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.
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 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.)
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!
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!