well, last year last year was [a big one]. I didn’t have a party, so I’m having a party this year because 50 never happened. And we’re launching our business.
Ari: You’re 50?
Ari: I’m shook. You look amazing.
TH: I have a 21 year old, 20 year old, and a 17 year old.
Ari: Whoa, that’s amazing.
TH: Keep going, keep paying the compliments. It’ll get you everywhere. I feel like– I’m not a person who waits for anything. My boyfriend and I went to Hawaii during COVID, went to Park City. We are not waiting on life. And so I want to have this freakin’ party, and I want to look fab.
Ari: Where’s the party?
TH: It’s at my house, because no one will come if it were at a restaurant. To be completely honest, I’m managing all their emotions, so, yeah.
Ari: Awesome. Well, I’m excited to help. This will be so fun.
Jessica: Okay, so for people who are listening, who want your help, who want to look you up, what are the best ways for them to find you?
Ari: Yes, so I would say the best way is to email me. I think will you be able to include my email–?
Jessica: We’re going to have all of your contact information on our website, but okay, so email is the best way for sure. But you have an Instagram as well, right?
Ari: Yeah, I have an Instagram as well. I gave you all the information and I have a website which is just www.shop-ari.com, and all my contact info is on there. But yeah, you can include my email, my Instagram, and you have my cell phone too. I’m a texter, but I’m super quick to respond. That is the best way.
Jessica: Perfect. For everyone listening, listen, this is really a great way to get your mojo back, to get back out there. It’s not as much of a luxury item as you might make it out to be. It’s something that’s so worth the investment, because you’ll just feel great about how you’re getting out there on a daily basis. I highly recommend it.
Goodbye: For everyone out there listening, if you know anyone at all who would benefit from what we talked about today please share this episode and everything exExperts. Be sure and click to subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts and please follow us on social media @exEXPERTS on Instagram and Facebook and YouTube. Thanks for listening!