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This Time, It’s Personal

The personal shopper: you may not have heard of this fabulous service before Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel Green popularized it on TV’s Friends. But enlisting personal shopping assistance is the smartest way to get the goods on where to find exactly what you want—fast!

At luxe retailer Holt Renfrew, complimentary appointments with expert staff “help you manoeuvre the minefield that fashion can be,” says image consultant Christina McDowell, a 10-year member of its personal shopping team. With hundreds of private labels, many exclusive to Holt’s, the service can prove invaluable. Need help with your holiday wardrobe, corporate gift-giving or choosing this season’s perfect handbag? Discuss your shopping agenda before your visit, then lounge in one of five new suites by design firm Burdifilek (their rotunda design is pictured below), each with an iPod docking station, where pre-selected items await your editing. This one-stop pampering shop features a full-service spa, on-site tailoring, delivery anywhere, dedicated elevator and gratis concierge service.Leave your Manolos at home before heading to the wardrobe planning service at Yorkdale Shopping Centre for a customized, two-hour pavement-pounding mall tour. With your measurements and wishlist in hand, one of the mall’s fashion consultants treats you to a coffee to chat about your fashion goals. Want to know if you can pull off this season’s über-trendy cigarette-leg jeans? These pros can give you the skinny on how your rear really looks in that denim—diplomatically. “It’s like shopping with your best friend, only better,” says fashion director Robin Keeler. Bring clippings of looks you’re trying to emulate and get budget-sensitive direction across 200 stores. Register in advance: the $25 booking fee is returned at your appointment as a Yorkdale gift certificate.

First Canadian Place offers the personal shopping services of Cathy DeSerranno to help you navigate its 120 shops and restaurants to find anything from hostess gifts to souvenirs to high-end items. She’ll also do a figure-typing consultation or find special-occasion items. Men get tips on how to keep within their company’s clothing protocol through “business imaging.” “It’s not just about dressing for success,” says DeSerranno. “It’s also about dressing to suit your figure type—and within budget.” FCP Shopper services, including wardrobe planning, are free when sourced items come from the centre’s own businesses.—Viviane Kertész

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