Fashion Friday :: my favorite non-knit scarves

It took me awhile to follow the lead of my tweeps, who  have raved about Martha McQuade’s Scarfshop for a long time, but now that I have, I’m totally obsessed. I ordered my first one on Cyber Monday in November:

chocolate-y brown

chocolate-y brown

I got the square size and it’s perfect in every way. This yummy brown was November’s color of the month, from the Cotton Collection. I can’t remember the color name, but it is a gorgeous cocoa brown and I am totally in love with it.

This month’s color of the month is “Blush” – a very, very soft, subtle light pink – and I couldn’t resist it (also from the Cotton Collection). After it arrived, I realized it was lighter than I thought it was going to be, and I wasn’t sure what I thought. But once I got it on, I fell in love with it, HARD.

blush, February color of the month

blush, February color of the month

In some light, it looks more white with a hint of pink; in other light, it’s more obviously pink. This one is also the square size, and it is really an ideal shape for me. I find it super-easy to style it just right. And every time I wear this one, my husband compliments me on it – I guess the light shade perks up my face or something.

I’m obsessed with these scarves, y’all, and I want one in every shade.  I’ve got my eye on Robin’s Egg, Chartreuse, or Lavender for my next purchase. Something to give my winter wardrobe a spring-like lift. Because it doesn’t seem the weather is going to be spring-like anytime soon.

This deep in the season, what are your favorite ways for perking up your winter wardrobe?

 

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Fashion Friday :: Stitch Fix #4, a review

Not long after I posted my Fashion Friday Stitch Fix review last Friday, I received my fourth Stitch Fix* box.

Good mail!

Good mail!

I knew as soon as I opened it that I was going to love it. The first top (the taupe-ish, there on top) is exactly my style (and color), and I was getting a good feeling about the peeks of other pieces I could see.

I tore into it and tried everything on. Before trying on, I really thought I had four (out of five) keepers, but I was sad to discover that the blazer, which I loved, was too small:

polka dot trim!

polka dot trim!

Such a cute blazer, and the price was right, too, but I just couldn’t make it fit (even though it was marked as my size). I loved the styling suggestions, too:

Blazer styling suggestions

Blazer styling suggestions

This really would have been a great piece for my wardrobe. Oh well, onward. Maybe I can find another piece similar to this (thought the price would be hard to beat).

Here is the whole box:

Stitch Fix #4

Stitch Fix #4

  1. (upper left) Hawthorn Blazer. Cute but too small. Sent back.
  2. (lower left) Black Dolman Sleeve Top with gold zipper at top of back. Loved this so much and I don’t own any other dolman sleeve tops. Keeper!
  3. (middle) Shoulder Button Striped Shirt. The stripes! The colors! The fit! The buttons on the shoulder! I love everything about this top and I am going to get so much wear out of it. Keeper!
  4. (upper right) Braid-Details 3/4-sleeve Top. This shirt is so far inside my comfort zone/native style, I can hardly believe it. I love this color and have a lot of it, but I don’t have anything quite like this (and some of what I do have really needs to hit the giveaway pile). I love this. Keeper!
  5. (lower right). Ridiculously expensive ugly 80’s style scarf. (that’s not what it was called on the label – I think it was something like peacock print silk scarf or some such). But y’all. UGH. What is this mess? I really dislike everything about this. To me, it screams 1980s and not in a good way. And it was $50! Sent back.
Dolman Sleeve Styling suggestions

Dolman Sleeve Styling suggestions

I think this will be a very versatile top. I have my eye on a patterned pencil skirt from White House Black Market, but I can also see wearing it with pants for work or jeans for going out.

Dolman Sleeve Back Zipper top

Dolman Sleeve Back Zipper top

I really, really like the cut of this, and the material is drape-y and sort of silky.

Striped Top styling suggestions

Striped Top styling suggestions

Super-cute suggestions, right? I see myself mostly wearing it with black skinny jeans and my red ballet flats. I love the shoulder-button detail.

Shoulder Button Striped Shirt

Shoulder Button Striped Shirt

I don’t have nearly enough stripes in my wardrobe, and I am very happy to change that.

Braid-detail top

Braid-detail top

This is probably the most “me” item of clothing I’ve received from Stitch Fix so far. I’ve been very happy to get pieces that are not what I would normally notice in the store – that’s part of the reason I’m using this service, to shake up my style a little bit. But it is really nice, too, to get something that is exactly what I would’ve picked out for myself.

