Trunk Club Try-On--Input Needed!

I have extremely mixed feelings about Trunk Club, but every time I decide I'll never do it again they come through with a bit of a win. Frequently the stylist sends me things I'd never in a million years wear, and some things that, although I might normally consider them, the price point is too high. This time, however, there are several things in the box that I'm seriously debating, so I need your input.

IMG_1516.jpeg

Here's what the box looks like when you open it up--not very fancy like some of the subscription boxes, but you're also getting a lot more stuff. It varies by box, but this time I had two pairs of shoes, two pairs of pants, two cardigans, two jackets, three tops, and a bracelet. I feel like maybe there was even more than that. Between the pics and video below, you'll see all of them.


IMG_1517.jpeg

The jewelry included this time was a very nice gold (plated) bracelet with an interesting pull-tie type of closure. It's pretty and, if I weren't keeping other things, I might have seriously considered it.  At $35, it's higher than I normally go for bracelets (most of mine have been bought at flea markets for around $10!) but still reasonable, especially for Nordstroms. However, I don't wear bracelets all that often and I've got plenty for the times I do wear them, so although I liked it, this is a return.


I've returned to the try-on videos for everything else. Let me know what you think! By the way, I said in the video a few times I only had three days to decide. Trunk Club is actually a five day decision-period. So I'll wait to do my return until Monday. That gives you the weekend to help me decide! (And by the way, I've already decided to keep the coral "babydoll" style top--in fact, I'm wearing it today because it's stinkin' hot and muggy out!)

As I'm posting this, YouTube is still processing the video. I have to run out the door for appointments so I can't wait. If you try to watch this immediately and you can't get the video--try it again later. The video is about 12 1/2 minutes long. You can use YouTube's tools to click through faster if you'd like. When I get back from my appointments I'll try to remember to update this blog post with more information about the clothes--in a hurry right now!

 

Wardrobe Wednesday on Thursday

So, yes. My calendar is completely whonked this week. I'm still blaming jet lag and a red-eye. That's my story and sticking to it.

Last week I got a Natalie Attired box, my StitchFix, and a Trunk Club delivery all within the space of a few days. I did record an unboxing and try-on video for the Natalie Attired but didn't get it posted before I left town. I only had time to record the StitchFix unboxing before I got on the plane. I only took a picture of one of the Trunk Club keepers. I managed to get the NA video edited yesterday afternoon but when I uploaded it to YouTube, it said it was too long. No idea why, since it was no longer than others I've posted. And at that point, I decided to bag the whole thing. You're just getting one blog post with a small handful of pictures and that's it. 

IMG_0811.jpg

So--Natalie Attired only warranted me one keeper this time around. I debated a couple of the pieces for a long time, but finally decided I didn't love either enough to spend the money on since I have other expenditures on the horizon.

So out of that box, I kept one pair of blue print pants that I immediately packed and wore on my speaking engagement. They're super-comfy, professional-but-fun enough to also wear casually, and were a nice transitional pair for what's supposed to be spring weather but hasn't quite figured it out yet. I wasn't sure when I first pulled them out of the box but absolutely love them! So, this one item definitely made the whole box worth it.

I paired the pants with one of two items I kept from Trunk Club. The knot-front lightweight blue sweater is super-soft and worked perfectly with the pants. Loved this outfit. Again, perfect for the weather at this time of year. I snapped the pick above in the hotel room before starting my second set of presentations on Saturday. I was in this outfit from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. and never once had a yen for being able to change into lounge clothes, they were that comfy! 

The other item I kept from Trunk Club was a light weight duster cardigan but I don't have a pic of it. Sorry. It's an off-white with narrow black stripes so it'll go with a lot of my wardrobe.

I only kept one item from StitchFix as well, but boy was this one a winner! I didn't keep the photo of the outside but I have two pics of what it looks like in use. I had asked for a bag that would be big enough to hold files but still be fairly sleek and stylish. If you recall, Kathryn (my stylist) had sent me one in last month's box that wasn't actually big enough for files, so she tried again. And bang! Hit that nail on the head.

The top pic is from when I first opened it and tested out a file folder in it. 

The second pic is from the airport and you can see how much stuff I'd managed to cram in it. Actually, I'd even taken a couple of things out of it before I took this picture (namely, my large water bottle and my bullet journal). It worked very well for me. A definite win!

There were a couple of other items in this box that I also debated for awhile but, again, decided I didn't love them enough for the expenditure. I'm relatively well set for clothes at the moment--I just need to fill in a couple of minor gaps, so I can be very, very picky.

So there's the report on my style subscription boxes this month: Three boxes, a grand total of about 17 items therein, and I kept one pair of pants, one sweater, one cardigan, and one bag. 

I'll be getting NA and StitchFix again next month (I'm looking for outfits for graduation--woo!) but I've put Trunk Club on a three month delay so you won't be hearing about that one again for awhile.

Here's my StitchFix referral link.

Here's my Natalie Attired referral link. (Thanks to a reader who gave me a credit for this box! Much appreciated!)

Here's my Trunk Club referral link

Thanks to anyone who chooses to use any of them!

 

Wardrobe Wednesday (and Thanksgiving Prep)

It's StitchFix Day again!

This month, I'd asked my stylist, Kathryn, to take a swing at putting together an outfit for me that I could wear to my husband's office holiday party in December. It's a cocktail party and dinner and most people really dress up, some to the nines. It's not black tie, but it is fancy. Because I still can't wear heels, I asked Kathryn to find me something I could wear with flats, and to feel free to do the whole nine yards--accessories, shoes, the works.

This month, we hit three out of five. It's the day before Thanksgiving and I'm still working as well as doing Thanksgiving prep so I didn't have time to do the whole modeling-in-front-of-a-camera thing, so I'm just showing you the clothes laid out on my bed. It's also really dark and rainy out so the lighting stunk. It is what it is. 

IMG_0111.jpg

First up: A really pretty blouse. It's a black blouse even though it looks charcoal gray in this photo. The print doesn't stand out nearly as much in person--it's a pretty subtle overall look, but very luxe. I also loved the neckline--the collar hit at just the right place and the keyhole opening wasn't too low.

In theory, I loved the crochet details across the yoke and the arms. In practice, however, they didn't work. The crochet around the arms was a bit on the snug side and made the whole sleeve pull every time I moved my arm. Plus, the blouse was cut straight on the sides and I'm a bit more curvy than that, so although it fit nicely in the top half, the bottom half was snug on the hips. It fit, but it pulled every time I moved. If I were maybe 10 or 15 pounds smaller, this would've been a win. Verdict: RETURN

IMG_0115.jpg

Next, the pants that she sent to go with the blouse. These are actually a very deep burgundy, not orange as the photo makes them look. The darker parts in the shadows are much closer to the actual color. I really apologize for the bad lighting!

