A month or so ago, I was contacted by the folks over at I-Ella, asking if I'd like to try out The List, a monthly gift bag subscription filled with a selection of hand-picked designer goodies and free stuff.
It sounded good, but I'm leery of letting someone else do the picking. Because, well...picking stuff...that's my thing, right? And I'm always annoyed when some website thinks they know what's best for me based on an online quiz and static formula (and I'm talking about you, BeautyMint).
But The List was different. First of all, The List is associated with i-Ella, an eBay-like shopping site for serious fashionistas...with a twist. If you sign on to become a member (and membership is free), you can either buy, sell, or borrow clothes from other members. i-Ella takes a 15% commission on each sale...but 10% of the commission is donated to a charity chosen by the buyer.
Current offerings on i-Ella range from a $6 J.Crew top to a $6000 Hermes bag. But I'm most excited about the vast selection of mid-range designers (Joie, Marc Jacobs, DVF, Tracy Reese, Chloe, etc.) - these pieces tend to go for under $150.
Secondly, The List gift bag items are brand new, current season pieces that are hand-picked based on your style profile, picture, etc.
Once a month, our network of stylists, fashion insiders, fiercely cool friends and of course, the I-ELLA girls will hand pick the perfect accessory, shoes, handbag and/or apparel to enhance your wardrobe. Whether you're uptown or downtown, California cool or Brooklyn chic, you will receive an amazing gift bag tailored to suit your unique style.
So I said yes to The List. Banking on the fact that the whole company sounded amazing, how bad could their picks be? So I filled out my profile, uploaded a pic....and a few weeks later, recieved my first gift box.
And, uh, holy sh*t.
The List handpicked, for moi, the most amazing slouchy-fabulous leather shorts....
...a perfect, full-sized lipgloss, vintage recipe cards, and a delicately spiky Gorjana ring, made especially for this gift box.
The List nailed it. Thanks to The List, I now have two new closet staples - unique pieces that I never would've been able to find (or afford) myself. Consider my mind blown.
And here's the other thing about The List: The pieces in the gift bags often have a combined total up to double what you pay for the gift bag itself. Which is how I ended up with these almost $400 leather shorts.
hat: Target (thanks, M!!)
shirt: J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck
sweatshirt: Madewell Bien Fait sweatshirt
shorts: leather shorts c/o i-Ella
pumps: Aerosoles Tapestry Pump in leopard...similar
bag: Moop Paperback
Which I paired with stripes, natch. And a sweatshirt. You can pretty much always count on me for a sweatshirt or a turtleneck (and I obviously outdid myself because this outfit has both).
The only "catch" to The List is that you must sign up for a three-month subscription. You can do more, but because they have actual people getting to know your actual style and choosing things actually for you...you've gotta sign up for a three month minimum.
But they do have three levels of bags, starting at $59 per month.
You get to choose between 3 types of bags: The Starter Bag ($59),The Soho Bag ($129) or the St. Barth's Bag (it's really fancy, $389). Each bag will contain 4 to 6 items including 1 or 2 featured designers along with free samples of make-up, nail polish, personal care products, technology items or whatever we're obsessed with at the moment.
I can't imagine a more perfect gift for a mom - a group gift from friends wanting to surprise her after baby number two...or a new mom's birthday (it's nice to be able to focus solely on ourselves for a change)...or any holiday that requires a gift from our husbands - I mean really. Could you dream up an easier, more amazing gift from your guy? Handpicked, designer goodies worth more than what he paid and delivered to your door for three months?
Yeah. Don't you worry. The List will be showing up on our annual What Moms Want List this year.
And ps. When you complete your online profile, you can always mention that poochy stomach, or constant nursing or any other post-baby body issues. The List delicately handles all things with an open text field called, "Fashion Restrictions."
That's the name of my next blog.