Stitch Fix #10 Review

Number 5 with Alessandra — while not exactly right, I’m still pleased for two new additions!

For this fix, as I’m about to head into the cold months of November and December, I asked for some lightweight sweaters with fun details (lace overlay, button-backs, etc.), as well as a “bum-covering jacket” and a pencil skirt with thicker material. Alessandra was awesome on delivering what I asked for, which I so entirely appreciate; I’m not disappointed that everything didn’t work because I know I’m being heard at least. (My first handful of fixes were messes pretty much — including the one where I sent a scathing email to the company!)

Item #1: Brixon Ivy’s Fierro Elbow Patch Crew Neck Sweater ($58)

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I won’t lie: I peek at the listing of what’s coming in my fix before it arrives! This was the one item that I was excited about: it looked cute with a touch of whimsy.

When it arrived, it was the first item I tried on. While I wish it were cream instead of grey, I couldn’t resist the sweet lace embellishments. It’s a little longer that I like, but I like it with a pair of jeans, vest and flats. With the weather turning even cooler quickly, I know I’ll soon switch out those jeans and flats for cords and boots! Kept.

Item #2: Market & Spruce Riga Ponte Jacket ($78)

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I couldn’t find a single image of this jacket pre-delivery — so it was a total surprise!

Pretty simply: t’s a lightweight peacoat-type jacket. (Sorry the color is off — it’s navy and not black.) Alessandra sent me a size medium, which unfortunately was a half-size too small for real life. While I can certainly wear a tee or a thin sweater with this, I won’t be able to layer as much as needed in New England. Alas, alack! I do own a similar jacket from H&M in tan, but I know that they do have it in navy as well. Maybe, if I’m feeling a navy jacket, I’ll opt for that? We’ll see. Returned.

Item #3: 41Hawthorn McQue Solid Lace Sleeve Blouse ($48)

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I really, really wanted to like this blouse. I’ve been looking for a flirty navy blouse for a couple of months and hadn’t found the right one just yet.

When I pulled this out of the box, I thought it was the one. Lace sleeves! Button in the back! Swoon! But. Alas. I put it on — and saw right through it (there’s no no give in the bust area for me, so it really highlighted what it should have hidden). The material is a touch scratchy too. Such a bummer. It’s definitely a pretty shirt, but I don’t think it’s right for fully-chested ladies. Seeing this on other reviewers’ sites, I know it’s a hit for them, but they’re generally not as curvy as I am. Returned.

Item #4: Renee C Alondra Ruched Pencil Skirt ($58)

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I’ll admit that I like this skirt a lot better in the photo than I did in real life. Maybe it’s because I asked for a bottom with thicker material and this one is awfully thin. Or maybe because it’s grey and I specified wanting to avoid grey in my fixes. Or maybe it’s the ruched style AND stripes wrapping around the fullest part of my body. I tried it on, and quickly took it off. I felt like an ice cream cone. Returned.

Item #5: 41Hawthorn Presley Colorblock Button-Back Sweater ($68)

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The anomaly of this fix. When I saw that I was getting this sweater, I was slightly disappointed. I don’t like colorblocking generally and most of the reviews showed a yellow/grey or pink/cream mix — alright, but not great.

When I opened my fix, I was surprised and intrigued: I really liked the plum/pinky mix of this top. They’re not colors I would have chosen for myself, but that’s refreshing about Stitch Fix! I was always endeared to the sweater because it’s so soft! I was expecting something a little scratchy for some reason, but was happily delighted by the lovely feel of this piece.

I hemmed and hawed for a bit, but I decided to keep it in the end. It’s just beyond my comfort zone without being outrageous. Kept.

Overall: Two out of three — not too bad! I kept two sweaters, what I wanted and needed more than anything else. I wasn’t head over heels in love, but, then again, I hate winter dressing anyway, so it has to be summer manifested in a box to make me happy once the weather goes cold.

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Native Resident

Where have I been? Just out pushing every limit I’ve got — and, hell, it’s been interesting!

Today is “17 of 20,” meaning I’m working day 17 of a 20 day streak. (Oof! It was only supposed to be 12 days, but morphed when I spent A LOT of time prepping for a group on Sunday.) While working 17 days is a lot, I somehow packed the schedule with more than usual tasks and meetings. In that period of time, I have:

  1. Hosted six private museum tours: three adult groups, three school groups.
  2. Managed four theatre performances.
  3. Attended my first book club meeting, during which we discussed Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s newly translated Tram 83.
  4. Attended tea at the house of two 90-year-old former professors and heard about their life escapades.
  5. Heard from an old friend who I thought I’d lost a long time ago.
  6. Was formally interviewed on views and takes of my fair little city for a community video by a local real estate company. (More below.)
  7. Was offered, negotiated, and accepted a promotion. (Wait, wha…? I’ll get back to this one in the near future.)
  8. Saw a heartbreaking production of A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as a performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral.
  9. Watched three movies: Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak (great actors; not the best script, though it falls in line with my gothic lit frenzy lately; oh, and Tom Hiddleston — swoon!); Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs (can’t go wrong with Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet); and National Theatre’s filmed production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch. (Just add James McAvoy and I’d have seen all of my favorite — and dreamy — leading actors in a week!)

So that’s where I’ve been!

But you’re here for clothes! Back to the main topic!

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a local real estate company to be interviewed for a city-specific promo to help soon-to-be-transplants decide what region in which to settle. In addition to having worked in my little city for a couple of years, I also grew up in the area; seems appropriate, I guess, to explain the ins and outs to newbies.

