My January 2017 Stitch Fix: A lot of Weird

18 Jan

I had my last Stitch Fix back in September and it was so underwhelming that I figured I’d give my account a nice, long break. Once I fell in love with Trunk Club (you can see my Trunk Reveal’s here) I sort of fell out of love with Stitch Fix, so it seemed like it was a good time to walk away.

Then, around the holidays somebody used my referral code and I received an email that I had $25 in my account. A Fix costs $20, so I figured I’d give them another try since it was free.

I did some quick searching and found a couple items that I was really interested in trying out:

Sources: Stitch Fix Pinterest page

 

I submitted an order for a Fix and requested both items. I also asked that for the rest of the Fix, I’d like super soft and cozy tops that could work casually on weekends or possibly dressed up for work.

Want to see what I got?

Item #1: Brixon Ivy Fierro Elbow Patch Crew Neck Sweater, $58

My stylist obviously sent this over because both items I requested had elbow patches. However, the elbow patches on this sweater are white lace. It’s like I wore my husband’s sweater and somehow got someone’s wedding veil stuck to my elbows. Perhaps it happened during an extra enthusiastic chicken dance? The sweater itself is really lightweight and fits fine. Unfortunately, I’m just not a fan of the lace elbow patches.

Item #3: Market & Spruce Evella Boatneck Top, $64

What is this? Would it be considered a reverse-dickie? I hate the whole ‘fake shirt’ under a shirt look and this one is just so terrible. It makes no sense that the fake shirt doesn’t have a collar, but it does have sleeves and a tail? Also, anyone who has a larger chest knows that a boat neck + fitted stripes are NOT your friend. I’m going to give this one a big NOPE.

Item #4: Le Lis Subaro Sleeve Detail Knit Top, $48

I like clothing that looks a little different, but this top just seems to be weird for the sake of being wierd. The cranberry color is pretty. The striped sleeve bits are kind of cool. But, then they added on zippers? I don’t understand why a designer would take a super soft and comfy sweater and add on hard and scratchy zippers to each sleeve. Is there some sort of wrist sweating problem that I don’t know about? Frankly, it’s uncomfortable. And it looks kind of stupid too.

Item #4: Liverpool Anita Skinny Pants, $78

Pictured in the outfits for items 1, 2 and 3. I’m not really sure why they sent me a pair of black pants, when I requested all tops in this Fix. These are super stretchy and lean more toward leggings than skinny pants. They have a working zipper and button, but the pockets are fake. They aren’t really dressy enough for me to wear to work and are not my style at all for weekend wear.

Item #5: Teeberry & Weave Burton Striped Open Cardigan, $64

I guess this is the closest my stylist could get to the sweater I really wanted. I really like the color combo going on in this sweater — it’s a pretty grayish blue with lighter blue stripes. Also, it’s a nice, thickly knit cotton… but it doesn’t make me overly warm. The only thing I would change is that it doesn’t have any pockets and I like someplace to store my cellphone. I’ve never heard of this brand and when I googled it only a couple Stitch Fix links come up, so perhaps it’s a Stitch Fix owned brand? Since this is the only item I liked from the Fix, I decided to try it remixed with my wardrobe…

Remix from my Closet

I tried this sweater three ways – first with a graphic tee and booties, second with a plain tee, necklace and knee-high boots, and last with a comfy scarf. I can see me wearing this a lot on the weekends when I leave the house for a casual dinner or shopping trip. I think that I could have certainly found something similar elsewhere for less (this one is $64) but it makes sense to buy it since I already had a $25 credit in my account and I would have lost my styling fee.

My Final Thoughts
I’m very disappointed that neither of the items I requested was included in my Fix. I understand that availability fluctuates, but pretty much the only reason I committed to getting another Fix was because I actually found a couple things I knew I would like. I ended up purchasing the striped sweater, but don’t think I’ll be getting another Fix for quite a while. As for the sweater, I wore it 3 times in the last 4 days… so it looks like that was a good choice for me!

Do you think I made the right choice in buying the striped open cardigan?

 

Psssst…If you like checking out what other people receive in their Fixes, you might like my Stitch Fix Reviews page where I have every single Fix review I’ve ever done listed!

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by Stitch Fix, I pay for the $20 styling fee and any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. If you choose to use my referral link when signing up for Stitch Fix, I will receive a small referral reward. This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Sale Alert: Upgrading my Jammies with Soma Intimates

17 Jan

For years, Travis has complained about my pajama situation. I mean, my jammies aren’t terrible… just nothing much to be excited about it. Typically I’m all about the comfy Old Navy pajama pants in some sort of crazy print and a random old t-shirt.

