Online personal shopping goes local

skirt

Over the past couple of years, a few online personal shopping sites have emerged. The model is basically that you fill out a style profile and a number of pieces are sent to you (usually on a monthly basis) to try out. There’s usually a small (≈$20) fee, which can be applied to the cost of any items that you keep. Items that don’t work out are sent back in the mail, and you’re charged for whatever you keep.

It’s a brilliant model for those who don’t have time to do their own shopping, or live in an area where there aren’t many brick and mortar shopping options. But until now, these sites have been a little bit mysterious, without much information given on what to expect from a price and brand perspective.

That’s why I think it’s brilliant that one of the top boutiques in the Philly area, Skirt, has launched their own version of online personal shopping, Style Box by Skirt. If you’re not from the area or not familiar with the store, Skirt has been featured heavily by the media, including as part of Lucky Magazine’s Philadelphia shopping guide. It’s an extremely well-curated boutique, with brands like Diane Von Furstenberg, Milly, Tibi, J Brand, Splendid and Alice and Olivia — the kind of place you drive by and want everything in the window (which I do, on my way to and from work every day).

Here are some of the perks of the localized version of this trend:

  1. You know where your box is coming from. You know what type of styles Skirt typically carries, and you can extrapolate what to expect in your box.
  2. The Skirt stylists are very accustomed to dealing with high-end (read: picky) Main Line clientele, so you can be sure that they’re being careful about what they send you.
  3. Free same-day delivery if you live within 20 miles of Bryn Mawr! Regular shipping is available otherwise.
  4. The questionnaire on your style preferences is more comprehensive than others I’ve seen. Most notably, it asks you where you might wear your new pieces, so you can have the box tailored to a work wardrobe, summer vacation, etc.
  5. There’s zero cost if you don’t keep anything. They put a $1 hold on your credit card and you pay for what you keep, but if you return everything you don’t lose out, even on return shipping.

While I might hold off on trying Style Box until after I pop this baby out, it’s definitely worth a try, especially if you’re in the Philly area. If you do give it a shot, let me know what you think!

{SALE ALERT} Shopbop Friends & Family starts NOW

I haven’t done a sale alert in a while, but when Shopbop offers 25 percent off site-wide, I feel obligated to share. As usual there are approximately 352,867 items that I want from Shopbop, but I’ve narrowed down to a few of my favorites for inspiration. Scroll through my picks, and then head over and go crazy with code INTHEFAMILY14 (good through the 17th). Happy Tax Day shopping!

Want. Need. Must have. (And some news.)

wnmh 4.14.14Sam Edelman // Vince // Korres // Ugg

I know I’ve been a bit MIA of late, but I promise I have a good excuse: I’m pregnant. I’m just finishing up the first trimester and am due in October. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid morning sickness in both of my pregnancies, but I am TIRED. Which means that after work and getting the little guy in bed, I’m barely capable of staying awake to watch television, let alone blog. It also means that clothes aren’t exactly my best friend at the moment, so bear with me and expect to see posts a little heavy on shoes, accessories and beauty products for a little while. Case in point…

  • I’m clearly partial to flat sandals for summer, but sometimes it’s nice to get a little elevation too. The chunky heel on these Sam Edelman sandals steps them up a notch, but they’re still very walkable for everyday wear.
  • The one kind of heel that I do wear regularly in the spring/summer is wedges, often of the espadrille variety. I’m a big fan of the simple cut of this pair, and both colors are great neutrals.
  • I’ve been a Korres fan for years, and I’ve got pots of their Lip Butter scattered around my house and office. But sometimes I’m not into dipping my finger into a pot, especially when I’m out and about. I finally got a chance to try the Lip Butter Glaze, which is the tube version of the product, and just as good. I think I’ll probably be phasing out my original butters and sticking with these from now on.
  • I ordered these Ugg “Indah” flats for myself after buying a pair for my sister-in-law for her birthday. I’m hoping they’ll work as a nice summery option that I can wear to work or running around on the weekends. I love the lace-up detailing in the back, plus the espadrille soles.

P.S. Yes, I will be posting about maternity fashion here and there, but the blog will remain largely focused on the same things as usual!

