Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stitch Fix #8 Review

My 8th fix was scheduled to arrive while I was visiting my parents.  I just changed the shipping address to theirs, and my Uncle Phil delivered it with his usual rural route delivery.  No fuss, no muss.  I packed a couple outfits fewer knowing I might get some new things I would keep and I did!

Papermoon Violeta Scallop Detail Blouse

First off, I was delighted with the sleeveless black top.  The design is clean and interesting. Black is always my favorite color and the weight of this fabric is nice and light with no need for a cami underneath. This is very me.  Unlike some of my other Stitch-fix tops, it does not feel precious.  I will be curious how it wears as the edges are unfinished.  Soon, I will do an overview of how these clothes have held up to actual wear.

Just Black - Adorra Skinny Jean

 Jeans. Jeans that fit. Jeans that I can wear with anything. Jeans that don't sag. Jeans that are long enough. Jeans that can be rolled up.  Jeans that are the right color blue. Jeans that aren't too heavy for summer. Jeans, for the love.  THANK YOU AMANDA!  Do you have any idea how many things I can now wear the way I wear things now that I have a functional pair of jeans?  I wore them about 6 times at my parent's house and then I got home and washed them and look how great they look!  The fabric blend is excellent.  Sometimes a stretch skinny jean feels so plastic-y, you start sweating before you get them on.  These breathe. Wonderful, I tell you. I feel like a new person.

En Creme Tully lace Black Cardigan

Up next, this little ecru cardigan for the win.  I like the boho-vintage vibe of this piece. I like that I can throw it on with anything and it just works.  I wore it over a boring Old Navy tank top last night and didn't feel over-exposed.  It flaps a little and catches the breeze, so it's not too hot. I could wear it over my swimsuit for a cover-up if need be.  I loved wearing it with the jeans and a simple top.  I asked for a kimono-type wrap, but I think I like this just as well.

Collective Concepts Andres Split Back Blouse

This botanical print top is interesting in the back and I generally like the color combination, but it has a tendency to slip forward and make little flaps appear at my hips.  I've worn it several times and I like that it is light and airy and not sheer.  However,  I keep asking for floral and I keep getting botanical.  These tropical prints feel super Granny-in-Florida to me and I don't love them.  I just don't relate to these patterns at all.  Send me something with flowers I grow in my own garden: roses, daisies, zinnias, lilies, etc.  Tropical prints are just not me.  Unless someone wants to send me to Hawaii....

Mavi Alena Collared Button Down Top

Finally, this simple sleeveless button front shirt in a denim-like chambray.  This is more than I have ever spent on a shirt in my life; it borders on the absurd, really.  The cut and color are unremarkable, though classic.  On the plus side, though it fits me snugly, it is slimming and well made.  I even dare to photograph it from the open side of the placard, so you can see that the snaps are strong and placed intelligently so I can wear it without concern of a wardrobe malfunction.  As my career as an on-demand drink station comes to end in the coming months, this will be a little more practical for me.

In hindsight, it might have made better sense for me to keep the first three pieces and return the last two, but I was on vacation with a badly injured eye and I might not have been thinking very strategically.  As it stands, I have worn all of the pieces more than once except the sleeveless button front top.

 I don't miss shopping.  I still love Stitch Fix. It's not perfect, but when I think of all the frustration I did not have to face looking for is totally worth it!  If you decide to try it, please use my referral code!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

StitchFix #7 Review

You win some, you lose some.  It has been a busy month and I didn't give my stylist many guidelines about my needs.  I mentioned that I needed some blue jeans, but I should have been a bit more specific about what I needed.  So this fix was kind of disappointing.  Bummer.

