Personal Styling at Metrocentre - My Local Shopping Heaven

It's hardly surprising that I'm a total shopaholic, since I grew up within a couple of miles of Europe's largest shopping centre. Since it opened in 1986, Metrocentre has been a regular haunt of mine; I even worked there for a few years when I was younger - first in fashion retail and then in beauty and fragrance in one of the big department stores. There is so much I love about Metrocentre. If I have a few hours to spare on a day off, I spend it wandering around, checking out what's new (and there's a LOT new, which I'll come onto in a bit) and despite the massive size of the place I honestly feel as if I know it like the back of my hand. If I need an outfit for a last minute night out, I already know exactly where to park to give me the fastest route from Zara to Oasis to Dorothy Perkins and back again within half an hour. Snowing? Torrential rain? Doesn't matter. Metrocentre's completely indoors so no hair-mares or frozen fingers to worry about here. Metrocentre is like an old friend. An old friend filled with fabulous new shoes and handbags.

MetroCentre IsItJustMeme

My first retail job was right here!
One thing I've never tried, though, is Metrocentre's Personal Styling Service. I've always been curious about how it works, as on paper being a personal shopper and stylist sounds like the best job EVER. What could be better than basically spending your days surrounded by clothes and shoes?!

I met up with one of Metrocentre's Style Team, Michaela, to find out more about the services the team offer. Michaela told me she has clients of all ages and from all backgrounds, each with their own individual requirements. I always thought of personal shopping as being a service people might use if they had an important event coming up, like a family wedding for example, and weren't sure where to start looking for an outfit. Michaela explained that this is the case for some clients, but equally she also has clients that may just be completely stuck in a fashion rut with their current wardrobe and are looking for a change. I can identify with that - who hasn't fancied a complete image overhaul at some point? (I'm thinking of my year long 'black' phase. Cringe).

Michaela, one of Metrocentre's Style Team

The Style Team use stores across the whole of the centre during consultations, and Michaela told me she likes to take clients out of their comfort zone - when I mentioned I never shop in Topshop myself she said that would be the first place she'd take me, for that very reason! So for me, as seasoned a shopper as I am, it would be an opportunity to maybe try something I wouldn't have even considered wearing before. I love this idea, as the only feedback I get when trying stuff on at home is the occasional grunt from The Husband, and after speaking to Michaela and seeing how lovely she is I have a feeling she'd be very honest but in a really nice way!!

As well as style consultations, Michaela and the rest of the team organise regular fashion shows which take place in one of Metrocentre's Town Squares. I've seen a few of these over the years and they are great for the lazy shopper like me - you can see a range of products from different shops all at once. The Style Team also help out at other local fashion shows and magazine shoots, using clothes from Metrocentre stores. Michaela told me that one of the busiest times for the Style Team is organizing content for Metrocentre's own magazine, which covers fashion, homeware, food....just about everything the centre offers, really. I always hunt the magazine out (they're published twice a year) as often there are offers and discounts for lots of stores in it and since I try my best to avoid paying full price for pretty much anything I buy, these can some in really handy.

 I'll just take the green one. And the yellow. Oh, and the white...
I'm so going back next week for this dress
I just want all of these. ALL. OF. THEM. 

So I still love the idea of being a personal shopper and stylist like Michaela - although it can be hard work and I'd inevitably end up spending a small fortune by picking out loads of items for myself as well as my client, the chance to spend all day browsing my favourite shops sounds like an absolute dream. And if you're a shopper, maybe lacking in time or confidence when it comes to choosing some new pieces, Metrocentre's Personal Styling Service could be for you.

There have been so many changes to Metrocentre over the years - it's come a long way from the days when my mam used to drag me around Carrefour to do the weekly shop on a Thursday night. Most recently, we've seen the redesign of the Red Mall with Debenhams and the Qube area, which houses the Odeon cinema and loads of restaurants. But I think I'm most looking forward to the grand unveiling of the Platinum Mall, planned to be a 'luxury shopping environment'. No news on which retailers we will see there yet (I'm crossing my fingers for Reiss) but no doubt I'll be there, sipping at the Champagne bar ready to do some serious shopping. I can't wait!

Have you ever used a personal stylist?

Personal Style Consultations at Metrocentre cost £15 per hour. If you're interested in booking a consultation with Michaela or one of the other members of the Style Team, you can call 0771 0291856 or email

*Thanks to Michaela for giving me some time to chat on Saturday, it is very much appreciated! :)

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