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The Struggle is Real to Be a Fashionable, Pulled Together Mom
So, let me clarify — not ALL women, moms or not, have trouble looking absolutely fabulous. I know many of these women. They just look gorgeous in their own bohemian chic or classy or casual way. Secondly… let me super clarify that I am NOT one of these women. My fashion sense consists of gamer and superhero t-shirts and ill fitting jeans most of the time. And the ill fitting jeans are not because I lack jeans. I bet there are 30 pairs of jeans in my closet. This is both embarrassing and horrifying. Mainly because of the money spent and the painful thought that I don't have a favorite pair in the bunch! Either they are too long, too short, too tight, too loose, sag in the crotch, gape at the waist, slide down when I bend over, have ugly stitching or bedazzling (it was a phase I went through trying to look young and hip) and the list goes on.
If the Jeans Fiasco Isn't Enough…
Yeah… the jeans saga is pretty huge. But that's not where my fashion disaster ends. I also have a few super cute, casual dresses in my closet that I've NEVER worn. Why? Is it because I have money to toss to the wind? Certainly not. Is it because they are out of style? No. Is it because they are too big or too small? Nope. Mainly it's because I feel weird in a dress. I just never feel like I “get it right”. While other women my age (40's) are walking around in cute t-shirt dresses and classic sundresses — I can't pull it off. I feel fat or I feel like “it's just not me” or the shoes I'm wearing don't look right with it. Oh I could go on and on…. but ultimately, it was money wasted.
And regarding shoes…. I mainly wear a 14 year old paid of NOAT sandals that are no longer made because I love them. They desperately need to be re-soled because if it's rainy or there is a slick surface, I am always one moment away from slipping and falling. I still wear them… because I love them. In the cold months I wear a very old pair of Eastland's. So you can see — between the gamer t-shirts and the two pairs of “my comfort zone” shoes – I have limited myself greatly. And even when I try to venture out of my fashion comfort zone… it's an epic fail. So I just stopped trying. That leads to a mom in her 40's running around every day in a Thor! or Warcraft t-shirt, sandals (that might kill her) and jeans that say, “try again”.
Damn Those Pinterest Cuties!
Actually I should be thanking all those women on Pinterest that model their clothes. Several are in my age bracket. I admit… at first I was annoyed as hell seeing all these women look SO adorable, cool, put-together and obviously, way more fashion-savvy than I could ever be. Insert HUGE sigh!
Now, I understand someone's worth is not tied up in their clothes. God no. It doesn't matter what you're wearing, really. BUT…. for me, it was/is something that mattered. And something that was mystifying and unattainable in my eyes. I just wanted to look AND feel good in what I was wearing. I also didn't want that goal to cost me tons of money (or losses in money because I'd make bad choices)!
Conquering My Inner Inept Fashion Diva
One day… I took the plunge. I just did it. I was scared. I was even a little bit annoyed that I had endeavored in what “seemed” to be a full on admission that I suck at dressing myself. (Well… you know what I mean.) But I signed up for StitchFix. I was a bit skittish — but I felt like I really had nothing to lose. At least not anymore than I would lose by purchasing another piece of clothing I either loathed wearing or stashed in the back of my closet and thought “one day”.
How Does StitchFix Really Work?
Ok – let me give you the real deal on StitchFix, just in case you decide to go for it too.
1. Signing up for StitchFix is free. You simply go to the StitchFix site and create an account.
2. Once you've signed up, you'll create a profile. This is important because it lets YOUR stylist know what you like and don't like. They have several clothing “groups” for you to rate. You can rate them, “Love It, Like It, Don't Really Like It, Hate It.
To give you an example… below is a group of clothing I marked as Hate It. (This is just MY preference… it's just not me or conducive to my life as a work at home mom, blogger etc.
I saw this sample clothing group and initially thought… YIKES! What if there isn't a group for me?? My style is so much more laid back!? Fear not. They had a group of clothes that I ADORED. Because I do work at home both as a blogger and at my full-time customer service job, I don't need to dress up. Of course, I don't want to look like a total slob either. We do have webcam meetings and training sessions. As well, I go to lunch with friends, volunteer at my daughter's school, attend sports events and just regular out-and-about stuff. Because my husband works in another state and makes it home about one weekend a month, we rarely go “out” anywhere that I would need something super fancy. If we do go out, it's typically dinner and a movie and a lot of the time, the kids are with us. So — the clothing sample group below fits me perfectly.
Oh my goodness… I LOVE just about everything in this group. Sweet!! So you can see how they want to get a feel for what you like. Which is awesome. There are several other groups to rate too. Not just the two I have shown you here.
Now, there is more that you will fill out on your profile. Like what sizes you wear in tops and blouses, dresses. Also the length of jeans you prefer and the style (skinny, high rise, bootcut… etc). Your shoe size too, of course. They also ask about your proportions. To just sum it up — they will have a very good idea of your style preference and size by the time you're done. It doesn't take long to fill out either. It was actually kinda fun to fill out.
Is StitchFix Expensive?
