Stitch Fix #13 Review: Breaking Up?

Hi, lovelies!

It’s spring! It’s SPRING! While it’s been a crazy few weeks for the weather in New England (ie, mid-70s in early March, but then 4 inches of snow on April 5th!), I think the warmer weather is here to stay.

With that in mind, I scheduled a Stitch Fix for early April and requested spring-y attire, specifically asking for and pinning a green dress, a white blazer and black lace skirt (for colder, tight-wearing days). Despite pulling images directly from SF’s Pinterest page that they’d just put up themselves, I received the items below. For the most part, they’re springy, warm weather pieces, but not what I wanted. Le sigh. 

Items 1, 2 and 3: Renee C Roseanne Faux Saude Swing Skirt ($64), Market & Spruce Lauderdale Knit Cardigan ($48), and Pixley Yelvert Lace Detail Blouse ($48)

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I liked all of the pieces, but none of them were right…

The blouse has a lace yolk AND buttons down the back (both features I love; no photos because, well, back fat), but was thin, scratchy and boxy. It pulled at my bust AND hips, but was way too loose at the waist. The only way I could wear it would be as shown — tucked in and covered up: lame.

The cardigan was all right: nice weight for spring, but I had just purchased a blazer in the same shade, so I couldn’t justify a sweater too.

And the skirt: this was the only thing I considered keeping. Because of the a-line faux suede, it was soft and flowy. Plus — look how tan my pale legs look against it! But it was $64 and I really couldn’t justify that for a skirt that was nice, but nice swoon-worthy.

All returned.

Item 4: Loveappella Celso Mesh Detail Knit Top ($54)

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“HA!” That was my first reaction when I pulled this out. I wanted spring, so I instead received a 90s-era black floral top? Curious.

The size was all right, as it had sufficient elasticity. And I realized as I was packing it up that the shoulder seams actually have mesh insets, which was supposed to be… edgy? I dunno. Inevitably, there was no way to sell me on this one. Returned.

Item 5: Skies are Blue Capaldi Surplice Cross Front Fitted Knit Top ($54)

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This hot mess. Oh. Boy.

The photo doesn’t truly show how this blouse had no idea what it meant to do. It was super fitted, but also had some rucheing to hide the chub that it highlighted? And the neckline twisted around for added drama, but then needed to be sewn down at the bust, which meant that pulled awkwardly. Pretty much, this was made for ladies who do not have breasts — which is so not me.

There are a number of photos of me pulling and tugging, but I really couldn’t put all of them on the internet. (I mean, I have a professional life to preserve, right?) And if I can’t put images of on the internet, how can I wear this to work? Returned. 

Final verdict: 0/5.

I’m debating if this is the last Stitch Fix I receive. While I’ve received some GREAT pieces over the past couple of years, I also have a number of things I’ve kept but don’t love so my $20 fee isn’t wasted. I’ve really taken to scouring TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack sites for pieces because I can generally find items that (1) I love (2) are in my size and (3) are on sale. While it’s not as exciting and takes A LOT more effort, I’m not as disappointed consistently, nor am I breaking the bank on stuff that I only like.

What do y’all think? Should I give up Stitch Fix one more shot? Are you breaking up with subscription boxes?

 

 

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Stitch Fix #11 Review: Birthday Edition

I’ve continually gone back and forth on Stitch Fix. My first few fixes were HORRIBLE! There was one fix in which the stylist (not Alessandra, mind you) pretty much said “here’s some stuff. enjoy…?” and sent me every single thing I mentioned I wanted to avoid. But then I’ve had some great finds, including a number of lovely dresses. Pretty much, once Alessandra stepped in, I’ve have moderate success.

When I requested my “birthday fix” in December, it was totally in the stressed-before-the-holidays spirit — usually when I’m apt to spend a lot of money on “retail therapy.” Then, when we hit 2016 and I resolved to be better about money, I regretted requesting a fix, knowing I’d spend more money on a single item than I would otherwise. I vowed not to keep anything…

Yeah, right.

Item #1: Crescent’s Lurli Grommet Detail Blouse ($54)

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This is the worst piece in the box. I just wanted to throw that fact out there, in case you couldn’t tell by the expression on my face.

The material was super thin and the shape was boxy beyond belief. Also, can we talk about the weird draping that happens because of the pleats at the neckline? I don’t mind pleating — except when it puts extra fabric in the position of falling between breasts and highlighting just how chesty I am. Oh — and the sleeves! There’s no cuff! It’s like their giant red tubes of fabric. Annnnd there are grommets. But the color is nice, I guess… Returned.

