On Monday I spent the day with lucky Rachel Venn, Age 18 from Devon who won Freya’s fabulous prize, as seen in GLAMOUR magazine’s January Issue. Rachel had entered Freya’s competition on the website, where the 2 minutes she took to enter the competition paid off big time when it won her flights to and from Manchester, an amazing stay at a very swanky suite at The Hilton in Manchester, where she was taxi’d to The Trafford Centre Shopping Mall (wearing her new Freya underwear set – also part of the prize) with £500 spends burning a hole in a pocket! Phew. Talk about every woman’s dream prize!
As a personal shopper in Manchester for My Style Companion, my job was to make Rachel feel preened and pampered within an inch of her life, and of course ensure she went home with a fabulous new ss13 wardrobe, and from the smile on Rachel’s face at the end of the day, I hope we achieved just that!
As Rachel is an 18 year old at college and avid ‘gamer’ she told me she spent a lot of time in jeans and that she’d like to look a little bit more ‘feminine’, and try some styles of dresses and skirts. Rachel always wore flat shoes because of bad balance (something I can definitely relate to!) so this was something I wanted to keep in my mind, and she also preferred to not wear sleeveless tops. Every client I ever work with always has their own set of criteria which I have to ensure I take in to account when selecting pieces from the shop floor.
Rachel’s shop of choice on the high-street was usually New Look because of it’s price point, something I understand from my student days (a while ago now! eek!) so I was also aware that despite having £500 to splash out, Rachel would have a perception of value in relation to clothing, so I needed to keep the price point at this level so that she would feel comfortable with it. These are just a small number of things I have to bear in mind for all my clients as a personal shopper as well as body shape, size, height, personality, lifestyle and colouring to name a few others!
So we started off at Debenhams where I introduced Rachel to some brands she had never tried before such as H by Henry Holland and Red Herring, immediately finding Rachel a black blazer that she could wear with everything. Rachel fell in love with it and that was the first of many ‘yes’s’ to follow. From there on we went on to try some cute print and ditsy floral dresses from H by Henry Holland to wear with leggings; and some cute sleeveless shirts underneath round neck jumpers from Warehouse for a cute preppy look with denim shorts and opaque tights.
For all of the outfits, like with any of my clients, I like to stress the importance of a good set of nude underwear such as the Freya Deco Set in Nude (and in essential Black). These bras will work with anything and everything, and just like you have capsule pieces in your wardrobe e.g. great jeans, good blazer, basic tops, every woman needs a capsule underwear drawer too, to ensure that all of her clothes look their best.
So back to the shopping – we headed over to the Benefit counter in Debenhams where Rachel was treated to a makeover which she fell in love with, so to celebrate we headed off for a spot of lunch and I gave Rachel some time to recover from all the trying on – it’s hard work trying on! After lunch we went on to New Look and Dorothy Perkins where Rachel tried a fantastic pair of skinny jeans on to replace the worn ones she was wearing and a lovely black skater skirt which was a new style that Rachel hadn’t tried before. We selected a few tops that she could mix and match with the jeans AND the skirt, as well as the denim shorts, and a bight red jacket (one of ss13′s hottest colours) that went amazingly well with the Freya Deco Honey Range in ‘firecracker’ and mixed and matched well with lots of the tops and dresses.
Favourite ss13 trends for the day included fun ditsy florals, monochrome and minimalism, wereas frills and ruffles weren’t for Rachel, and pastel colours washed her out a bit so we steered clear of those. As I always tell my personal shopping clients – just focus on a couple of key trends for the season that work for you as not everything always will – even if they look fantastic on your friends!
Rachel was lots of fun to shop for on the day and up for trying anything on with a completely open mind – always the best way to get the very best out of your personal shopper, as you never quite know how something will look until you put it on, but a personal shopper has selected those pieces for a good reason.
I hope that Rachel enjoys her new ss13 wardrobe – it was a pleasure to spend the day with her.