In any case, I'd suggested a wide-leg pant. I was thinking more palazzo. These are bell-bottoms. These are Kut from the Kloth, a brand I frequently request from StitchFix because typically I absolutely love them and they fit me perfectly right out of the box. These were a pretty big miss. They're described as wide-leg and the picture online makes them look more evenly wide all the way down, but they fit my upper leg like a glove and then get really, really wide at the bottom. Plus, they were a good six inches too long. With most pants, hemming isn't a problem, but with these, that much of a hem would mess up the proportions and, frankly, on my body the whole balance was off anyway. They were comfortable, they fit well in the top half, they just weren't a silhouette that works well on me. Verdict: RETURN

IMG_0112.jpg

Now for the unexpected top. I pulled this one out of the box and my first thought was, "Meh." I figured I wouldn't be keeping it. Once I put it on, though, I was pleasantly surprised. It's too casual for the office party but will be great for other events over the next few weeks.

I'm not normally a blingy-clothes person. I don't like sequins and I don't like to be overly bejeweled. But this shiny top is fun and can be toned down a bit with the right scarf, if I feel the need. The shirt is super comfy, and has a little bit of a high-low thing going, plus it's a good length to wear with leggings. Although it's long-sleeved, it's a lightweight material which is perfect for winter parties. People's homes tend to get overly warm when crowded with bodies so this will work well for that. I already know two events I could easily wear this to, as well as date nights with my husband. Verdict: KEEP

IMG_0114.jpg

Kathryn hit the nail on the head with the earrings. These look great on me--they're the perfect length and are visible against my dark hair, but they're still really light-weight. I immediately put them on with the sweatshirt and lounge pants I was wearing yesterday and ended up wearing them all day because I forgot I even had them on. Now THAT'S an earring I can love!

And yes, they look good with the shiny top, above.

The hammered look makes them just a little artsy, but they're still pretty subtle. I love these. Verdict: KEEP.

 

IMG_0113.jpg

Finally, the shoes. 

I love these shoes. I'd been holding off asking for shoes ever since before the surgery because I have to try so many on before finding some that fit. I figured it was too much of a long shot that she could send me a pair that would work.

I should've trusted Kathryn.

These are wonderful. They're gray velvet with a nice silky rope trim. They can dress up or dress down easily, and--the most important thing these days--they don't hurt my feet. They've got enough room in all the places I still need a little extra room due to swelling, but they don't slip off my heels when I walk. I could be in these all night at the holiday party and won't want to throw them across the room two hours in like I usually do. Verdict: KEEP

Indeed, I loved the shoes so much that I went online last night and found an outfit for the party that goes with the shoes. Talk about dressing from the bottom up. I should get the outfit in a few days. If it fits, I'll give you a sneak preview then.

I'm going to an every-other-month delivery for StitchFix for awhile as, since I regained some of the weight I'd loss with this whole foot business, I'm still the same size I was last winter/spring and likely will be for awhile during the "regaining lost ground" process, so I have plenty of clothes. I'm just using StitchFix to fill in some gaps here and there. So, other than the holiday party end-of-story (if there is one), you won't see a Wardrobe Wednesday again for a little while.

Meanwhile, this happened in my house today.

Picture 1: Prepping egg sandwiches for my breakfasts for the rest of the week. I got a great idea from my WeightWatchers coach when we were talking about my tendency to carbo-load when I'm overtired (read: big ol' bagels slathered in butter), which I will be after hosting two Thanksgiving get-togethers back-to-back on Thursday and Friday. I was actually more concerned about going overboard on breakfast on Saturday and Sunday than I am about Thanksgiving dinner--but now I'm ready. I ate one for breakfast this morning, then will have one ready for every day through the weekend. Yay! 

Picture 2: Pie crusts waiting for (1) pumpkin that I'll make this afternoon and (2) chocolate cream that my husband will make tomorrow. My SIL is bringing an apple. I confess to using Pillsbury pie crusts, LOL.

Picture 3: a slow-cooker cranberry chutney recipe from WW. Normally I like the cranberry sauce in the can a whole lot, but I'm the only one who does. That means I end up eating all the leftovers as well. That's more WW points (translated: calories and sugar) than I'm willing to spend on cranberry sauce. I want my points for stuffing and dessert. I'm not a big fan of homemade cranberry sauce, honestly, but it seems like it should be on the table. This is a very easy recipe that sounds tasty, can be made ahead, and if I do decide I like it, it's much less "expensive" points-wise. Meanwhile, those folks who do like homemade cranberry sauce will be happy. Fingers crossed. (It smells amazing, though!)

More prep later this afternoon, but most of that won't be photo-worthy, LOL. How many peeled potatoes do you really need to see, anyway?

Side note here: For those of you who may be thinking, "It's just one meal! Don't deprive yourself," I'm not. I do very much believe it's just one meal and I'll thoroughly enjoy those things I only get once a year (like stuffing! like chocolate pie!). I don't deprive myself because that always backfires. However, I'm not going to waste the points/calories on things that aren't special--that I can get anytime, like bread--or I don't particularly like. Mostly, I want to be right back on track afterwards. Hence the breakfast sandwiches.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

 

 

Life Update and Wardrobe Wednesday (It's Stitch Fix Day!)

Life update first.

IMG_1956.JPG

I'm writing. 

The only update here is that I've got four out of five chapters done rough-draft-style. I'm taking a few leftover vacation days here and there to help me in the process. I have to have all five chapters to my advisor by November 1. Ahem. I'm burning daylight, here. October was mostly travel, complicated by a case of bronchitis that knocked me down for several days, so I've not been as productive as I'd have liked. Oh well, it'll get done!

IMG_3732.JPG

My podiatrist did follow-up x-rays at my appointment earlier this month and wasn't altogether pleased with the progress, so I'm doubling-up on my at-home physical therapy (bending my toe as much as possible). He also gave me a cortisone shot to help with the swelling and stiffness, so I should be more comfortable doing the PT and my workouts. I've gotten permission to start doing my walk/run routine again and ended up buying yet another new pair of sneakers: Hoka One One (pronounced "oh-nay"--some Polynesian term about being fast or something like that). This one finally seems to work well.

Look at that sole. Yikes. They look orthopedic, but the website proclaims that marathon runners love them, so I prefer to think of myself as in the company of amazing athletes than the one of people-with-bad-feet. The toe box is a little wider, it's pretty stiff, and although it's not technically a rocker-sole, it does help roll you forward so the injured toe doesn't have to bend. They're highly recommended for runners with foot issues like mine. I have to say, they do seem to make a huge difference. I can now do my walk/runs with just a little discomfort compared to the distinct pain I had before in my other (also very good) sneakers. I still can't do much without a lot of bruising and swelling but my doctor has assured me I can't do more damage--it's just a matter of what I can handle and getting my foot back into shape. It feels so good to just be doing something again! 