Item #2: RD Style’s Adriene Dress ($88)

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When I snuck a peak at what was coming in this fix, I was dismayed at this dress because I had specifically requested no grey.

Then I opened my box and realized, “Alessandra’s too good; it’s not grey, it’s SILVER!” The dress was really pretty and shimmery; I could so easily dress this up or down as needed. But A sent me a large and well, holiday sweets and birthday cake happened before my fix arrived. I took a profile photo to show how clingy the dress was, but decided not to post it because I look pregnant. Oops.

If A had sent the dress one size up, I would have kept it. Returned.

Item #3: 41Hawthorn’s Moni Geo Print and Camisole Blouse ($58)

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Look familiar? It should! I received this same blouse this summer in black!

I guess A knew how much I love my black version, so she sent a fun, patterned version. While I probably wouldn’t have chose this pattern myself, I really, really like it — like, scarily so.

Two small gripes. One: the shirt is ever-so-slightly tight around the shoulders. It wasn’t a big enough deal for me to pass up this blouse, but it’s something I don’t remember from the black version. Two: this is a set with a matching light blue cami. That’s usually a bonus, except when the cami feels and fits like it’s from the little girls’ section. I thankfully have some alternatives to switch it out for. Kept.

Item #4: Renee C’s Raquel Printed Swing Skirt ($58)

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One of intentions for 2016 is to not spend money unnecessarily, which is so sad considering this skirt. I loved it. It’s a lined, A-line navy bottom with a pop of white… Kind of like this skirt that I already own…

Really, I loved this skirt, but I couldn’t justify spending $58 on something that is way too close to a piece I already have.

The fabric was soft and the flow of the material was great, not too clingy like cotton can be. There’s an exposed silver zipper in the back, for some added punchiness. I paired it with the XX top, as Alessandra suggested, and I love that color combination with the brown boots (though I don’t look enthused because of that damn top!).

Alas, alack, I sent it back. Returned.

Item #5: Adrianna Papell’s Kalla Dress ($118)

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When I saw that I getting this dress (and then I saw the price!), I promised myself up and down I wouldn’t fall in love and keep it. Then it arrived and that promise faltered a bit. And then I put it on, looked in the mirror, and said, “damn it!” B’s reaction when he saw me in it sealed the deal: it needed to live in my wardrobe.

The material is thick and wears really well. As you can see in the photo, the color is gorgeous: it shimmers in the light in just the right way. And that lovely notched V into the neckline can be either modest or revealing! There’s some substantial ruching at the tummy; I read other reviews that said it added extra weight to their figure, but I’ll actually say that it really didn’t added more to me than was already there. I wasn’t displeased by the cut (although I’ve already mentioned I gobbled a lot of sweets this holiday and birthday season).

Needless to say — I kept it and wore it to my fancy-shmancy birthday dinner. Kept.

Hit or miss: 4/5 pieces were ones that I loved! Admittedly, I spent more money than I had intended but that Adrianna Papell dress was stunning. Minus some wardrobe duplication and size issues, I probably would have kept more from this birthday fix. Huzzah!

Stitch Fix #9 Review — Near Perfection!

I love my stylist Alessandra! This my my fourth Fix with her: while not everything was perfect, she keeps nailing my style and my wants!

This time around, I asked for some seasonal transitional items — both for weather and for my return to my part-time job at the theatre. I wanted more separates, maybe one dress, no black and white or polka dots. Oh, and maybe a teal skirt, and anything in dark blue/teal, plum, or mustard yellow. I received my Fix three days early (a second time in a row!) and loved what I found!

Item #1: Brixon Ivy’s Dona Lace Sleeve Knit Top ($48)

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This has to be a new Brixon Ivy top for the fall because I couldn’t find an image of it anywhere online.

I loved the color (a rich navy) and the lace yoke/sleeves — I thought it was fun, playful, flirty. Because of how idiosyncratic it is, I tried pairing it with a new skirt I just bought from Old Navy and booties. Not a great look, but sometimes it’s fun to push a limit and see what could/couldn’t work. Some of my favorite outfits are those that come out of “well, what if I paired…”

Anyway, back to the shirt. it’s about a half size too small and pretty thin (I notice it so much more when seeing these photos). It also has a weird hi-lo, shirt tail hem that, when it comes up at the seams is well above my hip. Weird. If it fit properly, I think it could have that casual sexy feel, but I feel kind of frumpy in it with the size being off. Returned. 

Item #2: 41Hawthorn’s Lisbon Stud Detail Blouse ($58)

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Love it! As you’ve probably noticed, I wear a lot of bright colors, but never much black. It’s from years of working at the theatre and always wearing black so I could slip through the audience unnoticed. I revolted when I got a promotion a couple of years ago: “no black unless I need to!”

