Stitch Fix #1

I know I am super late to this party, but I thought I’d share with you my experience with Stitch Fix, which goes by the tagline ‘now every woman can have her own personal stylist’.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

This service was recommended to me by a couple of people and I have to admit to being sceptical in the EXTREME. I loathe shopping for clothes as nothing ever seems to be made with me in mind – I’m short (5’ 1”) and extremely boobalicious, with no discernible waist. Add to this the fact that I seem to have put back all the weight I lost a year or two back round my middle (I don’t think my body processes insulin very well, which I’m just starting to work on through diet and exercise) and you can see why I have such trouble with clothes.

Essentially with Stitch Fix, you fill out an comprehensive online questionnaire about your fashion likes and dislikes, sizes, budget and style preferences (which was very fun actually), give your stylist links to your social media feeds and Pinterest boards (I sent my stylist links to my ‘I Want to Wear’ and ‘Bejewelled’ boards). And then  your stylist sends you five personally chosen pieces to match your profile.

The items arrive beautifully  boxed (next time I’ll take pictures) with a prepaid envelope to send anything you don’t want back. You have three days after receiving your Fix to decide. You pay a $20 ‘styling fee’ up front, which is offset against the cost of anything you decide to keep, and if you keep all five pieces you get a 25% discount. If you send everything back then you still pay the $20.

I figured that it would be fun, even if I ended up taking only 1-2 pieces. However, in the end I was very pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what I got.

Henry & Belle Kent Roll-Cuff Capri Jean $178

My heart sank when I saw there were jeans. Jeans, particularly mail order jeans, never EVER fit me.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

I was reluctant even to try them on, but when I did, I was astonished. They’re a light denim with a nice summery wash and LOTS OF GIVE and they just slid right on. The fact that they were cropped helped the usual length issues I have.

Expensive but a definite KEEP. I’d pay anything for comfortable well-fitting jeans. It was good to be introduced to a hitherto unknown-to-me jeans brand too. Just need to turn up the cuff one more step as it’s a bit deep currently.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

They also come with a cute card of styling ideas. I let the stylist know in my checkout notes that I liked the look of both the tops on this card and the aqua scarf.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Pomelo Julia Utility Jacket ($78)

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

This was my other favourite item in the box. It looks a bit shapeless on the hanger but I loved how it looked on (not so much buttoned, but due the boob situation I don’t button most of my jackets anyway). It’s the PERFECT alternative to cardigans for Seattle spring and autumn and I’ve already worn it a couple of times to many compliments.

Here I am wearing it with the aforementioned jeans, a black tunic dress thingy and my gorgeous new Fluevogs. Pam Ann on the stairs also approves.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Daniel Rainn Barcelona Solid Short Sleeved Blouse $78

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Of all the items in my box this was the least ‘me’ mostly because for some reason I don’t usually wear that bright jewel blue. I think it looks a bit cheap on my skin tone. Also on its own it clung rather too much to the boobs and muffin top. But I could see that it would be a super useful piece and it would look great if I manage to lose an inch or two off said boobs and muffin top (or resort to judicious use of Spanx) and it looked much better under a jacket (though I think the bright blue and coral might be a bit too much). So in the end I decided to KEEP it, though I’m not entirely sure it was the right decision.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Pomelo Corinna Striped Dolman Top ($48)

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

At first I thought this top was very ‘me’ as this shade of grey suits me, but the cut and the horizontal stripes did make me look rather bosomy and plump. However this thing is soft as butter, extremely warm and cosy and perfect for wearing round the house with jeans or leggings. I haven’t taken it off since I got it. Don’t think I’ll wear it in company though. Another KEEP.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

31 Bits Annabelle Long Beaded Necklace ($28)

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

This necklace is made by women in Uganda from from handmade paper beads and glass beads.  The colour was fab with the rest of my fix and I really liked the length – longer, but sitting just above the boobs rather than drawing attention right to them. So I will wear it occasionally. However, it did seem a little bit ‘Etsy’ to me. This ended up being another KEEP because with the 25% discount for keeping five items it really wasn’t worth sending them back (likewise the two tops above). And it felt good to be helping women in Uganda.

