Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #1 - January 2014

So, I posted awhile back (here) that I was excited to sign up for Stitch Fix.   Well, my 'fix' has finally arrived and I am sooooo excited to open it up and try on everything that my stylist chose.  It's so nice to say those words, "My Stylist."  It makes me feel special!




What is Stitch Fix, you ask?

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You tell them all about your style, size, and budget preferences, and your personal stylist sends you a package of stylish goodies to try on at home. Each Fix is unique and hand-picked just for you.


I'm not gonna lie. I've been stalking my Stitch Fix account for over a week now.  When my stylist began working on my fix, my account updated to let me know.  And then, I received an email with my FedEx tracking number.  So I logged back onto my Stitch Fix account and was able to see a list of everything in my box.  Of course I googled all the item descriptions to get an idea of what I was receiving!

Even just going off what little bit I was able to find through google, I think my stylist did a pretty good job listening to my requests.  I put in my comments section that the tiny details on an item are what sells me.. and I received a box with pleats, lace, feather prints, floral details, and even houndstooth.

One thing I'm a wee bit disappointed about... I asked for skinny pants, since I haven't bought new clothes since those came into style (Think: I haven't updated my wardrobe since before getting pregnant with my nearly 4 year old daughter).  But, after reading some other reviews, I think it's my fault.   When I filled out my style questionnaire, I put the price range for pants at 'the cheaper the better' option.   Now, in my mind, I know that Stitch Fix pants are in the $68 - $110 range.  And so that's what I budgeted to spend, and what I expected to receive.  Apparently, 'the cheaper the better' price range is Stitch Fix speak for $0-$50.  And so I did not receive any pants or leggings in my box, which is what I so desperately needed.  Instead I got a dress.  And ya'll, I'm a stay at home mom.  I need to upgrade my yoga pants to real world casual wear, before I make the leap to dresses.  But that's okay!  If the dress works, I'll have my husband take me on a date.  I am so grateful that my stylist took my style profile and price points into consideration!!!

Before we get in to the actual review, I want to share my referral link.  I'm not compensated by Stitch Fix for this review.  Heck, they don't even know I blog.  BUT... if you use my link to sign up, I'll get a small credit to use towards my next 'fix.'  Which would be AWESOME!

Edited:  I received an email from Stitch Fix today... thanking me for this review.  So I guess now that statement above about them not knowing I blog is no longer accurate :)  How cool is that!?!?

The Review

So, here's a pic of the box I got in the mail.  I love getting mail, it's like Christmas!

And when I opened it up, everything was so nicely presented.

There was a note from my stylist, Carney, and cards that showed me how to style the items in my fix.




First Item:  Mayson Houndstooth Faux Wrap Dress  - $34

Now, I didn't ask for a dress.  I didn't want a dress, I wanted jeans.  BUT, ya'll, the price was right.  And I don't have a single houndstooth print item in my closet. And I know that next to tribal prints, houndstooth is very popular right now. So, I gave it a try.  And while I really really wanted it to be good, it was not.   The top was baggy and the bottom portion was so tight around my thighs.  The skirt was lined, which is nice given the cost of the dress. 

 As a side note, when I wore this out for my husband to snap a pic for the blog, he tried to talk me into keeping it.  And then I demonstrated picking up Harper while wearing it.  And his words were, "You better send that back before you bust a seam."  LOL.  It looks fine, it just fit too snugly on my thighs.  Or maybe it's the material - if it stretched when I moved, the fit may have worked.

Looking back at the pics, I kind of wished I had kept it.  It's so unique.

Item: Mason Houndstooth Faux Wrap Dress by Collective Concepts
Status:  Sent back... bummed.



Second Item: Alexina Watercolor Three Button Blouse - $48

This was the most expensive item in my fix, but still well within my price range.  This was also the item that made me cringe a little when I looked it up on Google.  I'm not much into this floral print.  I have  a very long torso, and this shirt ran a little short.  But, since they sent it, I tried it on.  And I wanted to like it, simply because the fabric was nice and thick and soft.  But the print was just not my cup of tea.  When I checked out on Stitch Fix website, I put in the comments that if this blouse had been sailboat or tulip or Greek key or tribal print, I would have kept it.  I also felt like the black detail on the bodice made it have a western feel.  Maybe I'm just strange though.

