Monday, June 29, 2015

ModaBox Review and Discount Code!

Pretty excited for something new - a review of my first ModaBox! Since I haven't seen many reviews out there yet, let's start with the obvious...

What the Heck is a ModaBox?

ModaBox is a clothing subscription service where you fill out a style profile, get a big ol' box of clothes in the mail, keep what you like and send back the rest! Sounds familiar? Yep, there are a ton of similar services out there, but there are a few distinct differences. Here are the ones I've come across so far:
  • NO STYLING FEE! For real, y'all. You still need to enter payment info when ordering, since they're sending you a whole lotta stuff, but if you end up sending everything back, you are out $0. Zero, nada. This makes me SO much more likely to keep using this service!!
  • You don't get a set number of items per shipment, but the average seems to be around 10. 
  • You have an entire week to try things on before you have to send them back.
  • And my favorite - your stylist actually communicates with you while putting your box together to make sure you're on the same page about what kind of items you'll like! YAY!

I learned from the ModaBox website that my stylist, Patrizia, was born in Italy and spent some time working as an expert style adviser for Harrods in London. She has been awesome in our email exchanges, and I love that she actually *listened* to what I like and what I'm looking for, but still tries to throw in a few more adventurous things to take a chance on. Big thumbs up on her so far!

Before I get started with the actual stuff, I have a VERY cool bonus to share! If you happen to want to try ModaBox, too, they've hooked me up with a referral code that gets you $25 off your first purchase if it's $100 or more! The ModaBox promo code is CWARD25. To get the discount, you have to enter it when requesting your first box, it can't be added on later. (Because they are awesome, it gives me a credit, too - woohoo!) And for transparency's sake, I'll add here that they just hooked me up with the code last night as I was finishing up this post, so it's a last minute addition - this post isn't sponsored and I didn't have any prior contact with them before I ordered and fell in love, so all opinions you're getting here are genuine and unfiltered.

Ready to see what I got?

The box that showed up was huge! My photos here aren't great because I was trying to keep cats from climbing in, but you might be able to tell that it's almost as big as the little end table that I have it sitting on. Each item inside was individually wrapped in black tissue paper, so it felt like Christmas to keep unwrapping item after item! I had 11 pieces in total, and after seeing how much I liked the first few things I unwrapped my enthusiasm kept building. SO MUCH FUN!

Tea and Cup Strappy Open Back Romper - $59

I'll admit that I'm not much of a romper person - I've tried a few on because they always look so cute on the rack, but they never look quite right on me. This is by far the best fitting, most flattering one I've tried! However, the price was a little high for me and the real dealbreaker - no matter how I adjusted it, this thing flat out refused to totally cover my right boob. I twisted, I adjusted straps in the back, but every time, my chest was like "OH HI GUYS!" Had it not been for that issue, I probably would have had a harder time sending this back. The colors and pattern are awesome, and I surprisingly even like how its cut!

I really need a photo assistant. They don't get much better than this - sorry y'all.

Miss Finch Forest Print Blouse - $58 (size med)

Miss Finch Forest Print Blouse

Miss Finch Forest Print Blouse - Back

Okay, this is probably the item from my box that was the least "me", but I wanted to at least give it a go!

 Miss Finch Forest Print Blouse ModaBox
The fit was pretty good and I loved the lightweight fabric. There's a bit of palm print going on, which is super on trend, but this isn't quite my kind of design overall. Plus, not sure how well you can see it but there's one orangey circle that's in an awkward nippley place. 

Here's my version...

ModaBox Miss Finch Forest Print Blouse

I flipped the top around so that the back zipper was in the front, unzipped, and tucked to make a v-neck. Paired with random black thrifted skirt. A little better? (Ignore my terribly painted wall with the cable sticking out, btw. I really need to find another spot with decent lighting to take pics in!)

Checkered Shorts by Ina Fashion - $52 - size L

Checkered Shorts Ina Fashion

Black and White Checkered Shorts Modabox

What I loved: I love a good dress short, especially with a zipper up the back. The fabric quality on these was great and they definitely fall into my favorite shorts category of "more fun than plain denim, but not so crazy that it's hard tops to pair them with". Plus, the length was just about right, which is hard to find!