Stitch Fix photography by www.paolathomas.com

So all in all my stylist Kim managed to pick out two ‘greats’ and three ‘almosts’ which I thought was a very good hit rate for a first box and I ended up keeping everything. When you check out you can also provide feedback on your pieces, so I’m hoping that April’s box will be even better. Kim enclosed the sweet note above, though I was a little confused when she mentioned a previous fix as I’ve never had one before.

Apart from anything else this service is just super FUN and perfect if you’re like me and dislike shopping. if you’d like to give it a go my referral link is here. If you use it, I get a small discount on my next Fix and I will also love you forever. (The above Fix was paid for by me, and all opinions are resolutely my own). Oh and apologies for really crappy iPhone photos. Next time I’ll get out the tripod.

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Weekend Link Love

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It’s been a week of sunshine, showers, coming down to earth from #BlogTourNYC and a fabulous celebration of the Persian New Year, courtesy of my dear friend Nazila. Spring is a much more sensible time of year to think about renewal and reinvention it seems to me. I have made a few resolutions about blogging more frequently in any case.

In that spirit here are a few of my favourite tidbits from my Internet wanderings this week.

This gorgeous food video makes me want to take up videography and overdose on carbs.

These pics on the other hand make me wish I could draw.

This article about the effect of improving every single thing in your life by 1% really resonated.

Commenter Kristin kindly provided the following informative but truly disgusting article about New York’s roof top water tanks. Now I can never drink tap water in New York again.

madmenposter

And finally, it’s coming back! I saw this groovy poster in the New York subway and did a happy dance. Refresh your memory of the first six seasons in 2 minutes.

Update: Oh and Iris Apfel is having a sale.

It’s the Minx’s rollerskating birthday party this weekend. This bad mama couldn’t postpone things any longer after her January birthday. A cake is currently in the works, though there is more to do tomorrow morning before the party than I would ideally like. Pix next week.

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New York, New York

So I’m back from two back to back trips to New York, New York – firstly to attend a food photography workshop given by Penny de los Santos (with the Minx and the Husband tagging along) and secondly for Blog Tour NYC and the Architectural Design Home Show. I am still processing all I learned, saw, thought and felt, though I will be blogging the bejeezus out of everything in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for sumptuous shops, stunning restaurants and sexy hotels.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

In the meantime, by way of an introduction, here are some of the sights and characters of New York City, which are still buzzing round my head.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

One day I AM going to start a Tumblr called ‘Hipsters in their Habitats’.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Loved this hardworking little guy down in the subway.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com newyorkcity-34

Love truly was in the air.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Pilgrimage to PurlSoho. Check.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Remember when we did a ‘Go Fug Your Room’ on Diane Von Furstenburg’s NYC penthouse? Well here it is, seen from the magnificent new High Line Park. I couldn’t quite see in to see if she’d taken our decorating advice.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Gorgeous chartreuse green tables and chairs on the High Line, and windows that look like makeup palettes.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Ladies in green.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photogenic taxis? Check and check.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com
New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

For some reason people kept mistaking me and my Canadian friend Danielle – fellow foodie and street photographer extraordinaire, for British tourists. Can’t think why.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

But I forgave her wearing that scarf when she introduced me to Balthazar’s.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com
New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Fabulous street art everywhere.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Can anyone tell me how water towers work? Do they collect rainwater? They fascinate me.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com
New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

Lots of neon.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

New York truly is a melting pot.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

And obviously many iconic tall buildings.

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com
New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com New York, New York photography by www.paolathomas.com

I’ve never been a big one for street photography, but I could get completely obsessed by it in New York. We didn’t have a huge amount of time for it on this trip, but I WILL be back. I love this city so much.

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Go Fug Your Room! – SJP NYC

I do believe it’s time for a Go Fug Your Room! It’s been so long that I’m sure we’ve all forgotten how to do them.

