Tales of an Online Fashion Advisor

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Image courtesy of Pexels

From bodysuits popping open on the dance floor to bikini stealing delivery drivers.

Ever since I realised my student loan just wasn’t going to cover my compulsive shopping habit AND my Sushi addiction (thanks Nami Sushi), I’ve had a job working for a major online women’s fashion store as an online Customer Service Rep on their Live Help Chat and Social Media Accounts.

Pros: I can work from home in my PJ’s with a glass of wine and the telly on.
(*Disclaimer: if anyone asks, it was cranberry juice.)

Cons: Constantly working with clothes combined with knowing when all the good sales will be on is like giving a student free Sugar entry and then being surprised when you see them in Sugar later tonight, even though they have a 10am lecture the next morning and every other sentence is permeated with ‘just one more, then I’ll go home to study’.

The last six months have been a rollercoaster, I spend far more time explaining that weekends aren’t business days and trying to remember which emoji’s are currently on brand than fixing fashion emergencies. I must admit, I even felt like a fraud for those first few months. I used to imagine the average Fashion Advisor as a tall, slim, tanned model, leaning against a pale blue convertible with shades and a slight smirk rather than someone like me: a short, slightly oddly proportioned student who forgets to put her glasses on most mornings. But I have grown to love being surrounded by the fur coats, playsuits, and nine-inch heeled over the knee boots – I mean, damn, have you SEEN some of those shoes?!

My favourite part of working here – aside from the stand-up guys and gals I work with, who never fail to send me a ‘Rick Roll’ instead of a requested link to the back in stock section or an inappropriate reaction GIF to our bitching sessions – is the crazy customer stories. So, how could I turn down this opportunity to share them with the world?

 

How I ruined Grandma’s Birthday

Occasionally I am accused of the strangest things. From personally stealing money from customers’ to giving someone’s mum cancer (yes, this happened). One girl really took the cake though. She had ordered a dress for her Grandma’s 80th birthday party the following week. A classy, backless bodycon dress with cross front straps in pastel pink – the perfect attire for your elderly relative’s garden party. Unfortunately, the warehouse her order was stored in had the roof collapse during a large storm, damaging a lot of orders, hers included. You’d think she’d be slightly understanding of the chaos her courier was dealing with, but no, she was furious. This was a conspiracy, I just didn’t want her to have fun, I wanted her Grandma to die. The only solution was to cancel the birthday party, which of course is probably the last chance the family have of all getting together to see her Grandma, who is in poor health and of old age. Without her new dress, the party could not go on. The world. Had ended. And I, apparently, was literally, the worst.

Miraculously, the offer of a 20% discount code seemed to put the celebrations back on track.

 

Say yes to the dress

It’s not all doom and death threats at my job, there are some silver linings that make you realise that fashion isn’t just about the clothes you wear. Your fashion choices can shape your experiences and even make or break a relationship, which I experienced a few months ago. A lovely girl came through with a query about which of our female suits would be suitable for a bride. She was engaged to her girlfriend of many years and was desperate to persuade her to let her wear a suit instead of a dress to their wedding. After a short discussion in the work group chat we found a bunch of to-die-for suits, perfect for a wedding in various shades of black, white and navy. I’ve not heard anything about an update so I’m not sure if it went to plan, I like to think that her fiancée loved them too and they had a perfect, fashionable wedding.

At the end of the day that’s why I do what I do. I mean, the fine dollar I make is a huge factor, but also knowing I’m making a difference. Helping people out in moments of their lives that they’ll look back on in years to come, being there to help calm them down and fix their problems, being able to show empathy when they’re frustrated and running out of time to find those perfect shoes for the big date they have coming up. I know it might seem like such a little detail to some people, but to others it’ll make or break the whole night. And why shouldn’t it? If it takes that one key item to pull your outfit together and make you feel like ‘da bomb’, then you do you girl. I’ll be cheering you on from the side lines as you smash that date, big interview, or Granny’s birthday.

I must admit I’ve started seeing myself as a fashion batman, a silent guardian and a watchful protector of all things fabulous. Or something like that, anyway. So, make sure you keep an eye out for the next issue of SCAN to hear more exciting tales from an Online Fashion Advisor!