Personal Shoppers?
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  1. #1
    Registered User peanut's Avatar
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    Question Personal Shoppers?

    Can they ever be frugal? I'm contemplating using one for several reasons.

    1) my wardrobe needs a serious overhaul and I have no idea where to begin...well I do. It's called throw everything out and start over. Nothing fits.

    2) DH takes the car to work every day and it makes it really hard for me to comparison shop. I could take the bus, but I'd be on my feet for hours, which my back can't stand.

    3) I need help with the decision making process. I'm thinking she could cut through the crap and get me into a position so I don't feel so overwhelmed.

    I talked to her this morning and a wardrobe declutter and shopping trip for me would cost $160CDN. She says she works for every budget. I told her I love thrift store stuff because I love finding a great deal. She had no problem with that.

    She says she comes with an designer/seamstress to remake articles of clothing to fit me. I asked if she could sew up fabric I already had in the house to fill in my wardrobe. She said they could come look and see what I had. Common sense cautious reply.

    She also wants to check my jewelry to see what goes with what outfits. And she has me try on every outfit that works and takes a photo of me in it for a portfolio for me.

    She claims her clients typically can wear the outfits she pulls together for them for five years after she does all this.

    I am thinking of spending my dividend money this year on this. So it's not coming out of our regular family budget.

    How would you approach this situation/opportunity?

  2. #2
    Moderator monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Some people might see it as a waste of money, but if you want a new wardrobe and don't know how to put it together yourself, then I don't think its any different than hiring any other type of expert to do a job that you can't do. Just like hiring an electrician or a mechanic to do work that you don't feel you could do as well on your own.

    Maybe you would waste more than $160 buying stuff that doesn't fit, match or you don't like. Maybe you wouldn't. Sometimes its about more than just being frugal. How would you feel with a coordinated wardrobe of clothes you actually wear? How much do you think it's worth to hand off the stress you're feeling about making those decisions on your own?

    If the money is there, then base your decision on whether or not you think the service will increase your happiness, not on how frugal or wasteful it might be.

  3. #3
    Moderator monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Do you have ADD? Just asking because it can cause overwhelming stress over making decisions, much like you describe above. If you have a condition that makes decision-making more difficult than average, there is nothing wrong with asking for someone to help. Actually, even if you don't, it's still never wrong to get help with things you find difficult. Everyone has different strengths.

  4. #4
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Sounds like the personal shopper would do all the work for you AND tailor the clothes to fit. For $160 you can only buy a few items at discounted retail. Thrift store = way more. You should turn this into a challenge for her!

    My vote, YES b/c of time and stress saved. Its a fresh pair of eyes, she's not going to be 'nice' to you by lying and saying you look good in certain clothes/patterns etc when you don't b/c you two will have to see each other down the road.

    Just lay out all your expectations BEFORE she gets to work on shopping for you so she has a solid idea of your personality's style and fashion style. You both want to be on the same page. Tear out magazine pics of things you are considering and are not sure about and things you love and want etc. The rest will be up to her.

    If you're still unsure, ask her for a list of her past clients for referrals. Maybe give them a call and/or email them for their personal reference and possibly pics of their outfits to see how they've turned out? How did you find her? Is she known? Google can be your friend here.

  5. #5
    Registered User Imarachne's Avatar
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    Clothes make the man--in this case lady !

  6. #6
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I think it sounds like money well spent.

    I have had to make a similar decision recently. With my arthritis I am increasingly disabled and housework is becoming more difficult and painful. As a result it got put off and put off and the place was never really clean. Ok, sometimes really not clean. I finally decided to hire a friend to come in every other week and clean the kitchen (more than the day to day stuff), the bathroom, and the floors. Frugal? Not really, because I could do it, but only at the cost of lost of procrastination and dread before it and real pain afterwards. To me it has been more than worth it - and that's an ongoing cost.

    I think in the end, you would be very glad you did this. The project will be over and done with, and done well.
    Donna

  7. #7
    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    it will definitely be worth it...go for it...

  8. #8
    Registered User peanut's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    Monkeywrangler: I had to chuckle, and was a bit surprised too when you mentioned ADD. People have mentioned I have ADD tendencies, but I've never been diagnosed. One psychologist diagnosed me ADHD, but all my school teacher friends laughed and said 'no way!' One commented that particular psychologist thought everyone was ADHD!

    But ADD I could easily be. I have always had trouble focusing and making decisions. I let DH make the decisions whenever possible. I just feel really overwhelmed. And with my medication for other issues making my head so fuzzy and murky, I have a real hard time thinking straight. I can do simple decisions, but not a whole department store (or more!) full of them!

    She did mention she wanted to get a feel for my personality and style before shopping. I don't really have much of a style, but we had a good discussion while she was cutting my hair about my lifestyle. I think I covered just about everything, except I work for the church at funeral receptions, which requires it's own dress code. But I have the black skirt and top covered I think...thanks to AVON sale last year.

    I came away thinking about undergarments, cuz clothes look awful if they have the wrong undergarments. I think I'll make a trip to a local lingerie shop that makes bras. I don't think I'll order one (too expensive), but I could use some control panties (spanx?) or whatever they're called!

    And I told DH I was going back to the orthopedic doctor to get new insoles. The Back to Life machine has re-aligned my back so I stand funny in my old insoles now. I feel like they're really pushing my knees off to the side...like I'm bow legged. So I think it's time to see him again and get his suggestions. But that will be a hit to the budget of about $300. On the other hand, we would have that hit whether I did the wardrobe thing or not. I just can't go around walking bow legged and not have damage done to the rest of my body somehow.

