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ANN TAYLOR INFINITE STYLE REVIEW

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ANN-TAYLOR

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Hello friends!  I’m sharing a story with you and an Ann Taylor Infinite Style review, which I give a grade of a B-. Find out why below.

But first, this is what drove me to try the service in the first place.

The other day I was at the store returning something.  I waited in line for 10 minutes as the staff casually chatted with each other and could care less about the customers in the store.  From a girl who worked 12+ years in retail it breaks my heart to experience this.

I feel like no one cares about the customer anymore, as the service model in most retailers is lacking.  I believe that retail, as we know it, is dying. But it’s a slow and painful death.

With my nerves shot on retail stores I find myself shopping primarily online.  However, I do miss the retail experience. I love to touch and feel the clothes and pop into stores to see what is new each season.  But lately, I usually buy massive amounts online, try it on at home, and ship most of it back.

I find that I like a lot of what I buy online, but I don’t love it.  Spending money on something I love is better than spending it on something that I just like.  I’d love to test drive the pieces if possible and then decide to buy. So when the Ann Taylor Infinite Style launched I was pumped to try it out.

ANN TAYLOR INFINITE STYLE REVIEW

Infinate Style by Ann Taylor  is their monthly clothing rental service.  The concept is simple. For a monthly fee ($95) you rent three pieces from Ann Taylor with the option to buy them at a discount or return for new items the following month.

Today I’m breaking down the Ann Taylor Infinite Style service step by step and highlighting a few tips along the way.  I’m providing you with my pro and con list and my final rating of the service. One thing to point out, this is not a sponsored post.  I tested out the service based on your feedback on my Insta stories. I feature a lot of polls to figure out content for you so be sure to follow me over there too (find me here).

SIGNING UP FOR ANN TAYLOR INFINITE STYLE

To sign up for the service you can click here.  You will need to create an account and enter your credit card information.  You will be charged at this point. Repeat, YOU WILL BE CHARGED! There is no looking around on the site, they charge you immediately.   The service is $95 a month and you can cancel it at anytime.   And to be honest it is a clothing rental service with the option to buy the items.

I actually wasn’t aware of this until I looked around on Ann Taylor’s service and then popped over to the Loft’s service (they both launched similar services).  I was charged for both even though I didn’t proceed with the Loft’s service.

Once you sign up you will be asked to fill your closet with eight pieces.  You must fill your closet with eight pieces before they will ship any clothes to you.  It’s important to note that once you add that eighth piece to you closet you are done. There is no going back and rethinking your closet, it’s locked in.

YOUR CLOSET

Your virtual closet is filled with the pieces you select to rent each month.  You can pick from pants, skirts, tops, sweater and dresses. The clothes are current clothes that they are currently selling in the store.  There are brand new pieces and even sale pieces available for you to choose from.

You can search items by type (i.e. dress, top or pants), color and size.  Sizing is limited on the popular items and there is no waitlist for the size.  If they are out of your size they are out of it.

You need to fill up your closet with 8 pieces in order for them to actually ship your clothes. However, you will only be sent 3 pieces at a time.  You can “prioritize” a piece, however, I didn’t do this and I wish I did. Use this option if you have an outfit you created or if you really want certain pieces to arrive.  I added a skirt and shirt to my closet that I wanted to wear together. The shirt arrived and the skirt didn’t so I’m out of luck.

Remember that once you add the eight pieces to your closet it is locked in and you cannot make any changes.

MY INFINITE STYLE CLOSET

Here are the seven pieces I filled my closet with.   There is one missing because I couldn’t find it on the site.

Here are the three pieces from my first box.

ANN TAYLOR

While I liked the tops they sent, they were just average. The cream colored top was the one I added just to close out the closet. So I wasn’t overly thrilled when it arrived. The black top was the top I added to go with a skirt. Without the skirt the top is pointless. I did love the polka dot dress, though. The front tie is unique and it is super flattering. It’s a great summer work dress that I can transition into fall. It’s a keeper!

WHY I LIKE THE SERVICE

Variety – You can really mix things up in your wardrobe with this service. I wear on repeat the same pieces I love so having a few things to mix in changes things up for me. It’s nice to have a clothing subscription box that offers variety.

Infinite Style– I love to test things out before taking the plunge. This service allows me to do just that. I can test drive clothes and if they don’t work, they go back.

Discounted Items – They offer a pretty huge discount on any item that you want to buy. It varies from item to item. The dress is 80% off and only $25 to buy. The black top is at a 40% discount and is technically on the Ann Taylor site for less right now. You will never pay full price for an item.