Item: Alexina Watercolor Three Button Blouse by Collective Concepts
Status: Sent back



Third Item:  Marleena Front Pleat Button-Up Shirt - $38

This blouse seemed very matronly and business casual.   I just can't see changing diapers and wiping runny noses all day while wearing this crisp, snowy white button up.  And I barely have time to brush my teeth in the morning.  I just don't see me taking the time to iron umpteen-million pleats... and then never leave my house while wearing it.  Plus, you can't tell because I tucked it in... but there is a LOT of fabric. I goes down to mid-thigh.  My stylist actually suggested wearing it as a tunic, with tights, for church.  It just didn't work out for me though.  The only way this wasn't horrible is if I tucked the bulk of the material inside a pencil skirt.  But, I can do that with the plain white shirt that already hangs in my closet.

Item: Marleena Front Pleat Button-Up Shirt by Collective Concepts
Status: Sent back... as fast as possible.




Fourth Item:  Crosby Floral & Dot Print Tie-Neck Blouse - $38

When I googled this blouse, I wasn't sure about it.  I typically do not like blouses that tie at the neck, since I can't wear a necklace with them. Based on the only review of this shirt that I could find, the shoulders of this blouse run a little narrow.  So since I noted in my style survey that I have narrow shoulder, I'm sure that is a big reason I received it.  And then I was so pleased when I took this one out of the box.  It has this gorgeous lace inset, in addition to the polka dots.  I really wanted this one to work, even before I tried it on.  And it did!  The upper arms are just a little tight, but I think if I requested a larger size that the shirt would look sloppy

Item:  Crosby Floral & Dot Print Tie-Neck Blouse by Uttam Boutique 
Status:  It's a keeper!

Fifth Item:  Kathy Feather Print Shoulder Pleat Blouse - $38

Holy cow I loved this blouse from the moment I laid eyes on it.  The print is so quirky, and I love that the feathers get larger the closer they are to the hemline.  (In my mind, it's kind of ombre... but maybe I'm just weird).  And this blouse would look GREAT with red skinny jeans.  Maybe I'll get some in my box next month!  I wanted this shirt to work SO BADLY.  And, if I had to choose one item buy just looking at the photos, it would have been this one.  But it was so big.  And the material was kind of like shiny satin.  The manufacturer tag said 'Small,' and the Stitch Fix tag said 'Medium.'  So I asked for them to send me a size smaller in my next fix, if it was available.

Item:  Kathy Feather Print Shoulder Pleat Blouse by Ravel 
Status: So sad to send back



The Verdict

So, if I had kept all five items, I would have received a 25% off discount, plus the $20 credit from my styling fee.  Which means I could have gotten five items for $132.  Not bad!  But, I ended up only keeping the Crosby Floral & Dot Print Tie-Neck Blouse by Uttam Boutique.   I'm still bummed that I didn't get any pants, but I updated my style profile, specifically asking for jeans even if they're over $50 or $75 :)  Was my Stitch Fix experience fun, convenient, and delightful?  YES!   Was it the right size and the right style?  For the most part!  My stylist did a good job - especially considering this is my first fix.

My next box is already scheduled for this time next month.  I asked for skinny pants or leggings, especially print jeans or colored jeans.  I also requested the feather print shirt in a smaller size, as well as a dolman style top that won't fall off my shoulders.  I'm not sure they'll have any of those things in stock when they do my next fix, buy it doesn't hurt to ask.  Either way... I can't WAIT to see what I get!

That Time I Went to Matilda Jane Art Fair

 So, last June, I went to Matilda Jane Art Fair.  And I thought I would put together a little travel fyi for anyone out there who might be planning to go this year.  This was a once in a lifetime experience for me.  I got to meet several good friends who I've previously only chatted with online.  I also got to hang out with some old friends who I've known now for awhile.

It was soooo fun, and a much needed mommy's weekend without kids!

What is Matilda Jane Art fair, you ask?

Well, Matilda Jane is a small children's clothing company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  They sell through in-home shows.  And once a year, they do a huge sale of one-of-a-kind items in their old warehouse.  It's super fun!

