Stitch Fix Review #34: It’s Complicated. And that’s okay.

2016-03-26 13.45.35

Hey everyone.

I had decided to discontinue my Stitch Fix reviews, and to focus this blog more on the side of exploring my recovery from multiple issues including codependency, compulsive eating, bulimia, and general control-freakiness. I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks trying to figure out what the Right Thing To Do is, and whether the things I spend time and energy on are Good for Me or Bad for Me, and frankly without much success. My last post confessed to tracking my food and physical activity, which felt like giving into my addiction to structure and judging myself based on external criteria, and after I posted that I no longer felt compelled to do it. A few posts ago I questioned whether blogging about my Fixes was giving into my addiction to self-policing as well. I thought I had come to some conclusive choices, including not posting pictures of myself on line for public consumption.

But some other things happened. And it turned out they were very important. People began reaching out to me, both publicly and privately, in response to all of my writing here, not just the recovery stuff. It’s not a flood of people, to be sure, but the truth they are sharing back to me, and the support, encouragement, and camaraderie they are offering me make me want to explore this blog as a positive influence, on myself and others, and these reviews as well — until, you know, maybe one day they really clearly aren’t anymore. Not talking about my body issues isn’t going to make them go away. I would like to try to meld the schizophrenic nature of my writing here (fashion vs. recovery) into something more whole. Basically, I want to keep the conversations going. I want anyone who identifies with anything here to feel like they can reach out to me and know they’re not alone. I know it’s just clothes — believe me, I know that. But I also know that sometimes you need something small, insignificant, and safe to open doors to larger issues that are harder to talk about. I think that’s what I’d really like this place to be. Maybe it already is. I hope so. We’re complicated beings. I’d like to allow myself to be as complicated as I am, and not be afraid to screw up so much. I’d like to give and receive support without shaming myself for wanting validation for the things I’m going through. And I’d like others to feel like they don’t have to be ashamed of stuff either.

So, to sum up. I’m going to keep writing about whatever I am driven to write about. Today it’s my latest Fix and the questions it made me ask myself. And I’m not going to judge it. I hope if I say anything that triggers a response in a reader — friend, foe or complete stranger — they feel welcome to continue the conversation with me in some way.

My Fix arrived a few days later than expected, which is nice because it gave me the weekend to delve into it (I’ve had a very busy week with works, rehearsals, and performances of a very-staged staged reading). After the last box, I had gone into my Profile and upped a lot of the sizes. I didn’t want to go through another round of feeling huge in clothes that were too small for me…but I confess that right before my Fix went into the process of being styled, I changed them all back to the smaller size. I wasn’t ready. I wish those stupid letters on tags didn’t mean so much to me, but they meant enough for me to go in there and sabotage myself again. Because the fact is I am currently larger than I have ever been, and the disconnect between what I see and what I expect to see when I look in the mirror severely challenges my intellectual desire to be able to accept myself at any size. And since I have promised myself not to do anything that looks like restricting or dieting ever again, it may be that I’m going to have to learn to live with that.

Real quick: I apologize for the amazingly bad quality of the pictures. I know they normally aren’t particularly professional, but at least they don’t feature a giant iPad in my face. My regular photographer is, very sadly, out of town.

sheydonblouse

Sheydon Trim Detail Blouse by Papermoon ($44). I really like the pretty trim detail of this blouse, but the fabric is quite sheer and unforgiving. While I was able to get it on, it was far too tight in the bust and shoulders to be comfortable. I considered investigating an exchange for a Small, but I already have a lot of sleeveless blouses, including one navy one, so I decided to pass. I did, however, immediately put my sizes for tops back to S (from the XS I had fervently reverted to in my manic obsession with sizes). Ultimately, I would rather try something on and have it be too big than try on YET ANOTHER pretty shirt that doesn’t fit my chest. And I want to thank the friend of mine who said, “The idea that your boobs would fit into an XS is just patently ridiculous.” Verdict: Returned.

