Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a fashion stylist to be styled by someone else? As a stylist myself, this thought has not failed to cross my mind. So, I decided to find out… the Topshop way.
For those of you who might not know, select Topshop locations offer a complimentary personal shopping experience. You can book an appointment with a personal shopper online or by phone. Whatever the reason, whether your wardrobe needs a complete makeover, you have an event coming up, or you simply want to be sporting the newest season trends, a shopper is guaranteed to help you. As for me, it wasn’t about the help, it was about the experience.
As a fashion stylist, I have worked with many different looks and styles, but there always has been and always will be one that I am most confident with and most confident in, and that’s my own. After twenty years of experimentation and a lifetime to go, I love the excitement of the process; from visualizing to wearing, and the control that results from my own freedom. Sometimes my outfits can get a bit crazy, sometimes they are on the simpler side, and sometimes somewhere in between. But for once, I gave up being able to make the choice myself (for an hour or two).
I paid a visit to the Topshop Soho location in NYC for my personal shopping experience. I was kindly escorted to a private dressing room, where I was able to get comfortable while waiting for a shopper, or in my case, shoppers. Wait, did I say dressing room… I meant suite. It was super spacious, tastefully decorated, and the best part… one of the four walls was dedicated to being a mirror. Amazing.
After about five minutes, my two personal shoppers knocked on my suite’s door and kindly introduced themselves as Ande and Melissa. I had previously made the decision to do things a little differently — instead of trying to explain my unique personal style to them and having them aim to appropriately pull outfits from the store to match it as closely as possible, I was going to give them the creative latitude to coordinate as they wished. I only gave them one piece of information to kickstart the session: I love color.
After that was said and noted, in addition to my top, pant, and shoe size, Ande and Melissa began their search. And me? I was able to join them, sneaking peeks at their selections but saying nothing.
A little while later, with their hands full of fashion pieces, Ande, Melissa, and I made our way back to the dressing suite. They hung up their choices close enough for me to know which ones went together and far enough for me to distinguish one outfit from the next.
Each shopper individually styled two outfits, making four in total for me to try on. Ande’s picks were first to make an impression.
The first outfit I tried on ended up being my favorite (and Ande and Melissa’s favorite too). It highlighted pink and gray as a color combination. This is a combination that is uncommon and for that reason, I’m a fan. While the turtleneck (my preferred winter wardrobe staple), high-waisted pants, and shoes played with the lightness and darkness of one hue, the pop of pink in the coat was obviously my favorite part of the whole emsemble. My least favorite? The loafers, for they were a bit short of a cool factor.
Look two contained an accent color of royal blue — the color I actually was dressed in from head to toe that day (not kidding). Ande even joked that she was not sure if I needed any more of that color. Either way, the colorful plaid coat and the blue sweater went very well together( look at those sleeves!). It was a cute outfit, but I probably would have paired it with a different pair of pants and shoes… that’s if I was the stylist that day.
Look three was Melissa’s first outfit for me. It was also the one I would least likely pull for myself, which was not a bad thing. This day was not about what I would do. Plus, I liked how different it was compared to the other two looks, considering it was one for the warmer months. The boots however, I would totally wear as soon as tomorrow.
Look four was the final outfit, and I was upset about it — not the outfit, but about the fact that my personal shopping experience was coming to an end. I must say, it took a lot out of me not to leave with that statement jacket and black turtleneck (which had puffy sleeves not pictured in my photo). As for the pants… a little too “70’s” for my style, but surely well paired.
Just like that, I no longer had to wonder what it was like for a fashion stylist to be styled by someone else. Though I left the personal shopping session without that signature white paper bag with Topshop written in black across it, filled with new goodies for my wardrobe, I left with a smile on my face and many good things to say about the service.
From the minute I walked into the personal shopping area of a multi-floor Topshop to the minute I walked out, I felt valued. I could not have asked to encounter a group of employees more friendly, more willing to help, and more ready to shop till they drop for a customer. When something didn’t fit properly, my shoppers were prepared.
Therefore, I would like to thank Topshop and more importantly Ande and Melissa, or @andesabo12 and @melissajude_ on Instagram. Yes, I asked for their Instagrams because now I was curious about their own personal styles too!
And if by this time you’re wondering how the four outfits I was styled in compared to my actual fashion taste, my Instagram might help you out: @nicoleoplonski.