Sunday, October 25, 2015

Golden Tote #1 Review - October 2015

October 2015 Golden Tote Review Collage

Golden Tote Review - October 2015

Note:  This point contains affiliate links to support my blogging addiction!  :)

I'm having entirely too much fun with my closet these days.  Since I joined Stitch Fix in January of last year, I've been slowly but surely collecting lots of cute clothes.  If I get a compliment on an outfit that I'm wearing, chances are it came from Stitch Fix!

Here are some links to my previous Stitch Fix reviews if you want to check them out:

October 2015 - #12

September 2015 - #11

Stitch Fix Keepers

September 2015 - #10

August 2015 - #9

Golden Tote is another service that I've heard a lot about lately.  Like Stitch Fix, you receive new clothes for purchase through the mail, but it's different in several ways.

When you sign up for Stitch Fix, you fill out an online style profile when you join.  You do the same thing with Golden Tote - however, I didn't find it nearly as detailed as the one on Stitch Fix's website.

This is not a subscription service - you never get a tote sent to you automatically.  You have to log in and buy it.  You can choose a small or large tote.  The small tote is $49 and includes 1 item that you choose and another "surprise" item.  The large tote is $149 and includes 2 items that you choose and 3 to 4 surprise items.  There is also an option to add on additional pieces from their online boutique for a reduced price.

The big catch is that it's an all or nothing deal.  You can keep the whole tote or send the whole thing back for a full refund (though you do have to pay for return shipping).  You don't get a prepaid envelope.  Basically you have to box it all back up yourself and ship it back with the packing slip.

I wasn't crazy about the last part, but I thought, "Why not?  Let's check it out!"

I went for the large tote.  (WHY???  I just kept my entire last box from Stitch Fix!)  I don't know.  I really don't.  I also added on a shirt.  Sigh.  With the shirt add-on, I paid $184 for the whole box of seven items.

So  . . . here's what I got!

1.  Vintage Havana Zipped Up Blazer (chosen item)

Vintage Havana Zipped Up Blazer - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

Vintage Havana Zipped Up Blazer - Back - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

This blazer was one of my two chosen items.  I liked the zipper on the back - a little bit of edge for a basic piece.  I have very little of this kind of thing.  I've never been great at layering and I'm trying to expand my horizons.  This seemed like it would be useful and versatile.  According to Golden Tote's sizing chart, I'm a medium in tops.  The medium wasn't available in this blazer, so I went for a large.  I figured it would be OK since it's supposed to fit over other things.  

As it turns out, the large was perfect.  This is the softest, stretchiest blazer I've ever put on.  I love it.  I wasn't sure about the ruched sleeves when I first saw them, but I ended up loving them.  

If I send the tote back, I will be sad to lose the blazer.

2.  THML Mix It Up Top (chosen item)

THML Mix It Up Top - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

This top was the second item that I chose for this tote.  For some reason, it looked too big when I took it out of the package, but it fits perfectly.  I love the pattern and colors.  It's right up my alley in every way.  It needs to be ironed, but that's easily fixable.  :)

3.  Esley Sahara Top (add-on item)

Esley Sahara Top - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

I almost felt silly adding on a top when I already knew I would get about 6 items anyway, but I'm glad I did.  I paid an extra $35 to have this added to my tote.  This soft knit top is a little different than my usual style.  I usually dig boho style, but this has a strong Southwest vibe to it.  I do live in Arizona, don't get me wrong, but I'm not into Southwest EVERYTHING.  I love it, though.  It's a bit short, but it's short enough to show the zipper detail on my skinny jeans, so that's a plus!  I love this outfit.  I'm starting to think that I can't possibly send back this tote!

4.  Pink Owl Printed Wrap Dress (secret item)

Pink Owl Printed Wrap Dress - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

Pink Owl Printed Wrap Dress - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

Well, I finally found a "miss".  I like the pattern and overall style of this dress, but it just doesn't fit right.  The waist feels way too high - it's above my natural waist. (I'm 5'9" with a long torso.)  The arms are a little snug.  It's very low cut - I'd probably have to wear something under it.  Somebody would love this dress - it is cute; it just doesn't work for me!

5. Peach Love Printed Tunic (secret item)

Peach Love Printed Tunic - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

This top.  Sigh.  It's so close!  I love the colors and pattern.  There are a couple of weird things about it, though.  It looks like it fits pretty well, but it has a very slim cut.  It hugs the hips of my jeans a bit more than I would like.  I don't think it would work with anything but skinny pants/jeans or leggings.  It's also a bit tight in the shoulders.  It would be uncomfortable in a situation that required a lot of movement.  The fabric has no stretch to it at all.  It was difficult to get on and off.

