10×10 Challenge – Edition 1

10 pieces, 10 days. I was originally just going to do work days, because I work at an office during the week and I’d be totally lying if I said I wore anything other than pajamas all weekend, but then I figured what the heck – go big or go home, right? And I’m fortunate in the fact that my office is on the casual end of business casual, so I can wear jeans on a fairly routine basis, thus the 10 straight days prevailed.
I got the 10×10 idea from Carolyn of the blog Un-Fancy. She hosted a 10×10 challenge a couple months ago, but I was too lazy to get on board at the time. It did get me to thinking, though – I’ve done capsule wardrobes in the past, so why not limit my options a little bit more and see what happens? With so much of my wardrobe the same color scheme, this seems like a pretty fun challenge. I’m deviating a little bit because I’m only counting clothing in my 10 pieces – shoes are counted separately. Is that cheating? You’ll see pretty quick that I have limited shoes, though, so I’m going with a no.
This is my first time playing around with Polyvore, and I’ll be honest I’m not so sure how this is going to work. The original pictures I took of my 10 pieces aren’t great, so I’ve found similar ones in the graphic below. You’ll see the actual pieces (slight deviations only – my pink blouse is from Lularoe and has a teal pattern, and the gray tunic is slightly different) when I post the outfits later.
So without further ado – let’s introduce the clothes!
1. Black leggings (LulaRoe) – because who doesn’t need a pair of basic black leggings?
2. Navy blue corduroy skinny pants (DIANA)
3. Teal crop pants (LOFT)
4. Black cotton skirt (LOFT)
5. Black/Gray dropwaist dress (LOFT) – this is the one piece that’s the same as the pic
6. Black 3/4 sleeve boatneck top (Target)
7. Teal Carly dress (LulaRoe)
8. Pink perfect tee (LulaRoe)
9. Gray Irma tunic (LulaRoe)
10. Gray cardigan sweater (Target)


For those of you who got this far – here’s a picture of my actual 10×10 pieces:


Soo…sometime in the middle of January one of my girlfriends casually mentioned that she was having a LulaRoe party and invited me to come. My first response was, of course, “Lula-what?” I don’t even remember what she told me it was, something about a clothing line and leggings, but I decided I’d go because 1) she’s my friend; and 2) I love clothes.

I probably should not have gone.

To make a long story short, I ended up buying a miniature new wardrobe and in fact purchased so much that I earned myself a pair of free leggings for being the person who…well…spent the most money at the party. Which is funny considering I didn’t intend to spend ANY money, I was just going for moral support. Plus, I don’t (didn’t) even like leggings!

Anyway. In a nutshell, LulaRoe is an independent clothing brand that specializes in super comfortable clothing – most notably their leggings. The kicker about their clothing is that they only manufacture a certain number of any specific pattern – so their selling point is that if you see something you love, you had better buy it NOW because you might not see it again.

It totally works.

So, being fairly new to the Lula world, I decided I’d share some of my honest thoughts – in no particular order.

  1. It drives me absolutely BONKERS when I hear their leggings described as “buttery soft”. Yes, their leggings are super soft. But for whatever reason (call me crazy), likening them to something I use to grease casserole dishes and cook scrambled eggs just doesn’t hold much appeal to me. Unfortunately it’s like a LLR coined phrase and so I see it ALL THE TIME.
  2. Some of their patterns are, if I may say, UGLY. Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone has their own opinion…but man, some of the items I see make my eyes go crossed. That said, there are tons of patterns that I ADORE and have on occasion spent more time than I will admit here searching facebook groups for a particular pattern. (I’m looking at you, shark-and-whale-print leggings!!!)
  3. Which leads me to this: it’s frustrating that you can’t buy clothes directly from the LLR website – you have to make purchases through independent consultants via their facebook pages. I am now a member of approximately 5,000 lularoe facebook groups and now the only things I see in my facebook feed are announcements on giveaways, shop openings or live parties, or happy memes from consultants.
  4. Not only that, but independent consultants have no control over their inventory, so there’s no guarantee who has what pattern and so you have to make purchases from different people – each with their own varying sales tax percentages and shipping costs, and everyone has their own little rewards or benefits. My case study on this uber-frustrating aspect:

Exhibit A: I purchased clothes in person from one group and they have a “buy 10 items, get 1 pair of free leggings” rewards card. I’m only 2 items away from a free pair of leggings, but I’m not really all that keen on the items this particular group has available and so I may never get that free pair of leggings.