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Dress: H&M

Sweater: H&M

Belt: Target

Tights: Target

Shoes: Naturalizer via DSW

This is a pretty no fuss outfit. The dress doesn’t wrinkle easily and the sweater is comfy without being dowdy. I added a little punch with the leopard print belt (which, admittedly, was buried in some chub when I was sitting for my interview — oops!). While I love pops of color and punches of pattern, I didn’t know how well that would play on camera, so I erred on solids.

When I walked into the museum that morning, I looked as I do here: specifically, sans lipstick. My colleague pretty much pulled me aside and asked if I was going to put some on because I wear it so often! Glad to be known for that trademark! I went with Model Co.’s Peony because it’s a great pop of fuchsia without, I think, being comical. (I hear “fuchsia lipstick” and think 1980’s Barbie cartoons.)

(B and I finished watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this summer — but every so often, I reenact Titus’ “Circle of Life” scene with our cats. They are not as accommodating as his feline, though.)

The Cat’s Meow

We have three felines. I think their nicknames give you a sense of each personality. (When TS Elliot wrote that cats have several names, not just the ones we give them, he wasn’t kidding.)

  1. Lenka, aka “Cat-Face,” “Baby Guurl,” or, when she’s particularly naughty, “Lenka-what-are-you-DOING?!” (all one word).
  2. Sweetie, aka “Sweetheart,” “Skinny Minny,” “Vomit-a-tron 1” (yeah, gross, but apt).
  3. Violet, aka “Shrinking Violet” or, lately, “Miss Meows-a-lot.”

In my “about me” page, I mention that sometimes our cats photobomb these mini morning shoots. Usually it’s a casual walk through or sometimes they roll a ball at me to play. But, for some reason, this morning all of our cats decided that they wanted to hang out with me in front of the camera.

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Top: LOFT

Skirt: Stitch Fix

Tights: Target

Flats: TOMS

Necklace: The Knotty Owl via Etsy

Sweetie is the demure tuxedo I’m holding in the first photo, while Lenka is the photogenic Maine Coon. (Yes, I’m holding her on her back upside down: we’ve developed a weird gymnastic routine for her because she loves attention so much.) And Violet is the flash of black fur.

I don’t know why they wanted to join me today. Maybe it’s the skirt? Sweetie liked it last time I wore it. Or maybe they liked my raven’s skull necklace from The Knotty Owl?

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I really like this outfit because it’s a fun way to play with texture and pattern. The shirt has a great iridescent sheen to it, which plays well against the grain of the skirt: each light up in various ways as they shift. The skirt also has a larger, geometric pattern, which fly right up against the organic cheetah print of the shoes. And the tights? They provide a dark background for the shoes to pop and I like that the neutral color of top and the black of the tights are both picked up again in the shoes. Oh, and it’s autumn in New England and they’re part of the uniform now.

Finally: the necklace! I bought this stunner a couple of years ago when Ashley listed it on sale for 40% off. I simply couldn’t decline a beautiful hand carved replica of a ravens’s skull at reduced price. (I mean, really?!) When it arrived, B named this guy “Lookout” after the rook’s skull in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. I didn’t know the allusion readily, but I loved that there could be such a reference made. He “looks out” for those cats all the time, making sure they don’t bat all my other gems and trinkets around.

“Overcome / by ordinary contentment.”

When I was in college, I majored in English and, with probably one or two more classes, I would have concentrated in poetry. The almost-concentration wasn’t something I planned but failed to complete: I just happened to take a lot of poetry classes. (All of this can also be said for creative writing too. Guess what I wrote primarily? Poetry.)

What does that have to do with anything, right?

Well, I was trying to think of a quippy bird idiom to name this post, and kept coming back to one of my favorite poems. The title comes from Jane Kenyon’s “Having It Out with Melancholy,” which is a transparent, raw look at depression. I’ve been thinking about the last part of the poem lately, “Wood Thrush:” the perfect line break, the twisting emotions, the haunting last line. There’s something about the pivotal moment Kenyon captures — awaking from sadness — and keying into the world around you, honing all your attention into a singular place, forgetting pain that resonates with me so deeply lately.

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Sweater: LOFT

Skirt: Old Navy

Tights: Target

Shoes: Naturalizer via DSW

Watch: Fossil

Necklace: Modcloth

I’ve felt like these photos a lot lately: distant, aloof, off kilter. There’s a lot swirling around, between a number of huge museum endeavors this month, a sudden death of someone at the theatre, back pain, exhaustion, etc. But through this, I’m trying to hold onto those brilliant moments that pierce through it all: a striated sunrise or golden light through leaves. The days are long and tough, but they’re marked with such beauty.

(I guess if there was any one thing I learned from my failed meditation training session this weekend, it’s this: breathe and observe.)

All Quiet on the Western Front

After B took photos for me this morning, as I was about to zoom out the door to work, he said how I look like a lady gun-slinger from an old western film. While it’s rainy and dreary and officially autumn in New England, I’ll admit that I put an extra swagger in my step today after that comment.

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Dress: TJ Maxx

Sweater: H&M

Boots: Naturalizer

Belt: Target

Hat: Target

My weekend is far from a rodeo though. I’m about to attend a mini-training session on meditation practices, mainly because, well, I need it. I’m hoping to pull some good life skills out of these next 24 hours because during the next month, I will be pushing myself beyond all my limits: professionally, socially, physically, and intellectually. Am I doing anything glammy or glitzy that’s causing so many boundaries to be pushed? Not really: lots of work, per usual. I’ve just lined up my schedule in such a way that I really need to conquer every hurdle gracefully to win it. I think I’ve nailed down my “fierce” face though.

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