cadizsweater

Cadiz Striped Pullover Sweater by 41Hawthorn ($64). This shirt was cute and fit just fine, but the fabric felt cheap and scratchy to me. I can’t even pronounce the fibers on the tag. There were also a couple of snags in the back (you can see them in the picture on the right, near the tag) that didn’t bode well for quality. On a different day, I might have loved it. And even though this fit fine in the XS size, I thought if I had gotten this same shirt in one size up it would not have felt too big or anything. Verdict: Returned.

lextextureddress

Lex Textured Knit Dress by BRIXON IVY ($74). Stephanie said she was still keeping an eye out for more pastel jeans for me, but in the meantime wanted me to try this very springy fit and flare dress. I found it a little juvenile, it’s basically the same color as me, so there was no chance of it working out…even if I had been able to zip it up in the back. 🙂 But as you can see, that was never going to happen. I was ready to go and change my dress sizing on my profile from XS to S here as well, but I still had another dress in the box to check out, so I held off. Verdict: Returned.

That’s two of three things returned for being too small right out of the box. I wasn’t feeling too great about myself at this point. Why, though? Because I didn’t fit in to clothes with a certain letter on the label. That’s all. And I think that’s pretty silly. Especially when just getting clothes that fit and make me feel good about myself is as easy as clicking a couple of different boxes on my computer. Time to stop with the self-torture routine, no?

elishasatchel

Elisha Zipper Accent Structured Satchel by Urban Expressions ($64). Whew, here’s a piece with no sizes. You guys, everyone and their mother wants this bag in their Fix. I didn’t know what color I’d be getting but I knew I wouldn’t care when it got here. I’m going to quote Stephanie’s note and then I think that’s pretty much all there is to say: “This Urban Expressions bag I had to snag…yes, I may have yelled ‘It’s mine’.” Verdict: Kept!

carlitamaxi

Carlita Jersey Maxi Dress by Loveappella ($78). Isn’t this pretty? I love the top part especially, and when I put on my wedges it cleared the floor. I will wear the heck out of this on our annual resort vacation, and hopefully to a barbecue or two this summer as well. It’s an XS, which is the only reason I haven’t upped my dress yet. I’m sure I’ll get more dresses in the future and can gauge whether to size up, so I’m not going to worry about it yet. Verdict: Kept!

So, I know this post was rambly — and if you came here for the clothes, you’re probably like WTF, and if you came here for recovery posts you’re probably like what’s with the clothes? Sorry. This is me, in all my general mixed-up-edness, and this is where I’m at right now. Take what you want, and leave the rest.

A couple more things about Stephanie’s note, though, because it was, as always, exceptionally awesome. She expressed great sympathy that my husband was in Miami for two months on a gig and said, “I wish this box could fit hugs, wine and girl chat to speed the time.” A-dorable. And then, more importantly, at the end, she said, “Been loving your posts and inspiring honesty.” I can’t say that didn’t factor into my decision to blog this Fix after all. So thank you, my dear and wonderful stylist — I hope this one wasn’t too much for you!!

2016-03-25 15.08.33Afterword. If you are not familiar with Stitch Fix, here’s the deal: Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. You can subscribe for regular Fixes or just schedule them as you like. You fill out an extensive online profile of your tastes, sizes, and budget preferences and for a $20 fee, one of their stylist puts together a box of 5 clothing and accessory items to ship right to your door! You have 3 days to try things on, solicit opinions, balance your budget, whatever — you send back anything that doesn’t work for you in a prepaid envelope, and keep whatever you love! Your $20 styling fee is applied to anything you decide to keep, and if you buy the whole box of items you get 25% off the entire box! Prices vary but they say the average cost per item is $55 – 65. If you haven’t ever tried it and are interested, please consider using my referral link. If you use my link to schedule a Fix, I get a $25 credit towards my next purchase! (Note that I do not receive any compensation for reviewing this service; I just enjoy doing it).

Edited to add: Upon checkout, I was invited to review my Profile, and while I did, I just went ahead an upped my dress and skirt sizing from an XS to S as well as the tops. The worst that can happen is stuff is too big, right? And I think I can survive that. 🙂

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