Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Personal Shopper - Debenhams, London

This week I started a new job and for that I had decided I needed a new work wardrobe, obviously Hehe! Actually my old office was a lot more casual compared to my new office so I did have a decent excuse. :-)

Anyhoo, I decided to book a personal shopper appointment to shop for my new work wardrobe. I've used this service at Debenhams on Oxford Street before so decided to go back there. For those of you who don't live in the UK, Debenhams is a large department store. The store in London houses Debenhams own ranges, Designers at Debenhams range and lots of other high street retailers such as Warehouse, Miss Selfridge, Oasis etc. You can find a list of brands at the Oxford St store here.

So today I thought I would give a quick overview and review of the personal shopper service at Debenhams.

I was pleased to find that you are now able to book appointments online. Its really easy to do, they ask you to select a time on the date of your choice and you can choose the length of your appointment from 60, 90 and 120min. There is also a question on what type of appointment you are looking for ranging from general wardrobe update, to business wear to bridal. There are a few other questions and there is the option to add a short msg if you'd like to leave a note for your shopper.

The system was very easy and quick to use and I was impressed with the simplicity. They send you a text msg to confirm your booking which I thought was helpful and indicated a good level of service.

You can book an appointment here.

The Personal Shopper Rooms
The personal shopper area is off one of the main floors. When you come to the top of the escalator on floor 3 (I think) the corridor is right in front of you with a sign above, so it is easy to find.

When you go in, it seems very friendly and homey, especially in comparison to the clinical corridor you have just walked down. There is a desk and 3 shopper rooms.

Sorry about the poor pictures!
The rooms have two parts, an area with comfy chairs and a stack of magazines on the table this is closed off from the main area by a curtain. Then through another curtain is the changing area, this is huge-there are two mirrored walls, one with mirrors that pull round so that you can see your behind! I had no problems with the lighting at all.

The separate seating area meant that if you bought someone with you, (I took my mum!) they have somewhere to sit and give you their opinions!

The Shopper Experience
When you arrive you are offered a drink of tea, coffee or water I think were the options. Then your shopper will sit down and go through your requirements and your sizes. I had the same shopper as last time, I don't know if this is on purpose but I thought it was a nice touch (they ask when you book if you have been before).

He then went out to the shop floor and bought back some clothes to try on. Last time I went he came back with a whole rack. This time he seemed to be serving two customers so he was just going to different parts of the store and bringing us both back a pile at a time. I don't have a problem with this,  but I think I preferred the previous approach. Also there were 3 shoppers working there, so I wasn't sure why we hadn't been allocated our own shopper?!

They occasionally check that everything is going ok, much in the same way that a waiter checks that your meal is ok! I had to ask for some alternative sizes (will come to that in a min) a few times but they would sort this straight away.

The Clothes
I had asked for smart/casual business dress leaning more towards the business side. In general this is what I was provided with, but with the added bonus of some items in keeping with current fashion thrown in. I was generally pleased with what I had been given in terms of style and there was a variety of clothes to chose from. There were lots of different styles of dresses and tops in a variety of colours. 

There were a few pieces that seemed a bit odd for example a silky dress that I would wear to dinner or a party. There were also a few tops that were slightly too vibrant and multicoloured for business wear in my opinion.

As I hinted at I did have a few issues with sizes. I am most definitely a pear shape - I am a size 10/12 on top and a 14 (sometimes 16) on the bottom. I can wear dresses with lose skirts but I can't wear tight fitted pencil skirt dresses - they either fit on the bottom & swamp me on top or fit on top and won't go over my thighs on the bottom. Given my sizings I thought this would be obvious, especially to a personal shopper but I was bought a few such dresses in sizes 10 and 12 which I couldn't even get over my bum.

I also found that Warehouse trousers fitted small and I therefore needed a 16 (even these were tight). I explained this to the woman but she somehow took this as I needed all 16s, although I had explained I was a 14 in every other brand.

Debenhams also has a huge beauty department to ponder round. My Mum & I decided to go for dinner and see a show to really make it a girly day. (Btw I would thoroughly recommend Legally Blonde musical :-))

Freebies - at the end of the appointment you will also be given some fantastic sample freebies. This time I received a fantastic box of Clinique goodies including moisturiser, cleansers and make up.

So all in all, although there were a couple of issues with sizing I still had a great experience. I came away with a great new work wardrobe. As I said even if you're not after an entire wardrobe it is a lovely relaxing way of shopping and worth it for the freebies hehe!

