8 OCTOBER 2007

As many a girl knows, there's nothing better than taking a girlfriend along to get a little trusted sartorial advice on shopping trips. But Katie Holmes went one better this week in being accompanied by Roberta Armani, niece of the famous Italian fashion icon Georgio Armani, as she picked out clothes in Milan.

The pair - both wearing monochrome ensembles, Roberta teaming a white shirt with trousers while Katie opted for a glam pencil skirt and stiletto heels - visited one of Roberta's famous uncle's stores. But the outfits she helped Katie pick out weren't for the actress herself. Looks like baby Suri, Katie's two-year-old daughter was in for a treat as the two were browsing the shelves at Armani Junior.

Roberta, 37, who provides assistance to VIP clients of the Italian fashion house, has long been a friend of Katie and her husband Tom Cruise. She describes their first meeting as "instant love", and helped dress Katie at the couple's November 2006 wedding after her uncle designed the wedding gown.

Katie is clearly still making the most of having Europe's retail opportunities on the doorstep while Tom continues lensing war epic Valkyrie in Berlin. Just last month the 28-year-old actress headed for Paris where she checked out the shops and spent time browsing the art on offer at a local gallery.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Roberta accompanied the Batman Begins actress on a trip to one of her famous uncle's storesPhoto: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Katie's two year-old daughter Suri will soon be in for a treat, it seems, since the pair were searching for outfits in Armani JuniorPhoto: © Rex