Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The story of my free Whistles dress
Somebody pinch me. I still can't quite believe I got a dress from Whistles – for free! OK, let me start from the beginning...
This morning, to celebrate the start of summer, Whistles launched a treasure hunt. It's treating customers to exclusive prizes and offers in stores across the UK from Wednesday 8th to Thursday 9th June. All you have to do is check the Whistles treasure map throughout the day to see if your local store holds the prize. If it does, click on the arrow, print the ticket and dash there as quick as you can to claim it.
Which is exactly what I did this morning when the map revealed Whistles was giving away five dresses in its St Christopher's Place branch – a stone's throw from my office (thanks for letting me take an early lunch, boss!). Three other branches were offering the same prize, too.
Given it was nearly 11am, almost an hour after I'd received and only half-read the Whistles treasure-hunt email, I wasn't sure I'd be in with a chance. But, ticket in hand, I ran (unheard of for me!) to the shop, ever hopeful that not all five prizes had been claimed.
It was my lucky day. I was golden ticket holder number 4, with number 5 hot on my heels. (Sadly, number 6 was right behind her, but the lovely Whistles staff gave her a consolation prize of a tote bag. Not quite a dress, I know, but less disappointing than leaving empty-handed.)
Now, have you ever shopped without looking at the price tag? Me neither. So, to be told I could pick any dress in the store for free, well, it was a shopping addict's dream come true. Ditto the novelty of being able to pick a dress I truly loved, rather than narrowing my search to within a price bracket like I usually do when I shop.
Whistles is easily one of my favourite shops (its Carrie skirt has got to be my best purchase this season), so it wasn't difficult to find a dress I liked. My shortlist (pictured above) included the Siri turquoise lace dress, £275 – like Erdem's scarlet skater dress but a vision in blue – and the Phoebe navy and ivory silk dress, £235 – all sheer panelling and Grecian pleats in the style of 3.1 Phillip Lim. The latter would have been my dress of choice had my size had been available, but the Sabina ivory crepe dress, £295, stole my heart, too. A dressy pleated number with a beaded hemline, it's more classic than the Siri and just as elegant as the Phoebe. It also comes in black, too.
So, need convincing to check the Whistles treasure map tomorrow? Thought not. Click here to go there now. The prizes may not all be as amazing as a free dress (another of today's offers was a Freida tee for £10 – normally £40 – with any purchase over £40, available in four selected stores) but with lots of stores on the map, I'm sure Thursday will have many more treasures to be discovered!