I pulled this blouse out and loved it. The weight is great, so, despite being loose, it fits beautifully. I love the stud detail, as well as the cuff on the sleeves. I love it with jeans, and I could easily dress it up with slacks or a skirt. Kept.

Item #3: Papermoon Soldano Scallop Trim Blouse ($44)

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The color is rich and lovely, and the scallops at the neckline and armholes are sweet. While I loved it with a more masculine, edgier (faux) leather jacket, this was really light and airy, making it feel boxier than I would like (unlike the heavier 41Hawthorn blouse) with other pieces. Returned.

Item #4: Margaret M Christiana Pencil Skirt ($78)

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When I saw the price, I was ready to throw the skirt in the return bag without trying it on. “Almost $80 for a skirt!? No way!” I tried it on despite that reaction and loved it. It’s quite fitted, but the fabric is soft and the pattern is fun. I paired it with the purple Papermoon blouse above, a white one here (which I wore to work!), and I have so many fun ideas for this one into the fall! I had some credit, cutting down the price a bit. Kept.

Item #5: Kut from the Kloth’s Caleb Dress ($68)

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Sound familiar? That’s because I received this dress back in June! (Actually, that’s when this photo was taken! I didn’t have a great one from today; sorry, folks!) The original I received was a size 12, but fit like a 14 or so. I was so dismayed that I emailed Stitch Fix to see if I could exchange it somehow. They were out of 10s, so they offered me a size 8. I accepted, then declined.

Well, Alessandra was great and tracked down a 10 for me. And it’s $30 cheaper than it was in June! It fits beautifully, the fabric is fantastic and the watercolor pattern is stunning! Obviously I had to keep it!

Hit or miss: overall, success! I kept three of the five pieces, though I now kind of wish I had kept the Papermoon blouse. It did look really nice with that jacket! Alas! I received pretty much everything on target of my desires: mainly separates, and ones appropriate for the fall; plus a dress I knew I would love in my size and $30 cheaper!

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.)

May 2015 Birchbox Review

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My May 2015 Birchbox was a so-so mix. The box was pretty (though not as lovely as April’s!), but the products left much to be desired.

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Not a Perfume by Juliette Has a Gun. The base of this scent, according to the BB website, is “Cetalox,” which is a synthetic substitute used for grey amber, often found in other perfume mixes. While the site says it’s “elegant, pure, spicy, and completely allergen-free,” all I thought was “musty old lady.” I spritzed it on my wrists and chest and within two minutes, tried washing it off. While I diminished it significantly, I tried layering Tokyomilk’s Arsenic over it to mask it somehow. Five hours after first applying, it finally hit the “eh, all right” stage.

Evercolor Automatic Liner in Black Cherry by Mally Beauty. I’ll call myself out: I have super oily eyelids — strange, right? I often avoid pencil liners because they’re moot — they rub off after two hours. While I layered this liner on top of some eyeshadow (the black cherry looks great with pinks and plums, btw!), it started to fade as I hit the afternoon.

Sea Salt Texturizing Spray by Harvey Prince. As always, smells lovely, like the perfume Hello from the same brand. My hair is always wavy, so, while this enhanced it slightly without being sticky or stiff, I don’t want to create false hopes that this is the end-all-be-all of sea salt sprays. Sorry, straight-haired ladies!

Stem Cellular CC Cream in Desert Glow by Juice Beauty. Birchbox likes to send my endless BB and CC creams, which never provide enough coverage and make my skin slick and break-out. I like Juice Beauty for it’s natural ingredients and dedication to being green — things I, hopefully, endeavor to be someday — but the color was a touch off and, as you’ll see for the hydrating gel review below, I can’t use moisturizing products during the humid springs and summers.

Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel by Marcelle. To go with my oily eyelids, I also have (drumroll…) very oily skin. While I would have appreciated this sample a couple of months ago, when my skin was dry and flaky due to the cold, I can’t really use this now that the weather has turned in New England. Last week’s average temperature was about 80 degrees: I’m looking for ways to cut out excess moisture, not inspire more.

I’m on the fence about staying with Birchbox. I’ve been subscribing since July 2013, so almost two full years. Every so often, I get something that entirely justifies my loyalty, products I now adore: amika dry shampoo; Ruffian nail polishes; Liz Earle face wash; Benefit mascaras; Davines anything. But then I also get a month or two (or three) in a row, when I get all duds, tiny tubes that I end up tossing because I can’t stand the clutter on my bathroom shelves. Maybe I’ll give Birchbox until July 2015 to redeem themselves…

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? Or another monthly beauty box subscription? What do you love? Hate? What other subscriptions do you recommend?