For Mother's Day, my husband made an appointment for me with a J Crew personal shopper at the store that's closest to our home. He knows how much I hate to shop for clothing, but is also weary of hearing me bemoan my utterly lackluster wardrobe every single morning when I attempt to dress myself for work.
This was, hands down, one of the best gifts ever.
I spoke on the phone with my personal shopper prior to my appointment, and he asked me about what I was looking for (I told him I wanted to jazz up my work wardrobe a bit, without going too far beyond reasonable business-casual dress), my sizes (turns out I've been buying everything at least one size too big for years -- so...that's why everything has been looking so dumpy on me!), my personal style (I was generous to myself and said "preppy with a touch of vintage," but really it's more like "clothed, in shades of gray and navy"), and whether I needed any specific items (I said I was looking for dresses and skirts/tops, and possibly a suit).
When I arrived for my appointment, my shopper showed me to my designated dressing room, which was stocked with items he had pulled for me in advance. We also walked the store together and I pointed out things that I liked. While I got started trying things on, he went around and grabbed additional items based on that.
Some things I tried on didn't work (too wrinkly; too short; not work-y enough), but a great number of the things he had picked out for me -- most of which I wouldn't have picked out for myself, because they were bright or a print I wouldn't have thought would look good on me -- were spot-on. He was appropriately flattering without seeming like he was digging for a commission, and he was honest about things he thought were not right for me.
I tried on stuff for a good hour and a half or so, and then we went around the store again and added some basics that I needed (cardigans, layering tops). He also ordered a few things for me online that weren't available in the store in my size. I ended up getting about six tops, two cardigans, a schoolboy blazer, a suit, two pencil skirts, and a fun summery dress (my one non-work item), and I will tell you what: it makes me really happy to have clothes in my closet that were hand-selected for me and that are a little different than what I usually wear. I've gotten loads of compliments on my cute new outfits, and I found exactly the right shoes to go with them (at Zappo's, of course).
Whether you're looking for one perfect item or to spruce up your seasonal wardrobe, I highly, highly recommend using a J Crew personal shopper. I will definitely be calling mine again!