I love to shop. But I have to tell you a secret… When it comes to shopping for clothes, for myself, I find it a bit exasperating!

I mean I do okay, but I could be a bit more organised and certainly more brave. If you saw how many striped tops, earth-toned comfy sweaters and jeans I own, you would know this to be true.

I have always been interested in seeking the help of a personal stylist. Someone who could snap me out of my chronic shopping rut. I have always thought it was way too expensive to hire one or that I had to buy thousands of euros worth of clothes to do so. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

I wanted to make sure my choice of stylist wasn’t only into trends, took the time to get to know me and had an open mind and a free spirit when it comes to style. Then I met Martha Gilheaney.

I have always loved her style and her light-hearted Instgram posts, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and spend a day shopping under her careful and considerate guidance.

I booked an appointment with this Dublin-based stylist and she gave me the most stress-free shopping experience ever!

Once I booked the appointment, Martha sent me a very thorough questionnaire about my lifestyle including what I think my personal style is, what colours I like and dislike, shops I prefer, body shape and whether I am shopping for a special occasion, work or just a general update in my wardrobe. I found the questionnaire very cathartic and it really made me think of what my style truly was.

The next step was to book a time to meet. Martha kindly met me at the weekend when I had the most free time. We met up for coffee first to go over the questionnaire and make a plan of attack for the day.

The best thing about that is, well before our meeting took place, she went on a preliminary shop, took photos and presented me with options I may like to try on. It is such a time saver and she was bang on with most of the articles of clothing she selected.

We hit each shop and I tried on her selections, as well as some of my own. She held hangers and hangers of clothes while I looked around and then made sure I was settled in my dressing room.

If sizes weren’t quite right, she would venture out and find a different size for me to try. I tried on outfits I never would have dreamed of trying on. Some worked, some didn’t. And if they didn’t, we had a good laugh and moved on…

She also made me aware of when, and how often, I was being too harsh on my figure and brought my attention to what parts of me that I should be proud of!

Martha also suggested that I not buy everything right away but take careful consideration to my budget and what works best with my wardrobe right now. I ended up buying four key pieces that really worked with my present wardrobe and a lush forest green blazer we both instantly knew was meant to be mine.

That ended a day of learning and pure shopping pleasure. I thanked her and proudly clutched my bags of goodies and made my way to the train station.

But it doesn’t end there. After our shopping session, she emailed me an overiew of our day and gave me guidelines to follow when out shopping on my very own again. This is just the extra personal touch I was looking for and it was sage advice.

Was a personal shopper worth the money? Absolutely! It saved time. It saved energy. I believe it saved me money. No hasty decisions, ill-fitting clothes or replicating things I have bought in the past.

Not one striped top purchased!

To find out more, email Martha at marthaslookingglass@gmail.com, visit her website or contact her through Facebook or Instagram. Christmas gift vouchers available.