Stitch Fix #8 Review

For the uninitiated, here’s the low-down on Stitch Fix:

  • Register with Stitch Fix and complete a style survey based on your sizes/measurements/likes/dislikes/current lifestyle/etc.
  • Choose a date for your first “Fix.”
  • Pay a $20 styling fee for a stylist to review your survey, blogs, Pinterest boards, etc.
  • The stylist chooses five items and sends them to you directly.
  • Try on all of the pieces: keep what you want, send back what you don’t in a prepaid shipping envelope.

If you buy any one to four items from your Fix, then SF will take off from the total the $20 styling fee they charged you originally. And if you decide to keep all fives pieces, then they take off the $20 fee AND an additional 25% off the total price, which is simply awesome.

Now, to the Fix review!

I was at first dubious about the SF’s claim that you get a personal shopper with their business. Why? Because I had to go through five (FIVE!!) other shoppers before Alessandra stepped in and finally seemed to get what I wanted. She understands my quirky mixing of romantic and professional, my love of “organic patterning” (which means, really, no trendy chevrons?), and how I seem to bounce between floaty and fitted on a whim. If you read this, Alessandra, THANK YOU!

I think I must have changed my note to my stylist at least a dozen times! I’m too verbose, and too picky, so I edited it repeatedly until I made myself stop. I finally settled on this, figuring direct requests were best:

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That was Monday night. By Tuesday early afternoon, when I logged in again (yes, crazy lady), my Fix was in progress. Then, within hours, I had an email saying my Fix shipped and was scheduled to arrive TWO DAYS EARLY! (Again, Alessandra is amazing!)

My Fix arrived Thursday morning, bright and early. I couldn’t wait and tore into it — and I loved the color selection!

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Here’s the note and style cards for anyone interested. I love how Alessandra directly addressed my requests!

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Piece #1: Kut from the Kloth’s Caleb Dress ($98)

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IMG_2047I love the watercolory floral pattern of this dress. It reminds me a Donna Morgan dress that SF featured in the spring: both are bright, whimsical and perfect for warm weather. While the print was lovely and the fabric was silky and luxe, the sizing was all off. This is a size 12 — my normal — and it’s easily a size, maybe two, too big for me.

While I did track this dress down elsewhere online (and for $20 more), I decided to email SF about exchanging it for a smaller size. They told me that they were out of 10s, but could supply an 8. I originally said I would take an 8 and hope for the best, but then changed my mind and decided to get the dress elsewhere ($20 more, but free shipping and exchanges). I’m planning on wearing it to a wedding in August and don’t want to risk it not fitting — and, simply, being out $98. Returned.

Piece #2: Brixon Ivy’s James Laser Cut Dress ($78)

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Perfect! It fits snugly on the top, but then bells out just right to a flared skirt. I was a little concerned when I saw that this was in my Fix because SF sent me a dress in the same cobalt blue last summer, but I’ve put on some weight and it doesn’t fit quite right currently. (Oops!) This has enough interesting detailing between the laser cut outs and the gap in the back to make it worthwhile. It’s also a nicely made dress for this price point. I’ve styled it here two different ways — one for going out and another for work. Kept!

Piece #3: Mystree’s Serratoga Lace Trim Damask Print Tank ($48)

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I like this shirt much better in photos than I do in person. My first thought when, online, I saw I was getting it: “Nope, nope, nope.” This is technically called “navy” on the packing slip, but it falls awfully close to black and white, which I specifically asked to not receive. Plus I didn’t like the pattern much or the lace at the neckline when I pulled it out. Then I put it on and it was rather shapeless on me. Don’t get me wrong, the fabric is deliciously soft against the skin — but I can’t spend $48 on a “fancy blouse” only to want to nap in it. Returned.

Piece #4: 41Hawthorn’s Breyson Split Neck Pleated Sleeveless Blouse ($54)

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I had asked for golden yellow, but Alessandra said that they didn’t have anything in stock that shade, so she sent this. I surprisingly liked the color quite a bit — it’s bright and buttery, not garish or harsh. (And I think it looked really good with my hair.) With a specific bra on (ha!), this fit me perfectly, but the fabric was scratchy (kind of like $15.95 blouses from H&M that fall apart after a wash or two). Returned.

