How to make the most of your personal shopper

Illustration: Blair Breitenstein

Personal shoppers not only give you their style know-how they also give you the gift of time: make the most of every second with Hilary Alexander's top ten tips.

  1. Do book your appointment by telephone or email.
  2. Be prepared to have a friendly telephone chat with your personal shopper before your meeting so she can gauge what you’re looking for.
  3. Do mention favourite colours and likes/dislikes, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Almost every Fenwick personal shopper I spoke to had had an experience of a customer insisting “I can’t wear X” or “I hate Y”, and yet ended up buying the very dress/suit she thought she couldn’t stand.
  4. Take a favourite pair of shoes with you, or the shoes you plan to wear with the new outfit; you will be more comfortable during the trying on.
  5. Do give your personal shopper an idea of how much you are prepared to spend. It will save time and avoid disappointment.
  6. Allow at least two hours for your session – unless you’re taking part in a “Perfect Pair of Jeans in 30 Minutes” experience, such as the Newcastle store recently hosted.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for underwear advice. All the Fenwick personal shoppers can call on experienced bra-fitters from their lingerie departments and will have an arsenal of ‘shape-wear’ at their command.
  8. Personal shopping areas are private, discreet and designed to put you at your ease with comfortable chairs, fitting rooms and full-length mirrors. Complimentary coffee, tea, water or juice are available.
  9. Hair and make-up are part of the total look and most personal shopping services will give you advice.
  10. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. It’s your job to relax and have fun while the personal shopper does all the work.


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Customers at Fenwick Bond Street can also book Personal Beauty appointments with Frey-ja Barker £50 (redeemable off purchased beauty products); and John Gustafson £100 (£50 redeemable).


Although Fenwick does not have a dedicated Men’s Personal Shopping service, thanks to recommendations from wives and girlfriends, queries can now be accommodated at selected stores: Bond Street, Newcastle, Kingston and Colchester.

By Hilary Alexander