If you’ve ever seen a sign advertising personal shopping at your favorite store and wondered what the heck that actually meant, let’s talk. The service is nearly always free and offered at some stores in your mall I bet you never even considered (meaning it’s not limited to just luxe brands and department stores). There’s a lot of value in booking an appointment, whether you’re the type of shopper who loves getting a second, non-biased opinion before whipping out your credit card or you just like some perks.
Anthropologie Expect to find help at nearly every Anthro outpost, with walk-in appointments also available in case you’re in dire need. Your shopper will have a fitting room ready with waiting pieces for you to try and you’ll take a later stroll to pick out any additional items that could create extra outfit combos. If you’re not near a brick-and-mortar, help is available via phone too. See more info here.
Banana Republic The service is currently offered only in San Francisco, Chicago, and two NYC stores, but if you’re around those areas, what are you waiting for? Before you physically come in, you’ll chat with someone on the phone about what you’re looking for and typically like. Along with the professionally picked pieces to try on, you’ll also get first dibs on new arrivals and invitations to events. See more info here.
Club Monaco Every store has stylists available to meet with via appointment. They’ll gather clothing they think you’ll like and offer tips on how to put together various outfits. Book if you like being ahead of the curve: You might be shown items that haven’t even made it to the sales floor yet!
J.Crew Get this: You can schedule an appointment with a shopper at any hour (within reason). Extra-busy ladies who consider free time a luxury should consider requesting a pre-work appointment around,say, 7 A.M. I’ve attended a session with a friend before, and her shopper pulled items she was interested in plus others to style with it, sort of like we were living in a catalog. See more info here.
Macy’s Like many department stores, the brand offers workers who will comb the floors for you and offer styling advice once you’re in the dressing room. Big retailers like this are especially wise if you’re on the hunt for all sorts of outfits since they’ve got a ton of merchandise. See more info here.
Madewell Stylists are available on-call at all stores (or via an appointment). Whether you book in advance to get help for an entire closet face-lift or just realize, mid-shop, that you’d love a best girlfriend to pick out a few great options she knows you’d look good in, don’t be afraid to ask.
Nordstrom Different types of sessions are available, ensuring you’ll walk away feeling like you accomplished something. A “special occasion” appointment will take an hour, while a “complete wardrobe update” will require two (a quick refresher to find a couple of new pieces or outfit ideas needs only 30 minutes). Also worth considering: Stores have certified bra and shoe fitters to offer advice, and there’s on-site tailoring, making this a prime time to ask a stylist what she might alter in a particular jacket or pair of pants. See more info here.
Topshop True story: When I popped by a Manhattan Topshop’s personal shopping area, there were cookies and chilled beverages set out (I’ve been told coffee’s there in the earlier hours). The service is offered at all of its U.S. outposts, and different bookings will cover what you want to address, be it “The Honeymooner,” “The Mother and Daughter,” or “The ‘Spoil Me’ Birthday Booking.” See more info here.
If you’re interested, don’t be shy in setting an appointment and seeing if the service is helpful for your shopping style. Before going in, spend some time thinking of outfit ideas you’ve always wanted to try and deciding which celebs have style you’re especially drawn to. That way, the person assisting you at your appointment will best be able to grab selections you’ll love. A lot of shoppers work on commission too, so be aware that with all that awesome helpfulness is a desire for you to swipe your credit card. You’ll hopefully find some awesome pieces you’ll want to buy, but don’t feel pressured if you’re not in love with something.