What I didn't love: The pleats in the front weren't flattering on my shape, and these were a bit too small - couldn't get the zipper all the way up in the back.

Inc Checkered Shorts with Braided Trim Tank

Black Tank with Braided Trim Swoon

Swoon sheer black tank top

Swoon Braided Trim Tank - $21.60 - Size Med

What I loved: The price! I have all of my price settings on the cheapest possible, so it's nice to see something super budget friendly show up. And the braided detail on the straps is quite cute.

What I didn't love: I kept the pic of me wearing this above small-ish because as you can tell, this is pretty see-through! Definitely one to layer with another tank or camisole or something if you don't want to be showing off. BTW, Swoon is one of the few brands I received with a site you can actually shop - most of the others were only open to wholesale orders. I didn't see this top on their site, but there is a lot of cute stuff - very summery/juniors-y/casual fun clothes.

Crochet Open Sleeve Dress by My Beloved - $46.80

My Beloved Crochet Open Sleeve Dress

THIS DRESS. I'm in love. It's perfect for summer, fits well, and isn't exactly like what everyone else  is wearing, so it still stands out a little. I even discovered that since the sleeves are both split and made from sheer, thin fabric, it was possible to slip my hands out, invert the sleeves into the dress, and rock it as a sleeveless dress, too! 

Look ma, no sleeves!

Although the split sleeves are SUPER FUN.

ModaBox Crochet Open Sleeve Dress

After falling in love with this dress, I was a little sad to check the price tag and see that it said $78. However, the price was only $46.80 on my checkout sheet, which made this a definite KEEPER!

Also kinda works as a top if tucked into jeans? Not 100% on this - what do you guys think?

ModaBox Navy Crochet Open Sleeve Dress

BLVD Collection Woven Sleeve Jumper- $88

BLVD Collection Woven Sleeve Jumper

BLVD Collection Mint Jumper

BLVD Collection Mint Lace Jumper

BLVD Jumper ModaBox

Sooo, this romper did not exactly work on me as well as the first one. The tall person struggle is real, y'all. I can't wear one piece swimsuits because they generally come up to about nipple level, and that's pretty much what happened with this- my torso was about 4" too long for this to fit comfortably, and I had to contortionist it up to get it back off! Great color, but a definite no go on this one. (And I don't think I'll ever meet a romper that I love enough to drop $88 on!)

English Rose Lace Border Mini Skirt - $42

My stylist emailed me early on in the process to ask about the fact that I'd skipped over skirts in my profile. We all have quirky body stuff, and one of mine is that skirts just never seem to sit right on me. I don't know if my torso/hip proportions are weird or what, but I almost never find a skirt that doesn't feel super awkward. We agreed that I'd give this one that my stylist had in mind a go, and hey, if it didn't work out, at least we'd know for next time.

I loved the lightweight fabric and "fun to spin around in" factor of this skirt, but as usual I didn't feel like it fit me right. Plus, since I'm super pale in general, I always feel like peachy/cream colors look weird on me. I didn't have any tops that even came close to looking right with this, so I just photographed it with the plain black top I had on hand from another outfit so that you could at least see it on. Super cute in theory and definitely unique (in a good way), but not a good fit for me.

English Rose Lace Border Mini Skirt

BLVD Sublimation Fitted Dress - $40.80 

Agggh, this dress, you guys! Straight out of the box I LOVED it. The colors and print are right up my alley. It actually reminded me a little bit of McQueen's "Plato's Atlantis" collection, which is just about the highest praise I can give anything,ever. 

However, it was just a tiny bit too clingy in a few "yikes, I kinda gained 10 lbs this spring" areas, and definitely too small on top. If they happen to have this in a larger size, it might be a match made in heaven. Sending this one back was SO HARD, but I had to admit defeat. But check it out - you could totally get extra wear out of it by pairing with other skirts!