  9. #9
    Registered User peanut's Avatar
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    Libby: thanks for the idea of going through magazines. I think I'll do that! That will help her see what I like. I'll have to find some up-to-date magazines I can rip up.

    She actually has a website. That's how I found her. And she's even in my neighborhood! Check out Saving Grace Hair Studio.

    MonkeyWrangler: You hit the nail on the head in your first post. I have a closet and dresser full of thrift store buys, but they don't make good outfits. Or the clothes all have something wrong with them - too small, too worn, a stain or paint on them, a stretched neckline. It's just a mess. I need to start from scratch. I'm doing my own wardrobe purge before she arrives to do hers. That will hopefully make her job easier and quicker.

  10. #10
    Registered User stinkbug's Avatar
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    Did she give you a time frame?? How much of her time do you get for 160.00?? As long as it takes, or X amount of hours?
    I spend two hours in the store the other day, tried on probably 20 things and came out with two. Probably neither one go with anything other than jeans, but that is my *uniform*
    Will you post photos when you are done?? Please?
    Stinkbug


    More wagging - Less barking

  11. #11
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    I can't imagine a personal shopper. Literally can't imagine one.
    What does a personal shopper do? DO you go with them shopping or do you send them out alone? Do you pay them $160 on top of the money you budget to spend? Would they pick out a whole wardrobe at once or would I have to keep paying them $160 to go back out and shop some more. Does "comes with a tailor" mean that she has one available but she still have to pay more for the tailor ? That is what it means at the wedding shops. Does it take her longer and thus more money if you have to provide her with a tight budget?

    Also is the price all incisive or will I be hit with surprises, Example on your ladies website it says all personal shopping has to have a personal color and style analyze before the shopping $50 was thate included in the $160 or are the other charges. You mentioned a closet check her website say that is $30 was that included in the $160.

    I'm not saying it couldn't be money well spent. I can definitely see a need for a personal shopper. I just have never heard of one (except on movies and such) and wish to know more so I can imagine/picture a personal shopper.

    Let us know how it turns out when you do it. I would love to know the details of it all.
    Last edited by imagine; 04-30-2011 at 09:22 AM.
    "Everyday as your walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view" -Arthur PBS

    Imagine - Wife of 20 years to Hubby
    Mom to Buddy (son 17) and Little Miss ( daughter 13)

  12. #12
    Registered User FrabjousDay's Avatar
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    Does she have a portfolio of previous work for you to review? The lack of pictures on her website has me curious.

  13. #13
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    I take that back I have heard of a personal shopper other than in the movies.

    Hubby's Grandma had MS and she would go to the high end stores Neiman Marcus, Vonmaur, etc. And they would provide a personal shopper for free.

    Say she was shopping for Little Miss and Buddy a birthday present present outfit. She would tell them the ages and a bit about the child. They would run around putting together outfits and maybe a toy. She would thumbs up or thumbs down it. If she didn't like the choice they would head back out to pick another things until she was satisfied.

    Then she would pay for the ticket price for the items (cheaper if they were on sale just like regular shopping). The personal shopper would run it to gift wrap have it wrapped and the store would mail it to us. That all was free for her.

    Oh and as a side note. Those high end store had the best nursing (breast feeding rooms) Those were very enjoyable/comfy place to nurse when you were shopping.
    "Everyday as your walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view" -Arthur PBS

    Imagine - Wife of 20 years to Hubby
    Mom to Buddy (son 17) and Little Miss ( daughter 13)

  14. #14
    Registered User peanut's Avatar
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    Imagine:
    "What does a personal shopper do? DO you go with them shopping or do you send them out alone?"

    She does either. But I am sending her out alone on a 3 hour shopping trip for me. She will spend 2 hours going through my wardrobe and jewelry, having me try things on, taking photos, and purging things.

    "Do you pay them $160 on top of the money you budget to spend?"

    It's $160 for 5 hours of her time. Anything I spend on clothing is over and above that.

    "Would they pick out a whole wardrobe at once or would I have to keep paying them $160 to go back out and shop some more?"

    She picks out clothes to go with clothes you already have to create outfits. [ETA: I finally got what you asked! If I send her on more than one shop, yes I have to spend extra. But she will return clothes that don't fit or that I don't like for the original $160.]

    "Does "comes with a tailor" mean that she has one available but she still have to pay more for the tailor?"

    If I use the tailor it costs extra. I'm okay with that.

    "Does it take her longer and thus more money if you have to provide her with a tight budget?"

    No. She just loves to shop and this is her way of satisfying her craving!

    "Also is the price all incisive or will I be hit with surprises, Example on your ladies website it says all personal shopping has to have a personal color and style analyze before the shopping $50 was that included in the $160 or are the other charges."

    She did a quick analysis of me while cutting my hair. So the color analysis isn't included, and won't be done on me. I've had my colours done before anyway. I'll just show her my card of colours from before.

    Frabjous Day: I never thought to ask her about a portfolio to view. Good idea! I'm not too worried about the lack of photos. She used to work in the film and movie industry and would personal shop for actors. She has some degree/certification in wardrobe and costuming.

    You gals are so much help! Thank-you all so much!
    Last edited by peanut; 04-30-2011 at 02:15 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User FrabjousDay's Avatar
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    Hehe...I don't think she's suspicious or anything. I just think it would be a helpful way to get a sense of her work. I'm curious to hear about your experience!

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