We got our fashion writer SARA WEE to road-test two personal shopping services. One made her look like Gigi Hadid, and the other went for full-on glam.
Sara Wee trying on three Gigi Hadid looks that personal stylist Yena (pictured with Sara) – one of Robinsons’ four personal shoppers – picked out for her. Clockwise from top left: Viscose sweater dress, $119, from Trucco, and polyester jacket, $239, from French Connection. Polyester dress, $1,059, from Malene Birger, clutch, $229, from Reiss, and pumps, $189, from Aldo. Wool coat, $979, from Tara Jarmon, cotton top, $139, and cross-body, $339, from Jigsaw, cotton jeans, $129, from Selected, and slip-ons, $200, from Steve Madden.
TIP: This is a good time to try trends or pieces you would never have picked out for yourself – you may be pleasantly surprised. White jeans were never really my thing, but I ended up walking out with a pair. The best part? No minimum spending is required.
ROBINSONS THE HEEREN
Need a wardrobe update, but don’t have the time to shop? Robinsons’ personal shoppers aim to sort you out in two hours max.
HOW IT WORKS
Make an appointment by filling up an online form (http://www.robinsons.com.sg/enjoy-our-personalshopper-service) with several questions about your personal style, sizing and budget. You’ll be contacted within three working days to confirm your slot.
The session only takes one or two hours, and is held in the store’s exclusive Personal Shopper Lounge. The space is designed to look like a bedroom (it has plush white sofas, clothing racks, magazines, and a corner that curtains off into a changing room), making the whole experience feel like you’re going home to a brand-new, well-curated, walk-in wardrobe.
My challenge for them was to style me like American supermodel and street-style icon Gigi Hadid. Yena, my personal stylist, did her research and provided me with very “Gigi” pieces – sneakers, denim, cropped tops and leather jackets. I was impressed. The best part? No minimum spending is required.
Valentino’s (right) and Gucci’s (far right) in-store personal stylists.
Clockwise from top left: Nappa leather jacket, $10,410, silk tank top, $1,050, silk skirt, $2,200, metal necklace with Swarovski crystals, $2,190, sterling silver necklace with glass pearl, $490, gold ring with glass pearl buds, $570, and leather bag, $2,360, from Gucci. Silk dress, $3,420, angora fur beret, $410, silk brooch, $470, gold ring with glass pearls, $720, leather bag, $2,360, and leather loafers, $1,490, from Gucci. Silk dress, $5,680, metal cuff earrings with Swarovski crystals, $640, metal cuff, $550, metal clutch, $3,700, and leather shoes, $1,350, from Valentino.
MARINA BAY SANDS
If you’ve got a major event coming up or are looking to drop a grand (or more) on designer clothes, make an afternoon of it. MBS’ Personal Shopping Service takes retail therapy up a notch, with chaperone, buggy and stylists to make you feel like a million bucks – even if you’re only spending $1,000.
HOW IT WORKS
Head to their website (www.marinabaysands.com/shopping/ highlights-promotions/ personal-shoppingservice.html) to book an appointment and fill up a detailed form. They want to know your sizes, favourite brands, if you’re shopping for a specific occasion, love or hate certain cuts or styles, and your budget. My brief was to find a gala dinner outfit. Budget? Sky’s the limit. You can request that makeup be done for you (at an additional cost), so I did.
Instead of having a single stylist pick out items from the entire mall (which other personal shopping services tend to do), you’re assigned three labels – based on your budget, preferences and requests – and styled by in-store sales associates. I got Gucci, Valentino and Saint Laurent.
A chaperone carries your bags, escorts you from store to store, and waits patiently outside while you shop. Mine was a suited-up young man – with in-ears and wires, no less. When I asked if he wanted to sit down, he shook his head and dutifully replied: “It’s my pleasure to serve you, Miss Sara.” An awkward laugh was all I could muster in response.
MBS is the only mall in Singapore with indoor buggies – and guess who got to ride one? People stared, but I was having too much fun to care.
In each store, expect glasses of champagne, undivided attention, and changing rooms (probably big enough for a king-size bed) filled with carefully selected clothes. Having stylists from individual brands means they do more than just pick outfits for you – they also tell you all you need to know about the brand and the collection.
Verdict: the Saint Laurent and Valentino’s pieces leaned closer to my style and were easier to pull off. Gucci’s outfits were more quirky and daring – completely out of my comfort zone. That said, I did enjoy trying something different, just to see how it would look.
At the end of the shopping experience, you’ll be treated to a complimentary high tea at TWG.
The Personal Shopping experience is $250 a session, but a $250 shopping voucher is redeemable on the spot if you spend a minimum of $1,000. In short, spend $1,000 and the service is free.