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Debenhams Personal Shopper experience?

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I am thinking about booking a few hours with a Personal Shopper at Debenhams.

I'm a size 14/16 and am clueless with what to wear to make the most of my apple shaped body. I dont like my stomach, but i have quite nice legs.

Has anyone booked with Debenhams Personal Shoppers before, and what did you think?
I'm on a budget, so wouldn't be buying loads of clothes..just some key pieces (cardigan, dress, trousers and maybe shoes). Is there a huge pressure to buy a lot of expensive items?
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  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,354 Forumite
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    Have done it twice.
    The first time was great and I did buy a skirt and top, the second time was not so good and came away without anything.
    The difference was with the shopper. They do spend a while with you and ask loads of questions but the second shopper didn't really get me and what I might be looking for. The first not only got me but knew her stuff and was able to suggest things I might want to try, how I might want to wear them etc.
    No pressure to buy. I did get a free makeover, after my session, at one of the beauty counters the first time - although not sure if that was just something they were offering that day or whether it was a reward for buying!

    I had been ill at the time and the joy of an actual changing room and just sitting there with a drink while a rack of clothes was being selected by someone else to be wheeled in to me was brilliant. And when I say room I mean room, with a couple of comfy armchairs and the space to dance around! The mirrors were huge - useful if not totally pleasant!!
  • WantToBeSE
    WantToBeSE Posts: 7,729 Forumite
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    Thanks Poppystar.

    Glad to hear there isnt a lot of pressure and it sounds quite relaxed?

    I'm hoping i'll get a nice personal shopper, especially if thats what makes the difference.
    Oh i'd love a makeover too, i'll keep my fingers crossed for that!

    I really dont enjoy clothes shopping, so hopefully this will help me out and take away all the boring part (finding clothes) and i can just do the fun part (trying them on).
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,354 Forumite
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    Yes it is quite relaxed and I don't remember any time pressure although I did go during the week as I was not working at the time.

    They will ask lots of questions like size, occasion, budget etc but I would say have a really good think about what is important for you before you go too.

    I know what you mean about 'clueless' but if you've had clothes before that you have loved and worn to death, what was it about them - comfort, colour, shape etc etc.

    Also be prepared to be honest when trying things on, the shopper is learning about you as they go and will scurry off and get more like the things that got close to a thumbs up and take away the no nos. This bit wasn't so hard for me as my face tends to say it all!

    I learnt things from the experience that have helped me in the future with shopping for clothes..I really was clueless, now a little more clued up :)

    Enjoy it! Even if you buy nothing it is a good experience and you'll have tried on much more than if you were selecting, carrying the requisite six items to the fitting room, waiting in line and then trying them on in a tiny
    cubicle alone - and repeat….
  • cloudy-day
    cloudy-day Posts: 245 Forumite
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    I was in Debenhams today and noticed that if you buy the £100 gift voucher it includes - personal shopper, make-over, class of fizz, treat from the caf!, maybe something else too?


    Tesco sell them so you could use a discount voucher if you have one.


    Just a thought!
  • WantToBeSE
    WantToBeSE Posts: 7,729 Forumite
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    Thanks cloudy-day :)

    The personal shopper is free, i dont drink and not that bothered about the cafe or make over. So not really any good for me.
    But thanks anyway.
  • grunnie
    grunnie Posts: 1,789 Forumite
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    I went to the personal shopper at Debenhams in Aberdeen a while ago and was very disappointed. She seemed to think she was kitting me out for a wedding or something like that. I just wanted some help choosing trousers tops maybe a cardi and she kept up with the floaty frocks. She even tried to force me into them and appeared with a pair of high heels to wear when I tried them on. I am too tall for heels and definitely don't wear dresses as I am pearshaped . "Just try them on you will be surprised " she said.
    Got offered coffee from a pod machine which I was supposed to help myself. :rotfl:There were loads of magazines to read though they were mostly wedding ones.
    Waste of time for me.
    Would I do it again - I did a few months later in JLewis and it was brilliant.
  • Timpu
    Timpu Posts: 310 Forumite
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    grunnie wrote: »
    I did a few months later in JLewis and it was brilliant.

    I've not used Debenhams Personal Shopping service so can't comment on them but have used John Lewis' 4-5 times for both everyday stuff and special occasions. It was all very informal, no pressure to buy anything and it's all tailored to budget, body type, personal preferences etc. An absolute time saver for those of us who hate shopping.
  • bylromarha
    bylromarha Posts: 10,085 Forumite
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    Used Debenhams Personal shopper 3 times. Big comfy changing rooms each time, chat with the shopper, tell them likes and dislikes, what sort of thing you want, lots of free hot drinks and magazines to read while you wait for them to come back with a full clothing rack. You then try the items on one by one and give them your opinion. All experiences were no pressure at all to buy. I bought the most items at the 1st one, but that's because I needed to update my work wardrobe!

    1st was in Coventry, 2011 - I needed an interview outfit. She was excellent - got a very full rack of mix and match items, which I could also use for work once I got the job. She picked things out that I would never have gone for myself - some hits, some misses. The interview outfit ended up being mustard yellow, which I would never have given a second look at if shopping myself. She persuaded me to try it on as she thought her fresh pair of eyes would be objective on it. She was absolutely right - colour worked, outfit worked and I felt very relaxed going to my interview in that outfit. The best thing about this PS was that she asked about the things I tried on that I didn't like - what I didn't like about them shaped the other things she collected from the store after her first rail.

    2nd in Coventry, 2012 - I walked in and said "Please find me something to wear for my mum's funeral". PS was extremely sensitive - plied me with coffee and collected a few dresses which met the black smart brief. She did her job well and found me a lovely dress which I've never wore since.

    3rd in Oxford Street, 2016. Not a great experience. I was very clear about what I wanted, but he only listened - didn't ask any decent questions. He came back with half a rail of many things that didn't meet the brief. They looked nice, but I wasn't looking for dresses and skirts as I have more than enough of those-I was clear I wanted trousers. I bought a shirt as once I'd tried it on, I loved it, but that was all I bought. The guy was very apologetic that he couldn't find what I wanted - it surprised me that the selection offered was so poor as Oxford Street is a rather large store!

    So for me it's a mixed experience. As it's free, go do it. There's no pressure to buy at all. And you might find something you like!
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • SuzieW_2
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    I've also used the service a number of times - mostly at the Trafford Centre, but as I don't live in Manchester I've tried a couple of other stores to try and find a good one closer to home without success.

    There is a lady who works at the Trafford centre who seems to be widely known for her excellence. She was the first one I saw and did a great job. I've been back to see her a few times since and she's always found me outfits I love but would never face picked for myself (I have always been for wardrobe refreshes but have also requested occasion outfits as part of that). With other shoppers as the Trafford centre store I've enjoyed the experience, but they haven't hit the nail on the head with my brief in the same way - the First PS seems to have a lot of experience and confidence to encourage me to try something new, with no pressure to buy whether I like it or not. The others haven't really been able to up my style gain over what I've have achieved if I'd been shopping for myself, but the PS experience of having someone else do all the running is still an enjoyable one!

    The experiences in other stores have been disappointing - I've tried Wakefield trinity walk and Sheffield. Neither experience has the same level of professionalism of the TC team.

    As an aside, can anyone help me to find a good Debenhams PS store/shopper in the Yorkshire area to save me having to go to Manchester each time?!!
  • pogofish
    pogofish Posts: 10,852 Forumite
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    Surely as the shopper is your mother or daughter, then you know exactly what to expect?
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