The Gwynnie Bee Experiment

I have been going back and forth on signing up for Gwynnie Bee for months now, and a few weeks ago I finally signed up. With a free month to try it out, what is there to lose besides some self esteem when none of the clothes fit? Hat tip to my friends Emmie and Kate for inspiring me to finally go for it!

Side note: this is not a sponsored post, but –> this link right here is a ‘refer-a-friend’ link, which means that if you happen to sign up for the service by using my link, I get an extra piece of clothing to try — no shenanigans, just more opportunities for me to try ALL THE THINGS!

If you don’t already know what Gwynnie Bee is, it’s a clothing rental subscription service, catering to women between the sizes of 10 – 32. Think, Netflix for clothes. They have many different designers and styles, and there is even an option that if you love an item you can purchase it at a discounted price. They have several different levels of subscriptions but it starts at $35 for one piece of clothing out at a time, with unlimited exchanges and free shipping both ways.

Now, I rarely buy new clothes for mainly two reasons:

1. I’m just not that fancy,

2. “I don’t want to buy new clothes while I’m losing weight,” has been my mantra for far longer than I care to admit.

The turning point? I realized I dress like a stereotypical frumpy-old-lady-office-worker, and if I really do hope to trick a man into marrying me catch a man’s eye, I should probably start to care a little bit more about how I present myself to the world. I’m also really tired of black slacks and figured I should try some dresses. Reason number two still stands though, so I decided I’d try the rental route!

I was super excited to get my first box of three items (dresses!) a couple weeks ago and I immediately tried on the first dress thinking I was going to look fabulous just like the model on the website… no. I was suddenly reminded why I don’t wear dresses and instead hide in black slacks and blousy tops and cardigans. It was such a horrible hit to my self-esteem that I didn’t even try on the other two dresses. Instead I hung all three in the closet for  A WEEK trying to get up the courage to try them on and fighting the urge to send them all back and cancel the whole thing.

Luckily I gave myself another shot, and the results weren’t as horrible as I had originally thought (also, 4 inch heels fix any outfit).

Dress 1: Jessica Howard / Belted Fit & Flare Dress with Cap Sleeves

Jessica Howard Fit and Flare

Let’s ignore the fact that I need to figure out a different place to take photos, and I’m completely squishing my left boob to take the photo (haha!).

The dress isn’t as terrible as I had originally thought, but it’s just not something I was comfortable in. It fit fine, but was rather heavy and had an odd all-over pattern that I had originally thought was black herringbone (from the website photo) but is actually a bunch of navy blue mis-shaped ‘O’s (there is now a photo of the pattern on the website).

I am definitely very top-heavy, but this dress just made me feel/look extra top-heavy and that’s something I like to try to minimize! So back in the return bag it went.

Dress 2: Flutter / Happy Daisy Printed Dress

Flutter Happy Daisy Dress

I actually thought this dress was super cute and flattering from the front and I loved the bodice pattern and colors!


Flutter Happy Dress Bodice

I do not have cone-shaped-80’s-Madonna-boobs, and there was no way I could manipulate the fabric to make it look any different…bummer.

But this does remind me of the one time I went to get a bra-fitting at the only store in town (at the time) that catered to larger chested women. It was this hole-in-the-wall store in a dirty old strip mall, but was owned by a lovely elderly woman. She wasn’t afraid of getting handsy in the dressing room to make sure I got the best fit, and she convinced me to buy this expensive contraption of a bra that I felt great in, but apparently made me look a lot pointy. The first time my BFF saw me wearing it, she made fun of me for 2 hours straight. Needless to say, I never wore the bra again. All I can say is, thank goodness for Lane Bryant and Cacique!

Anyway… super cute dress, but I obviously sent it back unworn. Maybe I’ll get it in a smaller size once I’ve lost some weight and see if it fits differently.

Dress 3: Triste / Animal Print Shawl Collar Dress

Triste Animal PrintThis dress was by far my favorite! I wasn’t sure I would like the animal print, but I actually loved it! There’s a light blue accent color throughout the print and a matching blue string belt. It also perfectly covered my chest and I thought it was an extremely flattering cut.

Triste animal print bodice open

But then as I was admiring myself in the mirror I noticed something…

Triste Animal Print bodice snap

That right there is the snap that is supposed to close the bodice fabric, and it is almost exactly where my nipple is!

So I pulled the fabric together and tried to snap it closed…

Triste animal print closed bodice

Not so pretty anymore and it also created a giant gaping hole of “hey, everyone look into my shirt!”… and then I breathed in and it popped back open.

Boo. I even considered for a moment that the snap is pretty small and not noticeable from afar, so I could/might/maybe be able to wear it un-snapped and no one would know. Except that I’m the person who always self-consciously brings attention to the flaws of an outfit by constantly playing with/touching the defect… and I really don’t want to get written up by HR for this one!

So sadly, this went back unworn as well but it is definitely one I will re-closet in a smaller size once I get there (assuming I keep using the service!!).

Over-all I think I had a really good initial experience (forgetting about my first week freak out) and I’m happy with the sizes I chose (I’m between sizes so I sized up) even though nothing fit quite well enough for me to comfortably wear out in public. I blame my ancestors and their giant-chest genes.

If you’d like to check out the service, here’s my link again (please and thank you): Gwynnie Bee Refer-A-Friend

I also just got my second box with two tops and a skirt, and I’m excited to try them on… cross your fingers for me!!

Are you using Gwynnie Bee now, or have you tried it before? Do you have other methods for saving money on clothes while losing weight? I’d love to hear your advice!

Dear Office Crush

cubicle photo

Dear Tall-Blond-Handsome Office Crush, I'm so sorry you now probably-most-likely think I'm a total creeper, but I swear it was just a horrible series of unfortunate events that have culminated in my utter humiliation - and a blog post. First of all, you are rarely in the office so the fact that this even happened is pretty hysterical when you think about it -- but I really hope you're not … [Continue reading...]

Singles Awareness Day 2014

ja civas valentines chocolate lid

I tried to make it through today without feeling bitter about still being single and alone, I really did, but my final nightly check of Facebook has done me in. There are days where I am perfectly content and happy to be single. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, for however long I want. I can read in silence, watch marathons of Law & Order, Leverage, and HGTV without anyone trying … [Continue reading...]

Winter Wonderland | Snowlandia

cat in a winter window

I spent my long weekend snowed in. I heard a passing mention of 'we're gonna get snow this weekend' sometime on Wednesday and promptly scoffed. Snow, you say? It's not going to snow... and if it does snow, it's not going to stick... this is Portland! It rains, or freezing-rains. It does not fluffy-white-perfect-for-snowballs-making-snow here. Well color me wrong, because this is how … [Continue reading...]

That Time I Took a Really Long Break, Again

WA Trees and Mountains

Sometimes, you just need a break. A long one. A break from pretty much everything, including all things social media related. A time to regroup, rethink, reprioritize, and reboot. A time to clean, and redecorate because you've lived in the same place for four years with framed art leaning against walls. A time to shut down all your online dating profiles because -- I don't even want to talk about … [Continue reading...]