Over the summer my sister told me about her love for Soma Intimates and said that the shorts and top she bought were so comfortable that she wears them to bed almost every night. So, for Christmas I told Travis to go to Soma and buy me some pajamas that he didn’t hate.

He didn’t.

He actually forgot and instead went to Victoria Secret and spent $60 on a pajama set that I know for a fact would be too short on me. I’m not super tall, but at 5’ 7” I have an issue with most pajama pants. So, I took them back and made my own trip to check out the local Soma store.

As it happens, a ton of stuff is currently on sale and everything was an extra 30% off of that price. So, I went a little crazy and restocked my entire pajama drawer. After spending the entire three-day weekend in a few of my purchases I can say that they truly are some of the softest and most comfortable pajamas I’ve ever owned. And, as a super bonus, Travis LOVES them and kept telling me how pretty I looked. So, I’ll call that a total win-win!

This isn’t everything I purchased, but here are some of my absolute favorites:

Favorite Tops:

1. Limited Edition Majesty Lace Pajama Tank
Original price: $52.00
I paid: $22.67

2. Regal Lace Short Sleeve Pajama Top in Majesty Blue
Original price: $52.00
I paid: $18.89

Favorite Bottoms:

3. Embraceable Pajama Shorts Mystical Sky Navy
Original price: $39.00
I paid: $17.00

4. Limited Edition Majesty Lace Pajama Pants
Original price: $55.00
I paid: $23.93

5. Limited Edition Enchanting Lace Pajama Pants
Original price: $55.00
I paid: $20.78

When I was throwing this post together, I saw that they have some additional sales online right now, so if you are also in need of restocking your pajama drawer you might want to check them out! If it will be your first purchase, shoot me a message at PocketfulofJoules@gmail.com with your email address and I can use my new account to send you a special $15.00 off referral code!

I also saw that they are currently running a special in January where you can donate a gently worn bra to support women at local shelters (affiliated with the National Network to End Domestic Violence) and receive $20 off two full priced bras as a thank you. A couple friends commented on my Instagram post about how great their bras are, so I might have to make a return visit sooner rather than later!

What is your typical pajama game? Do you wear the crazy patterned pants and old t-shirts like I did or something a little more sassy?

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Soma, I just happened to love the items I purchased so much that I wanted to share them with you while they are still having some awesome sales. This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you. If you do decide have me send you a referral code for $15 off, I will also get a very small referral award for any friend who ends up making a purchase.

 

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Guest Post: Talking about Postpartum Depression

12 Jan

Today I’m doing something a little different. I never have guest posts on my blog, because as a lifestyle blogger it would be kind of weird for someone other than me to write about my life. However, one of my favorite people in the word recently wrote something and I think it’s really important for me to attach a megaphone to her voice to share it with you all. She has decided to remain anonymous, but I think that many of us can see ourselves in her words. One of my favorite things about blogging is how supportive you all are, so please… if this touches something in you, leave my friend a comment. Thank you! – Joules

 

“You Must Be So Excited!”
A story about postpartum depression.

I wrestled with the idea of posting this publicly. We live in a society where mental and emotional disorders are dismissed and smiles are painted on faces to avoid admitting to someone else, or maybe even to ourselves, that we aren’t always happy. For me, this was especially the case after giving birth to my daughter.

My husband and I tried to conceive for quite some time. I’d never wanted anything more in life than to be a mother. I was scared to even take a pregnancy test, as if I were safe so long as I held my breath with hope. The test would be the exhale and it was so terrifying that I put it off for nearly eight weeks. I remember how elated we were to see the lines on those sticks and my pregnancy was fantastic – I didn’t have any serious complications and had never felt better. Labor was a different story: Baby Girl put me through four days of intense labor and decided to enter the world through a slice in my abdomen. I wanted a vaginal delivery, and although I went into the experience telling myself I’d be fine so long as my baby was healthy, I cried when I was told a cesarean was medically necessary. It wasn’t what I wanted. My baby is thriving, but over 7 weeks later, I’m still sore and in pain, I still can’t get up from some positions without help, some parts of my body are still numb, and I’m still bleeding. I’ll have most of these issues for several more months, and some forever, but my paid leave is over and I will return to work in one week. Welcome to motherhood in America.

