Intu Lakeside Personal Stylist

Intu Lakeside Personal Stylist

If you live in or near Essex, you’ll be familiar with Intu Lakeside, one of the biggest and best shopping destinations in our locality. With the main body of the shopping centre under one roof, plus various industrial-style areas close-by, it really is a bit of a ‘one stop shop’ for all your needs, whether that be holiday prep, kitting out your new home, or just a bit of retail therapy.

 

However, despite having been there more times than I could ever begin to remember, I was surprised when their PR team contacted me and asked if I’d like to meet the Intu Lakeside Personal Stylist. I had absolutely no idea there was such a thing! All these years I’ve been shopping there and I didn’t know this service was available – and for free too!

 

So, one grey and drizzly Saturday I ventured over to meet Carlene Noel whose beautiful office and dressing room is located in the snazzy Intu Lakeside Customer Lounge, a fantastic space right in the middle of the shopping centre which provides comfy places to sit, tablets to access the internet, and even lockers you can pop your phone in to charge up while you’re giving your bank balance a beating!

 

Intu Lakeside Customer Lounge - A Penny For Them

 

The first thing that struck me about Carlene when I met her was how beautiful and elegant she is. This lady is the absolute definition of ‘style’ and I was left feeling very jealous of how effortlessly glam she looked when I caught sight of my own reflection in the mirror. (Note to self: Must try harder!)

 

Carlene Noel - Intu Lakeside Personal Stylist

 

The room in which Carlene works is just as stunning as the lady herself, a perfect mix of whites and luxurious plum-purple, with glass, mirrors and chrome/silver accents. It all felt very plush and like I’d be swept into another world – add to that the glass of Prosecco I was handed upon arrival and I could start to imagine what my life would be like if I was a little more financially flush. (I swear I’m destined to be a millionaire one day…)

 

Intu Lakeside Personal Stylist

 

All in all I spent around 90-minutes with Carlene and I was seriously impressed. Her personality is open and warm which instantly puts you at ease, something that is incredibly important for a role such as hers. For the most part, when people are going to meet with a Personal Stylist it is because they need assistance with their wardrobe and are unsure what they should – or could – be wearing. She explained that she often has people in tears due to their poor self image or feelings of unhappiness regarding their appearance (something I’m sure most of us can identify with to some level) and told me how rewarding it was when she was able to advise people on the best colours, shapes and style of clothing to suit their body shape and saw the twinkle in their eye when they looked in the mirror and liked what they saw for (sometimes) the first time ever. Although her passion is clearly for fashion and style, you could tell how much she cares about the people she works with and that each and every individual that walks through her door is valued and provided with a personal service tailored to their exact needs.

 

The other great thing about this service is that Carlene doesn’t receive any commission or bonus structure from any of the stores, working instead for Intu Lakeside themselves. This means you can be assured that any advice she gives will be 100% genuine and based on what is best for you, removing any fears people may have that favour is being swayed in the direction of a particular store, brand or product. We’re all cynics these days and whenever anything is free, as this Personal Stylist service is, niggling doubts coming creeping in as it’s seen to be “too good to be true”. The fact there is no pressure on Carlene to recommend anything other than what is truly best for the client means these fears can be laid to rest and the process can be seen for what is really is – a fantastic, free way to update your wardrobe or bring some new confidence into your life.

 

I am so impressed with both Carlene herself and Intu Lakeside for having this service available on-site and with zero-cost, making it accessible for everyone. Next time I have a big event to plan for I’ll definitely be popping back to find the perfect outfit.

 

You can find out more about the Intu Lakeside Personal Stylist service on their website, and you can check our Carlene herself on her website or by following her on Twitter.

 

 

Penny xx

 

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Little Tulip Jumper c/o White Stuff {AD-GIFTED}

Little Tulip Jumper c/o White Stuff <font size="3">{AD-GIFTED}</font>

As a fashion lover, sometimes an article of clothing comes into your life that is so perfect you wonder how your wardrobe ever functioned without it. For me, this latest love of mine comes in the form of the Little Tulip Jumper from White Stuff.

 

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Now, I’ll admit this may not be the most exciting product on the fashion market and it’s not likely to have people simultaneously dropping their shopping bags and their jaws as I walk past them in the street, but in my opinion it offers so much more than an initial ‘wow factor’. It is wearable and adaptable, making it an out and out wardrobe staple and something I truly believe every woman should have at home.

