Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

knottygnome crafts podcast Ep 38: Summer Starts





Sorry, I don’t have time to do show notes this week. If you have any questions about the episode, leave a comment and I will try to answer here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Trunk Club #3

The title isn't an error. This is the third trunk I've gotten, though the first I'm blogging. I'll explain in a minute. But first, a brief Trunk Club overview.

Trunk Club is similar to Stitch Fix. When you sign up, you are paired with someone who becomes your permanent stylist. You either fill out a detailed questionnaire via email or talk with your stylist on the phone about your needs, preferences, and sizes. Then your stylist builds a trunk of roughly 15 items. You have a day to preview the items and remove anything you know you don't want before your trunk ships.

Once you receive your trunk you have 10 days to decide what to keep. You are only charged for what you keep--there are no styling or shipping fees. You can schedule a trunk whenever you like. Trunk Club is owned by Nordstrom so the merchandise comes from their stock. If an item goes on sale at Nordstrom they will price match, but they won't price match anywhere else.

The clothing tends to be more high end and therefore expensive but generally the quality is pretty good. Personally I plan to get a trunk once a season and my hopes are to find a handful of pieces that will last for a long time.

Another nice feature is the app for iphone. You can approve your trunk and give detailed feedback. You can also talk directly to your stylist and ask questions or send her pictures of you wearing the items so she can get a better idea of what works for you.

Andrea is a my second stylist. My original stylist sent my first two trunks. She didn't seem to have a great grasp on my style and she wasn't very responsive. I had asked to follow up with her after I didn't keep anything from my first trunk and she went ahead and built a second one without letting me speak to her first. Then she went completely AWOL. I later found out that she had left her position but no one stepped in to take her place. I had to contact customer service and they eventually assigned me a new stylist. This is the reason that I skipped reviewing my first two trunks, as I felt I couldn't honestly recommend my stylist to anyone. Andrea has been much better so far.

This time I had asked Andrea for a summer trunk. I wanted short sleeve or sleeveless blouses and sundresses. I also asked for a pair of denim shorts. I don't wear shorts much but all of the pairs I currently own are too big, so I could use one pair. I put in some other requests for a white cardigan or blazer, summer sandals, a sun hat, and a new pair of oversized sunglasses. Because there are so many items it is impractical for me to photograph them all (My husband takes my style photos and he politely puts up with it, but he has limits). So I will post the Trunk Club pics of the items that were definite nos and modeled pics of the contenders.

Trunk Club #3

Halogen Zip Pocket Tweed Open Front Jacket $119

No no no. This looked like something my grandma would wear and it was way too heavy for summer. It was also not a petite and the sleeves were ultra long. Just no.

Trunk Club #3Trunk Club #3

Vince Camuto Graphic Print Maxi Dress $119

Eliza J Cap Sleeve Shift Dress $138

Both of these dresses had no shaping in the waist and made me look like a lumpy sack of potatoes. The maxi was at least the correct length and the shift dress hit right above the knee but neither was flattering.

Trunk Club #3

Halogen Layered V-neck Top $58

I have had terrible luck finding tops that I like. This was the only one left after having removed a few others from the initial trunk review. I just don't like wearing polyester and the print looked old to me. I guess I will keep looking.

Trunk Club #3

Rebecca Minkoff Georgina Studded Leather Sandal $125

The hardware is painted the same color of the sandal, which looks cheap in my opinion. It's also a huge pain in the ass to put on thanks to the 3 ankle buckles. I actually only bothered to strap one shoe on my foot before I knew it was a no.

Trunk Club #3Trunk Club #3

Quay Australia Maiden 55mm Cat Eye Sunglasses $45

Steve Madden 55mm Cat Eye Sunglasses $38

Andrea sent two pairs that were very similar styles, which I thought was kind of weird as I would've preferred two different styles. I tried them on but I looked like a very large-eyed insect. I think I'd prefer aviators or wayfarers instead.

