My Review: Stitch Fix Personal Stylist In Home Clothing Shopping

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  The in home online styling service that sends you a shipment of new clothing, shoes and accessories to try on in the comfort of your own home.  Return (free shipping) what you don’t want and purchase what you want to keep.  Here is my review of this service with the pros and cons that I experienced using Stitch Fix.

First, I filled out an online style profile.  I was asked what styles I prefer based on theme, price, cut, designer, stores I like to shop at and also what types of clothing I desired.  Did I need or want work attire, special occasion pieces, casual wear, etc.

Once that was completed (it didn’t take too long and I thought it was fun), I moved to the next step and picked the date that I wanted my clothing pieces shipped to my home.  Then my online personal stylist selected my items, so I was charged a $20 styling fee. That $20 is applied as a credit toward anything that I decide to keep from my shipment.  So far, so good.  I was only out $20 and was excited to receive my first box with my mystery items packed nicely inside.  And this is when it got really fun.  If I choose to purchase all of the items that I receive, then I get a 25% discount off of my entire purchase.  Would I like the pieces?  Would I buy it all, some of it or none of it?  Read on to see what I did!

My box arrived!  I set aside 30 minutes to open and try everything on.

I like that the inside of the box has easy instructions on the required next steps.

Nice touch! You are welcome Stitch Fix!  Pretty presentation of items, too.

Cool cards from my personal stylist.  Check out the personalized letter to me…

 

Let’s see if I agree!  Onward to the contents of my mystery clothing box!

 

Hmmm…what is in here?  The box is small. Must be an accessory.

Yep! Pretty earrings by Kate Spade. I didn’t keep these because I don’t need black earrings.  Now onward to the bigger wrapped package inside of my box!

Hmmm…what is in here? I was anxious to find out. This was fun!

The first piece was this figure flattering dress that my stylist commented would be nice for me to wear on my morning show. However, I didn’t like it on me, so that went in the return bag with the earrings.

Next up was the Fleur and Stone Calista Textured orange red knit dress. This one intrigued me.  And as you can see, this one became a keeper as I wore it on my morning show a week later….

Promo shot of my healthy snacks segment and I was pleased with how the dress looks on camera. Yay!

On to the Bailey 44 Kelli Knit Dress. My stylist said that this one would be great on a date night as I had listed in my profile that I like to go on date nights with my hubs.  So, I tried it on…

Not a keeper. I didn’t like this one because I really had to hold my tummy in to make the dress flatter my mid-section. My daughter liked it on me, but I was happy that I wasn’t in love with it because I needed to fill that return bag, so I didn’t overspend.  Next up was a very different dress from the others that I normally would not have picked out myself, but I was curious to try this one on…

The Noora Embroidered Dress. I like the embroidery a lot, but would I like the dress on me?  I wished it hadn’t arrived so wrinkled because that made me wonder if this dress would wrinkle too easily while wearing.  But I was anxious to try it on.

I was surprised just how much I liked this! So comfortable, soft, breezy and flowy. I liked that I could try it on at home with my own shoes and necklace on hand.  And as you can see, I had zero makeup on since I could shop at home.  Nice!

So, what was the verdict for me?  You guessed it!  I purchased the red dress and the embroidered one.  The red one has been great for work and I plan to take the embroidered one with me this summer as we travel to see family.  I think it will be perfect for that.

With that, I put everything else in the prepaid return envelope that was in my Stitch Fix box and dropped it off at a UPS store two days later.  Easy!  Customers are given three business days to return the unwanted items.  If the items don’t come back to Stitch Fix in three days, then the customer is charged for the items kept.

Since I kept two items, my credit card that I provided when I signed up was charged.  The red dress cost $78 and the embroidered number was $74 with a total of $152, which is a little pricy, but these dresses are good quality and I can tell my stylist to send me less expensive styles in the future, which is a good thing.  Tax in the amount of $13.07 was added to the $152 making it now $165.07, but then the $20 styling fee, as promised, was taken out of that for a grand total of $145.07.  I received an email from my Stitch Fix stylist asking me to list what I was keeping and what I was returning with my included feedback.  I could express what I liked and didn’t like based on fit, price, style and more.  That worked for me!