I also had my massage therapist work on my toe a bit at my last appointment and it's amazing what a difference that made. I think she must have broken up a lot of scar tissue or something. So I'm trying to mimic some of what she did as best I can at home. Hopefully within a few more months I'll be back to full movement (and no pain!) again.

Wardrobe Wednesday

I missed posting my August Stitch Fix. If I recall, that one was five-for-five but I don't remember now what all was it in it. Sorry! My September and October Stitch Fixes were both five-for-five--woo! I'm now sticking with stylist Kathryn. She's fantastic. It helps that she spells her name the same way one of my sisters' middle name is spelled; it's an unusual spelling so it it feels like a little bit of home. 

September's Stitch Fix

...is in this collage: I didn't have time when I got it to model anything. It's all already gotten worn quite a bit.

The cardigan and jacket both had to be exchanged. The cardigan had a little pull in one shoulder so I did a "damaged" exchange. The jacket fit just exactly perfectly...if I didn't want to wear anything bulkier than a tshirt underneath it. I exchanged it for the next size up so I have a little more breathing room for long-sleeve shirts and such. Let me tell you, that jacket is a serious win! I love it SO MUCH. It looks great on, and it's a wonderful stretchy material so it never pulls across the back or in the elbows, even though it is fairly fitted. Even my husband commented (unsolicited) on how nice it looks on me. I've worn it pretty much every day since I got it. I had asked for another structured tote that was a little more professional to use during my work events, and I love the bag they sent. It has a zipper closure which makes it perfect for travel, and it holds its shape well. I'm not sure I'm in love with the very long tassels but those are easily enough removed. The black pants are just a replacement for a pair I'd received in a box last winter and somehow managed to lose. I still think they'll show up in my daughter's laundry at some point. In any case, it's nice to have them again. I was so happy that Kathryn was able to find me another pair. (Yes, they're $78, although since I bought the whole box I get discounts, plus they're seriously worth it. They fit beautifully, they're extremely comfortable, and they don't get baggy at all, even wearing them three or four times between washes, like I did when I was on vacation.)

Stitch Fix's exchange process worked beautifully, by the way. Couldn't have been easier. I just clicked the right buttons in the check-out process, sent the two I was exchanging back in the envelope provided, and received the replacements within a few days. Easy Schmeasy.

October's Stitch Fix:

Another five-for-five! This time I'd mentioned that the holidays were coming up and I'd like something that would be appropriate for family holiday 'dos. I also asked for a smaller shoulder-bag of some sort, as most of my bags are now tote-sized. They do so well at purses and totes for me, I kinda want to keep them coming! Other than that, I left it pretty open.

IMG_3905.JPG

I think we're hosting my husband's family, or at least part of it, at our house for Thanksgiving. I usually wear nicer jeans or leggings, but I like to wear a more festive top. However, I'll also be in the kitchen so I don't want anything too fussy or hot. I think this blouse will be perfect--although I'd have to watch those bell sleeves in the gravy. I think they're high enough up my arm, though, they shouldn't be much trouble. It's an embossed velvet, and has a built in cotton cami. It's loose and cool, and I think it'll be great for the day. I haven't decided what necklace I'll wear with it, but I like the concept.

Kathryn said in her style note that she decided to "push me" a little out of my comfort zone with this one and hoped that it worked. Work, it does!

(The jeans are from a prior Stitch Fix--one of my most-often worn jeans nowadays.)


IMG_3906.JPG

This is a two-fer: I'm modeling both a sweater and some skinny jeans. 

The sweater is fan-freaking-tastic. It's cotton and loose but not dumpy. Kathryn noted the slightly artsy take on the angled hem. (I'd said in my style notes that I tend to be more classic/casual but love stuff with an artsy/boho flair). In my request for this box, I'd mentioned that I like the look of blouses layered under sweaters but hate the constricted feel of the sleeves when I do that, so thought maybe a looser sweater might work. I think this one could layer easily, although I'll probably mostly wear it on its own.

The pants are getting exchanged. They're black skinny jeans, with the emphasis on SKINNY. They've got some give to them so I can get them on, and even walk around fairly well. Sitting, however, is a bit of an issue. Although I could hang onto them as aspirational, I'd prefer to exchange them for the next size up and actually be able to wear them comfortably the next few months until I re-lose the few pounds I re-gained during the foot debacle. Even too tight, though, the pants were remarkably comfortable. I can't wait to get the pair I can actually wear. I think these may well become go-tos. 

IMG_3908.JPG

I took this second picture of the sweater so you could see the nifty sleeve detail. (And it's soft! No scratchy or stiffness in that elbow at all!)


IMG_3909.JPG

Finally, this last picture includes a scarf and handbag. I had let Kathryn know that I'm a fan of scarves so she can pretty much never go wrong tossing one in the box. This one is fairly large, and I'm not always a huge fan of geometric prints, preferring abstract, organic, or floral. However, in this case, and for fall/winter, geometric works fine, as does bulky. I'll be thrilled to have this once the temperature starts dropping. And this is one seriously soft scarf. 

Who knew I really wanted a yellow shoulder bag? I didn't, until I opened this up and fell in love. It's a great hobo-style bag, with all sorts of pockets. It'll be my daily bag now.  In fact, I already switched out of my other bag and into this one and will be taking it with me when I head over to my MILs for dinner tonight. The mustard yellow is perfect for fall, and it'll go great with my olive jacket from the last Fix. 

I didn't realize I had a thing for purses and totes until very recently. And now, with Kathryn doing so well at getting me ones I love and can really use, it's hard for me not to want one in every box! I have clear memories from childhood of my mom "changing purses" every Sunday and thinking how silly that was. Now I'd say "I'm turning into my mother," except that train left the station years ago. The purse thing just confirms it. 

In my requests for my next Fix at the end of November, I told Kathryn that my husband's office party is in December. It's a dressy affair, but there's a wide interpretation of what that means for women, so I'm thinking I'll do some sort of pants outfit this year as I doubt I'd be able to be in heels yet. I gave Kathryn some parameters and let her know that if she wanted to try to do the whole party outfit, clothes to accessories to clutch purse, she could go for it! It'll be fun to see if she comes up with something. She's been dead-on-point every time these last few boxes, so I have high hopes!

If you want to check out Stitch Fix for yourself, here's my referral code!

