Sunday, September 2, 2012

Personal shopping at Banana Republic


Behind this door is Banana Republic's personal shopping service. As the autumn/winter collections hit stores, what better time to try it? With luxurious personal shopping suites, a personal shopper to hand and a whole store at your disposal, what's not to like? Especially as it's free of charge, with no obligation to buy. Treat it as a private view of the new-season pieces if you like.

In the name of research, I tested the service at Banana Republic's London Regent Street store, where personal shoppers Adele and Despo are well versed in every single item that it sells. Whatever your wardrobe requirements – from an outfit for a specific occasion to a complete wardrobe overhaul – they can give you fashion advice and help you build your look. It's a bespoke service based on your needs and takes as little or as long as you require.

As Banana Republic's forte is workwear, its personal shoppers can help you boost your professional image, too. From enhancing your day-to-day look to dressing to get a promotion, a personal shopping appointment could be all it takes to boost your career. I particularly like their desk-to-dinner solutions – it makes planning what to wear from day to night so easy when you're busy.

Whether you're sure of your style or not, a personal shopping appointment will open your eyes to how you dress and help you focus on your wardrobe. Encouraged to try styles and colours I wouldn't usually consider, I was pleasantly surprised. It made me realise that it's easy to fall into a style rut.

I love that personal shopping particularly opens up fashion for people who hate shopping, who don't know where to start or who have little time. It's a great confidence booster, too.

I discovered personal shopping is rather like shopping with a friend – but one who knows exactly how to make you look your best. I've bumped into Adele in store since and she's helpfully given me her sale recommendations and advised me what to look out for.

Personal shopping is available at Banana Republic's London Regent Street and One New Exchange stores and you can book your appointment online. With a second drop of its new collections due next week, it's time to get your autumn/winter wardrobe sorted.

I'll leave you with my pick of Banana Republic's new-season coats. The claret wrap coat (£185) is a sophisticated way to work autumn/winter's key colour. And yes, there are capes (my style rut!) but these two differ greatly, from a classic wool cape (£110) to a leather-trimmed trench capelet (£125).

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