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Wardrobe Enhancement – Stitch Fix Box

December 15, 2014

Wardrobe enhancement sounds much nicer than “I’m no longer pregnant so I need to update my closet”. I’ve always been a t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes kind of girl. Then I upgraded to sweater, jeans and flats or boots. That’s all well and good, but I’ve always admire people who make casual still look put together. I have wished numerous times for someone to pick out clothes for me and tell me what to do with them. Not that I’m a candidate for What Not to Wear (man, I loved that show!) but my wardrobe is pretty meh. This is an example of what I wear most days. Nothing wrong (no comments please) but there’s nothing really right either.

*Disclaimer: This “before” picture was actually taken after all the other pictures. A true before picture would have featured me in a pair of gray yoga pants I’ve had for 10 years, a t-shirt and my hair in a hap hazard ponytail. Your basic Saturday morning, lounging attire.

Since I have the best brother in the world, he got me a gift card to Stitch Fix. He buys me the best gifts. I heard about Stitch Fix when I was pregnant and really wanted to try it out. Now, in between scheduling my “Fix” and it actually arriving took about 5 weeks, so I’ve had a lot of time to study exactly what to do when you have a blog and you get a Stitch Fix box. So here goes.

First, I’m supposed to tell you how it works.  You sign up for an online account, fill out a rather extensive style profile, link a Pinterest board, spending weeks obsessively editing your profile and pinning things to your pinterest board, then a stylist looks it all over, picks 5 items and sends them to you. You try everything on, keep what you want and mail back what you don’t. They charge a $20 styling fee when the box ships which covers the cost of the stylist and shipping both ways. This $20 will be credited towards the purchase of any item in the box, but if you don’t like anything, you eat the $20. If you buy all 5 items in the box, you get a 25% discount.

Then, I’m supposed to let you know that Stitch Fix has not paid for this review at all. I paid for it with my own money! Except I didn’t because my awesome brother got me a gift card. So. There goes that. Next, I have to mention that if Stitch Fix sounds like something you want to try, please use this link because for each referral, I’ll get a $25 credit. Oh yes, and this post was supposed to have a disclaimer at the top that it included a referral link. Dang it, I knew I forgot something.

Okay the rest of the process is rather picture heavy. Here is the box.

Here is the knife that will be used to open the box.

Side Note: Aren’t my nails cute? I love that pattern from Jamberry!

Here is the knife opening said box, as promised

Alright, now we get down to business. The stylist, henceforth known as Brooke, sent me a note and style cards giving me examples of what to wear with each item. That’s awesome because visualizing what an item will look like as part of a whole ensemble is an issue for me. In her note, Brooke mentioned that the multicolor necklace and gray blazer I requested weren’t in stock. Instead she sent the gold version of the necklace and navy version of the blazer.  She also said that she sent the burgundy pants because burgundy is a big color for fall and that the gray cardigan has a cowl neckline that gives it a contemporary feel. I won’t lie. I am still bummed that these items weren’t available in the colors I requested.

Everything came nicely wrapped and folded. This lasted just long enough for me to take these pictures.

Then the fun really began. I tried to create outfits for each item, which required many trips to my closet to stare at it and contemplate. Then I’d switch out various pieces until I was satisfied that I had the best outfit I could create between the Stitch Fix box and the rest of my stuff.

Charlene Plaid Button Up Shirt (another Stitch Fix blog post requirement is to post the entire name of the items…and they have some REALLY long names) –

Side Note #2 – My legs aren’t actually freakishly short compared to the rest of me. It is clearly a bad angle for the camera but I was too lazy to take the pictures all over again.

I really like how the buttons are covered in the same fabric!

I hemmed and hawed over this one. It’s a size small, and I think an extra small probably would have fit better. I emailed Stitch Fix to ask about exchanging it for an XS, but they didn’t have an XS in stock. I have to say, their customer service is great. I emailed them Saturday night at 8:32pm my time, which is 6:32pm in California where they’re based, and I had a reply less than an hour later.

Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer –

The stylist suggesting pairing the plaid shirt with this blazer. The problem is that the blazer is much more snug than the shirt and trying to get the blazer sleeves over the shirt sleeves was…challenging. This is why only one of the sleeves is cuffed up the way it’s supposed to be.

Side Note #3 – Look! I match our wall! And I was mid-fixing-my-hair. Clearly I need to have a discussion with my photographer.

This is the blazer I wanted in the dark grey, but I have to admit the navy is nice too. When I put it with my skinny jeans, I felt like I needed a helmet, riding boots and a horse. It fit well, was a nice fabric and while I briefly considered sending it back in the hopes that someday I would get it in dark grey, Jake talked me out of it. He’s very a much of a fan of the philosophy “If the shoe fits, buy it in every color”.

Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan

Just the other day, I was looking at knitting patterns to make a cardigan that I could just wrap myself in. The style of this one fits the bill nicely, unfortunately the fabric is itchy.

This is what it looks like zipped up. Jake says it looks better that way. Ignore my goofy face, I can only have so many pictures taken before I start making faces at the camera.  This sweater is also made in a few other colors, including a pretty olive green. Given that I requested the blazer in grey, I can see why Brooke sent this in grey but I probably would have preferred the green.

Adrianna Circle Bib Necklace –

I really really wanted this in the multi-color version although looking at this picture makes me think the gold isn’t bad. Hmm.

Emer Jacquard Print High Waisted Cropped Pant –

The surprise winner of the box were these pants!! When I found out what was being sent, I was pretty darn skeptical of these, but they were so comfortable and pretty. They’re also pull-on and high waisted, which is awesome with my post-baby-midsection. They’re like the not-pregnant version of maternity waist bands. Winning!

Side Note #? – You know you’re short when “cropped” pants and very much not cropped on you.

Side Note #?x2 – You know you’re tired when you’ve lost count of your side notes but are pretty sure it’s less than 5.

Here’s a close up of the pattern. The camera flash makes the color look a bit lighter than it is in person. It’s actually a fairly dark burgundy.

It should be noted that I attempted to do all this during the kids’ nap and wasn’t successful. I was down to the last items when Grayson woke up, then Annabelle. So that added an extra element of fun to this. Still, it could have been worse. They could have been melting down in a dressing room somewhere.

Now that I’ve taken you through everything I received, what did I keep? Well first, it should be noted that everything is basically at full retail price. Which hurts me a little but I had to remind myself that I’m trying to break out of my decades long clothing rut which would mean straying from my clearance-rack-only philosophy. The pants were a definitely keep even though they were the most expensive item in the box. It hurt a bit but I really really like them. The blazer was also a definite keep, even though I still would have preferred it in grey. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it, since Missouri has more cool weather than we did in CA and it changes on a dime. There have been quite a few days I’ve wished for an easy, casual but also professional, light jacket. It’s a bit of a tall order but the blazer fits it nicely. Then came the plaid shirt. As I said, I hemmed and hawed over it. Do I keep it and try to shrink it? Keep it and just wear it at it’s current size because it’s not THAT big on me. Or send it back? Ultimately, I decided to keep it. I’ve been wanting a plaid shirt like this and I’ve got some ideas for outfits to try since it’s a little big. That leaves us with the necklace and the cardigan. These were both definite returns. I didn’t really like either enough for the price, but Stitch Fix gives you a 25% discount if you keep all 5 items. So when I decided to keep the plaid shirt, it actually became cheaper to keep the whole box than it would have been to send back the necklace and sweater. So that’s what I did! I hope the sweater softens up after washing.

The 25% discount lessens the sting of full retail price too. Although, they take the $20 credit off before they apply the discount. This makes its $5 more than it would be if they applied the 25% discount first, THEN applied the credit (which makes the most sense to me, but whatever). Yeah, it’s a persnickety thing to mention, but still. Five bucks is five bucks.

What did I learn from this experience? First, for pete’s sake woman! Stand up straight! Second, if you do a quick job straightening your hair, it looks like you did a quick job straightening your hair. Oh well. No one can ever accuse me of only posting perfect, flattering pictures. I prefer to keep it real, yo.

I’m not sure when I’ll schedule another box. You can set them up to be on a regular schedule but I’m guessing it’ll be a once every two to three months kind of thing for me. Obviously, I will still scour clearance racks, I’m just hoping to spruce things up with some nice, unique items when I can.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. melanie permalink
    December 16, 2014 3:44 am

    So side bar, Jen, I enjoy your blog posts thanks 🙂 But this one I could have written myself. Lol. Pretty much word for word. I would be tempted to click that link if it didn’t require me scouring interest and inserting my own ideas. Clearly My ideas are not working or else I would not be in such a clothing funk!

  2. melanie permalink
    December 16, 2014 3:50 am

    Dangit. The rest of that reply should say that I’m a big fan of the blazer, nice choice! The last pants are very cute, too. Glad it worked out! Dave has done this with some company (trunk club or something) twice. The stylist cannot seem to get his size right for anything! It’s very alarming. And she sent a $80 handkerchief thing (aka thin scrap fabric thing that looked like a flag). I almost cried I was laughing so hard! Glad you had a better experience!

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