Golden Tote : Tote # 1 [a Review]

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I received this box of clothes from Golden Tote in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was recently given the opportunity to try a clothing subscription box from the company Golden Tote and I couldn't pass it up! Now, mind you, I am no fashion blogger, but recently clothing shipment boxes have become my favorite thing. A shipment of clothes in the mail that I can try on in the comfort of my own home? Yes please!

So... what exactly is Golden Tote?
(from Golden Tote's website)

New totes go on sale the first Monday of every month at 9AM PST. The $49 tote is a small tote filled with 2-3 pieces of clothing. The $149 tote is a large tote filled with 5-6 pieces of clothing.

Pick one or two items that you love, and they’ll surprise you with the rest! They promise adorable, stylish clothing, at insider pricing, ensuring you get them for an absolute steal - more than 50% off retail prices, which works out to around $26 per item. A serious steal for boutique clothing!

Add additional items to your order during checkout for a reduced price.

Style your profile and tell them what you like to wear - or what you don't! Every tote is hand-packed based on your profile. The more they know about your shape, size and style, the better they can personalize your picks for a perfect tote. They asked me questions like height, weight, bra size, dress size, shirt size, etc. They also asked if there were certain parts of my body that I didn't want to show or if I wanted to avoid certain upper body apparel items (I said no cropped tops, no strapless, no non-bra friendly, etc.) or lower body apparel items (I said no wide leg pants, no pencil skirts, etc.).

That's it, you're done! Now you just have to wait for your shipping confirmation and delivery. Golden Tote's are shipped weekly. Your order will ship within two weeks from the date that the order was placed. Flat rate shipping within the US is $9.95. International is $30. Golden Tote's are shipped from California. Orders $149 or more are given free shipping within the US and $25 shipping for international. They also offer expedited shipping at an additional cost.

What if I want to return something?

Their current return policy is ‘all or nothing’. You must return the entire Golden Tote and all of its contents for a full refund. However, since Golden Tote is such a great deal, they recommend gifting or exchanging items that do not fit with your family and friends. Remember what doesn't work for one, might for another so share with your friends. In addition, they have a facebook group where you can swap, trade or sell items that do not work for you. If you decide to only keep part of your tote, keep in mind the original bundled price will change. Any kept ‘chosen items’ will be sold at boutique price and surprise items for $35.

What was my box like?

In my box was my items, a nice little tote bag, and a receipt. As I usually am when I see a ton of patterns, I was a bit weary. But if there's anything that I learned about judging a box by the patterns, I am often wrong! So while I was a little worried, I knew trying on the clothes would be the only way to truly know how I felt about the patterns. 

I will tell you, also, that I was a bit disappointed that there were no style cards in the box to help me style my new clothes. While I usually don't have the exact pieces that other subscription box company's suggest I pair my new items with, I do find it helpful to see how they recommend styling and pairing them.

But, enough of the nitty gritty. What did I get?

The items I chose for myself...

Nod to Nautical Dress

This was the first item that I chose for myself and the item that I was the most excited about. It kind of reminded me of a swim suit cover up at first and I thought it would be fun to have for the summer and for my cruise next year. But the only problem was... I chose size medium at the beginning of the check out process (since I am typically a medium). I thought I was stuck only ordering from the mediums but I later found out that I could change the sizes. Only problem with that was... they didn't have this dress in a size large and I didn't particularly like any of the large options. I think it was probably because I was choosing my tote items almost halfway through April and so my selection was relatively limited - a good reason to always sign in and order as soon as the tote goes live (noted for next time).

Anyway, I decided to go with it and get the medium and... it was WAY too small. Too small as in... I barely got it on and I was really worried that I wasn't going to be able to get it off. Super bummer. I wish they had had a large. Regardless of the size problem, I do still really like the pattern and design of the dress (I love the blue stripes with the addition of the pink stripes) and the material the dress was made of.

To the Maxi Dress

This maxi dress was the second item that I got to choose for myself and it definitely fit a lot better than the first dress. I felt like it was a good length and I did like the pattern. BUT. I didn't really feel like it was ME. I don't know why, but it just didn't seem like something I would wear often. The material was... not scratchy, but not soft either. It didn't really have much give to it which I found to be a problem in the arm area. I also thought that the top around the bust was too big and just didn't sit right. In this picture, it looks ok, but on, I just wasn't feeling it.