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Anyway this one seems particularly fitting as I was in la Grande Pomme only last weekend and am flying back out this weekend for Blogtour and of course we’ve all dreamed of having a New York brownstone of our very own.

The pics are screen caps taken from a ‘73 Questions’ interview on Vogue TV. You’ll get an idea of the house from the screen caps but I do recommend that you watch the video as SJP comes across as cute and charming and the sort of person I would tragically like to be BFFs with (though I would have to have WORDS with her about her old-fashioned and derivative new shoe collection).

First of all I think we can all agree that the house has MAGNIFICENT bones – that arch, those stairs, those ceilings, those windows, THAT. LIGHT. And I do find it refreshing that it seems so normal and lived in. How wonderful to see a celebrity who has books and art, whose house doesn’t appear to be styled to within an inch of its life, and who could conceivably occasionally allow her three kids to share the space.

So SJP, take it away.

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Loving the hallway, not sure if that’s a rug or tiles on the stairs, but they look like quintessentially Victorian encaustic tiles and so work for me, though I thought that was more of a London thing rather than New York.

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

I’m struggling with this room though Sarah J.  I just don’t like that green on the wall, it just seems too bright and unsophisticated really, especially when matched with peacock blue velvet and hot pink accents, including a pink zebra-striped pouffe thingy (just say those words out loud and you’ll know how WRONG that sounds).

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

And maybe there are rather too many books and little pictures and tchotchkes and THINGS just cluttering things up.  The bar is quite fun though.

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

OK Ms P. No need to look like that, it’s just MY OPINION (which is what the Minx says when she is about to say something breathtakingly rude).

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Let’s move on shall we? Arch gorgeous, artwork lovely, light, windows and fireplace amazing. Possibly one too many ping pong tables.  (Seriously?)

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

But yes, SJP I would be proud of this end of the room too. So pretty. I’m particularly loving the celery green and robin’s egg blue (behind the door) accents – much nicer colours than the green on the sitting room walls. 

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Go Fug Your Room! - SJP NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Here’s the full video, which I do recommend. Her English accent is terrible though.

So, in your considered opinion is this house fugly or not? Feel free to show additional workings in the comments.

Update: Oh and thanks to commenter Becky for reminding me that I blogged about SJP’s glorious house in the Hamptons more years ago than I care to remember. She is one lucky girl.

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Menton Mon Amour

 

Did you know that around 80% of American tourists in France only go to Paris? Which is a crying shame as the rest of France is so spectacularly beautiful, so deeply fascinating and so incredibly varied from region to region. 

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Gelateria at sunset on the Menton waterfront

I was fortunate enough to be invited to lunch in Seattle last week by the France Tourism Development Agency and several regional French tourist boards, as they keen to spread the word in the US that France has much more to offer for travellers than just Paris.

As long time readers of this blog or followers of my Instagram feed know only too well, I have a very soft spot in my heart for Menton, the gracious old city on the very eastern edge of the Cote d’Azur, a hop, skip and jump from the Italian border.

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

The beach where we swam every day

We rented an apartment there for three weeks last summer and it occurs to me that, what with one thing and another, I never shared any photos with you. So these are for those of you who might be planning your summer vacations and may need some encouragement to get out of Paris.

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com
Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

It’s the colours of Menton that get to me most. The warmth of the coral, ochre, mustard and terracotta, punctuated by bursts of brilliant blue from shutters, sky or sea. And everything bathed in the most astonishing clear dancing light.

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

We rented an apartment full of antique furniture  in a cute residential neighbourhood just behind the casino, about fifteen minutes walk from our favourite beach.

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

The Minx learned to sail (it’s so useful that she’s at the French immersion school here as we can put her in cool French camps).

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

And we spent endless days just hanging out on the beach, and endless warm evenings watching night fall over the Mediterranean. That sea. It does something for my very soul.

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Menton Mon Amour photography by www.paolathomas.com

Tomorrow we’ll be visiting Menton’s fabulous covered market. I have a lot of holiday snaps to inflict upon you get through. (What is a blog for after all?)

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