PERSONAL STYLIST: London with a Personal Shopper

Today my personal styling services for private individuals are being reviewed by Sylvia Van Driessche of Belgium’s national newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws, reaching 1.7 million readers daily. Thanks Sylvia for this wonderful coverage, and happy taking you on your ‘best styling day in London’! (Thank you!).

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LONDON WITH A PERSONAL SHOPPER

Every self-respecting store chain and every shopping center has a personal shopper in house in 2019. But what if you want to renew your wardrobe and also visit your favourite shopping city - London! - want to rediscover? We handed over our body, budget and evening plans to personal stylist and shopper Marika Page. SYLVIA VAN DRIESSCHE

Who is Marika Page?

This stylist and personal shopper lives and works in London and has the fashion bug. After a short career as a lawyer she gave up nine years ago to study at the British College of Personal Styling. Since then she dresses both celebs on the covers of international magazines, fashion addicts, and people who have no clue of fashion. She attends every season fashion weeks in London, Milan, Paris and New York, and every day she shops on a professional basis. On her site www.marikapage.com she offers various styling packages from Personal Colour Analysis, Wardrobe Planning & Assessment, Body Analysis, to Personal Styling Shopping Trips and shopping tours through the city. I contacted her myself the message that: 1) I’d like to find shops that better suit me. Read: no longer suited to chains full of teenagers. 2) Do not want to include expensive designer boutiques. Read: my budget is not infinite. When I meet Marika, she immediately made me feel like my life mission to find these things is over and let me shine. She is passionate about her styling and every tip is perfect for my body shape and style preferences. And her client focus goes beyond fashion. If she notices that I am interested in a certain members club, she even takes me there with her. Pure luxury!

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What is it and how much does it cost?

With this two-day Personal Styling Shopping Trip you only have to do the shopping with Marika for one day, she uses the previous day to prepare all your clothing and style your outfits for you in advance. The cost - 560 pounds or 640 euro - seems high, but Marika swears to me thanks to her knowledge I will now have a lot of money saved, because I will be able to style myself. People often copy influencers on social media, but influencers mainly only know how to dress themselves. And the young personal shoppers connected to a brand or store have no specialist training. An independent personal shopper first studies the taste of her clients and looks at what colours give them the wow effect before going to shop for them. That client personalisation is a big advantage says Marika. Having said this, Marika leaves me to complete a questionnaire (What do you want to convey? Which iconic woman do you admire the most because of her style?), after which she gives me a Personal Colour Analysis session. She shares with me immediately that "something is not right". Gulp ...Luckily she is talking about my hair colour: all the 'gold' has to be removed, since I am better with pastel colors with cool undertones. Once she has determined my colours, Marika goes to work. She does the store preparation in the best shops for me. Even before we do the styling session, she’s been preparing for a whole day in advance so the shopping is focused. We agree to have a selection prepared in a private styling lounge that she has reserved in Harvey Nichols department store. While fitting I may drink what I want (including champagne!). Marika also helps me with some discounts - insert joyful dance!

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What did I learn?

Through shopping day Marika continues to repeat what I have to pay attention to regarding style, shape and color. The principles were re-iterated as we went along, so that I will not soon forget. And I must say: her reclaimed knowledge saves me today time and money during online shopping. That's how I learned what my wow colours are (powder blue, never thought!), and that I should always have my sleeves three-quarters rolled up the arm. Since I'm petite cropped lengths suit me so that I am not swamped with fabric. Also important: I know which pieces from now on must be left ('A pair of shiny leather pants as this gives too much volume in the curve'). I also employ Marika's trick that all celebs use: three photos of yourself - front, side, back - have it taken in the outfit you want to buy. The result is eye-opening, both in a positive and negative sense. Finally, a good tip is to take ready-to-wear clothing for alterations when petite sizing is not available in order to get the perfect fit. Personalisation is everything!

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• Marika takes me to her favourite shopping area, Sloane Square. With it’s smaller boutiques it is a lot less crowded than in central London. In an affordable store of which Marika suspects something is for me, I am indeed wild. Intropia, I’m definitely coming back! 27A Sloane Square, Chelsea London, SW1W 8AB.

• The Duke or Yorke Square, a shopping centre in a small square in Sloane Square, has several restaurants with terraces. Highly recommended for a lunch in the spring and summer. 80 Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3 4LY.

Cosmetics a la carte is a make-up store that creates bespoke colours for your complexion, in lipstick and eyeshadow made in your best colors, with the right undertone for your skin type. Everything breathes 'Personalized' in Marika's world. My credit card limit has now been reached, but the store keeps track of your data and you can also order online afterwards if you don’t wish to purchase on the day www.cosmeticsalacarte.com.192 Pavilion Road, London, SW3

• If you go shopping in Harvey Nichols you can go to the fifth floor for lunch where they offer both a cafe and a sushi bar, a menu with vegan options and a nice view over London. In the spring you can also have lunch on the terrace during the summer. 109-125 Knightsbridge, Belgravia, London SW1X 7RJ

• Who wants to buy designer clothes at outlet prices? Best take the train to nearby Bicester Village, where you find stores including Paul Smith and Sandro (apparently Kate Middleton's favorite, although you can also find the chain everywhere in London). Whatever you do, do not go to Westfield: you only get a 'styling' lounge offered after you have already paid for all your clothes. Madness! » Pingle Drive, Bicester OX26 6WD

Practical

TRAVEL: with the Eurostar it’s 2 hours from Brussels South to St. Pancras International. Prices from 39 euros. Check www.eurostar.com for offers of train tickets and hotels in London.

PERSONAL SHOPPING AND STYLING: Marika Page offers various packages, from a London Shopping Tour to one day Personal Styling Shopping Trip, which we did (£560 or 640 euro). She also offers shopping trips in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. All info and prices on www.marikapage.com.

HOTEL: the elegant hotel The Marylebone - with its own indoor pool, cocktail bar and juice bar - is a must for those who want to combine shopping and relaxation. The entrance of their Brasserie 108, with heated terrace, is located on the picturesque Marylebone Lane, a low-key shopping street only one stone's throw from Oxford Street. From 240 euros per night. 47 Welbeck Street, www.doylecollection.com/hotels/themarylebone-hotel