I love the film ‘Pretty Woman’, I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it, but it just has that ‘feel good’ factor!
Anyway, it was the day of Storm Doris; my son had an appointment in London… Getting there was an adventure, a fallen tree blocked our line, and the station lay on taxis to take us to the next line along. It all went well and we thought we’d spend the rest of the day shopping 🙂
I think I’ve passed on my love of clothes and design to my children, and C. especially will happily spend hours in Selfridges looking at beautiful details on clothes and how they’ve been made…Now we’re just ordinary people who love clothes and because of running my own business, I’m also constantly drawing their attention to customer service, good and bad and discussing businesses.
I’d read about the Ralph Lauren flagship store opening in New Bond Street and C. had an eye on one of their tracksuits, so we thought we’d take a look…
It’s a grand double fronted store and the doorman let us in…Once in the hallway, I must admit, we stopped in confusion, had we made a mistake? There were no clothes in sight. To our left appeared a sitting room, in front a huge wooden staircase and to the left a library. A young woman appeared, cheerfully asking what we’d like to see, I replied ‘men’s tracksuits’ and she ushered us into the ‘library’ and said she’d find someone. A moment later a smiling young man was there to help us…
When we explained what we were looking for, he walked to the bookcase and moved along the hanging ladder, C. and I looked at each other, wondering what on earth he was doing, when he opened a ‘secret door’ and there were shelves full of stock. It felt like Harry Potter!
He asked us if we’d like a drink, we declined, then he took us through to a room at the back, this did have clothes 🙂 it was buzzing with people selecting their choices, each with an attentive assistant. He greeted a couple of customers like old friends and C. was taken to the fitting room to try on.
Now I’m a mum and look for ‘growing room’ in an investment purchase. We were discussing the size and I said to the assistant about the sleeve length and that C. was still hoping to grow…Only when the words were out of my mouth, did I realise the gent looking after us was smaller than me…He was wonderful, he laughed out loud and said he’d been hoping to grow too, but it didn’t happen 🙂
While C. was making his purchase, the assistant handed him his business card and told C. that next time, if he emails his requirements in advance, it will all be waiting for him when he arrives…What amazing service! We thanked them for their help and went to leave…
Now we reached the hallway, to our left the door and the street, to our right the grand staircase and C. buoyed up by his purchase, said I should look at ladieswear. Although everyone had been lovely, I’m a shy person and this was all really outside my comfort zone, part of me wanted to exit asap, but the desire to see more won!
A small A4 frame beside the lift, showed menswear on the next floor and ladieswear above, so we went up the staircase…On the landing a collection of model cars were on display for purchase and several rooms lead off, each with clothes of a different sub brand. In each room we were offered assistance, if we needed it 🙂
Up another level was ladieswear, we were greeted by another assistant, Rena, and I went forward into the first room…Now my mind monkeys were setting in and I told C. I felt like another pretty woman moment, when Julia Roberts was told she was in the wrong store! But I needn’t have worried, I was looking at a tiered chiffon dress under a leather jacket, intrigued by the way the chiffon had been made to look like feathers, when Rena stepped forward and said, ‘You should go for this style’ pointing to an alternative ‘This one (the chiffon) wouldn’t suit you’. She was right, I’m a pear shape and would have looked terrible in it and I loved her honesty.
We went through to the next room and as we passed her I smiled and C. thanked her, she sparkled…C. has that affect on people 🙂 and she asked if we’d like a juice, some water or champagne. I knew I wouldn’t be buying this time and we declined…
More gorgeous clothes in gold’s, ivory’s and sands and in the centre a huge screen showing them in a fashion show. ‘Now this would suit you’ she said, taking a gorgeous ivory jacquard jumpsuit and pulling in its waist, lifting it to blouse over to give more idea of what it would be like on the body and she was right, it would!
I carried on looking at the rails and Rena said the jumpsuit was on the screen, I missed it, but she said it would be around again, we chatted while we waited, Rena is Italian but loves the English countryside, walking with her husband and dogs 🙂
In each room Rena showed me clothes she knew would suit my body shape and colouring. I loved the Navy style jacket with the frogging at the cuffs, another military style jacket also looked really smart, every room housed a different collection…
At the end we thanked Rena again and she twinkled as she told us she was Rena and would love to see us when we were back again…
The whole experience was wonderful, amazingly friendly and I would totally recommend Rena as an awesome personal shopper, with her ability to put you at ease, her eye for the perfect clothes to suit your colouring and body shape and her honesty, in guiding you away from an unfortunate purchase!
I looked online to see if I could write a review, but could only find the website and had been told they are run as separate businesses, hence the blog post!
I’d love to hear about your ‘Pretty Woman’ moment 🙂