We don’t know about you, but the thought of having a personal shopping experience or stepping into a store where shopping assistants come at you from every angle can be a little overwhelming. We want the best of both worlds, right? Space to make your own decisions without eagle eyes monitoring your every move, but also some creative expert advice to help build an amazing and unique look. Step in River Island Style Studio. We booked in online for an appointment at their Oxford Street store to check it out.
Now we definitely can’t start talking about the studio until we’ve covered the decor… I mean, WOW. The room has a beautiful reception desk where we were greeted by one of the expert stylists and got checked in for our appointment. We then took a seat on the beautiful velvet sofas, surrounded by an eclectic mix of River Island’s very own homeware products and curated clothing racks which we started eyeing up. Not only that, there is also a bar where you can grab a non-alcoholic drink or sip on some bubbles (yes that’s right, free prosecco!)
Next up, we met our expert stylist Nadyia who had already pulled together selections of clothing and accessories based off our briefs we had given in our applications – Summer Workwear and a Holiday wardrobe, alongside taking into account our likes and dislikes. We ran through the clothing and accessory choices in our separate changing rooms and she described how she would piece things together and why she chose them for us. Admittedly there were a few that we gasped at as they were a little out of our comfort zone (!) however, once we started trying things on, it all started coming together and we starting favouring the more unusual pieces that we would never have picked out ourselves. If we weren’t sure on colours/prints she would go out and find alternatives, and likewise with grabbing different sizes. Not having to wander around a store holding a ton of different sizes and items is pretty ideal…
RING RING: Press for Style
A selection of items picked out – Summer Workwear with an added touch of festival
Now, one concern that a lot of people have with experiences like this are feeling pressured to buy what you try. Although Nadyia was determined to help us find something we felt completely comfortable in, we never felt any pressure to purchase. What really set’s the team at River Island apart is that they genuinely enjoy seeing you discover a new style and pushing your own boundaries, they listen to your every word and don’t give you products just because they’re ‘on-trend’. However saying that… we definitely left with a few pieces we fell in love with. Our favourite item? Their denim shorts – and yes, we realise this isn’t necessarily a ‘statement piece’ to walk away with but trust us when we say ditch the Levi’s and grab a pair of RI shorts – they fit like a DREAM for all shapes and sizes.
Tempted to try it yourself? Firstly, it’s completely free so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Secondly, they have a variety of appointments available depending on what you’re looking for and the time you have: Studio fix (a quick appointment for those short on time), Studio Select (an appointment focusing on one specific outfit for a special event) and Studio Inspire which we chose (a broader appointment focusing on multiple looks to help inspire you)