The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

My Trip to the Westfield Style Lounge




Earlier I introduced you to The Westfield Style Lounge concept, and last week I had the chance to check it out for myself as a Westfield Style blogger ambassador.

The Westfield Style Lounge is an area set up within the mall where shoppers can get a free, one-on-one fashion consultation with Style for Hire stylists. Currently there are 3 locations: Westfield Trumbull in Trumbull, CT (that's the one I went to); Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ; and Wesfield Montgomery in Bethesda, MD.

Now I know what you're thinking. "But BB, I don't live near any of these locations!!"

I hear you. In an ideal world, there would be a Style Lounge in every mall across the country (they're that good) but until that day, there is an alternative!

Just send a photo of your look along with your question to "Ask A Stylist" at stylist@westfield.com to get almost-instant feedback, wherever you are.

I tested out this service myself, which I'll get to in a bit, but first, let me walk you through my face-to-face consultation.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Kendra Porter (above left) and Kate Powell, two lovely ladies who are professional stylists. Kate and Kendra are part of Style for Hire and received training from the one and only Stacy London of What Not to Wear fame.

Let me tell you, they are GOOD.

Honestly I didn't know what to expect but Kendra and Kate know their stuff. First, they asked me a couple question to assess my style concerns and fashion dilemmas.

Then, Kate set about creating four outfits just for me using items in the lounge that had been hand-picked from various stores in the mall. Westfield is huge, so it really helps to have someone who knows the latest inventory, trends and even sales.

I was actually kinda shocked by how well the stylists understood me, but playing "fashion psychologist" is part of their job, Kate said. I explained how I work from home so my everyday look is really casual, but that I need pieces I can easily transition from day to night, or from walking my dog to a meeting in New York City. Oh, and I like bright colors and fun accessories, comfortable shoes and classic silhouettes. You'd think this would be a tall order, but Kate nailed it.

Here's the first look: Love! White top, bright purple pants, a fun pink necklace and denim jacket. It's perfect for me! I would so wear this to the grocery store, then out to dinner with my husband.



Second look, also fab: I said I wanted to wear neon in a way that looks cool and grown-up, and once again Kate hit the mark with a striped top, white pants and blazer. How did she do it? Oh that's right, she's a pro!



Third look: We talked about some fit issues I have and came up with this amazing pseudo-wrap dress with a bold graphic print. Hello, curves and comfort!



We got to play around with accessories, too, like this fun owl bracelet and dangly earrings.



Fourth look: I asked about pattern mixing and Kate put together this sweet polka dot blouse and striped skirt look. If there's a trend you're ready to try, the Style for Hire stylists are there to help, demystify and break it all down for you so you can recreate a look on your own.



We also discussed how to pick a necklace to match your neckline, something I always struggle with. It's these little tips and tricks that can make a world of difference!



As I explored the items in the Style Lounge, I even learned about a few new brands. And here I thought I knew everything about the mall! Haha. These cute sandals are from the Indigo by Clarks line, who knew?!



Kate and I then headed into the mall where she gave me tips on navigating one of my favorite no-so-budget-friendly stores. I was worried Kate might pressure me into buying something expensive, but instead, we headed to the sales racks first! Some tips: Look for those quality fabrics on sale like silk. Don't buy if you can't find your size. And try to fill the holes in your wardrobe, rather than getting sidetracked by cute new things on the mannequins or glossy displays.



Did I mention that Style for Hire stylists do not work on commission? I had to ask. They don't. And it makes sense, too, because a happy, confident shopper is probably going to come back, shop more and return things less. It's a win-win. The style lounge is there as a service to help shoppers navigate the amazing inventory in the mall without feeling overwhelmed or hassled.

Meanwhile, Kendra was busy on her iPad putting together my wish list, which she printed out for me before I headed into the mall to shop. Genius! Equipped with my wish list and $250 gift card courtesy of Westfield Style, I headed to Banana Republic where I picked up a peplum blazer suggested by Kate.



In the dressing room, I snapped a pic and emailed it to stylist@westfield.com for feedback. I got my response within 5 minutes. Granted, I had already left the dressing room because 5 minutes is a long time to hang out (store employees start to wonder what you're doing LOL) but the advice was helpful nonetheless. In the future, I will email my question, then continue shopping while I wait for my response to save time.

I also bought an inexpensive necklace from Francesca's Collections and a neon and tan stripe top from Ann Taylor, also recommended by Kate. (Sidenote: Banana was handing out coupons at the door so I got 30% off my blazer, and I used the iPhone app CouponSherpa to get 15% off my top at Ann Taylor.)

