I am thrilled to bring you a blog from our Glasgow stylist, Mhairi. She started as a client of mine, where she had an online style session, followed by a personal shop in Bluewater.
As a previous client, who is now a stylist, she is in a great position to tell you exactly what to expect from a Styled By Susie personal shop.
Over to you, Mhairi……
Well, this is bizarre. As a former Styled By Susie Client I have spent many hours reading over the blogs previously written by Susie and Sarah; eagerly awaiting new ones being posted or scrolling back through the years worth’s of blogs if I find myself in a bit of a rut or looking for inspiration. And now here I am, sitting in my kitchen, typing one up for you wonderful people to all read.
When I thought about what subject to cover in my blog, I found myself thinking back to when I was a client and what ones I particularly found most useful. For me it’s the life after analysis blog. It was a real physical tool that answered questions for me. So, then I got to thinking what I would have enjoyed that wasn’t already in existence. Then it came to me. What to expect from a Personal Shop. I remember scrolling back in the Facebook group checking previous posts for any hints or tips. So I have decided to cover it all, including your questions sent to me through my Instagram page, to answer the many questions and thoughts about a personal shop using my own experience as both a client and a stylist.
So, pop the kettle on and read on.
So, there you are. You’ve booked your shop with one of the team stylists, you’ve paid the fee, popped it in the diary and suddenly you’re stumped. What now? You’re excited, nervous and have a million questions…then you start to panic that you are definitely going to be the person that leaves your stylist stumped and will come away with nothing. Fear not. This is everyone’s worry and never turns out to be the truth. In fact, my experience during my training week when I shopped with Susie, Sarah and Kim I discovered that they are as nervous as you. They want you to have a great time.
Your questions answered.
How much do I need?
This question was definitely asked at least 10 times and I see it getting asked lots in the groups and in Facebook live Q&A sessions. What I will say first of all is that when we ask what budget you have in advance of the shop, it’s so that we can have a rough idea of what shops to go to to suit your budget and it’s actually quite an important thing for us stylists to know. I would recommend always telling your stylist your top budget. Obviously if you are thinking “I have £400 but can stretch by another £20 if needed” then that isn’t too bad but if you were to say “I have £400” then half way through when we ask “how are you doing budget wise, what have you got left” you say “well I have already spent £300 but actually I can still spend another £300” then it means that you potentially won’t get the same shopping experience than if you had said you had a £600 budget to start with.
Remember that we aren’t on any sort of commission and won’t force you to buy things just because we know you have the budget for it.
A minimum amount I would recommend a minimum of £300 to get you a decent capsule wardrobe.
What should I wear?
This is an important question to ask. Not because we will be judging you on what you arrive in (I promise we won’t) but because if you wear a dress, then it makes it more difficult if we go to a shop and pick up mainly tees for trying on.
Jeans, a tee and comfy shoes for all the walking, that can be slipped on and off quickly enough are ideal. You could also bring a pair of tights if you were wanting to try on dresses that could be worn with black tights to be able to see how it looks it if you aren’t sure from simply visualizing it in your mind.
You don’t need a big bag filled with the many things us females tend to carry. Your purse and a drink of water will be more than enough. Remember you can also buy a Styled By Susie tote bag, perfect for popping in your hand bag then filling with all your goodies without having to buy the shops disposable bags.
If you are doing a shop in Bluewater, it gets really warm, so even if its 0 degrees outside in the winter, don’t bring a heavy warm coat with you as it will just get in the way. If you are doing a shop with me in Glasgow we will be outside for a short period of time but will mainly be inside so try a light weight jacket.
How long does it last? Surely that’s not enough time to get a full capsule wardrobe?
A personal shop lasts 3 hours with a coffee and chat taking place first. It doesn’t really sound like much does it? I used to spend 5 hours shopping and come away with one thing!!
Well, ladies, let me tell you…THAT is exactly why you hire a professional. From our pre shop coffee we get a good idea of your personality, what sort of items you need, we know what season you are and therefor what colour’s you should be wearing, we know your shape and what works best for you and what is best avoided. From this information, we know exactly what shops to take you to.
We know exactly where to find you the perfect jeans and we also know exactly what shops to avoid. We take out the guess work which cuts down on so much time.
