My First Stitch Fix

I have friends who have used Stitch Fix for years; some who have been subscribers since the launch of the service in 2011. I have enjoyed hearing about their experiences, reading their blogs on their latest fix, and watching their unboxing videos. I never had the desire to participate, though… until recently.

There are a couple of reasons why I decided to finally give it a try. Since my reasons are probably pretty far-fetched in comparison to the majority of Stitch Fix subscribers, I thought I would give you a quick insight before I reveal today’s package.

I like to think that I am fashionable, but the truth is — I struggle with fashion. I blame it partially on this “turning 40″ thing that is happening soon. (I’m starting to blame a lot of things on it, actually. haha) I love fashion, but fashion doesn’t always love me. I see a cute outfit on Pinterest and I attempt to replicate it, only to find that my body type  just isn’t compatible with the clothing style. It reminds me of all the years I took hair photos to my stylist and – every time – she would tell me that the cut was for someone with straight, thick hair… and that the same cut on my thin, curly hair would not produce the same look. Most cute, fashionable outfits simply do not produce the same look on me.

I’m tall (5’10”) and long-waisted. My legs are actually an average length. I am also about 20lbs overweight. I am most annoyed by my belly. It seems to be where most of the extra weight is stored. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find the right sizes and cuts. I feel like I often settle for clothes, particularly dress clothes for work, and I get stuck in a certain look that isn’t necessarily the best for me.

I’m not a fan of shopping. I loathe having to try on clothes in a dressing room. When I do shop, I typically have an agenda… I’m looking for one particular piece to pair with something I already own. The thought of shopping just to browse is a bit daunting to me.

And y’all know that I’m a self-proclaimed Budget Queen. I am so frugal. If I buy one article of clothing, I pull a similar piece from my closet to sale or donate. I only allow an extremely small amount into my budget for clothing. I don’t shop often, and when I do… I shop thrift stores and consignment shops first. It has to be on sale, and it has to be a needed item.

All of that said, the four reasons I finally subscribed to Stitch Fix are:

  1. I am hoping their stylists can recommend the appropriate cut/style/look for me.
  2. I want to see if Stitch Fix caters to someone with my body shape/size.
  3. The clothes come straight to my door and I have a few days to try them on at my leisure.
  4. I want to see if the clothing offered is affordable and well-made.

A quick rundown of how Stitch Fix works:
Create an account and fill out a questionnaire.
The subscription is $20/month and that fee is deducted from your total, should you decide to keep any or all items delivered in your monthly fix.
You receive a box with five custom-selected pieces.
Try them on at your leisure (you have three days to make your decision) and send back the ones you don’t want to keep in a postage-paid envelope.

Simple enough, right?

So… on to my first fix! I’m sorry this isn’t as entertaining as other Stitch Fix reveals. I wanted to get this blog posted quickly, so I didn’t have time to edit a video or even slap on some makeup to be presentable in photos. I’ll do better next time.

I purposefully did not give my stylist any suggestions aside from the basic questionnaire at registration. I wanted to see just how in-tuned the stylists are before I even created my Pinterest board with suggestions. I was vague… and Cindy nailed it!

A few days before the fix shipped, I learned that I could download the Stitch Fix app and preview what was on its way to me. A lot of folks wait until their package arrives to see what was selected for them. I, however, don’t like surprises. When I saw the items that were selected for me, I was impressed. Cindy did a great job… and I got even more excited about getting my fix and seeing the clothes in person.

What I was a bit disappointed in was the price. At registration, I selected “The cheaper the better” option, hoping I would get some discounted items. However, the average Stitch Fix items seem to be in the $50 range. That is very high for my general budget. I was leery as to if I would even purchase anything, or even use the service again, but I decided to wait until the package came to make my decision. Especially since I also wasn’t convinced that I would fit into the clothes. [Stitch Fix sizes range from 0-14 and XS –XL. I am on the upper end of that scale, and sometimes 14s aren’t the best fit depending on the cut of the clothing. I’m a generally apprehensive person anyway.]

In my first Stitch Fix box, I found:
Daniel Rainn Ginnie Lace Trim Knit Top $58 XL
Loveappella Liette Embroidery Detail Knit Top $48 XL
Gilli Kimberly Maxi Dress $64 XL
Margaret M Christiana Textured Pencil Skirt $78 XL
Romolo Lea Leaf Collar Necklace $28
The total price of all items minus the discount ($69) and the monthly fee ($20) is $187

My decision:
Lace Trim Top – I love it. The fit. The feel. The pattern. The versatility. LOVE. I’m not a fan of the price, but when I deduct the $20 I’ve already spent (and won’t be refunded) then the top will be $38. That is still way more than I would typically spend on tank top but I really do love it. I can wear it with shorts for a casual look in the summer, or pair it with black dress pants, heels, and a blazer for work. I’m going to keep it.

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Embroidery Knit Top – It is a pretty top, but the fit was a bit snug for me… and the design was a bit plain. I couldn’t see wearing this to work so I’m going to return it.

Maxi Dress – I love the fit of this dress! It was comfortable and slimming. I considered keeping it, but there was something about the hemline that bothered me. If it didn’t have the asymmetrical bottom, I probably would have kept it. At $64, I decided to return it.

