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, 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.  

Friday, February 06, 2015

Some Thoughts about Stitchfix

Sartorial kryptonite.

That's how I've been describing myself when it comes to clothing this body.  Because let's face it, dressing a 40 year old, postpartum, nursing mom with teenagers too is a bit of a disaster.  As confident as I am that nursing my baby girl is best, I just can't be the mom who just whips out a boob at a high school football game.  I've pretty much found the whole "nursing wear" market utterly frustrating and difficult to navigate, not to mention the fact that trying on clothes in a store with a car seat and stroller ranks high on the PITA (that's Pain in the A#$) scale. I still love thrift stores, but I just don't have time to sort through clothes like I used to, not to mention the fact that thrift store clothes, like my maternity wear, seem to look at my earth-goddess bottom half (aka the 30 pounds of pina colada ice-cream weight I put on during pregnancy) with a kind of elastic exhaustion...."Please don't say we have to hold that in and up any more...we're just soooo tired."

Long story short, I signed up for Stitchfix.  I needed clothes to appear as if from nowhere. I needed someone to show me what other humans are wearing these days.  I need clothes that are good enough to help me let go of the Target leggings I bought three years ago that have holes in unmentionable places but still "fit."  And when I say fit, I mean I am able to squeeze my body parts into them like sausage casings.  Am I spending what feels like 10 times more than I have ever spent on clothes?  Yes. Yes, I am.  But at 40 you can't wear sweatpants and look "cute" anymore. And you know that if you don't take good care of yourself, nobody else is going to take care of you either.

Stitchfix, if you have just landed on the internet, is a clothing styling service.  A stylist interprets your style, based on a detailed survey, and sends you 5 items of clothing (including accessories if you so desire) based on your needs.  I have received two boxes...or Fixes... so far.   The first one was fantastic:  I got a universally flattering wrap dress, a pair of jeans that actually fit, a faux-leather jacket to help tone down the lactating mommy vibe and two tops that were nursing appropriate.  (The skirt in the picture above?  Maternity.  Please, Amanda, hook me up with a skirt next time. I'm getting desperate.) I would never have picked any of these things out on my own, or in the case of the jeans, I wouldn't have been able to find them and would have given up after trying on the 3rd pair that didn't fit.

The next box was mostly tops, which I needed, because I basically need everything right now.  I am one of the tragic women who does not lose a bit of weight while I am nursing, so investing in clothes right now is not ridiculous.  When I first opened the box and looked at the choices, I literally thought, "NO. No way I'm wearing this."  But then I tried things on and tried to expand my horizons a bit.

First, the leggings.  Expensive leggings seemed silly, but when I put them on, I liked the thick fabric and the fact that it didn't not seem the least bit daunted by my Pina Colada situation.  A thick waistband deals well with the postpartum belly.
The plaid shirt, made of a cotton blend is among my favorites in this Fix for several reasons: it goes with everything I have already. The feminine cut is a relief from the men's shirts I've relied on in the past. And it's cotton, which I highly prefer.

See the open closet door in the background?  Guess what's in there? Twelve cardigan sweaters.  And three flannel shirts.

The navy blue knit top is actually long enough. I like the detail in the back, and though it is not as nursing-friendly as I would prefer, it does just generally feel good to wear.  And that is saying something.

The turquoise top is the perfect cut, but I don't love the color.  But I'm giving it a chance since finding a shirt that is actually long enough is one of my biggest quests.

The patterned top is my least favorite of the group because anything with "bling" makes me feel like I'm wearing Grandmas-on-a-Cruise-wear.  The sleeves were too long as well, but I decided to keep it once I had pared it with a cropped gray sweater I got from a clothing swap with the girls at Vintage.  It helped to contain it a bit for my taste.

I'm still struggling to find my own style again these days, but here's what I'm thinking about Stitchfix right now:  It saves me time, which is really precious right now.  It helps me simplify. I'd rather have a few things that are really right than to keep buying a lot of things from the thrift stores that aren't working for me taking up a lot of real estate in my dresser and closet. And, it gives me a little confidence at a time when I'm trying to be friends with my body even when it a little needier and high-maintenance than usual.

A nice perk is that if you happen to want to try the service too, you can use my referral code and give me a little discount on my next Fix.  You don't even have to keep the clothes if you don't like your Fix in order for me to get the discount.  Here's the code if you would like to help out.