Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fix #10 From Stitch Fix - January 20, 2015

Happy New Year! I am back for another Stitch Fix review. This will be my 10th fix. I have no interest in stopping this fun, fashion-savvy service. I have gotten some amazing pieces since I started receiving fixes last May. If you haven't visited my blog before, I have many other reviews for you to read:

Fix #1 - May 2014
Fix #2 - June 2014
Fix #3 - July 2014
Fix #4 - August 2014
Fix #5 - September 2014
Fix #6 - October 1, 2014
Fix #7 - October 29, 2014
Fix #8 - November 2014
Fix #9 - December 2014

Fix #1 gives you all the information about the Stitch Fix service, so I won't reiterate here.

This month, I requested:
  • More long-sleeved tops and sweaters
  • The elusive 'colorful cardigan' 
  • A less fitted skirt option and 
  • A 'statement necklace.'
 I've only received one necklace in my fixes, and I am sort of sad I sent it back. I ended up seeing this exact same necklace on a news anchorwoman on a big news network...so now I wish I'd kept it.  
Trisha Clover Charm Layering Necklace by Pixley

This time around, I was ready to invest in a cute piece of jewelry, and I looked forward to what my stylist would send.

My box arrived yesterday. It was a larger box size, so I knew it would have some bulky items in it. I was hoping for a heavy sweater or cardigan. I mean, it's January, and I can practically see Canada from my living room, so I need some more warm stuff!

I opened it up, and had 4 separate wrapped packages. (Usually you get everything wrapped up in one bundle, so this was intriguing). I took out all 4 bundles and snapped a photo of them. Can you guess what my stylist may have done for me?

Yes, I was pretty certain my stylist had sent me TWO pieces of jewelry to choose from. I wasn't sure if I was sad about 2 of my 5 items being jewelry or happy. I went for 'happy' because after the holidays, I was feeling pretty broke and knew I wouldn't be spending much this month.

I unwrapped each bundle and took in the beauty that is Stitch Fix:

My stylist had chosen a blouse, jacket, jeans and two necklaces for me this fix. If it hadn't been for the fact that I didn't have much money to spend, I probably would've been more disappointed. I received things I didn't ask for (jeans, jacket) and very little of what I did ask for. But since I did not have a huge wad of cash waiting to be unloaded on Stitch Fixery, I knew I'd be okay this month and most likely wouldn't have to send something back that I loved just because I couldn't afford it.

I hung up everything for picture-taking and then started the try-on phase. I never look at prices until I am all done giving my evaluations of what's in my box. I want to choose items based on likeability, not cost. Plus, I sometimes have kept something despite the price and have been very glad I did so!

1) The first item I tried on was the jeans. They were the Denna Skinny Jean  by Kut From the Kloth for $58.00. During my November fix I discovered that Kut From the Kloth jeans fit me very well.

ADVICE: If you are pear-shaped or have a 'curvy' lower half, this is the jean brand for you. Very forgiving in the thigh and butt areas. If other jeans from Stitch Fix have not worked, I highly recommend this brand.

I was not in the market for a new pair of jeans, but if these babies fit well, I was up for adding them to my wardrobe. A woman does not turn down a nice-fitting pair of jeans! At the time I hung them up and tried them on, I did not know the price was so awesome. Most pants I have purchased from Stitch Fix have been between $75 and $100.

I slipped them on with a plain black t-shirt. The fit was fantastic! It was a mid-rise jean with a great waistband that didn't seem to overstretch. The legs on these 'skinny' jeans were a little bit loose, giving me a different fitting jean. I liked the comfort of these jeans. The length was perfect (I'm almost 5'10")

I knew these were a KEEP item. I had to have these.

By the way, I wore these all day yesterday, and the waistband never stretched out. Really a great pair of pants.

2)  The next item I tried on was the Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse by 41Hawthorn for $58.00. I will be honest. I've seen this blouse before in other people's fixes online and really wasn't over the moon about it. I've never seen it in white. It was a bit sheer, so it came with its own white tank.

I didn't have high hopes for this one. I was also disappointed in the thinness of the material. I needed warm stuff, not sheer blouses. A little bit of sad crept into my day. But I try everything on, people!  I do not set something aside in the "NO" pile until it has been tried on. Here we go!

a) This was actually really cute and flattering.
b) It was in white, which is a good neutral for me (off-white is bad, bad, bad).
c) The sleeves that I thought I would find irritating weren't half-bad.
e) This would be wearable with many pants & skirts I own.

Those are the good things. If it were spring, I might've kept this one. Here's the bad:

a) It was very sheer fabric. I have 18 inches of snow outside, so I wouldn't be wearing this any time soon.
b) The tank that came with this was too large and I had to yank it backwards so it actually covered me properly.

So the good did outweigh the bad. I put this in the "MAYBE" pile in case the price was so incredible that it was too good to pass up.

3) The next item was the Reeda Quilted Puffer Jacket by Andrew Marc for $118.00 in navy blue. Let me start by saying I received a lovely red puffer coat with a hood and adjustable waist for Christmas from my husband. I love that coat. It is my dream coat. Very flattering with a fantastic hood. So, needless to say, I was not in the market for a new jacket. But let's hang it up, shall we?

I really liked the navy blue color. That is one of my 'neutrals,' so that struck me right off the bat. It also looked like it had some shape to it. Time to try that puppy on.

