Thursday, May 7, 2015

April 2015 Stitch Fix

I'm a little bit late, but here's my 15th Stitch Fix box!

If you don't know what Stitch Fix is, check out my intro post.

This month, my note to my stylist was: "I really loved the bright colors and prints from my last fix! My wardrobe is currently lacking in those two areas, so I would like more of those types of pieces. I'm also getting into the nautical theme as the weather starts to warm up!" 

Shan wrote that she was "definitely going to keep an eye out for some nautical themed pieces" (which means no nautical pieces were in inventory), but for the rest of the box, I got:

Abbi Reversible Skirt:
First Side
Second Side

You guys... this is a reversible skirt! 2 in 1! I really love the idea of this - getting more use out of one piece of clothing.

This skirt is also a-line (which is flattering for my body type), hits right above my knee, and is very, very soft. I also like the pattern on the first side.

Verdict: KEPT!

Elaine 3/4 Sleeve Pleat Waist Dress:

I've actually received this dress before in maroon (see here). While I was kind of disappointed to get the same thing, I like the style of this dress and I looooooove the teal green color. I could have been persuaded to buy this again. However, it came with a broken zipper.


Yup, the last time I got this dress, the zipper was broken. In fact, in my previous post, I was doing the exact same thing I'm doing here: holding the dress together. My mother fixed the first dress, but because of the way the dress is sewn, it was hard to fix perfectly. Needless to say, the dress itself is prone to zipper breakage, and there was no way I'd pay for another version (even though I adore the teal green color much more than the maroon).


Verdict: RETURNED.

Ashlee Floral Print Swiss Dot Blouse:
I really like this floral blouse. I told my stylist I wanted some prints, and this has subtle polka dots mixed with the flowers. While I was unsure how I felt about grey this time of year, I feel like it worked with the brighter colors in the flowers. It also fit perfectly and was light and airy.

Phil thought it looked like a grandma shirt, but... eh, I like it and that's what matters. 

Verdict: KEPT!

Montezuma Split Neck Blouse:

Sigh... I wanted to like this shirt. I really did. I like the bright color, the subtle heart print, and the lightness of the fabric, but... it looked terrible on me.

Dem arms though...
My arms! Eeew! Something about the sleeves did not work with my body type. It looked almost as if this would be a short sleeved shirt, which is the sleeve type I like best, but it ended up being a cross between short sleeves and sleeveless. It was as if the large arm holes were made for a sleeveless shirt, but they added a large hem to make a "sleeve."

I'm not sure if this was intended to be a looser shirt for someone with smaller shoulders, but it looked almost trailer trash on me. :( I could see it looking amazing for someone much more slender than me though (dang you curves....).

Verdict: RETURNED.

Kathy Striped Fit And Flare Dress:

This dress was... ok. I liked receiving something with stripes, and something about this makes me think I could get a French vibe going on. I also really like fit and flare dresses.

But it just didn't seem to click with me. I don't like puffy sleeves (I feel like I need to minimize my shoulders - not maximize them), and the fabric seemed heavy for the summer. Had I kept another piece, I might have been persuaded to keep this one.

Interestingly, I know someone who has this dress, and it looks amazing on her. It's funny how things look different on different bodies, but that's the challenge in fashion, right?

Verdict: RETURNED.

As far as following my requests, my stylist, once again, picked out pieces that were related to those requests. I asked for bright colors, and 3/5 pieces were colorful. I also asked for prints, and 4/5 of the pieces had prints. While I was expecting more color, I can definitely see why Shan picked out the pieces she did (and that I may not have been very clear about wanting bright colors in every piece, ha ha!). I imagine it must be hard to style someone you've never met and who has never described their style in more than... say... 2-3 sentences each month.

I will, unfortunately, have to take a small break from Stitch Fix from May-August. I'm leaving to work at a law firm in San Francisco, and I'm not sure where I'll be getting mail and how much I can bring back. If I find it's relatively easy to get Fixes, I'll contact them and reinstate my subscription for those months, but... the thought of not getting Fixes is so sad!

I have one more box for this month (May) that Stitch Fix has kindly expedited for me. Stitch Fix's Customer Service made it super easy to put my subscription on hold and expedite a box. I really appreciate great Customer Service in a company, and I have nothing but good things to say about Stitch Fix's Customer Service.

Until next time, school's out for the summer! Enjoy it!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Your Bijoux Box March 2015

In my search for everyday jewelry, I ran across a subscription service called Your Bijoux Box. This box costs $35/month and includes three pieces of "hand curated jewelry." See their FAQ page for more information. 