Wardrobe Wednesday--August Stitch Fix

I got my August Stitch Fix! Woot! Here's my pics. And to make it all worthwhile (and you can skip everything else if you want), stay tuned for the final picture. 

I'd put this month's Stitch Fix at about 85-90% success. Four out of the five things are fantastic! The fifth is likable, although not my fave. But still, I'll get use out of it. I had a different stylist this time, Kathryn. And she spells her name the way my sister's middle name is spelled, which is very unusual. I take it to mean good things!

This month, I'd told the stylist that I have a cruise for work (I know, let the jokes start now) in September. Yes, it's a cruise in the Bahamas, but yes, it's also a work event. So while I want to dress cruisy, it also needs to be appropriately modest. I asked for dresses I could wear to dinner but that could also be worn a little more casually at other times.I also suggested tops and a cruise-appropriate tote. 

She delivered on all counts!


Item #1--Tote Bag

The tote bag is fantastic! It definitely has a bit of an island vibe going but it's the kind of bag I can carry anywhere--in other words, I don't look like I'm trying to look weirdly tropical in the middle of Western NY. 

The exterior feels like a pretty sturdy canvas so it should travel well. The embroidery seems sturdy too--I haven't seen any loose threads anywhere. It has both shoulder straps and a cross-body strap. I prefer to carry things on my shoulder unless I'm going to be out all day (then I switch to cross-body to save my shoulder), so it's always important to me that the carrying straps are comfortable and these hit at just the right spot.

It's got the standard two slip pockets on one side and a zip pocket on the other. It's really nice that the interior leather is the exact color of the tote they sent me last January, which I still carry nearly every day, although for the summer I've flipped it to the white side. In any case, that means my wallet and zipper pouch match this one perfectly. There's a magnetic closure which works super-easily, which is also very nice. (My other tote has no closure at all.)

Finally, the pic on the right shows how it looks when I do up the interior snaps. You can see one of the snaps hanging on the left in the middle picture. Both sides have a strap which snap together in the middle, and the magnetic closure closes above them. It pulls the top in so the whole bag has more of a clean angle to it. I love the shape that gives the tote although, from a use standpoint, it would be a pain to keep those things closed while I was trying to get in and out of the bag, even if it does make it just a hair more secure. It's unlikely I'll use them much, but it's a nice option to have.

If I were on a serious shopping trip and was stuffing this bag full, I can even undo the two buckles on the sides to give me a couple more inches of stuff-space. Again, something I probably wouldn't do much but if I go ashore in Grand Bahama and decide to do some shopping, I've got options!

So the bag is a serious win. I'm already using it--it's a great summer bag but in colors that will be able to move into early fall. Kathryn did well by me in the realm of totes!


Item #2--White Blouse

This was my other favorite item from the box--a long-sleeved white blouse with a little bit of a boho vibe.

It's really loose and cool material so I wore it on Tuesday in 85+ degrees and as-humid-as-a-fish-tank weather, and was absolutely fine even with the long sleeves. The colors in it, such as navy, a golden yellow, and a deep red, mean I'll be able to pair it with darker cardigans when we get into fall, and stretch it into another season. 

It's shown here styled (aren't I all the fashion blogger with the lingo n' all?) with Kut from the Kloth jeans from the April StitchFix box, which, as it turns out, I wear all the time and they're insanely comfortable; Bob's (by Skechers) on my right foot, and my very stylish post-surgery boot on my left. Also, note that I had to cancel a much-needed hair appointment due to said surgery and it's been super-humid out so my hair is about three times the dimension it should be in this pic.


I took the rest of these pics this morning. I've now been released from the surgery boot but I'm still pretty limited as to which shoes I can get my foot into as the swelling hasn't gone down yet. This is also first thing in the morning so my hair hasn't gotten into full-on-frizz mode yet. But, back to the Stitch Fix reveal.

Item #3--Green Blouse

This green blouse is the only item in the box I was a little lukewarm on. I love this color but I've learned that it's a tough one for me to wear because I immediately look worn out when I put it on. (I'm starting to do some research now as to what colors a "Bright Spring" can wear in the fall, as most of the ones I used to wear don't actually work well.) Other than the color, it's a similar cool fabric to the long-sleeve blouse although not exactly the same, as this one wrinkles and the other doesn't. Also, I started to wear this one on Tuesday but before I'd even gotten out of the bedroom it was starting to show the sweat. Yuck. I quickly changed into the less-sweat-revealing white blouse and set this one aside for a cooler or less humid day. It's very comfortable on and I like the style of the sleeves. When you're actively sailing, cruise ships tend to be breezier so I don't think I'd have the same problem with the sweat marks on ship, but this one may not end up coming with me in any case due to the wrinkle element. However, due to the color it will easily transition into fall. I'm wearing it here with the white pants I bought from Christopher and Banks when I did my modeling there. I like the blouse with the white but I think it would work better with skinny white jeans as that would balance out the blousiness better.


Item #4--White(ish) Dress

I love this dress, although I either want to lose another 10 lbs before the cruise or I'll be wearing Spanx. It's just clingy enough that I'm not keen going "au naturale" with it, but the shape and neckline are really flattering--which you can't really tell from this pic and I really DO have to learn how to pose better (it's just so awkward!). 

It's a very comfortable fabric and doesn't wrinkle at all--it came out of the box in pristine condition, so that'll be great for packing. With the longer sleeves and colorway, if I pair it with a black duster cardigan I can wear it into the fall. 

These sandals work well with it in a more casual way. I don't really have any dressier black shoes. That's probably something I should rectify eventually. When I can start getting my foot back into real-people-shoes.


Item #5--Fuschia and Navy Dress

Je t'adore. The pop of fuschia makes this Bright Spring look good in this navy! (Navy is also an iffy color for me. I have a lot of it, but I have to pair it with white or some other bright color or I look like I haven't slept in days.) This dress is also something that can look a little more professional while still modern and, of course, I can pair it with a cardigan as we move into the fall and winter. This might be a little "heavy" looking for a cruise, but I'll definitely get use from it otherwise!

So this box was a nearly-complete win! Woot!

Interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself (or your husband)? Here's my referral link if you'd like to use it--and thank you! 


And now, your reward for hanging on through all those awkward poses...

My budding Doofus. He'll be 15 weeks old this Saturday.

He'd gotten sick last night for several hours--I'm thinking it may have been a reaction to the rabies and distemper shots he'd gotten at the vet that morning, although it's hard to know because at this stage puppies put everything and anything in their mouths. 

In any case, once he started feeling better he was rocking and rolling through the house and suddenly this face popped up in front of me.

He knows better than to jump on the chair. But I couldn't scold him until I'd taken the picture. 

