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Personal shopping - Selfridges, John Lewis, or ... ?

(20 Posts)
Filiboom Mon 02-Jan-17 14:38:41

DH has very kindly offered to give me a personal shopping session for my 40th with a large (although not unlimited) budget. His suggestion was Whistles (because I have a handbag from there), but I'm not sure if going to just one shop would be the right move.

I'm in London and was wondering where would be better though? I like the idea of Selfridges, but worry it might be a bit intimidating, plus could easily blow the budget on just one or two things. John Lewis seems the more sensible, if less fun(?), choice.

Style-wise, I'm fairly happy with how I dress, but think it's a bit boring - jeans, tops, jumpers (although branching into shirts!). Smart trousers for work (although currently unemployed as contract just finished and looking for a new job) with blouse or similar tucked in. Love dresses and skirts but don't wear them so much now as can no longer wear heels. Size is anything between 8 and 14 depending on where shopping and style of clothes. After 2 CS I definitely have a tummy! I've been (and am again) a SAHM, but my background is in law and I'm (hopefully) going to find a permanent job soon....

Anyway, not sure if all that was strictly necessary, but I'd like to try things that push me out of my comfort zone. I've wandered round &a Other Stories and Cos before, but always feel I need someone to pick things out for me as they don't quite do what I usually wear (Jigsaw, Gap, M&S, some Whistles, Hush, Finery and random bargains from the Outnet). Sort of like LK Bennett in theory, but in practice it still feels too grown up for me.

Does anyone have any recommendations, please, for somewhere that could help me feel like I'm actually pushing my boundaries without pretending I'm someone I'm not?

It's a fabulous present and I really want to get the best out of it without finding it fritters away on stuff that's very similar to what I already have. Thank you!

Softkitty2 Mon 02-Jan-17 16:22:22

Yes john lewis, hof or fenwicks if you want an array of items. If you go highend like selfridges, harvey nichols or harrods you will get a few pieces but then its an experience. Either way enjoy it.

sohelpmegoad Mon 02-Jan-17 20:28:40

I went to the personal shopper service at John Lewis for a dress for an event recently, and cant recommend them highly enough. I am in my 50s and have never tried on a whole rail of clothes that suited me, I would have bought the lot if I could have afforded it.

AllBuggiedOut Mon 02-Jan-17 21:04:10

I'd be tempted to spend some of the budget on colour and style analysis first. It's all very well being encouraged to go out of your comfort zone - but even if it suits your shape and colouring, if it doesn't suit your personality you'll never wear it.

Re personal shoppers, I was most impressed with the one I had at Harvey Nichols. She found me dresses (I was after an occasion frock) I wouldn't have seen otherwise, and had brands I wouldn't normally browse myself/online. Also went to Selfridges which was pricier and pushier, and John Lewis which didn't have stuff I hadn't already seen myself.


londonfeather Mon 02-Jan-17 21:11:15

I would recommend Selfridges or Liberty. A good friend of mine is a personal shopper at selfridges and depending on your budget they can do a mix of their more 'high street' and 'high end' brands and isn't very intimidating. Happy shopping!

Karcheer Mon 02-Jan-17 21:13:57

I had a couple of personal shopping sessions at selfridges in london, which were really good. But they now have a minimum spend of £2000. And the last time I went only picked from the high end things i.e. Not maje, Sandro etc.

walkingtheplank Mon 02-Jan-17 21:19:28

I've been to personal shoppers 3 times, each time for an update and with a view to being open to new ideas/shapes.

The first time I went to Debenhams as it was the only place with an available time slot. The lady was really helpful. She helped me understand what worked best for me, I was able to express my concerns (fashion and self-esteem wise) and came away with about 5 items and a hug!

Earlier this year I went to John Lewis looking for smart trousers, tops and a jacket. Over 2 hours she came up with a few pairs of jeans and some unflattering dresses. Apparently all my fault for being the wrong shape for clothes.

I went back to Debenhams where the lady selected around 25 items, mostly different styles than my usual style but I'm really pleased with the 9 items that I bought.

You'll probably know which store you want to go to but if it doesn't work out its worth trying a different store.

Good luck.

SwearyGodmother Mon 02-Jan-17 21:21:30

I would never go to Selfridges for personal shopping again. DH booked it as a treat for me some years ago and it was terrible. They were 20 minutes late for my appointment, when I asked for a drink (they sold it as a champagne and shopping thing) I was offered a glass of water, when the shopper turned up he asked the receptionist if he was dealing with "that man over there" gesturing at me and then fell about laughing when told I was a woman (I have short hair but definitely look like a woman). When we went through he didn't listen to what I wanted and brought through a lot of stuff I hated, then described my hips as a "figure flaw you want to hide" when at the time I was 36-24-36. It was upsetting and humiliating and I was fobbed off when I made a complaint. A fucking disgrace of a service which was supposed to be a treat and where I intended to spend a good deal of money.

