MM LaFleur is another website that delivers a box of 5 to 8 items of clothing to a customer’s door based on lifestyle and fit and style preferences. I decided to check them out and here is my review.
I thought the MM LaFleur website looked promising since they seem to specialize in work clothes. So I ordered a MM LaFleur box after answering a lengthy online questionnaire about my lifestyle and style preferences. When the box arrived, I was impressed by the chic presentation (see above). Things looked promising! There was even a wonderful saying inside the box top!
Below are pictures of the items I received As you can see, MM LaFleur’s focus is on apparel with very simple and conservative shapes in darker shades.
The box also included an ivory skinny belt and four little notebooks (cute but sorta hard to wear!).
I can easily envision many women wearing these clothes to work — especially in more corporate work environments and these dresses would be great for going from work to an evening out. And if professional women are busy and have no time to shop, the MM LaFleur service could be very handy. The price point of these clothes is higher than other similar services I’ve seen, but people who don’t have the time or interest in bargain shopping might not be bothered by this.
My personal style, however, is a bit different. Sadly, everything in my box is going back. I did go back to the MM LaFleur website to see if I could find something that suited my style better. And just look at this fabulous scarf!
Bottom line: Good presentation through the mail, easy to use website, prompt delivery, and clothes that aren’t for me, but would be great for women who need or prefer more conservative apparel. Check it out!
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Linking up with What I Wore to Work, Style Me Wednesday, What I Wore.
We’ve been shopping online for — wow — many years now. In the beginning, we were cautious because we weren’t sure how things fit and there were always shipping charges for orders AND returns. Gradually we became savvy enough — and the online market expanded enough — that we got pretty good at avoiding shipping charges and we could often find valuable promo codes. We learned to wait for the best sales. With an active blogging community to spread the word and a more and more competitive online marketplace, today we can shop broadly at very competitive prices and we (at least Jeanne) rarely need to go into bricks and mortar stores.
But it is still not a perfect world. We still face issues shopping online: primarily fit, quality of material and fabrication, and true color — and did we mention FIT?
But there seem to be some good solutions on the horizon.
- Customer reviews: More and more vendors are seeking out reviews on the items they sell, whether its a pair of socks, earrings, or an evening gown. Reviews tell the good and the bad. They often make the difference between an item selling for full price or eventually going for a deep discount. Savvy e-retailers seek out reviews constantly: Nordstrom, Boden, Anthropologie, Modcloth, and many others are making online shopping easier for us all. More and more often, if we see a darling item on deep sale, it is because the customer reviews were bad.
- Customer Photos and Vendor Videos: Modcloth encourages customers to upload pics of themselves in Modcloth items. Other customers can then tell how items fit different body types, complexions, etc. And it helps to see an item of apparel in a video — MyHabit and Saks do this pretty well.
- Personalized fit recommendations for loyal customers: Based on your personal shopping history, the vendor advises on the right size when you peruse an item. Those generic size charts are typically useless and we are inclined to shop where we can get this kind of advice.
Below you’ll see a selection of items from a few of the vendors we mentioned that show the value of customer reviews. Take a look and let us know the tips YOU have for making a good online purchase.
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Turns out the timing of this post is a little awkward – Cakestyle announced today that they are shutting down! Nevertheless, we enjoy trying out these services and will continue to share our experiences with you.
We have continued our research into “styling” websites. These sites help you develop a fashion profile and then put together a group of wardrobe pieces and send them to you. If you like some or all of the items they send, you are charged. Otherwise you send the items back promptly without charge. First we both tried Stitch Fix. Then, a few weeks ago, we both tried again – Jeanne tried out Cakestyle and Kate ordered a new round of clothes from Stitch Fix. Today we’ll talk about Jeanne’s Cakestyle experience.
The Cakestyle process works a little differently from Stitch Fix. First, the clothes and accessories they send to their customers represent a higher price point and they put a $1,000 hold on the customer’s credit card until the customer decides whether she wants to keep any of the clothes and accessories she has received. I started by Cakestyle experience by answering a detailed questionnaire about my style. Once I was ready to order, my stylist asked if I was looking for any clothes in particular. I indicated that I had recently retired and was looking for appropriate clothes for day to day wear.
