Sunday, January 05, 2014

How Gwynnie Bee has changed my style

We are snowed in, and since I don't really want to write about the snow, I thought I'd answer Vickie's question about whether I'm wearing more dresses since I got Gwynnie Bee (affiliate link).

I definitely am wearing a lot more dresses, partly because Gwynnie Bee doesn't have pants (yet), just tops, dresses, jackets, skirts, and cardigans.  The majority of the items on the site are dresses. I have always liked the way I look in skirts and dresses better than the way I look in pants, but I live in northern Ohio, and it gets cold here. Last year around my birthday, I bought a pair of tall black boots, and with those and some black tights, I can make a dress work. Especially since I work on a small campus where I can usually part right outside my building. I used to have a longer walk in from the parking lot when I worked at a bigger school.

I find myself wearing more fun clothes, too. When I was buying all of my own clothes, I would buy basics, because it's hard to wear a distinctive print or a fancy party dress enough times to feel like it was worth the money.

I also try things that interest me even if I'm not sure how they will look. Sometimes I love them, like the Ruby Rox colorblocked peplum dress, and sometimes they are misses, like the purple print Kiyonna dress that looks great on the model, but because of the unstitched keyhole in the front, looks indecent on me. Some things are just unexpectedly wonderful, like the yellow eyelet dress. Other things, I tried on and sent right back, like the Jessica Howard dress that made me look dowdy. It's not a big deal to send something back -- a replacement usually arrives within a 4-5 days. I'm getting a little better at knowing what will work based on the pictures and the size charts.  Knowing my own measurements has been really useful for this.

I keep some basics on hand to work with the other pieces: The denim jacket that works with a lot of the sleeveless dresses. Cardigans. Slacks in neutral colors. Jeans. Slips in black and white, so that some of the lower-cut dresses aren't too revealing.  Over Christmas and my birthday, I also got a lot of cute tops for my non-GB days. Those were some of the first new clothes I had bought for myself in a while.

The only thing I'd like to see added are more professional offerings. If I ever had a job interview or a big presentation, I probably would have to spring for a suit. I was told by a friend that most of my jackets are too big and don't look great on me.  Maybe at some point I will take what I have to a tailor to see if it's worth altering them.  My body is hard to fit for things like that.

My current job does not require me to wear that kind of corporate attire, and I have been spending a little more time on hair and makeup and trying to look more put-together.  I think that can only benefit me for work. I do wonder if the people at work think I'm spending a fortune on clothes.  I don't advertise that I'm using a clothing rental service -- it sounds a little weird.  I do think, though that the math works, at least for me. If I were buying the kind of stuff I usually bought, I'm sure I would be spending more and getting less.

I am starting to see that as I lose weight, there will be less for me on the site. Though the sizes go down to 10, there is less available at that end of the size range. Gwynnie Bee has said that at some point, they hope to expand their size range, but I am not sure about their timing. I'm just going to enjoy the ride for now and see what happens.

Gwynnie BeeJaime dressJaime dress

Coldwater Creek Oceana dressColdwater Creek Oceana dressColdwater Creek Oceana dressColdwater Creek Oceana dressColdwater Creek Oceana dressThread + Butter dress
Thread + Butter dressThread + Butter dressThread + Butter dressThread + Butter dressThread + Butter dressRuby Rox dress from Gwynnie Bee

Gwynnie Bee, a set on Flickr.


  1. Really good post.

    I did wonder about the size thing, because when I poked around on their site, I realized they are geared toward larger sizes.

    But when you get to lower sizes, you will know exactly what works for you and be able to make really smart purchases.

    Or use ebay (I have only used ebay to look for very specific items when I knew exactly what size I needed. I found smaller sizes of blouses and jackets that I already owned or had found in local stores on ebay and was super happy).

    Are you wearing your new tops with pants or skirts? Pictures when you have time please. I really enjoy seeing your new clothes.

    I would not tell anyone about clothes rental either. Unless it is a wistful person in the right size range who really needs help, could learn from the process.

    When I needed to learn, I was in smaller sizes and spent a lot of time at Macy's and Target and Kohl's trying things on. But your service is smarter because your try on times are longer and you get to see how an item works with the rest of your closet.

    The only downside I can think of is you are only trying one size at a time. I make myself try three sizes of each thing. Still to this day I order identical items in S, M, L or 6, 8, 10. There is little consistency in which size I need. One dress I needed in a 12 (shoulders are always my issue).

    My husband has already shoveled twice. We have super big driveway and he has to keep up with it or it gets too heavy/much.

    1. The new tops I bought are mostly with jeans. I got a couple of pairs of nice dark jeans and one pair of black ones. It is still very cold here most days so if I'm not dressing up, I'd rather stay warm.

      Most of the brands on GB post their size charts, so I can usually do okay on fit. And since I'm not buying the clothes, if they don't fit perfectly I either make them work or send them back.

      You're right, though, this is giving me a better sense of what works and will make it easier to build a wardrobe in the long run.

      We haven't shoveled -- since it's Sunday, we are just letting it fall. Our driveway and sidewalk are small.

    2. P.S. I think jeans or leggings look better on me than slacks, just because of my body type. If I buy pants wide enough for my thighs, they tend to look big and boxy everywhere else.

  2. P.S. Sorry about spamming people with feed readers with multiple photo posts.

  3. School already called off for Tuesday. No one is supposed to be out on roads. Husband home today, not sure about tomorrow. How are you doing?

    1. We are at a Level 3 snow emergency again. Jesse and I spent an hour digging out our sidewalk and driveway yesterday, so we can stay inside and stay warm. I have work I can do at home and books to read. The kitchen is stocked.

      I went out yesterday on a grocery run just because I was feeling stir-crazy, and immediately felt stupid for leaving the house.

  4. Still not supposed to be out here either. Husband and youngest both home with me. Were supposed to go to a holiday party tonight (was specifically scheduled so it would be after hustle bustle were over) it was cancelled. One other party was the Friday after my surgery, my husband went, obviously I did not (youngest was home with me). No more snow, husband shoveled yesterday morning, none since then. But he said he is going out to clean up what plow left near end of driveway.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07