When you say “personal shopper” out loud, it has that same feel as “caviar” or “summer house.” It’s luxurious.
But lately, with high fashion accessible through your internet connection and designer clothing brands branching out beyond dressing starlets, personal shopping is changing to accommodate a growing customer base.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jenni Avins took it upon herself to test out some of new personal shopping options available. Here’s what she found:
The Shopper: Free iPhone app PS Dept. It allows customers to connect with personal shoppers at both boutiques and department stores in pursuit of the exact piece they need.
The Results: Hunting for the perfect pair of jeans, Alvins communicated with both stores in New York and Los Angeles boutique Satine … which found her the perfect pair by shipping her three “on approval,” meaning she only paid for the pair she kept.
The Shopper: Complimentary personal shopping services at J.Crew. The retailer provides the service for both men and women at all stores.
The Results: Alvins offered up her boyfriend for this particular trial, and found the only hiccup was differing interpretations of the style description “casual/stylish,” as well as the unholy temptation of being in J.Crew during a 30% off sale. As far as the shopper goes, Alvins’s boyfriend discovered some great pieces that he continued to wear at home.
The Shopper: Bergdorf Goodman‘s personal shopper on the more moderately priced 5F floor.
The Results: The shopper not only assembled complete outfits for customers, but also kept a running rack of pieces her regulars might like. Contrary to popular belief, she was open to providing relatively affordable options.
The Shopper: An at-home consultation with an expert stylist from Style for Hire.
The Results: After choosing a stylist from the profiles offered on the company’s website, Alvins had a free at-home consultation and planned a $200 “closet audit,” where the stylist helped her not only edit her existing wardrobe, but also highlight the missing key pieces—which ended up being a chambray shirt, red jeans, metallic heels and an army jacket. However, Alvins chose not to book the stylist for a 2-hour follow-up shopping appointment.