There are several ways I shop when styling a client. Often it is on my own or with an assistant. I usually purchase the clothes and bring them to the client for a fitting. The fitting could take place at their home, a photo studio, or a hotel. I have a long standing relationship with Studio Service at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and over the years I've done many fittings through this department.
Today I took a chance on Nordstrom. I called the Store Manager, Tracie Bolton at the Westchester Nordstom at the very last minute to ask for a VIP dressing room. She provided me with a very nice room within a half hour of my call, by the time we walked in the store they were ready for us. A large dressing room, with bottled water and security (to dump our pocketbooks) was at my disposal. My client was pleased. Clients are paying for my knowledge and expertise (mostly), but that's not all, it's critical that the store provides excellent service and plenty of wardrobe options as well–the store is my backup. I premeditate where I shop for clients and I am especially careful about where I take them if they choose to shop with me.
Nordstrom graciously and efficiently helped us. We went from department to department and were able to "pull merch." and bring everything back to the one dressing room. They sent shoes I requested up to the dressing room to build on an outfit. The tailor arrived immediately. We were offered additional beverages. And when it was time to make purchases, we were in a rush and they hustled. All these niceties make a difference.
My client purchased enough pieces to create between 10 and 15 fall outfits (in two and half hours). I wanted to push her towards all those rich carmel colors of this season; browns, creams, oatmeal, camel... I don't think she bought one thing in black! She got a fun, bright top and gold flats that she's wearing with awesome fitting jeans to a party Saturday in Manhattan. A little leopard silk blouse went beautifully with brown slacks or velvety cords, and a long cozy oatmeal sweater. We got the hook-up from Lafayette 148 in the way of an burnt orange Loro Piana short blazer with patch pockets. This went great with brown pants and cream tops...
And I could go on, but stylist, shrink and hair dresser...must keep clients/friends secrets!