Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stitch Fix aka My Triumphant Return to Blogging

So...life, eh?

Being a stay-at-home mom has been wonderful and really treating me well these past 18 months since I made it official, but I'm sad to report that as much as Baby Toddler O and I may be thriving internally, fashion-wise I'm merely a shell of my former stylish self.

Case in point: Husband has been asking me for years to throw away three sweatshirts which I've owned since high school. I really don't understand his problem with them since I only ever wear them around the house when it gets chilly but whatever: it bugs him and I'm a nice wifey. I found two sweatshirts for $5 each at Old Navy and promptly threw out the high school sweatshirts. But now I have been wearing the new sweatshirts out in public, several times a week! So now I've gone from wearing old sweatshirts, but only at home to wearing new sweatshirts every single day as my outfit. Is it progress because they are new or regression? I'm not sure.

I can report that I have only worn yoga pants out of the house once and while it was a glorious and freeing experience, I've decided that it might be a bit too dangerous to have that much stretchy-comfortableness available to me, particularly since Husband and I have counted at least a dozen frozen yogurt/ice cream shops within ten miles of our house!

Which brings us to another situation: my closet is empty.

Not figuratively empty as in there are 3000 things in there and I'm whining to Husband, "I have nothing to wear!", but literally empty as in I have maybe 15 things hanging in my closet right now and a good 10 of them are sleeveless or short sleeved t-shirts, thus completely inappropriate to wear given the foot of snow in our front yard.

"What happened?" you ask.

Well a few things: first, I finally got down to business and decided it was time to lose the baby weight. I gained nearly 20 pounds trying to get pregnant and then another 30 actually being pregnant so I had a big task ahead of me. I started around this time last year: counting calories, getting back into running and attending boot camp-style weight training classes taught by a friend of mine.

The good news is that my hard work paid off: I lost the baby weight plus an additional 15 pounds.

The bad news is that now none of my old pre-pregnancy clothes fit anymore: they are all too big! I kept some of them around for a while before finally realizing that not only was I saving these clothes for a world when I had to go back to work (yuck) but for a world where I had also gained 20 pounds (double yuck!). I listed most on roxy's Effortless Anthropologie Trade Market Facebook group and sent the rest off to Goodwill.

Second, I panicked and decided my house was trying to suffocate me. A little backstory: we bought our house in 2007 right at the height of the real estate bubble. The minute the ink was dry on the paper our house was worth significantly less than what we paid for it so what initially was supposed to be our "starter home" where we'd have one baby and then move has turned into our "stuck here indefinitely home". So Husband and I started talking about Baby 2 and I'm thinking I'm all ready to start trying sometime this year and then I wake up that night at 2am in a panic: where are we going to put this baby? We have three bedrooms: ours, Toddler O's, and a guest room that we use a ton because my parents visit several times a year and stay for a few weeks each time. We are so packed into our current house, there isn't even floor space to blow up an aero mattress! I definitely freaked out and came to the New Years Resolution that we need to make better use of our space.

This led to a complete home purge. I went through every box and bin and trashed a ton. We made countless runs to Goodwill and several dumpster drop-offs at my sister-in-law's condo complex. Ultimately we turned out laundry room into an office, will turn our downstairs den into a guest bedroom/workout room, and Toddler O will move into the guest bedroom at some point down the road. Granted we aren't even close to getting pregnant again but just having all this done now makes me feel so much better since it won't be weighing down on me when I'm as big as a house and eating instant mashed potatoes and grilled cheese sandwiches like it's my job!

So all my beloved Anthropologie clothes have been sold or are on the market and most of the rest of my wardrobe got donated. What's a girl to do?

Start shopping, of course!

Now back in his infant days, Toddler O was a great shopping companion. I'd pop him in the stroller, he'd conk out and I'd run all my errands. Perfection. Not so much these days. First of all, good luck getting Toddler O to sit in his stroller. Sometimes snacks help lure him in but other times he arches his back or goes boneless or just thrashes so much I can't even grab hold of a limb to strap in. When I do get him in, I've got to keep him moving or else he gets bored. I can occasionally find a mirror to entertain him (vain little boy loves looking at himself) or he'll spot another person to flirt with, but otherwise I'm dealing in minutes not hours. And if he decides he wants to walk that day? Forget it. It takes all my energy to stop him from pulling every cardigan off the shelf that I can't even be bothered to stop and consider if the cardigan now lying on the floor is cute.

Enter Stich Fix. I first read about Stitch Fix on one of my new favorite food blogs: Ambitious Kitchen. The idea intrigued me and I did a ton of research before finally asking for a Stitch Fix gift card for Christmas.

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You fill out an extensive questionnaire about your style, size, and budget preferences, and they send you a package of stylish goodies to try on at home. Each "Fix" is unique and hand-picked! After filling out your profile, you schedule your "Fix" date. There is a $20 styling fee but that cost is a credit towards any of the items you decide to purchase. You have three days to decide what you want to purchase and if you buy all five items in your "Fix", you get a 25% discount! Anything you don't like goes into the enclosed postage-paid envelope and shipped back. So I can do my shopping at naptime! So easy!

