Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Life... In a Box

When you live in the suburbs and don't have a car, it is so much easier to order everything online than to actually go to a store.  We've all heard that the retail store is on the decline, and after some thought, I think I know why: Box Culture.

Now, I know that I am not the norm, but even to the non-believer, it is hard to ignore that a significant amount of things can be conveniently delivered to you.  Forget Amazon Prime, because they now have Amazon Prime Now. I actually read that if you sign up, certain items can be delivered to you in up to 2 hours!

Anyway, here's my Box picks: aka, why you don't really need to leave the house to shop:

1. BarkBox - monthly box of goodies for my dog- includes fun toys and treats. Each month is a new theme!   I mean May 2015 was a floral month with a toy bouquet of doggie flowers.   If you aren't sold by me, see the review from "A Domestic Life"  (and credit to her for the below photo)

2. Birchbox- aka, the original.  I finally succumbed to paying for free samples, but you know what? It is a great way to try cool products without committing to the full size.  Also, each month, the box is curated by a different fashion or beauty maven, which makes me feel good.  Plus, the cardboard boxes are so pretty.
And I mean, oh my god, "Unboxing" is a term! Used to describe the joy of unpacking your monthly box. Thanks to Martha Holloway's blog for teaching me that. And for the photo credit below.

3. Blue Apron- this has actually changed my life. I went from the girl who asked "how do you make a grilled cheese?" to cooking gourmet meals three nights a week.  This box is great for anyone who loves to follow step by step directions and to do tedious things like chopping.  All of the ingredients come packaged in the exact right amounts and are clearly labeled.  Each week, an ice-packed box is shipped to your door on the day you choose. Colorful picture-filled instruction cards come with each  meal.  Cooking can be time consuming, but the rewards are delicious! Plus, your first week is FREE.

4. Stitch Fix-  Okay this is a new one- ready for this?!  Its your own personal stylist.  You pick what types of clothes you like. You give all of the info including what prices you are willing to spend on what types of garments.  You basically challenge this wonderful person to scour the Stitch Fix inventory of carefully curated awesome looks to find what you need and what you will love to wear.  I was skeptical, but man, they do a great job.  I got a dress that is perfect for the summer wedding I will be attending.
If you keep none of the 5 items they send, you pay $20. Keep even one item, and that cost is included in the price.  Keep all 5 items and get a sweet discount!
It is easy to return anything you do not like.  You can even choose how often you want to receive your fix.
But why you ask? Why pay someone to dress you? Because it is damn hard and time consuming to try on things and return them, especially when ordering online.  Why not trust a system that has already done the hard work and filtered out the best items for your body type and budget?  I am a convert for sure.
All the credit goes to my super savvy friend Dori for convincing me to give it a try, and to my stylist, Jenna who gave me a personalized note along with outfit tips for how to style my new threads!

Indigo-ing gets tough...

As the comfort craze takes hold, we are more likely to see "denim" in the form of indigo knit sweatpant hybrids than traditional "jeans".  Over the past few years, Diesel has focused more of its designs into athleisure, promoting Jogg Jeans, a denim look with a sweatpant feel.  Today, everyone from high fashion to babies are wearing knit denim.

Have we become over-saturated with Indigo?  Jeans have become so common-place and have been sold at such discounts that high regard for denim quality seems to have fallen by the wayside.  However, while I try to adopt these new trends, there is something about denim that always pulls me back.

First of all, decent jeans do not fall apart after one wear.  They get better with age and time, showing the details of your movements as love-worn creases.  I always keep my phone in my front pocket, and notice that after a while, I get the "phone mark" etched into my indigo, making these jeans uniquely mine.

One brand that I can always turn to for innovative denim with respect to craftsmanship and history is Scotch and Soda.  I raided their NYC sample sale on the first day (yesterday), and made off with some great pieces that will stand the test of time.  To get your indi-groove on, head to 260 Sample Sale on 5th Ave btwn 28th and 29th St before all the best stuff sells out.

Here is my "borrowed from the boys" denim shirt.  Yes, I shop the men's section.  Its not even a secret that men's quality garments are often better than women's, and for that "oversized look", it is often more effective when buying off the dudes rack.  I love the destructed and repaired details. This shirt will be great for layering over a cute summer romper!