I'm always being asked about the Personal Styling service at the centre but it's been years since I tried it and in fact, a new stylist is now in-situ so this was an amazing opportunity to road test the service for all my local readers. Here I am with Katherin...standing in front of the TWO full rails of clothing she selected for me! I was itching to get trying on.
The first request I gave Katherin ahead of our meeting was Christmas party outfits, so I'll share all these outfits first starting with a lace sleeved jumpsuit from Warehouse. This one is more formal - it's a heavier suit fabric. It is also lovely and long for taller readers - I'm up on my tippy toes trying it on.
Shoes - see further down..I've worn my Phase Eight jumpsuit on here a few times - it's a classic piece they make every year. Drapes beautifully and fits like a dream. Mine is navy (on this link and in the SALE!) but this is the Christmas version with a gold long sleeved top - perfect if you don't like to show your arms. It actually comes up a bit short compare to my navy one - I'm wearing the size 10 here.
But all of the outfits above got the heave-ho when I tried on this jumpsuit from Warehouse. Oh my days...it's perfection! It's a stretchy crepe material, with pockets and it's super easy to pop on and off - ESSENTIAL with a jumpsuit for obvious reasons. Again, I'd not have tried this on as I'm not a fan of the cold shoulder particularly but the frill detail and the neckline, and the fit all came together to make it utterly perfect in my mind. And it's only £49. A whole outfit for less than £50!
and the shoes and bag deserve a close up. They're from Miss KG at Kurt Geiger and Katherin only brought them down to me to use to try on with all the party outfits but I ended up smitten. I've fancied an asymmetric cut stiletto for a while now and these fitted the bill (and had an ADDITIONAL 20% off on the day). I also love how they're navy on the back and black on the front - making them versatile. I'll admit, they're not particularly comfortable...but I've been wearing them around the house since I got them and they're easing up a bit. Fingers crossed for the first wear! I didn't get the bag in the end as it wasn't in the sale but I'm watching it online....another sales list item :)
So moving onto tops to wear with jeans - an important part of my wardrobe as I'm primarily a 'jeans on a night out' kinda girl! For all of these outfits, I wore coated skinny jeans from Warehouse, which were a surprising good fit - definitely one to bear in mind when I'm next purchasing. They're on this link.
This first top was on the buy rail as soon as I tried it on. It's so flattering with a lovely drape detail on the front and it fitted me so well on the arms - where I often end up with massive gaping. Because of the fit, I was able to wear the size 8 so it definitely comes up big.
This first one was nothing on the hanger but when I put it on, I loved it. It's got a greeny/bronze overlay with wide sleeves and an optional neck tie. This overlay is slightly sheer (but not too much so) and the top has a built in vest underneath. It's a top that would see you to lots of occasions and it's very flattering with the sheer overlay skimming over everything. It's not as gold as it looks on the website by the way....and like quite a lot of what I tried on, it's much nicer in real life. More curves needed on these websites!!
This was not a hit on the hanger but it's lovely on. Comes in black too. I'd have loved it to be just a tiny bit shorter or longer on me but the colour is perfect. It's on offer at time of writing.
Then some outerwear - I had asked Katherin to source me a couple of jackets potentially and I also had told her how much I love fur. Hence she brought me down this Episode gilet, which was reduced on the day by 40% for Black Friday. It was love at first sight..
Sadly not available online anymore but you might find one in-store. I'm wearing the Medium and it was reduced to £50 in House of Fraser.
I had less love for this Biba one - but again, Katherin is all about trying on and so I did!
and a third gilet - this time from Mango. A great option if you like a bit of waist definition with your fur. It's from Mango
So my budget was challenged from the moment I decided I had to have this leather jacket. I should say that I was given a voucher toward my purchases from the team at Victoria Square however, I spent lots more than the voucher - it was too hard not to! Having someone who knows what they are doing, hand-picking items that are best suited to your colouring and your body shape, means that you will struggle to put things back on the rails.
Would I recommend the service? I always have and I still do. I'm asked frequently to help people with their shopping but I don't feel qualified to shop for others (nor could I focus on buying for someone else as I'd be endlessly distracted by what I wanted to buy myself!!) and I therefore always recommend that they approach a qualified personal stylist who spends her time in the shops and is fully abreast of what's in stock and what might suit different body shapes and styles.
I've been recommending the VSQ stylist for years as a great place to go for some expert advice and now I can truly stand over this recommendation. Katherin has a fashion degree and is qualified as a shoe designer so she knows how the fashion industry/retail works. She also worked for years in as a stylist for a well known international designer so she understands body shape and colouring. You can tell that personal styling comes naturally to her. She's unassuming but confident. Professional but yet you feel like you've a new best friend after the appointment. I felt very much that I was in good hands and at no stage did I feel pressured to try or buy anything. I can honestly say that I'd happily pay for the service again out of my own pocket. From the point of view of a busy mum (and a blogger), it's a godsend being able to try on so much from different shops at one time in one place.
Katherin's styling service on this link. Her prices start from £20 for a speedy 1 hour session and there's absolutely no pressure to buy anything she finds for you. She can also style men and children and she is always willing to take on specific challenges like weddings, TV appearances or workwear.
If you're still with me, thank you and I hope you enjoyed it! After the tech issues and the numerous attempts I've had to write this, I'm off to lie down in a dark room....in my new biker jacket!