Belfast-based, clothes-loving, shopping-obsessed, mum of 3. Wearable fashion on a budget for busy women

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Personal Styling Appointment

It's Style September in Victoria Square, Belfast and as part of the special fashion events going on every week, Rebecca McKinney, the VS Personal Stylist, offered to show me some gorgeous new autumn/winter outfits. No matter how happy you are about shopping for yourself, it's a great idea to once in a while to use a personal shopper. 
Before I visited, Rebecca sent me a questionnaire about my vital statistics, preferred colours & shops, lifestyle and most importantly, budget. Two days later, I headed to the private styling suite in Victoria Square to try on my outfits and enjoy a glass of wine! The first outfit was from River Island..
Black Plether Detail Skinny Jeans - £40
Suede Ankle boots with Zip Detail - £40
Tweed/Pleather Biker Style Jacket - £60
(White Vest - Primark - my own!)
Firstly, the jeans. Perfect if you want to introduce a little bit of the leather trend into your daily wardrobe. They are regular stretchy skinny jeans with a panel of pleather running down the side.
Secondly, the boots. A great heel height for the school run but the zip and heel detail just makes them a little bit different. They would work great for a night out too.
But it was the jacket that won me over. It brings a bit of rock chick to the school run but also ticks the leather/tweed trend boxes this autumn winter. If (like me) you find a blazer a little bit too dressy for daily wear, this is a fantastic alternative. Here's a close up..drool...
Sticking with the green theme, Rebecca suggested I try on a mint green top - part of the Lana del Rey collection for H&M. It's not a colour I would chose for myself but I was pleasantly surprised...
Mint Chiffon Shirt by Lana del Rey (not yet available online)
Outfit number three addressed my requirement for a few sparkly but age appropriate pieces for fashion shows and events that I would go to now and again...and also for the upcoming party season..
Stone Chiffon Embellished Top - £45
Jeans - as before
This top is so flattering as it's a little longer at the back. I just wanted to swish around wearing it all morning! And I'm guessing you've noticed the Kurt Geigers pewter studded beauties...they get a whole photo of their own..
General by Kurt Geiger - £135 because every girl should have a pair of sparkly heels!
Necklace - H&M £14.99
These shoes are a wish list item and most certainly not a school gate option but I could see them coming out again and again for nights out over the years. Going to watch out for them in the sales. But isn't that necklace fantastic for £14.99? I wore it with the shoes for another outfit involving some daring patterned jeans..
Patterned Jeans - H&M - £9.99
Shoes & Necklace as before
Jersey Tee with Chiffon neckline - H&M - £7.99
Black Blazer - H&M - £29.99
These jeans are not for the faint hearted but despite being a bold pattern, it's actually quite flattering as it's going in the right direction to elongate the legs. And the £135 price tag for the shoes seems less of an issue when you consider this whole outfit comes in under £200.
I kept the top and necklace but changed the trousers for the next outfit - incorporating this autumn/winter's must have - burgundy jeans..
Burgundy Jeans - H&M - £14.99
Checked Scarf - H&M (not online)
Nude Pumps - H&M £24.99
Loved these jeans and the scarf Rebecca chose to wear with them. It's a perfect cosy shawl style scarf that can be worn in lots of different ways (I feel another scarf blog post coming on!). I also was amazed at how comfortable these nude patent pumps's a close up..
If you're in the market for a Kate Middleton-style pair of platform nude courts but don't have her budget, I can highly recommend these bargainous beauties.
For a daytime look, Rebecca styled the burgundy jeans with a super-cute cream sequin collar top from H&M and a tweed blazer. I loved this nod to the heritage trend.
Blazer - H&M - £29.99
Sequin Cream Short Sleeved Top - H&M - £14.99 (not online)
Shoes & Jeans as before
By now I was sold on my burgundy jeans so Rebecca produced her most daring outfit and another one most certainly for nights out lame trousers..
Gold Trousers & Coral Blouse - H&M (not online)
This was the only combination I was unsure of when I saw my rail of clothes upon arrival but I have to say, it looked better on me than on the hanger. If you dare to be different, I think they are a great night out option and a change from boring black.