One of the #twilters has now dubbed him Wee Doofus. It fits, not the least because there's a lot of wee in our lives lately so he's back to the beginning with his housetraining again. The putz.

Wardrobe Wednesday

  Lularoes to the rescue. 

Lularoes to the rescue. 

Since I've been laid up for the last week, I've not been particularly worried about dressing well. In fact, before I had my follow-up appointment and they changed my bandages, there was so much bulk around my foot that dressing every day was ruled by what I could actually get over my foot. 

However, I realized quickly that, in my efforts to update my wardrobe over the last year, I'd short-changed myself on loungewear. Other than pajama pants, I only have one pair of sloppy, draw-string jersey lounge pants, and an old pair of yoga pants I keep in the bottom drawer in my closet designated as my "occasional" or "special-needs" clothes like my long underwear. Fortunately, I finally gave my Lularoe leggings (I have two pairs) a shot and found that they're stretchy enough to pull on over the bandages and still keep their shape once they're on. 

You see, with a Golden Retriever puppy who's "molting" (shedding his puppy fur as his adult fur starts to come in), every pair of pants I wear gets covered in dog fur pretty fast. Hard to wear them multiple days in a row without just feeling gross.

The first couple of days after surgery I didn't care much--my ugly gray draw-string pants were fine as I recovered from the surgery itself. (Even though it was only on a toe, any kind of surgery sends your body into a tailspin!) After that, though, I found that wearing my slouchy gray pants actually made me feel a little worse. I wanted to be comfortable, of course, but I also wanted to feel a little more like myself--a little more pulled together. The Lularoes were a great solution. I don't wear the Lularoes out of the house unless I have a really long tunic-style top over them (don't like being quite that revealing in public), but for home I could wear a tshirt and hoodie. I wouldn't win any fashion awards, nor was I trying to, but I felt better, slightly more perky in general wearing more normal clothes. Those gray draw-string pants are truly ugly. I've almost donated them a couple of times over the past year, and I rarely wear them under normal circumstances, but they worked great for surgery day and the first couple of days after, so once I'm totally unbandaged and can go back to my normal shoes and wardrobe, those gray pants will go back into the "special-needs" drawer with the black yoga pants for the next foot surgery (which I know I'll need to have done on the other foot at some point in the next couple of years). 

I have found over the years that what I wear has a pretty significant effect on my psyche. I don't need to be in heels and pearls (especially not heels!). But I've had periods of time where I got in the habit of wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts a lot since I work from home. I realized, however, that when I do that, I tend to have a more pessimistic outlook, I become a little more sluggish, and I just don't like myself as well.

Of course, it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing. Is my outlook driving my clothing choices, or are my clothing choices driving my outlook? Clearly it's a mix of both. But it's also true that, when I realized what was going on and started dressing better ("better" meaning wearing jeans and nicer tshirts--we're still not talking LBDs and diamonds, here), I started feeling better. Maybe it's a "fake it till you make it" thing, but whatever--it works for me.  

In this second week of healing, I'm pleased that the size of my bandages has reduced somewhat; although I still can't get most of my jeans over them, it's opened up some options in dressing a little. And I've figured out how to take a fast, somewhat awkward shower without getting my bandages wet (Glad Press n' Seal has unexpected uses!).  I'm wearing my Lularoes--thankfully, they also don't collect dog hair the way the yoga pants and gray draw-string pants do--and tshirts that more or less match them, and feeling more pulled together and good about life. I still have to keep my foot elevated but I'm able to move around more and don't have to be flat-out on the couch anymore. Life is good.

What do you think? Do you find there's a connection between how you dress and the way you feel?  

Wardrobe Wednesday

I'm home! 

I got home from my big summer work trip this week, just past Monday-turning-into-Tuesday. My flight was scheduled to land at 11:30 pm Monday, so I figured I'd be walking in my front door around midnight. We actually landed about 15 minutes early...but then our luggage got stuck in the baggage chute and it took them almost 40 minutes to get everything sorted out so we could pick up our suitcases. I didn't get home until about 12:30. My husband had waited up for me with the dogs, so I got to see my family and, after my husband went on up to bed, I hung out getting puppy cuddles until I was finally ready to go to sleep an hour or so later. Fortunately, as Tuesday was the 4th of July, a big celebration here in the U.S., I had the day off and we had no plans for family events or anything, so I could just laze as much as I wanted to.

I arrived home to a bunch of boxes, one of which was my July StitchFix. As tired as I was Tuesday, I knew I was pushing the three-day limit to send things back so I tried everything on and got my pics. With apologies for not actually quite looking good enough for public viewing, here we go. 

570FD023-C626-45FE-8EDF-D4C586D51C81.JPG

First up...I'd said I'd like some casual t-shirt dresses to wear around the house or to summer festivals and the like.

Gee, can you guess? This red tank-top t-shirt dress SO didn't make the cut.

It's not the most flattering of colors on me, to begin with. You can see how it hangs a little too low in the sleeves and shows the side of my undergarments. It's a little twisted (sorry, didn't notice that when I took the picture) so it doesn't look QUITE as bad on me in real life as this picture might suggest, but still, this was not a keeper for me.

If I want a hot-weather dress to wear on the patio that doesn't look great on me I'll just buy one at Target.

Verdict: Returning.

EBC8E18F-52F8-46BA-BD0E-81C79935F682.JPG

Another dress-for-summer-festivals they sent me was a much prettier dress overall, but a little fancier than I was picturing, and not a good color on me. I don't have anything against orange but it needs to be a brighter orange or it makes me look like death-warmed-over. Not that I needed much help in that direction the day I took these pictures anyway...

I liked the flutter sleeves on this, and it's a nice, flattering "faux wrap" style. It actually looks better on me than this picture would suggest (I really need to learn how to stand better). But it's not anything I'd wear to a casual summer event. If I had weddings to attend, maybe.  

Verdict: Returning. 

EE0FB078-7B67-4049-A0F2-104B2F6F99D8.JPG

I thought I'd said in my notes to my stylist that I don't wear shorts. Or, maybe I decided at the last minute to change that and allow the shorts thing to happen to see if I could get some good ones (I mostly don't like shorts because I so rarely find a pair that fit right). I don't remember what I said now--I always suffer amnesia about anything I did before leaving town on a work trip. In any case, I not only got a pair of shorts, but they're the frayed-edge, pretending-to-be-cut-off shorts. I haven't worn cut-offs since I was about 15. I'm not going to start wearing them again at 51. 

These were very comfortable shorts--the same brand as the two pairs of leggings I got from StitchFix before vacation that I love. But because they're a stretchy denim (which is why they're so comfy) they look like they're a tight fit, and that's just not an area of my body on which I'm comfortable putting form-fitting clothes.

