Several weeks ago I received an email from a Customer Relations Manager at the Nordstrom near my office, inviting me to come in and shop with one of their personal shoppers. The service was F-R-E-E and they would give me a $50 gift card to use toward my first purchase with my personal shopper. Um, yes, please! I was sold. The only real hitch was finding a time that I could come in.

Last week, I realized that I had some availability and scheduled my personal shopping appointment. I gave the lady my sizes and also mentioned that I was looking for everyday, affordable clothes. Nothing from the couture section for me. Only in my dreams….(Debbie Gibson, anyone?) Right, back to the topic at hand.

I was so excited! As I arrived in the Personal Stylist section on the second floor, a bit of nervousness crept through me. I started to doubt if I should do this. I was afraid that the personal shoppers at Nordstrom were used to working with uber-wealthy women with supermodel bodies. “Oh, well,” I told myself. “If it’s not fun, I don’t have to buy anything and I don’t have to do it again.” Within a minute, my personal shopper, Brittany, arrived and we got down to business.

Short version: it was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Now for the details. Brittany had already filled a large, plush dressing room with some initial pieces for me to try on – dresses, skirts and loads of tops. We glanced at the items and then made a sweep around the sales floor, picking out anything that caught my eye. I also mentioned that I would like to look for some wide leg pants.

Style Tip: These are cropping up as a huge trend for spring and I believe they balance out a pear shape.

We grabbed a few more items and started trying on.

Of course there were items that didn’t fit. They just weren’t right for my body and didn’t flatter me. Brittany never tried to convince me otherwise and even when she liked an outfit that I didn’t love, she suggested that we keep moving because it wasn’t worth it if I didn’t love it. That was a plus in my book – don’t try to sell me on something that doesn’t work.

There were two other great, unexpected results that came out of shopping with a neutral party: 1) She picked out things that I wouldn’t have tried on because I just assumed that they wouldn’t work for me and 2) She mixed and matched some pieces in ways I never would have. Score!

I ended up purchasing 4 pieces with several more on my wish list. Let’s start with the basic:

 

A basic long, black Splendid cardigan. It’s incredibly comfortable and way more reasonably priced than I ever expected! There are no buttons but it skims the body nicely and looks very current. I can absolutely see pairing this with a dress, skirt and top or even jeans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also purchased a dress:

I picked this one up as we strolled through the sales floor before our session started. I know this isn’t the best picture, but it’s a great graphic print with strong yellow accents and some deep bronze detailing around the waist. And the fit – flawless! This is the perfect example of finding the right fit for your body. This dress truly looked like it was custom made for my body. I know I will get a ton of wear out of it during spring and summer and even think I can pull it off for work if I throw that comfy Splendid cardigan over it.

 

My final two pieces were great examples of pieces I never would have tried on but fell in love with. The top is sheer (big trend for spring) and drapey. My initial thought is that it wouldn’t flatter me. Wrong! I loved the updated, sophisticated look of this blouse. We tried it on with two different camis underneath – nude (safe route) and black (oooh, daring!). Two different looks and they both looked fantastic.

The pants are black super-stretch Joe’s Jeans. They met my wide-leg requirement and looked great on. Between the inky black color and the stretch material, they don’t look or even feel like denim. These will definitely become a staple. Finally, I have an alternative to jeans that’s a little dressier without feeling like I’m going to a meeting.

 

 

 

 

So there’s the LOOOONG version of my personal shopping experience. I have two tops and two cardigans, plus a cami or two, on my immediate wishlist for my next round. I also want to purchase another pair of pants and a dress that I tried on, but those will have to be a little further down the line because, as my parents used to say, money doesn’t go on trees.

I would highly recommend the personal shopping experience. It’s a great option for everyone: if you don’t like to shop or don’t know how to dress for your body or even if you just want to shop for a lot in a little bit of time.

So who’s up for it? I want to hear what you think about using a personal shopper!

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