Do you need a Personal Shopper to look great?

Do you need a Personal Shopper to look great?

We all have friends who feel they have reached an impasse in their lives – or in some cases a ten foot high brick wall with barbed wire on the top!

It can either be a big birthday or a change in lifestyle, perhaps going back to work after their kids leave home or giving up work & coming to grips with a new found freedom, but something happens that shakes their confidence & they lose their perception of who they are & with this comes a feeling that despite having a bulging wardrobe, you have absolutely nothing to wear & anything that you put on makes you look like your great great grandmother’s ugly first cousin.

To be honest I am sure a lot of us have found ourselves in this situation at some point in our lives, terrified of looking like a bewildered prostitute yet not quite ready for crimpolene & pearls….. and it is at this point that we read about how a makeover will transform us, a personal shopper will rebuild our lives & if only we find out whether we are a cool autumn or a hot summer everything will be rosy again.

Now for some women this is just the sort of treat they need, a day spent with someone who knows about such things learning what colour & shapes suit them with outfit suggestions made,  but it is not the answer for everyone. Not all of us are brave enough to talk ourselves out of spending £600 on a dress that the super confident personal shopper in a major High Street store assures us will change our lives, others simply just don’t have the money to spend on such a luxury & many of us feel that we will probably get back on track if someone could just give us a little shove in the right direction.

So here is that little shove.

Knickers to you – well to be more accurate bras

Everyone involved in the fashion industry from designers to Independent stockists like Artichoke will tell you that once you reach the age when parts of your anatomy are beginning to slide south the most important investment that you will make is in your underwear & it is the part of their wardrobe that most women ignore.

DO get a bra that not only fits you but also gives adequate support & please get fitted every time you buy a bra. You can visually go down two dress sizes if your boobs are above rather than resting on your tummy!

DO wear huge knickers. It is amazing how many women wear knickers that are too small & think that the trousers they are trying on in our shop are too tight because they can see a knicker line,which is actually caused by thighs, bottoms or tummies bulging out of their pants not the garment they are trying on.

I wish that I could give you an extensive list of independent lingerie shops to visit but unfortunately they are rarer than hens’s teeth these days. If any of you have a particular store you could recommend please comment below I am sure we would love to know where they are. I am going to re-visit Jarrolds of Norwich after Christmas as I understand that they are now purveyors of scaffolding which was sadly not the case last time I went there a couple of years ago,  although the fitting was the best I have ever had.

Once you have ensured that everything is kept above sea level & nothing is seeping either out,above or below then you can move onto the next stage.

Find your own style

So if you have lost sight of what your style is sit down with a cuppa and a few magazines or hop over to Pinterest &  think firstly about your lifestyle – it is no good trying to look like Victoria Beckham if you have three dogs, live in the middle of no-where & only go to town once a year. Once you have acknowledged that although you have a deep love of culottes & kitten heels they are not entirely practical tramping through the fields & your money might be better spent on a great fitting pair of jeans & some  chunky chelsea boots it is time to move on to …….

Look at your body shape

Your body shape. Accentuate your good parts & heavily disguise the rest. Spend some time playing dressing up, analysing why you wear your favourite jumper until it is threadbare but the bargain cropped flares you got last summer are still at the back of the wardrobe unworn. Is it because the jumper is fitted enough to draw attention to your amazing waistline but the trousers make your little legs look even shorter even if they were discounted by 50% (sale shopping is for another day but probably a conversation we should have before the Boxing Day sales begin)

So you know what you require of your clothes & have a rough idea of what suits you so now think about your personality & style icons. Immediately I can tell you that I love Chanel, Isabella Rosselini & Helen Mirren. I am however neither a dead designer or a film star & I live in Norfolk so I can be influenced by their style but cannot slavishly copy it. This means that although I always wear red lipstick, have a fairly classic style & wear too much black I spend my days in jeans rather than tuxedo jackets. Are you getting my drift?

Begin with the basics

Building a new wardrobe actually starts with purging your old one.

Again spend some time shopping in your existing wardrobe. Go through your clothes and get rid of everything that no longer fits you or for some reason you no longer feel a million dollars in. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a better idea of what you have to work with and what you need to put on your shopping list.

It can take years to build your wardrobe, but you don’t need to have an overflowing one to love the way that you look. Just make sure that the things you buy are the right things. Five items we recommend that you invest in (in both sense of the word ie not only buy but spend as much as you can afford on) initially are a pair of jeans, a handbag, a basic pair of shoes, a jacket and a staple accessory such as a watch or a statement belt. As you continue to expand your wardrobe, think systematically: know what’s already in it. Before you buy anything, make sure it goes with something you already own. That way, you’ll get maximum use out of minimal pieces.

Pay attention to detail

The devil is in the detail. A dress can be transformed by wearing an insert collar or a different necklace or a scarf so do spend some time searching for good quality accessories as well as cheap and cheerful pick me ups that will transform your existing wardrobe. Also think about details when investing in new pieces for your wardrobe, if you don’t spend six months of the year in the Seychelles & can’t afford a spray tan don’t wear colours that wash you out equally if you have a panic attack at the mention of the word spanx find an outfit that flatters your unsquashed curves,this way you will avoid costly mistakes.

So do you need an Personal Shopper to look amazing?

The simple answer is no.

Would you like to have someone offer you impartial advice? Play dressing up with you? Tell you honestly what you look great in or what is not really working for you then spend some time looking for an independent retailer that sells clothes that reflect your style. Here you will find someone who is not on commission & genuinely wants you to leave looking & feeling a million dollars as you are the best advert she is ever going to have. Obviously we would love to see you at Artichoke but if you think we are not your cup of tea have a look at other Indies in East Anglia. We love Annas in Holt, Energy Clothing & Attic in Stamford & Collen & Claire in Southwold as well as Mitzy & Jensens in Ely & Ruffles in Swaffham.




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