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Try this: The Dressing Room’s styling service

I am so massively in a fashion slump it’s not funny. I wear same skinny jeans (or on a hot day, cotton trousers) every day. I am drawn on autopilot to every Breton top I see, so have am riddled with blue stripes and little else for my top half. I have four pairs of Birkenstocks (four!!). I wear the same jewellery every day. Left to my own devices, it’s hard to break a comfortable pattern, with fashion as much as anything else.

Years back when I worked at the Independent on Sunday, I commissioned Polly Vernon (in her pre-terrifying Hot Feminist days)  to go to Selfridges, Harvey Nics, Fenwicks and Harrods, photographer in tow, to see how each store’s stylist would update her look. It was a really fun feature that made the cover of the mag, but I remember it mostly because I was so impressed by what the stylists had created and I have thought idly for years how great it would be go to have my own stylist.

However, you may have noticed that er, no, I’m not an A-list star (or even Z list), nor a hedgefunder or aristocrat, so ‘hiring a personal stylist’ can be parked alongside the Dream On list next to swimming pool, holiday home and early retirement.

Am I bitter? No. In fact, I’m a bit smug, because I’ve just been to The Dressing Room boutique in St Albans where you can either just drop in, or book a FREE slot with owner Deryanne or one of other senior consultants to have a wardrobe revamp. The Dressing Room has already won the Pure London Best of British Independent 2015 and yesterday was announced as a finalist in Womenswear Independent of the Year at the 2015 Draper’s Awards (and they are a BIG DEAL), so let me tell you Deryanne knows her fashion, but because The Dressing Room is outside London, it has a lot less attitude and much more wearability to its outlook.

True to form, here I was at the beginning of the day – I’d upgraded my shoewear to a small wedge heel out of Birky shame, but otherwise it was so far so predictable with the Muddy wear.


I’d given Deryanne a brief before I arrived so that she knew exactly what I needed. I’m very casual at home, zipping in and out of school runs, but I also go out a lot with Muddy and occasionally need to scrub up for evening events etc. I suppose when it came down to it, I  wanted help with a capsule wardrobe – pieces that could be dressed up and down, accessories that could work across morning and evening wear etc.

The clothes rail - ready and waiting...

The clothes rail – ready and waiting…

The fear with booking  some one-to-one help is that you’ll feel pushed into buying something. But when you’re in the zone, just trying stuff on, it’s not like that at all. You either like something or you don’t. There was plenty here I’d never have chosen for myself – these white sandals (now with 20% off til Sunday!!) and the boyfriend jeans below for starters  – but I loved them. Very casual which is how I like it but a kind of better, funkier, updated me!


Frame boyfriend jeans (£225), Sol Sana sandals (£66), Twist & Tango sweater (£68), Beckonsandergaard Rosewood scarf (£75)


Another relaxed outfit. Really loved the checked shirt and the superfine layering of the t-shirts. Rails shirt (£135), American vintage white t-shirt (£45), Bubble tank top (£32)



An American Vintage jacket (£135) dressed down with jeans or up with fab Sam Edelman wedges (£160) and silk trousers. Shame about the bed hair, but there, you can’t have it all.


Fab colour on this American Vintage top (£65) and I totally fell in love with the necklace.



J Brand khakis – a more interesting casual alternative to skinnies – dressed up with a silk Nooki over-up (£99) and the Sam Edelman wedges again.

I'm drawn to brights and metallics so this was heaven for me.

I’m drawn to brights and metallics so this dress was heaven for me.

One of the big eureka moments for me was seeing how simple accessories could lift an outfit. I love shoes, but have always felt less confident about the jewellery/bag side of things. The Dressing Room has some serious accessories clout, and that was an area where Deryanne definitely helped me out.

If you get a chance to pop into The Dressing Room – maybe you’re on your way to London, which is when I tend to pass, or you fancy a day out shopping somewhere different – definitely go. Or if you’re nowhere near, maybe ask a good boutique near you if they provide stylist help above and beyond the usual ‘oh that looks lovely on you’ flatteries that the Saturday girls know how to use!

And, come on – I can take it – which outfits do you think suit me best (or least!)?


Find more ideas here


1 comment on “Try this: The Dressing Room’s styling service”

  • Laura July 25, 2015

    Hero – you are looking luvverly and def the dress! 🙂


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