Now for my pros and cons…

Pros:  Shipped to my home.  So convenient!  I can try on with own shoes and accessories and I have three days to try the items on again as I make my decisions.  It was fun having a personal stylist give me ideas. The style card is nice as it gives ideas on how to pair the new items with accessories and other items that I may already have on hand like a denim jacket.  The process from start to finish is super easy and fun.  I also like that doing this keeps me dressed in the latest styles and trends, especially since I appear monthly on a morning show.  Something about turning the big 50 has kept me wanting to stay on task with what is currently in vogue.  It must have something to do with my new Fab 50s stage, as I call it.  I want to be fresh and keep up with what’s trending, but I don’t want to have to go to the mall to do so.  Having a personal stylist accomplishes this nicely and easily as well.  Also, if I know I have a special occasion coming up like a wedding, then I can ask for an earlier shipment and let my stylist know to send pieces that may work for that upcoming event.

Cons:  You will be tempted to spend money on clothing that you may otherwise not have if you had to drive to a mall.  It is a bit too easy to receive it, like it and then buy it with a click on the keyboard!  It is a membership and you must pay $20 for each fix, as they call your experience/shipment.  It is a good thing that the $20 goes toward your purchase. However, depending on how much you spend, sales tax eats up a portion of that discount.  Also, if you don’t buy any of the garments or accessories, then you don’t get your $20 back.  I did change my frequency from monthly to every three months to keep myself disciplined.  I can always go back into the account and change the frequency to every month or every other month.  The Stitch Fix website says that on average, the pieces are $55, but customers can ask for lower priced options to be in their personal fix.

ONE big surprising pro for me that I didn’t see coming is motivation!  The orange red dress has become my new favorite piece, but if I overindulge, it becomes tight around my middle.  Knowing that I want the dress to continue to fit as well as future Stitch Fix shipments to fit right, I have become more disciplined about going to the gym regularly and eating sensibly while also logging my calories.  When I want to overeat, I remember that I have a Stitch Fix box coming and I don’t want to have to email my personal stylist larger sizes than I had originally provided.  That has been a big plus for me with my Stitch Fix experience/fix.  I got my fix!  I do get my clothing fix when a shipment arrives.  I also now stay out of clothing stores so I have some budget for my next Stitch Fix box.

If you want to try Stitch Fix, email me at [email protected] and I will send you the link on how to get started.  I receive a discount if you use my link, which I will gladly take to use when I get my next fix!

Have any of you tried Stitch Fix?  Tell us about it in the comments section.

BCA Month Think Pink Products

Every October I put together this blog post about pretty in pink merchandise that gives back to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  pink braOh how I long for the day when BCA month no longer exists.  But until that amazing day arrives, here is my annual article with BCA pink products that give back.  Consider these pretty pink items for your holiday shopping. bca-stuff-2016
To all of my friends battling breast cancer, I send you a big hug, prayers and love.  And to all of us, consider thinking pink as you dive into your holiday shopping.  Here are some terrific items that all give back to BCA.  

Let’s start with one handsome pink product for the guys!

For the Guys:

*Mission Belt ($39.95 at Mission Belt website) – A pink belt for the guys that supports BCA!  m-beltLove this!  This stylish, unique and revolutionary no-holes leather belt for men looks great (because men can wear pink, too) and gives back. For all sales of the Mission Belt Pink Collection (also includes white belts and pink buckle) during October, Mission Belt will donate one dollar to the Keep A Breast Foundation.belt-bcaBe sure to check out Mission Belt to see the pink belt and all of the handsome and colorful belts that are available.  And in fact, all sales of the entire Mission Belts inventory give one dollar back to a variety of organizations that help those living in hunger and poverty across the world.  brown-beltgreen-btSo this company gives back all year long including to BCA month in October.  Such a cool company!

 

For the Gals:

*Katydid Faith & Think Pink Ball Caps ($20 at Teresa’s Creative Gifts…purchase link below) — These stylish, comfy and cool hats are cute on and $1 dollar is donated to BCA with every purchase.  Several other styles are also available. faith-cappink-ball-capBuy at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1262001463850423&set=a.557069747676935.1073741827.100001217445791&type=3&theater.

*Katydid stylish BCA tees ($22 – $26 at Teresa’s Creative Gifts…purchase link below) –  Several cute and super stylish t-shirts by Katydid are sold at the local online gift boutique, Teresa’s Creative Gifts.  One is a white sports style tank top that says, “Be Bold, Be Fearless, Be Brave” and another vee neck short sleeve black t-shirt sports a cool hot pink and blue logo on both the front and back that say, “Hope, Love, Faith”. be-bold-tee front-bk-tee$1 from each sale goes back to support BCA month.  Good stuff.  The link to purchase is here….. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1268051559912080&set=pcb.1268053159911920&type=3&theater

 

And the pink and white one is here….

