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Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote

Well folks, this is my last box review for my Le Tote subscription. It was probably the best final box to receive because 4 of the 5 items didn’t work for me. With the exception of the 1st box, I would say that this was the one that I liked the least. Okay, down to the review.

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Octavia Pastel Printed Maxi Dress – I was co-hosting a baby shower and thought this would be the perfect thing to wear, and it would have been. If, you know, it actually fit the way it was supposed to. My torso is really long, and the waistline was up around my ribcage. Not really all that flattering.

Summer & Sage Striped Maxi Dress – I almost bought this. As in I hung it up in my closet, took it out, hung it up, took it back out….you get the picture. The final decision was made when I attempted to photograph myself in the dress and they all turned about horribly, so back it goes.

Summer & Sage Asymetric Hem Dress – Great color, super soft, but very unforgiving. Didn’t even make it out of the house.

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Circus by Sam Edelman Roll Top Clutch – I wasn’t a 100% about this when I picked it, and when I saw it in person, it just wasn’t for me. The size was a little weird, and the handle was uncomfortable. Ultimately, I didn’t even take it out of the house.

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Octavia & Co Feather Bangle – LOVED this, but it was to small for my hand.

Verdict: This is a really cool subscription service. If you have the money and like to try out new things, this is absolutely perfect. I would caution that if you stray to the plus size of sizing you might not be able to find a whole lot, my available options were much more limited then someone who wears a medium, and I am right at the edge between standard and plus sizing. I will say there is a little bit of disappointment that I spent all that money and have nothing tangible to show for it, but all and all, a worthwhile experience.


Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote

The adage “third time’s a charm” was on the nose with my third Le Tote box. This is the first box that I have worn every single item out of the house. Spoiler alert: I didn’t end up purchasing any of the pieces, but I had a blast trying everything out and there was one extremely close call that I will tell you about further down.l8 l9 l10 l1
Ava Wrap Tie Cardigan – This was the only garment that was even the tiniest bit disappointing. Teal, kick ass color on me. Wrap style, yay for waist definition. Sweater, keeps me warm at the office. The only real draw back was that is was a little itchy. I checked the fiber content, no red flags there, so I think it was just the knit itself. Definitely worth the try though.
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Ava Cap Sleeve Top – Surprisingly, this was my favorite piece in this set. I don’t normally go for bright and colorful, let alone bright, colorful, AND patterned. I should have hated this, but it was pretty awesome. I wore it three times, and every time I got complements on how it looked. Ultimately, I sent it back because while it was fun to wear, it felt a bit like I was trying on someone else clothes, and I am trying to curate a wardrobe that is 100% me. l7
Noir Sweater Knit Swing Dress – I felt so sassy in this. It fit well without being to clingy. It had great movement, and the color was perfection. It would have been mine, but the price was a little higher that I was willing to go on something I wouldn’t be able to wear for most of the year.
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Clement Circle Horn Studs – Larger than I usually go for studs, but I gave them a shot and they were cute, but ultimately not something I could see myself wearing a lot.
Rebecca Minkoff Diamond Shaped Earrings – pretty but they fit oddly on my ear, and I caught my office phone on them a couple of times so back they went.  l2

And there you have it. After such a great tote, I think I am going to extend my subscription a little while longer and see if the fourth order is even better 🙂


Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote Round 2

I am kind of falling in love with this subscription service. Every time I get a Le Tote box, I am so excited to open it, even though I already know what’s in it. I am excited to try everything on and wear the different pieces, even though some of them don’t fit and I haven’t ultimately purchased any of the pieces I’ve tried. I am spending money, ending up with essentially nothing, and still having an absolute blast. How does that happen? I was originally only going to use the service for a month, but I’ve talked myself into a second “just to give myself more to review”. Which is only about 65% of the truth, the other part is me simply wanting to try out more things.

le2I think my second tote was definitely a bit more “me” than the first. Not 100% my style, but a little more style adjacent.  le7 le1 le3Clothing-wise, I had two wrap dresses and a vest. The pink wrap dress was too clingy, and it wasn’t something I’d ever feel comfortable wearing. The beige vest was pretty, and it looked pretty good on, but the coloring washed me out and brought out the less than flattering red tones in my skin, so much so that I decided to pass on wearing it out. The green and black wrap dress looked pretty great on, and my coworkers really liked it. I considered purchasing it, but the fabric was already a bit faded. I could tell it was something that would get worse with each subsequent washing, so I passed.  le4The jewelry was so much fun, I wore both pieces multiple times, and I considered buying them both. This is going to sound a bit weird, but I knew I wouldn’t have purchased them if I had just seen them in the store, and since I am trying to carefully build my new wardrobe around only “love” pieces, I felt like I needed to let them go. le5 le6 le8I apologize for the horrible picture, but evidently I somehow lost or erased all of them except for this lovely grainy image before you. I’ll try to do better next time 🙂


Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket

Our last Sun Basket delivery went a little wonky. Andy and I had already decided to end our trial month a week early since we hadn’t been loving the food, but then we were notified that our selections for week 3 hadn’t saved and were going to receive three randomly selected meals instead. Problem 1 – two of the three meals were things that I couldn’t eat. Problem 2 – the company does not have weekend staff so even though I contacted them as soon as I found out, they couldn’t cancel the order since it actually shipped before customer service had even read my email. They did apologize for the mix up and gave us another three meals for free to compensate. So setting that delivery aside I give you the final week of Sun Basket.

sb1Our order made it right on time and everything was pretty much picture perfect. sb2 sb3 The food was the best set of recipes we’d received yet. The Salmon with roasted new potatoes and green beans was incredible. I am not a huge fish person, but damn. Andy was so please with the results that he has tucked the recipe card away in the kitchen binder so he can make it again.sb4 The Yemeni grilled shrimp with fattoush salad was not quite as good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the spice blend on the shrimp, but a am now a HUGE fan of fattoush salad. I would probably eat it once a week if I could.sb5Sadly, we did not get to make recipe #3. Hurricane Hermine hit Tallahassee, and we were without power just long enough to make all the dairy and seafood in our fridge unsafe to consume.

Verdict: I’m glad we tried Sun Basket, and if I’d hadn’t tried any other meal delivery services before I would have been really pleased. However, despite being pretty consistent with delivery schedules and having packing material that can be recycled, the food just wasn’t as good as what we had from Blue Apron. If pressed to recommend one or the other, it would be Blue Apron all the way.


Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote

So the Sun Basket segment of “Thinking Outside the Box” came to an awkward and complicated end. I still am sorting through everything, but I will give a full evaluation “verdict” in the next little bit. This month, we are moving on to a completely different type of subscription service: wardrobe rental. I heard about Le Tote through a friend, then again through a Facebook ad. I’ve spent many years thrift storing, so I am no stranger to used clothing, but the idea of paying a substantial sum of money ($59) a month, with no lasting tactile goods, seemed a bit strange. I waffled for a while, but ultimately decided “why not?” and sent in my subscription request.

To make sure you end up with something you actually like, the company has you complete a style profile, information on your size, and lists of things you do not want, and then they encourage you to flip through their inventory and add items to your “closet”. The actual totes contain 5 pieces (2 accessories and 3 garments) that are a combination of things you’ve picked and items they think would complement your personal style. They also give you the option to “swap” out items in your tote if they’ve selected something you’re not interested in. After that, the final order is placed, and you receive your item in about 3-4 business days (my experience). If you fall in love with an item in your tote, you can purchase it for a discounted price.

le1My first tote was a little off style wise, so I swapped two of the five items for other options. Since I am right at the tail end of their sizing range, I suspect that my selection is a bit more limited than average clients, but so far I’ve been able to find plenty of pieces I’m interested in trying.  My final tote contained a sweater, a shirt, a pencil skirt, a bracelet, and a shoulder bag.le3 Tassle & Horn Crossbody – The shoulder bag was small enough that it could be used also as a clutch, which was pretty cool. It’s a lot smaller than I usually carry, but I swapped it out with my larger bag for a weekend. I liked the style, and by carrying it as a cross body bag, it was much easier navigating crowds while I ran my usual errands. The only downside was that my wallet, which is admittedly quite large, took up all the room, and I barely had room for a single lipstick and my cell phone. le2 Stretch Cable Bracelet –  a gold bangle with black and rhinestone accents. Simple, classic, and a nice bit of subtle bling for pretty much whatever. I wore it twice, and while it was pretty, I ran into the issue I have with most wrist wear: it gets in the way. Clicks against the desk when I type, catches on the edge of the canvas when I paint: just not the right item for me.le5 Cut Out Trim Top – this shirt was one of the items selected for me, and while I would not have picked it for myself, it was interesting enough that I wanted to try it out. Unfortunately, the fit was strange -boxy and unflattering-, so I didn’t wear it out. le6 Quilted Knit Pencil Skirt –  I have several more “traditional” pencil skirts already, and despite the fact that I’m a bit chubby, they generally look really nice. This one was solidly okay, but the material was a bit odd, and the stretch made it cling in unflattering places. Like the shirt above, it never left the house. This was the only item in the bag that I could tell had been previously worn: it was a bit linty, and there were some loose threads at the edges. I honestly found it to be a bit off putting.le7Printed Crop Cardigan –  I loved this last one so much. A standard black cardigan with a silk floral panel in the front. Brighter than I normally go, but the colors were very flattering and vibrant. I wore it twice and seriously considered keeping it, but it was a bit short waisted, and it didn’t seem like a good investment for something that wasn’t perfect. le8 le4

All in all, not a bad first tote. It was a lot of fun trying everything on, and I can’t wait to see what my next tote will bring!