Friday Favorites #6

‘Tis that time of week again. Happy almost weekend!

Here is my week of favorites:

IMG_2726Shopping experience – It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of online shopping and Stitch Fix but after a receiving 7 fixes, I took a short hiatus until this week. While, I don’t think I will be keeping anything from this order, it’s always so much fun to open the package and seeing what was picked for you.

IMG_2735Running location – After a brutal snowy winter, the local track finally cleared out. I love being on a track, I guess it reminds me of high school days and you really can’t beat the view of the Manhattan skyline. I ran some speedy, but inconsistent mile repeats on a misty Thursday night. Unfortunately, this was my first and last trip to the track for this marathon training season.

IMG_2736Passover food alternatives – This is the first year I feel like the lack of grains/carbs for Passover is tough to keep up, maybe because we’re in the height of marathon training season? I’ve getting by with homemade salads or picking up one at work with a bag of potato chips. Passover means I can eat as many potato chips as possible, right?

IMG_2737Holiday (well, fake holiday) – It’s National Siblings Day today! Happy National Siblings Day to my brother, David… and our dog, Coco, and my brother-in-law, Zach. I’m not going to embarrass everyone with a picture, just the one of David will do since he had no choice in being related to me.

IMG_2738Technology-related tool – I love I can access my favorite blogs (including my own, I’m dorky that way) on my phone, iPad, and computer, offline and online. I highly recommend this as personal news reader and it’s free unless you’re signing up for a premium account.

Tell me what your favorites are for the week!

And what are your weekend running plans?

Golden Tote Review

I am sucker for new clothes! I heard about Golden Tote from a number of bloggers and I knew I had to try for myself. Everyone needs to treat themselves to a holiday present, right? I liked the concept of Stitch Fix so I figured Golden Tote may be a good option as well.

IMG_2460Golden Tote works differently than that of Stitch Fix where you select if you’d like to spend $49 or $149. For the $49 option, you select one item, and Golden Tote surprises you with the remaining item(s) for a total of 2-3 pieces and the $149 option, you select two items, and you’re surprised with the remaining items for a total of 5-7 pieces. A new sale launches each month and that is when you go on and select your item(s). After you select the item(s) and sizing, you fill out a style profile (not as extensive as the Stitch Fix one). Golden Tote is an all-or-nothing deal though, so when you receive your items, you can either return all of them or keep. Golden Tote does encourage you to swap items with friends and family or connect with others on their trading page on Facebook.

IMG_2464I tried the $149 option about a couple of weeks ago. I was in the market for something cute and sparkly to wear for the holidays and was excited to see the surprises picked for me. I picked the Puella Elbow Patch Swing Dress in red (a brand I am familiar with from Anthropologie) and the Holiday Sparkle Sweater. In addition to the $149, I was also charged $7.95 for shipping (P.S. I don’t particularly like paying for shipping these days especially since so many places offer free shipping and returns). I placed the order on December 18th and my Golden Tote arrived the day we got back from Atlanta on December 26th – not terrible, but I guess I could have paid more for expedited shipping if I wanted it earlier.

IMG_2463I was so excited to open the package and see what cool items were selected for me. In most of the reviews I read about Golden Tote, the customers generally liked their items so I was really looking forward to adding new items to my closet. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The swing dress I picked out was way too big and the sweater started pulling as soon as I put it on. As for the other items, I received 4 other ones and I was really hoping that they worked, but everything was either too big, bad styling, or the quality felt poor.

IMG_2462Black high-waisted skirt – this was the one item that is most unlike my style. Not only do stretchy skirts not flatter my body type, high-waisted ones do not work well on someone who is 5’1″.

IMG_2469Marbled sweater cardigan – I really like this style, but overall the sweater was too baggy and chunky.

IMG_2470Blue dress – I really wanted to like this as soon as I took it out of the bag but since the material was polyester, it provided no stretch when I put it on. Overall, the dress was a gorgeous color and would have been perfect for work but it didn’t hug in the right places.

IMG_2468Navy striped swing dress with a hood – I really liked this dress. It was lightweight, fun and easy to wear. But given that it is winter here and if I didn’t like any of the other items, this dress wasn’t worth keeping for what is essentially $149.

Unfortunately, I will be returning all of my items to Golden Tote. The downside of the return is that I am responsible for generating a return label but I will receive a refund on the shipping cost, at least I only pay for shipping one way.

I really like the concept of Golden Tote and how you select the items from their boutique but I wish they would also show you all possible items that you can receive. After trying Stitch Fix seven times and now Golden Tote, I am wondering if I am more of a I-pick-what-I-want type shopper. Even though I like the idea of a surprise, I found that I am pretty particular about my clothes and even though I want to try new things, I prefer to pick them out and have a full return policy. As a side note, my recent favorite shopping locale is Piperlime. I like how Piperlime carries all different brands and styles, but does not have an overwhelming amount of options like a department store. Piperlime also offers free shipping and returns.

Anyway, I think Golden Tote can be a really cool idea for some and is worth a try but unfortunately for me, I will not be placing another order in the near future.

Are there other shopping services you like?

Have you tried Golden Tote? What did you think?