I’m pretty excited about today’s post.
The thing about Kayla and Madison is that not only do they write great blogs, not only are they both incredibly talented, not only are they the nicest gals you could ever hope to be friends with, they’re also incredibly stylish. (As I tell them every time they post anything outfit-related on Instagram.)
Which is why I was so thrilled a couple of weeks ago when we all decided to participate in a clothing swap. We each sent the other two three items from our closets that we never wore anymore, and I can’t wait to see how they styled the items I sent.
But first, we thought it would be fun to kick off our swap with an interview with our husbands on what they think of our style. Joey’s responses were predictably hilarious, but also a little enlightening. It was also like pulling teeth to get him to say anything critical about what I wear. What can I say? The guy likes me.
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How would you describe my style?
Joey: Classy and individual. You have your own style. It’s kind of trendy but not like everybody else. None of our friends dress like you.
Q: What is your favorite thing I wear (and why)?
Joey: I think your accessories always make your outfit. Most notably your shoes and necklaces. You always look good in boots…I would say boots. I don’t want to sound pervy. [Justine note: Bahahaha]
Q:What is your least favorite thing I wear (and why)?
Joey: Flats. They’re a bit plain and boring. [Justine note: REALLY?] Yeah. Something else I hate — that fortunately you don’t do — is when girls wear platform sandals. I think that’s a thug thing. And what are those flood pants? Khaki things? [Justine note: Capris?] Yeah, maybe I don’t like those either.
Q: Do you remember what I was wearing on our first date?
Joey: I believe it was a blouse and jeans with a scarf of some sort…very casual for Chili’s. [Justine note: It was a navy dress. The strawberry margarita must have clouded his judgment ]
Q: What do you wish I would wear more often?
Joey: A smile. [Justine note: Come on.] Bikinis? I don’t know.
Q: What store best describes my style?
Joey: Banana Republic or J. Crew. [Justine note: Nailed it.]
As you might recall, I loved my first Fix. Like, I lot. I kept everything that my stylist sent. After that, though, things started to change.
I’ve had three subsequent Fixes. The second Fix was the worst — I actually wondered if it might have been sent to the wrong person the style was so off the profile I had created.
The third fix was just a little…underwhelming. What I loved about my first shipment was how unique each piece was without completely disregarding my existing style. My friend Diana ended up buying a pair of pants from me that came in the third Fix, though, so at least I didn’t lose the styling fee.
After my fourth Fix, I was ready to throw in the towel. It seemed like each box contained one baggy sweater, one simple-ish dress, one piece of jewelry that wasn’t me at all, and some kind of maroon bottom. (Last time it was the pants, this time it was an ill-fitting skirt.)
I was disappointed, but mostly frustrated. I felt like my profile (which I had carefully crafted and linked to an equally carefully crafted Pinterest board) was being completely ignored. I decided to keep one of the dresses because I had some SF credit (and I didn’t want to waste the $20 fee), but I emailed Stitch Fix expressing my concerns and letting them know I was done — and how frustrated I was considering I had referred so many friends to the service.
Their customer service was extremely helpful, emailing me promptly and offering a $20 credit to give them one more try. She also reconnected my Pinterest board (which apparently wasn’t working…though I’m a little skeptical since no one mentioned it until now) and asked for a few more details to add to my profile. She also arranged for me to get the same stylist who put together my first Fix.
So I’m actually pretty excited for my next shipment (due next month). I feel like it is going to be much better tailored than my last shipments have been. Plus, the Aaliyah Velvet Zig-Zag Fit & Flare Dress I ended up with is pretty cute.
Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? Sign up here (if you click that link, I get a referral credit for sending you over when your order your first Fix).
For those of you who have tried it, have you had a similar experience? I’m hoping that it was just a fluke because I really do like the idea behind the company.
Apparently there’s something in the water because I’m not the only one who feels compelled to talk about clothes right now. (Don’t miss my dear friend Kayla’s newest post!)
