Shedding that mighty comfort zone with Stitch Fix


I have a hard time getting dressed these days.

I know I wear too much black and my clothes are rather ill-fitting and I lack a distinct sense of “THIS IS ME!” in my apparel choices. But the truth is, pre-weight loss, I was mostly trying to hide beneath my tops and jeans. I certainly wasn’t showing off in them.

I just didn’t feel good. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

Today is actually my one-year anniversary of joining Weight Watchers! And what a year it’s been. Losing 35 pounds has given me a new perspective — and though I’m still not completely comfortable strutting my stuff, I’m getting there. I mean, I’m a book nerd; I’m not someone accustomed to others’ evaluation. It feels weird.

So this post? A little out there for me. Definitely out of my comfort zone. But I figure I’m getting gutsy and ready to start investing in myself, and Stitch Fix* was calling my name.

What’s Stitch Fix?

A personal styling service that brings fashion to your doorstep. After filling out a rather extensive style profile (with all your appropriate sizing, measurements, likes/dislikes, etc.), shoppers pay $20 to have a collection of five items — dresses, skirts, tops, jeans and/or jewelry — sent directly to you.

You set the budget and share information about yourself, including a Pinterest style board (if you have one). You try everything on at home, choose what to keep and mail the rest back in a pre-paid envelope. If you keep an item, your $20 fee is applied toward your purchase. If you keep all the items, you receive a 25 percent discount on your total. Anything that ain’t workin’ for you is returned at no cost. More details are available here!

Stitch Fix box

Why I’m goin’ for it

To celebrate losing four dress sizes, I decided to treat myself to a Fix and use it as an opportunity to get outside my little bubble. I scheduled my first shipment weeks ago and waited anxiously for the package to arrive, checking the tracking like a lunatic. What can I say? I’m super impatient.

In my style profile, I mentioned my changing size and desire to try wearing new things. I hate that I’m constantly in dark, drab clothing — and as I work to scale down my closet and donate items I no longer need, I’m ready to start investing in clothing I will actually wear and enjoy for years to come. Now that I’ve reached my goal weight and am determined to maintain it, the timing feels right to upgrade my clothes.

The only problem?


Like so many of us, I’ve been trained to love a “good deal” — but that $8 sweater bought on clearance looks a whole lot less inviting after a wash or two. I never paid attention to the labels or fabrics, ignoring the hems and seams coming apart rather quickly. If the item was on clearance, I bought it. Never mind that it looked flimsy and threadbare in no time.

And then who wasted their cash?

I’ll be honest — paying $50-70 for pants or a top is not typically in my comfort zone. Though Stitch Fix allows you to choose a price level for items, there are no $10 shirts. And that’s okay. I’m not rich, friends, trust me, but I’m realizing that investing in higher-quality items I truly like — versus just a bunch of cheap-o clothes I’ll tire of quickly — is going to serve me better in the long run.

If I add up all the impulse purchases I make at department stores or Target, I easily surpass the budget I would set for Stitch Fix each month. As 2014 is the year of being more accountable and conscious for my actions and my spending, I’m foregoing buying other items in favor of trying Stitch Fix. I want to get serious and sophisticated.

Mind = open.

Also, I chopped off my hair two weeks ago. It’s probably the shortest it’s ever been since I was, like, 10, so prepare to be shocked. And amazed. And maybe freaked out. It’s different, I know — and different can be scary! But I really liked it. My tresses seem slightly less insane when they’re not frizzy and long. Frizzy and short is actually much better — who knew?!

My first Fix

Skinny jean

1. Just Black Dean Ankle Zip Skinny Jean | $78

Though I liked the fit of these, I wasn’t sure about the ankle zip detail — and I have a similar pair already. If I was in need of black skinny pants, I probably would have given them more of a fair shake! And honestly, since I wear black to work every day (and think these would have been too casual for the office), I try not to wear black in my “off-hours,” too. But they looked great with my favorite red flats and the tops included in my Fix. Including . . .

