Stitch Fix #5: Still Learning What Works

After my last #BarcelosClothes installment, I started to think that I knew what I wanted and that this was no longer something I didn’t know. Then, this month reminded me that I still have some things to learn.

What’s in the box?

Month 5

This box arrived in early June (which should tell you how far behind I am on documenting this series) with two sleeveless blouses, two dresses, and a pair of shorts. All in all, good choices for a summer wardrobe. As usual, I was excited when I opened the box. Then I started trying things on and the reality check began.

I couldn’t put my finger on why I wasn’t feeling this dress when I tried it on. I liked the colors, the print, and the knotted parts of the halter top. I’m not at work all the time and I do like a good swingy sundress for summer. So why wasn’t I excited by this dress?

Then I realized what the problem was: the fit around the chest. It was looser than I like. Not visible side boob loose, but still, not great. I also don’t own a lot of halter tops for a reason; I hate wearing strapless bras and I never go braless. For me, the point of a sundress is that it should be effortless. It should be something I can just put on and go, not something I have to find a strapless bra for before I can wear it. I decided I’d only keep it if I liked everything else and it was cheaper to take the 25% discount.


While the first dress definitely wasn’t work appropriate, this green one certainly was. I liked that it was swingy, I liked that it didn’t give me weird proportions (like last month’s orange dress), and I loved the polka dots. It was an easy choice to keep this.

And finally, the tops and shorts. I really liked the details on the back of the floral top and the blue and teal one was an easy match with the teal jeans I’d gotten the month before.

The shorts seemed like just the thing to take those work blouses and make them weekend appropriate. So, I decided to keep everything to get my 25% off.

A Put Together Professora

For the last day of Portuguese school, I broke out my heart pendant I bought in Viana do Castelo knowing that it would pop against the green dress I got in this box. The blue flats I got in my second box and my navy blue cardigan with its lace back looked teacher-appropriate but also a little fancier than usual since that day was a special occasion.

Size Matters

Even though I purged my wardrobe before I moved last winter, I feel like I could pare things down some more. Having tops like this is great because it works just as well with a casual outfit as it does for work. It was hot in San Jose that week, so having something light and breezy made things a little more bearable. And, just like last month’s top I liked for its versatility, I paired it with one of my (forgot to count them again) many pairs of Converse because that is how I roll.

But, you’ll notice that I’m not wearing the shorts I got in this box. Instead, this is the pair I got in the box that arrived before I headed to Florida for US Quidditch Cup 10.  When I put the gray ones on that morning, I realized something that went unnoticed in the excitement of trying on new things; the shorts were too tight. They fit, but not well. They were so skin tight that you could see the outline of my pockets. (But hey, at least the shorts had front and back pockets?)

As someone who’s pretty self-conscious about their lower body, I wasn’t about to go out in public in a pair of shorts that looked painfully painted on. So I switched shorts, but not before noting that both pairs were a size 10. Yeah, they came from different brands, but it was still frustrating. One of my main motivations in using a subscription service like this is that I’m trying to avoid ill-fitting bottoms and the min self-esteem crises they create.

Backing attention to detail

From the front, this was a cute if basic work outfit. Which is absolutely fine, but my office was arranged so that I had my back to my coworkers more often than not. What I liked about this outfit that it was just as (if not more) interesting from the back.

Whether I was huddling in my cardigan because the AC was too high or I’d taken it off because I was hot from walking back from lunch, I looked just as good from the back as from the front.

I just really like teal, okay?


I’m so annoyed with myself because I forgot to take a picture (that isn’t a bathroom mirror selfie) in that day’s complete outfit. The teal hair, teal top, and teal pants might have been a little overkill, but you have to believe me when I say that my blue blazer toned it all down and made me look more polished.

Or not, whatever. It’s Argonauts season so I’ll wear as much teal as I want.

Mixing prints, revisited

That look of pleasant surprise on my face sums up how I felt when I put this outfit together. I tried mixing stripes and polka dots way back when I started this series, only to chicken out because it wasn’t working. You’d think that stripes+polka dots+floral print wouldn’t work… but it did.

Requiem for a cardigan


Okay, this isn’t exactly related to my Stitch Fix subscription (though you’ll recognize the pants and blouse from my first and fourth boxes), but I want to have a moment of silence for this yellow cardigan. I bought it long before I tried to adultify my wardrobe, back when I was still in college and doing my usual jeans/graphic tee/Converse+hoodie or cardigan thing. It did such a good job of transitioning between those two phases of my life.

Alas, it was a casualty of bad packing choices. It was nestled next to a bottle of spray on sunscreen that exploded in my overnight bag. I tried salvaging it, but no amount of washing it or resorting to Pinterest tricks worked.

I loved the color, I loved the pattern, and I loved the length of it. I reached for it all the time. I bought a new mustard yellow cardigan because it’s too good of a staple piece not to have with fall around the corner, but it’s just not the same. It will be missed.

Was it worth it?

While I was able to control myself last month, this month my “I can make this work!” tendencies took over and I ended up keeping everything in spite of a few reservations.

Item Price
Carlyle Textured Dress $74.00
Dalla Crochet Detail Dress $64.00
Liano Mixed Material Top $54.00
Coretta Cuffed Short $58.00
Ganesa Crew Neck Blouse $44.00
Subtotal $294.00
Buy 5 discount: 25% ‑$73.50
Sales tax $20.39
Styling fee: purchase credit ‑$20.00
Order total $220.89

$220 divided by five means that I paid about $44 per piece, which is a far better average than last month’s $70. On the other hand, I only really wore three things: the tops and the dress. That puts my real average at $73.33. If I had taken only the things that fit me properly, my average cost per piece would have been $57.33, which is right in that 50ish average I’m shooting for.

This struggle between perceived value and real value is something I struggle with sometimes. Maybe that halter dress and those gray shorts will fit me better later on now that I’ve started working out again, but I’m not shopping for the body I’ll have later. I have to be cutthroat and shop only for the body I have now, for better or for worse.

(Oh, and don’t forget to use my referral link if you decide to subscribe.)

4 Comments on “Stitch Fix #5: Still Learning What Works”

  1. Pingback: June 2018 Stitch Fix + Wardrobe Purge Prep | Barcelos Knows

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