Piece #5: Mavi’s Hattie Skinny Jean ($98)

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Yeah, you’re not getting a picture of these on me. These are a size 31, the pant size I wear at the usually-runs-a-little-large LOFT. Simply: I can’t get these on past my knees. (C’mon, ladies, you’ve all been there too!) I liked the color a lot out of the box, until I realized that, when I tried pulling them on, they were deceptively similar to my skin tone. Hm… Skin-tight, skin-toned pants I can’t pull up? Returned.

Hit or miss? More hit than miss, but not perfect. I got, mostly, what I asked for: two flirty dresses, two sleeveless blouses, and colorful jeans. Only one item — the damask blouse — was a flop. In the end, I’m leaving with one SF purchase and a purchase elsewhere but of the same article. I’ll also just come out and say it: I don’t mind when some items are flops — my bank account is happier when I only buy one or two pieces!

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(Full disclosure: Stitch Fix did not ask or endorse me in any way to write a review of their service. If you click through the links above though, I will receive a $25 credit when you order your first Fix.)

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Season’s End

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Sweater: LOFT

Skirt: TJ Maxx

Shoes: LOFT

Watch: Fossil

Bracelets/Rings: Global Odyssey

Earrings: Old Navy

I’ve been working two jobs — one full-time, one part-time — for four and a half years. My part-time gig, working in house management for a local theatre, is, by far, the coolest thing I’ve done though. Surprisingly for a side job, I’ve been given a LOT of opportunity for growth there, both professionally and personally. I met B there, way back when, and we’ve been together ever since. I used the money I earned there over the past few years to buy a house. And I’ve developed a lot of skills that, eventually, got me job in the museum field. Plus, I mean: it’s a theatre and I was a total theatre nerd as a kid. While I don’t create the stuff happening on stage, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love it entirely just the same.

With all of that said, I put in a lot of hours at both jobs. I’ve mentioned in a recent post that I’m normally the first thing to get cut out of my own life, which is entirely true for ten months of the year. But there’s this window during the summer when the theatre goes black (meaning that we don’t have any shows running) and I get to, you know, do fun things!

Tonight was my last night of the season and it was certainly bittersweet. We had a larger crowd than usual this evening, who loved the show — the best nights to work. But it was also a relief to be done for another season and get some time to myself again during the summer, my favorite time of year. And, naturally, it’s always a little sad to say goodbye to colleagues for a couple of months too. But we always come back tanned and refreshed, ready for another whirlwind.

I chose this outfit because it’s easy to wear for 12+ hour work days, but it’s also fun and flirty and professional all at once. I love running around in this skirt because it’s so light and flounces in all the right ways, but never loses shape. This whole outfit just seemed so apropos today: ending one season and beginning another.

High Drama

Sometimes, you just need to jolt yourself alive again.

As a former runner, the past couple of years without that ritualistic habit have been enlightening. I’ve learned how hard it is to climb hills without strong quads and hamstrings or how eating “normally” packs on some extra pounds quickly. So, I went to the gym last night and made myself run. It was exactly what I needed.

I’ve never been a fast runner (I mean, look at those curves!), but I’ve never minded distances. I got on the treadmill and just did a mile and half. Was it harder than it should have been? Yes, initially, but I fell right into again. Was I bright red afterward? You betcha! Did I miss the hell out of that sweaty, gross, walking-is-somehow-easier-afterward feeling? YES.

I felt great afterward. Briskly, easily meandering through the grocery store to pick up some veggies afterward. Washing my sweaty hair before bed. Sleeping well and deeply. And this morning, I felt like a new person. Or, rather, like myself again.

I may not look any different in these photos, but, well, I felt different and that’s what matters.

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Blouse: H&M

Slacks: Old Navy

Flats: TOMS

Watch: Fossil

So clothes!

I’ve been thinking about this outfit combination for a while now. The blouse is something I bought on a whim at H&M a couple of years ago because I loved how dramatic it was: fitted at the waist, it then flairs out with some pretty pleats (possible?) and ends with a stunning high-low bottom. But I haven’t worn it because I thought it was too dramatic for me. I can do bright color and incredible pattern, but shape is still something with which I often have trouble.

So when I was pulling out and washing the rest of my stashed away summer clothes, I stumbled across these slacks. By being both bright red and very form fitting, I knew that they, like the blouse, were high drama as well. I figured, why not pair this theatrical blouse with stunningly bright pants? Both will keep up with the other and highlight some curves.

