Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making It: Staying On Trend in Fashion and Expanding Your Closet

No one wants to look like a lost time traveler. We all want our wardrobe to represent our style while at the same time being hip and in style. The challenge comes in how to do this cost effectively while not feeding the disposable fashion industry. For me, the answer has been Le Tote, a monthly subscription service that delivers what's in style now (*affiliate link) straight to your mailbox.

Expanding Your Wardrobe with Le Tote

Le Tote has two subscription services, one just for jewelry and one for a mix of separates, dresses, and jewelry. I'm subscribed to the Boutique Box where I get five items, typically one dress, two separates, and two pieces of jewelry. I wear (or try on) the pieces that I've received, keep anything I like, and send back the rest. The subscription fee includes two-way shipping and cleaning so I don't have to worry about scheduling dry cleaning pickups/dropoffs or dealing with laundry.

Top with Studded Collar from Le Tote

Test Driving Clothing in The Real World

Have you ever purchased something and been unsure about it? I know I have. What I really like about Le Tote is that I can try flashy patterns, new silhouettes, and so on in the real world. No special lighting. No high pressure sales person. (I wondered whether I could pull off a 1980s inspired blouse with studded collar with skinny black jeans and pumps so I added it to my closet. In the privacy of my own home, I realized try as I might I couldn't channel my inner Dynasty-diva convincingly. I just thought I looked like my grandmother.)

StyleMeMarch Prompt: Amazing Find

Most of the items I've added to my Le Tote closet mirror styles I have in my own closet. Dresses with Peter Pan collars, fitted bodices, and full circle skirts. Or sleeveless scoop neck A-line shifts. And I've had great luck with those styles. Maybe it's a comfort zone thing, or maybe it's a fit thing. Without exception all of the blouses and pullover sweaters have been too big. On dresses, I have about a 50/50 track record.

Keeping Items You Love

I've purchased a bunch of items from my totes: a casual zip-front sweater with pockets, a pencil skirt, a fitted dress with full circle skirt and Peter Pan collar (in fifth photo from top), and a statement necklace (in fifth photo from top), and most recently a lightweight knit motorcycle jacket (in fourth photo from top).

OOTD Featuring Picks from LeTote

When I first joined Le Tote, I received coupons for discounted purchases of items I loved which made the decision to keep or send back an item tough. The regular prices and the wear on some of the items makes decisions easier now. The one thing I have to remember, is if I don't have a place or an event to wear a particular item, send it back for inclusion in a future tote. Holding on to totes for over a week and a half eliminates any cost savings you're seeing by not having to pay for dry cleaning or laundry service.

Love It Keep It with Le Tote

Deciding if Le Tote is Right for You

I joined Le Tote before I started participating in Hilary Rushford's Style Me Instagram Challenges and before I took her Style and Styleability Class when I thought I didn't have anything in my closet to wear. With tips from Hilary and challenge prompts that force me to look at my wardrobe in an entirely different way, I'm almost at the point where I don't think I need to expand my wardrobe. I've got separates, dresses, and jackets to cover both casual, business, and dressy occasions.

Le Tote is great for two groups: those who are trying to figure out or refine their style and those who don't have a large closet or a budget to buy some quality basics (or the time to scour thrift and consignment stores). Both groups would probably wear (or try) outfits more often than I do and see two to three totes in their mailbox for the monthly $49 fee. (I've only had two months since joining where I did this. And I've had my current tote since mid-January.)

How do you keep your wardrobe fresh?
genuinely eden

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Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.

This post contains an affiliate link, identified with (*affiliate link) following the linked text. I feature products and/or services that I own/use or that I am considering purchasing. I currently subscribe to Le Tote. If you sign up for Le Tote using my referral link, I receive a $25 credit towards my Le Tote Boutique Box subscription. All opinions presented are my own.