P.P.S. This is how we announced the pregnancy on Facebook (that’s his “cheese” face):

IMG_2648

 

J.Crew changed their flats…now what?

For years, J.Crew’s flats have been a go-to basic for many shoe lovers. They’re not inexpensive, but also not priced like designer brands, and they’re made with quality materials. The colors and fabrics have changed over the seasons, but the style has remained pretty constant. HOWEVER, as I just recently learned from a J.Crew-fanatic friend, they’ve done a total reboot this spring on both their ballet flats.

What was formerly the Classic Leather Ballet has now morphed into the Kiki ballet flats. Changes include higher vamps (aka no toe cleavage) and a little bit of a heel added. And the Cece flat is now the Emma flat, which has ruching at the sides, a higher vamp, and no more hidden wedge heel. Even though I’ve never been much of a J.Crew shoe person (my feet are too wide), I’m not a fan of these edits. I think the new Kiki style in particular is veering into old lady territory, and I personally hate not having a little toe cleavage. For a true J.Crew enthusiast like my friend, this is a devastating blow.

If you have a closet full of classic J.Crew flats that you may not be able to replace now, I’ve got a few potential alternatives for you (other than eBay hunting). I’m keeping all of my finds under $100 to stay in the same price range, and am only including brands I’ve personally tried or have gotten great recommendations on. Hopefully this will help to ease your shopping pain!

ballet flats

Vince Camuto // Sam Edelman // Banana Republic // Nine West // TKEES

Are you a big J.Crew flat fan? If so, will you be giving the new styles a chance (or have you already tried them?) or are you horrified with the changes?

Beyond black: What to wear to a spring wedding

spring dresses horizontal

As I’ve written about before, I tend to default to black for weddings and other formal events — which I think many people do. For one thing, it’s easy. For another, most dress departments are stocked about two-thirds with black options, making it hard to go with color even if that’s your preference. And while black is fine, we’re coming to the time of the year when it’s really nice to start introducing some color back into your life. So if you’ve got any upcoming spring weddings, here are three great options (plus accessories) that are far from black!

spring wedding

Jessica Simpson // Kendra Scott // Serpui Marie // Steve Madden

First of all, this dress is under $100. Even better, it’s a dress that will work for a lot more than just a wedding. Heels and a clutch make it great for a less-formal wedding, but sandals and a blazer make it great for dinner out, or even work.

*********

spring wedding 2

Lauren Ralph Lauren // Kendra Scott // Michael Kors Collection // Joie

While long dresses are often limited to the realm of black tie weddings, the right one can be perfect for a less formal affair. The floral print and airy cut of this one, paired with fun shoes, makes it a nice middle ground — dressy, but not too fancy.

*********

spring wedding 3

Donna Morgan // Kate Spade // La Regale  // Rebecca Minkoff

If blue isn’t your style, this dress comes in a bunch of colors. Plus, it’s a great option for those of us who prefer/require a regular bra. You could go in a few different directions in styling this one — shoes and/or bag in gold, silver or nude, or even a bright contrasting color.

*********

P.S. As always with weddings, pay attention to the time of day and dress code — some weddings warrant a floor length gowns, some are more sun dress-appropriate.

Time to stock up on flat sandals

If there is one thing I can never have enough of for spring and summer, it’s flat sandals. I wear them almost every day — to work, running around after the little guy, going out, you name it. And inevitably, by the end of the summer they’re in pretty sorry shape. This can be sad, or you can look at the bright side: an excuse to shop! I’ll be picking up at least two pair this year, but I have my eye on many more. Here are a few of my current contenders!

Flat sandals for summer

Antik Batik // Steve Madden // Ancient Greek Sandals // BCBG // Coc0nuts

My current favorites are the Antik Batik sandals with the fun turquoise beading, and the much more simple Ancient Greek sandals. I can definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of both.

If you’re on the hunt for flat sandals too, here are even more to whet your appetite:

Want. Need. Must have.

wnmh 3.7

Madewell // Marc Jacobs Beauty // Kate Spade // Stella & Dot

Can I just tell you how excited I am for daylight savings this weekend? Walking out of the office when it’s still bright out makes all the difference in the world. I’m looking forward to longer days and being able to take walks with the little guy in the evenings without relying on street lights.