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1268048753245694&set=pcb.1268049929912243&type=3&theater

I have to give a big shout out to Teresa’s Creative Gifts because every year she offers a big variety of BCA items to help others.  Plus her online Facebook gift website is full of unique gift ideas that are fun to give all year round! ctg

*Fry’s – Fry’s grocery stores display a good selection of BCA items faithfully every year come October.  Be sure to check your local Fry’s grocery store for super comfy socks that are called Knock the Socks off Breast Cancer ($4.99 for 3 pairs).  50% of the sales of these socks are donated to Breast Cancer Research. Pretty head bands by West Coast Novelty ($4.79 each) are also available and a minimum of $65,000 goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation regardless of sales.

socks-stuffVery cool.  So check out and purchase some of the products above and/or shop pink all month long at a large variety of retailers, both in stores and online.  This is a great way to get some holiday shopping done while supporting a cause, that I know, is near and dear to many of our hearts.

And this article, as it does every year, honors my beautiful late Aunt Betty (my daughter’s middle name is named after my Auntie Betty).  She is SO missed.

My Aunt with my baby Jack in 1997.

My lovely Aunt Betty with my baby Jack in 1997.

 

Tips To Find Spring Fashions That Flatter Figures

Manic:  Spring fashions that are fabulous and comfortable and trendy, too.  But which ones can we older women wear and how do we choose the most flattering styles?

Managed:  Fashion expert, professional stylist, buyer and boutique owner (she does it all), Heather gave me a lesson in flattering pieces, fashion lingo to know and what to look for in dresses, undergarments, accessories and more when it comes to the spring trends that keep us stylish and looking good!  I showed several of her tips and beautiful clothing pieces in my recent KTVK 3TV morning show segment, so take a look.  Heather owns The Purple Skirt Boutique in Ahwatukee and Dominique R in Scottsdale.  And see the article below the video to see more details about each piece plus a few items that I didn’t get to cover in the segments like spring denim trends, rompers and more.

Here is the link to my KTVK article with complete descriptions of each piece and more.  Click here to see that and happy spring shopping!

Stylish Summer Dresses That Flatter Figures

I recently visited fashion expert Heather, owner of The Purple Skirt Boutique in Ahwatukee and Dominque R in Scottsdale and she showed me what to look for in summer dresses that will slim and flatter different figures.  Check out these styles to trim the midsection area appearance, to flatter arms, how to wear a strapless, the trick to getting away with a white dress and more.  me on set dress segment 2015Her tips are right on and these dresses are beautiful plus you will learn some fab fashion lingo that will come in handy no matter where you go to look for summer dresses that are also travel friendly, so take a look…

And here is part 2 of the segment…

Fab Fashion Pieces For Your Next Big Event

Happy New Year!  Another year begins!  Cheers to new beginnings with this new year ahead of all of us. Toast to 2015I usually write a heartfelt piece about ushering in another year with resolutions, but my unscheduled time post a few days ago had that sentiment, so today I have decided to talk fashion.  Last New Years Eve I wore pieces that I had owned for years and it all worked great, but this year I decided to treat myself to a new outfit from head to toe and since I found some great stuff, here are the pieces and where each piece and accessory came from for my New Years Eve night out.  Since I receive viewer/reader email asking me for fashion advice and where to find an ensemble from head to toe, I was inspired to share my fashion finds today.  So if you have an event coming up that requires a dress up day or night, take a look at what I put together and where it came from because some of the places may surprise you, especially the orthotic high heel that looks pretty good actually.  So from head to toe, here we go….

If you need a terrific updo (or haircut, style or color) visit my longtime stylist, Angelic who is very talented at what she does.  Yesterday I arrived wanting sort of an Audrey Hepburn inspired type of bun and Angie delivered. I also asked for a side swoop with volume and an updo that could be seen from the front as well as the back.  I love how she did it and it was nice to have my hair up and out of my face with our cold and rainy weather last night.  updoWant to book with Angelic?  Simply call 602-321-7005 and tell her that I sent you.  I have gone to her for the last 17 years and my entire family loves her haircuts, styles and her wonderful work ethic and personality that always makes sure that we leave looking good.  Thanks Angelic!