The top was definitely more my style and nice enough, but I decided I didn't really need another top like this in my summe wardrobe and I'd rather save the bucks at this point.

Verdict: Returning both.

6FD42F77-73AE-4384-9F3D-DC8AEC2614B8.JPG

The last item I got this month was a great pair of earrings. I had them on for all of these pics, so you can see they're nice, big "statement earrings." I'd been wanting a big pair of earrings to wear when I didn't feel like wearing a necklace, and this pair has the boho vibe I like, they're silver and go with most of my summer wardrobe, and are pretty lightweight despite their size.

Verdict: Keeping. 

So, out of the whole box, I'm keeping one pair of earrings. That doesn't bother me--in fact, had I loved everything in the box I may have ended up in a dilemma because I really do feel pretty set for summer clothes. 

Stay tuned for those other boxes that came while I was gone...

Wardrobe Wednesday and Catching Up

I tried to send another vacation post while I was gone but our Internet access was extremely sketchy and the post went all pear-shaped on me (can you tell I've been watching a lot of BBC again?), so I'll catch up on vacation pics later.

Meanwhile, I wanted to do a Wardrobe Wednesday post to give you the end of the shoe story, some comments on other recent purchases and how they held up, and my brief experience with the LeTote subscription service.

  The ones on my feet and the black ones in this pic both came with me. I wore the stripey ones a TON, and the black ones several times, including for the flights home.

The ones on my feet and the black ones in this pic both came with me. I wore the stripey ones a TON, and the black ones several times, including for the flights home.

First, the Skechers shoes were da bomb! I ended up bringing 3 pairs of them, plus one of my Clarks that I'd bought on my first "vacation shoe shopping excursion" back in March, because all of them fit the inserts well and would mix and match with my outfits. Plus I had a pair of sandals. So yes, indeed, I packed 5 pairs of shoes for a 12-day trip. Excessive, but I tend to pack a lot more for vacations than I do for work trips so I've got options. Plus, I could get away with it because the Skechers and Clarks were all extremely light-weight and since I was using packing cubes for everything, I didn't have any problems fitting everything in.

  The Iris Lace-Up d'Orsay Pump by Halogen from my March Trunk Club. Well worth the money!

The Iris Lace-Up d'Orsay Pump by Halogen from my March Trunk Club. Well worth the money!

The sandals I brought were the ones I got from my Nordstrom's Trunk Club awhile back. These are now my go-to dress shoes. I've worn them several times, including events where I was on my feet a lot, and they're fantastic. Very comfortable. The block heel makes them very stable and my toes end well before the point so there's no squishing. Even with my bum toe, these are great shoes!

In any case, my toe behaved beautifully through the trip. Indeed, I even ditched the inserts by day four or so, and continued not to have any difficulties, even over extremely uneven cobblestones and a fortress carved directly into the side of a mountain (the "floor" in the first half of the fortress was pure rock and extremely uneven). I got a twinge here or there if I landed wrong, but no lasting pain. The very last day we were there, in Basel, it started acting up some, but once we got back to the room and I was off it for half an hour before dinner, it settled right back down again. 

So, I recommend Skechers! Now, that being said, now that I'm skipping the inserts I can wear my Toms again. Toms are definitely far better made and more substantial on my feet than Skechers' Bobs are. The stripey Bobs that I wore all over Europe have stretched out some now and flop around on my feet a little bit. I still wear them because they're still pretty comfy--and dang cute--but my Toms definitely feel better all around. So if you're doing some comparison shopping, Bobs are great, but Toms are greater-er. (They're also more expensive so you just need to make the call.)

  Chicos Girlfriend Ankle Jeans--love these!

Chicos Girlfriend Ankle Jeans--love these!

Another recommendation? Chicos pants! I now have three pairs of pants from Chicos (all bought on sale)--two pairs of jeans and one lighter weight pants. They all came with me on the trip, I wore each pair of them several times, and they all held up super-well, especially the jeans. I can't find the lighter weight ones on their website, and they did get a little baggy on me after I'd worn them a couple of times, so I'll just focus on the jeans because I have nothing bad to say about those!

This picture at the left (not me!) is the So Slimming Girlfriend Ankle Jeans. The term "slimming" typically puts me off because it often means "corset." However, you'd never know these were supposedly slimming. They fit me like normal jeans--they just hold their shape really well! Can't say I particularly looked any smaller in them, either, but they're really flattering, so maybe that's the "slimming" part. I have two pairs of these, one dark wash and one medium wash. Neither of them ever bagged or sagged or anything even after wearing them multiple times on the trip (a couple of times on pretty hot days). These are my go-to jeans, now.

Review of LeTote

So, on to LeTote. Have you heard of that one? I was attracted to it because it's partially a rental service, of sorts. When you subscribe, you choose the level of your subscription (how many clothing items plus how many accessories within a few tiers of options). You pay a monthly subscription fee based on that level. You go through their website and add items you like to your "closet." Then they select items primarily from your closet, or suggest items based on what you've indicated you like, and put them in your "tote." You get 48 hours to either accept their recommendations or swap items out with other things in your closet, and then it ships to you. You can then keep those items and wear them for as long as you like. Once you decide what you're keeping and/or returning, you stick the items you're returning in their provided envelope and put it in your mailbox. Within a couple of days, you get billed for whatever you kept, and your next tote kicks into gear.

What I liked about it:

  • The idea that I was basically "renting" clothes for a bit. It's nice to be able to wear something to really decide if you want to keep it. Plus, as I had been changing sizes at that point, I felt like it was a good low-commitment way to have new clothes as I traveled further in my weight-loss journey. (I've stalled out for a couple months now but at that point I had reason to believe I might be going down again soon. Dang. At least I've not gone back up!)
  • The idea that I could easily send stuff back, without having to wash it, even. I know. "Eugh!" you say. But they provide all sorts of information about their cleaning system and I never noticed any sort of funk or smell to anything I got--it all seemed like everything I've ever bought in a store. If you're squeamish, you can always wash it before you wear it. 
  • Getting accessories in every box. I subscribed for the two-clothing-one-accessory tier. I got two pairs of earrings (only one of which I kept, if I recall), and the next tote would've had a belt in it, had I not cancelled.
  • In the last tote I got, one of the tops went on sale after I'd already received the tote, so they sent me an email letting me know that. I'd been waffling a little on it because of its original price, but the sale price was really good so I did end up keeping that one. Everything else went back. (StitchFix says they do the same thing but I've not had that happen to me yet with them.)

