What a Personal Shopper Wishes You Knew Most department stores have no minimum purchase and don't charge for a personal shopper service, but if you're feeling embarrassed about your budget, explain exactly how much you have to spend when you make your appointment. During your first meeting, tell your shopper what you're looking for (a dress for a special occasion or a new wardrobe) and give her an idea of your lifestyle—your job, what you do for fun, etc. Then ask, "Where do we start?" It should be a fun experience, a treat, though when you first meet, she might make a few suggestions—a new haircut, different makeup, or even a new bra to make your old clothes look better. But she'll also know which styles will work best for you and where to find them in the store. It's important to find someone you can identify with. You're free to interview until you meet a person who suits your personality. Trust is key. — Betty Halbreich, author of Secrets of a Fashion Therapist
Our December issue features Oprah's Favorite Things—as well as your chance to win them all! You'll also find our easy holiday declutter plan, Dr. Oz's guide to sleeping better (starting tonight) and the ultimate holiday menu.