My verdict on the experience? Fantastic! Budget aside, I would have happily bought and worn regularly everything on the rail. And with one or two exceptions, I would have walked past ALL of the items if I was out shopping myself. If you are someone who dislikes or has limited time to shop, this is perfect for you. 
For 2 hours of Rebecca's time, you pay just £30. This can be entirely spent in the style suite or walking around the stores in Victoria Square, or a mixture of both. Rebecca is not aligned to any of the stores and there is no pressure to buy anything. However, her talent at picking what suits your colouring, body shape and lifestyle is so good, you'll struggle not to want to buy all of her choices.
If you're not in Northern Ireland and like the sound of this, check out your local shopping centre to see if they offer this service too! And if it seems a bit daunting, ask if you can bring a friend. Rebecca told me she is happy to cater for small groups as well as individuals.
For more information, check out the Victoria Square website on this link. 

Oh and if you're NI based and fancy a girly night out this Thursday, there are tickets available for the Victoria Square Style Soiree at the Elmwood Hall. A great night of fashion is promised. Yours truly will be there reporting for the blog...cannot wait x


  1. She picked some great pieces. I really love the gold pants. I saw them at H&M, really want them but where am I going to wear them? Not even Costco could handle them.

    1. Yes, they are a one-hit wonder for some great event. After that...not sure..but at £12.99, I guess that's ok! Avril x

  2. Sounds like a good investment. I think the burgndy jeans and Pleater/Tweed jacket are my favourites.

    1. Thanks Jane...mine're all making me want to go back to buy the jacket! Avril x

  3. It's my birthday next week, 40 somethingth...I've lost track. I think I'll definitely book a session with Rebecca. Some fabulous, very wearable choices there. I'd love to go to the Elmwood event but have my daughter's book group instead...priorities! ;-)

    1. You would love it - such a relaxed pampering experience. The wine went down well too, as you can tell from my smily face (I wasn't driving!). Let me know if you do it and tell Rebecca I sent you! Avril x

  4. Oooooh! Some lovely clothes! Particularly love the pleather/tweed jacket and the leather panelled jeans. Now I just have to find a way to justify a purchase!!

    1. Me too - there is just SO much in the shops right now...not fair! Avril x

  5. I like the River Island Tweed/Pleather Biker jacket on you - it's a lot more you than the Primark one you featured a few days ago - you looked a little outside your comfort zone in that one but your face says a different picture in this so I guess you must feel a lot happier in this one. It's kind of rocks but in your way if you understand? Everyone can work a trend to suit themselves. And the burgundy skinnies are good - you have good legs for skinnies. Work them if you can is what I say.

    1. You are very astute Sue...I definitely feel more at home in this jacket. The other one was just too casual for me. Good spot. Do you know, I spent my 20's thinking I had fat legs and wouldn't entertain skinnies...duh! Going to wear them well into my 60's to make up for that! lol x

  6. The jacket in the first picture is my favourite - I love it.



  7. For anyone on this side of the pond, John Lewis does a one hour free styling session. My local JL store in Welwyn has some fab stylists and there is no pressure to buy anything. Especially good if you want to look at new season looks and are not sure or if you have an event/wedding coming up and want to try something different.
    Love the tweed/pleather jacket Avril - really suits you!

    1. Thanks for that Liz! And you can always visit Rebecca on your next visit home?! Avril x

  8. Love the River Island jacket, saw it in their Bangor store last week, but wasn't sure if it suited me. After seeing how fab it looks on you think I will try it on asap! Love the sparkly Kurt Geiger shoes and sparkly top! You look stunning! Gina x

  9. That River Island jacket is fantastic - LOVE it! The color is gorgeous!

  10. love all of these items on you! can't wait to see what you got!

    xx amy
    Leopard and Lillies

  11. I love everything that was chosen for you! Don't dismiss those gold trousers you have the figure and are young enough, so wear them while you can xx

    1. Thanks Sharron...that's kind of you. I need the right event...though I did fancy them for Christmas Day...don't want to think that far ahead yet though! eek! Avril x

  12. I pretty much love everything that you tried on, especially that tweed jacket!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  13. The first outfit is my fav - that jacket is gorgeous . LOVE it! It would be worth every penny and you would feel great every moment you wore it! X

  14. That's the black and white jeans from H&M I thought you would love!

    1. You know your blogmother too well!! I almost bought them today but instead got a less obvious pair...Brian hated them! lol x

  15. You wear all of it well Avril - really like the first jacket - are you going to buy it? The sparkly shoes are nice too. Ax


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