Ask Belle Roundup Vol. II, No. Four
Aug 22, 2012
Have you tried any of the online personal styling services like StitchFix or CakeStyle? If so, what did you think of them? I was just promoted at my job and it’s important that I dress for my new position, but I have no time to shop.
The basic idea behind these sites is that you fill out a lengthy questionnaire about your job, your closet, your sizes, etc. and a personal shopper pulls merchandise for you to try. She then mails these clothes to you, with a tutorial on how to style them and you keep the pieces you want and send back what you don’t.
Receiving my box was like being a kid on Christmas morning, until I opened it. The clothes were what a person who’s never worked in a professional setting before would pick. For example, a hideous oxblood suit paired with a shiny grey and black shirt, all belted with a skinny black belt–a color combination often referred to on this blog as the “IT Guy Special.”
Also, it was like she hadn’t even read the questionnaire that I’d spent 45 minutes filling out. I asked for dresses and skirts. I received one dress and one skirt. I specifically said NO PANTS, but that didn’t stop her from sending me three pairs of pants including a pair of trousers made from camel-colored jersey. Gross.
Every piece in the box, without exception was too big. This was mind-boggling since I’d provided her with my sizes and measurements.
Bottom line, the stylist didn’t listen to my requests and sent me merchandise that was way too big. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise though since the cheapest piece of clothing in the box was over-$200. Maybe I’ll give StitchFix a try, but CakeStyle was a big disappointment.
I have a pretty strong assortment of basic pieces for the fall season, so I’m looking to add a few more stylish items. Could you make some suggestions for taking my closet to the next level?
1. Juicy Couture Pyramid Cuff ($98), Charlotte Russe Jewel Cuff ($5), Studded Croc Cuff ($25) and Tahari Filigree Cuff ($65) // 2. J.Crew Majesty Peacoat ($278) // 3. Joie Christelle Sweater ($198) // 4. Max Studio Long Gloves ($98) and Peechoo Kreeberg Gloves ($548) // 5. Zara Studded Ankle Boot ($129) // 6. Alice + Olivia Tulip Skirt ($297)
Big Bracelets. A bold cuff bracelet makes a great addition to any wardrobe. The rough, rocker vibe on the studded cuffs is great for casual attire or to lift basic blouses and dresses. The daintier filigree bangle is good for any outfit. These bracelets are the kind of piece that you can wear any time you need a little something extra.
A Colorful Winter Coat. Almost everyone has a black, grey, navy or brown coat. Why not combat the drabness of December with a pop of bold color? This Majesty Coat from J.CREW comes in bright orange, a gorgeous berry and a vibrant green. I also love this cobalt swing coat for $180 and this red colorblock coat for ($198).
A Cool Sweater. Let’s face it, sweaters can be kind of boring. You have your crewnecks, your v-necks and cardigans, not a lot interesting about those choices. Maybe this season you should try a dolman sleeve (like above, but cheaper), a dramatic cowl neck, a sweater with studs or a sweater with sheer details.
Long Gloves. I love opera length leather gloves for fall and winter. I wear them with my cape, with my winter coat or, on mild days, I ruche the sleeves on my sweater and wear them underneath. And if you don’t want to spend more than a few dollars on a pair, I found my teal ones at a thrift store, so don’t rely on retail.
Ankle Boots. I am not a huge proponent of ankle boots, mostly because I grew up in the rural West where these just weren’t allowed, but a lot of very stylish bloggers are making these work for fall. So I figured, why not reach out of my comfort zone and post a pair. If you want ideas on how to style them, Pinterest is probably your best bet.
Luckily, a number of designers are selling skirts with leather detailing instead. The Alice + Olivia above has just a hint of leather, as does this leather trim skirt from Nordstrom. This colorblock option from Robert Rodriguez is cool but a little pricey. And if you’re plus-sized, this knit and leather panel version is just $78. (Lucky girls!)