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No more shopping at the mercy of others

19 July, 2018

How many times as a person living with blindness or low vision have you been in a situation where your style was dictated by your parents or siblings or
friends. This has been a constant battle for me. You are always at the mercy of  what someone else decides you look good in or you find yourself making
safe choices that aren’t what you’d ideally want. I did that. I would wear something baggy because I assumed it made me look smaller; I stayed with the
style I knew from when I could see which was 16 years ago. My solution was found this weekend when I went on a personal stylist session and it has really
made me feel like I am in charge of what I wear again.

Before the session

I got in touch with this place through a friend here at VA who had used them called Ruby Slipper Styling. They are a main stream company who help clients
find their style, go shopping with them and educate them on what works best for your complexion, size, shape and budget. I got sent a questionnaire where
I spoke about what style I was after, who I potentially liked the fashion sense of, what kind of circumstances I needed clothes for, my budget, my sizing
and a picture of myself for the stylist.

The day

On the day I went into the centre of Sydney to the main shopping complex of the city. This did several things. For one it means you have less walking around
which is a big tick for me because that’s what I hate about shopping. The second is that the company has arrangements with shops that allow them to pick
clothes out for you before you show up and have them all waiting in a change room when you walk in. This is great because it means you aren’t running from
rack to change room, to rack, to change room. The arrangement stops there, there is no commission basis so everything stays impartial and nobody is benefitting
from using that shop in particular.

For me

My day consisted of meeting my stylist and going to 3 shops over a3 hour period. I walked into every change room with clothes already in it and tried them
on. The stylist also educated me on how to dress up and dress down what I was wearing should I want to buy it. Things I would have never thought of as
a blind person. Like turning hems up, or leaving buttons completely undone and how all these things give differing impressions even while being the exact
same clothes.

All of the items I got were interchangeable with each other so I could mix it up as much as possible without packing the wardrobe with piles of stuff.

The best part

The thing that I liked most apart from the ease and lack of running around was that I now feel much more comfortable in my ability to choose my own clothes
while shopping and when dressing myself. The stylist went through what colours and cuts go best with my complexion, hair colour and eyes as well as size
and body shape. Meaning that in the future I can go shopping myself and have much more of an idea about what works well for me and not be at the mercy
of parents or friends. It wasn’t cheap for the fee but the shopping budget was whatever I was comfortable with and the stylist did her best to find me
things on sale or things that were cheap that didn’t come across as cheap. So I wasn’t buying things in a price range I wasn’t comfortable with. I will
be definitely using them in the future.

Just my thoughts and thought it was worth a share. Happy to answer any questions below.

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