If you know the area well enough then your stylist will maybe leave you to pay in one shop while she tells you to meet her at the next shop. This way, by the time you queue, pay and head to the next shop, the chances are she will have an armful of clothes already looked out for you to try on. However if you are in unknown territory then this won’t happen (so don’t panic!). On my shop Susie didn’t leave my side – I think she knew that even saying “I’m going to topshop which is literally opposite this shop” would give me anxiety.
Should I have a shopping list. Should I already have all the “Basic Bitches” TM in place?
Before you come on your shop you will send in some information including your budget and your shape and season (if you’ve previously been analysed) and what you are hoping to get. Some examples include “day time capsule wardrobe” “work wear for a teacher” if you had something you really wanted to get then mention that too. I think I included a biker jacket in mine. But other than that you can leave all the work to us. You don’t need to already have anything in place, if you have them that’s great, you can just tell us you don’t need something (for example if your drawers are already bursting with slogan tees then tell us and we won’t look for them).
Again, from my own personal experience I even needed plain tees, I believe I said “I need Basic Bitch’d oot ma nut” sometimes I like to revert to proper Scottish to make Susie laugh!!
Can I shop for a capsule wardrobe and occasion wear on the same shop?
This one depends on the type of occasion wear you want to go for. For example, most of you are already familiar with this image of mine.
I actually got this dress on my shop with Susie. It was only like £40 from Warehouse and actually we originally purchased it for wearing like this…
Just casual with a denim jacket and white trainers. But it also worked for me for a wedding.
If that’s the look you are going for then that is totally doable, however if you are looking for occasion wear as in a fancier/longer dress with a matching hat/fascinator and a bag etc then I would suggest that being done in a separate shop as generally more time is taken finding the perfect outfit and the shops we would visit would be different to the shops you would visit for a capsule wardrobe.
I struggle to find clothes in my size. Can I do a personal shop?
You would be surprised at how many shops have sizes that go up to sizes beyond a 16 (in fact Sarah did a blog not too long ago about her favourite shops for these) I would suggest emailing in depending on what area you are looking for to be advised. For me personally, I’m going round the shops on Monday before I officially start working the following week to really get an idea of the availability for certain sizes.
Do I need to do anything to prep for the shop?
Absolutely not. For my shop, it was a week after I had taken part in another show where we also tan quite dark so the spot lights don’t reflect off our pale Scottish skin. By the time I was shopping my tan was patchy and I resembled a loaf of tiger bread – but Susie didn’t notice or care. We aren’t there to note that your legs haven’t been freshly waxed or judge you for your bra being ill fitting. In fact we don’t even notice these things.
When should I book a shop for? Are weekend shops available?
I would recommend booking a personal shop as soon as you have decided you want to do one. All the stylists book out quite far in advance and you don’t want to be disappointed. If you are looking for items for a specific time, again get it booked early and for a while before it. For example, if you are looking for summer stuff then although we don’t tend to get proper summer weather until June/July time, you’ll find a lot of the best summer items (*cough* Next Boy Shorts *cough*) can actually be sold out by April time.
Karina is the only stylist that does weekend shops. However it is absolutely worth using up one of your precious annual leave days to get one midweek if you wanted a shop with one of the other stylists, especially for the likes of Myself, Emily and Fiona where there isn’t a weekend option available in our area.
I’ve not had an online analysis – can I book a personal shop anyway?
Absolutely, we will talk you through your body shape and what season you are while taking you round the shops. Explaining why certain styles, cuts and colours either work or don’t work for you.
Any general advice?
Have fun, trust us and relax.
Sometimes we will hand you things that make you think “that’s hideous” “that won’t suit me” “that scares me” but trust in us, we are there to help push you out your comfort zone a bit.
If it doesn’t look right we will be the first to admit it and won’t lie to you saying you look good in an item if it isn’t 100% right, there will be items that we both think look amazing but when you put it on it just doesn’t hit the right places. It’s trial and error so don’t panic.
It’s an amazing experience and a wonderful day out that is still one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I think I’ve covered about all the questions asked. Phew time for a cuppa I think. Hope you all enjoyed my first blog.
Remember I am available to book for Personal Shops in Glasgow as well as Wardrobe declutters, Style Sessions and Style Parties too. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you in.