Make a plan
We know the feeling: you’re searching for that perfectly tailored shirt or the investment bag, only to be distracted by the bright, shiny and new as you browse. And we understand, those impulsive purchases can be the most fun – but to leave feeling satisfied, it’s important to be strategic about your visit too. Ask yourself: what’s missing from my wardrobe?
“Shop smarter and search for pieces you need rather than just want – it’s very easy to be distracted by smaller items, but just don’t forget those wish list purchases that sent you shopping in the first place,” says Bicester Village stylist Guga Filho.
Start with these staples
Style is personal to everyone – and while your wardrobe should be filled with the prints, patterns and colours that reflect your personality, there are some pieces that everyone should buy.
“You can’t go wrong with a black blazer – you can dress it up or down. Everybody needs a good leather jacket and a little black dress, while a good quality, reliable bag is essential,” says fellow Bicester Village stylist Laura Stanley.
Don’t follow trends
“Fashion is such a strong way of expressing yourself so we’ll nurture what makes our guests unique – even pushing them out of their comfort zones and steering them towards an eye-catching colour or design,” says Laura.
While it can be fun to enjoy the latest must-have that season, innate style is about dressing for you. “People get too fixated on what’s ‘in fashion’,” agrees Guga. “Trying too hard to look trendy never works. Instead it’s better to be creative and individual in your own way.”
Accessorise to accentuate
The most stylish people have one thing in common: they know how to dress for their figure. Whether it’s well-placed accessories or a strategic cut, in most cases, it’s the little things that make the look.
“Elegance is all about the harmony of the silhouette,” says Jamal. “If you’re feeling insecure, you don’t have to automatically reach for oversized pieces. Instead I work with guests to help them flatter their figure with a strategic belt or choose the right neckline to accentuate.”
You can’t go wrong with a black blazer – you can dress it up or down. Everybody needs a good leather jacket and a little black dress, while a good quality, reliable bag is essential.
Sometimes you need to size down
“People often buy jeans and leather trousers too big,” says Guga. “They’re made from natural fibres so they will always stretch and mould to your body shape.”
So while it might feel counterintuitive when you’re in the boutique, by choosing a size that feels snug at first you’re guaranteeing long-term wear for your go-to trousers.
Invest in outerwear
For some purchases it’s worth upping your budget. “Outerwear and tailored pieces will always have a higher price point, but they’ll also have a much longer lifespan in your wardrobe. Invest wisely,” Guga says.
Once you’ve found ‘The One’ (or ‘the few’ in our case), proper care will keep them looking brand new year after year. After all, a quality coat or jacket transcends seasons. Remember to use a solid wooden hanger and brush regularly with a lint roller. During summer, have them dry cleaned before storing in a sealed garment bag.
Fashion is such a strong way of expressing yourself so we’ll nurture what makes our guests unique – even pushing them out of their comfort zones and steering them towards an eye-catching colour or design.
Building your dream wardrobe is a long-term investment. “A wardrobe needs to be modernised and adapted continuously to suit our personalities – we’re always evolving so it makes sense that our tastes will too,” says Jamal. So, prepare for the long haul if you want to keep your style up to date.
“As personal shoppers, we become your best friends. Our team will take the time to get to know you and your lifestyle – first establishing the basics in your wardrobe, then updating your outfits each season with new patterns and accessories.”
The team agrees on this: insider knowledge is key if you want to make the most of your visit. “As personal shoppers it’s our job to know the boutiques inside out, especially the hottest product,” says Laura. “We’re like a data bank for the Village – we spot new arrivals and can check sizes for guests before they come in.
“Our guests are at an advantage because we’re always browsing the boutiques, preselecting the most amazing pieces for them. We’ll also enquire with the boutique assistants if there are any additional offers they can do – never be afraid to ask!”