Personal Stylist

Remember when I made that Personal Shopping appointment at House of Fraser last year? I was quite pleased with my purchases. Remember?

Well… It took a while for me to settle back down in Lagos – get the children sorted, etc. So it was a while until LagosDad and I were ready to start going out in the evenings. By this time, some of the clothes were too big and I just couldn’t wear some of the other stuff. What I mean is, I looked at them and thought, ‘What was I thinking?’ ‘People will laugh at me if I wear this, it’s so not me!’ and ‘Why on Earth did I buy this?’

I’ve worn most of it. At least once. Some more. But they really are hanging off me now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not exactly lost loads of weight, but those clothes are too big.

Over Easter I bought new jeans and cropped jeans/pants when I was in Dubai. They were great for a while – but they’re also big now. Again, I’ve not lost a whole lot of weight – but I have lost some since I did the Clean 9.

When I knew I was going to London, I decided to make an appointment with a personal shopper again. After a lot of internal debate (I’m just like that), I decided to go with Debenhams rather than with House of Fraser. More because, like I said, the guy from House of Fraser didn’t ‘get’ me.

I checked when my sister would be free (God bless her) to look after Vins and then made my appointment online. I went for the two hour General Update appointment. I didn’t know if I’d need a whole two hours, but figured it would be best to book that type of appointment just in case.

I met Valentina when I arrived and she showed me into a private dressing area. She asked if I’d ever ‘done this type of thing’ before and I told her about my experience the year before. She said that what she did was a little different. She didn’t just go and get a whole bunch of clothes in your size and make you try them on. She took shape, size, lifestyle, colours that suited, etc. into consideration.

She asked what I needed, what styles and colours I liked and disliked. She knew immediately what size I was wearing and then asked me what she could do for me. I told her that I needed help. And desperately! She said I was very well dressed (yay!), but that the style of top I was wearing wasn’t what really suited me. I told her that I wear that style to cover my stomach. However, she said I have a ‘wonderful hourglass figure’ and I had to show it. Oh. Ok then.

She left me for about twenty to thirty minutes to go and get a whole lot of clothes.

First – the jeans… I bought two pairs of jeans. Both amazing. And… Not expensive! I tried on a whole lot of tops and trousers and dresses. While I wasn’t thrilled with the sight of my stomach protruding in some of them, I knew that I’d be doing the Clean 9 again in a couple of weeks! And, I have to say, when I tried on a couple of the dresses, I actually said, ‘Wow!’ when I saw myself.

She told me not to look at all the sizes she’d picked up. But of course I couldn’t help myself. I had to ask her why some of the sizes were one or two sizes down from what I normally wear. As it turns out, she knows the store, the brands and the clothes really well. She knew instinctively what would fit and what wouldn’t.

Valentina helped me ‘wear’ the clothes properly. She told me how to put things together. What not to wear together and what kind of shoes to wear with each thing. And the best part was, she was friendly and chatty.

I was in heaven. And I was feeling good about myself. That’s always a bonus.

Once I tried everything on, I had to decide what I was going to take. I moved all the ‘Nos’ onto another railing. I looked at the ‘Yes’ rail and told her it was too much. She said she’d ring it all up, see how much it came to and then I could decide. I agreed.

The total was too much. I removed several items and cut my total by £200.

And I felt better. So I bought everything else!

If you’re thinking of making an appointment with a personal shopper, I really recommend Valentina. She did mention that she wouldn’t be at Debenhams (Oxford Street) for much longer, and I don’t know where she’s going, but she will be freelancing. Call her – she knows her stuff.

*This is not a sponsored post.




If you’ve read early posts on this blog, you’ll know that I bought most of Vinay’s clothes (to 9 months) before he was born.  There is a good reason for this – it has to do with being in London over the summer, being due in September and living in Lagos.

I didn’t realise quite how many gifts he would receive.  And I also didn’t realise that he would spend most of his time wearing a vest or pyjamas.  

My mum regularly sends him t-shirts or shorts or trousers.  He still receives clothing as gifts and I still keep buying him more!

Each time we travel I buy a whole bunch of t-shirts and shorts, but I buy them in a bigger size.  You know…  Just in case.

But then I lose track of what I’ve bought and what I still need to get.

He has three pairs of pyjamas in 3-4 years.  

And he still has two or three packs of vests in 18-24 months that are unopened.

Last year when I went to London I went a little overboard.  *embarrassed face* 

I bought him SO many clothes.  I think I was feeling a bit guilty for leaving him for a week…

He has worn/is wearing some of the clothes I got him.  And some were too big.

I was thinking about him starting nursery soon and that he would need all those clothes.  

Anyway, so yesterday I was going through all his clothes that are too small and/or not in good condition and putting them aside.  Then I opened the new cupboard (he LOVES this cupboard) and took out all his new stuff and started going through what will fit him now.

I think I took out at least fifteen or twenty t-shirts for him to start wearing when he goes back to school.  

HOW did I buy him SO many?!  And how did I not notice???  Maybe I shop for him because it’s more fun than shopping for myself (since nothing fits)?

They were all 2-3 years.

He was absolutely thrilled.  He is his mother’s son, after all.

I kept the clothes that were still too big aside (to put back in the cupboard) and V asked me why I was putting them there.  I explained that they didn’t fit him as they were too big.

V: Yes.  This t-shirts still big.  Mama, when the clothes get smaller I wear them?

Me: No, baby.  When you get bigger you can wear them!

Never a dull moment with him around!



The Mothership

About two weeks ago, I wrote about how irritating it is to go shopping with my husband.  The way he shops drives me crazy! 

Well, today, I have been driven a different kind of crazy.  I went shopping with my mother.  I know, I know – the general consensus on Twitter was ‘Do NOT go shopping with your mother.  Ever.’  

Here are snippets of our conversations.

Mum: Arun (short for Aruni (which was my name before marriage)), look at this.  This is nice.

Me: No – I don’t like it.  It’s too shiny.

Mum: Actually, no.  It will make you look fat.  Sorry, fattER.  

Me: Err.  Thanks.


Me: Oh – this is nice, look.

Mum: Oh yes, it does look nice.  (She has only seen the back of it so far.)

(I turn dress around.)

Mum: Oh no.  All your dresses are the same style and they’re very unflattering!

(Please note that she was referring to ONE (cotton/wool blend) drawstring dress that lost it’s shape after the first wash (but I still continue to wear it).)


Mum: Look at this top – it’s very much your ‘style’.

Me: Is it? (Really not sure)

Mum: But don’t get it.  I remember you had something similar in Bombay.

Me: But I don’t like it anyway.

Mum: Good.  I don’t think you should get it.

(You see where this is going?)

Now, you must understand that my feelings weren’t hurt…  I’m actually glad that she was with me.  As irritating as she sounds (and can sometimes be), at least she’s honest and makes sure I buy things that look good.  I know I’ve put on weight over the last few months (and I’m going to embark on Operation Fit and Fabulous (this will involve wearing my HotPants, listening to Thinking Slimmer and geting on with MutuSystem) when I get back to Lagos (on Monday)).

So HOPEFULLY by Easter (or at least by the time BritMums Live rolls round), I’ll be looking my best 😉