The Personal Touch on a 1-to-1 Luxury Shopping Experience at Bicester Village

The Personal Touch on a 1-to-1 Luxury Shopping Experience at Bicester Village

A person’s wardrobe says a lot about them. However, the rise in online shopping during the current global pandemic has meant many of us have missed out on that joy that a day of shopping brings. But an in-person shopping experience can do wonders for you and your wardrobe, as we found out during a day of luxury designer personal shopping at Bicester Village.

Personal shopping experiences are by no means new. Personal shoppers are set within stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols to help replace wardrobe mishaps by assisting you in creating your own style. Some of the most exclusive stores go above and beyond to indulge customers with a memorable experience. Nowadays, stores won’t stop short of giving the customer the ultimate in a personal shopping experience, which will leave you feeling like a queen (or king) for the day. And who doesn’t want to feel that?

Guga Filho head of personnel shopping at Bicester Village

Having had an initial telephone consultation with Guga Filho, the head of personnel shopping at Bicester Village, I gathered this premium shopping experience demanded a high level of exclusivity. A few questions asked about height, size, colour preferences, and Guga made me feel relaxed and assured he could help sort out my wardrobe woes.

The high-class corridor leading to the suites

Trotting off to the open-air shopping destination the following day, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never had a personal shopping experience before. But it was evident from the onset that the days of being thrust a glass of champagne as the ideal treatment are long gone (there is champagne for those who are partial to it).

Guga was fun, passionate and was so excited for me; it helped any anxieties I had. I was in the company of an expert who could bring out the best in my style and look with his 18 years of experience, spanning luxury brands, multi-brand boutiques and e-commerce.

Guga’s own journey into the fashion industry began in Brazil, where he enjoyed a childhood surrounded by beautiful style and inspiring people; I quickly realised there would be no style dilemma of mine that Guga wouldn’t be able to handle.

Inside one of the women's private shopping suites

In the upmarket county of Oxfordshire, Bicester Village has four personal shopping Suites, each kitted out with velvet sofas, cushions galore, a well-stocked drinks and sweet treats cabinet, and plenty of mirrors and a decent sized changing room. Guga and his team use these dedicated private spaces for a discreet, bespoke and personalised interaction during the personal shopping experience.

The Suites are available as a free of charge service to all guests (new and returning) of the Personal Shopping team, as well as those that are referred via the boutiques, private client services and partners.

Inside the suite with a rail displaying dresses ready to try

As I stepped inside the biggest of the four, I glanced at the clothes rail adorned with a selection of garments hanging off it with a few shoes beneath it. Most of the items were black and white, but there was a splash of colour with the odd dress and trousers. Hmm, hadn’t I told Guga I liked colour? Still, I decided to walk into this with experience an open mind and reminded myself he was an expert after all.

Guga explained he wanted to showcase the clothes he thought would suit me and accentuate my figure. Based on what I had told him of my style preferences, he told me he wanted me to step outside of that comfort zone.

There was one dress that really caught my eye. A black-and-white floaty dress nipped in at the waist with slightly off the shoulder thick straps. I immediately fell in love with it, and to kick-start the ‘clothes horse’ experience, Guga suggested I try that one on first.

The smile on my face as I waltzed out of the changing room to show Guga spoke volumes. A pair of heels, and I was ready to go out. I felt so pretty and dainty in it, a far cry from my everyday leggings and hoodie I’m often found in.

Sabi trying on the dresses at Bicester Village

I love wet look leggings, so I was pleased to see a pair of leather trousers on the rail. Guga explained that this was an investment piece. Rather than buying faux leather types of trousers which would need to be replaced due to quick wear and tear, this one, when looked after, would have longevity. Besides, I would get several wears out of it as it could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Teaming it with a cami top or a smart sweater made it versatile. Again, the fit was great, and I loved it. I swear I took on another personality when I was in them: sophisticated, elegant, and a tad chic.

Guga Filho showing a dress

Trying on the other garments was equally fun, although I did raise my eyebrows at a couple of them. Didn’t the dress make me look dowdy? Didn’t the cropped trousers look too young for my age? But others took me by genuine surprise. They totally suited my figure, and yet had Guga not picked them out for me, I would never have chosen them for myself. I said I liked the colour, but the bright fuchsia dress I tried on did nothing for me. I thought it made me look somewhat frumpy.

The best thing is that Guga is honest about what suits and what doesn’t, and it’s all done constructively. I liked his input of teaming up the various garments with tops, leggings and shoes in a way I would not have thought of doing. And the best bit? There is absolutely no obligation to buy. But if you did want to make a purchase, then this is the place to head to for affordable luxury accessible to all.

Inside the suites is a bar and in this one was bottles of chilled champagne

Guga put it in a nutshell when he said: “Bicester Village is all about the experience, and our new personal shopping suites have been created to enhance just that. Personal shopping is open to everyone, and we see a mix of people of all ages booking. The service is bespoke and tailored to each person’s needs; it’s also a great opportunity to formulate an enduring styling plan that reflects the client’s individuality and varied lifestyles. It also encourages our guests to get out of their comfort zone and to be brave with fashion whatever the season or occasion.”

A look inside one of the private changing rooms

The two hours of getting in and out clothes just flew with much chatter and banter in between. Guga asked if there were any garments I particularly liked so he could set them aside for me should I wish to purchase them once I had mulled them over during lunch at Café Wolseley. It didn’t take me long. That dress was ‘so me’ and the perfect outfit for the forthcoming wedding of a dear friend.

By the time I had finished my lunch, Guga had sent over the shopping basket details (designer, price etc.) in an email and said that if I decided to take any of them to adorn my wardrobe, just to contact him. You know I said this place offered affordable luxury? Well, when the beautiful Alexander McQueen dress rang through the till, it was practically half the price I thought I would be paying.

Whether you’re on a mission to freshen up your wardrobe or just after an excuse to shop until you drop, a personal shopping experience is a great gift for yourself or others. This open-air luxury shopping destination often has new stores regularly opening with This Works, Jo Malone, La Tua Pasta and Isabel Marant, among some of the latest to join the existing 160 plus stores.

I’ll be honest, I would never have dreamed of having such an experience, but after the way it made me feel. I will certainly treat myself in the future. Who knew I would adore fashion with such enthusiasm? I literally walked out with a swagger in my step.

The private shopping experience has been given the full luxury treatment

Bicester Village Personal Shopping Experience – Where and How?

Appointments are made through the Personal Shopping team, a 12-strong team that includes experts recruited from a variety of industries, including retail and even film and media. To book an appointment or find out more about Bicester Village, visit

Read more luxury lifestyle news, reviews and features here.

The Personal Touch on a 1-to-1 Luxury Shopping Experience at Bicester Village 2


Sabi Phagura

Deputy Online Editor

Sabi Phagura is a health, fitness, travel and lifestyle journalist with over 14 years experience in both print and broadcasting media. With Luxurious Magazine, Sabi has travelled the world and experienced some of the finest things that it has to offer. Sabi is one of our most eager and enthusiastic journalists regularly finding unique and exciting destinations. She always creates articles that showcase the subject in the best light via her wealth of knowledge in the luxury travel and dining sectors.

error: Copying this content is prohibited by Luxurious Magazine®