What I didn't like about it:

  • The "rental" thing didn't end up being my vibe. I either like clothes enough to want to keep them, or don't want to wear them at all. (I have the same problem with library books!) Plus, I have been doing so well with StitchFix lately that I don't feel the same need for another subscription service now that I did when I first signed up for LeTote.
  • I had difficulty finding clothes I liked in their offerings. That's a personal thing, so you may not have the same problem. I just found that I was adding things to my closet more because it was "better than anything else they had" and not so much because I really loved it. Even the jewelry wasn't entirely in my wheelhouse. 
  • It was a little stressful immediately getting another tote in process as soon as I'd sent one. If I was really into the whole "rental" thing, that would be fun. If I were working in an office and had a lot of people seeing my outfits every day, I could see where LeTote would be a lot more fun. But I don't get out much, LOL. I don't need a steady influx of new looks in my life.

What I'm holding my breath on:

  • I'd read reviews of LeTote before signing up, but somehow didn't see a whole batch of negative press that was out there until after I'd already subscribed. It was only then that I started reading people's complaints about how hard it was to unsubscribe. Several people related stories of getting billed for months after they'd tried to cancel. So, when I decided to cancel, I was nervous that it was going to be a problem. I'm glad to say so far that it hasn't been. We'll see what happens next month (will I suddenly get billed again?), but I think I was able to successfully cancel today. I sent an email a couple of days ago but didn't hear back, so I called the direct number today, put my phone on speaker phone and did other things during the 10-minute-long hold waiting for someone to get to me in the queue, and finally got to talk to someone directly. She was very nice, immediately cancelled my subscription, and sent me an email with a confirmation. I can't sign into my account now, so I think it's all good!
  During a layover in Detroit coming home from vacay. Even at the end of two weeks of walking, my feet still loved these Skechers!

During a layover in Detroit coming home from vacay. Even at the end of two weeks of walking, my feet still loved these Skechers!

So those are my wardrobe updates. Maybe you'll find something helpful in all that! I'm not getting another StitchFix until July so it'll be awhile before we have another Wardrobe Wednesday!

 

 

 

Fight the Funk Friday (and a little Belated Wardrobe Wednesday)

I had a fantastically fun workout with my trainer, Lore, this week. We usually meet at the Y nearest me but due to both her and my travel schedules, this week the only way to have a session was to meet earlier in the week and at the Y where she's actually based. It's a long drive (about 40 minutes one way in traffic), but it was a lot of fun as her Y is much newer and has tons of equipment that mine doesn't have. I may try to meet her there once a month from now on because it was a blast!

I got to drag a sled with weights on it 3/4 of the way across the gym, then pull it back towards me at my starting place with ropes. 

I flipped a big tire back and forth across the gym.

I beat on that same tire with a sledgehammer. That felt great. I asked if I could do it more. I did it a lot.

  (Did I already use this one? Probably. It's my current favorite!)

(Did I already use this one? Probably. It's my current favorite!)

I dangled from arm straps to do core work. That hurt. Clearly I need to do more work on my core strength.

(My trainer's quotable quote this week: "Everything's more fun when you're dangling." )

When people say they "hate exercise," all I can think is, "you haven't tried enough different ways to exercise yet!" Sure, I'm a little stiff now, but it was so much fun I don't care.  

I'm a beast. 

That workout helped to make up for the fact that I finally made the call not to do the Color Run this weekend. I really didn't want to do something I'd regret to my foot right before vacation. I'm terribly disappointed but I'm refocusing my brain on how much fun I'd been having with a highly varied workout before I started running. I enjoy doing different things all the time and running prevented that. To build up to a 5k, and given my schedule, I could only run (and do one session of strength training a week). I missed the variety I used to have before I started running. I've already written out in my planner a workout schedule for the week I get back that goes back to my "something different every day" routine. I'm still pretty limited--no Cardio Kickboxing for awhile, although I might be able to do Cardio Step as you try to keep your foot flat with that most of the time. Anyway...back to variety.

  I may be in pain but my toenails are vacation-ready!

I may be in pain but my toenails are vacation-ready!

 I did go back to my podiatrist yesterday and he gave me another set of cortisone shots (two last time, three this time) to see if that can get me through vacation. The fact that I knew how much it was going to hurt afterwards didn't help. He did give me some more long-lasting anesthetic as part of the shots but I think that only took a little of the edge off. He then went into his routine about the surgery being "nothing." I laughed and told him that, as he hadn't really told me how much the cortisone was going to hurt, his credibility rating on "the surgery will be nothing" had taken a nosedive. He was surprised to find out how much pain I'd been in after that shot. From what I've seen online (and Twilter responses) severe pain for several hours after is normal. I suspect he's never had one. That's not something you can learn out of a book.

  Skechers new and old

Skechers new and old

And, I went shoe shopping again this week. I finally decided that, as only one pair of my initial "vacation shoes" actually worked with the inserts, I just had to bite the bullet and check out some more options. As the one pair of shoes I already owned that worked with the inserts were Skechers, I hit the Skechers outlet store ten minutes from my house. I spent a fast half hour between other appointments (1) finding the few options available in my size (especially with the inserts, I'm in the upper range of shoe sizes), (2) picking at the edge of the insoles to make sure I could rip them out to fit the inserts underneath (while trying to avoid doing enough damage that I'd have to buy the dang shoe anyway), and (3) trying them on with my inserts. I actually found a grand total of six pairs. They were having a "buy one, get one 50% off sale," woo. However, I don't necessarily know that I'll be keeping all six. Since I was doing it in a hurry, I was just looking for "what worked" and "what I liked," but couldn't think carefully through "what outfits I have that I know these will work with." This first picture is my original pair of gray Skecher sneakers with the inserts now removed from under the sole, with the two pairs of new ones I knew for sure I was going to make work because they were so comfy and cute! 

  Skechers Bob's platform espadrilles--fantastic!

Skechers Bob's platform espadrilles--fantastic!

Here's a second, better picture of the black ones. (The multicolored in the picture are flats, just like Toms.)

These are probably my favorite comfort-wise because the platform sole means that they're actually stiffer than any of the rest of the options, and with my toe issues, stiff is good. (Did I mention my inserts are a sheet of carbon plate? We're not messing around here. The point is restricting my toe bend when I walk.) When I put in my inserts and then the memory foam insole over the top, these are really, really comfortable. I can easily picture myself walking all day in these, and I think they'd look cute with several of my possible outfits. I do have to take a hair dryer to the heel and the left toe to get a little more stretch on them--with the inserts I have to really work to get my foot in there. But once they're on, they're really comfy!

