One of the only annoying things about being a Personal Shopper is when people ask me what I do. One summer’s afternoon a couple of months ago, I was with friends in my local pub having Sunday lunch – I was fairly hung-over and not feeling my best. The weather wasn’t great that day so I’d slung on my bleached boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt. I looked fine, but as I say to my clients “not every day is a fashion parade”!
Well, the next thing one of my friends tells me is that a crowd of her friends are coming down to join us. They arrived and the usual introductions ensued and then the question came, “So Fi, what do you do?” And I told him what I did…. Now I don’t know whether it’s because people get a bit defensive when they know you tell others what to wear for a living – but the familiar response came back to me… “Oh I haven’t made an effort today – I just flung on the first thing I could find that was clean. I don’t usually look like this…”
Can I be honest? I really don’t care less what people are wearing unless they are my clients, or if a person has specifically asked my opinion on something (well that’s a bit of a lie, I do notice people, but usually it’s because they look fabulous or dreadful. For example if I see a photo of a celebrity in a magazine on the “Red Carpet” wearing a bad dress then I will probably say to myself “Sack the stylist!!” But I don’t notice what the average person sitting opposite me on the tube has on!). Anyway, back to the guy in the pub… he then said to me, “Oh you’re a personal shopper, well let’s see what you’re wearing then!” He made me get up and do a twirl – can you imagine! I actually wanted to say “Well I’m a bit hung-over and I really couldn’t be bothered today”, but I couldn’t because people assume if you’re a personal shopper you’ll always look fabulous! But really that’s double standards – I can’t judge him, but he can judge me. He and his friends then quizzed me about shopping and fashion for the next 2 hours (can I mention they were all men!) – no wonder I exaggerated my hang-over symptoms and made my excuses to leave before they moved on to the next pub, I was mentally exhausted!
Anyway, the reason I mentioned the above is because I feel a little guilty. After saying I don’t judge people, well… I was walking to the tube a couple of mornings ago on the way to work – it was pretty early so I was in a world of my own. It was pouring with rain (of course) so I had my umbrella completely covering my eye line as my jeans and new ankle boots were getting soaked. But something caught my eye. Ahead of me I saw shoes and then shock horror – there was a lady in front of me wearing 10 denier black tights! The woman was probably in her early 50s – she had a great figure and was dressed nicely but I judged her! I wondered why on earth she was wearing tights that made her look so 90s /a woman of the night. If it had been the evening then fair enough, but for day time they seemed a little bit old-fashioned on her (N.B. I know for some, 10 deniers are making a come-back right now, but they’re to be worn in a “fashiony” way with 80s style polka dots and an amazing pair of shoes for example, not with a red knee-length A-line skirt and court shoes!). It made me think about how such small things like the wrong pair of tights or a tatty handbag for example, can make an outfit look dated or less “polished”. I wanted to run up to her and tell her to nip to M&S and buy herself some 50 or 80 denier opaque tights (taking inspiration from Twiggy’s look in their new advert – I think she looks amazing in her pink military inspired coat and black tight ensemble) and then her over-all look would be so different. Obviously I didn’t, I kept my brolly low and my opinions to myself.
Insider tip –
Opaque tights are fantastic for a number of reasons – they are incredibly flattering, as the higher the denier the slimmer your legs look; they suddenly make an outfit look much more on trend and dressed down – I wear much shorter dresses with opaque tights than bare legs, I just feel less on show (plus you don’t need to shave your legs)!
Who does the best tights? Personally I would recommend Wolford (www.wolfordshop.co.uk) – their satin deluxe opaques as seen in Vogue either in 50 or 80 denier, are amazing! Also head to M&S as they have a great selection of tights too, starting from £3 (www.marksandspencer.com).