Level 99 Dilan Distressed Boyfriend Jean

So, these jeans. First off, the color is horrible.  They don't go with anything.  I need a classic pair of jeans and these are more like baby-blue colored jeans.  Then, the really IS distressing. All the way up the leg and the knee.  I could never pay 98 dollars for jeans I would only feel comfortable wearing to garden.  Nobody wants to see a 40 year old mom's thighs squishing out of her jeans. Finally, the length:  too short to wear unrolled, so they can only be cuffed.  I hate being limited to only one way to wear them.  These fall under the "if you wore it the first time it was in style, you cannot wear it the second time it comes around" category.  I have a picture of myself in these jeans c. 1989 and it's not good, my friends. Not good at all.  They are light and comfortable enough even for summer, but these were a big miss for me.  I probably wouldn't have been so negative about them if I didn't just really have high hopes for the right kind of jeans for me.  The gray ones I got in my first fix were just so great, I had really high expectations.  Staring down the barrel of jean shopping in the stores now just feels like an overwhelming task, but I might have to resort to the GAP if I'm going to have something to wear.  

Papermoon Malton Knit Tee
Previous fix - black skirt
Next the top: Geometric and neon. Ugh.  I know this is a huge trend and I'm supposed to like it, but having seen it on Etsy for YEARS now, I'm so over it. Much like my chevron-fatigue, I have just reached the point of overload of this combination.  There's no way my stylist could know this, I realize now.  The cut of the shirt is great and I like the weight of the fabric well enough to keep this one.  I may pair it with my black skirt to hide the beam of light around my middle.  I know it photographs well, but I just cannot understand how bringing the eye to the part of your body that you are most uncomfortable with is the best strategy.

Fun2Fun Melika Button Down Blouse
This one is easy enough. Plaid is good. Weight of fabric is good.  The collar is a little heavy.  The only real negative on this one is that the finishing is really iffy.  For example, the buttonholes are not completely trimmed, so every time you button or unbutton it, you have multiple threads that pull.  In this fabric, it puckers and pulls the rest of the shirt.  I am keeping this one because it is very versatile, but I will be trimming all the threads first.  

Brixon Ivy Romford Stretch Lace Knit Top
Now this shirt.  It's a stretch lace top over a cami in navy blue. Something about the cut of the cami is a bit disastrous.  It cuts too far under the armpit, leaving too much exposed underneath.  The technical terminology is, I think, "tasteful side boob."  Other than that, it looks remarkably "granny" on me.  Not sure if it is the color, but I just couldn't see this in any other way than dowdy.  Maybe if it was longer or had a less purple under-tone.  I tried it with darker jeans and it was a little better, but not enough to make this one worth it.  I think I know what they were shooting for, but this just did not work for me. 
Side note: the dark jeans?  Stretchy jeggings from Target and the most boyfriend jeans of all:  my husband's.  Also, I cut my own bangs.  I might be too crunchy and DIY for the fashion world to help me.  *Sigh*

Market and Spruce Maeby Dress
Finally, the fifth piece: an actual winner, but I cannot nurse in it.  I wish the pattern was more of a floral than a geometric, but the cut is deceptively simple and easy.  I think this will be a keeper for years to come that can be worn in all seasons.  This is a good example of something I would never pick out for myself that works for me.   

So, this one falls in the experiment category.  It's good to try things, even if you don't end up with a hoped-for result. We can keep trying for the right jeans, I guess.  Maybe I should have just asked for five more pairs of those linen shorts I got last time because I wear them ALL. THE. TIME!  

Want to try it?  You can use my code:

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Stitch Fix #6 - Have I Mentioned That I Love This Service?

As spring turns into summer here in the Ozarks, you get about a week of perfect mid-seventy degree days and then it just gets hot. With those days descending upon us, I was scrambling to find something cool enough to wear.  When my sixth Stitch Fix arrived, my stylist Amanda saved the day!

I specifically asked for two pairs of shorts. I hate shopping for shorts (I pretty much hate shopping in general these days) and I usually end up with a couple of ill-fitting pairs in navy blue and black from Old Navy that I spend more about 25 dollars on and hate them every time I wear them.

Let's also take a moment to talk about the American obsession with cheap clothes.  We are buying more and more clothes, which are made quickly and as inexpensively as possible.  Our closets are stuffed full of clothes, we are hurting the environment at the beginning of the cycle to get more material, we are enslaving people working in terrible conditions and then we throw away all these cheap clothes in a short time (usually about 4 months or less) which also hurts the environment, and turn around and buy more. In the middle of all that, designers and creatives are also hurt because their designs are ripped off so often because factories are trying to make clothes so quickly. This is a terrible cycle which I have written about before.  For more on this topic, you can check out Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline   or follow the links on this Pinterest board.