This box is different from Wantable's Accessories Box. Instead of Wantable's customization, the three pieces are chosen by stylists who keep their eye on current trends. Consequently, you get no say in the process. However, if you like their taste, then this box may be for you.

(Fyi, if you're unsure about the style of the pieces, Your Bijoux Box posts past boxes on their website and their Instagram pages).

I looked at their past boxes and was intrigued. I signed up for their March box and got:

Avril Chain:

This is a long chain necklace that I can see paired with maxi dresses or white T-shirts. I love gold and blue together. While this isn't something I'm really excited about, I can see myself wearing it throughout the spring and summer months.

The quality is what I would expect from a box that cost $35. I'm happy to say that I wore it around Boston for a couple of hours and I didn't break out in a rash. Therefore, this necklace is nickel-allergy safe!

Elyse Emerald Necklace:
I finally, FINALLY got my statement necklace! This is shiny and brightly colored, which is really all that I was looking for. 

The weight seems good and the "stones" look like they'll stay on the necklace. There's nothing more irritating than a statement necklace that loses its stones (looking at you H&M flower necklace....). I hate to compare, but the quality of this necklace is in my opinion much higher than the statement necklace I received in my Wantable box.

Bonus: it's green! I got this necklace right in time for St. Patrick's Day. In different lighting, the top bars on the necklace look either yellow or light green. Somehow this makes the necklace pair well with almost any color of green shirt, which makes it surprisingly versatile. 

Etoile Necklace:

This is a fun delicate necklace. It reminds me of a star, which ultimately reminds me of my Astronomy roots. I also really like the alternating detail on the gold chain.

Add on: Spring Posey Collar

I couldn't help it, but I bought this necklace as an add-on. One of the benefits about being a subscriber is that you can purchase pieces that non-members can't. This was one of the pieces that I fell in love with.

The prices of add-on pieces vary. This one was $18, although other pieces have been listed as low as $10.

I enjoyed this subscription and will continue to subscribe. My taste in jewelry seems to run fairly close to the stylists for this box, and I feel the quality is very good for the price of the box.

And, to be honest, I just bought another add-on for April's box so....  be on the lookout for next month's box! :)

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 2015 Stitch Fix

It's my favorite time of the month... my Stitch Fix arrived!

If you don't know what Stitch Fix is, check out my intro post. Here's my past fixes (that I've put up on this blog):

December 2014
January 2015
January/February 2015
February 2015

I thought it would be fun to include my note to my stylist. I'm always impressed by how closely Shan follows my requests. For this month, I asked for:

Note: "Spring, spring... I desperately want spring to arrive in New England. I would love, above all, for florals in my next Fix. I also love white, lace, and bright colors like coral and turquoise this time of year. I also have law prom coming up on April 18th. If you have anything formal (it's a ball), I'd appreciate it in this box even if the price is higher than normal."

And I got...

Isaac Floral Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse:

The first thing I pulled out of my box was this floral blouse. This is perfection for spring! I've been looking for a floral print on a white/cream background, but have had a hard time tracking something similar down.

The only problems with this shirt is the tab sleeves (I find tab sleeves commonly look sloppy on me) and the size. Even though my size in tops is set to "small" on my Style Profile, I ended getting mediums for all my shirts! I'm not sure how the mix-up happened, although I did recently increase my size for dresses and outerwear.

I emailed customer service and asked if they had this top in my size in stock. Luckily, they had this shirt and will send me an exchange.

Verdict: KEPT (after exchange)

Moni Geo Print & Camisole Blouse:

This top certainly satisfies my request for "bright colors." I actually like the pattern and hope to incorporate more patterns into my wardrobe. This is a shirt I've actually received before in black, but I requested this shirt in more colors/patterns because I love the style. It's a shirt I could wear with leggings/jeggings since it covers the bum.

Again, however, this shirt was too large. Luckily Stitch Fix also had this in stock in my size, and so they'll be exchanging this top too.

Verdict: KEPT (after exchange)

Alessandria Crochet Bib Lace Top:

I asked for "white, lace", and this top certainly fits that request. I have mixed feelings about this top. While it's light and airy, which is perfect for spring, I'm not really a peasant top sort of girl (although I'm not sure if this actually is a peasant top - I'm pretty ignorant about fashion). I'm also not crazy about the sleeves that cinch in at the wrists.

