Products, fashion and style

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110 THE LIST "3 .’ :l‘ln.

Join Madge, Julia and the rest of the A-list by enlisting a personal Shopper. Words: Maureen Ellis

e‘re here to take the headache out ol‘ shopping.~ assures (‘laire 'l'urner. my yery own personal shopper for

the day. Shopping. a headache'.’ \Vhy surely there‘s been some misunderstanding. Shopping is the hobby to end all hohhies: a hlissl‘ul. stress- relieying end to the working week. a card- hrandishing Iliootl-tlplillet' wrapped tip in tissue paper and the swankiest ol’ carrier bags. Okay. so elhows-out wrestling to get that last make—up-less top isn’t eyeryone‘s‘ idea ol‘ the perl‘ect way to spend a Saturday al‘ternoon. hut it's what we girls do. isn‘t it'.’

Apparently not. \\'elcome to the world ol' personal shopping where col‘l‘ee is on tap. changing rooms are enormous. and clothes are pre-selected l’or your conyenience. Being a newcomer to the experience. I was apprehensiye: the niggly l’eeling that personal shoppers are the domain ol proper ladies-who-lunch with more money than dress sense wouldn’t go away. I simply don‘t haye the hudget to warrant someone deyoting an entire morning to linding me clothes. I needn't haye worried.

The morning hegan with a pleasant twenty minute consultation which allayed most of my l‘ears. Men and women lrom all walks ol‘ lil‘e. ol‘ all shapes and si/es tise personal shoppers l'or yery dil'l‘ereut reasons to dress tip. to dress

down. to find that perl‘ect something. to

completely reyamp an entire wardron the one common denominator heing time saying and impartial. pl'tilL‘ssiollill adyice. More surprisingly. there is no ohligation to huy: Dehenhams ol'l‘er a completely free scryice and. reassurineg. your personal shopper is not on commission. liyerything from height to bust size to inside leg measurement is taken. and your colours and style prel'erences determined. to make tip a personal prolile which is kept on tile l‘or your next \‘isll. .\'ow comes the l‘un part. With the premise ol' looking for an 'occasion' outl'it. (‘laire selected around l'il'teen ensemhles to look through and try on as l pleased. Some ol‘ the items were more ‘me‘ than others (can anyone real/y get away with leather trews'.’) and most were selected l'rom l)ehenhams' Designer range.

Maria (iracliyogcl spoke to me

immediately. her lloaty silk numhers oo/ed

style and sophistication; .lasper ('onran was

a dearie to winnineg team wool and

heading: while that little black numher

courtesy ol‘ 'l‘ristan \Vehher shone like a lite helt made ol cloth. Had the session not inyolyed photos to illustrate the e\perience

hut I don’t get out ol‘ hed l‘or less than L'l()l\' a

year. dahlink this could easily pass as the

most l‘un you can lime in a department store without heing tailed by a security guard.

But alas. all good things must come to an end. I may haye acquired the lifestyle. hut I still don‘t haye the hank balance to make these garments my own. In the end I l‘lirted with the elegance ol'designer dresses. hut gi\eu the choice. would opt tor the tail—sale hlatk tronscrs and sparkly top coml‘ort option. (‘onlirmation that old habits die hard and old hohhies die harder.

Behienhanig,"00ean Terminal, Leith, 0131 555 5683.