Quality of Clothes – I am impressed with the quality. While I know what to expect with Ann Taylor clothes, I was a little leery about these clothes being rented. They don’t smell overly processed, however, the service is relatively new so perhaps they haven’t been cleaned to many times. Maybe as time goes on and dry cleaning is increased the items may start to smell like a chemical.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT

Limited Sizing – Many of the items I want don’t have a full size run available. This is a huge bummer. There isn’t even a wait list for the items. I will gladly add an item to a wait list and have it placed in my closet when available.

Being Charged Up Front – There is no warning that I will be charged to set up the account. I probably should have known when the second thing asked for is my credit card information. I honestly thought I would be charged after I selected all the items. They got me on this one and I wish they were more upfront about it.

Packaging – I know that packaging isn’t really a big deal, but I think they can step it up a bit. With all the subscription services out there why not set yourself apart. I feel that the packing is weak and there is no informational piece in the box explaining what to do next. They can improve by including a card detailing what is in my box, how I can buy it, and how I can return it.

Closet Size – I find it pretty hard to select eight pieces for my closet. I had five pieces that I really loved and was excited about. But last three pieces were a struggle to select. I added in pieces that I didn’t love just to complete my closet.

OVERALL RATING

I give Ann Taylor’s Infinite Style Service a B-. While my pro and con list is pretty even I feel like I should have a lot more pros to give it a higher rating. There are a few things they need to improve which I think will really enhance the service and make it successful. If you are interested in trying it out leave your email below and I’ll send you a link for $25 off your first month.

HAVE ANY OF YOU TRIED INFINITE STYLE BY ANN TAYLOR YET? HOW ABOUT SIMILAR SERVICES LIKE RENT THE RUNWAY UNLIMITED?

LOOKING FOR MORE WORKWEAR? CHECK OUT ONE OF MY FAVORITES

ANN TAYLOR

ANN TAYLOR

ANN TAYLOR

ANN TAYLOR

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Fashion

Good American: The Basics That Grow With You

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When I had the opportunity to review Khloe Karadashian and Emma Grede’s brainchild, Good American, I was ecstatic. I’ve been a fan of Keeping up with the Kardashians for years and am completely in awe of all the businesses the Kardashian/Jenner clan has launched.

Good American is a size-inclusive brand whose clothes are made to fit every woman. The brand’s tagline, “Made by women, for women. All bodies. All Sizes. No compromises,” is apparent in its offerings. Good American originally launched in 2016 with a collection of jeans ranging from sizes 00-24 and earned over $1 million in sales on its launch date (the most successful denim launch in history). Over the years the brand has expanded into clothing, swimwear, shoes, sleepwear, and athleticwear. The clothes are fashion-forward, yet incredibly comfortable — a balance few brands have been able to perfect.

GRWM (Get Ready With Me)

After scouring the website for some time I decided to hit the basics — Good American’s signature sweat set and a nice ol’ pair of jeans. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of quality options on the site, but over the years I’ve learned that when in doubt, go for a neutral basic.

Cropped & Cool Sweatshirt

goodamerican

This sweatshirt is exactly what you would see a celebrity wearing in a paparazzi shot exiting Dogpound. It’s intentionally baggy, but still has a nice silhouette to it — and you can always size down if you’re looking for a slimmer fit. The cropped fit makes it perfect to pair with matching sweatpants or biker shorts. It’s made of a cotton knit, cozy terry fleece that feels high-quality and durable. I was worried that the shade I was sent wouldn’t look good on my skin tone, but it was extremely flattering once I tried it on. My only complaint is that I haven’t been able to wear it out much in Texas because the fabric is so thick.

Note: the sweatshirt isn’t a casual crop, but rather a when-you-raise-your-arms-everyone-can-see-your-bra cropped.

Boyfriend Sweatpants

goodamerican

These sweats are soft, slouchy, and exactly what one reaches for at the end of a tiring day. They’re made from the same heavy-duty cotton knit, terry fleece that the sweatshirts are made of. Sweatpants have been my uniform of choice during the pandemic so it only makes sense to splurge on a quality pair. Design wise, they look exactly like a pair of Gildan sweats, but you’re paying for high quality and years of usage. I primarily wear mine to lounge around, but there are many different ways to style them: roll the cuff, pull them down to your waist, roll the waistband, or pair them with heels a la Kardashian style.

