When you are are lucky enough to do for a living what you are interested in most, it's easy to forget that your knowledge isn't obvious to everyone. Whether you are planning a shopping trip or have an appointment with a Personal Shopper I've provided some tips to consider before you head into town. It goes without saying (I hope) that if you are happy shopping in your comfies with no makeup on then absolutely go for it (in fact I did it today). This is merely a list of things that might help you feel more positive about shopping if it isn't usually your thing.
1. CONSIDER YOUR ATTIRE... Shopping is a workout. If you aren't comfortable walking in heels for an extended period of time then don't wear them. It doesn't matter how amazing they look if two hours in you're whinging about the burning sensation in the balls of your feet. Equally, don't go for anything with crazy buckles, ties or other fastenings - having to take them on and off in the fitting room will get old quickly. The same goes for the main event, go for something low maintenance and easy; if your outfit only looks good if you get that half tucked in shirt looking just right it will only become irritating for you and whoever you're with (this jumpsuit is perfect - made from super soft fabric it pulls on and ties at the waist - easy)! Despite this, don't go slobby either; wear something you feel good in. If you don't feel good, it will filter into how you feel generally while shopping and you want to maintain an air of positivity! NB: A cross body bag is a must if you want 100% hands free shopping capability. 2. ...AND YOUR APPEARANCE. This is especially important if you are shopping for an occasion. I am continually met with statements like, "I can't tell if this suits me because I don't have makeup/fake tan/my hair done". If you know you're not happy in yourself without any of these things then it's understandable that you will not feel strongly towards what you try on because all you'll see is the fact you don't look like how you want. When planning a shopping trip consider the fact you will be staring at yourself in the mirror. If taking a few extra minutes to pop a bit of lipstick on or spritz some dry shampoo in your hair helps make you feel like you, take it - you'll be happy you did later.
3. BRING WHAT YOU NEED. There is nothing harder than trying to imagine how a strapless dress looks when you've got a normal bra on with the straps tucked awkwardly under your armpits or trying to match colours with a top you're desperate to wear that's sitting at home. Yes, it's a ​bit​ of a faff, ​maybe​ an extra bag to carry but it'll make the job easier and hopefully minimise the chance of having to return things that don't work. So if it's a strapless bra, a pair of black tights, heels, or a specific item to coordinate - pop it in your bag. 4. BE OPEN. Especially important if you are seeing a Personal Shopper: being forthcoming in trying new styles, colours and shapes will either open your eyes to new possibilities for your wardrobe or focus your mind on what it is you don't like, both of which are positive. But you won't know until you try! Our opinions change all the time and so does what's in fashion so chances are you might have changed your mind about how you look in red or floral or tailoring since you last tried it! 5. DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF. We all have bits we don't like. Try not to fixate on those aspects and see the things you ​do​ like. As cheesy as it sounds, nothing and no one can truly give you your sense of self worth except y​ou​. So instead of going shopping expecting to find clothes that make you look different, find the ones that make you feel good as you are. And definitely don't get something that doesn't fit! Whether too big or too small there is no point in taking something home to hang it in the wardrobe, waiting for a time you hope to fit into it - it'll only make you feel guilty that you don't now and that you've spent money on something you can't wear. 6. TAKE A BREAK. TAKE LOT'S. BREAKFAST, COFFEE, BRUNCH, LUNCH... COCKTAILS... @stylecompanion www.thestylecompanion.com  Photos by Kirsty McLachlan