  
Pencil Skirt – I was surprised at how comfortable this skirt was. I liked the color/texture and length… but it was a bit too snug for me. It really accentuated my curves, particularly those in the rear, and I didn’t feel like that would be appropriate for work. I also couldn’t fathom paying $78 for a skirt. I’m going to return it.

Necklace – I thought the necklace was adorable, but between the length (too short) and color (I have a couple gold ones already) I decided to return it.

Since Cindy did such a fantastic job selecting items for me with little direction, I have decided to give Stitch Fix another try. (That’s huge folks… I really thought I would be cancelling my subscription right now!) This time, I have created a Pinterest board at their suggestion, and plan to send back a note with my returns to let my stylist know what I loved about each piece and what I didn’t. Although I’m still not a fan of the pricing, I do love the anticipation and convenience that comes along with this service. So be on the lookout for my next Stitch Fix post. Maybe *just maybe* there will be a video too.

Living Right

Yesterday, I attended a funeral for the father of a friend. He was 95 years old, and lived a wonderfully full life until his health rapidly declined. The memories that were shared about this precious man were incredible to hear. He truly was someone who “lived life right.” That isn’t to say that he didn’t make mistakes. We all do, including him. But he was described as someone who “believed everyone was as honest as he was.” He worked hard, he loved hard, he put others first, and he never harbored bitterness or negativity. I think a lot of that had to do with his faith, but a lot of it had to do with his character too. He never worried what others thought of him because he was always considerate and confident in his intent. His funeral was short and sweet, because his long life had already told the story of what a kind soul he was.

Shortly before arriving to the funeral, I received a Facebook message from someone with whom I once volunteered. I would consider this person an acquaintance; not really a friend since we had never done anything outside of events together. However, if I ran into this person around town, I would speak. I would ask how he’s doing and genuinely care about his response. His message was questioning why I had unfriended him on Facebook. He was immediately defensive and questioned what he had done wrong to cause my actions. He wanted to know what he could do to “fix our friendship.” After the funeral, I learned that a short 30 minutes after he contacted me, this individual had also posted a rant on his Facebook timeline. It stated something along the lines of “if you’re going to unfriend me… please be an adult and send me a message as to what the problem is.” He continued by stating that if “you’re not adult enough, you did not need to be on my friends list anyway.” It was full of bitterness and negativity, and self-consciousness.

Of course when I confronted my acquaintance, he explained that the rant was about someone else. I started to question if that was an honest statement… but I didn’t. All I could think about was the beautiful celebration of life that I had just witnessed, and how much society today puts more weight in social media friendships than they do about living life right. I can’t begin to imagine what someone sees and experiences in 95 years on earth, but I often wonder what previous generations must think about my generation and those that follow. When did unfriending someone on Facebook become the judgement of our character? When did bullying someone behind a computer screen become so acceptable? When did honesty and putting others before yourself become a thing of the past? Why are people so bitter and negative these days? When did we lose our dedication to do the right thing and be our best?

I haven’t been able to get my friend’s father off of my mind. What an incredible example this man was to his family and friends, and to his community. It really makes me think about my life as I enter into my 40s. If my health rapidly declined, would my funeral be short because my life was full? Or would I be remembered for my Facebook rants and my constant unhappiness? It is really something to consider, isn’t it?

When you work hard, love hard, and put others first… you don’t have to worry what people say about you. You can be confident that your life speaks volumes for your character. In my next 40 years, I want to live a life so full of love, kindness, honesty, and selflessness that the only words that need to be spoken at my funeral are “…until we see you again!”

The Last Thirty Days of My 30s

Tomorrow begins the last thirty days of my 30s. I always love celebrating my birthday. I joke that it’s a national holiday and should be commemorated around the world. Haha! I remember anticipating my 16th, 18th, and 21st birthdays. I recall thinking 22 sounded weird, as did 27, but for the most part… every June 10 was just an excuse to overindulge in whatever I wanted. So, of course, I threw a huge party at a friend’s house for my 30th birthday. And then life changed drastically. Not really for the worst, but not really for the best. Things were just different. I thought differently. I acted differently. I reacted differently. It was truly like an old chapter had closed, and a new chapter had begun. That said, I have to admit that I’m a bit emotional as my 40th birthday nears. I know that life will likely make another drastic change. I’m excited to gain more wisdom and more confidence with the decade ahead. But I’m certainly more aware of reality now too; and coming to terms with things like aging parents, my own aging body, certain responsibilities, and certain goals that may need to be adapted, or even let go.

Despite the handful of apprehensions, I still love to celebrate and I plan to start ASAP! I have a lot of fun things coming up on my schedule. I thought it would be fun to use social media as a way to document the end of another decade. Over the next four weeks, I will post a blog every Thursday to highlight some of those fun things, as well as some of my favorite memories. I will also use the hashtag #jennslast30 for a photo-a-day on Instagram. (The hashtag will appear on Facebook and Twitter, too!). Be on the lookout, and please feel free to participate. Share some of your memories or an old photo, share advice, offer encouragement, or just say hello. Not every post will be birthday related… so if you see me in your town, attending an event that you’re at, or trying something new that you’ve tried too… I would love to hear from you! Please remember to use #jennslast30 🙂