Around the first of this month, I awoke from my first trimester malaise and took stock of myself. Between nausea and exhaustion, I'd been eating pretty badly and moving barely at all.
And then my clothes didn't fit. Because I'm pregnant, duh. But still, there's nothing worse than too tight clothes when you're already feeling "meh".
So--in addition to easing back into a few super slow, super short morning runs a week--I ordered some maternity clothes online.
Stitch Fix's shtick is that they pick out clothes for you. You set up an account on their website and fill out a "style profile" with your sizes, budget, likes, and dislikes. Then, their stylists pick out five items for you. You can ask for general categories of clothes--e.g. "I'd like a maxi dress this time" or "I need something cute to wear to work"--but other than that they do the choosing.
You can order a one-time box or sign up for a periodic subscription, and you are charged a $20 "styling fee" when each box ships. (If you decide to keep any of the items in your box, the $20 goes towards the price.)
Once you receive the box, you have three days to decide what you want to keep and what you want to send back. You log in to your account to pay for the keepers, and send the rest back in a pre-paid shipping bag.
Another fun thing? They send you little cards with outfit ideas along with the clothes. Seriously, I need someone to come do that for my entire closet. If you're fashion-challenged, they're incredibly handy. But, I digress....
This was my second box from Stitch Fix, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite treats. With my first box there were only two clear keepers, but this box was harder. (They say the stylists get better at predicting you each time.)
This time, I got two shirts, two maxi dresses, and the bracelet pictured above. One maxi dress was an easy "no", but if price had not been an issue I would have easily kept both shirts. I was also madly in love with that bracelet!
As it was, I decided to keep the shirt and dress pictured above, and I sent the rest back.
My bill for what I kept was just about $100 on-the-mark, and, while you can fiddle with the budget settings a little, that's pretty much my biggest bummer about Stitch Fix--it's expensive.
That being said, the clothes are excellent quality. I also wore the crap out of the sweater and shirt I kept from my first box, so when you start looking at price-per-wear it might just work out. Or that's what I'm going to keep telling myself!
Thred Up is essentially a really nice online thrift store. People send in their gently used clothes, and Thred Up examines them, freshens them, and lists them in their searchable shop. If you like bargains, but can't devote the time to dig through piles at your local shops, this is for you!
I put in "maternity" and "medium" and got about ten pages of results. I was primarily looking for tops, so I picked out the black one (bottom picture) and the flowery one (middle left). But then I couldn't pass up that lace skirt (middle right) or the grey dress (top). With a pair of maternity leggings for fall tossed in my cart, too, my total was $50 and change. Definitely a score!
And when the clothes got here, I was even more impressed. The items that were described as "like new" really were just that. The lace skirt was listed as having a tiny bit of unraveling at the hem, but I had to really search to find it. Further--and in my smell-averse state this is so important--there was absolutely none of the musty "thrift store smell" that you always have to wash clothes a few times to get rid of.
Also, because Thred Up takes used clothes as well, I actually cleaned out my own closet and sent them a bag of clothes back. They're a little selective in what they take--only like-new, only certain brands--but I was able to off-load several dresses and a few shirts that I'd worn a few times and changed my mind about.
They're still processing the clothes I sent, so I don't have the total yet, but I can get either cash or store credit at Thred Up and a few other specific stores. (Tea is one, and, funnily, so is Stitch Fix.)
The only real negative about Thred Up is that it was less fun picking out things for myself. Each one of the items I picked is stereotypically "me", and--as compared to Stitch Fix--I missed the happy surprise of falling in love with something I never would have even tried on in a store.
Also, I missed the outfit cards. The lace skirt sat in my bedroom draped over a chair for two weeks because I just couldn't figure out what to pair it with. I finally settled on my default black maternity tank top, but I think my Stitch Fix friend would have come up with something more interesting.
[One: Thanks to Sweet Husband and Nice Heather for helping take my pictures. I'm horrid when I don't have control of the camera. I also kinda suck at selfies. Mmmwah to both of you for your patience!
Two: The links above are referral links, so if you happen to order something from either site, I get a little store credit. If you're in need of clothing yourself, I'll send you some cosmic love if you use them. If not, it's all good!