Sunday, December 13, 2015

Golden Tote #3 Review - December 2015


I'm really starting to get into this Golden Tote thing.  I logged in on Cyber Monday and got my tote first thing so I wouldn't miss out on the most popular chosen items!  I counted the days until it shipped.  After what seemed like an eternity (but was only about twelve days), I finally received the box (pictured above).  They spelled my last name wrong, but I get it.  It's weird.  :)  I got a different stylist, this time - DL.  According to the Golden Tote trading group that I belong to on Facebook, she's considered a great one!  So far, so good!  :)

Golden Tote is a fairly new service for me.  I received my first tote in October - you can check that one out here.  I also ordered a November tote, which I loved (the review for that one is here)!  So far, I'm really enjoying myself - and my closet has no complaints!  Ha ha.

I'm also a member of Stitch Fix, which is another clothing-by-mail service that is equally fun.  My history with Stitch Fix is a bit longer - I joined in January of this year.  If you'd like to check out those reviews, here are some links:

November 2015 - #14

November 2015 - #13

October 2015 - #12

September 2015 - #11

Stitch Fix Keepers

September 2015 - #10

August 2015 - #9

All right - back to Golden Tote!

When you sign up for Golden Tote, you fill out an online style profile.  It's pretty short - you answer some questions about your measurements, typical sizes, and how you like your clothes to fit.  Here are a couple of pages from my profile:

As you can see, they show you a few different style types.  You can check/uncheck as you wish - it's easy to update if you want to try something different for the next tote.

You are also able to specify certain colors and prints that you would like to avoid, which is helpful if you are not a fan of something that is "in".  You can also attach an image to further depict your own personal style.  From what I understand, most people create collages (as I did).

You can order a tote at any time.  A lot of people buy multiple totes per month!  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 one drawback is that, if you want the bargain prices (around $25 per item), you have to keep it all.  You can 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/box.  Basically you have to box it up yourself and ship it back with the packing slip.  If you just can't part with an item, you can keep it and send back the rest, but you will be charged the full boutique price, which is often quite a bit higher than the $25 average.

I ordered a large tote with a couple of extra items from the boutique.  I really went back and forth with this one.  I was optimistic when I opened the box.  Lots of prints and color - very festive.  Then, I had a hasty try-on session (NOT pictured in this blog).  After that, I actually thought I'd be returning the whole thing.

I still had to take pictures for the blog, though, right?  Good thing - after THIS try-on/photo session, I realized that it was actually a pretty good tote and that I will definitely keep a few things.  Here's what I got!

1.  Peek of Polka Dot Top (chosen item)

I'm REALLY into polka dots right now.  Both of my chosen items feature polka dots.  I did not do that on purpose - it just happened!  This is a Les Lis top.  The gray polka dot bottom is made to look like it's another shirt, but it's actually just one piece.  The green top is soft and stretchy.


. . .


It's a cute top, but I don't think it's really flattering on me, for some reason.  At this point, I'm thinking I will try to sell or trade this one.  I've had pretty good luck doing that through the Golden Tote trading group on Facebook.

2.  All Dotted Up Jacket (chosen item)

This jacket is also made by Les Lis. It was one of the more popular chosen items, and is currently sold out.  It fits pretty well.  I have broad shoulders and long arms.  I wish the sleeves were just the tiniest bit longer, but I think it will work.

It's not a good idea to try things on in the evening (in a dark house) without styling things properly.  At first, my husband told me that it looked like a grandma sweater.  (REALLY?  What does that even mean?  Ha ha.)  The next day, after we took these photos, he said, "Yeah, I guess it's pretty good."  That's how I feel.  It's pretty good.  It's cute.  I think I'm going to keep it.  :)

3.  Les Lis Crosshatch Print Blouse (secret item)

This is my THIRD Les Lis item in this box - and it won't be the last!  My last tote was all about Collective Concepts - this one seems to be the Les Lis tote!