Poosnu Mon 02-Jan-17 21:31:32

Agree wholeheartedly with getting a colour analysis done first. I used House of colour and the difference was incredible. It transformed the way I shop and I now very rarely make mistakes when shopping.

IpDipCatnip Mon 02-Jan-17 22:47:40

walking were the Debenhams personal shopper experience free of charge with no catches? I'm interested in one but I don't have mega £££, I see it's no obligation to buy but is there anything I ought to know?

Filiboom Tue 03-Jan-17 00:08:34

Thank you so much for this. The Selfridges stories, and the £2,000 minimum spend, have put me off somewhat.... I think I'll probably go for John Lewis and hope they put me in something that's a bit different to what I'd usually go for as I know many of their brands fairly well already. Does anyone know if the £125 full stylist one is worth paying for? (I'm expecting to spend quite a bit, if not £2,000!)

Would love to do the Liberty one as has always been one of my favourite shops, but think that should wait to see if I find a job first!

123fushia Tue 03-Jan-17 10:48:30

Debenhams is free....I have booked a session for my husband next week. Did the same thing a few years ago and he came back with new jeans, boots, jacket and shirt. ( I book and he pays for whatever he buys...result!)

AllBuggiedOut Tue 03-Jan-17 12:07:12

Wow, Selfridges was free when I did it! Have also done jeans/denim at Selfridges where I felt the guy was trying to push me to buy something on trend but very much not 'me'. Did come away with one pair of jeans but wouldn't do it again.

Not sure I'd do one in a shop that wasn't free - if I was paying for style advice I'd want it to be from somebody who wasn't being paid to sell me clothes too grin

sohelpmegoad Tue 03-Jan-17 16:03:01

there was no charge for the JL one, I had a 2 hour slot and no pressure to buy anything, the dress I bought was the cheapest of the ones I tried, but fit the best.

Cakescakescakes Tue 03-Jan-17 17:14:47

I've been to Debenhams twice and had great success both times (I'm 35). They listened really well and understood my shape and I bought loads. I also went to HoF and had an awful time. The stylist didn't listen (kept bringing me wrong sizes) and also kept trying to make me try on very smart tailored clothes etc when I said I wanted more casual everyday clothes. She couldn't be bothered and in the end I bought a coat I'd already seen myself elsewhere. I had several hundred pounds to spend on that occasion too (combo of savings and birthday gifts) and it was so disappointing. Back to Debenhams and it's lack of pretension!

Cakescakescakes Tue 03-Jan-17 17:14:54


motheroreily Tue 03-Jan-17 18:00:18

I've only been to Debenhams and I loved it. I'm going back when I'm out of my awful financial

It was free and lasted about 2 hours. They asked what my budget was. I ended up buying a couple of outfits

Swimminguphill Tue 03-Jan-17 19:29:27

A friend has used the personal shopper at Elys in Wimbledon a couple of times and was really happy. They carry Whistles, French Connection, Ted Baker etc as well as cheaper brand and they also shop the sale for you! I think it's free or a nominal £20. Might be worth trying a place with some of your favourite brands and some more 'out there' ones. JL have Alice Temperley and Hush (in Peter Jones), I think Whistles etc. I think some of their brands are a bit more 'staid' but it actually doesn't matter really as long as you get some good, usable clothes. I think the key to a good experience is being clear about what you are shopping for (I.e. Sahm wardrobe or work wardrobe?) and where/how you want to move out of you comfort zone - colour or silhouette or a specific new trend. Also perhaps check out some good Instagram accounts before going e.g. Dress like a mum, the frugality, does my bum look 40, the fashion lift etc to see what styles are out there (on real women) so you know what's possible...

walkingtheplank Tue 03-Jan-17 22:25:50

Debenhams was free and there was absolutely no pressure to buy anything. I'm not someone who'd usually shop at Debenhams but both times they found items from brands I'd not usually consider.

Kr1stina Wed 04-Jan-17 08:15:53

Definitely get your colours and style done first. Otherwise you will waste more money than it costs buying things that are not right for you.

Re personal shopping - I had a bad experience with John Lewis personal shopper.

I was very clear what I wanted -outfit for a Spring wedding - had to have sleeves or jacket/coat . Skirts / dress no shorter than just above the knee. No floral patterns. No chiffon . Colour - bright clear cool no pastels.

I was brought various pastel floral chiffon dresses or beige lace and one black and beige very mini dress.

When I reiterated what I wanted she looks doubtful and said " that sounds like a boho style to me and we don't do that here " hmm

OTOH I had a much better exerience at HoF, where the personal shopper was much younger and she brought me exactly what I asked for.

In fairness I should add that neither was pushy and both stuck to my budget.

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