And, if smell-o-vision were a thing, you could also enjoy one of my favorite perfumes, CB I Hate Perfume’s In the Library. It was gifted to me years ago from a good friend who knows my deep loves of books and libraries. He bought it not knowing its exact scent, so it was a lovely surprise when it was heady and warm, sweet and woody all at once. (If you too are a bibliophile who enjoys perfume, two things: 1) buy this perfume, and 2) read Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.) I thought the scent, in all its moodiness, would complete the outfit and it did, impeccably so.

Sometimes you just need to push yourself in unexpected ways to feel normal again.

Disappearing Act

I’m sorry for disappearing for so long, folks! Work was a marathon of school kids and private events — and, in normal form, I’m the first thing to be cut out of my own life! But I’ve missed being here!

Besides me disappearing, so has 3 inches of my hair too! I decided to chop it short earlier in the week for something new. I’d had the same style for years and needed a change. This is it short and with a little texture product and in its natural, wavy state. My stylist did blow dry it straight and sassy, so I’m going to try my hand on doing that soon too! Hopefully I can nail that and share a photo!

This outfit is totally a steamy, summery Friday one: fun polka dots, a loose, bright blouse and my go-to sandals. (Yes, I do have other shoes!) I was experimenting with such a flowy blouse with a tighter pencil skirt. The results are so-so for me I guess. I love the color and texture against each other, but I think the blouse was too unstructured and long to really work for the skirt. My curves are hidden somewhere in there! It was easy to wear for a busy afternoon at the museum though, so that was a win!
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Blouse: 41Hawthorn’s McAdams Beaded Neckline Blouse via Stitch Fix

Skirt: H&M

Sandals: TOMS

Watch: Fossil

Weekly Wants: Skin Deep

For this week’s edition of “Weekly Wants,” I’m focusing on skin care. I haven’t addressed this fact directly on the blog yet, but I deal with cystic acne — those deep, ugly pimples that really hurt and seem impossible to deal with. I think it’s a genetic thing, as my mother’s dealt with the same problem for most of her life, so I’m also keenly aware that this isn’t a faze for my skin, this is simply how it’ll be for me for a long time. I’m kind of obsessed with means of treating acne and making skin look and feel better — themes you’ll see in my wants.

Before I get started, some quick points. First: I love my dermatologist. I sometimes think that we’re besties, mainly because I don’t let anyone look at my bare skin as closely or intensely as I let her. While I use over-the-counter products, I also use prescription products to help keep my face clear. Second: I’m not a doctor. I’m not scientifically certified in any way, shape, or form actually. Please, if you’re experiencing skin ailments, see a professional. My derm has changed my life (really!). Third: I wasn’t paid to list these products. They’re all sitting in my Birchbox cart until pay day!

Supergoop!® Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30

First up: Supergoop! Anti-Aging Sunscreen Serum SPF 30. The end of my 20s is nigh, so I really should endeavor to take better care of my skin when it comes to light exposure and pollution. The topical prescription I use can be fairly drying, so this dual action moisturizer and sunscreen could hopefully combat two problems at once.

Shiseido Simple Start for Trouble-Free Skin IBUKI Set

Next, Shiseido’s Simple Start for Trouble Free Skin. I’ve always heard that Shiseido created luxurious, miraculous products, so this value kit (only $25!) seems right up my alley. It includes a cleanser, softening concentrate, moisturizer, and their renowned Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (I feel like that sounds like something out of a comic book!). For a company that’s been around for 140 years, they have to know what’s going on, right?

WEI™ Multi Mask Multi Task Mask Collection
Finally, WEI’s Multi Mask Collection. I received a sample of WEI’s Manuka Bee Venom Mask in a Birchbox this winter and surprisingly loved it. (I do have some reservations about the harvesting of been venom: I’ve found some articles explaining a non-harmful method, but nothing specifically on WEI’s process of cultivation.) Beside ethical hesitation (which is the main reason why I haven’t purchased this collection since I added it to my cart several months ago), I’d be very excited to sample the other two masks included here before buying a full set of either — the Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask and the Kakadu Plum Brightening Sugar Mask.

What’s your skin like? Dry? Oily? Combination? What products do you use to treat your skin woes (if you’ve got those!)? Any magic elixirs you’d like to tell the world about?