I have a slight case of body dysmorphia so I requested a size 2/M and they were way too loose on me. Thankfully, there’s a drawstring so I’m still able to wear them around the house. Just keep in mind that they run large. Now to get an actual boyfriend…

Good Mom Jeans

Let me preface this by saying that I’m someone who hates jeans—they’re often uncomfortable, fit poorly, and shrink in the wash. But, that was before Good American sent me these jeans made of 99% cotton and 1% elastane. The fabric is durable, yet stretchy, but not in a tacky-jeggings sort of way. These jeans allow you to sit down and enjoy a good meal without needing to undo the top button. They don’t dig into your skin, but they also aren’t baggy when you walk around. I even debated wearing them on the plane.. A PLANE!

goodamerican

These are model off duty jeans, sans the need to be a model. Good American offers sizes 00-24, showcasing the ethos of the brand in its offerings. Plus, each pair is made with GA’s signatureAlways Fits technology, which allows the garment to stretch up or down one size.

TLDR; A Good Brand

I’ll admit that there was a part of me that was hesitant about Good American — how well could a celebrity co-founded brand really be? I could not have been more wrong. Good American is a quality brand whose elevated basics make getting ready a breeze. The idea that being comfortable means looking sloppy is a thing of the past, thanks to brands like Good American.

I feel good wearing a brand whose ethos is centered around making women feel comfortable in their own skin. No more squeezing into uncomfortable jeans that leave you unable to breathe, or buying cotton shirts that shrink after one wash. Invest in yourself by investing in a wardrobe that allows your body to fluctuate without any guilt or shame, and can withstand hundreds of thousands of washes. I might even argue that my items are more comfortable now than when they arrived.

5 More Reasons To Love Good American:

  • Good American uses American distributors. The brand’s factory is close to its LA headquarters and has been sewing knits for an entire generation.
  • Good American is the first brand in the industry to require their retail partners to carry its full size range and display all the sizes together rather than in a separate plus-size section.
  • Not only does its footwear offer extended sizing, but each size also includes the option of extended widths in feet, calves and thighs, translating to 72 unique sizing variables.
  • When shopping on the site you can select a model in size 0, 8, or 16 to get an accurate picture of what the clothing will look like on you. No more exclusively 00 models!
  • New customers save 15% Off your first order with code WELCOME15 at Checkout.
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Product Review: KUIU Women’s Attack Pants and Ultra Merino Crew

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I’ve been hunting since about 2009 and in that time, I’ve never been brand loyal when it comes to hunting clothes. So many brands used to not even offer women’s options, and now that more have, each one of them seems to offer something different. As with all women’s clothes, women’s camo is not created equal when it comes to sizing. And another reality is that it’s usually super expensive.

I primarily hunt in Idaho, in the mountains, where temperatures swing 30-40 degrees from morning to afternoon, the terrain can be rough, rocky, or wet, there’s thick sagebrush and lots of uphill walking. I need gear that is functional and will hold up in a variety of conditions. I also don’t prefer the traditional Realtree or Mossy Oak tree patterns.

I have seen quite a few women on social media wearing KUIU pants and knew they were men’s, but they looked like they fit those women pretty well. My partner, John, has two pairs of Attack pants and he loves them. I tried his pair on for sizing, and to see how they fit; surprisingly, they actually fit pretty well (not my size, but wanted to get an idea of how they fit). So I broke down and ordered the men’s Attack pants during one of their sales. Surprisingly, they fit great.

A few months later, KUIU announced that they are finally offering a women’s line of hunting clothes after all these years. I bit and ordered the women’s Attack Pants and Ultra Merino 145 LS Crew top.

KUIU

KUIU Women’s Attack Pants

KUIU

Features (from KUIU.com)

  • 247 g/m2 fabric weight
  • 4-way Stretch
  • Brushed back for reduced chafing
  • Makspec® odor control
  • K-DWR® water repellency
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Open hand pockets – 2
  • Open seat pockets – 2
  • Zippered cargo pockets – 2
  • Mesh backed zippered hip vents – 2
  • Articulated knees for full range of motion

KUIU
KUIU

Size and Fit

For comparison, I normally wear a size large or 12 in pants. I checked the size chart on KUIU’s website and felt like I was in between 12 and 14 so I ordered both (I also compared these measurements to the FirstLite size chart since I know how those pants fit).

I tried the size 14 on first and they fit, with some extra room. They definitely weren’t huge on me, but a little baggier than I wanted. The size 12 actually fit well. They are higher-waisted and sit above my hips, which I prefer. The back is slightly higher so when you sit, there’s still coverage back there.

