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.
While I was home in June, my sister and I had a discussion about crop tops. She was pro, I was...meh. Until I remembered that I had one. (It was on clearance for $4.99 at Ann Taylor. Reason enough, right?)
And, mind you, this was a real outing. There were no doctor's appointments, it wasn't a 15 minute errand that anyone drove me to (just to save sanity), it was a real, honest-to-goodness, family outing.
For this momentous occasion, we went to my fav, Sister Cities Park. This park, this genius of a park, has an awesome coffee shop/patio that are located next to a (heavily chlorinated) wading pool....
This is our monthly series called How We Wear It, where *we* show all of the different ways to rock a wardrobe basic. And by "we" I mean...all y'all. If there was One. Thing. our readers have communicated again and again, it's this: You want to see a wide range of body types represented here on ANMJ.
So. I'll show you how I've been styling my old standbys, and so will Cam. And then, dear readers, we want to hear from YOU. You can play along via our Linky party at the bottom (you can sign up at the bottom of this article or on Cam's page), you can send us an email (send it to either Cam or me), upload a pic to ANMJ's Facebook page, or use Instagram with the hashtag: #howwewearit or #anmj. As reader pics come in, I'll be keeping this page up-to-date.
With a Peplum Top
(wearing: shirt - c/o Lucky Brand, I'm wearing a size M....shorts - hacked off an old pair of these... shoes - similar)
Mamas, we're going to be talking about long shorts tomorrow for our June How We Wear It...but I wanted to show you Amber's latest find:
Whoa. I love everything about these. Amber writes:
I found a bevy of color choices in the Ryan fit this weekend and just might have bought them all. Why? Well, for starters you can snag them for $15 a pair at BR outlets right now but mostly they make my butt look awesome. Just enough shorty short leg, higher waist (just an inch below my belles button, and of course a flat front. They may be so last season, but I am so in love! (My 4 yr old snapped this photo on our way to the pool).
UPDATE: Amber's gorg swimsuit is by Athena, and is no longer available. However, Athena has a whole range of new suits for 2013, most with a secret slimming panel in the tummy. I'm kinda partial to this one.
I've been working on our upcoming How We Wear It, which will focus on long shorts. I have a bunch of ideas, but one of them I wanted to run by you Mamas.
So: Long khaki shorts. I was having trouble styling these things...long khaki shorts can come off so dowdy, especially with flat shoes. But once I added heels, and then topped the whole thing off with a blazer....
Hi, I'm a new reader and instant fan of your blog :). I have a suggestion for a style challenge I'd like to see on your blog! Liberty prints are all over this spring, and while I love them as a print, I just can't seem to figure out how to style them so they don't look too sweet. Your style has such an edge I think you would know how to do it.
Cortney - I totally get this. Liberty prints are pretty fabulous, but can easily skew too preppy or sweet. So....challenge accepted! Keep reading for how I'm styling liberty prints this season....
I've walked into thrift stores only a few times in my life. The whole setup isn't really my thing. I hate digging through huge piles of stuff, I have a bloodhound's sense of smell (mold especially kills me), and I find itchy clothing depressing. I don't care who made it in what decade, I'll take a new jersey knit over vintage polyester any day.
I do own some vintage pieces, though. I'm not totally immune to their charms. All of mine were passed down from my mom. I wore Mom's old Calvin Klein cut-offs all through high school and college, her sexy red maxi dress when I was pregnant (the only time my boobs were big enough to fill it out), and you may recall seeing her sparkly prom purse on the blog from time-to-time. But here's the deal: They were my mom's. I didn't have to go scrounging through bins, worry about smells, or wonder about a stain. They all came with stories - familiar stories, stories that are now part of my family lore.
But thrifting...it's intimidating and impersonal and smells bad. Yet it's cheap. SO cheap. And it's better for the environment.
As a tree-hugger who is not independently wealthy...yet (snort)....if I'm really serious about reducing my own personal environmental impact (and saving some cash along with those trees), I need to take another look at how, and what, I consume. I'm all about CPW (cost per wear) and buying fewer, better quality items...so how can you go wrong with quality at $3.99?
I'm assuming, of course, that quality can be found for $3.99. Because Yentine said so, more or less. And she's pretty much the thrifting expert in my little online world.
So keeping Yentine's first tip in mind (HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE, which may have been the root cause of my past failures)....I went thrifting. At the Goodwill in my tiiiny hometown, population 25,000. If you ever wanted to set a thrifting bar low, go to a small, isolated town with an overabundance of non-ironic Carhartt. But unlike Philly, in my tiny hometown I can park without fear (the PPA is NO JOKE) and I have free babysitters (thanks, Mom!).
My thrifting trip was....hunh. Successful? Keeping an open mind, I did end up trying stuff on, and even walked out with an item or two. To prove I was thereillustrate, I took pics.