Winter Is(n’t) Coming

Losing an eBay auction, as told by Game of Thrones GIFs.

When you finally find that dress you’ve been looking for – in your size, squee! – on eBay in “New, with Tags” condition and wonder if your retail luck is suddenly too good to be true.

When you notice that the seller not only has a 99% rating and free shipping, but also that the auction is ending in an hour.

When you picture yourself wearing said dress to your goddaughter’s dedication, and whip out your credit card.

When it looks like your competing bidders are falling behind AND you’re still 30% under your strict self-imposed budget.

When you get the notification you’re being outbid with 10 minutes left in the auction.

When you jack up your bid, because you. will. win. this.

When another bidder appears at the last minute.

When you’re positive you’ve won…but you haven’t.

When this is the only appropriate reaction to losing.

When you realize it was European sizing all along.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chances (Stitch Fix Review #1)

Hello chickadees!

I’ll cop to the title being a misnomer – if you’ve been around here long enough, you know this isn’t my first time at the Stitch Fix rodeo; however, since it is the first time I’m reviewing what I’ve received (and since I did put the service on pause for a bit) I’m wiping the slate clean.

Let’s get this out of the way – no, this isn’t a paid post (still not that fancy), but I will shamelessly admit that any mention of Stitch Fix includes my referral link, which will help me pay for my next box if you’re a lamb and sign up.

Admittedly, I was not as excited for this Fix as the previous boxes I’d received, due quite honestly to the fact that Stitch Fix asked me back. While my first few boxes were extremely on-point when it comes to my hard-to-pin-down style, my subsequent nearly half-dozen ranged from so-so to KILL IT WITH FIRE. My feedback essentially boiled down to the fact that nothing was really appropriate for my lifestyle – I’d set a higher price point, asked not to receive anything too stretchy/blousy/polyester and that was what I kept receiving. I hated to give up the convenience, but there are only so many times you can try on the same dolman blouse before you throw in the towel.

To be fair, I don’t have an easy body to dress. I’m in the process of getting more fit and healthy, so my size is hard to pinpoint from day to day, and I have a long torso. No, I mean a seriously long torso. We’re talking Odalisque long. And to combat this, I generally need a high-waisted pant and a shorter top (hello, uneven hem! I luff you!) to balance out my silhouette. And so when Stitch Fix asked me to give them another chance, I dutifully recorded these details, Pinned a few things from their Style board, and scheduled the shipment.

Spoiler alert? It was fantastic. And I barely kept anything. I know, I know. Believe me, I KNOW. I’m picturing my poor stylist, Kat, needing to take a long lunch. Girlfriend deserves it. But she did a truly fantastic job, and all clothing quibbles were never ever something she could have predicted.

I’m not one for the unboxing, and so I’ll unceremoniously present her fantastic handiwork.

Market & Spruce Julia Utility Jacket

How adorable is this jacket? That was my immediate thought upon ripping it out of the tissue paper and tossing it on. Light enough for spring, heavy enough for fall and in a gorgeous kelly green. Unfortunately, while I love the color, it’s a tricky one for my skin tone, and while I loved this (and desperately wanted to keep it), it made me look sickly. Like Melly-Wilkes-pickpocketing-a-dead-Yankee sickly.

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Cute, right? I absolutely loved the color on this one – not quite cobalt (one of my favorite/primary wardrobe colors) but with really lovely pintucking at the neckline and quilting on the shoulders. I’m a complete sucker for a fun detail, but while this blouse looks like it’s got a bit of structure on the style card, there was so much extra fabric around my rib cage and hips that I basically could have hosted both Barnum and Bailey.

(Side note: I’m including style cards wherever possible, because I took photos of my Fix at 12:30am and realized how truly terrible they were as I began writing.)

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Leota Amandine Faux Wrap Dress

This was a lovely little wrap dress – I’d requested something for my goddaughter’s dedication in July, and the full floral skirt on this fit the bill perfectly! I’m an all prints, all the time kind of gal, and so I was incredibly excited to try this on.

But remember the long torso thing? There was a “Curses, foiled again!” situation when this happened to sit on me in such a way to make me both look like a toddler and senior citizen. Love the idea of it, though! Ladies, if you don’t own yourself a wrap dress, get one. If it fits correctly, you will never own a more comfortable or flattering piece of closing. All hail DVF.

Market & Spruce Lana Lace Detail V-Neck Blouse

Market & Spruce Lana Lace Detail V-Neck Blouse

Ah, the blouse I did keep! I told you I was a sucker for detail? Well, generally, that doesn’t extend to lace. Generally, lace always tends to have a whiff of the doily to me, but this is gorgeous. Also it’s black and white and will match up with both the velvet pants (please don’t ask) and metallic origami skirt (I repeat, please don’t ask) I just purchased. Kat, you’re a doll.

Margaret M Emer Printed Straight Leg Pant

Margaret M Emer Printed Straight Leg Pant

I loved these pants. No, I don’t think you understand – I LOVED THESE PANTS. The print, the color, the skinny fit, worshipped it all. Which is why I actually almost burst into tears very early this morning upon discovering they were just too baggy through the waist and hips. I’m sure I could have tried to shrink them in the dryer, but I just didn’t want to take the risk. Fingers crossed I can get the next size down in my next box.

And there you have it, chickadees. I’m thrilled that I gave Stitch Fix another chance, and while I’m sure I’m making their styling team apoplectic right about now, I encourage you to let them send you a few pieces and play dress-up for your friends.