It looks okay in the photo. I didn't hate it, by any means. However, there were a few annoyances that told me this would not be a jacket I'd need to own. First, the stiffness of the sleeves. When my arms were down, the sleeves sort of forced your arms to hang a bit away from your body. It looked a little Michelin Man, to be honest. The shape of it was a tad unflattering. My husband pointed out later (when I tried it on for him) that the stomach area pooched out a bit and made me look chubby in an area where I'm not that chubby. Also, when I tried it on a second time, I had a sweater on (bulkier than the t-shirt I'd tried it on with in the photo). The sleeves were a little narrow for the bulk of my relatively thin sweater. I really despise jackets that don't allow you to comfortably wear your clothes underneath or take your jacket on and off. This was one of those jackets.

But, hey, we already knew I wasn't looking for or needing a new jacket, so it didn't pain me at all to put this in the NO pile.

4) Sadly, we are now done with the clothing portion of this review. We move to the jewelry! Next I tried the Genie Faceted Teardrop Stone Statement Necklace by Romolo for $38.00.

Purple is one of my favorite colors, so I liked the look of this necklace in the box. But when I picked it up, I was really surprised by the plastic feel of the 'gold' chain and clasp. Right away it screamed 'cheap.'  But I wanted to try it on:

 It was okay. I was not blown away by this necklace at all. It still had the look of cheapness to it. However, the worst part was the clasp. Holy heck, who designed this thing? The clasp was very chunky. The links you had to clip it into were pretty small. The main part of the clasp was too thick to fit through the links. Only the tiny sliding clasp piece fit through the hole of the link (if that makes sense). So, unless I perfectly aligned the retracted clasp end with the middle of the link, there was no way to successfully close the clasp. In fact, the first time I tried it, I thought I had it closed properly. But then the necklace fell off, and I took a closer look. NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CLOSE.  And the necklace is too short to slip over your head. You HAVE to use the clasp to wear it.

That sealed the deal for me. NO.
5) The last item was another piece of jewelry - the Carly Multi-Stone Layering Necklace by Bancroft for $36.00. It's hard to see in the box how long this necklace is. The green of the 'stones' appealed to me. I thought this necklace might be better.

Once again, when I picked up this necklace, I was surprised the plastic feel of the 'gold.' The stones also looked very plastic and cheap. Pretty disappointing. At least the necklace sent to me last summer was more of a quality piece. But I tried it on.

At least with this one, I didn't have to worry about the clasp. It looked okay, and I probably could've found things to wear it with. However, the quality was so cheap, I really couldn't envision myself spending money on it, unless it was incredibly discounted. This was a NO.

Style Cards That Came With My Fix
So, all in all not a great box for me. I kept 1 item. However, I will remind you that I didn't have much money to spend...so it was actually GOOD that I didn't like more in this box. For me, the best part was looking at the prices and finding out the jeans I was keeping were only $58!  I'd already spent $20 on the styling fee, so an additional $38 for a great pair of jeans wasn't that bad at all. In fact, I was pretty pleased.

And, yes, I decided to send back the blouse...the one 'maybe' in the mix. When I saw the price ($58), I just couldn't pull the trigger. Maybe if it had been $38, I would've done it. But it was too hard to justify buying a summery-type item in the middle of January!

My stylist told me in the note that came with my fix that she couldn't find a cardigan in my size. And since I didn't receive much of anything I asked for, my guess is this was an inventory dump box. I possibly got such a good deal on the jeans b/c they were trying to unload them. Which is all right with me.

The biggest disappointment was the jewelry. I thought both pieces were incredibly overpriced for the quality. I even told Stitch Fix so in my remarks about this Fix. I have bought better quality jewelry in the $5 sale at my local department store. I think if Stitch Fix is going to include jewelry, they need to up the quality or lower the price. I don't know if I'd ask for jewelry again, honestly.

Definitely still enjoying my Stitch Fix experience. My wardrobe is being transformed by my Stitch Fix items, and I find myself weeding out old stuff as I accumulate more up-to-date and stylish pieces. Can't wait for February to see what the Stitch Fix Fairy brings my way.

If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix, can I interest you in using my referral link?


Full disclosure: I will receive a $25 credit after you make your first order.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cover Ideas & Reader Poll

I have been posting some new writings of mine on my Wattpad account since November. One story in particular, a romance/drama entitled "Acapulco Nights," has been sitting on my hard drive for 10 years. This was the 2nd book I ever wrote, and the first one to get the full-on agent treatment (i.e. I sent out query letters to probably 100 agents hoping someone would love my book). I ended up with a couple of agents wanting to read the first 3 chapters, lots of rejections and zero contracts.

I thought that was the end of that book.

However, on Wattpad it is getting new life. I am enjoying releasing a chapter a week and sharing that story with the world. Even if it is only a few of the many thousands of readers on Wattpad. I don't care.

I do care, though, about the cover. When I first uploaded that book, I just cobbled together a somewhat cheesy cover out of bits and pieces. Good enough, right?

Well, now I've been having second thoughts. I think my book deserves better than that. So I took some time to look around for the right photos/pics to develop into some new cover ideas. This is where I need your help.

I have settled on two completely different styles and am not sure which direction to go. I would love it if you would take the time to fill out the poll in this blog post and tell me which cover you prefer. I have yet to purchase the art I am going to use, so right now I'm just using the low-quality image with the watermark you are allowed to download to give you an idea of the final product.

Here are the two covers you can choose from:

Cover 1 - Holding Hands

Cover 2 - Cartoon Girl

Please spread the word and fill out my poll. Thank you so much!

Which cover do you prefer?

pollcode.com free polls

UPDATE - August 24, 2015. I went back to the drawing board after getting comments from my friends and readers. If you want to see the cover I finally decided on click here:  http://kjgillenwaterblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/acapulco-nights-available-for-pre-order.htmlhttp://kjgillenwaterblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/acapulco-nights-available-for-pre-order.html