When I got home, I played around with my new purchases and things I already had in my closet to create two new looks inspired by the outfits Kate created for me during my consultation. I am by no means a professional stylist, so I took photos and written notes during my consultation so I can refer back to them as needed.



I'm thinking of printing photos of my outfits out and keeping them tacked to my closet door so I can refer to them the next time I think I have "nothing to wear"!




So that, in a nutshell, was my experience with the Westfield Style Lounge. And while Kate and Kendra were expecting me and I am a blogger ambassador, I really got the sense that these women are truly passionate about what they do and that they'd treat every visitor with the same level of service. I can't wait to go back and I highly recommend scheduling your free appointment ASAP if you live near a Westfield Style Lounge. You won't regret it.

Things you can discuss during your consultation:

  • Anything! Style for Hire works with women of all ages, all body types, all lifestyles and all budgets.

  • What to wear for a specific occasion

  • How to style something you already own

  • How to dress for your body type

  • How to accommodate a changing body

  • How to try a new trend

  • How to build your summer wardrobe

  • Shopping on a specific budget

  • Beauty concerns (yes, they can help with beauty and skincare issues too!)



Do you like the idea of having professional stylists at your mall? Would you take advantage of this service? Why or why not?


Photo credit: TheBudgetBabe.com

Disclosure: Westfield Style is a lovely sponsor of The Budget Babe blog. The decision to write this post and the ideas expressed within are entirely my own.

Comments
This is a great concept and I hope they bring that here to Dallas because some ppl need some major help! Sorry and I don't mean to be rude! Love both of your outfits...xoxox
#1 Berty Morales (Homepage) on 2012-06-01 16:33 (Reply)
Thank you Berty, fun how minds think alike - sundresses and denim jackets #trending

STYLE IS FOR EVERYONE: If there isn't a Style Lounge near you head over to our website and find a stylist in your area to figure out what works best for you.

www.styleforhire.com

Stay Stylish!
#1.1 Kendra Porter (Homepage) on 2012-06-02 22:18 (Reply)
This is a great idea! I would definitely use this service when I'm looking to buy something. Too bad there isn't one closer to me.
#2 Jennifer J on 2012-06-01 18:25 (Reply)
I cannot wait until this service is available in more locations. Westfield marketing hit the mark in my opinion, what a great way to get customers to shop/spend more! The outfits you have on look awesome! I have a cork-board in my closet with magazine photos I've cut out tacked to it for inspiration... the original pinterest lol.
#3 Jessica on 2012-06-01 20:49 (Reply)
how fablous! thanks for this review. I'm also curious to know where that owl bracelet is from, please?
#4 O.S. on 2012-06-02 06:14 (Reply)
The owl bracelet came from a great new store at the mall called Francesca's Collections. If you book an appointment with the Style Lounge you can also receive a 20% coupon for your next purchase.
#4.1 Kendra Porter (Homepage) on 2012-06-02 22:14 (Reply)
Thanks Kendra! xo
#4.1.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-06-03 21:52 (Reply)
Had a great time with the Budget Babe. Stop by anytime. Westfield Trumbull has just extended the Style Lounge. We'll be available until the end of June from Wed-Fri 10am-2pm and Sat 10am-6pm. Make one appointment or two. Come as many times as you like. You can even make it a girls days and do a group consultation. I look forward to seeing you there.
#5 Kendra Porter (Homepage) on 2012-06-02 22:10 (Reply)
I'd love to know where the neon striped shirt is from! Thanks!
#6 Sarah Schmidt on 2012-06-04 08:44 (Reply)
The neon stripe top is from Ann Taylor, $32:

http://rstyle.me/hrewbtgsvw

I highly recommend it!
#6.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-06-04 12:14 (Reply)
Where did you get the pink necklace you're wearing with the white t-shirt and royal blue jeans? I love it. Is it available online?
#6.1.1 Tinsel on 2012-06-04 18:20 (Reply)
Hi Tinsel,

The necklace is a piece from Francesca's Collections. They're a great new store with tons of fun accessories. You can visit their website at: http://www.francescascollections.com/

And, if you stop by for an appointment at the Style Lounge you'll also receive an additional coupon for 20% off your purchase.

Stop by soon.
#6.1.1.1 Kendra Porter (Homepage) on 2012-06-07 23:17 (Reply)
I love Francesca's. Ive found really cute pieces there. I have that owl bracelet but in a turquoise. Such a cute piece.
#7 Tracie on 2012-06-11 14:47 (Reply)
Just wanted to say i loved this post, all your information, and photos, and am jazzed the style for hire will be an option for us all. can't wait to use it the online option since i'm in so cal. thanks!
#8 Rochelle on 2012-06-12 18:16 (Reply)
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