Inspiration Recreation

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stitch Fix #5 (August 2015)

I received a box from Stitch Fix today!  Stitch Fix is a mail-order styling service.  Here's how it works:
  • You decide when and how often you want to receive a shipment.  
  • You fill out a detailed style and sizing profile and leave a note for your stylist so they have an idea of what you're looking for.  I also provide a link to my Style board on Pinterest to better demonstrate what I like to wear.
  • There is a $20 styling fee for each shipment but you can use the fee towards purchasing items that you receive.  However, if you decide not to purchase anything you lose the $20 styling fee.  
  • Each delivery includes 5 items which can include clothing, handbags, jewelry, and others accessories.  Delivery and return shipping is free.
  • You have 3 days after receiving your shipment to try on and decide what you want to keep or return.  You indicate which items you are purchasing and returning on your online account.  You also have the opportunity to provide feedback on each item.  If you take longer than 3 days to indicate your purchases or returns on your account, Stitch Fix will assume you're keeping everything and charge you for everything so don't forget! There is a pre-paid shipping bag in your box to return the items you decide not to purchase.
Being honest about your sizes, clear in your style preferences and realistic in your clothing needs in your style profile is important to have a more successful Stitch Fix experience.  Pinning pictures on my Pinterest style board of how I wish I would dress and how I will actually dress will not help my stylist in selecting appropriate items for me!  So I've tried to be more realistic when posting pictures to the style board my stylist sees and make note of what I like about the outfits I pin.  I provide specific feedback on fit, cut, relevance to my wardrobe and lifestyle, etc when I review items I receive in my boxes to help my stylist select items that will work best for me in future boxes.  My first couple of boxes were not big hits with me but subsequent boxes improved as my stylist got more understanding about my style and shape from my feedback.  I also went back and tweaked my style profile as needed.  Some people even post pictures of themselves wearing the pieces they receive on their Pinterest board or their blogs so the stylist can see how the items they selected looked on the client.  

If you do not like shopping, don't have much time to shop, or live in an area where there isn't too many interesting shopping options, Stitch Fix is a convenient way to have someone else shop for you and bring you items that you may not be able to find locally.  It is also good if you are in a style rut like me where you keep buying and wearing the same things.  A stylist can help pull you a little outside of your comfort zone or routine to try some things you may not normally try on.  However, if you really like shopping for great sale deals, then this service is probably not going to be a good fit for you.  Stitch Fix uses full retail prices so the prices are higher than I normally spend on clothing.  I like shopping for sale deals so Stitch Fix is more of an occasional splurge for me.  You do get a 25% discount if you buy everything in the box.  

It has been a few months since I've scheduled a delivery from Stitch Fix.  This is my fifth delivery from them (the first one I've reviewed on the blog) and I've had the same stylist from the beginning but it is possible to change stylists.  Here is the note I sent to my stylist Jennifer for this fix:
"Hi! I'm interested in trying maxi dresses, tops that will pair well with a black maxi skirt or dark skinny jeans, and maybe a interesting wallet (or a brown clutch). I don't have any particular colors in mind but I do like what I've seen of the Sweet Grey Jody maxi and Gilli Mitchel maxi dresses. Bra-friendly styles are preferred (no spaghetti straps or strapless). Thanks!" 
... and here is a look at what I received: 

Styling Suggestion Cards

Loveappella Tyme Drapey Cardigan Vest  ($48) -  RETURN
DL1961 Estrella Skinny Jean  ($98) -  UNDECIDED  KEEP
Papermoon Waters Ikat Maxi Dress  ($68) UNDECIDED  RETURN