However, I can't help but wonder if I'm not giving this top a chance. Like the other shirts, this was too large for me. Since I couldn't return an exchanged item, I decided to let this one go.

Verdict: SENT BACK

Addie V-Neck Dress:

This is the dress that was sent to me for Barrister's Ball. I was certain the dress would be unflattering on me when I pulled it out of the box.

To my surprise, I think it looks pretty good on me. I'm hesitant about sleeveless dresses, since I feel my arms are a little chubby. However, I don't have a LBD and I feel like this could be worn on date nights. Therefore, because of its versatility, I'm keeping it.

Verdict: KEPT

Tamar Lace Detail Sweater:

My last item was a sweatshirt with lace insets. The lace insets are present in both the front and the back.

I like the idea of this, but it just didn't fit my style. I'm generally not a fan of sweatshirts because I feel like they're too boxy. This one was no exception.

Verdict: SENT BACK

Barring the sizing problem, I felt like the customization of this fix was very good. I asked for "florals" and "white, lace, and bright colors." I also asked for a dress for Barristers Ball. In response, Shan sent me a floral blouse, a colorful top, two tops with lace, and a dress. She pretty much hit every request I threw at her this fix!

I would also like to give a shout out to Stitch Fix's customer service. They responded to my email within the same day I sent it and were courteous throughout the entire process. I'll report back on the exchange process, but I really appreciate good customer service!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 2015 Stitch Fix

Guess what arrived on my doorstep yesterday? My Stitch Fix!

I'm actually kind of shocked that I'm writing this so quickly. I usually find it hard to squeeze in the time to write reviews, but this week is my winter break (which means freeeeedom to write whatever I want!).

If you don't know what Stitch Fix is, check out my intro post. Here's my past fixes (that I've put up on this blog):

December 2014
January 2015
January/February 2015

This month I asked my stylist for jackets and casual dresses.  Here's what Shan sent me:

Roosevelt Moto Jacket:
This was the first jacket I pulled out of the box. I paired it with a scarf I received in my last fix, jeans, and a white T-shirt.

I've always had trouble styling jackets. I moved to New Hampshire from the hot desert of Tucson, Arizona, so currently I'm wearing jackets that are warm but shapeless. Ultimately I'll always choose warmth over style (sorry, it's COLD here!), but I'll be able to expand my outerwear choices when it starts to warm up a little.

I like the style of this. It gives a little edge that makes my basic outfit look more put together than it really is. However, this jacket is too small. I can zip it up, but only if I hold my breath. The sleeves are also squeezing my arms, making it very uncomfortable. For these reasons, I had to send it back.

Verdict: SENT BACK

Rhonda Knit Back Faux Leather Jacket: 

This was the second jacket I pulled out, and its leather! This is actually a grey - rather than black - leather jacket, which makes it a little different from most other leather jackets. It's also soft and pliant. I've been thinking about getting a leather jacket for a while now because it's something everyone should have in their wardrobe.

Also, I've been watching a lot of Supernatural and Gordan Ramsey shows lately, and those shows both rock leather jackets. What can I say? I like to dress like my heroes. :)

I actually really kind of love the look. Like the moto jacket above, it makes my plain outfit look more put together than it really is.

Verdict: KEPT

Christy Layered Bauble Necklace:

I pinned this on my Pinterest board. I'm glad my stylist was able to pick up on this and include it in my box. I love mint green for spring.

Verdict: KEPT

Melinda Textured Dress:

Like the jackets, Stitch Fix sent me two dresses. When I first pulled this out of the box, I thought it looked boring. Like... Really? Grey? Yawn...

But I liked the fabric and the cut of the dress, so I took my stylist's advice and paired it with the mint green statement necklace and a contrasting belt.

And voila, it made a huge difference! Stylists really do know what they're talking about, ha ha! I ended up really liking this dress.

Verdict: KEPT

Petrova Textured Pleat Skirt Dress:

This dress is actually a gorgeous color of green (I adore this color sooooo much - too bad my camera had trouble picking it up). It's also made of a nice fabric with some weight to it.

However, I don't think this style of dress is flattering on my figure. My boyfriend simply looked at me and said "no" when I put this on. Apparently, he says, I look like "someone from the Wizard of Oz." While I wouldn't go as far as Phil, I do think that perhaps the skirt is too full or the top part of the dress doesn't flatter my bust or... I don't know. I think it does make me look short(er).

