Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’
April 10, 2014
Every month, I get instantly giddy with the sight of a little teal and white box on my front doorstep. Inside, I know a fresh batch of fashion goodies are just waiting for me to open up and try them on.
I am talking about an online styling service called Stitch Fix (<- affiliate link), and if you frequent this blog, then you probably already know all about it.
For the newcomers, I heard about Stitch Fix through the blogosphere and am excited to see how popular it has grown. And just so you know, the items I choose to keep are purchased on my own. I do not receive any kind of special discount a part from the referral credits I get from you guys, which I receive as a surprise and am always genuinely appreciative of. (Thank you!)
What the Fix?
In a nutshell, here’s how it goes down…
Sign up for the monthly service (although you can choose to just do one box at a time), fill out a style profile online, include preferences and suggestions, and receive a box of fashion surprises as often as you’d like.
Once a month, I open the fix, try everything on, and decide what I want to keep and what I don’t.
The box comes with a price and style guide, which is always very helpful. Even if I don’t end up keeping an item, I am still left with ideas of how to style something similar in the future!
There is a $20 styling fee for the service, but if you choose to even keep one item, it gets applied towards your purchased items.
Essentially, you can choose how much you want to spend and the most you will be charged is $20, if you choose to send everything back.
The overall feedback I have heard about the service is:
1) It’s fun, awesome and totally convenient!
2) It’s overpriced and hard to justify spending over $50 on one item if you’re used to bargain shopping.
I wholeheartedly agree with both of those points.
My goal with my fixes is to try to stay around $100 and max out at $150. My hopes are to get at least three quality items and break out of my normal fashion and styling ways in the process. Lets see what happened this month…
My April Stitch Fix
I got so excited while I was opening my April box, because the first thing I saw was this bright teal crossbody bag!
While returning my last fix, I made a special request for my stylist to focus on accessories, skirts and dresses, and bright colors for spring. I’d say they did a pretty good job of listening.
Here are the verdicts!
• Houston Small Quilted Crossbody Bag with Chain Strap – $48
• Pomelo Jakobe Chevron Print Maxi Dress (Blue) – $78
• Pink Martini Moises Colorblock Sleeveless Dress (Green) – $68
• LA MADE Asher Button Detail Cotton Poncho (Coral) – $74
I loved the idea of the poncho, and I was on the fence with this one. I adored the color and how they styled it with a striped dress and ankle booties. I know the fit is meant to be loose, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sold on the frumpiness. For the price, I want to be in love with it!
• Collective Concepts Niko Texture Detail Tie-Neck Blouse (Yellow) – $68
I loved the look of this one… until I put it on. I have a very petite frame, especially around my collar bone, and this one just didn’t sit well on me. It felt a bit wide and baggy in the back, so I decided to pass.
With the past fixes, I have been very price conscious. No matter how much I loved the items, I didn’t want to go overboard, keep too much, or go over my shopping budget for the month.
This month, I sat back and thought about how much extra shopping I have done since starting the service, i.e., how many clothing purchases I have made outside of Stitch Fix.
Want to know my total? Zero. Seriously. Since signing up in January, I have not bought one single thing outside of the service for my wardrobe, with the exception of my Coach Kristina Sunglasses and Sperrys, which I actually had a credit to use up on Zappos.
If you really think about it, Stitch Fix is slowly replacing the need to do my wardrobe shopping in-person. I may fork out an extra few dollars on the items I decide to keep than I normally would, but I am sticking to just a few quality pieces a month, rather than getting tempted by more things, in-store sales, or accessories I really don’t need.
So there you go. I am still very much happy with my choice to continue this styling service and think it has proved to be well worth the investment.
I hope you found this helpful!
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever tried Stitch Fix? Would you?
• What item are you most excited about for spring?
Note: Although I included affiliate links, this post was not sponsored in any way. I pay for my service and the clothing on my own, and choose to share information about the company on my own!
March 24, 2014
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.
I have a feeling a lot of you were expecting to see this post pop up sooner than later. If you have been following the blog over the past few weeks, you have probably seen a handful of mentions and pictures including these.
They are extremely lightweight and comfortable shoes made for yoga and barre classes with the purpose of providing a barefoot feel with extra grip.
Before even trying them on, I had a hunch that they would feel very similar to a ballet slipper, and would allow me to point and flex my feet with mobility and ease. I was right.
Basically, they are like ballet slippers, only more versatile, thanks to the Concona woven coconut fiber material and grippies on the bottom.
If you have ever been to a barre studio, then you have probably seen a pair of barre or yoga socks before. The purpose of these is the same: to create an easy way to balance and hold positions while providing an anti-slip grip on the floor.
Before seeing these slippers appear on the Reebok website, I had only heard of barre socks. Never shoes.
On my last visit to Orlando, I took a barre class and noticed some really neat new features and styles of barre socks. There are tons of them out there and now some even include mesh and sparkles as part of the design.
