Le Tote

I have discovered that while Julian is fascinated by computers and phones, he leaves me in relative peace when I write via paper and pen. Unfortunately, this means I must be able to read my writing when transcribing. Handwriting was one of the few subjects I never got good grades for. However, potentially this will allow me to update my blog more often.

Around the time Julian was born I joined the Boulder Rock’n Moms group. It’s a great resource for mom’s in the Boulder area and I wish I had found it sooner. As soon as I knew we were moving, I went looking for the San Francisco equivalent which turns out to be GGMG. Their criteria for joining is more stringent, you have to have a San Francisco address, but as soon as Jaeger got his temporary apartment I signed up.

One of the threads recently in the GGMG forum was a mom who hated shopping but needed new clothes. She was looking for suggestions of what to do. Several suggestions were provided by others including Stich Fix and Le Tote. I had heard of Stitch Fix in the past and had been fascinated by the concept. However, I tend to be very cheap and mainly buy my clothes at the thrift store: the prices are good and often I prefer the colors versus whatever is popular in a particular season. The idea of spending $40+ for one shirt seems exorbitant. I had never heard of Le Tote before, not being particularly fashion conscious, but the idea of “renting” clothes sounded fascinating. You pay a certain amount each month and they ship via priority mail three articles of clothing and two accessories in each tote. They provide a priority envelope to ship back the clothes and send out another tote as soon as the first one is returned.

I signed up and filled out all the sizing info. They asked for general clothing sizes and then got more specific regarding shape and specific body measurements. To help figure out your style you can preview clothes they have and add the ones you like to your “closet”. In addition, you can choose the type of things you don’t want. For instance, I vetoed all earrings and gray and pink clothes.

The first tote I received had:

From the other reviews I read, I think I was pretty lucky for a first tote. Most other people seemed to have more misses. I ended up wearing the green shirt and cardigan and then returned the items. I rated what I received on style and fit. I wish the style rating was a bit more granular. For instance, I might like the color but hate the cut of a shirt or vice versa.

I dropped my first tote in the mail Wednesday and received an email that my next tote had been prepared. This time I was given the option to substitute out things I didn’t want. This was good because they had selected two off-white shirts, a terrible color for someone with a baby. I did like the cut of one of them so I decided to be brave and only substitute out one of the off-white shirts. I think I also made some jewelry substitutions. After I confirmed my tote they mailed it out and I received it on Monday.

I think the addictive part of Le Tote is it’s a bit like Christmas every week. It’s fun opening up a new package of clothes every week. My second tote included:

  • A thin long-sleeve off-white shirt which required an under-shirt but luckily I had one that worked. It fit well and I like it more than I expected
  • A green sweater – I liked the color though would have preferred it to be a bit tighter
  • A blue long-sleeve shirt which I haven’t worn yet. However, it’s a bit tighter than I prefer. I’m going to try it tomorrow but I’m a little dubious
  • A necklace which is a good length but it has several chains that have a tendency to get tangled. Plus, it’s sparkly so Julian wants to grab it
  • A gold bangle which I like a lot more than I expected. It turns out to complement my wedding ring very well. Also, it keeps Julian occupied while I’m changing his diaper so he doesn’t end up squirming everywhere

The only problem I’ve encountered so far with the Le Tote scheme is I usually don’t wear accessories. I do so even less often with Julian’s tendency to grab anything sparkly. I’d be very happy if Le Tote provided the option to substitute out two accessories for one more piece of clothing.

Overall, I’ve found the totes to be fun and I’ll probably continue, at least for a bit.

UPDATE:
Because I am not shy about sharing my opinion, when I have an opinion, I wrote Le Tote and told them I liked the idea but accessories didn’t work for my lifestyle. Apparently they do have a “clothing only” box. I do not remember seeing this as an option at sign-up so you might need to specifically ask for it (or who knows, I could have just missed it). It contains 4 pieces of clothing and no accessories. My current tote has already shipped but I’ll be switched to the clothing only box for the next tote.

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