The skirt is pretty swingy though, which makes it fun. :)

Also, I had a lot of trouble zipping this up. It's not because the dress is too small - the zipper just gets caught easily as I pull it up. I'd need another person to help me into this dress... For these reasons, I had to send it back.

Verdict: SENT BACK


I'm always struck by how well Stitch Fix follows my requests and Pinterest board. I asked for jackets and dresses, and I got two(!) of each. While I'm not entirely sure the dresses are as casual as I would have liked, they're machine washable (which is a HUGE plus) and can be worn as everyday wear in my law classes.

And I'm more than slightly excited to sport the leather. :)

Thanks Shan!

February 2015 Wantable Accessories Box

This month I decided to try the Wantable Accessories subscription service. This box costs $36/month (or $40 for one box) and includes accessories like jewelry, sunglasses, watches, scarves, and hair accessories. While you can't pick the items you'll receive, you are able to customize it somewhat by filling in a questionnaire that specifies what you "love," "like," and "dislike." You'll never receive products in your "dislike" section. 

I came across this box late last year. A bunch of Youtubers started posting Wantable Accessories unboxing videos, and although they varied on whether the items were their style, they seemed to consistently applaud the quality of the items. They also seemed inordinately excited about the quality of the black bags the items came in.

All in all, everyone said this was a great deal, because they typically got items worth much more than they paid for the box.

What can I say? I caved in. I love jewelry, and I love the statement jewelry trend.

However, I was apprehensive to get this box for a number of reasons. First, I'm allergic to anything nickel or lead based, which is what cheaper jewelry is typically made of. My skin is very sensitive and will break out in a rash if I wear these metals. Moreover, earrings in those metals can make the pierced holes in my ears bleed. Not cute. Second, I have a high standard for jewelry. While my parents are and have been mainly employed as scientists, they did dabble in the jewelry business for a number of years. I've spent many days manning our jewelry booth at gem and mineral shows, hearing my father cut gems, seeing my mother select strands of real pearls, and I've been to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (the largest in the world) many, many times. My family also personally knows a lot of talented jewelers.

Now, I know Wantable wouldn't be able to send high end jewelry for only $36. I'm not out of touch with reality. I had been wanting to try the statement trend for a while and was looking to find statement pieces that, although they were costume jewelry, didn't look too cheap/cheesey.

So I signed up for a box and limited my "loves" and "likes" to statement pieces, sunglasses, and scarves. According to Wantable, the retail value of my box was $80. Here's what I got...

Emily Necklace: Retail Value $24

This was my favorite piece out of the box. I like wearing longer necklaces with lightweight sweaters, and this one has some sparkle. It's my style.

However, I don't like the color of the chain. In this picture, the lighting makes the chain look more gold than it really is. In real life, this is more of a brown bronze color and is quite dull. However, while I wouldn't pay $24 for this necklace, the quality is around that price point (I'd pay $10-15 for it). Close enough - I'm happy.

I wore this around for a day and I didn't break out in a rash. So... win!

Sasha Earrings Gold: Retail Value $18

I usually like more classic style earrings, but I was open to these. However, the plastic is a bit duller than I expected for earrings that cost $18. I don't know, these are made of plastic and probably glass or plastic rhinestones, which are pretty cheap and easy to make reflective or shiny. In artificial light (which is all I get in law school), the main plastic "gems" don't reflect any light at all or have any vibrancy of color. So I'd actually pay $5-7 for these.

To make matters worse, there's a plastic backing, which usually signals that I'm going to be allergic to the earrings (because plastic backings usually go on the cheapest of earrings). Sure enough, after I put these in my ear, my ear holes started to itch. I know that feeling. It usually ends in bleeding ears. I took them off right away.

So these, unfortunately, are earrings I cannot wear. :( If I get another box, I'll have to put earrings in the "dislike" section.

Macy Sunglasses Gold: Retail Value $14

 These are just not my style. They're a bit old lady for me. And they dwarf. my. face.

If I did like them, I'd probably pay $5-10 for them.

Gracie Necklace: Retail Value $24

I ordered a Wantable box just to get more statement necklaces. This was the piece I was waiting for...

But, again, it feels so cheap. The plastic is dull, the chain is that dull brown bronze color, and the plastic wasn't even glued carefully. I would never pay $24 for this. Maybe $10 tops.

I don't know... was I expecting too much? I don't understand how everyone and their dog raves about the quality of the jewelry. It's nothing special to me.

Concluding Thoughts:

Except for the sunglasses, this box was my style. Most of the pieces fit within my "loves" section, and I didn't receive anything in my "dislike" section. The customization is very good in that respect.