I would like to show all the clothes that I bought, but am trying to work out the best way to do this. I am contemplating being brave and making my first you tube video??! If not I will try and take some good pictures and put them on here soon.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. X x

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Make Up Gone Wrong

Hello there! I thought I would share my embarrassing story from today.

It has for once been very lovely and very warm here in England today (yay!). I had a few errands to run, a contact lense check and then some shopping to do. This all sounds fine!

Only I was standing in TK Maxx buying some items, but I felt that the check out assistant was staring at me weirdly & as soon as I walked away she whispered something to her colleague. It wasn't until I got back to the car that I realised my eye liner and mascara had run & I had a lovely dark black line in my crease on both eyes! It looked like I had drawn an extra pair of eyebrows on my eyelids!!

 I was so embarrassed and I spent the rest of the day rubbing my eye lids and trying (but failing) to subtly look at myself in shop mirrors and windows. Lesson learned don't go for winged eye liner and volume mascara on a very hot day or on a day when a man is going to squirt lots of saline solution in your eye!!

I'd love to know if anyone else has had any similar embarrassing make up mishaps?

Hope everyone had a lovely day! Xxx

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Mini Summer Haul

Hello there! I have done the odd bit of shopping recently just a few bits and pieces. I didn't go on a big shopping trip these are just a few bits I've picked up when I've been wondering around the shops at lunchtime. Does anyone else have this major problem - my office is in a town centre with really good shops which tends to be a nightmare for my bank balance! It seems slightly pointless to work all day and spend your wages at lunchtime hehe!

Anyways this is a few bits I've picked up over about six weeks so hopefully they will still be in the shops and even better you might even find them in the sales! Woohoo! (Sales also a nightmare for the balance!)

Sorry rubbish picture!
So first up I took a quick trip to Dorothy Perkins. I picked up these stone coloured chinos which are cropped just above the ankle. I must say I LOVE these trousers - it is soooo nice to find some trousers to wear that are not jeans! I'm definitely not the skinniest of girls and I also have very pale legs so sometimes during the summer I feel the need to cover my legs with more than leggings. These certainly do the job, they are a lovely light colour to wear in summer and aren't as hot as jeans to wear during the hotter days (when they do occur in Britain).

I also picked up a green boob-tube top which is a gorgeous colour, I would really like the one in dark blue but they never seem to have my size when I go in there.

Next up I grabbed a few pieces from New Look. I haven't shopped in there for a couple of years now, I felt like they went a bit downhill for a while but they seem to have rejuvinated themselves in the last 6 months or so.
I got a couple of tops one bright peachy pink seen in the picture below and a yellow top with capped sleeves. Sorry I can't find these on the website and the yellow top is in the wash at the moment. I also managed to get a Pocket T Shirt Dress in a stone colour - this was the reason I went into New Look. Louise of Sprinkle of Glitter showed this dress in a You Tube video and I really liked it so I went on the hunt for it.

I managed to grab a few accessories to add to the mix. I really like the leather wrist tie and it was a bargain in the accessorize sale at half price, down to £5. I also like the little brown string bracelet with the butterfly on with matching earings, which came from Boots. I'm really like this style of brown, festival chic style accessories to wear on the wrist, I feel like it is a very summery look but not as obvious as flower print styles.

Leather Bracelet - Accessorize £5 (reduced from £10)  Green Earings Set - Boots £3.25 (from £6.50)  Gold Bow Necklace - New Look  Brown Braclet & Butterfly Earrings - Boots 

Last but not least I picked up this bag, also in the Accessorize sale, a bonus at only £16 (half price). I'm starting a new job on Monday so decided I of course needed a new bag! I love the star print inside and there are two pockets on the front which is really useful. I'm going to be commuting by train for my new job so I needed a bag that was big enough to carry a book and my shoes, so I can wear trainers to walk to work. But I also wanted a bag that didn't look silly when there wasn't much in it if that makes sense. I also love the colour and like that I can wear it on my shoulder or across the body.

I hope this post wan't too long - just a few bits and pieces! Will try not to leave it so long this time - its like starting a diary ... when I was a teenager I used to start a diary every new year, saying I would write in it every day. I normally lasted until about the 3rd Jan - anybody else ever have that problem?

Anyhoo, last day at my current job tomorrow which I'm quite sad about really! I do get to go shopping for a new work wardrobe this weekend tho which I will share with you.

Hope you're all having a beautiful day! X x
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