Monday, February 15, 2016

Golden Tote Review: February 2016

And . . . they still don't have my last name right.  Oh, well.  Ha ha!  :)
I was really excited to receive this latest tote.  After my disastrous mystery totes, I resisted ordering a regular January tote.  I also opted not to order a Valentine's Day tote.  I received my last bona-fide tote in December, but it seems like it's been forever!  It's not like I need the clothes - my closet is in great shape after a few months with Golden Tote and over a year with Stitch Fix.  It's just for fun.  :)

If you'd like to check out my previous totes, here are my reviews:

Golden Tote Review - January Mystery Totes!

Golden Tote Review - December 2015

Golden Tote Review - November 2015

Golden Tote Review - October 2015

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've been a member for just over a year.  If you'd like to check out those reviews, here are some links:

January 2016 - #17

January 2016 - #16

December 2015 - #15

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:

I recently changed this - I now have everything selected except for classic and feminine.  My favorite styles are edgy and bohemian.
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.

Since you can only upload one photo, I made a collage of items that I have kept and loved from Golden Tote and Stitch Fix.
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".  For example, I haven't really gotten into the plaid trend.  I don't hate it; it's just not my thing.  This page of the profile makes it easy to avoid!  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!  It's tempting, but I try to stick to one tote if I like the chosen items.  Sometimes I'll add on an item or two.  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).  Basically, you just box it all back up, include the packing slip, and ship it back to them using the service of your choice.  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 this month.  That's what I've always done in the past.  I love getting surprises!  My tote was styled by JK (a new stylist for me).  When I opened it, I wasn't sure about it.  There were some crazy prints (one that I really didn't think was my style) and a dress that looked like it would be too small.  I always try everything on, though.  I'm glad I did - overall, I was pretty happy with this tote!

Here's what I got!

1.  Renee C Stylish Striped Skirt (chosen item)

I think I really might be getting into stripes - even horizontal stripes.  (Aren't those the ones you're always supposed to avoid?)  Well, as far as I can tell, stripes of any variety are pretty "in" at the moment.  I like them - I've found myself pinning quite a few striped items on my Pinterest boards.

When the February items were first released, I liked this skirt right away!  I like that it's fitted at the top and through the hips and then flares out a bit.  The top of the skirt is black - it's kind of hard to see that with the black shirt.

I do think it's cute, but there are a couple of things I don't love about it.  The fabric is a lot thicker than I thought it would be.  I like the look with tights and boots, but that combination would be much too warm after about March.

I had a little bit of trouble getting the flared part to smooth out.  It's 100% nylon, so I don't think a hot iron would be a great idea.  but the flares definitely don't look as nice as they did in the February release photos.

I also had a harder time than I thought finding a top to wear with it.  A few things that I tried with it covered up the solid black/stripe effect.  This black top with the band at the bottom might not be the best choice, but it was OK.

In spite of all that, I kind of like it.  I don't know how often I'll wear it.  I may see if anyone is interested in the Golden Tote Facebook sell/trade group.  I'd be willing to be part with it.

2.  Naked Zebra Subtly Sexy Top (chosen item)

I almost cropped out my feet because of the shadow, but I love these boots with the top!
My second chosen item was this teal top.  It was also available in black and grey.  I have a ton of black and grey, so I went with the color.  I love it.  Love, love love.  It does need a strapless bra to show the full effect of the lattice neckline, but that's not a big deal to me.  

I love this top so much that I'm glowing.  Well, actually I was just having some fun with a "glow" photo effect!

This top is definitely a keeper!  :)

3. Kalijati Waist Defined Dress - Blue Multi (surprise)

My first surprise was this blue dress.  My first thought was, "Huh.  The pattern.  Why????"  I didn't really think it was my style.  I love blue, but . . . what is it?

It reminds me of a watercolor tattoo.  I have a couple of tattoos, but I wouldn't want a watercolor tattoo.  It's just not me.

Then I remembered that this is NOT a tattoo.  It's just a dress.  I can take it off!  Ha ha.  I can try a different style for a little while without making a lifetime commitment!

A lot of people in the Facebook group mentioned that this dress runs big.  Umm . . . I didn't find that it runs big.  I just might still be feeling the holidays.  In mid-February.  Sigh.

It's very forgiving.  Clingy, but in a good way.  Watercolor camouflage.

It didn't come with the little black pug, but he matches pretty well, don't you think?
I'm starting to like it more and more.  I think it's a great go-to-the-opera dress.  :)

4. Potters Pot Sheer Lace Detail Top - Ivory Multi (surprise)

I was immediately underwhelmed when I saw this top.  Why?  What's wrong with it?  Well . . . nothing.  I just have another top (same brand) that I got in a trade on the Facebook group that features the same fabric.  See?  

There's no way that Golden Tote would have known that, though.  It just took a little bit of the "wow" factor out of the surprise.  If I don't take that into consideration, though, it's a cute top.  It is my style.

It's really sheer.  I paired it with a black camisole.  I think a red camisole would also be cute.  I've noticed that Potter's Pot tops definitely do not run big.  This is just a little slimmer at the bottom that I would want, and there is no stretch to the fabric.  I think it looks fine, though.  It's just right on the borderline.  I do like that it matches with the red Oka-B flats I just bought!

I might see if anyone on the Facebook board wants this.  I'm not sure.  I like it, but I'm on the fence.  My husband is not a fan.  I wear what I want (of course), but it's always more fun if he says, "Wow!" and not, "Meh."  :)  We'll see!

5. Fun 2 Fun Mixed Print Top - Navy Multi (surprise)

When I first saw this top, I thought, "Well, another crazy boho print!"  I do like that kind of thing, but I have a lot of colorful short sleeved tops in my closet right now.  Once I put it on, though, I loved it!

It fits perfectly, it's a great length, and it's not sheer, so I wouldn't need a camisole underneath it.

It's a perfect work shirt and it's also cute with jeans.  It's also another perfect match for my new red flats.  I love it!  :)

6. Lime & Chili Short Sleeve Striped Dress (surprise)

I do like stripes, but I wasn't sure about this dress at first.  When I held it up, I was afraid it would be too small/clingy.  Also, the navy color made it seem a bit preppy to me.  I would definitely not describe my style as "preppy".  Once I put it on, though, I really liked it.  The fabric is soft and comfortable, and it's not unflatteringly clingy like I thought it would be.

It's so short.  Ha ha.  I'm 5'9", so this happens sometimes.  There is no way I would wear this dress to work, but I think it would be a cute warm-weather vacation or summer date dress.  I could always wear some tights or leggings with it.  I want to keep it.  :)

I decided to pair it with my Wonder Woman necklace.  You know - just so everyone can tell that I'm eccentric/quirky and not preppy.  Ha ha.

I found some comic book leggings for sale online.  


This dress with comic book leggings, the necklace, and my red flats.  O.O  Seriously.  That could either be the most awesome or most awful outfit ever.  I think I'm going to order the leggings.  I'll let you know how that works out. 

Overall, I really had fun with this tote!  The two items that I am on the fence about (the skirt and the crochet detail top) are really cute.  I may try to sell them, but I won't be sorry if they stay in my closet!  :)

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?  

Thanks again for reading!


  1. The items are cute. I think you just need a nudge in the styling department.

    1. Ha ha - you could be right! I am definitely no fashion expert! I need some help with that striped skirt . . . thanks for reading! :)

  2. I like the clothing items. They look really good. I love the teal top also. So different, but classic enough to wear for years. Good shipment.

    1. Thanks, Diane! I love the top - it made the whole shipment worth it. The other items are like a bonus! :)


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