Exhibit B; I joined a birthday club from another group in which I receive 10% off all purchases during my birthday month.

Exhibit C: I bought a pair of leggings from one group and received $5 “lulacash”…which is only good if I purchase something else from that particular person’s shop.

Exhibit D: I bought a shirt from another group and received $10 “lulacash”…which again is only good if I purchase something else from that person’s shop.

So, which technically I am two items away from a free pair of leggings, could get 10% off my entire purchase, AND have $15 “lulacash” to spend…by the time to break out individual purchases from each retailer and then pay taxes and shipping fees…it’s totally not worth it and I’m really not reaping any benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the CLOTHING isn’t worth it, but to try to take advantage of all the separate “rewards” is not worth it and doesn’t save me any money whatsoever.

5. All of the above aside, their clothing is darned comfortable. I never considered myself a leggings person before, but I think that was because I couldn’t find a pair that I really liked. These leggings are so soft that I could live in them. Along with the rest of the LLR clothing I now own.

6. In addition to being super comfortable, certain styles of their clothing fit my own personal fashion “style” to a T. I’ve tried trends in the past, but they don’t last. I am classic to a fault, which is why the styles I gravitated towards when I went to that first LLR party were the Randy (a baseball style tee), the Perfect (a longer tee fitted in the top but flows out slightly at the hips), the Classic (a simple tee that works with anything), and the Sarah (a knee length cardigan sweater). I love that all the tops fall a little longer in the bank so to adequately cover my bum. And as long as I’m wearing solid colors or somewhat tamer printers, I can dress them up enough for work and still be 100% comfortable at home. Lastly, if I had to choose one “outfit” to wear for the rest of my life it would be jeans (or leggings now!), a simple tee, and a cardigan. Forever and ever, amen.

Translate that into LulaRoe and I would live in a pair of leggings, a classic tee, and a sarah. Every day for the rest of my life.

I could probably go on and on, but I’ll step off my soapbox for now.


Stitch Fix #6

It’s been over a year since I last received a fix from Stitchfix – so long, in fact, that I had forgotten that burst of excitement you feel in your chest when you get home and see that box sitting on your front porch, just begging to be torn open!

However I have to be honest with you here. I’ve had a lot of good experiences with my past fixes; but ultimately there has been at least one item in each fix that I ended up not wearing nearly as much as I originally thought – and some pieces I’ve only worn once or twice. And when I opened up this particular fix I wasn’t all that impressed at first glance. It was pretty monochromatic, and I was hoping for something…more.

bearfamilystrong.com | stitch fix review 6

As it turns out I was very pleasantly surprised. I originally wrote this post a couple of weeks after receiving it (I received this in late October) due to work demands and some overseas travel, but I’ve worn every piece of this fix on a routine basis since then. Everything is 100% cozy and comfortable, and each piece fits into my already existing wardrobe perfectly. I mean, my stylist could not have been more right about this fix if she were related to me.

Confession: I actually took all these pictures while I was traveling, so the wardrobe I had to work with was somewhat limited. That just goes to show you how well this fix fits my style, and highlights how versatile these pieces are! So, without further ado, on with the “show”!

Tommy Pointelle Weaved Pullover Sweater

Confession #2: I actually owned this sweater for a few days before I realized that it was dark gray, and not the brown I originally thought. Maybe because the lighting in my bedroom was bad, but I was sort of taken back when I got to work the next day and realized my mistake.

When I scheduled a fall fix, I was hoping to get one of those bulky, slouchy sweater that’s so popular nowadays. You know, the kind you wear with black leggings and boot socks and high boots and your hair up in a messy bun? Yeah, that look. Unfortunately, that look isn’t really me. So instead I got the Tommy Pointelle Weaved Pullover Sweater – which is heavy enough to keep me warm, but also perfectly fitted. I love that I can wear it to work just as easily as I can for everyday errands – it can be dressed up or down.

Working with a very minimal wardrobe, I paired this sweater two ways:

bearfamilystrong.com | tommy pointelle weaved pullover sweater

Ok so admittedly it’s practically the same outfit, but it works.

