Want a free personal fashion consultant for your next trip? Tips on how you can access free personal shopping services for your next vacation.
“Let’s go to Bloomingdale’s”
Never had four words struck terror in my heart like those four from my friend. I was starting new job with 25% travel. I needed clothes that were low maintenance, stylish, and professional.
This would be my first time at a Bloomingdale’s Department Store. Raised poor, I found that expensive department stores brought out my worst fears:
Why is she here? Can she really afford anything here? That’s what my brain tells me the salespeople are thinking.
Lucky for me, my friend had none of these issues.
I am glad I went with her to Bloomingdale’s. I learned a secret that I didn’t know: most department stores offer personal shopping services.
Mind blown. Game changer.
Why go to a department store?
A number of Department stores offer free personal shopping services. The reason why to go to a Department store instead of shopping online is that you can actually get to see and try on items.Truly open access – Department stores are open to the public. You don’t have to create an account or submit any personal information in order to access them. You just walk through the doors
Keep on trend – because department stores are seasonal, you can guarantee that most of the items they carry follow current fashion trends. No more having to worry about whether the items you’ll find are out of fashion.
One stop shop for clothing – Department stores carry a number of different brands. You access dozens to hundreds of boutiques in one location.
Shop like a VIP – who doesn’t want to have personal attention? No more waiting in line, tapping your toes while trying to make eye contact with a very busy sales associate. Going to department store provides you the opportunity to get one on one attention.
Sample before you buy – we’ve all been there when the package arrives from items that you purchased online. You try them on and find out that they don’t fit. Shopping at a department store allows you a chance to try things on before you buy.
Be surprised – Oftentimes Department stores carry unique items. So you can find things that you weren’t expecting when shopping there.
Where to find the personal shopper
There are 2 ways for you to find the personal shopper at your local Department store.
- Make an appointment – I recommend you ake an appointment in advance. Most Department stores including Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale’s all allow you to schedule time with their complimentary personal shopping services in advance. This is the best use of everyone’s time as you can guarantee that you have an appointment and that there will be somebody waiting for you when you arrive. When you register you tell them your details about what you’re looking for and they can pre-pull items and have them waiting in a dressing room for you.
- Walk right in – if you decide to walk into a department store, you can find out where the personal stylist is by going to the information desk and asking. At Bloomingdale’s the personal stylist was a woman staffed in the men’s department. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
How to use the personal shopper
I know going in person to a department store seems like it will take a lot of time. However, going to a Department store with a personal shopper takes a lot less time than when you shop on your own. Remember the job of the personal stylist will be to pull items for you. So you’re not going to be going through rows and rows of clothing, because someone will do that for you. For those of us not used to being pampered, this will take some getting used to. Here’s how you can make the most out of your time with a personal shopper.
Be specific – how can you be specific when you don’t know what you’re looking for? Traffic isn’t too micro manage and let them know every single item that you’re looking for, but provide enough detail so that they can go and shop for you. Help them help you. Tell them the occasion, when are you traveling, what’s the season in your destination, how do you want to feel on vacation, what’s your normal style. Tell them what you don’t like: colors, fabrics, and styles to avoid. Share the activities you plan to do while on vacation (50% beach, 30% fine dining, 10% sightseeing etc…)
At this point the personal shopper will scurry off to pull items. They will come back with armfuls of items that meet your criteria and several items that might not. The joy of using a personal shopper is that you open yourself to being surprised . You’ll be exposed to things that you would not have ordinarily thought would be a good fit.
HATED IT? Be honest – If the personal shopper brings back items that you’re just not into, don’t worry about hurting their feelings. The more feedback that you can provide the better they can help pull items that you need.it doesn’t serve you nor them to tell them you like something when you really don’t .
Don’t feel pressured to buy – Just because you’re using someone’s time in a service do not feel pressure to buy. I repeat: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY ANYTHING. Department stores offer these services 100% complimentary. There is no pressure for you to purchase any of the items that are pulled for you.
Don’t be a jerk – Even though the personal shoppers are working for free, there’s no reason to treat them badly. Be firm if you don’t like something, but be polite. The personal shoppers can get you additional discounts should you decide to buy. Don’t lose out on additional savings by treating people poorly.
Leave your number -personal stylists often know when things will be going on sale. I saw a wrinkle free dress I liked, but didn’t have the funds to purchase it that time. The stylist offered to call me when the item or a similar item went on sale.
Find your inspiration by thinking like a spy
The CIA defines intelligence the following way: “Reduced to its simplest terms, intelligence is knowledge and foreknowledge of the world around us—the prelude to decision and action by US policymakers.” In even simpler terms intelligence is any sort of information that you gather before you make a decision or take action.
Use your experience with the department store personal stylist as an opportunity to gather intelligence. Work with a stylist to find new information that you didn’t have before. Maybe you’ll discover information on a brand that fits you well. Perhaps through the stylist you’ll identify patterns and colors that you will want to incorporate as part of your travel style moving forward. Perhaps you’ll discover a clothing trend that you will want to avoid. Either way, you’ll have more knowledge moving forward.
Have you ever used the personal shopper at department store?