YA Los Angeles Inca Strap Tank Top - $42 - Size L

YA Los Angeles Inca Strap Tank Top


ModaBox YA Los Angeles Inca Strap Tank Top


ModaBox Ribbon Strap Tank Top
Cute strap detail

I liked the idea of this top a lot, but it was suuuuuuper unflattering on me, to the point that I'm not even posting an "action shot" of it being worn. I loved the color and ribbon straps and the crossed fabric in the back (not even sure what this style is called), but given my very hourglassy shape, airy tops with multiple fabric layers like this just don't work, especially with it being kind of cropped length on me. I definitely took mental notes on the construction for future sewing projects, though!

Bird Out Back Dress by Closet London - $109

At first glance, I didn't think this dress would work well on me, and while it wasn't a total hit it did fit a lot better than I expected! Not quite a keeper, though.

Andrea Jovine Belted Mint Shorts - $48

Best "Fashion Blogging" pic ever? Probably. #Romance

This was another "close to being great, but not quite. These fit quite well in the waist, but they were super long on me, and cuffing them didn't go well, either. Loved the color and that they included a belt, but we just weren't meant to be. (Unlike my "kitten" Tennyson and I, clearly.)

I only ended up keeping one item this time (the navy dress), but I'm pretty impressed! I would have definitely kept the fun print dress if the fit had been a little better, and the navy romper would have been a serious contender as a keeper if not for the weird boob flashing thing. Three items that I like a LOT out of the very first box is pretty darn good, considering that I only ever kept 2 things out of 6 StitchFix shipments! And even with the items that weren't quite right for me, there were none that were totally off the mark. I have a feeling that after this first "getting to know you" type box, my stylist is going to be putting my bank account in serious peril in the future!

Overall ModaBox Opinions!
What I loved:

  • Having 7 days to try everything on (as opposed to just 3 with Stitch Fix). 
  • Getting 11 items! It was like Christmas when you just keep finding more presents under the tree!
  • Emails with stylist beforehand! I think chatting about preferences helped my stylist find a bunch of items that were definitely on the right track without ruining the fun surprise aspect of this kind of box. 
  • Having a promo code to share with you guys, obviously! Gotta love a good discount!
  • For the most part, I found the items I received to be way more reasonably priced than what I've been getting from Stitch Fix. My two favorite items were dresses that were $40 and $47, which is a price I am totally comfortable paying for a cute dress! 
  • The lack of a styling fee is also (obviously) a huge plus! As far as I'm concerned, that means there is pretty much no reason not to give ModaBox a try if you think this is something you'd have fun with. You literally have nothing to lose! 
What I didn't love:

  • They currently only work with certain sizes - I think up to size 10? So I'm right on the cutoff. I'm pretty sure that this will change as they grow, but it does leave out a lot of people for now.
  • Boxes take a little while for your stylist to put together. This isn't a real "con" on this pro/con list since I think that having extra time gives them a better chance at finding things you will really love, but having an entire month pass from first ordering to finally getting the box can be a little challenging if you're as impatient as I am when it comes to cool things!
  • That's pretty much it on the non-love list! Overall, this first experience with ModaBox was a very positive one! 
Have any of you guys tried ModaBox yet? If so, I'd love to see what you got! And since I always love feedback - did I pick the right thing to keep?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June Stitch Fix Review (Probably the Last)

It's that time again! Another Stitch Fix box has shown up at my door, things have been tried on and judged, and now I get to share it all with you!

Before we get started, here are a few things I have mentioned in multiple checkout and stylist notes:
*No blousey, shapeless tops. Needs to be at least somewhat fitted or structured.
*I'm not a fan of black and white as a color scheme, nor grey.
*There's pretty much zero chance of me paying $60 for a top unless it's the greatest thing since espresso.

With those things in mind, here's this month's fix:

Yes, the colors are funky. Looks like their printer was running out of ink but they didn't bother to reprint.

Want a second to scroll back up and look at my requests? Go for it. Yeeeeah.

Ready to dive in?

Mystree Serratoga Lace Trim Damask Print Tank - $48

Let's start out on a high note! This was pretty cute. I like the colors fairly well, and the lace detail is cute.

