I was feeling stuck in a style rut and bored of my jeans when I heard about the John Lewis Personal Stylist session that you can book free of charge in Cheltenham. I first heard about this when I went to the store opening last year, I was one of the press taken on a tour and heard then about different sessions John Lewis offers to their customers.
Then last week my good friend Louise from Pink Pear Bear rocked up at my house looking amazing and when I heard that she had seen a John Lewis personal stylist session I contacted the same stylist, Olivia and booked my appointment!
As the day dawned I was feeling a little nervous about my personal style session for a couple of reasons. Firstly I am not a natural clothes horse, I am short and a typical pear shape and stay safe with colour, despite wanting a shake-up. Secondly, I had high hopes as Louise looked so fab and I wanted to feel like that myself. These two reasons made me feel a little self-conscious and apprehensive. There is a real body positivity movement growing on social media currently and I am not sure where I sit on it. I have spent the past year training at the gym and have a new love of all things weights. I want to change my body shape and am trying hard and putting in the hours. Yet I don’t ‘hate’ my body or anything like that. I am rather ambivalent, I don’t love it or despise it. It has served me well and I probably do not look after it as well as I should. I would like to be slimmer but don’t have the willpower over my eating!
Over the past few years since leaving teaching jeans have become my uniform and I am bored with them. However, I had lost my identity with fashion and played safe. I tend to buy clothes when online shopping and that isn’t good enough it seems. I need to try things on and see a wider range which is exactly what was achieved during my John Lewis Personal Stylist Session. My second approach to shopping is buying what looks good on others but of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it suits me!
Once I arrived at the department store Olivia welcomed me into a large room which was my safe space to really experiment with patterns, colours and styles. We chatted about what I wanted and Olivia showed me some of the things she had already picked out for me based on what I had said at our initial chat.
The first outfit was a very long skirt which I adored and Olivia showed me how to tuck in the tee shirt to wear it to its best. Then she added a denim jacket, again showing me to roll the sleeves and pop the collar up. It is these small details that really made the outfit and it is also the things that I needed to be shown and told!
With one outfit bang on I started to feel more relaxed, the coffee and prosecco helped too! Olivia nipped out onto the shop floor to find more pieces for me to try and then I found my stride! Whole outfits were put together, including shoes, accessories and clothes and then piled into an ‘Emma loves pile’
Two hours past by so quickly and Olivia left me to decide what I wanted to buy – there is no hard sell and there is no min spend when receiving the John Lewis personal stylist session but I imagine most people will buy as they do such a good job of meeting the brief you shared! My choices were then taken to be wrapped and bagged up whilst I finished my drink.
I bought several outfits, most pieces I would never have tried on and yet I adore them (like those spotted trousers). I feel great wearing them and also have a much better understanding of what I could wear and what details I should be looking for. One area I am conscious of is my stomach. Therefore I often tried to hide it with longer tops which actually drowned me out. I have a small waist and learned what styles will suit me – really high waist, nipped in clothes and even short tie tops! Who knew!
In addition, the session highlighted the importance of key accessories like a statement necklace, a smart Radley backpack, a pair of white trainers and a pair of block flats. A good backpack can look great with any outfit but is practical too, especially for days out.
I totally recommend getting a John Lewis personal stylist to put together some outfits for you this summer as it really is an eye-opening experience and left me feeling amazing, even if my bank balance is a little lighter! As I said, this is all offered for free. Many of the pieces I bought were from designers and ranges that I had never tried before and I know I will be keeping an eye on their drops from now on. For those considering booking a session don’t feel that the stylist will choose really expensive items for you, you can say what your price range is. One of my jumpsuits was reduced to £30 and a pair of trousers was also in the sale I snapped up that bargain I can tell you!!
This was a great experience and one I will definitely use again.