Personal shoppers can help you choose clothes that suit you best and ensure you look stylish.
But did you know you could have one for your pet?
January 14th is National Dress Up Your Pet Day. It was founded to promote pet adoption and to recognise the bond we have with our pets.
So to celebrate, I thought I’d write about what happened when I took Daisy to try the paw-sonal shopping experience at PetLondon.
It’s a pet boutique on Wigmore Street in London, nestled behind Oxford Street.
There's so many things to choose from © Les Wilson
They have over 3000 outfits, toys, beds, treats and accessories
But what sets it apart from your average pet shop is their resident personal shopper and Daisy and I spent a morning with her having a makeover.
Pet stylist Rebecca Mundy has spent the last nine years painstaking putting together outfits for furry fashionistas.
She works just as a personal shopper for humans would, picking the right look to suit age, colouring and lifestyle to make sure each client can make the most of their paw-drobe.
“I can look at a photo of a dog and straight away know how I’m going to dress them,” she explains.
“The breed of the dog indicates which clothes work best, although with there being so many cross breeds nowadays, that can complicate things a little!
“It’s important that dogs wear apparel that fits in with their lifestyle, just like us, so when I meet a client, that’s the first thing I ask as part of the consultation.”
Inside PetLondon - the boutique where furry friends have their own stylist © Les Wilson
Rebecca’s clients include Spice Girl Geri Halliwell
And when Simon Cowell wanted a Union Jack outfit for his two terriers Squiddly and Diddly for the Britain’s Got Talent launch, it was PetLondon who they called for help.
You can see the photos if you click here.
The ‘Pooch Pound’ is booming with UK dog owners spending over £12 billion a year on their pets - £1342 on average - according to research by American Express - £90 more last year than just two years earlier in 2016.
I am VERY guilty of spoiling my pooch so when I was invited to try the personal shop experience with Daisy I jumped at the chance!
She was in heaven as soon as we walked through the door, and excitedly grabbed a cute squeaky toy in the shape of a chihuahua then embarrassingly ripped it to shreds.
“I can see Daisy has lots of personality and plenty of energy for a senior dog,” said Rebecca, 58, as I apologised profusely.
We chatted about her lifestyle and I explained she was a boisterous dog who loved chasing squirrels and rabbits, and rolling fox poo.
She wasn’t keen on dressing up and only wore coats when it was very cold.
Daisy au naturel © Les Wilson
Personal Shopper Rebecca had a challenge styling Daisy!
If I put an outfit on that she didn’t like, she would dig her paws in the floor and refuse to move.
“That’s not because she doesn’t like it,” says Rebecca. “I hear this a lot from my clients. It's more because you make a fuss when you put it on and they feel they're being scrutinised.
“If you just relax and do what you'd normally do, so give her a treat or throw a ball, she’ll settle into it.”
Then she whipped out her tape measure and noted Daisy’s chest measurement to ensure the outfits were the right size.
Rebecca measures up Daisy © Les Wilson
Rebecca prefers to work with clients face to face
“Fit and colour are the two key things and you can't see either when shopping online," she explained.
“That's why I'd rather meet the dog. I have an intuition, where I feel I know what they'll like.
“Owners come in with an idea of what they want their pet to wear, but if they chose something that isn’t right, I will tell them. I don’t want them looking silly.
“As soon as you see them, you know what colours work and what garments suit their lifestyle and their personality too.”
Next, she took Daisy and I to see the pieces she’d picked out for her. The array of looks totted up to £395 - more than I’d spend on my own wardrobe!
Daisy and I with the outfits Rebecca selected © Les Wilson
Daisy's outfits were absolutely spectacular!
With Daisy being tan and a bit of grey, Rebecca said bold colours complement her, and softer, pastel shades would help her look more feminine.
First was a blue and white striped harness for £36. “Stripes are the new black,” she told us as she strapped Daisy in.
I’m a fan of the nautical look so I loved the idea of twinning with her. Rebecca says people often co-ordinate their pet’s style to match their own.
I’m partial to a jumpsuit, and Rebecca chose a mini striped one for Daisy.
At £36, it fitted snugly over her front and back legs and looked just like the prisoner outfits from Bananarama’s video for Love In the First Degree.
She also tried a yellow and navy striped T shirt at £34, a navy collar with silver crowns on at £20, and a £23 yellow reversible raincoat - stylish and practical when you live in the North!
Daisy in her Bananarama style jumpsuit © Les Wilson
Layering in a jumper and raincoat © Les Wilson
Having an expert put together an outfit makes sure everything matches
Rebecca said: “Layering is important to put the whole look together. So if your dog relaxing at home, you can pop the matching yellow raincoat over her top to take them out.”
PetLondon have human accessories to match the dog outfits, so we tried a cherry patterned sun dress, at £48, with a matching £20 bag for me.
We tried a striking red party coat, with huge diamante on the collar, at £78. No amount of cocktail sausages or ball throwing would get Daisy to walk in this.
Rebecca and I both agreed it was a little too bling.
For her final outfit, we tried a pastel tutu at £55 with a matching Burberry style print collar at £20 and a pink, beaded lead at £25.
“This is comfortable and the soft colours and tutu bring out her feminine side,” said Rebecca.
“It would be ideal for a special occasion like a party where you want her to look her best.”
Pretty in a pink tutu! © Les Wilson
Daisy in a super bling red coat! © Les Wilson
Our day at PetLondon is a memory I’ll treasure forever
She did look adorable, and as you can see from the photos she loved posing in the outfits.
But as a rough and ready terrier her favourite thing to wear was a coating of fox poo.
We left with a lovely pink Puppia harness and lead set, a squeaky fish toy, a packet of sausages and the remains of the Chihuahua toy.
Back home after a fantastic trip to PetLondon
The Personal Shop experience at PetLondon is fantastic
I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants their pet to look their best.
Rebecca and the team are so attentive and dedicated to ensuring pets have accessories and clothes that are the perfect fit and suit their lifestyle.