Sadly, it was too tight on me in the chest and like I keep telling them, shapeless tops just don't work for me. I need some kind of darts under the bust or an empire waist or a belt to tie or *something* unless it's made out of a stretchy fabric, or the side view just looks tent-y. I ended up selling this one to recover my styling fee. Wish I'd done that sooner, since 5 out of my 6 Stitch Fixes have resulted in keeping nothing and just loosing the $20 fee! (I've always had a gift card or referral credit, so I never lost any actual cash, but still. Bleh.)

Collective Concepts Pamela V-Neck Blouse - $58

Like the first top, this one has cute print and color scheme, but bad fit on me and totally not worth sixty bucks. And I guess my stylist didn't see last month's review where I said that tops with pleats just below the shoulder aren't my thing.

Does this really count as a v-neck? I think this would look better if I was shorter.

Paradigma Monterrey Henley Top - $58

I'm just going to quote my sister on this one. "Well, it's not a bad shirt, I guess... like, maybe for a dude..." At least the fabric was soft, I guess?

My only guess about how this ended up in my Fix is that maybe my stylist saw the pic I pinned of me wearing a maxi dress I like, which I hoped would inspire them to send a similar style dress?

For my #StitchFix stylist - this is the only maxi dress I own, a Simply Vera Wang number that I scored for like $12 on clearance at Kohls. They almost never seem to flatter my shape, but this one isn't half bad.

Paradigma Westwoode Pleated Henley Blouse - $68

...LOL Wut?

This thing reminds me of one of those swimsuit cover-ups you can buy at Walgreens for $8. What IS this? And WHY? And...just... huh? I mean, at least it's something different, but this is such a no. How do they read a note that says "Blousey tops don't work on my body shape at all" and think "Let's send this billowy blouse!" But that aside, there's no way I'd ever pay $68 for this. Check out the stitching:

At that price point, the garment construction should be flawless! Not this, which looks like it was sewn by a drunk monkey.


Pixley Tamir Dress - $64

Okay, first, the name of this dress is incredibly depressing.
Anyway. The fit of this isn't bad and the price is pretty good for a Stitch Fix dress. It was easily my favorite item in this box, but I still felt like it was just okay.

The stretchy fabric on top was definitely good but the fabrics were quite heavy, which kinda goes against its very warm weather cut. If this had been under $50 and more colorful, I definitely would have kept it, but as it was I just didn't like it enough.

Thing that totally flummoxes me: There aren't a ton of pins on my Stitch Fix Pinterest board, but there are well over 100. Of those, I'd say that at least half are items that Stitch Fix carries. (the rest are styles that I like to serve as inspiration.) If, as a stylist, you look at my account and notice that man, I haven't liked much of anything that I've been sent, why wouldn't you make a point to include at least one item that I've pinned (or at least something super similar) since chances are good I'll really dig it? For instance, I know that Stitch Fix carries multiple styles of kimono cardigans (I spot at least a dozen different ones on Pinterest after a quick search.) I've pinned a bunch, both from Stitch Fix reviews and from other sites. Wouldn't that maybe tip you off that throwing a kimono cardigan into my box might be a really good idea? Maybe they're actually looking at my boards for inspiration, but something is getting seriously lost in translation?

My overall impression of Stitch Fix is this: totally ignore the style categories that they promote via the style profile, their pinterest, blog, etc. Based on pretty much everything I've seen, they have one style of clothes - I've never really seen anything that stands out as boho or edgy or romantic, etc.  I see a lot of people LOVE everything they get, and I think that if you happen to be a good match for the style they carry, you're probably going to love it. If you don't, you're probably not.

With all of THAT said, I feel pretty okay about leaving Stitch Fix behind for the foreseeable future unless I happen to win a gift card or get a referral credit - I'd be cool with giving it another go as long as I have nothing to lose. Maybe someday I'll get that magical stylist who totally gets me and I'll be one of those people loving everything? In the mean time, I am super excited that my first Moda Box is being styled! Unlike Stitch Fix, there is no styling fee, and my stylist has already gotten in touch with me twice to make sure the things she's picking are on the right track. I have high hopes!