This box was fantastic, and I was SO happy to receive so many tops (and nothing sleeveless!). I am really looking forward to getting a lot of use out of these three pieces this fall (and beyond).

What about the rest of you? Some of you tried Stitch Fix through my referral link (thanks for the credit!) – I’d love to know what you thought of what you got. I also love seeing what other people got, to give me more ideas for expanding or remixing my own wardrobe.

*Stitch Fix is a personal shopping/styling service – you fill out a style questionnaire on their site so that they get a sense of your “style profile.” Then you pay a $20 “styling fee” and they hand-pick five items for you, based on your preferences. They ship the box to you, you try everything on, and then you select what, if anything, you want to keep; the $20 styling fee goes toward the cost of anything you choose. If you don’t want to keep anything, you ship everything back in the package provided (they keep the $20 styling fee). If you decide to keep everything, you get a 25% discount (minus the $20 you already paid them). I do not receive any compensation from them for reviewing my experience with them.

But I *do* get a credit towards my next Fix if you schedule a Fix for yourself via my referral link: here. If you have questions about how it works, you can see their FAQ here – and I am more than happy to answer any questions based on my experience, too.

Fashion Friday :: Stitch Fix #3, a review

It’s not that every Fashion Friday will be devoted to Stitch Fix*, it’s just that I’m still trying to review all the Stitch Fixes I’ve received so far. I ordered three boxes in spring/summer, and reviewed the first one here and the second one here.

I ordered another Stitch Fix not long after the second one. With my first two boxes, I ended up with a couple of fantastic dresses; what I really needed next for summer was a couple of cute tops for work. I specifically asked for that when I ordered this box, and I stipulated that I needed them to not be sleeveless. Of the five items they sent, two of them were tops and only one would have been somewhat appropriate for work. And they sent me two more dresses, both sleeveless. Blast!

Stitch Fix #3

#1 – blue dress (left #1 and #2,, and middle picture) – yet another sleeveless dress! I totally didn’t need another dress. But the truth is I fell way in love with this color, which is not like anything else I own. It was a button-down shirt dress, made out of a slippery material. And it was pretty short. Shorter than what I ordinarily wear to work (though you can see in the upper left corner pic that it’s longer in the back, which is kind of cute). And of course for work, I’d need to pair it with a cardi (as in pic #2), which I’m not wild about in summer. Verdict: Sent back. Love the color, but nothing else about it works for me. Will look for something in that color for my wardrobe.

#2 – color block dress (left #3 and #4) – It’s hard to tell in these shots, but this was a dark navy (not black). Yet! Another! Sleeveless! Dress! Longer than the blue one. A nice, light material. The top is blousy, which was nice in that it was not too clingy, but maybe also not very flattering. I wasn’t sure what I thought of it with a cardi. Verdict: Sent back. Cute concept, but not particularly flattering. I also don’t need another sleeveless dress, obvs.

#3 – sheer white top with black lace stripes (right #1 and #2) – This was very cute but there were a few issues with it. It was sheer – so I’d have to wear a cami under it. Not a serious problem, but not my first preference for a work top. The lace stripes were very cute, but I just wasn’t sure about the Peter Pan collar. It felt on the verge of too twee. The real problem, though, was that, though the blouse fit everywhere else, it was a bit snug in the sleeves. But hey, at least it wasn’t sleeveless! Verdict: Sent back. I almost would have considered this top if the sleeves hadn’t been too snug, but that made it an easy decision. (With Stitch Fix, you can’t exchange something for a different size; if what you receive doesn’t fit, you simply return it without buying it.)

#4 – chambray shirt with polka dot details (right #3). This was pretty cute. It was lightweight, comfy, and the sleeves could be rolled up in a variety of ways, with a tab to hold them in place. The polka dots showed on the cuffs as well as on the button band. But I wouldn’t really consider this a blouse for work, and I don’t really need casual tops right now. It was also $58 – not too pricey for a good dress shirt, but too much for this particular top. Verdict: Sent back. I didn’t need it and I didn’t love it.

