I Let A Stranger Pick Out My Vacation Wardrobe And It Was Amazing

I may never shop for myself again. In collaboration with Topshop.

By: Stephanie Mark
Photography: Alec Kugler

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked someone how they’re doing and heard this: “Busy! So! Busy!” Ninety percent of the people I come into contact with are crazed from running around all day, trying to complete an endless number of tasks, and feeling totally overwhelmed. And as much as I think we as a society need to slow down, put down the phones, etc. (another column for another day), the truth is, I’m one of those people—I’m extremely pressed for time. Constant travel, owning a business, keeping up a social life, taking time to do things for myself, like, exercise, or, you know, sleep... not to mention the ever growing mountain of personal tasks and errands leaves me not only exhausted, but also wondering how I am going to get it all done.

In an effort to unwind, I booked a trip to Italy, the only caveat—no time to prepare or pack! Seriously—I moved a few days before I was set to leave and prior to that had come off of 10 days of work travel. While lamenting about my lack of time to get ready, someone suggested the most brilliant idea I’d ever heard—get a personal shopper to do all my vacation shopping for me! As heavenly as this sounded, there was one huge issue: I had saved up just enough for my trip, and most definitely did not have enough money to start paying someone to shop and organize my life. Enter my newest obsession and the thing that allowed me to actually make it to Italy in one organized piece—and did I mention it was free? The personal shopping service at Topshop.

 

The whole process could not have been easier. After booking an appointment online (very time efficient!) I headed into the Topshop on Broadway to start my experience. I walked into the personal shopping suites and was truly blown away. The space felt like an oasis compared to the insane throngs of people crowding SoHo. In addition to being greeted by macaroons, pastries and, of course, a good cuppa’ British tea, I was also greeted by Topshop’s Head of Personal Shopping, Soulmaz Vosough. In NYC the service is available in their Broadway and 5th avenue stores, but check your local location, because it’s offered globally.

We sat down and I outlined my trip. As we chatted, we decided I really needed a good foundation of packing essentials. After hearing more about my personal style, Soulmaz and her team of personal shoppers were off to the races! While I perused the magazines stocked in the suite, she was busy curating essential looks that would take me all through the Amalfi coast. While the experience felt super indulgent, I wasn’t sure how someone else shopping for me would actually go over. I normally treat the activity as an Olympic sport and am very particular about how I go about planning my outfits and vacation wardrobe.

 

However! All my fears were washed away when Soulmaz returned with a rack of the perfect items for me to take on vacation. While I absolutely fell head over heels in love with a floral dress (I mean, I’m pretty sure it was *made* to be worn in Italy) the rest of the pieces helped me put together a well-rounded and versatile wardrobe, that I ended up packing in a carry-on no less!

I picked up a bucket bag that could go from beach to dinner, of-the-moment sunglasses, black leather slides that were also perfect from beach to wherever we went afterwards, and a couple of black dresses that could easily be worn both casually and dressed up for fancier evenings with some good statement jewelry. I was completely set for my trip. Not only was the stress of packing completely lifted, but what would normally have taken me hours of running around accomplished in a fraction of the time. In fact, I made some follow up appointments with Soumaz to update my pieces for fall and also stock up on some amazing denim—so stay tuned for that as well!

 

Stephanie’s Picks

 

Interested in Topshop Personal Shopping? Book your appointment online or at a store near you.

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