While this slipper doesn’t have either of those features, it does include:
• light upper materials with an elastic topline (So comfy!)
• a low-profile for a grounded fit (Great mobility!)
• coconut fiber lining for natural evaporative cooling and odor resistance
• silicon printed outside grip for traction and slippage prevention
• ultra feminine style and sleek design (not to mention fun colors!)
The class and style of workout was amazing, and absolutely perfect for these type of slippers. In fact, since my arrival back home, I have already completed two more Ballet Beautiful workouts in my basement via Amazon Prime online streaming.
While this fitness slipper is designed primarily for barre and yoga, I can’t help but to want to turn to them for other things as well. I may be alone here, but I don’t always feel like wearing shoes when completing workouts at-home. I end up in socks on my carpet most of the time, and I think these might just be the perfect in-between during HIIT, kick boxing, and Tabatas.
Don’t take my word on that, as it was just a thought. If I do end up wearing them for anything similar to what I just mentioned, I will be sure to check back in with how it went!
Just as a heads up, I think these slippers run a bit on the small side. I normally wear anywhere between a 7 and a 7.5 street shoe size, but all of my Reebok sneakers arrive in size 7 with a great fit. These, however, I think I would feel more comfortable in the half size up.
Used on variety of workouts or not, these slippers make me happy, and I love the ballet slipper feel that takes me right back to ballet class on wood floors.
While I do like wearing barre socks, I think the extra money spent on a slipper would be worth the investment if you frequent a studio.
They retail for $59.99 and you can purchase them online or at any Reebok FitHub store.
Thanks, Reebok, for always keeping me up to date on the latest studio wear!
Question of the Afternoon
• Do you take barre or yoga classes? If so, do you prefer to go barefoot or wear (regular or grip) socks?
March 20, 2014
It finally happened. Today I broke down and signed up for Amazon Prime. Well, technically, I only agreed to the 30-day free trail, but I have the feeling it will ultimately turn into a permanent upgrade.
I have been an avid Amazon lover and affiliate for quite some time, and have always been straight forward about my links popping up from time to time throughout my blog posts. I do get a small kickback, but that is certainly not why I include them into my writing.
Being a Prime member costs $99 a year, but offers free two-day shipping, unlimited instant streaming of movies, DVDs, and television, plus over 500,000 book downloads all for free. Not to shabby if you order things from the site on a regular basis!
Anyways, the upgrade happened on account of the ever lovely and talented Mary Helen Bowers. She is the founder of Ballet Beautiful, a ballet inspired workout similar to barre, but involves more flowy, bigger movements in the center and on the floor without the use of a ballet barre.
Her methods specifically cater towards busy women who don’t always have time for extensive workouts, but want to achieve and maintain strong and lean bodies. With the experience of ten years as a NYC Ballet member and training celebrities including Natalie Portman and Miranda Kerr, I’d say she knows a thing or two about attaining the long and lean dancer physique a lot of women shoot for!
I was first introduced to Ballet Beautiful at the Reebok Skyscape Launch Party last week in NYC. Alongside a few blogging buddies, I took a condensed version of one of her classes and the ballerina in me fell for the style of workout right away.
I left the event wanting to try the full classes and after getting a message from Julie earlier this week, I found out you can stream her Ballet Beautiful DVDs online, totally free for Amazon Prime members!
With the itch to try something new today, I put on my True Studio Slippers to see exactly what all the fuss is all about.
In just under an hour, I completed a set of exercises that targeted the glutes, abs, inner and outer thighs, and arms.
The best way I can describe it is a fun and graceful full-body workout meant to focus on, tighten and tone an area at a time, without the use of weights.
MHB is very soft-spoken and the DVD brought me right back to ballet classes with piano tunes, frequent stretching and her use of dance terminology like first position, rond de jambe, and degage.
Before you get intimidated, please undersand that you don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy this series of workouts! I just so happen to personally appreciate the references.
The video started with twenty minutes of bridges, which is actually one of my favorite exercises. Okay, I don’t love them… but I love the results I get from doing them, hence the reason why I say favorite.
I knew I was in for it, but I didn’t think my legs would be burning quite as much as they did! I have to admit that the moves felt a tad repetitive since they all happened in four sets of eight counts until the next change, but that is also very similar to the style of a lot of barre classes out there.
If there is one thing I could change about it, it would be the music. I enjoyed the piano, but feel like more upbeat tunes might make the workout go by faster.
Overall, I am definitely a Ballet Beautiful fan! I loved the fact that ninety percent of the workout was done on the floor, and that none of it required any type of equipment.
She recommends doing this type of workout three times a week to achieve maximum results, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes a day. Being extremely portable, I see this series of DVDs being a definite go-to when I am traveling this summer!
Earlier this morning, I mentioned that Scott and I are dog sitting and couldn’t leave without including a few photos of the characters that are currently in our household.
Macy is an adorable (somewhat senior) Australian Sheppard we adore that belongs to our good friend, Alex. Roadie has been loving the extra company and has been getting along with her really well.