It's also cut a bit low and has a tendency to hang open.  One side of the v-neck seems to fall down quite easily.  I think I would need to wear a camisole with it.  If I were judging this item on its own, it would be a regretful "no".  However, when I balance this against the other three items that I like, I'm a bit torn.  

6. Illa Illa Open Cardigan (secret item)

Illa Illa Open Cardigan - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

Illa Illa Open Cardigan - Back - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

I feel kind of neutral about this cardigan.  (It's really wrinkled; I didn't want to iron it or anything if I'm not sure about keeping it!)  It fits perfectly, but I'm not sure it's my style.  I think the problem is the color.  I prefer bold colors - I just don't have a lot of tops to wear underneath this dusty blue cardigan.  It seems pretty neutral, but didn't seem to go with a lot in my closet.  Maybe I just don't know how to match clothing.  That could very well be . . .

So far, I have 3 items that I'd like to keep and 3 items that I'd send back if I could.  Hmmm.

7. Oddi Suede Trimmed Washed Denim Pullover (secret item)

Oddi Suede Trimmed Washed Denim Pullover - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

Oddi Suede Trimmed Washed Denim Pullover - October 2015 Golden Tote Review

No.  No, no, no.  This was my least favorite item in the box!  The sleeves are too short (I rolled them up) and the fit is a little strange.  It's loose in the neck and tight in the arms.  Plus, it's just not my style at all.  I don't like the pattern or the suede.

Even if I keep the tote, this shirt will definitely be getting a new home.  Ha ha.

So . . . now I don't know what to do!  I have three items that I really like.  Do I keep the tote or do I send it back?

I have tried to join the Golden Tote trading group on Facebook, but it's been three days and my request is still "pending".  Once it gets approved, I hope to try and trade or sell the items I don't want.  I have 14 days to decide, but I'm thinking I'll keep the tote and see how the trading goes.  If it turns out to be a major hassle, Golden Tote might not be a service that I'll use frequently!  (UPDATE - My request was promptly approved on Monday morning.  Maybe they just do weekdays - fair enough!  I've already traded the denim pullover for something I think I will like much better!)

Overall, I had fun with this experience, though at this point, I still prefer Stitch Fix.  Golden Tote is a great value when compared to Stitch Fix.  I would estimate that my Stitch Fix items have averaged about $50 per item.  This Golden Tote box was about $26 per item.  However, Stitch Fix definitely feels more personalized.  I like having the same stylist for every fix.  She actually looks at my reviews and I love that!  :)

There doesn't seem to be a great way to leave feedback for Golden Tote.  This box was kind of hit-and-miss.  How do I make sure they don't send me another top like the one above?  Ha ha.  Just kidding - it's cute enough; it's just not me!  We'll see . . . I had enough fun to try it again, though I may opt for the small tote next time.

I'm also really curious to see how the trading pans out.  I would trade that dusty blue cardigan for a bold print cardigan in a heartbeat.  If that works out, this could be a fun thing!

By the way, if my blog post has inspired you to try Golden Tote, please use my referral link to sign up.  If you do, I'll get a small credit.  (I decided to try this service on my own; I was not compensated by Golden Tote in any way for this post.)

Please comment?  What do you think about the items I received?  Have you received any of these items?  What did you think?  Which do you prefer - Golden Tote or Stitch Fix?  Thanks again for reading!


  1. I LOVE the add on top! Very cute on you.

    I've contemplated Golden Tote on more than on occasion but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I don't like the all or none aspect. It almost feels like a way to unload a bunch of crappy stuff with one or two really great items. Plus, I am lazy and having to deal with the whole shipping thing would annoy me.

    I think I might try Le Tote for a month or two. Have you heard of it? I like the idea of being able to wear an item once or twice before deciding to buy it.

  2. I did try Le Tote! I don't have any reviews, because that was before I got my blog going. :) It was fun. Ultimately, it didn't work for me. I just tended to keep everything that I liked - and the monthly membership fee didn't go toward purchases, so I felt like I was paying to shop . . . if that makes any sense! I did keep some cute tops and jewelry (that I still wear), but I didn't find the purchase prices to be a great deal. I don't know. Also, sometimes I'd get things that I didn't want to wear anytime soon - like dresses that were more for going out than work-appropriate. Maybe that was my fault (based on the things I had chosen in my profile). I did think it was fun, though! I did it for a couple of months. It's easy to cancel if you decide it's not for you. :) I'm definitely ordering another Golden Tote!


I'd love to hear what you think! Please comment! :)