Should you have a personal styling session?Yes, you should!
A couple of years ago I was sent a birthday e-mail from Annah Stretton inviting me to attend a free personal styling session with one of their stylists. Initially I thought the idea was simply a sales pitch, however whilst I acknowledge there is certainly a financial incentive for Annah Stretton to offer this service, I don’t believe you should discount it on that basis. (Just as an aside, I want to be clear here that I am in no way affiliated with Annah Stretton; I just love her stuff and wear it a lot.) They were also offering a free goodie bag, and as I am a cheapie, that was a draw-card for me as well!
Essentially, my personal stylist Sabine, stood me in front of the mirror and with her “magic pearls” measured my proportions and discussed my body shape with me. The body shapes run along the same principle as Trinny & Susannah use, but Annah Stretton uses flowers instead – because really, who wants to be described as a “brick”? My body shape under the “Annah Stretton shape system” is the Bluebell, which means my bust and hips are in proportion and I have a definite waist (which comes and goes sometimes *wink*) – it is also known as the classic “hourglass” shape. Anyway, my shape is not the point of all this. It’s what happened next that was the clincher for me!
Sabine and I discussed my lifestyle; what I already had in my wardrobe; what I wanted; what I liked; what I considered my “assets”; what she considered my “assets!”; the colours I liked and that kind of thing. She then headed off into the shop and came back with a selection of six dresses and a couple of tops and handed them over! I looked at her in disbelief … honestly, if I’d wandered around the shop myself, I wouldn’t have picked any of them! They were a riot of colours and patterns, and like many Kiwi women, back then I tended to stick to black or plain. They were also not styles I would have ever picked for myself. At that point I was thinking “oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained – at least I’ll get the goodie bag!”
However, I dutifully tried the first one on and was pleasantly surprised. I stepped outside the dressing room and Sabine attacked! She adjusted things, wiggled things around, pulled sleeves up, added a belt, added a brooch and all of a sudden that dress that looked OK, suddenly looked bloody awesome! With Sabine’s expert assistance, I excitedly tried the rest of the pile on, and honestly – out of the six dresses I never would have chosen for myself – had I been able to afford it, I would have bought five of them! Sabine told me later she had “planted” a dress in there that was NOT designed for my body shape, just to illustrate a point so full points to me for finding it! I ended up purchasing two of the dresses and the black elastic rose belt (which I thrash!) and I love them all.
**Spoiler alert – conceited observation incoming!**
I have worn this dress (the “Laurestine”) ^^up there^^ A LOT as it makes me feel happy every time I put it on. And not a word of a lie, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I wear it, a complete stranger stops me and tells me they love my dress! It is totally worth it’s weight in gold.
So in answer to the question in the title of this post “Should you have a personal styling session?” Yes, you really, really should.
An outsider, particularly one who is an expert in dressing other women, can give you a whole new perspective on what you can wear and open up an exciting new world of style, colours and patterns.
Personal styling sessions seem to be the marketing “technique du jour” and I for one, think it’s a great thing. Of course you don’t have to go to Annah Stretton – I’ve noticed lately that Westfield are doing 15 minute personal styling sessions and have also started what they call summer shopping tours; which sound like a fabulous idea; a group of 15 or so women are guided around the mall’s fashion stores by a personal stylist who discusses current trends, the 12 key staple items in the ideal wardrobe, how to mix and match outfits etc. Awesome! If you’re not in New Zealand I’m sure the rest of the world are doing it too! Keep an eye out in your local papers, and on Facebook and other social media.
Enjoy defining and refining your own particular version of “MumptyStyle!”