Trunk Club #3

Caslon Linen One-Button Jacket $68

This one was a surprise. The preview made it look like a pale pink when it's actually a thin red and cream pinstripe. I kind of liked it but it was tight across the shoulders and I don't have much to wear it with. I'm honestly a little confused as to why I was sent so many colored jackets when I asked for white.

Trunk Club #3

Maggy London Shadow Blossom Faux Wrap Jersey Dress $118

I really loved the print! but unfortunately the waist was tight and the cut on sleeves made it really hard to move my arms. It also hit below my knees which is not a good look for me.

Trunk Club #3

Treasure & Bond Crop Skinny Jeans Extra Light Vintage $98

The fit wasn't great on these. There was a big gap in the back waist and they needed to be hemmed. I wish I had been sent a second pair of shorts to try instead.

Trunk Club #3

Caslon Sleeveless Stripe Knit Maxi Dress $69

I adored this dress. Unfortunately it wasn't a petite and it was, no joke, 8 inches too long for me. *sad face*

Enough of that. Let's move on to the contenders.

Trunk Club #3Trunk Club #3Trunk Club #3
Trunk Club #3
Styled with: Jcrew factory shirt, Ann Taylor necklace, Gorjana ring from Rocksbox (Use code sarapbff2 for a free month)

Halogen High Crown Straw Panama Hat $38

We're going camping 4th of July weekend and I could really use a sun hat. I couldn't decide if I look super dorky in this but I do kind of like it. I wish it were a natural straw color though instead of black. I sent it back and am keeping an eye out for a cheaper straw hat to bring on our vacation.

Trunk Club #3

Caslon Rolled Denim Boyfriend Shorts $58

I really wanted these to work. The wash is kind of a weird ombre effect that I didn't care for. and I really hated the way the back pockets squished down. Also they were pretty loose in the waist. I get that they're a boyfriend style but if I'm going to be wearing baggy shorts I might as well hang onto the ones I already have that are too big.

Vince Camuto Baeden Sandal $128.95 $77.37 on sale

I didn't think I would like these because of the grommets and studded details, but I really like them on. They're just different enough to look unique and I love the cork soles. I was a little worried that the foot strap might be uncomfortable but I have high hopes that it will break in. I'm keeping these.

Trunk Club #3Trunk Club #3Trunk Club #3
Trunk Club #3
Styled with: Feather necklace from etsy, Gorjana bangle from Rocksbox (Use code sarapbff2 for a free month)

Halogen Three Quarter Sleeve Cardigan $46

I was sent this cardigan in Trunk #2 in blush pink and it was one of the only things I kept. I asked for it again in white and instead they sent this oatmeal color. *sigh* I thought about keeping it but I'm more likely to wear white or grey for neutrals, so I sent it back.

Vince Camuto Print Scuba A-line Dress $148

Ok, so this one wasn't really a contender but it was the best of the dresses and I needed to be able to put together an outfit. I liked the style and the fit of this dress for the most part. The shoulders were a little tight but the dress does come above the knee. Mostly I just didn't like the print. If I had I might've considered this one more seriously.

Trunk Club #3

Jeffrey Campbell Pilar Platform Mule $154.95

I did not want to like these shoes. They're expensive, yo. But they're so tall! and relatively easy to walk in for being 4 inch heels. There is that problem of having to take care not to be caught in a stiff breeze (cuz once you start teetering, you're going down--ask me how I know). But they're so cute! I'm keeping them.

So it may sound like (and it's true) I really did not like most of the things that were sent to me. But I'm fine with it and it's actually almost preferred. Because if I got a trunk with 15 items that I absolutely loved I would probably cry because I cannot afford to spend $1500+ in one go. This way I get to try out some new things and see if they match my style and if not, no big deal. I do think I need to be more verbal in the future if I'm pretty sure I won't like something to ask for replacements during the preview phase (like a straw hat instead of black, or at least one different style of sunglasses).

