aka: a bunch of dresses I bought for Bicolline!
Remember about a year and a half ago when I said I wanted to do a huge closet purge? Well, it took me forever to get around it because other things came up that distracted me and I’m the worst procrastinator when it comes to cleaning/organizing. But I finally did it! Or, well, at least I got close to finishing it anyway.
I got rid of a total of SIX garbage bags full of clothing that I no longer wear. Most things were very old, no longer fit, or had missing buttons, holes, or stains. My closet feels surprisingly empty now. In fact, I was able to clean out my entire hall closet and let my boyfriend have it to himself. Previously he was hanging some of his clothes in my closet, which was not the most efficient and there was barely any room in there any way. To do so I had to move all my jackets and coats into the back of my main closet but with all the extra room, I still have space! It’s so nice.
I’ve tackled most of the dresser, too. There’s still some things I need to go through, like the pile of clothes on top of my dresser, my lingerie chest (which has my underwear, bras, tights, and socks), my makeup, and my jewelry collection. The latter is kind of spread out all over the apartment right now in random places, so I also need to figure out how I want to store it and purchase whatever things I need for that solution. I am thinking of some clear stacking jewelry drawers for on top of my dresser for the items I wear the most, and then something for inside my closet for the things I don’t wear as often. For makeup, I’ve already cleaned off my vanity the other day but I still need to actually go through my makeup collection and purge things. I’m hoping I have enough things that I could sell to Glambot or something.
Speaking of selling things, I ended up not doing any of those online consignment things… I just had TOO MUCH STUFF to get rid of, and sadly the very easiest way to get rid of everything at once was to load it up into my boyfriend’s car and take it to Goodwill. C’est la vie.
After I’ve cleaned out all of the above, though, I know I will feel so much lighter. I already feel so from just doing the six bags of clothes! I’m not aiming to live any sort of minimalist lifestyle, but I do like the idea of downsizing to things I actually wear and use. There’s no point in keeping things that I no longer gravitate toward as I have grown and my style has evolved, but especially so if they are old (some things I’ve had since high school, why was I keeping it‽), worn out, and no longer fit.
With my hope to move to Europe within the next two years or so, downsizing in this manner is part of the process of preparing for such an endeavor. I don’t want to bring excess things with me!
I first heard about Stitch Fix a while ago via one of my old neighbors who had signed up. She loved the service, and when they expanded their available style range I decided to sign up. (I definitely lean towards the more alternate/edgy side of fashion, and originally I felt they weren’t catering to that area of style.) I received my first Stitch Fix box in the mail last month (yes, I’m always belated with this stuff), and I wanted to share the experience with you!
To start, if you are not familiar with Stitch Fix—it is a subscription box service for curated fashion. You fill out a style profile, which is impressively extensive, and a stylist is assigned to you to hand-pick five items for your box. You can choose to receive a one-time box or have an automatic subscription repeat every two weeks, every month, or every other month. I currently have every month selected, personally, to see how it goes. They charge a $20 styling fee per box, which gets deducted from whatever you decide to purchase from your box. Whatever pieces you decide you don’t like, you send back in a provided shipping bag with a prepaid shipping label. So it’s kind of like having a personal stylist choose some items for you! I found it extremely helpful to provide a Pinterest board of my personal style preferences, as a reference for my stylist.
The box arrived and looks like this when you first open it up:
I’ve been in a spring-cleaning mood, despite it not being Spring. (Though, honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you mistook summer in San Francisco for early Spring 😛 It’s still kinda cold here even though it’s nearly August.) After moving into my own apartment back in September, I realized I have a rather large amount of clothing. And while that may be nice to, you know, not do laundry for a few months (yeah, okay, I know that’s kind of ridiculous), I can’t help but realize that I own a lot of pieces that I simply don’t wear anymore.
It’s not even that the items don’t fit—though, yes, some probably don’t—it’s moreso that my style has evolved over time. For example: I used to be a big wearer of geeky/nerdy t-shirts. While I still love a good t-shirt, I just realistically never gravitate towards wearing them. I have a whole drawer full of these t-shirts and, if I’m 100% honest, the drawer is actually overflowing. But it stays full/overflowing because I am hardly, if ever, wearing these t-shirts.
It’s about time I went through all my stuff and did a good purge, starting with the stuff that never sees the laundry pile. I think it’s a pretty good indicator of my use of a particular item if it never ends up in the wash and just hangs out, forever, in my closet or in a drawer (like those aforementioned t-shirts). I could use that space for stuff that I actually wear! And then buy more stuff I actually wear! Imagine that.
I don’t, however, just want to throw a pile of clothes in the trash or donate them to Goodwill. I’d like to, ideally, make some cash selling them. I’ve experimented selling some of the stuff I already have in get-rid-of piles on Poshmark but, frankly, I am too lazy to ship each piece individually. It involves making a trip to the Post Office, which is several blocks out of my way both two and from work and who wants to waste their lunch hour at USPS? Nope, not me. I’d rather eat a tasty sandwich. Yes, I realize Poshmark provides me with a shipping label. But do you think I have boxes ready to go in my apartment? I don’t. I also don’t have a printer. Or packing tape. And I don’t really want to have to worry about these things, either. (You are now starting to truly understand how stubborn my Lazy is.)
