I have never been what one would call a fashionable person. I like to consider myself a low-maintenance, t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. Truth is I am confused as to how to put together an outfit and too lazy to figure it out.
But it is a little more complicated than that.
I am almost unfashionable in a philosophical way. Like I’ve fantasized about becoming a Mennonite and wearing handmade dresses and white sneakers day in and day out. (No, I do not read Mennonite romance novels. And yes, it is the little white bonnet that holds me back).
I don’t believe people should be judged for their outward beauty.
I want people to skip the outside of me and look for what is inside.
Also, I get really concerned about where my clothes are coming from.
As I’ve mentioned before I have a tween girl that we adopted from China when she was a baby. When I read “Made in China” on all these clothing labels, all I can see is her face in some sweatshop working for pennies under horrible conditions.
I have tried different things to manage my clothing anxiety.
I went for a year without buying any new clothing.
I shopped fair trade at places such as Fair Indigo. That was okay, but expensive and with limited selection.
I learned from my friend the Goodwill Goddess
how to shop thrift and consignment.
But still clothing was an issue for me. In part because I lost 25 pounds over a year’s time. The nicer pieces I had relied on for years now no longer fit.
So what was a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl with a budget and a conscious to do?
For a while I just kept putting my head in the sand saying that what I wore didn’t matter. People would love me for me.
And then I began to teach classes on managing anxiety with my husband and preach places other than my own church and attend conferences where I met with publishers that I hoped would publish my book.
And I realized t-shirts and jeans weren’t going to cut it anymore.
Moments of clarity and advice came from friends and family. Even my dear frugal husband said to me, “You know, you might want to update that cable knit sweater and jeans look. We are not in college anymore.”
(Wait. What? How could cable knit sweaters and jeans not be cool? This was worse than I thought!)
The same dear frugal husband suggested I try out one of those online services where a stylist sends you a box of clothes. No mall. No agony in the dressing room over which top goes with which bottom. No last minute ditching of new outfit for another t-shirt and cable knit sweater.
So, I googled Stitch Fix.
I had seen it mentioned on some of my favorite blogs. It worked for other writers trying to spread their message and sell books. It could work for me too.
I filled out the somewhat involved but easy form on their website asking me about my sizes and style preferences. Fake fur, no. Classic prints, yes. I picked about how much I wanted to spend and what type of clothing I most needed.
And BAM, two weeks later there was a box of clothes at my front doorstep.
At first I was nervous and overwhelmed. I had asked for an updated look and that was what I got. The lack of cable knit sweaters confused me.
But as I kept trying the clothes on I began to see possibilities.
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Black skinny jeans and snappy grey sweater with striped lining from stitch fix paired with a blue top I already owned.[/caption]
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At first I was unsure of the heart print shirt, but since it arrived on Valentine’s Day and matched some of my favorite Fashion and Compassion beads I got at She Speaks, I decided it was a winner.[/caption]
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As as rule I don’t like Chevron as it is too trendy, I kept this shirt to get the 25% discount and because it looks nice with the silver necklace they sent. (How thoughtful of Zoe to send me something that would highlight the glint of my braces!)[/caption]
In the end I decided to keep the whole box. For one you get a 25% discount and I do love a deal. Also, the point was for me to expand my wardrobe, so I thought I should push myself with these new pieces that I like but wouldn’t have picked out on my own.
I still struggle a little with the whole “Made in China” issue. It would be AWESOME if there were choose fair trade or made in USA button on Stitch Fix.
But overall I am pleased. I even scheduled another fix in times for some family weddings this spring and summer. (Maybe by that fix my daughter and I will have gotten better at the Taking-Pictures-of-Mom’s-New-Outfit thing).
So if you are like me and are fashion challenged or just hate going shopping, give it a whirl (they fit sizes 0-14). Any pieces you do not like can be sent back within three days minus a $20 styling fee.
If you want to try it, you can follow the link here.