Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Things I do now I'm older Part 1 | Personal Shopping

There are 5 things I've started doing now I'm older...and I've realised that many of the questions I get via the blog and social media relate back to these things. So I'm going to do 5 separate blog posts over the coming weeks to talk about each one. Today's is Personal Shopping/Styling.

The biggest game changer for me since I hit my 40's is discovering the benefits of going to a personal shopper/stylist and I'm amazed more women don't do it.

People assume I'm great at shopping - I'm not....and I'm guilty of buying shop by shop instead of thinking about entire outfits or about what's already in my wardrobe. I find going into multiple shops on a single visit a bit overwhelming and because I'm a shopaholic, I'll buy the wrong stuff too easily.

A great Personal Shopper will do more than find great pieces to add to your wardrobe. They will give you a broad body shape analysis and will recommend the colours that best suit you. They will do this by taking the time to get to know you in advance - asking lots of questions and really understanding your needs and wardrobe gaps before the appointment.

My advice is to find a non-affiliated PS based in a department store or a shopping centre. This will ensure you get a private room to try everything on in and you'll be able to mix brands all while staying in one space with plenty of room to strip off. There's nothing worse than having to re-dress yourself and move to another shop to do it all again!

And I emphasise the mixing brand thing because the ability to do this is key to creating a gorgeous capsule wardrobe. Most of us find it difficult trekking from shop to shop to match things up and make cohesive outfits.

The concern most people have is that you'll feel pressure to buy items that you don't want and ultimately don't wear. This will not happen if you go to a good PS. Ask around, make enquiries with friends and find the best person near where you live. A good personal shopper won't force you to buy anything and you'll be free to return anything after the session if you change your mind.

If you're in Belfast, my recommendation is Katherin Farries in Victoria Square. I'm not being paid to mention her here at all - I'm just speaking from personal experience because I've been to her several times myself. I can confidently say that anyone I've recommended her to has loved the experience and found it hugely beneficial so you don't have to take my word for it.

There are different kinds of appointments you can choose, from a broad wardrobe refresh for the new season, to a specific session to find something in particular like a wedding outfit or as with my last session with Katherin - trousers for work.

She brought in about 40 pairs of trousers from all over the centre and from a wide range of brands. I was able to strip to my pants and try them all on, one after the other. The process of trousers shopping, probably my least favourite kind, was made painless, productive and fun. I took a few pictures on the day - though not enough on reflection but it gives you a sense of the space that you have and the broad range of brands you can try on. The biggest revelation - Karen Millen is the place to go for work trousers!

If you can recommend a good personal shopper/stylist near you that you've used and found to be as helpful as Katherin, please leave a comment below or send me an email to avril@alifetostyle.com and I'll add them in here...I'm conscious that not all of you live near Belfast.

Next post is about hair....there's no better feeling than having a good hair day. I'll share my tips on how to make this happen more often.

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8 comments

  1. It's something I will seriously consider doing. I was already thinking about doing it for jeans, apparently John Lewis have specific stylists for this. Great post, thanks!

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    1. So glad the post helped you see that it's so accessible and really well worth doing. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! x

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  2. I did this for a friend's daughter's wedding. The personal shopper was based at John Lewis in Welwyn Garden City, where there is a good choice of brands. It was a great experience and I bought a whole outfit including shoes and bag and fascinator, dress and jacket. So much easier than shopping for myself and made me try something different and brave! Thanks for your lovely blog Avril. It's a great source of information and inspiration. Liz xx

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    1. Ah that's great to hear Liz - I think it's one of those things that you have to try once and then you kick yourself that you didn't do it sooner! Hope you and Dave are well - long time no see. Hopefully see you back in Belfast soon x

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  3. I certainly agree that those Karen Millen trousers look fab on you! I've never been to a personal shopper, always assumed you had to be in the elite to do this but it sounds far more normalised these days. I'm not sure I'm brave enough though. Great post.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, definitely not an elite thing to do at all - once you find a good one, you'll wonder why you never did it before! x

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  4. Hi Avril

    Love your blog and posts. Found you courtesy of Nikki at Midlifechic.

    Read your post on Honey on the Lisburn Road in Belfast. Just to let you know I was in Honey on the Lisburn Rd two Saturdays ago and got a lovely pair of leopard skin ankle boots at half price! As important for me as the clothes or shoes are those who own and work in the shops. The two girls in Honey were lovely and not intimidating like some staff on the Lisburn Road so I will be back there again! Likewise Lynn in She in Omagh has lovely clothes and is always so warm and welcoming. I may not always have disposable income every time I shop but I remember and want to be loyal to shops with lovely clothes and lovely owners and staff when I have a bit of money to spend!

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    1. Hi Catherine, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and what lovely feedback for Clodagh, my friend who owns Honey! I'll definitely pass it on to her. You are so right - the girls are helpful but not in your face and it's a shop you can easily come in, look around and walk out of. No pressure. Which makes you more likely to come back and like you and I, find a bargain in the sales! I know exactly the boots you got and WOW - they are stunning. Enjoy wearing them and thanks again for your lovely message. Nikki is a friend also so I'm always so grateful when her readers come over to visit me too! x

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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