This post uses referral links. If you are interested in trying out Trunk Club and sign up using my link, I receive a $50 credit when you make a $50 purchase. This is not a sponsored post--I am a regular subscriber of the service, and I promise to only give my honest opinions of the clothes and the service.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stitch Fix Review #3

I was so happy with my April Stitch Fix that I decided to get another box in May. I had asked for work clothes as I have a conference coming up in June. Let's see what my stylist Kristin picked out for me.

Stitch Fix Review #3
Styled with: Rocksbox jewelry (Use code sarapbff2 for a free month)

Alice Blue Bullen Swiss Dot Blouse Size XS $54

I really hated this top. It's an off-white color when I prefer true white. It's completely sheer and the sleeves make my shoulders look even broader. The style also had an old lady vibe to me. This was a definite no.

Verdict: Return

Kut from the Kloth Siena Cropped Pant Size 2 $58

I've been looking for olive green pants but the cut on these was all wrong. They were a little tight in the thighs and just generally unflattering. They also wrinkled easily and looked too sloppy for work. It's too bad though--the length was perfect.

Verdict: Return

41Hawthorn Rocco Jersey Faux Wrap Dress Size XS $78

Stitch Fix Review #3
Styled with: Rocksbox jewelry (Use code sarapbff2 for a free month), Steven Flats from Stitch Fix #2

I had asked for a wrap dress. I was thinking a print or color and they sent black. I also wanted short sleeve or sleeveless rather than 3/4 length. This dress was tight in the waist and the fabric was ultra-heavy--too heavy for summer wear.

Verdict: Return

Stitch Fix Review #3

Nine West Xeena Pointed Toe Pump Size 6 $79

Tart Kaylie French Terry Blazer Size XS $128

I was debating back and forth between these last two items. I had asked for closed toe shoes that I could easily walk in as I will be on my feet for most of the conference. These pumps weren't exactly what I was looking for but I fell in love with the cobalt blue color.

I had asked for a white knit blazer and they sent this charcoal one. I was going to send it back as I think this is better suited for fall and winter but the fit was excellent and it was comfortable to wear. The price was on the high side but I won a $50 Stitch Fix credit from Living in Yellow, which made the price more palatable. Ultimately I decided the shoes just weren't comfy enough so I sent them back and kept the blazer. I'm now on the lookout for blue suede shoes though.

Verdict: Return the shoes, Keep the blazer

Although I only kept one item, I was reasonably pleased with this box. To be fair, I had asked for fairly specific things and with the exception of the top, I felt like Kristin did a pretty good job overall.

Linking up with Crazy Together

If you are unaware, Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription service. You fill out a style profile with sizes and preferences, pay a $20 styling fee, and your stylist chooses 5 pieces to send to you. In addition to the clothes you get a personal note and style cards with ideas of how to wear the clothes, a price list, and a postage paid return envelope for whatever you send back. Then you have 3 days to try on the clothes and decide what you want to keep. If you keep at least one item, your $20 styling fee applies toward your purchase, and if you keep all 5 items, you get a 25% discount on the total. You can also choose when to receive your box--whether it's by scheduling automatic deliveries or simply ordering a box when you want one.

This post uses referral links. If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix and sign up using my link, I receive a $25 credit. This is not a sponsored post--I am a regular subscriber of the service, and I promise to only give my honest opinions of the clothes and the service.

Past Reviews

Monday, May 16, 2016

knottygnome crafts podcast Ep 37.1 Constant Interruptions



Shop update will be Friday, May 20 at 10:30 AM EDT.

The Specklealong runs from March 15-June 30. Use the hashtag #specklealong on social media.

Finished Objects
Works in Progress
Storytime

Monday, May 09, 2016

knottygnome crafts podcast Ep 36.2: Penny is my Co-Pilot



Frog Pond
Guilty Pleasures
Stash Report

April Totals:
2682 yds yarn used
3695 yds yarn added to stash
12 oz fiber added to stash

2016 Totals:
+16426 yds yarn / 12.46 lbs yarn total
+4.38 lbs fiber total

Frequently Used Knits in 2015

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