Striped top

2. 41Hawthorn Brentwood Jersey Stripe Tiered Top | $68

Cute top, but too similar to items I already own. In fact, I shed the black-and-white striped top I wore to work yesterday in order to put this one on! For $68, I would have wanted something more outside my comfort zone. But the material was very soft and I really liked the tiered styling; the triangles at the bottom were flattering, I thought.

V-neck top

3. Collective Concepts Valencia V-Neck 3/4 Sleeve Blouse | $68

Oh, I was torn about this one — but in the end, I think the sheer quality of the fabric ultimately convinced me to wait. I hate having to constantly wear a camisole under everything. I loved the bright color, though, and thought it was really cute with heels and the black skinny jeans! I’ll have to look for something similar myself.

Purple skirt

4. 41Hawthorn Milo Pleated Detail Skirt | $38

Cute — but too snug around the midsection. Half a cookie would have sent me into paralyzing discomfort!

And finally . . .


5. Ezra Kim Racer Back Fit & Flare Dress | $64

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I knew I’d be keeping this one as soon as I slid it over my head. The material has a slight stretch that is sleek and polished, and my husband had to pick his jaw up off the ground when I walked out. It’s very comfortable, sophisticated and lovely.

I added my own belt at the waist, plus one of my favorite zebra-striped necklaces, and I could easily see how it would mesh with my current wardrobe while still updating my look. It’s hard to tell from that first photo, but it’s actually a very bright blue similar to the bridesmaid’s dress I wore in my sister’s wedding. Oh, like this:

Blue dress

The verdict

Only the blue dress, No. 5, has a permanent place in my closet now, but I absolutely loved the experience of Stitch Fix! The personalized note and style cards that accompany the pieces were so fun to read, and I felt inspired just looking through everything.

Stitch Fix was so fun, and I adored trying on clothes chosen by a stylist for me. A fellow Megan definitely nailed my interests and sizing, and I liked that the tops were in the realm of something I would normally choose while still being just a little bit different.

I already have my next Fix scheduled for February . . . and I sense an obsession a’brewing.

* Referral link. I am not being paid to write about Stitch Fix and purchased my first Fix myself, but signing up through my links will grant me a referral credit toward my next box. Thanks, friends!

Brightening up

Black is my go-to. Wearing “dress-up” clothes to work eight hours a day, five days a week, my biggest priorities are looking professional while feeling comfortable. In those early post-college days, I had a handful of dress tops, one pair of (black) slacks and two pairs of heels. When I earned my first paycheck, I started flipping that dough into other pieces . . . and other pieces . . . and still more pieces. Building a wardrobe.

Needless to say, I have a little more clothing now. And, um, a few more pairs of shoes.

But one thing has remained constant: all that black. On any given day, I’m wearing at least one — if not two — black articles of clothing. Black boots, black heels, black flats. Black pants or a black cami under a black sweater. Black earrings with a black belt. Black.

I’m not sure where my late-blooming obsession with dark hues came from, but it’s sort of my signature now. Black and red are incorporated into almost every outfit, and I’m mostly okay with it. Lately I’ve been waking up early only to stand in front of my closet with the familiar, baffled look of a woman who squeaks about having “nothing to wear,” though. I’m just so sick of everything I own.

I went shopping on my lunch break Wednesday, tearing through a local department store until my arms ached under the weight of dresses, shirts and capri-length pants. In 30 minutes, I’d racked up a hefty bill (but had a 30 percent off coupon so, you know. Less guilt). Where once I’d have wandered around the mall with friends and my sister for hours, I rarely get out anymore — so it’s easier to justify my shopping sprees by remembering I don’t piece-meal purchase things throughout the week.

