Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stitch Fix #5 - The Best Yet

I was feeling guilty for wanting more clothes, but with the season-change, it was apparent that I had very little to wear.  Even cobbling together something to go and do the remodeling and painting that needed to be done in our new church building was a challenge. I broke down and bought two "fast fashion" t shirts from Walmart to wear for this work, but after days of dust and sweat, I needed the assurance that I can be pretty too.  I asked Amanda to help me with something that reflected my work so that I would be sure to have an outfit to wear for the upcoming spring Little Craft Show at the end of May.  Here's what she came up with:

Skies are Blue Brie Printed Dress
 This was the last thing in the box and the first thing I tried on. I was very unsure of the pattern on this when I saw it.  It's nothing I would EVER pick out for myself.  I'm super sensitive about patterns, especially patterns with a kind of theme.  I am creative, but I am also a little rule-driven, which my kids could tell you.  Just like I don't allow food smelling candles in the bathroom,  it's a stretch for me to have theme prints outside of their expected context. These palm trees are waaaay out there for me. However, I found myself just wearing the dress for more than an hour the first time I put it on. It is so comfortable and well made,  it occurred to me that maybe I didn't need to wear it only on a beach. Maybe I needed a beach vacation so much that the dress just made me FEEL like I was at the beach!  The Stitchfix  suggestion cards showed the dress with a jean jacket and with a blazer, so I tried it with both and was somewhat surprised.  I didn't need to style it with theme-y accessories, but rather, could contrast the print with more serious and neutral pieces for a perfectly acceptable look.  It feels a little foreign to me still, but it also felt like I could grow in this area (more like my daughter Mattie, who mixes pattern, feel, theme, texture, color, and shape completely fearlessly.) What, I'm the only one with candle rules?  I don't believe you. 

Daniel Rainn Kailynn Split Back Blouse

Next up, this sleeveless blouse with such pretty florals on the sides. I adore this.  The details are hard to see in the back, but the construction is interesting and effective. It is slimming and fluttery and long in the back.  Again, the pattern is much bigger than I would naturally choose for myself, but florals are easy to love, especially in this season.  I love it with the jeans from my first fix and it looks so dressy with the black skirt I got in an earlier fix as well.  I have still not lost baby weight (thank you, breastfeeding), so this top just feels really good and hides the bad.

Brixon Ivy Diaz Embroidery and Crochet Detail Cotton Top
Can you even believe the detail on this top?  I love it.  I wore it immediately on a date with my husband, pared with my grey jeans, heels, and pearls, and I felt pretty.  It looks a little sleepy with my plain black skirt, although appropriate for some occasions, but mixed with jeans, it has just the right mix of tough and sweet that I like to wear.  I love the sleeve length, the fact that it is cotton, and the vintage-y feel. 

Skies are Blue Vilmer V-neck Blouse

Speaking of pretty....this color is so lovely.  It's the color I wanted my bridesmaids dresses to be almost two decades ago, and couldn't find them anywhere. It's the color of a vintage cameo. I wish this came with a built-in cami like the the sheer blouses I got during the winter, but this is otherwise perfect.  This is more the scale of pattern I am used to and I feel perfectly at ease in this. Sure to be a favorite. 

Mystree Batya Textured Skirt

I wasn't sure if I could pull off a lace skirt, but I pinned a bunch in hopes that Amanda could find something for me, and she did!  It is fully lined and is comfortable to move in. I knew I wanted to pair it with something tough right away and I quickly reached for my navy blue/black cotton voile shirt from another earlier fix.  The result is something I feel good about, and Whimsy also approved!

This fix was particularly meaningful and helpful to me because it was a real time saver.   The last few weeks have been far busier than what is sustainable, and I needed help to transition to a slower pace.  Having something nice to wear on a much-needed date with my husband made our dinner out doubly enjoyable and maximized the good that came from resting from the physical and emotional work we have been so heavily involved in lately.  Not worrying about clothes is something that frees me up to enjoy my family more, and to accept this season of my life when I'm still not physically what I would like to be.  

As always, if you decide to try Stitchfix, you can use my referral code to give me a little discount.  Just use this code: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4519894

Thanks, friends!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Stitch Fix #4 - Review

(Apparently, Stitchfix is all I blog about anymore.  I'm too tired and busy for internet arguments these days, so I guess I'm keeping it light...)

So this box was adventuresome. Amanda tried to avoid boring clothes, which made me smile.

As soon as I saw this top, I knew it would be a favorite.  It's casual, but can be dressed up. The color is lovely. The fabric is so soft and drapes beautifully to hide all the things that need hiding.  I feel really pretty in this top.
Loveappella Jokina Dolman Knit Top

Next up, let's talk about this skirt.  It photographs beautifully, but this is just not me at all.  When I tried it on for my husband and daughter, they both listed several of my friends that would wear it. When I showed this picture to my coffee girls, those friends were all "OOOOH I love that!"  I can't explain why this isn't good on me. I think maybe you have to realize that I grew up going to church in the 80s and old women wore this kind of pleated skirt, leftover from the late 70s.  I can't erase this imagery from my head.  Also, neon is a little terrifying to me.  I recently took that Facebook quiz that says I have four cones in my eyeballs, so I perceive color really hard core. That yellow freaks me out.  I love the idea of this skirt and the visual fake-out created by the color blocking, but I just don't know how to wear this. Even the little visual clue cards sent by Stitchfix didn't help me with this. The length is weird on me, too. The combination of 70s pleating, yellow, and fit just made this a no for me.   I need therapy, I guess.

