Walk down any city street at lunchtime, and it's obvious there are still a lot of corporate men who have only the most basic idea when it comes to contemporary suiting with style.
You'll do yourself no favours asking for a promotion wearing an ill-fitting, poorly cut or out-of-date suit. If a man can't do something so simple as dress himself properly, the reasoning goes, how will he take on that extra responsibility? Is he really worth the extra coin?
Hopelessly lost when it comes to basic style knowledge? This is where having your own Personal Shopper becomes a necessity.
It needn't be an expensive exercise. Australia's premier department store, David Jones, offers a complimentary service where a Personal Shopper will look after you as if you had walked into a stand-alone boutique or even a tailor. It's obligation-free and available to every David Jones customer.
Amanda Edey, David Jones' In Store Services Manager, says there is a Personal Shopper in each DJs' store across Australia, with the addition of Stylists in major CBD locations. These CBD locations include a decadent Personal Shopping suite; a luxurious private space where the customer is greeted with complimentary Champagne on arrival, and the Stylist walks them through whatever they are looking for.
"The idea is to make the whole process as simple and effortless as possible," Edey says. "You work in partnership with your Stylist or Personal Shopper, and let them do all the legwork to create your perfect tailored look."
Your every need
Customers are invited to book an appointment in-store or online, they will be asked a few simple questions to let our team know a little about their existing style, what brands they like to wear, their budget, and what they need their new outfit for; a suit for work, a day at the races, even wedding groups. We regularly have the groom, and his groomsmen work with our team," Edey says.
The Stylist or Personal Shopper will assemble a selection of looks and have them ready for when the customer arrives.
"You'll be invited to try each piece on and we'll work with you to create the look that you are after," Edey says. "Styling is a whole solution, so if you are coming in for a suit, we will show you the best shirt options to go with that suit. We'll also look at ties, shoes, pocket squares. Plus, we'll show you different ways to get the most out of your look, so you're getting real value for money.
"As a customer you arrive with a personal vision in your mind and our goal is to help you achieve that vision."
Style with ease
Personal Shoppers take their lead from the customer, Edey says, and work hard towards establishing the sort of long-term relationship you might have with your tailor. "Once we get to know you; what you enjoy wearing, your size, and what you look good in, it makes the experience very, very easy."
And if any item needs a bit of a nip or a tuck, David Jones also has a fashion alteration service available in every store. "These services make it simpler," Edey says. "It's how men like to shop."
Sydney-based professional Steven Smith* is a fan of the personal shopping experience and has worked closely with a David Jones Market Street stylist.
"I am so time-poor, so I always ring ahead. The know me, my sizes, the brands I like and has everything ready for me when I arrive."
Mix and match
Smith says the experience has broadened his fashion horizons. "[My stylist] has a great sense of style and pushes my boundaries a bit, but I expect that," he says.
"I have been introduced to new levels of quality and I feel more professional with some of the more sophisticated colour mixes; many I would not have chosen myself. I also appreciate that I'm offered a selection from across different brands, rather than just the one. My wife is really pleased that she doesn't have to think about dressing me any more!"
As for the suits themselves, customers are spoiled for choice at David Jones with a range of made-to-measure options for a complete, custom-made suiting experience from brands including Canali, Joe Black, Rembrandt Armani Collezoni, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Gieves and Hawkes.
Time to shine
There are also several made-to-order labels available where customers can decide on the elements of their suit and the pattern from a range of master patterns : among them D'Urban, Anthony Squires and Uberstone, where you can choose everything, from fabric to buttons, with the assistance of a Personal Shopper.
"If you're a professional who doesn't have a whole lot of free time, and can do with some assistance building a wardrobe, having a professional shopper on call is a no-brainer," Smith says.
Edey says David Jones' male customers also use the Personal Shopping Services for gift buying. "They give us the brief, we select the items, wrap them, include a card and can even courier the goods to you if you can't get to the store."
*name has been changed for privacy reasons.
This article is sponsored by David Jones.