 

The White Stuff A Penny For Them Tulip Jumper 3

 

To show you just how easily transitional the Tulip Jumper is, the team at White Stuff asked me to put together a few different ways in which it could be worn; a task that was – I’ll be honest – easy. This jumper just seems to look great no matter what you put with it!

 

PicMonkey Collage

Layered with this sequin-collared tee.

 

The White Stuff A Penny For Them Tulip Jumper 4

Red jeans (Miss Selfridge) and ballet pumps (Shoezone) for a casual look with an injection of colour.

 

The White Stuff A Penny For Them Tulip Jumper 5

Dark blue jeggings (New Look) with knee-high boots (Sainsburys) for a smart casual look.

 

The White Stuff A Penny For Them Tulip Jumper 6

Light stone wash skinny jeans (Primark) and laced calf-length boots (Deichmann) for comfy style.

 

The White Stuff A Penny For Them Tulip Jumper 7

Stone wash jeans (Bank) and boots (Primark) for casual comfort on the go.

 

Perfect for lazing round the house in, running errands in town, or a night at the pub with friends, this jumper is truly a chameleon of the clothing world!

 

I’ve also been thinking about some fantasy outfits I think this jumper would work well with – all of which I desperately wish I owned so I could bring them to life!

 

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Leather-look trousers, denim dungarees, floral shorts and a beaut of a Carrie-Bradshaw-esque tutu. I so wish I owned all of these things!!

 

One to see you through all the seasons, expect to see photos of me wearing this jumper a lot!

 

What do you think of this wardrobe staple? How would you wear it?

 

Penny xx

 

 

* PR Sample *

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Interviewing Lydia Bright & My Freeport Braintree £100 Shopping Challenge {AD-GIFTED}

Interviewing Lydia Bright & My Freeport Braintree £100 Shopping Challenge  <font size="3">{AD-GIFTED}</font>

A few weeks ago I was invited along to Freeport Braintree shopping outlet in Essex to interview Lydia Bright (of The Only Way Is Essex fame) about all things fashion and Christmas. (I was also going to interview James ‘Arg’ Argent but heavy traffic meant he was running late so we had to scrap the interview sadly).

 

As well as interviewing Lydia, Freeport also challenged me to visit some of their stores and see what I could buy with a £100 gift card.

 

You can watch my interview with Lydia, my vlog of the evening and the results of my shopping challenge to see what goodies I managed to bag myself over on my YouTube channel, either by clicking here or on the image below.

 

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Freeport is about an hour away from me by car so I don’t get to go there very often, but whenever I do I always tell myself I should venture their way more often as there are some real bargains to be had within their walls. I definitely recommend you check them out!

 

Be sure to let me know what you think of the items I got and whether you think I did well with a spend of just £100!

 

Penny xx

 

 

* The gift card spent in this video was provided to me by Freeport, but all opinions are – as always – my own *

 

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Bold, Bright Florals at House of Fraser {AD-GIFTED}

Bold, Bright Florals at House of Fraser  <font size="3">{AD-GIFTED}</font>

Not so long ago I shared with you my birthday night outfit that I wore for dinner with friend’s who were getting married the next day. The jumpsuit in question was from AX Paris at House of Fraser and is so beautiful; it’s honestly stunning.

 

Within that blog post I showed you some of the goodies that House of Fraser had sent me and they had been extremely generous so imagine my surprise when I received another little package from them in the post. They really know how to spoil a girl, it has to be said!

 

House of Fraser LilliesandLove

 

Will you just LOOK at that bag?! I love it! It’s by Lancome so I’m not sure if it’s meant to be used for cosmetics, but it’s so special looking that I’m keeping it as a clutch bag for when I go out! As for the samples, I’m a total perfume fiend, so samples of new scents is always going to make me smile!

 

But that’s not all…

 

House of Fraser Floral Top LilliesandLove 1

 

I also received this Therapy floral rose print top which I have worn so much since I got it! It’s style, cut and shape mean I can wear it dressed up to go to work, or with jeans for a more laid back feel if I’m going out for the evening.

