Fiona’s Shopping Skills

Fiona was recently featured in Woman’s Way magazine.

What is your styling philosophy?
I believe in dressing for the occasion and always project and protect the image you are trying to convey. Being a mum of two young boys I can equally understand how challenging that can be but that’s why it’s important to have a go-to number of pieces.

Is there a fashion trend or style that you feel works for most women?
Number one is tailoring no matter what is on trend. I don’t always mean high-end custom made items (although investing in classics is always worthwhile) I mean buying clothes to suit your body, that’s what tailoring is in its truest form and it doesn’t matter what age you are!

Is there an easy way to break out of a style comfort zone?
Firstly do an honest inventory of your wardrobe so you can see the continuous cycle of repeat buys and try and stop doing it. Secondly stop asking for other people’s opinions and try something new; even if it doesn’t suit you might see something in the item that you like. Invest in yourself and take a trip to a stylist to equip you with skills to do it.

What’s the best thing about your job?
It’s a privilege taking a journey with my clients from a simple styling brief to a life changing transformation. I meet really interesting people whether that’s private or commercial clients. The work I do is really creative and I love seeing a concept right through to the finished product. I have laughed, cried and remain in close contact with a lot of my private clients.

How do you decide what works for your clients?
Crucial to success is understanding the client and you need to be able to do this quickly. I ask a number of key questions like budget, their goto labels, occasion, sizing’s and what the client would struggle with when they go shopping.

Who do you work with?
Everyone, no client is the same. We have a mix of male and female from general wardrobe updates, to occasion dressing. From regular customers with strict budgets to the sky’s the limit! Over the years I have probably specialised in corporate but bottom line is we dress people of all shapes and sizes and ages.

For which occasions are you mainly helping clients?
Life. I think the nature of the service we deliver is far removed from years ago, it’s nice to see clients come to us for some general advice, or ideas on how to shake up their style as opposed to just occasion specific. We get a lot of mums returning to work, and from April to June would be busy for weddings, communions and confirmations.

What qualities are good in a personal shopper?
Communication: you need to be able to listen to the customer, understand their needs, have the ability to push them outside their comfort zone but knowing how far to go without making them feel uncomfortable. You also need to be knowledgeable about what styles are in stores and where would be a good fit for your client.

Where are your go-to places to shop?
I like to mix up vintage with high street and designers. BT2, Cos, Zara, House of Fraser, Topshop and Warehouse. When I’m in London I visit some amazing vintage stores.

What do people need to know about personal shopping at Dundrum?
That it is a truly friendly service delivered by experts who know how to look after you. Our job is to help you fi nd what you are looking for so you can love shopping and still enlist the help of a stylist. You don’t need a big spend to use the service, that doing this will change how you shop and that everything we do is with the client in mind and not to our personal taste.

What does the personal shopping experience entail?
Usually we meet the client to have a quick chat as part of the appointment. Once I know what the client is looking for (even if they say they don’t) we take off on our journey and the aim is to really enjoy the experience gaining some expert knowledge on all aspects of style. In the time we would fit in a number of stores and the client can relax while we do all the hard work of getting sizes and putting a wardrobe together.

Which item of clothing makes you most happy?
It truly depends on what mood I am in. If I was pushed honestly it’s probably a piece from my mother’s wardrobe. I love how items of her clothing evoke happy memories and wearing them gives me confidence.