Since moving to Spain I have been shopping on-line at Wallis, as I know their size 12 fits me perfectly, until suddenly they decided that their short trousers should be longer. Why? How many short women suddenly grow by three centimetres? My legs have stayed the same, but Wallis have now lengthened their petite trousers. Great! It is difficult to find petite clothes in Spain, even though most Spanish women are about my height, so I needed to find an alternative range of flattering petite clothing.
My shopping advisor Despo had emailed me, prior to my visit to the Banana Republic Regent Street store, so she had an idea of what I was looking for. I'm pleased to report that she was very well prepared. As soon as I arrived she explained that she had selected a range of clothes in my size that she thought would suit me and she had made some good choices, guided by a look at this blog to see some of my existing clothes.
If you aren't keen on shopping, a personal shopper is a good option. Despo did all the hard work for me. All I had to do was try on all the clothes that I liked out of her selection and, if I wasn't keen on a particular colour, I just asked her to bring me the same style in other colours. She even topped up my glass of water at regular intervals - though I would have preferred champagne!
Despo had brought me some navy trousers that I really liked, but I had to breathe in to fasten them up, which usually isn't a good sign. I went out to see her and said I probably needed the next size up. She made me turn round and pronounced that they were a perfect fit and that the next size would be too big on me. "They've got a lot of stretch", she said. I decided on the ultimate test and sat down in them. Did I mention that there were comfortable chairs in the personal shopping suite? Another bonus for the weary shopper.
Despo was quite right - the trousers fitted well and still felt comfortable when I sat down. On my own I would have probably bought size 14 instead of 12, which wouldn't have looked so good on me. A personal stylist doesn't just save you time, she encourages you to try on different styles and colours and, even more importantly, gives you good impartial advice.
These were my eventual choices - including the navy trousers of course!
All in all I would say it was a very positive experience, though it does help to know what you want and not get side-tracked. Despo brought me some lovely dresses and jackets, but I was after a good pair of trousers plus some tops to go with them and other items in my wardrobe, so I didn't give in to temptation. The fact that I was flying back to Spain with hand luggage only was an added incentive! If you're a petite size wanting to buy clothes that won't date too quickly, Banana Republic are definitely worth looking at.