When my Cakestyle box arrived, it included three jackets, two pairs of jeans, one pair each of pants and shorts, three sweaters, four tops, two dresses, a maxi skirt, a scarf, a necklace, and one pair of earrings. Brands included: J Brand, Genetic Denim, Trina Turk, Theory, Equipment, and Ali Ro. The clothes were chic and attractive, but I ultimately decided not to keep any of the items. Here are my observations for anyone who wants to try the Cakestyle service.
1) The selection of apparel and accessories I received seemed to accurately reflect items that might be needed by someone no longer working. However a number of the items wouldn’t necessarily suit someone at typical retirement age – shorts, dresses above the knee, very skinny jeans. I am not surprised if Cakestyle is designed for a younger demographic than mine, but at these prices style picks should take the customer’s possible age into account.
2) The selection I received was indeed pricey – the total value was $3,549! A few of the items showed marked down prices and I know that if I had purchased the entire collection I would have received a 10% discount of about $350. Clearly the website is designed for people who don’t want to do any shopping and willing to pay full retail. That isn’t me.
3) In my style profile, I provided my sizes as well as body measurements. At the same time, I know many of the brands that I received are sized differently. However the sizes I received did not reflect those brand differences.
Bottom line: I can see the value of the Cakestyle service for women who want a lot of help with their wardrobes, don’t like to shop and aren’t price sensitive.
Below are a few of the attractive items in my box.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
We both decided to try out a new online retailer/personal stylist service Stitch Fix. Here is how it works:
- You register at the site and then fill out a personal style profile. The style profiles are centered around the following style types: Bohemian Chic, Preppy, Glamorous, Classic, Romantic, Edgy, and Casual Chic. The profile also explores your sizes and age, desired price points for different items of apparel and accessories, and asks more generally about the kind of apparel you are interested in at this point.
- Once you complete your style profile, you then await a confirmation email telling you that you have been accepted as a new client. For us, it took a little over a week to be contacted.
- Your credit card is then charged $20 for the styling fee, which can be used toward any item you decide to keep in your Stitch Fix delivery. However, Stitch Fix won’t charge your card until your Fix is shipped. You can schedule automatic monthly Stitch Fix deliveries or simply decide when you want your next delivery to be. The styling fee can be used toward purchasing items in your shipment.
Jeanne’s opinion: My collection included one blouse and one t-shirt, two dresses, and a pair of earrings. The price range I requested was about $50 to $200 (depending on the item). The items I received were on trend and covered the landscape from bohemian chic to preppy to casual chic, as I requested. Everything fit, although the dresses were a bit short for my taste at my age. The $168 dress was well-made and fully lined. I had specifically asked for summer shorts in my package but did not receive any, and my stylist apologized for that. As you can see from the pictures, the color focus was blue with the orange dress thrown in. I would have preferred a wider range of color. While the items I got were attractive, nothing “wowed” me.
The bottom line for me is that Stitch Fix seems like a good bet for someone who is not already a fashionista like me. I would probably only buy a piece of apparel or an accessory if it were truly unusual and not represented in my wardrobe already. Their service was exactly as they described it and it will be interesting to see if they can continue to meet that standard if they become very popular.
Kate’s opinion: I received a peplum top, boxy metallic sweater, high-low blouse, blousey dress, and lightweight scarf in my box. Straight away, I noticed that each piece was very on-trend, but not overly trendy to the point where I wouldn’t even consider it. Everything was the right size, and everything was at least a little intriguing for me. The price range I had chosen was about $50-100, but no one item was more than $58.
In the end, the cut of the boxy sweater, the high-low top, and the emerald dress just weren’t flattering on my body type, but they are styles that I certainly would have tried on in the store. The scarf was something I simply didn’t need (we all know I have too many scarves!). The peplum top I liked and thought was a great addition to my wardrobe, so I kept it (and applied that $20 flat fee to the price). I think that, for me, Stitch Fix is a fun way supplement your shopping budget beyond what you think you want or need (I always know exactly what I want going into a season). I would be interested to see the quality of items in their cheapest price range. It was fun to have a few items delivered to me that I might not have considered on my own, but that are very trend and season appropriate. I think I might try Stitch Fix once a season or so – I wouldn’t turn over all my shopping to them, but I would consider it more of a “treat”.
Have you tried Stitch Fix? What did you think?