These pants have a slimmer design than the men’s version, so the legs are a bit narrower. I have bigger thighs so they seem a little more fitted on me than they might on other women. I was concerned that the bottoms were too narrow and fitting over boots would be an issue, but it wasn’t. Once I tried them on with my normal hunting boots Danner Wayfinders, they are pretty fitted but in a good way. The narrower leg might actually prevent them from getting caught when walking through thick sagebrush, and will probably be more comfortable when wearing leg gaiters since there’s not as much fabric.

The Attack pants are only available in regular length, which is a 32″ inseam (the men’s version has regular, short, and tall inseam options). I’m 5’8″ and usually buy ‘regular’ length jeans. When I tried the pants on with bare feet, the bottoms hit right at the top of my foot. They seemed short, even though they are the same inseam as my favorite Old Navy jeans. After trying them on with my boots, I actually didn’t mind the length. They hit at the top of my foot and didn’t bunch up at the bottom. I think the narrow leg makes them seem shorter.

KUIU
KUIU

Functionality

At the time of writing this, I have not worn these pants outside. Honestly, I have not decided if I want to keep them or not. My initial impression though, is that they have several features that will make them very functional in the field.

KUIU

The leg vents are a huge benefit for me. It gets hot hiking in the mountains chasing elk, and these vents will allow heat to escape. This is actually one of the features I was most excited about in women’s pants.

The material is durable. It’s thick but not hot thick. I’ve worn the men’s version and these are the same material. Sagebrush and thorns don’t poke through it and make holes. It stands up to thick brush without issue.

Lastly, they are flexible and easy to move in. Even with the slimmer fit and narrow leg, movement is not restricted. I’m able to do full squats, bend over, lift my knees to my chest, etc. without issue. There’s no pull or hesitation with the fabric. Even when lifting or bending my leg, the pants legs do not ride up.

KUIU

There are 6 total pockets which seems like enough; most of my other pants either have the same or less. They include two zippered pockets on the back (which I typically don’t use), two zippered cargo pockets on the legs, and 2 non-zippered hip pockets. The only thing with the cargo pockets is that they are semi-tight at the leg, so there’s not a ton of room in them. I would usually put my phone in one, and put a knife, my tag/license holder, and chapstick in the other.

Options and Price

Sizes: 2-14, regular 32″ inseam (the size chart shows size 16, so this may be offered later?)

Colors: Valo (shown in my pictures), Verde, Vias

Overall Opinion

The women’s Attack Pants fit true to size but need to have regular and long options to work for a wider range of women. They seem like good quality pants that are functional for the type of hunting I do. Again, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll keep these yet since I do like the fit of men’s version.

KUIU Ultra Merino 145 LS Crew

KUIU

Features (from KUIU.com)

  • 145 g/m² fabric weight
  • 90% Merino Wool / 10% Nylon
  • Naturally odor resistant
  • Thermoregulating
  • UPF 50+ Sun Protection
  • Highly breathable
  • Anatomical shaping for fit and comfort
  • Layered thumbholes
  • Flat-lock seams for added comfort and reduced chafing

KUIU

Size and Fit

I typically wear a medium or large shirt, depending on the style. I assumed this would be on the tighter side, so I went with a large because I didn’t want it to be super fitted. The large was a good choice. It’s fitted but not skin tight. Medium would have been too small/tight for me. (100% honesty…I don’t want all of my rolls showing so I don’t like really fitted designs.)

The length of this crew is nice. Pulled down, it hits right at my hip. So when I sit, no matter if it’s tucked in or not, there’s coverage in the back.

Functionality

The material is very soft and easy to move around in. It’s thin, which is typical of this type of shirt. This will be a great base layer in colder weather or under a hoodie in mild temps. On hot days, I’ll wear this shirt alone. Merino in general is odor resistant, helps with moisture absorption, and helps regulate temperatures, so it will be a good option for all types of hunting, and for long days in the mountains.

When I ordered it, I didn’t even see that it had thumbholes and I’m glad it does. This is a main feature I look for in hunting shirts. I prefer some hand coverage but don’t always want to wear gloves.

Options

  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Colors: Valo (shown in my pictures), Verde, Vias

Overall Opinion

I definitely like the shirt and will absolutely be keeping it. It will be a good piece to add to my elk hunting gear for the fall, and I’ll use it for the remainder of this turkey season as a base layer.

Final Thoughts

I’ve had a negative opinion about KUIU in the past because of a specific statement by the founder years ago about women’s gear (I’m not going to include it here, but you can look it up). I was surprised that they finally decided to add women’s options. Even more surprising was that the initial introduction included a complete lineup of functional gear. Plus, according to their website, more is coming.