My goal for the outing was clear: buy cute, casual clothes I can wear on upcoming trips to New York City and California, and no black. When I do shop, it’s usually for work-appropriate garb . . . which makes sense, of course. I spend most of my time in work-appropriate garb. But that means I wind up reaching for the same two shirts on Saturdays and Sundays. And even those have black.

Like a frizzy-haired tornado, I wound up with three short-sleeved cardigans (gray, white, fuschia); a knee-length floral dress to wear to “The Newsies” in New York next weekend (ye-ah!); two brightly-colored tops; khaki and blue cotton crop pants; and a pair of fuschia-jeweled earrings. Basically? Everything I would never wear in my “normal” life.

So, for the first time in a year or so (or more?), I recently went to work in a floral, pastel-colored top, brown capris, brown heels and a bright pink pin — as evidenced above. Not a stitch of black to be found.

And I have to say: it felt good. My initial awkwardness over the no-black rule faded by lunchtime, especially as coworkers complimented my ensemble. As we’re thick in the middle of the warm weather months, I’m going to make it a personal goal to have a no-black-clothes day weekly. And if I’m feeling crazy brave? Maybe twice a week.

I’m sure the Angel of Darkness will be glad I’m out of his closet.


Is your wardrobe dominated by any particular color? Are you as into black as I am? What’s your favorite color to wear?

It’s a flat, flat world

So I’m a petite (read: short), curvy young woman who has spent her life in heels, boots and other contraptions designed to make me appear longer, leaner and less height-impaired than I actually am. In my 24 years pacing around this planet, I’ve spent a solid decade standing at a whopping 5’2″ tall. Barefoot. (My driver’s license may put me at 5’4″, but that was wishful thinking.)

Of course, you’d typically never know that about me. In the winter, my dogs are stuffed into black boots that give me an extra three inches or so of height, and in the summer? Wedges, friends — it’s all about the wedges. I teeter, I totter, and I generally meander around in shoes designed to make me look less like a pint-sized playground companion and more like a powerful, assertive woman. And as someone who once dated a man who stands at a meager 6’7″, I realized long ago that I can use any and all help in the height department.

So why I now wearing flats everywhere I go?

Out shopping with my best friend Nichole recently, we wound up at our friendly neighborhood DSW. And because I’m a fancy girl who likes fancy things but doesn’t want to pay top-dollar for them, y’all know I had a coupon. At Nichole’s urging, I picked up a pair of black Blowfish flats at a ridiculously good price. I was skeptical, yes, because your girl Meg doesn’t like feeling like a tiny blade of grass in a giant-sized world. But they weren’t expensive, they’re super cute and I thought — why not?

And you know what? They’re amazing. Comfortable, age-appropriate, fashionable . . .

I wear them with jeans. I wear them with skirts. I wear them with dresses in the office, then out on dates on the weekends. Basically? I’m living in these shoes, which are a huge improvement from my usual footwear of scuffed-up flip-flops, worn-out sneakers or too-high heels inappropriate for, say, a jaunt to Target.

I’m officially converted. And if that makes me look less Tall, Lanky Supermodel and more Tiny, Funny Fellow Land Dweller, I guess I’m just fine with that.

Am I the last one to realize it’s amazing not to have your feet constantly hurting? Has the Flats Revolution been happening right under my nose for years as I stumbled by in boots, completely oblivious?

Why didn’t you guys tell me?

Never again, friends. Never . . . again.

Packing for London: The cross body experience

london_bridge2So I’m deep in the throes of planning my trip to London next month — and by that, I mean I’ve been Googling tons of places, printing out info sheets and Facebooking my friend Stacy regarding trip plans! I’m visiting her for a long weekend over Memorial Day, and she will be kind enough to escort me around the city and generally be an awesome friend! I’m so excited and nervous, I feel like I’ve swallowed a huge bag of Pop Rocks every time I think it!

