Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shopping: MM. LaFleur

Have you seen the MM LaFleur Facebook ads? That's how I learned about this company -- curated capsule wardrobes and career clothes. Delivered right to you! I ordered a Bento box with great interest and low expectations ... trying garments on is definitely the best way. I don't have a go-to boutique in STL and a trip to the mall is not how I want to spend the two pre-nap and two post-nap blocks of time I have on the weekend (if I have them at all).

While we watched tv one night, I entered my information for the Bento and answered a series of questions and filled in the comment section. I think I entered "no jewelry, looking for staples, has to be conservative" etc. The Bento is chosen for you. Ah, the fun of surprises. (Generally I hate surprises but surprises with free returns are ok).

Today, my box arrived. Relive it with me.

Heavy, well-packed box. Zero damage. Carefully taped. (These women have airtight branding, down to the packaging).

Grownup grrrrrl power message.

Inside the envelope:

Invoice and comment card.

Preprinted return label.

Inside the small box to the right of the packing slip: a plaid scarf. More like a shawl. Cream with little bitty silver threads and fringe. Very pretty but I have no need for a scarf - I have about 12 beautiful silk ones, unworn these five years.

Plastic bag of garments.

First garment: Etsuko dress. Stretchy three quarter length sleeve number with a skinny belt and pockets.

Luke wasn't around so I had to improvise these pics starring our freshly cleaned sink, a waterlogged Beautyblender, the necklace holder my dad made, and an almost empty roll of toilet paper. I do it for you, friends, I do it for you.

Assuming the anatomic position.

No bueno. This dress makes my torso into a case study of how to describe concavity versus convexity.

TOO SHORT. I want to be able to raise my arms at work and not have my skirt ride up to my upper thighs. This might be a good place to mention that wearing camouflage and combat boots for five years makes other clothes seem FRIVOLOUS and RIDICULOUS and IMPRACTICAL.

Dress No. 2: Again, too body-con.

At this point I thought, I need to try this on with special underwear but then I remembered that violates my rule of buying things that require any sort of special underwear; I never wear things that I already own that require strapless this, Spanx that...


Garments 3 and 4: Pleated pants and stretchy tee.

I'm thisclose to saying goodbye to work pants forever (hate them) and these pants got me that much closer.

I do love a stretchy tee however. This one is wonderfully soft and smooth. (My sister Elise cracked me up when she asked me how many clouds I gave my sweatshirt-sweatpant combo when she was visiting a couple of weeks ago -- Soft Surroundings rates every garment in its catalog on softness with a number of clouds.)

I give this tee two clouds for softness but deduct strongly for the pulling across the boobs. No good.

Gave it a try with a skirt I can't find anything to go with. Still no.

Last garment: a jacket-cardigan. I didn't try this on. Not my jam.

But what is my jam? Dressing for work is hard work and it shouldn't be! I've been thinking a lot about what I like to wear, what I feel comfortable and professional and confident and like-myself in. I'm curating a new part of my closet now that I am excited about. Updates to follow! Workwear is pretty fascinating to me and I've been thinking for over a year about starting a blog on the topic... not sure if it will be a separate thing or just an occasional post here. I have a lot to say!

But what about MM LaFleur?

Pros: Free shipping (over $100), free returns; many items are made in the USA; a woman-led company; a consistent and cohesive wardrobe if their stuff worked for you; high quality (assumption on price and initial impression)

Cons: Doesn't work for this particular cuerpo; not my personal style or the style of dress in my workplace.

Anybody have any luck with a capsule wardrobe or mindful shopping a la Un-fancy (who maybe only dresses to go to get coffee? No workwear) or the Curated Closet (I pre-ordered her book today)?

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