Not too long ago a Facebook friend mentioned that one of her friends, Fitz Pullins, had just started as the official personal shopper for the St. John’s Town Center. As a type of ‘opening’ special Fitz was offering a complimentary consultation with new clients.
I’m sorry? A chance to work with a personal shopper for FREE? Sign me up! I think I reached out to him that day and we got an appointment on the calendar. I was so excited to meet with him but have to admit that I was a little nervous as well because I really had no idea what to expect.
When the day for our appointment came we met at a Starbucks in the Town Center. After meeting Fitz and introducing ourselves he got right down to business. He asked me SO many questions about clothes I like and don’t like, the types of clothes I already own, what my budget is like, and specific pieces I needed right then.
And then he put the ‘personal’ into personal shopper. Let me tell you. You haven’t lived until a virtual stranger asks you one of the most personal questions someone can ask. Very nonchalantly Fitz asked, “So Eva, what size do you wear?” Ahem. My mouth went a little dry and I hesitated but he had made me feel so comfortable that I just went ahead and told him.
You know, size and weight and shame and not being the perfect size 0 is an issue for so many of us. One of the things that I learned from Fitz that day is that none of his clients are perfect and yet making good choices about style and fit for your body type makes all the difference in the world. I already knew this but I still struggle with it to be perfectly honest and it was good to be reminded.
Fitz also surprised me a little bit by having a frugal mindset about shopping and being completely up to the challenge of working with my very small budget. Rather than taking me to a place where I could have purchased one or two items he took me to some of the more moderately priced shops. We ended up at Old Navy and I purchased all of my pieces there that day. I couldn’t believe all the things I got for a little less than $100!
Fitz shared some of his tips for shopping and getting the best deals:
1) Have basic pieces in your wardrobe. These are the items that you need to invest more money into and make sure they are excellent quality so they will last longer. Think things like basic black pants, a suit for the guys, or a classic blazer.
2) Buy classic clothing a season ahead. If you purchase your winter items when all the spring things are coming into the stores you will get the best clearance prices. Just save them for the next winter!
3) Don’t buy trendy pieces ahead. Focus only on the classics that won’t go out of style.
4) Invest in good quality jeans and shoes. You can go with a less expensive t-shirt and look like a million bucks.
5) You must be patient in order to get the really good deals. It takes time and some effort to check back in with your favorite stores in order to keep up with their sale and clearance racks.
6) Know what you need so that when you do stumble on that beautiful sweater at the amazing price you know if you need it or not. If something only costs $10 but you already have one it isn’t such a great deal after all.
7) Buy things that match and are interchangeable to get the most out of your wardrobe.
It was so much fun shopping with Fitz and I learned another valuable lesson that day. He brought me things to try on that I would never ever have chosen for myself. Ever. Although we didn’t like everything I was surprised to find that most of what he had me try looked great! It just showed me that I need to be more open to trying styles and colors outside of my comfort zone because you never know unless you are willing to try new things!
By shopping carefully and because of the great prices at Old Navy I came away with:
A pair of jeans
Cute pair of black pants
A 3/4 length sleeve top (matches both pair of pants)
A sleeveless top (matches both pair of pants)
A summer dress
I would like to thank Fitz for spending the afternoon with me and for being so kind, professional, and fun to work with. It was a great experience. If you are a teen on a tight budget (like I am) it never hurts to reach out to a personal shopper and see if they can help you. Paying their fee, even once, could really change the way you approach getting new clothes and help you do a better job of picking out wardrobe pieces for yourself.
If you live in the northeast area of Florida I can highly recommend Fitz to you. Just call the St. Johns Town Center and get in touch with him or reach out on Twitter. His handle is @fitzpullins.