Where to stay

We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott downtown.  It was within walking distance to the MJC property.  We had to drive to a local part for the preparty though.  Matilda Jane reserves a block of rooms for Art Fair attendees.  They sell out fast, in January.  So you have to be quick to reserve your room, once they announce the info on the company blog.

If you're in the block of rooms, you get a special treat when you check in.  This year it was a rainbow of yummy candies.

Where to eat

There's a restaurant in the hotel, which came in handy.  And there are several downtown restaurants within walking distance.  We chose to drive to the Casa Grille, a locally owned Italian restaurant.  The service and food were awesome!

Link here for Ft. Wayne locations and hours.

Special Events:  Chicks for Children luncheon

I attended the Chicks for Children fundraiser luncheon.  Chicks for Children is a non-profit based in Conway Arkansas.  Their goal is to help the people of Kitale, Kenya.  

"Our overarching mission is to reduce or eliminate the devastating consequences of poverty characterized by a lack of food, clean water, homelessness, illiteracy, sickness, despair, hopelessness, voicelessness, fear, abuse, and social isolation."

I was so blessed to hear about the work Matilda Jane Clothing Company is doing alongside Dr. Mark Cooper, founder of Chicks for Children.

Please visit the link HERE to learn more about this awesome organization, and consider donating to their cause. 

We all got to sit through an awesome presentation by Dr. Mark Cooper,  we ate a delicious lunch, and then we got to shop the warehouse sale a day early, for one hour.   Honestly, I was so blessed by the experience that I didn't even need the perk of shopping.  It was truly a touching experience.



The preparty was held at Headwaters Park in Ft. Wayne.   The location was beautiful and there was plenty of room to move around.  You have to buy a $10 admission ticket in advance, but it includes an awesome dinner buffet.

Be sure to buy raffle tickets!  Because they give away pretty awesome things, like the entire fall collection and first to shop the event.

What about camping out?

The line to get into the Saturday morning shopping event started Friday evening, and was quite long.  But the clothing racks empty really quickly on Saturday morning, and camping in line bettered your chances of getting any specific items that you really want.

Be forewarned - it gets really cold at night!   I was regretting wearing flip flops and dreaming of my UGGs by 3am.   We had a lot of fun talking, meeting new people, and playing games while we waited.  We also slept a teensy bit too :)
One thing we did do, was write our position in line on our hands.  This came in handy when people tried to break in line at 6am the next morning.  We simply called over the security guard and he checked the line breakers' numbers, sending them alll the way to the back.  So don't break in line!  It's not worth in and everyone will know who you are and remember.





It's good to have an idea of what you are looking for when you go in.  I got a lot of good items just wandering around.  A lot of people will grab big armfuls and then sort them and discard what they don't want.  I found a ton of cute things by waiting for the discards to be reshelved.  And I shopped for both my girls, and got them quite a few matching sets.




The best part?  The people!

I met so many great people, and grew friendships I already had.  It was so fun and I would love to do it again!

SO.... There you have it.  An awsome experience.  A fun weekend.  And a presentation that changed how I look at Kitale, Africa.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kids Chunky Necklace DIY - Part Three

Today, we are going to talk about using stretch string, to make those chunky bubblegum kids' necklaces.

This is part three of a post that I started two weeks ago.  you can read the part one here, and part two here.

Just like the last couple times, let's pretend that you already have your necklace supplies ready.

  • You have all your pretty beads laid out in order.  Always remember to add Color, Texture, Pattern, and Shine... it works for jewelry too, not just on What Not to Wear.
  • Spacer beads. Note:  spacers aren't necessary.  I like the look of a necklace that doesn't have spacers.  BUT - spacer beads offer flexibility to a necklace.  Without spacers, there will be more stress at the connection points.  Meaning, there is a higher likelihood that the necklace will come apart at the clasp.
  • Stretch string... you can buy it in the craft section of Walmart, where they sell Pony Beads.  Or, any craft store like Hobby Lobby sells it.
  • Super glue

The Process, using stretch string:

  • Add your beads to the stretch string
  • There's no need for a clasp!  Just tightly knot the two ends of the necklace together, using several square knots.

  •  Put a little dot of super glue on the knots, so they don't come undone when you trim the extra.

  • Trim the extra string away after the glue dries, and you're done!

    Super easy, huh?   And super cute too!!!