Mystree Lola Colorblock Skirt

Now for more color blocking: this top, again, photographs beautifully.  I don't mind the way it looks on me.  It has an interesting cut on the side, which I appreciate, but it resulted in an unflattering flap at my hip. On the other hand, it did hide my postpartum belly very effectively. But I think this also qualifies as neon pink, which sort of assaults my eyeballs again.  It also has an external metal zipper as a detail. In a few months, that is going to be crazy hot. I am outside as much as possible when the weather is nice, and I didn't relish the idea of having my neck baked by a metal zipper. I like the general idea of this including the fabric selection, but  I just didn't like this enough to keep it.  

41Hawthorn Teresa Colorblocked Sleeveless Blouse

Speaking of fabric. This top is so pretty. I love the lace detail. It's very versatile. It would be perfect if it weren't so thin.  I am wearing not one but TWO lycra layers underneath this to keep my belly a secret.  If I'm going to wear a sleeveless top, I really want to be able to just wear it without fancy underpinnings underneath.  I'd show you what it looked like without the camisoles, but this is the internet, ya'll. I don't need that floating around.

Fate Gabby Mesh Detail Blouse

Now speaking of pretty, the other piece I kept from this fix is this lovely dress. It has a vintage cut with universally flattering flat pleats. The color is so nice and spring-y, even though the pattern is much larger than I would normally go for.  As Amanda suggested, I really love it with a jean jacket. It fits nicely and is perfect for a summer wedding or other "nice" outing. I am super disappointed that it isn't nursing friendly, so I can't wear it for Easter Sunday without some serious wardrobe changes.   

Pink Martini Colette Rose Print Dress 

So there you have it, kids...my fourth fix review.  This is the first time I have returned some of the items.  I don't mind that this time, because part of the experience is trying new things and seeing what works.  I have some sartorial quirks to overcome and I don't mind this experience.  It is still such a treat to have the clothes in my own home, not sweating my way in and out of a dressing room with baby and gear with me.   I'm not a trendy person at all, which is probably why I have always relied on  vintage clothes and home decor.  I don't like to feel like I'm in a competition of who is keeping up with trends the best. I just want to look like a person who takes care of herself and others.

Want to try it out?  I get credit when you get a Fix so please use my referral code .

Friday, February 27, 2015

Stitchfix #3 Review

Got my third fix from Stitchfix this week and thought I'd share a few more thoughts.  I shared my last blog post and pictures with my stylist, pinned many examples on the board she sees on Pinterest and gave detailed feedback on my checkout page.  I think all of these things really helped to get a fix that was really great this time around. 

I specifically asked for a white tunic blouse, a black skirt and an neutral cardigan: 
Margaret M Christiana Skirt - Black
R D Style Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan
Daniel Rainn Minal V-neck 3/4 sleeve Solid Blouse 

Thank you, Amanda.  You rocked this.  

Also in my fix, this cotton voile blouse in navy blue: 
Fun2Fun Aurora Tab-Sleeve Blouse
Mavi Ruxin Boyfriend Jean

This shirt, shown paired with jeans from my first fix, is going to be a favorite. When I first saw it, I thought it would be too small and would just make me feel bad, but it fits beautifully and I like everything about it. It is slimming and cool and a little bit tough.  It's perfect for me. I feel like myself in it. 

Loveappella Tori V-neck Knit Top
Rune Porter Legging
This was almost a complete win, but sadly, this shirt does me no favors. I kind of bitterly hate it in a way that really makes no sense.  I mean, it's an article of clothing, not a terrorist, but  sometimes clothes are weird that way. However, if you buy all the items, you get such a big discount, it was worth it to keep it.  I am shamelessly going to wear it as pajamas. Or, you know...the outfit I roll out of the house in to drop kids off at school and go back home to waste time on the internet.  It's that kind of shirt.  To be a bit more specific: the fabric is very thin and the design is seems neither purposely on the bias, or straight, so it looks wonky to me. I hate the color. I feel like a party favor.  I think I need clothes with a little structure right now, and this is too free-form.  It would look good on a girl who is very thin, but it feels schlumpy on me. That's right, schlumpy. Technical terminology, there. Also, I am coming to the conclusion that I like clothes that are either very sweet or edgy so I can pare them together and get a good mix, like kettle corn..or salted caramel... I digress.  Please save me from clothes that are the clothing equivalent of kale and oat bran. 

This fix was the one that tied everything together for me. I can now put together dozens of outfits for any occasion.  I had some fun for the first time in a long time just mixing things together to see what would work.  It might seem shallow in the face of all the things that are happening in the world, 
but a little self-care so that I can take good care of others is a healthy thing.  So far, this service continues to be worth it for me.  That was especially obvious to me as I have now gotten rid of nearly everything I bought for myself to wear post-baby because it didn't fit right, looked bad on me, or has fallen apart.  Confirmation that a little quality over quantity is a good practice. 

So, once again, if you decide you would like to try Stitchfix, consider using my referral code.