Let me just cut to the chase on this — you will ONLY be out $20 if you HATE everything they send you. And that $20 is just to cover the stylists time for pulling together your order. If you only like ONE thing in your FIVE piece order, you can apply that $20 stylist fee toward that item. So if you ONLY love the shoes and they are $40 shoes… your additional cost is only $20 (added to the $20 you initially paid). You didn't lose that initial $20 you paid prior to the order arriving.
I received my first StitchFix and I am going to be COMPLETELY honest… it was a 50/50 percent success. But I want to emphasis that what was RIGHT about the order, was REALLY right! I absolutely LOVED the items I chose to keep.
So let me break this down for you so that you can get a real feel for this.
When you receive your order — you're given cute little style cards for each piece of clothing with ensemble ideas. I love this! Not only do you get cute pieces, but ideas that help you down the road, so that you can build on what you have without being clueless.
Here are the cards I received with each piece circled. (These were taken with my phone – so not the “crispest” images.)
1. Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jeans
This is an item I absolutely loved. They are completely my style. And though I only own bootcut jeans, these were straight leg. And guess what… I had no idea I like this look. So these were a complete keeper for me!! And as you can see — they give you cute ideas for outfits with the jeans that are so cute too. The fit was perfect as well.
2. Milos Cutout Detail Top
Again… I absolutely loved this. Mine was not white, but in a very pale mint green (they called it Skies Are Blue). It fit perfect and was just the right combo of casual and hippie. But also it had WAY more style savvy to it than my typical gamer t-shirts and hoodies for sure! I felt very chic and hip wearing it. It is one that I will wear over and over again. You can't really tell the detail of it in my lame-o image quality, but it's got tiny eyelet like cutouts.
3. Peanut Tri Color Slide Sandal
I do not have an image of these, but they were adorable. I would have kept them but they are the kind of sandal that are like flip flops with the piece that goes between your toes. I hate that… and can't stand the feeling of wearing shoes like that. My stylist now knows that – so I won't have to worry about getting another pair of that type. But again… they were super cute and I would have kept them if not for that.
4. Belvedere Lace Back Detail Knit Top
My daughter told me this top looked amazing on me and that I should keep it. But because I didn't LOVE it, I sent it back. I'm not sure what it was that I didn't like about it. Maybe it was the lace in the back. It just didn't feel like me — and I no longer want to just waste money on anything (not just clothes) unless I absolutely love it or absolutely need it.
5. Deanne Printed Maxi Skirt
I realize maxi skirts are all the rage — but I'm not really a skirt or dress girl. Like I said… I have a few hanging in my closet, and as cute as they are… I just don't feel comfy in them. I feel awkward. It's not that I don't love being a girlie-girl, I do for sure. I am all about getting my hair done, nails done, perfume, make-up… I just feel super short and squatty in a dress or skirt. Is squatty a word? I don't know? Back when I worked at a bank and in real estate, I wore dresses and skirts all the time. I guess I just lost my fondness for them. So though it was really cute, again… because I didn't love it – I sent it back.
Because I chose to keep two items, my $20 styling fee went toward the purchase of the jeans and top. Almost like a coupon. Or you can look at it like getting the stylist for free!
Speaking of Sending Things Back to StitchFix… What Does it Cost?
Nothing. NOT A PENNY. They send you a convenient package to put it all in. Just drop it at the post office and your done. They could not make it simpler for you. I found the whole experience to be so easy and convenient. Having someone pick out clothes for me and being able to try them on in my own home is magical. Honestly. I didn't have to drive somewhere, hunt around, schlep it all into a dressing room…. blah blah blah.
When I initially went into my StitchFix trial run, I assumed I'd do it once and be done. Or at best… maybe have one sent 4 times a year. Nope. I loved it so much, I'm having one sent every month. I was that blown away by the whole experience.
And the best reasoning I have — and continuing to keep it super real and honest…. I can easily pop into Target, JC Penney or Khols and blow $100 here and there on clothes that don't look right, don't feel right etc. And then have to take them back and return them, or forget and not return them and lose my money. Or figure I will wear them some day and never do. All this is a time and money expense that I don't want to be bothered with or can afford. I'm trying to pay off debt and find more life/work balance. The last thing I want to do is go clothes shopping. And I'm finding the older I get, the more true the 80/20 rule regarding clothes is spot on. You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. The other 80% of the clothes you have in your closet and drawers and shoved in boxes or under your bed — they collect dust and don't get worn. So why not hone in that 20% and make it the cutest most fabulous possible?! Pieces you can wear over and over again. That feel good when you wear them! Totally my goal as of now.
With each order, I can leave my stylist notes. That way she gets a better and better idea of what I like and don't like. This works great for her and for me. Just like the shoes being the “thong” type sandals that I don't find comfortable. She now knows those are not for me.
Wanna Try it Yourself?
I hope this post helped you somewhat discover and learn about StitchFix. I have several friends and family members that were curious, but just didn't wanna take the plunge. So I went first!
Even if you only try it once – and it's a complete disaster (and I don't think it will be – or I wouldn't even talk about it on my blog) — you'll be out $20.00. To me, it was worth a shot and it paid off. You can sign up easily at StitchFix today and get started. I'd love to hear your experience in the comments section below.