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A day in the life of a personal shopper - how a shopping day works

What it's really like to do a personal shopping trip with me from start to finish.

Even though I cover this is my services page and my frequently asked question page, there are still queries that people have about how the personal shopping day works, so I thought it might be helpful to walk you through it from start to finish.

Personal shopping day for men a step by step guide

Before the personal shopping session


Once  I receive your enquiry and you decide you'd like to go ahead, we arrange a convenient date between us. I don't always need loads of notice and I do work evenings and weekends.....whenever the shops are open, we can shop! If you'd like to have a chat on the phone first then I'm happy to do so but it's not essential.

After we've arranged the date, I'll send a questionnaire for you to fill in (here's an example) and ask you to send it back to me along with a couple of photos of yourself. The photos can just be a selfie on your phone, a LinkedIn pic or one of you with your friends etc. It's lovely to see what you wore at your wedding but it can also be helpful to have a more everyday shot. Preferably you'll send me a close up and a full length, just for me to get an idea about how you normally dress and your colouring, phsyique etc. But don't worry, there's no need to send a picture of you in your underwear!

The personal shopping session lasts between about 4-6 hours. I know, I know....you've probably never shopped for that long before and don't see how we can possibly fill the time. But believe me, it goes really fast, so it's very easy to do. In case you're still worried, most clients comment afterwards that though they've never shopped for that long before (and may be exhausted afterwards) they really enjoyed it. I think that's because it's focused shopping and not wandering aimlessly around the stores, not getting want you want, which is very frustrating.

With your questionnaire and photos and details of budget, I then go and have a look on my own in the shops. I tend to only go one or two days in advance as things change quickly, and I've found in the past that items I've seen when doing my recce are no longer there when we go to shop. If we're going from shop to shop, I'll plan a route and let you know the day before where to meet.

I'll either take notes of what I see in each shop or I'm also a member of Harvey Nichols Stylist Club so will often use the space there. If you really hate shopping, it's a good option, as I can put everything by ahead of the day in your size, and have it all ready and waiting for you when you arrive. There's complimentary drinks and alterations and they can send the items you've bought out to you afterwards if that's easier.

Styling on a personal shopping day with Sartoria Lab

During the personal shopping session

So usually we tend to meet up in the morning at around 10am when the shops open, and carry on till 2pm - 4pm. We can stop for coffee, snacks etc as often as you want or power through - it's up to you and how you feel. There's no need to wear anything specific, although perhaps if we're buying a suit, then sometimes it's useful to be wearing a shirt and formal shoes but most stores will have those to hand anyway.  If we've already done a wardrobe edit and are trying to complete an outfit with something specific, then I might ask you to bring that item along.

Once we meet, we go straight into shopping. I know some other stylists have a coffee first and chat about what you'd like to get but I don't find it particularly helpful to discuss it more at that point. It's not until you've tried items that may be different to what you normally wear, that you know if you like them or not.

When we go into each shop, I'll pick up a variety of items in your sizes and take you to the fitting room to try them. To begin with it can seem slightly haphazard as not everything will fit or go together but once we have a few things we like and that fit well, we then build on those and make sure we have things to go with them to make outfits. 

If I don't like something on you, I'll tell you - I'm not mean but I am honest! I find most people really appreciate the honesty and it's part of the value of booking me. And if I've suggested something but you don't like it - there's no pressure to try and force yourself to! I'll often be able to tell by your face or how you're standing anyway, in which case we'll move on to find more that you do like and feel comfortable in.

If you're struggling to make decisions on what to buy, I'll help by suggesting how you can wear it and for what occasions. I'll also take into account the budget and where we can splurge on some things and save on others. Sometimes, if you're really not sure or would like to check out other things first we'll note the details of items and come back to them later on if need be. I usually find the decision makes itself - we either find that it's essential to go back and get it as it goes with everything else we have or we end up forgetting all about it.

A day in the life of a personal shopper -  what happens on a shopping trip

After the personal shopping session

Whilst we're shopping I'll make notes on what you've bought and what can be worn together, so I can write a list of outfits for you afterwards. It's easy to forget some of the combinations and past clients have said the outfit list is super helpful. :-)

I find there's not usually time during the shopping trip to take photos of the outfits but if you'd prefer a visual guide (a series of images like this - rather than a written one, I can put one together (using images from their websites) for a small extra cost.

If there's anything we haven't been able to get in the correct size or we need a few other accessories to finish off then I'll send you links to those, when I send your outfit list.....here's an example of the outfit list with links to extra accessories.

If you have any other questions that I've not answered here, then please get in touch - nothing's too silly to ask, I promise!

Or if you'd like to book in for your shopping trip, you can do so by clicking the button below. I look forward to hearing from you!

I'd like to book a shopping trip

"Just a note to say thanks for your time earlier. I really enjoyed shopping with you, it was so easy and such a relaxed day even though we were full on. They are not always words that I associate with clothes shopping!

I’m thrilled with my purchases and I’m delighted and amazed that we managed to get everything on my wish list. Getting your views and advice on each item really reassures me that they are right for me."

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