THE phrase “personal shopper” makes me think of Trinny and Susannah dragging sartorially clueless men around the shops in the BBC’s What Not To Wear. These were men whose wives had threatened them with divorce unless they agreed to stop wearing cargo pants with running shoes, socks with sandals or short-sleeve shirts with anything at all. They blinked like new-born animals under the bright lights of Gap and obligingly tried on anything their blue-blooded stylists passed them through the fitting room curtain.
I’m not that bad. But after a week of hard work, I can think of better ways to spend a weekend than trudging up and down the high street. I much prefer to spend Saturday and Sunday using red wine, ketchup and grass to ruin the clothes I already have. This is where new online personal shopping website The Chapar can help. The service is named after the couriers who delivered messages across the far flung reaches of Persian empire in the time of Cyrus the Great (and it has the word chap” in it, which helpfully identifies the kind of modern man at whom the service is aimed).
With The Chapar you can buy from the comfort of your home and still try the clothes on. Not only that, the selection is personally curated for you. Just sign up, log on and arrange a consultation with one of The Chapar’s expert stylists. A few days later you’ll receive a trunk of clothes selected from fifty brands ranging from Henry Lloyd to Levi’s to lesser known trendier names like Hentsch Man. Anything in the trunk you don’t like, they come and pick up. Anything you do, you get to keep for retail price. The consultation and styling are completely free – all you pay for is the clothes.
“For a certain cash-rich, time-poor man, spending Sunday afternoon traipsing down the high street looking for clothes is their idea of hell,” says Chapar founder Sam Middleton. It’s not that they’re not interested, just that they don’t know where to start, or don’t have the time.
I liked almost all of the items in my trunk. My favourites were a navy Sunspel shirt, a pair of Levi’s 511s and a nautical-style woolly jumper that I would never have picked out myself.
That’s the beauty of the service: with a whole trunk of clothes in your bedroom, you’re more likely to try on things you wouldn’t have bothered with in a shop. I was also introduced to brands that I hadn’t heard of. The Lubiam blazer was beautifully made and fitted perfectly but was just outside my price range.
When you’ve made your decisions about what you want to keep, you just call up your stylist and arrange a time for the clothes to be picked up.
Shopping has never been so painless.
Visit thechapar.com to get started