In the meantime, I’ll be in a corner, crying about those pants.

Love,
Your Gal

You Can Pry My Elizabeth & Clarke From My Cold, Dead Hands

But seriously, how gorgeous is this weave?

But seriously, how gorgeous is this weave?

Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post, because I’m not that kind of fancy. In the immortal, bastardized words of a brilliant, make-believe teenager, I’m more fancy in the way ketchup is fancy.

Have you heard of Elizabeth & Clarke? It’s both one of those ideas so simple and so brilliant that you kick yourself on a daily basis you didn’t dream it up. The core concept is that Elizabeth & Clarke cuts out the middleman and produces a few beautiful, high-quality basics each quarter, which its subscribers pre-order.

Basically this is a godsend for me, because I am a fashion magpie – if you dropped me at Sak’s (and gave me an unlimited budget, natch), I’d immediately make a beeline for the completely gorgeous and totally impractical Peter Pilotto graphic prints. It is my dearest desire to own this Mary Katrantzou dress. Er, you know, after world peace and prosperity. The point? I will take a pony-printed shirt over a plain one any day.

But I understand that there just isn’t so much that will pair with a red, green and yellow glen plaid pencil skirt other than a white or black top. Enter Elizabeth & Clarke! I’m personally subscribed to the $60 box, which gets me three beautiful basic tops each month (generally, you can choose from five.) That’s right – $20 per shirt

Seriously.

Brilliant. I mean, I love me some J. Crew, as my credit card company can attest, but I have never slipped on a shirt as silky and comfortable as my E&C Taylor button-down. And my Liz Lemon white tee? My scarves are singing its praises now that people can actually focus on their pretty, pretty prints (seriously, FASHION MAGPIE.)

So if you’re anything like me? And can’t walk out of a store without half a dozen printed shift dresses? Please, please give Elizabeth & Clarke a try. Between this and Stitch Fix, I’m finally, at 25, starting to look like a grown-up lady rather than a really tall toddler.

(Progress!)

Love,
Your Gal

Let Lena Be Great!

PHOTO: JIM SMEAL/BEIMAGES

PHOTO: JIM SMEAL/BEIMAGES

By now, chances are you’ve seen the gorgeous Giambattista Valli gown Lena Dunham wore to the Emmys last night; it’s a dress I loved when I saw it in runway photos and I’m so glad Lena was the one to wear it because, let’s face it – you need personality to pull off this dress. And as Ms. Dunham is as layered and sassy as that skirt, I’m of the opinion she was the perfect person to wear it.

This may be a good place to detour into a few salient points:
1. Lena Dunham is adorable
2. Lena Dunham does not need me to defend her
3. I’m doing it anyway

While I’m enamored of this dress, others have been a little less kind. Now, I understand everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and I totally understand hating this dress on its own merits, but every time Lena steps out onto the red carpet, there seems to be a barrage of negative comments following in her wake. And rather than attacking the dress, they attack the woman in the dress.

People? This is unacceptable. Regardless of whether you love or hate Girls or Tiny Furniture or Lena’s New Yorker pieces, your opinions about the work or the garment should never extend to the person creating or wearing them. Is Hannah Horvath a spoiled, self-indulgent portrait of the worst kind of Millennial? As a Millennial, I will tell you, yes, absolutely she is, and I’d like to scream at her until my lungs collapse; however, I recognize it takes a tremendous talent to make someone who is so likable as a personality into the lost soul that is her character.

And I think it’s time a wider audience does, too. Because at the end of the day, Lena Dunham is doing good things for women. Love it or hate it, she puts herself out there. She speaks up for women. She’s a role model to girls looking to break into male-dominated industries. And she loves a giant skirt.

In my book? That makes her great.

Love,
Your Gal

A Tale of Two Cities (and by Cities, I Mean Customer Service Interactions)

Let’s talk about customer service. At some point in what I imagine to be most adult lives, we all touch this field in one way or another, be it via providing services to a client or actually working in a call center.

Because my job is so client-facing, it irks me when I receive a bad customer service experience. After all, if I strive to do the best for my clients and always keep a polite, calm demeanor, why can’t, say, Giant Telecom Conglomerate do the same for me? I understand everyone has their bad days – I’ve had my fair share – but were I to take out said bad day on a client, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have a desk for very long.

In the past few weeks I’ve had two absolutely, diametrically oppositional customer service experiences: one with a delivery service, and one with Stitch Fix. In the interest of not being a complete jerk, I’ll decline to name the delivery service, but suffice it to say that when I received the wrong order, the response I was expecting was not “what do you expect us to do about it?” And after that lovely response, I certainly wasn’t expecting the restaurant in question to show up at my door at 11:30pm demanding the wrong order back. It’s been a few weeks since I called and wrote an email to request that never happen again, and I haven’t heard back.

Luckily, Stitch Fix (referral link alert) is a little bit more customer-focused. After receiving a few great fixes, I’d been disappointed with the new stylist I was assigned, and when I received a box that had nothing that was either to my taste or that flattered, I contacted Stitch Fix asking for either a replacement box or a refund of my styling fee. 

Their response? 

An apology, a make-good and a promise to try to fulfill my request for my original stylist, all within a few hours.

Guys? That’s how you do good customer service.

(Heck, as long you’re not showing up demanding a sandwich at 11:30pm, you’re probably on the right track.)

Love,

Your Gal