Choosing to buy less and spend more is less conflicting for my values and how they have changed over time.  Some of you have asked and so I am telling:  Altogether, I am spending about two hundred dollars on this fix.  The pieces are more expensive individually than I would feel comfortable spending in the store, but there is a large discount if you buy all five items. It's worthwhile for me to communicate a lot about my experience with my stylist so that I consistently get all five pieces that I like, and therefore get the big discount.

 I've already explained how this is a such a time-saver for me, but I would also like to add that it feels nice to have someone listen to my preferences and choose things for me.  It feels like someone is taking care of me. For example, I mentioned in my last review that I wished the sheer top I got had a camisole with it, and my stylist included a cami in this fix to pair with the tops she chose for me!  So instead of just the "rush" you get from buying, which tends to fade quickly, leaving you with the desire for more, I wear these clothes and feel a sense of satisfaction that I was heard and thought about.  It's a more lasting feeling than simply getting something new.

So, without further ado: Fix Six.

Fate Elyse Striped Sheer Sleeveless Top with
Liverpool Susie Bermuda Shorts 

First off, let's celebrate that Whimsy has been sleeping through the night pretty consistently now, and I am starting to lose some baby weight. That means I'm between sizes. These shorts are mostly cotton with just 2% lycra, which means they fit great, but aren't so stretchy they will ultimately fall off when the fabric gets tired and old.  I would never have picked the color, but it goes with so many of the previous pieces, plus the things I buy for myself (aka black t-shirts), so they are great.

I'm not sure how exactly this shirt was intended to fit, but again, I'm between sizes, so it blouses on me when it might lie flat on a slimmer person. It's not uncomfortable or unflattering, though.  I like the creative use of the stripes and the easiness of this top. It is so versatile, I can wear it dressed up or down. This is great for the all-too-frequent "Oh, yeah, Mom...we have a meeting at school tonight I forgot to tell you starts in a half hour."

Ark n Co Lucas Hi-Lo Embroidered Sleeveless Top
with Skies are blue Cambria Embroidered Shorts
 Next up, two more pieces that can be swapped with the other two, making 4 complete outfits from this set of 5 items. I am a fan of this versatility, and the growing feeling of cohesion within my wardrobe.

see the cute back? 
The top is nursing-friendly, but admittedly, a little itchy.  I have never purchased so many articles of clothing made of synthetic fabrics before in my life, but I do like that they are much less wrinkly than my clothes normally are.  I am always a fan of small details, and this top has plenty: not only the intricate embroidery, but the back panel is made of  coral fabric and hangs lower across the back, which is perfect for me.

The shorts are a linen mix and they are perfect in every way.  The elastic waistband is forgiving without being schlumpy, and the color is safe without being boring.  The embroidered detail is pretty without taking away any versatility.  And the length is appropriate for a grown up lady with grown up stretch marks (Thank you baby number 1)  Now, if I could just do something about my scratched up knees (from gardening) or my bruised shins (falling over a kid's bike in the garage).

Gilli Gabbiey Sleeveless Maxi Dress   
Now, let's talk about this dress, which is made in the USA (a social justice YES!)  I feel 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger.  The color, cut and fit are amazing.  You can get a dress similar to this made much more cheaply, but I don't think you would get the same luxe feeling from the cheap version.  It is made so beautifully and hangs flawlessly.  The fabric is thin enough to be comfortable in the warmest weather, but not flimsy.  I really cannot overstate how great this dress is... it might be my most favorite piece my stylist has ever picked.  It might be most favorite piece I have ever had in the last decade!

So here's a thought:  if you are on track to get a bouquet of expensive flowers and a burnt breakfast for Mother's Day this year, may I suggest you drop your family a little hint and ask for a Stitch Fix gift card instead?   It will take you a little time to fill out the survey and really get the hang of getting the most out of this service, but the lasting feeling of having one thing about your life simplified is definitely worth it to me.  You can use this referral code: 

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Whimsy's favorite part of this fix.... you guessed it!  The box!  She played in it the whole time Mommy tried on her clothes!