Friday, 2 November 2012

My personal shopper experience - part 1

Having looked on-line at various petite ranges prior to my recent trip to London, I decided to book an appointment with a personal shopper at Banana Republic.  I hadn't come across their shop when I lived in London, as I always shopped at my old favourites Wallis and Principles, with an occasional look at the Marks & Spencer petite range.

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!

   Shawl collar wrap topwomens striped tee green-emma striped tee

Sloan fit slim ankle pant

Banana Republic Ashley Bow Ballet Flat - Banana Republic Canada

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.  


  1. Sounds good, lovely that she used the photos on your blog to get an idea of your style and likes. Was it a very expensive service?

    How do your new purchases fit into your 33 items?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The service is free, which may be why I was given water rather than champagne!

    I have obviously had to swap some clothes in my 33. The short sleeved and sleeveless tops will be put away until Spring and I removed the black flats and replaced them with the new ones. The new navy trousers replaced my lightweight linen trousers, which again will be put aside until Spring. I made two more purchases, which will be outlined in my next post, and again I had to remove a couple of items to make room for them!

  4. I do like the little flatties and love the purple top, may have to look for something similar, although purple is not a colour i can easily wear.

    And for a free service, you got some good advice.

  5. Jacqui, I don't want to encourage you to spend money BUT the ballerinas and the purple top are available in other colours! Look at their on-line store and you will see what I mean.

  6. Hi Sue, trying not to buy clothes at the moment while I'm still losing weight, albeit slow progress. One more dress size down and I'll be happy to start kitting my wardrobe out again.

    P.S. All but one of your photos on this post have vanished, just the green/black stripey top showing, as if the links have gone.

  7. Hi Jacqui

    Good luck with losing weight - slow progress is better than losing weight too quickly, which often leads to regaining it quickly too! Once you are down by one more dress size you will enjoy kitting your wardrobe out even more, so it's worth waiting.

    Thanks for mentioning the photos - they looked ok just now, but I will check them out later.