In my opinion, based on the two pieces I’ve purchased and by looking at the website, they aren’t skimping on the women’s options just to have a women’s line. These pieces are comparable with the men’s versions and have the same features and functionality. And the men’s and women’s versions are the same prices (which is rare), and decently affordable when compared to other brands.

I will continue to keep my eye on KUIU’s women’s line as they introduce more. More brands are offering women’s options, including a few women’s only brands, but I’m picky about camo pattern and conscious of cost. The KUIU line seems like a good option.

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25 Facts about the Perfume Shop

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Do you buy fragrance at The Perfume Shop?  Be honest, do you really explore fragrance there or do you just nip in and out to pick up a gift set or a repeat purchase of a fragrance that you know and love?  I have to admit that that The Perfume Shop was not my first stop for perfum.  Why? Because I felt like the staff did not have sufficient knowledge to talk to me about notes and fragrances.  An experience from about three years ago sums up what I thought The Perfume Shop was all about.

The perfume shop

I went into a south London store and asked for a tuberose fragrance.  The woman looked at me liked I had asked for directions to Hornsey (in north London).  Rabbit caught in the headlights.  She just did not know what tuberose was let alone which fragrances featured that note. I left the store disappointed

The perfume shop

Fast forward to now and there have been a lot of changes at The Perfume Shop.  In honor of their 25th anniversary, here are 25 facts about The Perfume Shop.

  • The Perfume Shop is 25 years old – the first store opened in 1992.
  • There are 260 stores across the UK.
  • Superdrug has been home some The Perfume Shop concessions since 2010.
  • It’s not all celebrity and high street fragrances. They sell Cartier, Ellie Saab Tom Ford and Hermes online and in stores.
  • The 25th Anniversary Fragrance for Women is Ghost Whitelight Diamond Dust which is exclusive to The Perfume Shop.

The perfume shop

  • The Perfume Shop are working exclusively with internationally renowned nose Michael Edwards.  Why is that a big deal? Michael Edwards is he author of ‘Fragrances around the World’ the retailers ‘bible’ of fragrance.
  • Each The Perfume Shop store has access to Ipads which are loaded with information about perfumes, the notes they contain and fragrances that you may like based on their notes.
  • The Perfume Shop  also works with the Fragrance Foundation who train their staff

The perfume shop

  • Each The Perfume Shop has at least one member of staff who has worked with a master perfumer and is qualified to Master’s level in fragrance.
  • As well as perfumes, they also sell candles and reed diffusers (best to look online).
  • You can get your perfume bottle engraved (online only) from £5.99.
  • They also sell deodorants – mainly men’s buy if you are looking to create a grooming hamper for your man, it is good to know.
  • The first The Perfume Shop store was in the Bullring in Birmingham.
  • They also sell skincare, B (Superdrug’s flagship range, I also saw Elemis – Papaya Enzyme Peel, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum and Face Cream as well as Clinique, Elizabeth Arden and Cow Shed, none of which are available in Superdrug.
  • The most expensive perfume that they sell (currently) is £168.00.
  • They also sell cosmetics – there was some NARS and Smashbox on special offer when I went online as well as W7 which I have seen instore as well as online.

The perfume shop

  • An online search will bring up zero fragrances for tuberose despite the fact that they sell Estee Lauder Beautiful and Michael by Michael Kors both of which feature tuberose strongly.
  • They also sell nail varnish – Butter London and Nails Inc neither of which are sold in Superdrug stores.
  • The Perfume Shop sells over 200 different fragrance brands.
  • The Loyalty Card gives you a point per pound spent… so if you buy a candle some skincare and makeup you will have built up a tidy amount of points.

The perfume shop

  • With The Perfume Shop’s Click and Collect Service, you can order an item in your lunch hour and pick it up on your way home from work – they have a two hour turn around (on most fragrances).
  • The online Fragrance Finder can help you navigate fragrance notes before you go to the store or make and online order.
  • The Perfume Shop has a giftwrapping service.  Very handy!
  • Fresh fragrances are the most popular in the UK.
  • Perfume trend to look out for  ‘gender free’ or ‘gender neutral’ fragrances like CKOne and lateist iteration CKAll – both available at The Perfume Shop.

The perfume shop

The Perfume Shop has changed and very much for the better.  I’m impressed by both the range of fragrances and the increased knowledge of the staff.  If like me you have dismissed this retailer previously they are worth a second look..

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