As an alternative, I’ve decided to check out these three online consignment stores: Twice, ThredUp, and Threadflip. (As an FYI, these are all referral links. ‘Cause who doesn’t like a little bit of incentive?) I intend to write a blog post on how my experience with these three services goes, but the basic gist of how they work is that they send you a shipping bag to mail them all the items you want to sell.
They go through your items, pick the ones they want to buy from you, and you agree to the offer. After that, they pay you and list the items on their websites. Threadflip seems to have an option to list an item individually, yourself, like how Poshmark works. Threadflip also doesn’t pay you until your item sells, and you get up-to-80% of the selling price. Twice & ThredUp pay you up front, like a consignment store would, for your items.
Twice seems to be the pickiest of the three, in terms of what brands they’ll accept. I intend to mail them my more high-end items, and send the rest to ThredUp which has a much broader list of items they will accept (like things from Forever 21, which Twice won’t take). One of the nice things about Twice is that if there is anything in your bag that they don’t take, they’ll donate it to Goodwill for you, so the item doesn’t go to complete waste. I’m not sure what ThredUp does with anything they don’t take, as it’s not specified on their website. As for Threadflip, I think I’ll try sending them a few items and see what happens. I’m not keen on the idea of waiting for an item to be purchased before I am compensated, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m just impatient.
If you wear glasses, you’ve probably heard of Warby Parker, a company that lets you try on their glasses from the comfort of your own home. It’s a great idea, and if you’re in the market for some new ‘specs it’s helpful to not feel rushed in a retail environment and be able to ask your peers for advice. Since they’ve launched, a few other glasses makers have cropped up with the same concept.
Since I’m way overdue for a new pair of glasses—my current pair is over 4 years old, gasp!—I decided to order an at-home try-on kit from Warby Parker and also one from a competitor called Rivet & Sway that specializes in women’s-only designs. Each try-on kit includes five glasses of your choice from their range, which on both sites is pretty broad. I picked a bunch of different styles but stayed with frames that don’t have those annoying nose pieces that I usually find uncomfortable.
One downside to choosing frames for a try-on kit is that some are unavailable. I found this to be more of a problem with Warby Parker’s site, as all their frames that were part of a special designer collection were not only completely unavailable to try on at home, but also unavailable for virtual try-on! I didn’t have any issues with Rivet & Sway’s selection being out of or unavailable for trying on at home, even with their brand new collection that was just released.
I ordered the kits on the same day and they both arrived on the same day, in a timely manner. Some glasses were obviously too big for my face, which I expected since I have a petite frame (there’s a reason this blog has “little” in the title!) and being tiny definitely extends to the width of my face.
Below are photos of me wearing all the frames:
I only liked one pair of frames from Warby Parker, which was the Reece in Midnight Blue, but I did not love them. I was also kind of disappointed with their color selection, which was very neutral in most of their frames. I was looking to purchase a few different pairs of glasses so that I could accessorize to match my outfits or makeup or just my mood on different days, so I wanted some more variety!
I also only liked one pair of frames from the Rivet & Sway kit, but I did really like them! That pair was the Faster Pussycat frame in Jet Black. And since Rivet & Sway has incentive pricing for buying multiple frames—each frame after the first is nearly 50% off—and I was looking to buy a few different pairs anyway, I ended up ordering 2 more at-home try-on kits from them filled with glasses in the “Narrow” and “Petite” size category so that they would be more likely to fit my smaller face width. I forgot to take photos of those frames, but I did end up loving 3 more pairs of glasses and a pair of sunglasses, too!
In terms of customer service, I tweeted at both companies and Rivet & Sway not only had a much faster response time than Warby Parker but they actually called me to answer my questions! This was really surprising to me and I have to say it definitely skewed me to their favor on top of, you know, liking their frame designs a lot more. I’ve also communicated with them via email and they’ve been just as responsive. It’s nice to see a company engaging their customers so quickly. How well this can scale as they become more popular, who knows. I hope they can keep it up!
In the end I ordered 4 pairs of glasses and 1 pair of sunglasses from Rivet & Sway, and 1 pair of sunglasses from Warby Parker. (The sunglasses from Warby Parker were not available for an at-home try-on kit but I loved them on the site so much that I just bit the bullet and bought them.) My sunglasses from WP have arrived already and I will say that I love them, they are the cat-eye shaped Wednesday sunglasses. My Rivet & Sway frames have not arrived yet because I only just ordered them last Saturday, but I’m really excited to get them! I can post photos of all the new frames I ordered when they arrive.
It is worth noting that both companies have pretty generous return policies, which is why I wasn’t too afraid of ordering the sunglasses from WP without trying them on. Warby Parker has a 30-day return policy and Rivet & Sway actually has a 60-day policy! Both are no-questions-asked. Both also accept FSAs!
If you’re due for some new glasses, I can safely recommend both services. However, I think they cater to a slightly different demographic. If you’re female and are looking for more stylish, fun frames I definitely would lean towards Rivet & Sway, especially considering their customer service. They also offer style advice, if you send photos of yourself wearing glasses to them! They can recommend frames for you to add to your at-home try-on kit or help you select a pair once you’ve received a kit.