#5 – earrings – Sterling silver, very cute, and I’d been wanting a new pair of silver earrings. I wasn’t sure whether to keep these or not. They were $48, which I consider a lot for small, non-jeweled, non-handmade earrings. But I’d be out the $20 whether I kept them or not – that’s the styling fee. So after that, it was just another $28, and the question was did I love them $28 worth. Verdict: Yes, I love them $28 worth – total keeper.  And I’m so glad I did! I’ve actually gotten so much wear out of these – they’ve become my go-to earrings in place of my standard silver hoops. And I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them. If you look closely, you can even see them in yesterday’s sweater post. 

Cape Cod neckline
They aren’t as noticeable as some of my huge dangly earrings, but they show up well enough, even with all my hair.

I also wanted to show you the purple top from my first box again. It was in a couple of smaller pictures in a collage in my first review, and those pics didn’t really do it justice. I’ve worn this top several times, in several ways, over the last three months, and I always feel good in it. I wore it to church this past Sunday and got so many compliments.

From Stitch Fix #1

From Stitch Fix #1

I paired it with a white skirt from White House Black Market, an old silver loop chain belt, and some light grey pumps, plus a purple pendant necklace one of my sons gave me for Mother’s Day. Also, please to note that I took this picture before Labor Day! I’m a Southern girl, y’all, and I don’t wear white after Labor Day!

So out of three boxes so far, I have two dresses, a top, and a pair of earrings, all of which have seen a lot of play this summer, and none more than these earrings. I’d call that a win, and I’m really looking forward to my next box, which, if the tracking is accurate, will arrive this very afternoon!

*Stitch Fix is a personal shopping/styling service – you fill out a style questionnaire on their site so that they get a sense of your “style profile.” Then you pay a $20 “styling fee” and they hand-pick five items for you, based on your preferences. They ship the box to you, you try everything on, and then you select what, if anything, you want to keep; the $20 styling fee goes toward the cost of anything you choose. If you don’t want to keep anything, you ship everything back in the package provided (they keep the $20 styling fee). If you decide to keep everything, you get a 25% discount (minus the $20 you already paid them). I do not receive any compensation from them for reviewing my experience with them.

But I *do* get a credit towards my next Fix if you schedule a Fix for yourself via my referral link: here. If you have questions about how it works, you can see their FAQ here – and I am more than happy to answer any questions based on my experience, too.

Fashion Friday :: Stitch Fix #2, a review

So you guys like the Stitch Fix*, eh? Judging from the response I got on Facebook to last week’s Stitch Fix post, there are a lot of us out there who would enjoy a little attention from a personal shopper. Like many of you, I really like to do a lot of my shopping online these days, which is great for convenience but not-so-great for getting feedback from a trusted friend or salesclerk. It’s nice to have an objective eye about what looks good, what might work together, what fits with your style, etc.

One thing I didn’t mention last week about Stitch Fix is that each piece in the package includes a couple of pictures of styling options. This is great for giving ideas about how to pair your clothes for work or for going out. So in addition to actually sending you clothing items, they are also sending you ideas that can help guide your own shopping.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve gotten a Fix three times now, and each time, I’ve kept at least one item. I got the second box in May. Here’s what they sent:

Stitch Fix #2

#1 – blouse – royal blue, flutter sleeves (left, top two pictures)- I really loved the color of this and the sleeves are darling, but as you can see, they fall open. I don’t like this because I have a tattoo (kids, I am a cautionary tale – I got this in my 20s and lived to regret it). This is a shirt that would’ve been great for work, except for that. I also wasn’t in love with the neckline and wasn’t sure it was the best cut for me. I was very on the fence about this piece, but I ended up sending it back. I am committed to only keeping clothes that I really love.

#2 – maxi dress – chevron print (pictured, with denim jacket, center; pictured, on its own, top right; print pictured bottom left)- there are no words for how much I LOVE this dress. I have worn it SO much this summer – by itself, with a denim jacket, with a light cream cardi. I’ve worn it to wedding rehearsals, bridal showers, a Fleetwood Mac concert, and even a pirate cruise. Yes, you read that right. This dress is super-comfortable and I ADORE the print. I own nothing else like it.

#3 – sleeveless red shell (pictured middle right). Very cute in theory but I didn’t think it was very flattering on. Might’ve looked good with a black jacket, which I don’t currently own.

#4 – polka dot top (pictured bottom right) – Theoretically the right size, but as you can see, it runs way small. Ugh!

#5 – an aqua print scarf (not pictured) – very cute, but at $50 I already knew I wasn’t going to keep it, so I didn’t even take it out of its sealed bag. I’ve read somewhere that, psychologically, we grow more attached to things we touch, so I decided not to even tempt myself by holding the pretty pretty scarf.