Next the dress.  I hardly ever shop at Nordstrom because of the prices, but I had a couple of gift cards and I couldn’t resist the lovely dress that I found by the Eliza J designer.  The embellished waist and crinkled taffeta is quite flattering and did a nice job concealing the holiday cheer (let’s call it that) that I added to my figure this season.  New years dressGlad that the high calorie holidays are now over….and I enjoyed every minute and every bite, I must say!  The $198 price tag is more than I usually pay, so the gift cards sure were nice to have!  I plan on wearing this dress to future weddings and special events and I think I will get good use out of it.

For the jewelry, I knew that I wanted simple since the dress sported the pretty sequined waistband so I found some pretty pieces at the Chandler gift store called Urbayn.  jewelryI had initially went there to purchase a gift frame and was pleased to find a pretty necklace and earrings to complement the outfit.  I already had the bracelet that I had purchased from White House Black Market (another favorite store of mine) last year.  The picture below shows off my bracelet as well as my gal pal, Julie’s stunning red dress that she found for a good price at JC Penney this year.  New Years 2014And speaking of JC Penney, I continue to receive numerous compliments whenever I wear my favorite pink coat that I got at Penneys on sale several years ago.

The coat next to my lovely friend, Christina, a producer for the morning show that I work on.  It was great fun running into to her last night!

The coat next to my lovely friend, Christina, a producer for the morning show that I work on. It was great fun running into her last night at the fabulous Hotel Valley Ho!

I highly recommend signing up for JC Penney’s text alerts because they send me texts with discount codes almost weekly.

And last but not least, let’s talk shoes.  Several years ago I had to be treated for plantar fasciitis and a painful heel spur which resulted in me giving up my beloved mountain hikes and my even more beloved stylish high heels.  I was so happy to find a local podiatrist who was able to heal my heels without cotizone shots and with some cool and natural alternatives that you can read about here.  But I had to abandon my lovely heels. So if you are like me and can no longer wear those sexy strapy shoes that give you height and style, take heart because I have found a store that sells pretty heels that are actually orthotics, if you can believe that! The Ziera line annually puts out new looks and the shoes look nice and feel good, too.  My feet are not in pain the day after I wear this line of heels.  I liked the comfort of my shoes last night, the peep toe style and how the color complimented my grey taffeta dress.  I buy my Ziera heels at our local Foot Solutions store. The bad news is that they are quite pricey, averaging about $200 a pair, so I recommend getting on Foot Solution’s mailing list because they send out coupons several times a year. These shoes are pretty much the only high heels I can wear anymore, so the price is worth it to me and to my sensitive feet. my shoeWhat favorite fashion pieces do you have?  Share in the comments section because we managed moms and busy gals like to look good and find outfits that we can wear numerous times that flatter, fit well and most importantly feel good.  I’m wishing you a fashionable and fabulous year ahead!

AZ Local: Shop for a Cause: Clothes Minded Event Helps Struggling Local Community Children’s Theatre

A few months ago, my teen daughter asked to write an article about what her beloved Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre (ACT) means to her and to the many children who have called ACT their second home.

7 years later in ACT's Treble Makers Show Choir.

ACT has been struggling financially, like so many nonprofit Fine Arts organizations do, so I helped with volunteer work on a parent committee to try to save ACT.  We were not completely successful, so ACT is being forced to downsize and lose a big part of their space, but ACT does not have to dissolve, so we are thankful for that. The hardest part for all involved is the loss of our very cool performance area, stage, seats, curtains, lights and all.

So after ACT’s annual production of Christmas Carol, future shows will be held in other venues.  That is a bittersweet pill to swallow and involves downsizing, remodeling (of the small rehearsal and classroom space that ACT will keep) and other costs. Our local paper did a very nice article explaining what this all entails.

In the meantime, local clothing boutique owner, Kim Kendall of Clothes Minded contacted me asking if she could hold a fundraiser in her hip and fashionable womens clothing store to help ACT raise money to be able to continue on.  Here are a few examples of her nice styles that flatter figures. cm styles blogstompSo come out to her store this Saturday, November 22nd from 10am to 6pm to not only shop and support a very valuable local children’s theatre, but to also see a sneak preview performance of ACT’s Christmas Carol!  Performers will do a number from the upcoming hit show at Clothes Minded this Saturday from 1:30pm to 3pm!  Plus a portion of all sales will be donated to ACT so do some holiday shopping or buy a festive and stylish outfit for yourself all while helping to keep a good thing going when it comes to Fine Arts opportunities for our kids!  ACT event piece

And if you can’t make the cool shopping/performance event at Clothes Minded, you can still donate to the ACT here.