"Bobs" are the Skechers total rip-off of Toms. They don't even try to hide it, which I at least respect. They even say that Bobs helps support some pet charity or another (Toms gives a pair of shoes to an underprivileged child for every pair you buy), although Skechers is pretty cagey about how that works and how much support goes to them. Toms are definitely better made, but I can't rip the insole out of them (remember that "better made"--the insole is stitched down rather than glued) so I can't easily wear my Toms with my inserts. I'm not expecting these Bobs to last me as long as my Toms but, to be honest, they don't really need to. If they get me through this summer and all my foot issues, I'll be ecstatic.

And here are the other four pairs that still need to be assessed. I'll be trying them on with the pants I know I'll be packing to see what works. And no, I won't be packing that many pairs of shoes! I have one pair of sandals already set out that will go with all my dress-up outfits and are already toe-tested. Then I may allow myself three other pairs of casual/walking shoes for various modes of dress (and probable rain). I'm looking at those gray leather slides as my airport shoes--easy to get on and off in security and a little warmer on the plane for my cold feet.

Another nice thing about these Skechers is they're all really light-weight so won't add much to my suitcase poundage! As a note--the navy sneakers came with a second pair of navy laces, and the gray sneakers come with a second pair of light gray laces, so you can go lower contrast on both if  you prefer. I definitely wouldn't bring both pairs on vacation but I don't have any navy casual shoes so I suspect that pair will be a keeper for my general wardrobe. Not as sure about the taupe flats or the gray sneakers, but we'll see.

If all six work with my summer wardrobe overall, well, they were all really well priced so I'll just figure I now have a shoe wardrobe  at least four times the size of what it was ever before! And hopefully that means I won't have to buy new spring/summer shoes for several years. I don't need nearly as many footwear options in the fall/winter, as the snow and slush drives all shoe-buying options at that point, and I still have some from before that will work fine. And by then, I'll have had my surgery so I should just be back into normal shoes I like, not messing around with what I can shove a piece of carbon into. Sigh.

2017-05-19 10.55.40.jpg

Oh--quick update on the contacts: I'm getting much better at putting them in! We switched brands on the trials earlier this week and the new ones are much easier to use. I'm down to three tries (average) on the left eye, and can generally get the right eye in one (I'm a rightie). And no problems taking them out at all. I pick up another set of trials today that are hopefully much closer to my actual prescription so fingers crossed!

Between the cortisone, the footwear, and the contacts...all I have to do now is pack and we're on our way vacay! Woot!

(Tea Tuesday ended up on unintentional hiatus this week as Lori and I couldn't get our schedules together, but it'll come back when I'm back from vacation. Consider today's shoe section of this post your Wardrobe Wednesday. I didn't get Thinkin' about It Thursday done due to evening conference calls and unexpected podiatrist appointments. And I won't be posting for the next two weeks unless I can sometimes throw some photos up here while on vacation. Otherwise, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @sandyquiltz--I'm sure I'll be pretty active there!) 

Wardrobe Wednesday--The Elusive Poncho

By jove, I think we've got it.

If you've been following along in my recent Wardrobe Wednesday posts, you know that I had a bug in my bonnet about getting a poncho I could use for travel, specifically for airports. I'm almost always cold on airplanes, especially long, international flights. But I hate sitting in a jacket. I feel way too constricted. I usually bring a pashmina with me and use it as a blanket, stretched from toes to chin if I'm sleeping, but even that can get problematic, trying to keep myself covered. I thought a poncho might be a good solution, at least for my top half. (The pashmina or plane blanket can still cover my legs and ankles.) Ponchos also seemed to be "on trend" this year so who'd-a-thunk I'd have so many problems finding one?

First of all, many of them are southwestern style, which I don't mind on other people but doesn't generally go with my sartorial vibe. Second, I was pretty picky about the fabric they were made out of. I didn't want to look like I was wearing a sheep, but I did want to be warm enough.

Well, long-story-short, I finally found a couple of possibilities at Chicos (online) and ordered two, figuring I would return whichever one doesn't work.

The first one I ordered was on sale, which is always a plus. This is the Maeve poncho. I loved the color-block look and asymmetrical vibe. 

Don't I model so much better now? Tee hee.

In any case, I got it in the white/black version. Black and white is more universal to go with whatever I might happen to wear on travel days. However, I do like the red version, and I think that would be a good red for me--so many are not! 

The Maeve poncho can be worn off-the-shoulder but I wouldn't plan on wearing it that way--I like the boatneck look it has in the photo with the red version.

Unfortunately, I think I'll be taking this one back. Well, let me clarify that: I'll definitely be returning the white one I got as it has a little hole and a pull in it that would only get worse. And I don't want two black and white ponchos. Whether I replace it with a red one remains to be seen.

It's very lightweight, so it's not warm enough for what I wanted in regards to air travel. However, I do love the way it drapes. It would be a really interesting variation on a work outfit and/or going-out-to-dinner outfit. Rather than a cardigan or jacket of some sort, I could throw on this poncho and look dressy but be very comfortable. It would be a nice weight for my usual conference-room work life, and it's one-size-fits-all so it would move with me through my journey. So, I'm still debating this one (in red) for other uses.

The second one I got, though, tics all the boxes for me.

This is the Talia poncho. It was also on sale--yay for me. 

The Talia is not only much longer than the Maeve, but it's a heavier knit and has a very soft, fleecy interior. It's definitely more blanket-like, but the style and fabric doesn't make it look like you're wearing your comforter out of the house. 

I love the unusual cut on this, and it makes it a little bit warmer since it's almost a cape-like vibe in the back. The way the neckine is made is also nice--the fabric folds under itself so you've just got cozy softness but it's not all bunched up. This will be extremely comfy on the plane.

The only draw-back to having a poncho is carrying my bag over my shoulder through the airport. Chances are, I'll actually put the poncho in the bag during my layovers--I'll be wearing long sleeves underneath and I don't usually find airports all that cold, especially when I'm hoofing it from one gate to the next. However, my totebag that I'll be using as a carry-on does have a cross-body strap as well, which is easier to manage with the poncho. 

In any case, I finally found my travel poncho. Whee!

By the way, I'm not a Chicos affiliate so those links just take you to the site with no benefit to me. Just sharing the good news in case anyone else is looking for ponchos or ruanas--Chicos has a lot of possibilities! I'm eyeing some of the kimono-style light-weight ones to wear over camis or tanks this summer. However, I'm taking a break from adding to my wardrobe for a bit as, now that I've got my poncho, I'm all set for vacay and my big summer work event at the end of June. The one question mark I have left in my head is whether my toe will force me to get some other pair of shoes for my work event, as none of my dressier/professional shoes work with my inserts and I'll be on my feet pretty much all day every day for that one. I'm going to wait to see how my foot does after my cortisone shot (tomorrow!) and a couple of weeks of hard use on vacation. If it's still happy then, I'll be fine with the shoes I have--so fingers crossed!