Gilli Mitchel Maxi Dress   ($78) -  RETURN

Urban Expressions Adelade Woven Fold-Over Clutch  ($48)UNDECIDED  RETURN

Cost to Keep Entire Box:  $340 - 25% discount - $20 styling fee credit = $235
Cost of What I Kept:  $98 - $20 styling fee credit = $78
Impressions:  Overall, I think my stylist did a pretty good job selecting items to meet my requests and fit my figure (for reference, I'm 5'5", 36B, small to medium in most tops, and currently size 4 in jeans).  She didn't include tops for pairing with a black maxi skirt or dark skinny jeans like I wanted but she did include a pair of dark skinny jeans.  The Estrella skinny jeans have good stretch, lift and support, soft material, no gap in the waist, and they're not too long but I don't really "need" more dark skinny jeans at this time.  The wash and style isn't much different from a couple of pairs that I already own but these fit my waist better and I like the soft, four-way stretch and sculpting material.  The jeans supposedly don't stretch out or get baggy over the course of the day.  (I'm still deciding on this one.)  I like the drapey material of the cardigan vest and that it covers my rear end but it's a little too long and makes me look shorter so I'm returning it.  Even if it wasn't too long in the back, I'm pretty sure it still wouldn't get worn often.  I already have a lot of cardigans similar to this one so if I buy more cardigans I want them to have an interesting design or color/pattern that stands out from the others I own.  My main interest for this fix was maxi dresses and I'm glad my stylist Jennifer included two distinct options for me to consider - one being the Gilli Mitchel dress that I specifically mentioned in my note to her.  I like the Gilli Mitchel dress a lot even though the opening in the lower back is a step outside of my comfort zone.  I usually avoid tops or dresses that expose my back but I wanted to give it a try anyway because I knew I could wear a cardigan or blazer over it when going somewhere I felt the lower back opening wouldn't be appropriate.  I love the stripes, the navy and taupe color, and the length.  It would be a great dress to wear the rest of summer.  I think the fit is fine everywhere but in the tummy area.  Unfortunately I looked a couple of months prego because of the slim fit in the mid-section.  I really wanted this dress to work but the mid-section isn't flattering so I'm sadly returning it.  The Papermoon Ikat maxi dress fit perfectly but I'm not sure yet how I feel about the large Ikat pattern.  I think it's because the dress is navy and orange; if it were black and white the large Ikat pattern would probably look less bold.  I do like some Ikat patterns but this one is a lot bolder than anything I've tried before.  (I'm still deciding on this one.  I've seen this dress style offered by Stitch Fix in many different patterns so I may return this one and request a different pattern in my next fix.)  I've been wanting a brown clutch or small brown crossbody bag for a while and I like the design the Urban Expressions clutch but I'm not sure I like the yellowish-brown color of the material.  The polka-dot lining is cute though!  If it were a darker, richer brown I think it would be a no brainer for me to keep it.  (I'm still deciding on the clutch but I think my Yorkie Pippa was voting for it...)

If you're interested in trying Stitch Fix, you can sign up using my referral link by clicking on the icon below.  Please note that I will receive a small reward from Stitch Fix if you do sign up using my referral link.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share your opinions on the UNDECIDED items!

After much deliberation, I decided to return the Papermoon maxi dress and the clutch and keep the skinny jeans.  I feel that because of the large Ikat pattern and the orange color of the ikat print, I likely wouldn't wear the dress often.  I do like the style and fit of this dress so I will see if I can get another pattern sent to me in a future Fix.  And I think a darker brown convertible clutch/crossbody would be a better option for me than the light brown Urban Expressions one which I could only use as a clutch.  The name of the DL1961 skinny jean style inside the waistband says "Florence" but Stitch Fix is calling them "Estrella".  I did some searching online about DL1961 jeans and the "Florence" insta-sculpt skinny jeans retail for about $180 at places like Bloomingdale's so for $98 I think I'm getting a pretty good deal.  Plus, I wear skinny jeans all the time and this pair fit me well so I know I will get a lot of wear and my money's worth out of this item which is why I ultimately decided to keep them.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Honest Company Essentials Bundle - August 2015

I received my second shipment from The Honest Company today!  In my last review, I mentioned scheduling my next box for early September but I couldn't wait!  Here's what I included in my bundle this time:

Products reviewed in my July Bundle:
Organic Body Oil  4.0 oz ($9.95)

New Items:
Stain Remover  26 oz ($5.95)

Multi-Surface Cleaner  26 oz ($5.95)

Baby Wipes  72-count ($4.95)

Bug Spray  4 oz ($12.95)

Cost of Bundle:  $35.95 Essentials Bundle + $15.64 discounted add ons + tax = $55.20
Impressions:  As with my first bundle, The Honest Company  processed and delivered my order all within 3 days which is impressive to me!  Shipping for this order was free because my total was over $50.  I included the spray deodorant, facial wipes, room & air freshener, and body oil from my first box in this order too.  However, this time I tried the Lavender Vanilla version of the deodorant spray.  Last time I tried the Bergamot Sage and didn't really like the sage scent.  Honestly, I'm having a hard time finding a distinct difference between the two scents.  Both include sage in the ingredients and that seems to be the prominent smell from both scents.  I was hoping the Lavender Vanilla scent would be more sweet like the Lavender & Vanilla air freshener so I could use it as a light body spray.  I doubt I will add the spray deodorants to future bundles because they all contain sage which is too pungent a smell for my preference.  I also want antiperspirant properties and this product only works as an "okay" deodorizer on me.  It's not a good option for me when I'm going to be really active.  It's fine for lazy, lounging around days.   I'm still quite happy with the facial wipes, body oil, and air freshener and will continue to order them.