When the doctor pulled my daughter out of me, I cried. My husband cried. It was the most powerful moment of my life and I was completely overcome with emotion.

The day of delivery was a whirlwind to say the least and there is really no actual sleeping while in the hospital. M was born at 12:30am. By the time we got to our room and were left alone for even a minute, it was after 5am. Our nurses and doctors were great, but it was exhausting to be constantly interrupted for tests and checks for both M and myself, and to take care of a baby, especially after not having slept for the four days prior. Also, fun fact: New parents have absolutely NO CLUE what they’re doing. Read all the books you want, go to all the classes you want – You have absolutely no clue what you’re in for until you have your own baby and are thrown into the fire, and that’s just the hard truth that nobody tells you. And therein lays the problem: The stuff nobody tells you. There’s a lot I could tell you that nobody will about the baby, but I want to talk about the baby’s mother. I was not ready for what I would go through personally. I expected to be on Cloud 9 and that was absolutely not the case. I think it’s crucial that we talk about that possibility often and openly with pregnant women and with moms.

I didn’t want to leave the hospital; I felt safe there. When we did get home four days after M was born, I did not sleep. I did not eat. I did not shower. My husband stayed home an extra week from work, and my mom came to be with me when he wasn’t home. This went on for at least a month. We contemplated draining our savings accounts to hire a nanny because I just could not function and my husband worried for the safety of our daughter if I were to care for her alone.

I obsessively Google searched everything imaginable related to a newborn, frantically seeking a magic answer to the pain of the ultimate unknown that is a baby. I struggled with anxiety and depression years before M was born, but they shoved their way unwelcome into this time in my life and made themselves at home in my mind, in my skin, in my gut, in my hands. I did not want to hold my baby, I did not want to care for my baby, I did not want to wake up with my baby, I did not want anything to do with my baby. The dark truth I didn’t want to admit was that I wanted to get rid of her. I wanted to throw my beautiful, innocent baby girl at the Wal-Mart greeter and run. I contemplated putting her up for adoption. Instead of feeling adoration for my daughter, I felt resentment. She was the heaviest seven-pound weight I’d ever picked up and could never put down. The sheer responsibility was suffocating. I felt stuck, trapped, and like my life was over. I was being held prisoner by a warden that couldn’t even burp on her own. I truly felt that I’d have to get rid of her or die in order to feel better. It was the darkest time of my life and I was so, so ashamed. My now deflated body felt too heavy for me to move. I desperately wanted my old life back and fell face-first into a depression deeper than I’d ever felt before. I cried almost all of the time and I was drowning.

My sister took me to see my obstetrician five days after M was born and she gave me a prescription for an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. I’d been on those types of medications before and was so embarrassed and upset that I needed them during a time that should be the happiest of my life. That’s the trouble with “should.”

I reached out to other moms – some I hadn’t talked to in over a decade (thanks, social media), to ask if I was crazy (I wasn’t). Most of these women had experienced some type of postpartum depression (PPD) themselves. The truth is, MILLIONS OF WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD STRUGGLE WITH POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY. But being told that other women struggled with PPD didn’t comfort me. Normalizing it didn’t help me feel attached to my daughter. It didn’t make me the mom I wanted to be or a human being I was proud to face in the mirror. It didn’t make me a good partner for my husband. All it did was make me angry. It made me angry to learn that women don’t discuss this, that we don’t know to expect this, and that no mental health professional kicks everyone else out of the room to really talk to the mom one-on-one about how she’s feeling before she leaves the hospital. It made me angry that, although every part of the mother’s physical and emotional being has gone to war, the first time a woman is asked how SHE is doing is at her six-week postpartum checkup. That all too often, PPD is written off as the “Baby Blues,” blamed on the postpartum “hormone dump,” and, as a result, women are not getting the help they need during what is likely the most difficult time in their life. I want people to stop telling postpartum women that they must feel so excited or happy to be a mother and instead ask open-ended questions about she’s actually doing.

Becoming a parent is utterly life-altering in every way you can think of and millions of ways you could never imagine. Babies cry when they’re tired, when they’re hungry, when they’re too hot or too cold, when they want to be held or put down, and sometimes for no reason at all. Sometimes you can calm them but sometimes you won’t be able to and you’ll end up crying right along with them at 3am because they don’t sleep when you want them to. Babies need you to do every single thing for them because they are truly helpless. You’re exhausted, you’re emotional, and your hormones are going haywire. It takes forever to get anything done and your house may never be clean again. After months of people falling all over you during pregnancy, nobody cares about you anymore. It’s about the baby. Everything is about the baby. You are not yours anymore, you are for the baby. And it’s hard. Because you’re still a human being, you’re still a woman, and you still need to be cared for, too. You’re fragile, you’re trying to find your way in a completely new world, and you’re doing all of this in a body you likely don’t recognize anymore. But that’s forgotten.