I specifically asked for no accessories or jewelry because of my desperate need for actual clothes. I also requested no dresses just because wearing a dress in the winter with a toddler is just not realistic. You can also add special requests if you have an event coming up (my mom scheduled a "Fix" and asked for items to wear on her upcoming South Pacific cruise!)

Ever the planner, I read about 2000 Stitch Fix reviews before finally taking the plunge (and even then it wasn't even my money I was spending!). The waitlist was about a month (I think lots of people got holiday gift cards!) and I was seriously counting down the days until my "Fix" arrived.

A note of warning: once you get notification that your "Fix" has shipped, if you want your items to be a complete surprise, avoid visiting the website. I accidentally learned that the page will default to "Checkout" where all your items will be listed out. No biggie as there were no accompanying pictures, but I did find out that I had four tops and a pair of pants on the way.

The package arrived during naptime (perfect timing as we usually get packages later in the day!) and I immediately brought it inside.

Here's my box - it was stuffed to the brim with goodies and I couldn't wait to tear into it! Look how pretty it was all packaged! Seriously, like Christmas!

One of the coolest things is that Stitch Fix doesn't just leave you to your own devices to style all your new clothes (because honestly those of us that are enlisting the help of a personal stylist clearly have no ability to handle such a large task). With each item, they send this adorable card that shows various ways to style your five items.
I was super excited when I looked at my style cards: I loved every single outfit and, not only that, could totally see myself wearing these outfits with Toddler O in tow!
On to the fashion show! Please forgive the location of our pictures: it was dark by the time Husband got home and Toddler O's playroom has the best light in the house. Just ignore the ABC play mat and train table in the background!
I confess that I cheated a bit and Googled the name of this top before it arrived. There were a few different colorways, including a tan/beige one which I was really hoping I didn't get. The burgundy was really pretty and the fit was well (this was a medium). The price was reasonable ($48). The thing that stopped me from keeping this shirt? I literally had just sold this shirt on roxy's Trade Market and it just seemed too similar. If I was fine with parting with the old version, there was no reason to replace it with a new version!
Um, how cute is this cardigan? It was only $28 and doesn't it totally look like something "Adorable Lawyer Kathleen" would have worn to court? Unfortunately the appliques seemed just a little too delicate for toddler paws and I was worried about the sweater getting ruined. It fit fine buttoned (another Medium), but gapped way too much when open. My stylist suggested I wear this over another top she sent but there was no way that was going to happen: this thing barely cleared my side when unbuttoned. I returned it.
This entire outfit was seriously love at first sight. I pulled the jeans out of the box and thought, "Yowsers, there is no way these are going to fit." They are size 30 but they have stretch (and good stretch - not "super tight, can't even think about eating dinner stretch". I was shocked that they were long enough too. I had specifically mentioned having a hard time finding pants with the correct inseam so my stylist totally came through on this one! I can't believe that I've literally tried on 200 pairs of pants, trying to find the right fit and my stylist sent me one pair and they fit perfectly! At $78 the price seemed reasonable but it really was the fit that sold me! I don't have any black pants so these will transition nicely from casual (worn with one of the aforementioned Old Navy sweatshirts to a Super Bowl party) to dressy (perhaps dinner out with Husband?)
The top is a similar dolman style as the burgundy top above. I was a little disappointed that I got two tops so similar, but it worked out since I didn't keep the burgundy one. This top is actually a similar color to a pregnancy top that I really loved so I liked it right away! It was $48 and the fit was very nice: I liked how it was drapey on top but then came in at my hips. I kept this whole outfit!
This is the sadest item in my box. I loved it on the style card. I loved it in person. Then I put it on me and, "Ugh." It is a bit too baggy in the hip area to work on me (although the sleeves fit fine so I think that is just the style). I so wanted this one to work but alas it wasn't meant to be. It was $38 which seemed like a steal.
So ultimately I kept two items and have already worn them a few times! When you check out, they ask for feedback about your "Fix" so I was able to say things about so many dolman items and the cardigan being too big and the applique cardigan being a bit too delicate. The stylist takes all that into consideration when preparing your next "Fix" (mine is coming right before my 33rd birthday - oy!)
So if you are on the fence, I definitely recommend trying Stitch Fix out. Here is a link to sign up. Full disclosure: this isn't a sponsored post. I paid for my "Fix" with my own money (well, with my own Stitch Fix gift card purchased by my sister); however, if you sign up using my link, I get a $25 credit. How cool is that? So use my link, sign up and then tell your friends to use your referral link!
Now that I'm actually getting dressed again in the morning, I'm hoping to maybe pop back in now and again, but I was so excited about Stitch Fix that I just had to come out of my semi-retirement and tell everyone about it!

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see your post! I always enjoyed reading your entries, and I'm glad to see that things are going well for you. I've been curious about Stitch Fix, but I'm not quite ready to take the plunge. However, your review may push me to do so.