Greenich Striped Knit Top

I could barely hold my excitement when I pulled out this top. Stripes and elbow patches! Elbow patches and stripes! I have no idea where my elbow patch fetish suddenly came from – this is now the first and only shirt I’ve owned that has elbow patches – but I love, love, love them. And this top. It’s slightly longer in the back, but not too much to be weird, and I adore the little touches of leather at some of the seams. (Note to self: do NOT wash this in the machine!!) This top by itself may not keep me as warm in the winter as the sweater, but you can easily pair this with a cardigan for layered warmth.

bearfamilystrong.com | greenich striped knit top

Liverpool Skinny Pant

These pants gave me pause. For one thing, they are almost 100% exactly like the Sanctuary Skinny Ponte pants I received in my first ever fix. Seriously. I really can’t tell the difference between the two. And it just so happened that I was wearing the Sanctuary Skinny Ponte pants when I was trying on the rest of my fix. I’m not sure why my stylist sent me, essentially, a pair of pants that I already own, but. The Sanctuary Skinny Ponte pants are THE Stitchfix item I wear the most. They are hands down my favorite pants and I wear them on a regular basis…so much so, that I have started to notice a little wear in the seams.

Which is why I had to keep the Liverpool Skinny Pants that came in my fix.

Disclaimer: the pants in these pictures actually ARE the sanctuary pants, because those are the ones I packed for my trip. Seriously, though. SAME PANTS.

bearfamilystrong.com | liverpool skinny pants

Salderas Hooded Cardigan

Out of the entire fix this is the item I was most on the fence about. I love cardigans, and the fact that this one has a hood almost sealed the deal for me. However, it’s slightly slouchy and a little bit big because of the style, so I just wasn’t sure if it was something I would wear often or not. As much as I think I like the slouchy, oversized clothing look I mentioned in my sweater review above, I’m much more comfortable in clothes that are fitted (not tight or revealing) than clothes that hang on me. So I tried this on with a couple of different things, thought about it a bit…and then realized that it’s actually a better deal to keep all five items, get my 25% discount, and call it a day. (This 25% discount deal has gotten me into trouble in the past. Probably definitely the reason I have a couple of pieces that I rarely, if ever, wear.

However, this cardigan turned out to be the PERFECT travel item. I layered it over a long sleeve tee and jeans and it was absolutely divine on the plane. Long enough to wrap around me when I got chilly, and the hood? Can it be any more perfect for sleeping on a plane? So I kept the cardigan, and I’ve worn it a lot more than I expected to!

bearfamilystrong.com | salderas hooded cardigan

Chloe Houndstooth Infinity Scarf

So, I have been crushing on infinity scarves pretty much for forever. The thing is, until about a week before I received this fix I owned a grand total of zero. I bought my first infinity scarf at DSW, because I was in desperate need of new shoes for work (and not in the typical, “ohmyword I have three hundred pair of shoes and I need another one” desperate need; I literally did not have any work shoes), and the scarf looked so cute that I was able to talk my husband into letting me buy it. And then I got my Stitchfix box a week later and not only do I have an infinity scarf, but it’s an infinity scarf that literally works with every single other piece of my fix! (Seriously, did you notice? If I added one more pair of pants to this fix, I could make about twenty different outfits!)

Initially I was a little taken back with the houndstooth and the colors – like I mentioned, at first I was bummed with the color scheme of my fix. But I started trying this scarf on with different pieces and fell in love with it. The end.

bearfamilystrong.com | chloe houndstooth infinity scarf

Bottom line? Even if I hadn’t saved 25% by keeping all five items this fix would have been worth every cent.

So, what is Stitch Fix?

It’s essentially a personal shopping service you can sign up for online. You fill out a fairly extensive style survey questionnaire (answering questions on both your likes and your body type), and one of their personal stylists picks out items based on your specifications. Then, each month (or however often you schedule your fixes), a cute little box arrives at your door filled with five items for you to try on and decide whether or not you like them enough to buy! It’s perfect because you can try on the clothes with other pieces from your closet, skype with friends or family to get a second (or third or fourth opinion), and whatever you decide not to buy, you simple mail back in the prepaid envelope included in your box! Simple as that!

You do pay a $20 styling fee for each fix, but that $20 goes towards anything you purchase. If you decide not to buy anything, you lose $20, but if you buy all five items in your box, you get a 25% discount.

(Disclaimer: use this code to sign up and I get a $25 referral credit.)