(We’re still working on the whole sharing attention concept though.)
After my workout, I threw on a pair of sneakers and sweatpants and took the pups out for an afternoon walk around the neighborhood.
Two peas in a pod, those fur balls are!
I worked up quite the appetite by the time we returned and quickly threw together a lunch similar to yesterday’s.
(Baby spinach, spring mix, tomatoes, carrots, black + green olives, a Gardenburger, feta cheese, and a spoonful of red pepper hummus inside a whole wheat tortilla.)
I also enjoyed a golden delicious green apple and the last of our macarons from New York!
Chocolate Coconut, get in my belly.
I am looking forward to having a clear schedule for the remainder of the day and hope to stay productive by knocking some thing off of the Spring Cleaning to-do list. I almost forgot that comes with the new season of (hopefully) warmth and sunshine, and I’m sorry if I just put a rain cloud over your day by reminding you. Whoops.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your Thursday, and I will see you again bright and early with tomorrow’s Friday Favorites link-up!
Questions of the Day
• Do you enjoy workout DVDs at home, or prefer to keep active at the gym?
• What is your favorite macaron flavor?
I have always loved incorporating at-home workout DVDs into my fitness routine. As much as I love taking group fitness classes and making up my own at the gym, I also love the convenience and portability of workout DVDs. I am already loving the (free) online streaming through Amazon Prime and plan to try out a lot more of MHB’s workouts in the near future. As always, I’ll be sure to report back with my thoughts!
March 18, 2014
Hi friends! It’s about that time again…
Where I get permission to rummage through a box of fashionable surprises and play “keep this and return that”, also known as Stitch Fix!
If you are new to the blog or concept of this online styling service, check out my first review for all the details!
Some of you might have already seen a sneak peek via Instagram, and by request here is a detailed list of all of the pieces found in this month’s box.
I choose to include a detailed list of every item in each box, just in case any of you see something you would like to personally request for yours. Didn’t know you could do that? Neither did I, until I requested and received an entire fix full of them. (Score!)
From left to right:
• Look by M Alicia Feather Print Wrap Scarf – $38
• 41 Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top (Dark Purple) – $48
• Level 99 Pandora Stretch Sueded Leggings (Black) – $78
• 41 Hawthorn Selfridge Cowl Neck Long Sleeve Top (Cobalt) – $48
• Pomelo Brentwood Jersey Stripe Tiered Top (Coral) – $58
While I ended up purchasing my entire box last month, I knew this one would be different from the get-go. I just didn’t have that “I have to have everything” type of feeling while opening it.
Okay, maybe I had that feeling for a second… because the first item I saw was the feather print scarf. After expressing my want for a lightweight wrap around scarf just a few weeks ago, it’s like it was calling my name.
Adorable right? I also appreciated the style guide’s suggestions on how to wrap and wear it.
The next piece that caught my eye was this super soft pair of suede leggings. I am a leggings girl, through in through. You might just catch me in a pair of them on a daily basis, especially since we moved up north. It’s fine.
For the $78 price tag, I quickly overlooked them thinking I could easily wear any of my other solid black leggings out and about, if need be.
Then I tried them on and (literally) put my big girl pants on. I think every girl needs to have a socially acceptable pair of black leggings in their wardrobe that can’t also double as gym attire. Am I wrong? It also helped that Scott approved this purchase. (Done and done.)
The remaining three items in my box could all fit under the business casual tops category, which most women would love.
(Yes, that would be a Roadie tail on the right.)
As much as I loved the striped top, I wasn’t too crazy about the color combo. All three of them fit great, but I just don’t see myself wearing them very often. If I had a job at an office that required me to actually dress in attire other than gym clothes, I might have kept them.
I thought the look of the cobalt cowl neck top was neat, but the sleeves ran a bit too short for my liking. I was on the fence for a while about the dark purple jersey top because it was incredibly comfortable and complimented the scarf really well. In the end, I just couldn’t justify spending close to $40 or $50 for any of the tops if I wasn’t in love with them.
Overall, I still consider this box a win. I ended up keeping two unique items I probably wouldn’t have sought out to buy on my own, and that is exactly why am am continuing to love this service.
Upon the return and online checkout, I explained why I didn’t keep all of the items and made specific requests for my next fix. Fingers crossed I can use the all-items discount (25% off) to keep the entire box next time!
Note: This post is not sponsored in any way. I pay for my service and the clothing on my own, and chose to share the company with you to help spread the word. They do offer a referral program and I get credit if people sign-up under my link and try the service. Also, some affiliate links are included and your support is very much appreciated!
Questions of the Day
• Have you every tried a personal styling service?
• What are some of your current fashion favorites?
I have been all about over-sized sweaters and leggings lately. Maybe that’s where they got the idea to put this type of box together? Huh. Moving into spring, I am looking forward to playing with lightweight scarves, layering with button-up shirts, maxi dresses, and sandals!