 

House of Fraser Floral Top LilliesandLove 3 House of Fraser Floral Top LilliesandLove 4

 

I usually wouldn’t wear floral patterns and I don’t feel they’re really “me”, but the colours in this top are so bright and vibrant, they pop against the black background making this a really eye-catching piece of clothing to wear, and I love it!

 

As you can see in the pictures, it’s quite loose on me but that’s because in recent months I’ve taken to wear baggy clothes for some reason – I’m a UK size 8 but this is a size 12, so I imagine if you bought one to fit, it would be much more shapely when worn.

 

I whole heartedly recommend you visit the House of Fraser website and check out what they have to offer, they stock some great brand names so enables you to shop under one roof rather than having to go out hunting for items, plus their Christmas ranges are simply brilliant as they stock so many quirky and unusual items.

 

If you follow any of my social channels (linked at the bottom of this post) you’re sure to see this top featuring in outfits time and time again!

 

What do you think of the bold floral look?

 

Penny xx

 

 

* PR Sample *

 

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Heeled Brogues from Clarks {AD-GIFTED}

Heeled Brogues from Clarks  <font size="3">{AD-GIFTED}</font>

We’ve all got our weaknesses in life; Superman’s was Kryptonite, yours might be chocolate, cake, a cool glass of wine, kittens or puppies – mine are all of the above plus many more, including baby cows and Bradley Cooper (hands off, Suki!) However, one weakness of mine that I think a lot of you will easily identify with is shoes.

 

S – H – O – E – S

 

Oh yeah, we love ’em don’t we? Of all the things I’ve moved into K’s, finding a home for my shoes is the one thing that still eludes me – they’re currently in plastic storage boxes under the bed (my poor babies!) but I’m trying to dream up some sort of storage system that means I can see them and gaze at their beauty without them taking over the room and standing out too much. With shoes as pretty as they often are, it seems a shame to hide them away; they can be little works of art we parade on our feet. If I come up with said design, I’ll blog about it, but only once I’ve got a patent on it and sold the scheme for millions, obvs.

 

Of all the shoes in my collection, the one thing that has always eluded me is brogues. I’ve always had half an eye on them but wasn’t really sure if I was cool enough to pull it off, plus I have ridiculously skinny little legs and huge feet in comparison – I’m basically a female Sideshow Bob.

 

ssbobSource

 

However, when Clarks contacted me and asked me to visit one of their stores to choose an item to review, I thought, “Right missy, it’s about time you and your oversized toots gave this a bash”.

 

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So, off I toddled to Clarks in Lakeside to see what they had to offer.

 

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First of all, before we do anything else, can we just take a moment to savour the design of their shop? I’m always wandering in and out of various High Street shops, but I never actually really look at what is around me – I’m too focussed on what they’re offering for sale. It’s only when I stopped to take some photos for this post that I realised how much I like their styling! The grid displays, the Chesterfield style chairs and finishing touches like the lamp and orange flowers – I would probably have overlooked all of these things usually, so I’m definitely going to be walking around with my eyes wide open in future.

 

Ok, now on to the shoes.

 

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As planned, I got myself a pair of brogues, but opted for heeled ones as I thought I would get more wear out of them. I couldn’t decide between the black or brown, but decided that as they were a new style for me altogether, it was safer to go for black. They have a matt finish which I love (as it means they’re much easier to blend in with an outfit) and the stitched detailing you would expect from brogues.

 

Once home, I began trying them with a variation of outfits. If I’m honest (and I always am), I don’t yet feel comfortable enough to wear them with dresses or skirts, so have only worn them with black trousers for work, but I’m going to persevere and keep going until I put together an outfit that looks good with these and still feels like ‘me’. (It’s funny how what looks incredible on one person just doesn’t look right on another isn’t it?)

 

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For this smart-yet-comfy work outfit, I wore my brogues with black trousers from Matalan, a floral high-neck top from House of Fraser and simple black cardigan from Tesco Clothing.

 

Bearing in mind these are new shoes, they caused no discomfort whatsoever and, I’ll be honest, as they’re fairly rigid in structure, I was expecting it!

 

I love my brogues and am glad I stepped (excuse the pun!) outside of my comfort zone. Now I just need to find the guts to wear them with a dress or skirt!

 

 

Penny xx

 

 

 

* PR Sample *

 

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