Undergarments That Work Wonders For Us Gals

Manic:  Finding the right kind of bra, underwear, tank top, cami and more when it comes to wearing what goes underneath for comfort, concealing, enhancing, detracting and more.  When you think about it, undergarments can do a lot of things and make or break a good outfit.

Managed:   I interviewed our managedmoms.com fashion expert, Heather Cisek and I did some shopping and I found some solutions for all kinds of undergarment mishaps from head to toe.  Heather showed me shape wear that isn’t too warm to wear under out clothes in our hot desert climate, a bra that smooths back fat, tanks and camis that multi-task and stretch our beauty budget and more.  Plus Heather (owner of the Purple Skirt Boutique in Ahwatukee and Dominque R in Scottsdale) has a great example of how to take several items you probably already have in your closet to quickly throw together an outfit on those days that you don’t want to go out, but have to…and her outfit idea looks classy and feels comfy. You have got to check out this segment for undergarments that work wonders…

Flattering Fashions for Women…Plus Cool Kids Clothes, Too

Manic:  Finding fashions for me that flatter and clothes for my kids that are good quality and made by lines that are green and/or give back.

Managed:  Did some fashion research for myself plus I found some cool kid clothing that you gotta know about.  First I found some interesting pieces for women like a pant suit that slims, what to look for in an attractive maxi dress, how to find a comfy t-shirt for gals that won’t hug love handles and more.  I also found a cool shop that custom makes denim to fit your every curve just right.  Next I show you several adorable and unique kids’ lines.  So check out my fab fashion segment to see which styles to look for to slim the different body areas that we may feel self conscious about.  Fun fashion finds are here….

My Top Product & Food/Recipe Picks from my 2013 Segments

Here they are….my top picks from all of the things that I tested for my lifestyle morning show segments in 2013.  My favorite family on-the-go snack bar, favorite healthy homemade snack recipe, my favorite fashions, beauty products, get organized tool and more.  Take a look and let me know if you tried any of these products and ideas from  my segments. And stay tuned because I will be showing what’s new in 2014 beauty products, fashions and more the rest of this month.  For now, here are my 2013 top picks from all of the stuff that I get to test, that many of you wrote in to tell me that you liked, too….

Transitioning Desert Fashions from Summer to Fall to Winter

Manic:  Figuring out how to wear my fall fashions this time of year here in Phoenix when it is cool in the mornings, hot in the afternoon and then chilly in our October/November evenings.

Managed:  Asked my friend and fashion expert, Heather who owns The Purple Skirt Boutique and is an expert fashion buyer and stylist.  She showed me a few pieces and gave me some good tips on how to stretch our budget beauty dollar by working with common clothing pieces that can be worn multiple ways.  I appreciate that and with her expertise, the outfits look quite nice, too.  Picture_2_Maxi_skirt_with_denim_jacket_as_described_in_articleIf you missed this piece that ran in my 202 Magazine September article, this is what it looked like and read on for a few tips and the link to read the complete column….fashion 202 articleOne of Heather’s tips that I swear by is the purchase of a good pair of skinny jeans like the Joe’s denim jeans shown in the picture below.  I purchased a pair from The Purple Skirt and I wear them constantly.  Not only are they slimming, but they hide a muffin top (which I appreciate after a good dinner out) and they stretch with me as I move.  Plus they are soft and super comfy and easily wash and wear right out of the dryer. These can be worn with flats and then in the cooler months with boots and a blazer. They are very versatile. Since I get a lot of compliments when I wear the belt that is shown in the photo below…I bought that from Kohl’s.  I should also mention that the heels are made with built in orthotics (believe it or not) and are sold at Foot Solutions.

Me in my Joe's jeans.  Thanks for telling me about these, Heather!

Me in my Joe’s jeans. Thanks for telling me about these, Heather!

You have got to check these jeans out.  For Heather’s additional tips and styles, visit this link to go directly to my article in 202 Magazine.  Once there, click the September issue and go to page 58.  My column appears monthly on the last page and I love writing it every month!