Insiders Event at The Dressing Room

This week I had the privilege of attending The Dressing Room’s Insiders Event.

20131024-200454.jpgHell, I knew it was going to be good when the invite turned up looking like this:
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I’ve been collaborating with the store for a while now testing out products, styling looks and generally showcasing their fantastic wares, so it was about time I got myself up to St Albans for a gander. I most certainly was not disappointed.
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The event was to celebrate the relaunch of a brand new Dressing room complete with beautiful decor and a slick website (the site isn’t live quite yet, but I’ve had a sneak peek and it is fab!) Having seen some pics on Twitter I couldn’t wait to get in and rifle through those rails!

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I was also keen to meet Deryane, the one-woman whirlwind behind the store’s success since the launch in 2005. Readers, I have a new girl crush. The passion with which she spoke about her business was so inspiring, not to mention the glut of awards she has won! I was thrilled also to meet the team. Every member of shop-floor staff is a trained stylist and it shows, they are attentive without being pushy and as happy to let you browse as to style you head to toe. They all share the same vision; making shopping at the store an ‘experience’. And don’t just take my word for it, I have a lovely friend who is a St Albanite and DR regular (*waves to Sally*) who regularly raves about the customer service.

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The Dressing Room stocks 80(!) brands, so the feel is more like that of an intimate department store than a small boutique. You know, one where the staff care about you rather than giving you the snooty up-and-down. The clothes are arranged tonally, complimenting each other and punctuated with glittering display cabinets full of jewellery and racks of colourful scarves.

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Behind the till is a display of tit tape and chicken fillets ahem, wardrobe solutions, while Spanx and tights are also available. I love the idea that you can get the whole lot in one place. No buying a plunging dress and then schlepping off to Boots here

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Prices start at around £20, and this was a deliberate decision by Deryane. She explained that she never wanted anyone to feel too intimidated by the more expensive labels to come in. I think this philosophy is as savvy as it is sensitive. A 16 year old might start her Dressing Room journey with a Tokyo Jane bangle or Great Plains top and end up buying J Brand jeans and Ash boots in her thirties and beyond.

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The brands themselves sit alongside each other beautifully. Deryane certainly has fantastic taste. At one point I joked that I’d ‘take one of each’… I wasn’t really joking.

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After a natter with the other bloggers and a glass or two of fizz, I got to play dress-up. You can practically hear the hand clapping and squealing, can’t you?

20131024-194304.jpgHere I am trying on a gorgeous panelled Great Plains dress and subtly metallica Lola Cruz boots

20131024-194311.jpgAnd here in a Great Plains pleather sleeve t-shirt and Hudson camo jeans. The girls made some great suggestions for us all, and needless to say I couldn’t resist a couple of purchases, one of which was this Lola Rose ring:

20131025-101057.jpgIt was a real ‘gotta have it’ moment and I’m already regretting not snapping up the matching pendant! I’m going to do some heavy hinting to the other half in the run up to the festive season.

Speaking of which, it felt like Christmas when we got our goody bags! We each got our own gorgeous Becksondergaard scarf (modelled below – look who got the neon!), plus a few other treats, which you’ll see in situ over the coming weeks.

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20131024-200440.jpgAll in all, it was a delightful way to spend an afternoon, and I’m so glad I made the trip. I’m already itching to get back for that necklace… And maybe the dress… And there was this pair of trainers too…

A big thank you to Deryane and the girls for being such great hosts!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post (though I was plied with alcohol and given a beautiful goody bag) and, as ever, I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t wholeheartedly believe in.

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