I think this blouse will work very well.  I direct a couple of vocal jazz groups at school, and our attire is "dressy" black, white, and red.  This will give me another option for those occasions.  It's a little flimsy.  I'm wearing a camisole underneath it.  The only thing I don't like about it is that one side of the v-neck doesn't lie as flat as the other.  Steve says it looks nice and that I'm just being silly.  He's probably right.  :)

4. Le Lis Pinecone Blouse (secret item)

When I saw this blouse, I immediately loved the blue background and the cute pinecone print!  Here's a close-up:

Unfortunately, it didn't quite work for me.  As you can see, there are two slits in the front.  When I raise my arms, the slits come up pretty high.  I'm wearing a black camisole under the blouse - that's the only reason you don't see skin.  Ha ha.  It just doesn't fit my body.  I think it would be great for someone with a shorter torso.

I'm hoping I can sell or trade this - I think I'll have some luck.  It is cute.  :)

5. Gilli Boatneck Shift Dress - Red Multi (secret item)

My opinion of this dress totally changed overnight!  The first time I tried it on, I wasn't wearing tights or cute shoes.  I didn't think it was working - I thought it was too short and maybe a bit too small (in the shoulders and arms).  I don't know what was going on.  I have a completely opposite opinion now.  I put the dress on with tights and boots and it was a different situation.  I love it.  My husband loves it.  It just barely fits me in the arms and shoulders.  But it does fit.  :)

I also got a free necklace (since I made this purchase on Cyber Monday).  You can see it in the pictures - kind of a copper-colored long fringe necklace.  It matches perfectly with this dress.  Here's a close-up.  It kind of blends in!

I wore this combination today to a local theater production.  It was the perfect dressy/casual option.

I'm definitely keeping the dress - it's my favorite thing in the box!

6. Skies Are Blue Border Print Blouse (secret item)

My last surprise item was this top.  It has grown on me over the last couple of days.  The print is very festive (and holiday-appropriate) with the cranberry and gold print.  Here's a close up:

This is the second thing in the box that I've already worn.  I had another local music performance to check out last night!  This was perfect!  :)

7. Check Me Out Scarf (boutique item) - $25.00

This scarf was an impulse purchase.  It's rarely cold enough here for scarves to be necessary, but I've learned that they can be fun.  I don't know what else to say.  I liked the pattern.  I'm not really into plaid, but these simple checks?  Sure.  I think they work.

However, I didn't realize that I actually bought a blanket, not a scarf.  There's just no way . . .

When I wrapped this around my neck, my life flashed before my eyes.  Well.  That might be an exaggeration.  But . . . seriously?

8. Draped Crescent Necklace (boutique item) - $16.00

Another impulse purchase here.  This necklace was really cute on the website (on the model).  On me???  Not particularly.

If I move at all, the necklace gets hopelessly twisted or tangled.  The design is kind of a mess.  If you do anything beyond posing for pictures, watch out.  I don't see how this would work in the real world.

This is a no.  Unfortunately.

Well, this tote was a bit of a mixed bag.  I love the dress.  I like the dotted jacket.  I also like the two print blouses.  Obviously, since I've already worn two items, I'm keeping the tote.  It looks like I just have two tops to sell or trade.  Well, OK, no big deal!

Since I can send the boutique items back separately without any connection to the tote, I think I'll return them.  I don't see myself wearing the scarf or necklace, so I think it'll be easier to just ship them back and get a refund.

Well, overall, this was a fun tote.  There were a couple of items that didn't work, but all of my surprises were basically my style.  Those are the things that they pick for me, so if those are right, it's working well (in my opinion).  I'll definitely be ordering another tote!

If my blog post has inspired you to try Golden Tote, please use this referral link to sign up.  If you do, I'll get a small credit.  (In case you're wondering, I was not compensated by Golden Tote in any way for this post.  My only relationship with them is as a customer and I have paid for all of my own items.)

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!

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