But was this box worth the price? Yes, I think it is, but you get what you pay for.

I think I was hoping that somehow Wantable, buying items in bulk and not acting so much as a retail store, would be able to pass on their savings to us. But like many things in life, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

And I'm not sure where the Youtubers are coming from. Perhaps they buy their jewelry from Forever 21? The quality definitely beats Forever 21, but that's... not really hard to do. Also, the travel jewelry bags did not live up to the hype (not that I care about them... but I sometimes wonder if Youtubers follow the same script and just repeat what other Youtubers say).

I've placed my March box on hold. I may give Wantable another chance, but I'm trying another jewelry service for around the same price. It'll be interesting to compare the two boxes.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hot Chocolate

Today is a snow day in New England!

I still get unreasonably excited about snow days. I think it's because I come from the southwest, where snow is rare.

But the best thing about snow is that it's an excuse to drink hot chocolate and cuddle under some blankets. Stay warm everyone!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January/February 2015 Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix #12... I've been with this company for a year now, and I can't imagine cancelling my subscription anytime soon!

If you don't know what Stitch Fix is, check out my intro post. Here's my past fixes (that I've put up on this blog):

December 2014
January 2015

In case you're wondering why my title is between two months, it's because I received this Stitch Fix a couple days ago. I have a monthly subscription, but they like my shipments to arrive on Thursdays, which means they come in just under a month.

I guess that just makes this month extra special. :)

So, for my end of the month Stitch Fix, I received:

Queensland Dolman Jersey Top:
Ahhhh... Stitch Fix dolman tops are so comfortable! This one is no exception. I feel like I'm in my PJs when I wear these, but I think they dress things up nicely.

Also, I love wearing darker colors in winter. I know a lot of people like to "brighten" their mood by wearing brighter colors, but me... I'm all about seasons. I love winter. Even though it's frigid outside and New England was hit by major snowstorms recently, I think winter is one of the most beautiful seasons. Unlike the frenetic energy of reproducing and growing in the spring and summer, winter is when the world outside slows down to sleep. Winter is when the world becomes peaceful... all wrapped in a sparkling layer of ice. It may be a cruel beauty, but I can enjoy it inside, cuddled under a blanket and sipping hot cocoa.

So yes, I like celebrating winter and its darker colors. Winter is, imho, one of the most under appreciated seasons.

Verdict: KEPT

Farrow Lace Panel Top:
This is actually my favorite piece in this box. I love cream/white tops and I love lace. This combines them all.

However, fellow Stitch Fixers, this is not a sweater. It's a thin fabric, and you'll have to wear something underneath. I don't mind this, since New England reacts to cold weather by cranking up the heating way too much. In fact, I asked Stitch Fix for help in dealing with the temperature extremes between the cold outside air and overly heated building interiors. This is a really nice base layer for that purpose.

And the details are just gorgeous...
Criss cross back
Side lace detail. Excuse the cat food bag. :)
Verdict: KEPT

Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse:
I think this top looks more flattering in person. It's a top that I've seen a lot of other Stitch Fixers get, but I hadn't received one until now. I'm so happy I did, because it's a cute top. I've been obsessed with pleating for some reason recently, and the front of this top has pleating. I also asked for 3/4 sleeve tops, so thanks for listening to me Stitch Fix!

You can also make this work for work.

Verdict: KEPT

Maureen Twisted Seam Elbow Patch Sweater:
This is also a sweater that I think looks better in person. I'm not entirely sure it flatters me, but my boyfriend said I looked fine in it, so it's probably ok. It's totally my style - my boyfriend is not a fan of elbow patches, but I like them for some reason. I also love the fabric on this sweater, and it's, most importantly, very soft and comfortable.

This was the only piece in my box that I was unsure of, but I ended up keeping this to get the 25% discount. Don't worry though. It'll get worn!

Verdict: KEPT

Tina Checkered Infinity Scarf:
This scarf is oh. so. soft. It's also warm. And soft! Did I mention it's soft?!

I love the plaid, I love the colors, and I love infinity scarves. This one was mine as soon as I took it out of the box.

Verdict: KEPT

Wow Stitch Fix! Once again, I'm keeping the whole box. My stylist seems to know my style, even though I'm not sure I had a style before I started Stitch Fix. After a year of providing feedback and pinning things on my Pinterest board, Stitch Fix has helped me find my personal image as well as some great pieces. And that's a gift I can take shopping with me!