Like Kayla, I too feel like I have too many clothes. The anxiety tends to mount at the times of year that I usually feel more compelled to purchase (looking at you, fall season), especially when I find myself shoving sweaters into tightly packed drawers or struggling to find a certain skirt in my wardrobe.
Excess stuff has always given me anxiety. Excess clothing makes me feel anxious and materialistic.
The most embarrassing part is that even when I feel like my closet is full to bursting, I can still be tempted by the latest J. Crew email in my inbox. After all, what’s one more sweater? And at 60% off? It would be a waste not to take advantage of such savings, right?
One thing I’ve tried to be more aware of in the last couple of years: If you have to spend money to save money, you’re not really saving money.
In the last few weeks, I’ve actually hit a point of shopping saturation. I have plenty of clothes, and I’m finding it easier and easier to ignore deals. (Because, let’s be honest, there is always a sale going on somewhere.)
Two other things that have helped? A more organized closet and limiting my options.
I’ve said before how much I like getting rid of things. (Part of my aversion to stuff.) I try to prune down my wardrobe at least a couple of times a year, and it gets easier and easier the closer I get to truly identifying my personal style.
Because, yeah, 26-and-a-half years later, I’m still working that out.
This past weekend, I filled two large shopping bags with items to sell or donate and put all my summer clothes to keep in a plastic bin for storage until the temperature warms up. The result? A neat, color-coded wardrobe with room to actually sort through each item. (Okay, the color-coded part doesn’t happen naturally. I’m a freak, okay?)
I even convinced the hubs to let me go through his closet…though we’ll see how long the color coding lasts.
It might sound weird, but I actually feel calmer looking at my clothes now. Okay, yeah, it definitely sound weird. BUT I AM WHO I AM, GUYS.
As for limiting my options, I’ve decided to only wear about seven colors.
Hear me out.
There are few things more irritating to me than making an impulse buy — or a “yes, this will be my style” buy — only to realize after a couple of wears that an item just isn’t me. Now I’ve wasted money and space in my closet on something I don’t even like.
So I started to think about what it is that I always like, and basically it translates into anything J. Crew/Ralph Lauren/preppy-esque. And more specifically, it almost always comes in a shade of black, white, grey, navy, green, red, or camel.
And thus, a new shopping rule was born.
And so far? It seems to be working pretty well. I definitely feel like I’ve curbed the excess spending.
What about you guys? Do you have any shopping rules? Another of my unofficial ones is that I rarely buy anything full priced. And, of course, I always use Ebates. Share yours in a comment below!
I try to limit the amount of time I spend talking about diet or losing weight.
In girl world, this is an anomaly. (Did you read that in Cady Heron’s voice? Because I did.) My dear friend Madison did a series of posts a while back about “fat talk,” which some of you may remember I contributed to.
I think I’m pretty open about my insecurities in general, I just don’t see a lot of benefit in perpetuating fat talk or this idea that it’s wrong to not feel fat or disgusting all the time.
True story: I recently went to a few wineries with a bunch of my gal pals. Someone a took group picture, and one of the girls didn’t love how she looked in it. Another girl replied, “Girls never like how they look in pictures.”
Think about that. Girls never like how they look in pictures. Never. Because you are female, you will never like how you look.
Doesn’t that make you sad? It makes me sad.
Without really thinking, I replied, “I do!”
I didn’t mean that I thought I look good in every photo, I just meant, yes, it was possible for me to see a photo of myself and not be repulsed.
Everyone just chuckled and the conversation moved on. But the moment stayed with me.
It made me think about if I had a daughter, honestly. While I would want my daughter to be humble and to keep things like appearance in their place (that is, not thinking they’re the most important), I also want her to feel comfortable in the fact that she is not wrong-looking. I want her to feel like she can like how she looks in a photo.
I’m curious what my other female readers think (or male readers, if you have a thought about this). Do you feel pressure to deride your own looks in groups of women? Do you feel like you’re sincere in doing this? Do you never like a photo of yourself?
