Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My First Trunk Club Experience

We interrupt your regular scheduled book-ish posts for something different! :)

Let me start off by saying I am NOT a fashionista. Up until the last month or two, my daily wardrobe when I wasn't working or going to church has been jeans and an old t-shirt. Work or church would up my t-shirt to something a little bit nicer and occasionally khakis instead of jeans.

With kids at home, I don't have the time or desire to go shopping for myself. And the few times that I do, it's only down the street to the local Goodwill to see if they have a pair of jeans in my size.

Ready for work, or church, or out to eat.
Dark jeans, nice shirt, necklace. 

So when a couple friends told me they'd used a company called Stitch Fix, where a stylist picks out a few items of clothing for you based on your size and preferences, I was intrigued but also hesitant. After shopping at Goodwill for so many years, buying high-end items at full price seemed out of my comfort zone.

I gave Stitch Fix a try last December. I received 5 items and kept one -- mostly because SF charges a $20 styling fee, but the fee gets applied toward any purchases you do make. So I felt I should keep something so I wasn't out $20. Though I do really like the cardigan I kept and usually find some way to wear it once a week. It was a fun experience, but I figured it would be awhile before I tried it again, simply because of the sticker shock.

Enter Trunk Club. A friend raved about how fun it was to have a stylist pick out clothing for you, and have 10-15 items arrive all at once. I researched it a bit more, and decided I didn't have anything to lose by trying it -- there is no styling fee with TC. You can return everything in the box if you want at no charge! Things are still pricey, as TC is owned by Nordstrom.

It's a BIG box! And the handle makes it look like a real trunk! :) 

When you sign up, you receive either a phone call or an email from your stylist, where they ask a whole bunch of questions about your current wardrobe and what you're looking for. Then she puts together a collection of items and -- here's a difference from SF -- you get to preview the items for a day or two online, in case there's something you really don't want them to send to you, before they ship it off.

Packed so prettily. It did NOT look this good when I re-packed to send stuff back...

Here are the items I received in my first trunk. My stylist (Gretchen) did a fabulous job of choosing things that would fit me, most of which were the style I like, though I did ask for a few things out of my comfort zone too. :)

Special thanks to my little helper,
who was excited to take photos for me.
Though she got bored quickly, as you'll soon see. :)

Cuffed Sleeve Faux Wrap Top by Caslon ($39) I really debated on this one. It's totally my color, and I liked the style -- with a cami underneath. It hid my "mommy belly" well, something I stressed needing when I talked with Gretchen.
Straight Leg Ankle Jeans by Eileen Fisher ($178) Eeek sticker shock! But it's what they would call "premium denim". All of my current jeans have cost less than $30... Yet someday, if I find jeans that fit me perfectly after I'm done losing my baby weight, I'd be willing to spend more. Probably not this much though. :(  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about "ankle jeans". My legs are on the short side, so I thought they looked a bit funny on me. I prefer true capris, or full-length pants.
Eilley Ballet Flat by Louise et Cle ($118) Sticker shock again. But I don't own any flats (gasp!) and am really on the lookout for a good pair to last me through constant wear of summer and beyond. These were a bit too fancy, didn't fit me well, probably a size too big.

Drape Neck Sleeveless Top by Halogen ($38) I like sleeveless, but wasn't a fan of the drape neck. It also did nothing for my mama-belly. The material was nice and flowy.
Skinny Stretch Twill Pants by Halogen ($88) These fit me pretty well, I've never had skinny jeans/pants. I would have thought they'd come a little lower on my ankles though. I know that wouldn't make a difference if I wore them with boots (which I don't have either), but it just felt funny if I was going to wear them with any other shoe.

Roll Sleeve Cotton Knit Shirt by Caslon ($48) When I pulled this shirt out I about drooled at the color. I LOVE corals and oranges, and have gotten so many compliments when I wear them. It fit well too -- the length I like and fitted on the sides.
Straight Leg Ankle Jeans again, I think if I want to pull off the ankle-length look they'll need to be skinny jeans. What do you think?
TOMS Classic Slip-On ($48) I've wanted to try TOMS shoes forever, but as I said before I don't get out shopping much. Every time I see them go on sale on Zulily I always debate whether or not to get a pair. But I'm always unsure of my size when shopping online, so I've never gotten them. Tada! They fit! Now I know what size TOMS I wear!

Ballet Neck Cotton & Modal Knit Elbow Sleeve Tee ($26) As the cheapest thing in the box I was sorely tempted, until I put it on and saw all the rolls and lumps and jeans lines...
TOMS Classic Crochet Glitter Slip-On ($44) These didn't have as much give as the canvas ones, but they were definitely still my correct size. If I didn't already have some black slip on shoes I might have considered these more than I did.
I decided to put on my own jeans, to see how the TOMS would look. Much better than the ankle jeans, in my opinion.

Handkerchief Hem Tank Dress by Caslon ($68) These were fun dresses I could probably see myself wearing in the summer. The hemline was a little "hip" for my usual taste, but I could see it growing on me. I liked the stretchy, maxi-dress-type material and wide shoulder straps. If they were lighter colors I might have been able to see my mama-belly rolls more though.

Woven Maxi Dress by Felicity & Coco ($98) Most definitely a no. It felt like a nightgown. The material was super lightweight and I would have felt really exposed if all I was wearing was a strapless bra. It was also really long, which could be hemmed I suppose.

Stripe Knit Flared Dress by Eliza J ($98) I was pleasantly surprised by this dress. I wasn't expecting it to be a sweater-like material from the picture. I liked the shape, and the flare of the skirt. I wish it was a little bit longer to cover my knees. Plus I couldn't think of anything specific I'd want to wear it for, and I couldn't justify spending that much on a dress "just because".

Pintucked Waist Seamed Ponte Knit Fit & Flare Dress ($98) Same style as the one above, with a different material (though still heavy). Again I couldn't think of anything I'd want to wear it for and wouldn't consider it an every-day dress. My mama-rolls showed up again, but once I lose those I might reconsider this dress.

Print Crepe de Chine Maxi Dress ($158) Another very obvious no for me, even before I saw the price. I don't like high necks, the fit wasn't flattering, and it had an awkward slit right up the middle. Maybe I was wearing it backwards??

Conclusions: It was nice to have someone pick out clothes for me -- for the most part they all fit really well. It was also nice to try things on from the comfort of my own home, on my own time. TC gives 10 days before requesting returns of unpurchased items. (Edit: in summer 2016 TC decreased the allowed decision time to 5 days) 

I decided to keep the coral colored shirt, and the neutral colored TOMS. It was really hard for me to drop $100 on two items, but I think they'll get a lot of use. I also liked the tank dresses, but the price was too much. I'll keep my eyes open for maxi dresses for summer.

Will I try it again? Probably sometime. I'm glad I don't feel pressured to keep anything, if all I want is the experience of trying new things on. I could request some really outrageous styles next time, just to see how they look on me, and then keep my eyes open other places for similar styles.

Have you tried Stitch Fix or Trunk Club before? 

If not, click through my referral links and give it a try! If you decide you like it and actually purchase something, I'll get credit toward my own future purchase. :)

Try Stitch Fix
Try Trunk Club

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