I choked down the pills. I dragged myself to counseling and was formally diagnosed with PPD. When I was medically cleared to drive, I forced myself to leave the house with M. One day I drove to the end of the street and turned around because I couldn’t handle leaving my neighborhood. Eventually, I sobbed on the way to and from support groups and walks with other moms. I walked my dog. I started sleeping some, and, after a few weeks, I woke up once or twice not wanting to die. Some days I feel happy and want to be actively involved in M’s life, and some days I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and faking it until I make it, but I get up every day and do my best and the good days are finally starting to outweigh the bad.

M began part-time daycare this week and my heart is broken. I was late to board the Mommy Bus but I’ve become so incredibly attached to my baby and it is the most painfully beautiful love I’ve ever known. I can’t get enough.

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Boden Website vs Reality: Winter Dresses

10 Jan

Before I get into today’s post, I just want to give you all a heartfelt Thank You for your response on yesterday’s Why I Decided to Stop Trying to Grow my Blog post. Sometimes it can be scary to ‘pull back the curtain’ on blogging culture and your comments have totally reignited the fire I have for throwing my voice out there into the seas of the Internets. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now, let’s talk about winter dresses!

I love Boden, but sometimes it is really difficult to imagine how a piece of their clothing will look on someone who is shaped quite different than their website models. I did my first ‘website vs reality’ post with Boden dresses over the summer (you can find it here) and I think it’s time to do one for a couple winter dresses I recently ordered.

Item #1: Annabel dress (find it here)
Current price: $118
Wearing: Size 10 (I’m typically a size 12 elsewhere, but a 10 in Boden)

Here is the dress on the website model:

Source: Boden.com

 

Here is the dress on me:

A pretty black and gray pattern, ¾ length sleeves and a fit-and-flare shape pulled me right in. Add to that the fact that it is knee-length and I thought I’d found a winner. If you look straight on it does look really cute. But, then I checked out the side view…

I swear if you ask me when I’m due you will be dead to me. There is no baby in my tummy. But holy hell does this dress ask someone to rub my belly and give me all their thoughts on breastfeeding vs bottle feeding. Nope, not gonna happen. Oh, and it’s a sweater dress so it’s kind of hot as hell. If you like a warmer dress and have a little less belly going on, you just might love this one. I thought that the dotted pattern was super flattering and the stretchy fabric is incredibly comfortable too. Unfortunately it doesn’t work for my body shape, so it’s going into the NOPE pile.

Item #2: Curve & Flare Dress (find it here)
Current price: $74 – $103 (depending on color/size)
Wearing: Size 10 (I’m typically a size 12 elsewhere, but a 10 in Boden)

Here is the dress on the website model:

Source: Boden.com

 

Here is the dress on me:

First off, the model is a big liar because this dress has no pockets. Second, I’m wearing spanx under this because when I put it on you can totally see my belly button like some kind of donut has snuck up under the front of my dress and smushed into place. Which I’m sure has nothing to do with the amount of donuts I ate last month. Nothing at all. With that being said, I actually do like this dress but feel like it’s a bit too va-va-voom on my chest.

I tried it styled two more ways, just to make sure:

I really love this dress paired with the blazer and it would be a great winter outfit for a typical workday. I tried it with an animal-print belt and boots too, but totally wasn’t feeling the look. I really like the fabric of the dress, as it is a bit stretchy with a super subtle texture to it. If you are a little less ‘blessed in the chest’ this one really does make a professional looking work outfit. However, as much as I like the dress with the blazer, I really prefer something more versatile for my closet. It hurts a little bit, but I think that this one is going to go back too. My closet simply doesn’t have room for something I don’t 100% love.

Final Thoughts
As much as I love Boden, neither of these dresses turned out to be winners for me. No biggie though, I can just pop them back in the mail to take advantage of their free return policy. Since I know that their jersey dresses usually work well for me, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for when they start offering new prints for spring!

Do you like seeing comparison pictures of the clothes on the website model vs the clothes on me? Do you think I made the right choice in sending them both back?

 

Disclaimer: This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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