As I mentioned in a recent post, this summer was one of a bit of…excess.
This was true when it came to eating and drinking, but I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it also meant spending more than I normally do. I mean, I think it’s fairly common (there’s a lot more going on in the summer generally…now we’ll go back to hibernating), but it still means that now I’m looking for as many ways to save as I can for the next few months.
For me, one of the first things to go are my favorite girly habits. (I swear I’ve blogged about something like this before, but I just searched for about ten minutes and couldn’t find the post.) I’ve started doing my own nails (even procuring a little cuticle trimmer in the hopes that I’ll eventually stop picking at mine), and I’ve been seeking out cheaper ways to maintain my hair color.
As I’ve said before, it is expensive being blonde in New York City. Like, whoa. Since a full highlight can be equivalent to a car payment, anything I can do to stretch the time in between is super helpful.
Which is why I was pretty thrilled to discover these two products.
Seriously, you guys. Life. Changing.
The first one is John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Spray. (Say that five times fast.) You spray it on your hair (I usually just do the roots) when it’s wet, then either hang out in the sun or simply blow dry. The heat makes the product work it’s magic.
I was a little nervous to try it initially because of a scarring Sun-In experience my brother had when I was a child (I’m a good sister, so I’m not admitting which brother), but the lightening is really gradual and natural-looking. In fact, I’ve had about six people ask me if I had just gotten my hair done since in the last couple of weeks of using it.
That’s a win, folks.
The second product is an even faster quick-fix. I actually discovered it on accident on my way to work one morning. I realized a little too late that I maybe should have washed my hair the night before (whatever, you all know I’ve gone longer without washing my hair) and ducked into a drug store to buy some dry shampoo. When I spotted Jonathan Product Root Touch Up and it promised not only to soak up excess oil but also to hide roots, I was very interested.
And, you guys. It works SO well. Here’s me before using it:
And here’s me after:
So that’s how I fight the fade on a fixed income. Any other secrets out there I should know about?
I’m starting to think me saying I’m bored is the kiss of death. I mean, the last time I thought “I haven’t had a good New York moment in a while,” I was almost hit by a car. So…I should stop whining.
Mere hours after I posted this a couple of days ago, I found out that I was, in fact, going to experience something new — I got called in for jury duty.
All together now: WHOMP, whahhhhhmp.
It was the first time this had ever happened to me, and I’m honestly not sure how it happened at all. I still haven’t updated my driver’s license to my Queens address (whoops). Yet somehow, it happened.
The day was pretty boring — I arrived at the courthouse bright and early to wait in line with my fellow citizens, then waited in a room through “orientation,” then waited some more until I was called in for interviews around 3 p.m.
But by the time I actually got in the little room, I was tired. The case presented (a liability trial determining fault in a minor car accident) was so innocuous, I couldn’t even work up a fake emotion about it. Plus, the attorneys assured us the trial wouldn’t even last a full day, making it “not the worst case you could get stuck on.” (Their actual words.)
And, honestly, they spent more time asking me about my employer than anything else.
So I guess by default I came across as fairly level-headed. Or, you know, just not crazy.
I was the last juror they picked. I may have said, “Seriously?” out loud when it happened. Because, really, when was the last time you heard about someone actually sitting on a jury?
Anyway. I have to go back tomorrow for “my case.” The lessons I learned from my first time around?
Here’s what to wear (and bring) to jury duty:
Bring a jacket because the rooms are cold. Bring snacks because they will NOT be provided. (This should probably have been obvious to me, but I thought there would at LEAST be a snack machine.) Bring a book because using the Kindle app on your phone will drain the life out of it. And bring a charger because inevitably you will drain the life out of your phone answering work emails. Also, a notebook and bottle of water because, dude, it’s like an 8-hour thing and you’re going to get bored.
So I hope you all think of me fondly tomorrow while I’m upholding justice. It’s a tough job, but someone has got to do it.