And I’m thinking a lot. Obviously I need to iron down what it is I hope to see while I’m there — it’s going to be a whirlwind! I have three full days and then a half day in the city, and I want to hit all the highlights — basically everything I missed when I went the first time. Hyde Park is on the list, as is King’s Cross Station of Harry Potter fame. I want to hang out in Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, and I’d love to make it back to Buckingham Palace! Mostly I want to wander around, take as many photos as possible, talk to Stacy and just be in London.

And being in London is going to require a certain . . . wardrobe. Now, by absolutely no stretch would I consider myself a “fashionista” — I do all right and don’t usually get made fun of for my clothing choices in public, but I’m definitely not as “fashion-forward” as some folks. Definitely not as fashion-forward as Stacy. So one of the biggest dilemmas I’m facing at the moment is all about . . . my wardrobe.

I know. I’m dreading this. I’m really, truly afraid of my clothes sometimes. What I have is fine for my good ol’ American stops at Target or Kohl’s, going out to dinner or spending a day in the office. But hanging out in London, one of the world’s most fashionable cities? Uh, no.

My next dilemma? My anxiety over traveling abroad — and getting my purse stolen. Seriously, the last time I was in Europe, I carried around a really itsy-bitsy woven bag that stayed permanently glued underneath my arm. My passport, money and credit cards were in a leather organizer that hung from my neck — and was tucked into my shirt. We heard so many warnings about pick-pockets in Italy, we were terrified to have anything . . . exposed. And, sure enough, we managed to get back home without anyone stealing from us! WIN!

But this time? Stacy will be with me. And I’m not so sure Stylish Stacy will approve of my bulky leather neck organizer thing . . . and I’m not so convinced I won’t look like an idiot wearing it! But I don’t want to just throw on a random, casual shoulder bag. I’m not confident enough to carry all important documentation and the money to my name in something that a random person on the street could snatch right off my shoulder. Hi, Mom and Dad? Yeah, I’m at the U.S. Embassy. I have no ID, no money and no idea how I’m getting home. Could you, like, save me or something?

Today I found my solution: the cross body bag. You stick all that important stuff in there, slip it over your shoulder and run down to Kensington Palace. Perfect! So I started Googling around, perusing the endless online retailers who tout “cross body purses” on their sites. Of course, there are a million to choose from . . . and you can pay pretty much any price you want.

My only problem?

They’re ugly. Like, ugly. Completely unattractive, I-would-never-wear-this-in-the-States ugly. And my problem of not looking like a total goob in England resurfaces! I don’t want to embarrass my friend with my poor fashion choices . . . but I still need to stay organized and have all my stuff secure!

After my extensive and rigorous research, I’m left with a few options . . . and I’m still not completely sold on these, though they’re the best of the worst, in my opinion. Oy.

ELLE cross-body handbag in black,, $24

ELLE cross-body handbag in black,, $24

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer Bag in hot pink,, $52.80

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer Bag in hot pink,, $52.80

Kathy Van Zeeland Travelware KVZ Cross Body Organizer in peacock,, $39.99

Kathy Van Zeeland Travelware KVZ Cross Body Organizer in peacock,, $39.99

Sharif Adjustable Strap Organizer with Printed Trim,, $54.90

Sharif Adjustable Strap Organizer with Printed Trim,, $54.90

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer in bone,, $54.48

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer in bone,, $54.48

I’m leaning toward the pink Tignanello . . . mostly because, well, it’s pink (that’s reason enough for me to buy most things) and it has roomy pockets and a place for credit cards and cash (on the inside, closest to my body). One of those front pockets will easily fit my camera, too, and the style isn’t completely hideous. I think I could work it. Or at least try to work it! I haven’t written off the other styles, though, and the hunt continues.

Purses, beautiful purses . . .

Fridays are dangerous. And times you have Internet access (and a credit card) on Fridays are incredibly dangerous! And times we’re in an economic slump and you really should be watching your expenditures and not blowing them on Aldo purses are extremely

Okay, you follow.

Better go get lunch before I get myself in massive trouble.