This box was a big success for the dress alone. I really can’t quite capture how much I love it. And I get compliments on it every single time I wear it, especially (and most importantly) from my husband, who is not a person who tends to repeat himself, so I take it seriously when he does.

On a pirate ship

Chilling in my maxi dress on a pirate ship, as one does

 

*Stitch Fix is a personal shopping/styling service – you fill out a style questionnaire on their site so that they get a sense of your “style profile.” Then you pay a $20 “styling fee” and they hand-pick five items for you, based on your preferences. They ship the box to you, you try everything on, and then you select what, if anything, you want to keep; the $20 styling fee goes toward the cost of anything you choose. If you don’t want to keep anything, you ship everything back in the package provided (they keep the $20 styling fee). If you decide to keep everything, you get a 25% discount (minus the $20 you already paid them). I do not receive any compensation from them for reviewing my experience with them.

But I *do* get a credit towards my next Fix if you schedule a Fix for yourself via my referral link: here. If you have questions about how it works, you can see their FAQ here – and I am more than happy to answer any questions based on my experience, too.

Fashion Friday :: Stitch Fix #1, a review

Are you familiar yet with Stitch Fix? I learned about it last spring, when I was in the process of trying to refine my wardrobe a bit and several of my flickr friends were trying it out. It’s a personal styling service – you fill out a style questionnaire on their site so that they get a sense of your “style profile.” Then you pay a $20 “styling fee” and they hand-pick five items for you, based on your preferences. They ship the box to you, you try everything on, and then you select what, if anything, you want to keep; the $20 styling fee goes toward the cost of anything you choose. If you don’t want to keep anything, you ship everything back in the package provided (they keep the $20 styling fee). If you decide to keep everything, you get a 25% discount (minus the $20 you already paid them). Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

It is, actually. At least as long as they ship you at least one thing you want to keep. I’ve done it three times now, and each time, I’ve kept at least one item. I got the first box in May. Here’s what they sent:

Stitch Fix #1 - May 2013

Stitch Fix #1 – May 2013

I received five pieces:
1 – a dark purple v-neck cap sleeve jersey top
2 – an orange skirt with a little front zipper that unzips at the thigh
3 – a necklace with white, blue, and orange squares
4 – a faux wrap tank dress – they call the color red but to me it is more of an orange-red
5 – a white longsleeve open cardigan

I fell in total and complete love with the dress, which is not something I would’ve ever picked out for myself – I would’ve skipped over the color entirely, and, even in a different color, I would’ve skipped it because it’s sleeveless. (professionally, I don’t wear sleeveless clothes except with a cardigan or jacket). But I really loved this dress and the price was just right.

I loved the dark purple jersey top, too. It’s got a really nice neckline and I love the feel of it (and the color). It’s pricier than I would tend to pay, but I’ve actually gotten so much wear it out of it that it’s definitely been worth it.

I really liked the skirt, too, but I sent it back. It was the most expensive thing in the box, and I just won’t pay nearly $90 for a cotton/spandex skirt. I know how easy (and cheap) it is to make a skirt, and this one just isn’t worth that price, even with the cute zipper detail. I love the color, though, especially with the purple top and white cardi.

I also sent the necklace back, even though it was cute. It felt really cheap and trinkety, not at all worth the almost $50 they were charging for it. I typically don’t pay more than $25 for costume jewelry – anything more than that and it needs to either be sterling silver, or have actual gems/stones in it, or be handmade.

The white cardi is the one piece I was on the fence about. I really liked it – it’s definitely my style. I have something similar to it that looks a bit worn now, so it could’ve been a nice update to replace my old cardigan. But it was again more money than I would typically pay for a piece like this in the store, so I sent it back.

Overall, I was very pleased with this way of shopping. The dress was a real find for me, and I’ve enjoyed wearing it to summer weddings and out for dinner. The purple top has been a perfect work piece for me. Even the items I didn’t keep gave me ideas of what to look for as I shop elsewhere.

All-in-all, it was a great experience, and one I was eager to repeat. I did it again in June – I’ll be posting that review next Friday.

In the meantime, if you’re interested, you can schedule a Fix for yourself on their site here. (Full disclosure: if you use that link, I will get a credit towards my next Fix!) If you have questions about how it works, you can see their FAQ here – and I am more than happy to answer any questions based on my experience, too.