The new products in this shipment included the multi-surface cleaner, stain remover, baby wipes, and bug spray.  I like that both of the spray cleaners have light, subtle scents and can be used on a variety of surfaces and materials.  I honestly wasn't expecting the multi-surface cleaner to do well with cutting through grease and grime especially since it doesn't contain bleach or stronger chemicals.  So I was planning to only use it as just an everyday quick clean spray for my kitchen counters.  But I had a bowl of food that contained tomato sauce explode and dry inside my microwave and I was amazed at how easily this cleaner worked to clean up the mess!  And the scent was hardly noticeable which made me feel better the next time I put food inside.  I tried the stain remover on a pet stain on my carpet and a red juice stain on my sofa and it worked well on both.  I also liked that it didn't harden the fibers of the carpet or sofa fabric when it dried.  I don't have a baby but I like using wipes to freshen up when out and unable to rinse my face, hands, or for picnics, cleaning up spills in the car, etc.  I think they make a pretty good wet-wipe or hand sanitizer substitute because I try to avoid using products that contain alcohols as much as possible, especially on my face and hands, because I already have dry skin.  I like these wipes because they're thick, strong, large and moist-enough to do a good job cleaning up, don't contain fragrances or alcohols, and don't leave a sticky residue.  I'll be keeping this package in my car because that seems to be the place I need something like this the most!  I've been in desperate need of bug spray for evening walks with my dog so I'm really glad the bug spray has arrived.  The bug spray is the most strongly scented product I've tried from the Honest Company but that's only because it contains citronella and cedar.  I've never smelled anything with a light citronella or cedar smell... it's all or nothing with these two scents!  I only spray on a little because I find citronella and cedar scents a little too intense, but even a little worked well to ward off  mosquitoes.  Overall, I'm quite happy with the new products I tried and would order them again.  I definitely plan to get refills of the multi-surface cleaner and stain remover when I run out! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Goodebox - August 2015

I received my August Goodebox today!  Here is a look at the samples I received in this month's box:

Cost of Box:  $21 (free shipping)
Total Box Value:  $60.20
Impressions:   The monthly price for the Goodebox recently increased slightly for a variety of reasons, one being the inclusion of more full size products and deluxe size samples.   I am happy to see that 3 of the 5 samples I received are full size.  However, I am disappointed that this box included 2 makeup items.  My beauty profile questionnaire clearly expresses my lack of interest in makeup products and Goodebox has been very good about honoring my preferences in the past.  So, I feel like this month's box wasn't as customized as my previous boxes from them.  The total value of this box is good but the value of the 3 samples I plan to use only make up a little over half of the total value.  I wish I had received the orange or rose scented versions of the LoveFresh deodorants.  I'm not crazy about the Lemon Verbena scent but I will give this product a try because it has all 5 star ratings on the LoveFresh website.  It does include baking soda which can cause skin irritation for some people so I will have to test it on only a small area of my underarm first.  I applied a thin layer to the back of my hand and it went on smoothly, clearly, and didn't turn ashy or flaky after it dried.  I wiped my hand on a dark t-shirt and I didn't notice any white marks, which is a plus.  The scent did linger on my hand until I washed it really well.  And the shea butter and coconut oil it contains is moisturizing.  My favorite item out of this box is the Zoe Organics Everything Balm.  I have dry skin, especially on my hands, so heavier moisturizing products like oils and balms are best for me.  I applied this on my hands and it worked well but, as the name implies, this balm can be used for more than just a moisturizer.  I love multi-purpose products!  I see this tube getting used up quickly!  I recently became a fan of Argan oil as a result of some Argan Oil Acure products I tried so I am happy that the Kahina facial cleanser contains Argan oil.  The eyeshadow and brightener powders look pretty and of good quality but I will be gifting those. 

This month's Goodebox was okay for me but not as good as my July box but I'm looking forward to seeing the continued improvements at Goodebox.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Charlotte Russe Military Vest Review

I've been on the hunt for the perfect olive green military or cargo vest for probably two years.  Old Navy had a great one a few years back but unfortunately I missed out.  I recently came across an affordable version online from Charlotte Russe.  I've never shopped with them before but I received my order no problems.  I like this vest because the olive green color isn't too light or too dark and the length isn't too long.  The fabric is light-weight and has some drape.  It doesn't have an overwhelming military or safari look.  There aren't too many embellishments or pockets and the pockets are not bulky.  These are all problems I've experienced with other vests I've tried.  I also like that the waist is cinched and can be adjusted to create a waistline which is very important for outwear/layering pieces to me because I have a rectangular body shape.

I ordered a size Small and the fit is fine overall if l leave it unzipped.  It is bit snug across my chest when zipped all the way up but I only plan to wear it unzipped.  I think a Medium would be a little too baggy when left unzipped so I'm keeping the Small.  For reference, I'm a 36B and normally wear small or medium tops.

I think this vest is a nice layering piece for cooler late summer nights, fall and even over thin sweaters on warmer winter days.  I live in a warm climate and rarely have to wear heavy-duty jackets and this piece is very versatility so I should get a lot of wear out of this piece.  I've already gotten a couple of outfits lined up late summer and early fall with what I already have in my closet.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and really happy that I've finally found an olive green military/cargo vest with the features I really wanted.  And at $30, the price is affordable!