I owe many, many moments of inspiration to Stephanie Howell (whom I finally had the pleasure of meeting--just before she moved, of course). Not the least of these inspirations is the aforementioned Kiwi Crate idea, which I can already tell is going to be a monthly lifesaver during this RLBT.
Right now, however, I cannot get over Stitch Fix. This is a busy mama's dream come true.
Here's how it works. First, you go online and fill out a profile. (There is an invitation and waiting list process to go through--well worth it.) You describe your size, your style, and your budget. You rate groupings of clothing as to how well they match your style. You tell your future stylist anything else she might need to know about you to best "get" your style. You can even submit a link to a Pinterest board so that your stylist can see exactly what you like. You also have the option of telling your stylist whether you would like accessories included or not, or whether or not to include any particular items of clothing (e.g. no dresses).
Then, whenever you want a "fix," you go online and schedule one. There is no contractual obligation or monthly opt-in or opt-out. For every fix, there is a styling fee of $20, which you can then apply towards purchasing any item in your fix. (Here's the link to get an invitation for your own Fix.)
On or around the day of your scheduled fix, a beautiful box will appear on your doorstep (free shipping), with five items selected just for you. You have three days to try things on and see what works. The best part here is that you can try things on in the comfort of your own home (when your children are asleep), and you can try pieces on with things you already own to see what will work.
You pay for anything you want to keep, applying the $20 styling fee to your total. If you keep all five items, you take an additional 25% off.
Anything you do not wish to keep, you put in a postage-paid mailer (included) and drop in the mail.
I wish I had more pictures to share with you from my first fix, but I was too enraptured (okay, too busy and distracted) to bother with photos. But here is my favorite item, which I kept:
I love the charcoal and cream, the tiered layers, and the fact that I would NEVER have found this unique piece on my own.
One of the things they sent me in that first fix was a GORGEOUS orange dress from BCBG. Alas, it did not fit me correctly. (Right size, wrong cut for me.)
There was also a blue chiffon peasant top that would have been perfect for me if it weren't for the random cut-outs that made it look cheap.
Next, there was a necklace that was not special enough to justify the price. I liked the style, just not the price.
Lastly, there was a nifty royal blue knitted blazer, that actually looked quite fetching on me -- but I would never, ever wear such a thing.
After fighting against the urge to keep everything anyway, I made the wise decision to keep only the striped top. The rest went back.
I went online and explained all the reasons I sent back the four rejected items.
Well, let me tell you what. That feedback seems to have been taken to heart. The second fix was a TOTAL score. My stylist was 5 for 5 on picking items I would like.
First there was this gorgeous, silk scarf dress. I wore it to church the very next day. That's called just-in-time delivery, I do believe.
Then this top. It's a gorgeous, drapey jersey that is buttery soft.
Next, there's this dress. I love the geo pattern and the somewhat retro cut.
Next, a classic bracelet. I loved it immediately; it is like nothing else I own; instant keeper.
Finally, there was this top, which I almost didn't keep, until I realized that it went perfectly with a favorite pair of sandals (below), and that it would be cheaper to keep it and get the 25% discount than to not get it.
As it turns out, I love the button clusters, the tabs down by the hips, and the gathers around the bust. I've worn this top twice already, and received compliments each time.
There's cool ruching across the shoulders on the back, which you can only barely see in this photo.
Here's the link to get your own Fix.
I'm thinking two things. First, if the kids are getting a box of fun delivered every month from Kiwi Crate while the Gutsy Dad is gone, certainly I deserve my own box of fun, right? Second, I think it is best for everyone involved if I only do this once a month.
PS: if you do use my referral link, I get a little credit to apply towards my April fix. Thank you muchly!