In the spirit of spring cleaning (even though it’s not officially spring yet) I’m hoping to spend some time this weekend going through my closet and doing some more weeding. I feel like I’ve been doing this every other month, but I continue to find things that I don’t like/don’t fit me/I just don’t wear. Here’s to making space for new things!

  • Some of my most often-worn necklaces are fairly simple without any stones or major adornment. This Madewell chevron necklace has a modern edge to it, but would go with everything.
  • Like everyone and their mother, I own the Naked palette. And while there are some beautiful shades in there, there’s a LOT of shimmer. Because of that, I definitely don’t use the palette on a very regular basis. This Marc Jacobs version caught my eye — partially because I’m obsessed with the line after trying one of their nail polishes — because it has a similarly pretty neutral color range, but more matte shades mixed in. Plus, I like the sleek black case.
  • I’m constantly on the lookout for a great bag that I can use for work. My basic requirements are that it has some structure and enough room for my iPad, phone and other essentials. But at the same time, it has to be cute! The Kate Spade Cedar Street Elissa bag checks off all of the boxes.
  • And then sometimes I want a chunky necklace that definitely doesn’t go with everything, but makes a statement. Stella & Dot just came out with a spring capsule collection, and I’m really liking the Rory Necklace. It would look awesome with a tee shirt and jeans.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

I refuse to pay for shipping

freeshipping_border

Okay, that might be an exaggeration. But I was talking to one of my girlfriends last week (aka messaging each other back and forth with links of things we wanted to buy) and she mentioned that she loves the fact that Nordstrom offers free shipping. And I agree — there are few things that I despise more than paying for shipping, at least in the realm of shopping.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of websites I like to shop that have free shipping — and I’m talking free on every order, not just if you spend a certain amount or have their credit card. You probably know some of these, but maybe there are a couple you didn’t know about and will think about trying next time you get the online shopping buzz! And since this is giving me an excuse to browse these sites, I’ve pulled some items that I’m currently liking from each of them.

1. Nordstrom

2. Shopbop

3. Piperlime

4. Zappos

5. L.L.Bean

6. ASOS

{NOTE: If you’re reading this post via email, you won’t be able to see the widgets with my picks from each store. Click through to the post to see that feature!}

{OOTD} Relaxed peplum

IMG_2588_edit

Anthropologie peplum tee // MOTHER skinny jeans // Banana Republic Tamsin booties (almost sold out!) // Rebecca Minkoff MAB Mini (sold out in this color)

I posted this peplum top from Anthropologie in a Want. Need. Must have. post a couple of weeks ago and ordered it for myself immediately. It took what seemed like FOREVER to get here, but I’ve already worn it twice. In a week. Don’t judge.

Is it the most flattering top I own? Heck no. Trust me, the side view is fairly horrifying and illuminates that this piece was probably designed for someone not quite as busty as me. That said, I love the style and I think this outfit came together nicely. And I’m still loving my Banana booties, which are legitimately as comfy as wearing flats.

Want. Need. Must have.

Want.Need.MustHave. 2.25

Madewell // Ruche // Vince Camuto // Cynthia Vincent // Marc by Marc Jacobs

Today, I’m going to pretend it’s spring. We’re only going to talk about pretty things that will be perfect to wear in 70+ degree weather, and that’s that.

  • This striped Madewell dress is something that I would wear to work non-stop in the summer. It would also double nicely for events like baby/bridal showers if you dressed it up with wedge sandals and nice jewelry.
  • Doesn’t this Ruche dress look like it should be worn barefoot while taking a romantic walk on the beach at sunset? Yes, please.
  • Sleeveless. Floaty. Floral. Pink. I’d wear this top with white pants on the weekend or black cropped skinnies for work. Either way, it screams warm weather.
  • Of all the things I love about spring and summer in a fashion sense, having almost naked feet is one of my favorites. I think these would be good for running around after a toddler, and the mint green would be a nice change from my usual neutrals.

Are you in a spring state of mind, or is winter still dragging you down? Have you started spring shopping yet?