The items they chose for me...

Renee C Striped Maxi Dress

I wanted to like this dress. Blue and stripes are right up my alley. BUT, there were a few things I didn't like. 

Even though you can't tell, the straps were tank top like but were also wide enough for me to be able to wear a real bra with. I LOVED that. I also thought that the top portion was very flattering. But then... the bottom. The dress was too short for my liking. I like my maxi's to hit the ground (or come very close) and this one was significantly shorter. I also thought that the stripes on the bottom were in an odd pattern. They didn't go straight across like the stripes on the top portion, but instead kind of curved up and made a > pattern going up the dress. It looked cool from the side, but didn't look overly flattering from the front.

I can't say that I loved this dress, but I also didn't hate it. Undecided.

PS I found this denim jacket in my closet when I was looking for a jacket to use with this dress. I forgot someone had given it to me. Remember how I mentioned once before that I wanted one? Problem solved. Look in your closet. Duh!

Peppermint Floral Blouse

Pattern. This normally makes me nervous. But this pattern? I actually really liked! The blouse was a little hard to get on since there was no side or back zipper, but once I got it on, it fit nicely. I liked that the sleeves were 3/4 length and the blouse was nice and flowy and flattering. I liked the color and I liked the flowers. I'm just not so sure about the cut out in the back. I feel like I might be a little too old to be rocking the back slit.

Lazy Sundays Waffle Knit Top

I wanted to like this shirt, but there was so much wrong with it. When I first pulled it out of the box, I thought "oh this is definitely a no!" but then I opened it (from being folded in the box) and I thought "hey this isn't so bad after all!".

I LOVED the style. It was shorter in the front and longer in the back and then the sides hung down longer as well. It's a little hard to explain but I feel like the style is very 'in' these days. I thought the shirt had potential! BUT, then I felt it and it felt cheap. I think I have a towel made out of this same waffle knit material. Hmm. Strike 1. Then I tried it on and I felt it to be very unflattering. Strike 2. It was too short for my liking in front. It was too boxy and wide. And the color was just kind of blah.

She & Sky Tank with Pom Pom Trim

This shirt is a color that I typically avoid (it's bright!) and a pattern that I've never worn before. But when I pulled it out of the box and unfolded it... I liked it a lot! I was really excited to try it on! And then... I tried it on and was super disappointed - by the fit. The second photo looks ok, but the first photo makes it look super short - which was my problem. I wish wish wish it was longer all around because then I would love it! Again, I felt too old to rock this style shirt on the regular. Maybe I can try to pull it off for a bachelorette party I'm going to this weekend?

Overall, I think Golden Tote is a great concept. I like the fact that you can choose two of your own items and then have the rest be a surprise. With other boxes, sometimes there are certain pieces that I REALLY want and I am disappointed when I don't get them. However, on the flip side, I do LOVE the surprise. For me, personally, I didn't think this box was the best. BUT, that being said, my first couple boxes with other companies have had similar results and as time has gone on, they've gotten much better. The main downside to this company is that there is such a high upfront cost. There are two different price points on the totes depending upon how many items you want to get, but still. I'd rather just pay a styling fee and then decide what I want to keep. For some reason it makes me feel more in control and I prefer that pricing structure to Golden Tote's. While I don't plan on getting another tote in the near future, I definitely wouldn't rule it out for the future!

So, what do you think? Do you agree with my loves and hates?

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  1. Bummer about the dress you picked out being too small. I LOVE the turquoise shirt and the waffle knit top. Both looks so so good on you. This is a really fun concept.

  2. I agree with everything you said. From your opinions on the pieces to the whole concept in general. But yay that you found a denim jacket in your closet!

  3. Hmmm yeah I've heard of them. Looks like kind of a bummer box, but I do like the second dress (long maxi you were unsure of the pattern) on you. I think it looks great with your hair!

  4. Hmm for some reason I felt like I tried this before! Maybe I just thought about it. I don't know that I would after your experience though!

  5. Ooooh I love this!!! I've never heard of them, but I need to check them out ASAP! I love all of these pieces more than what I've seen from Stitch Fix.

  6. I LOVE that floral blouse on you!

  7. Such a bummer that first dress didn't fit - it's really cute! I know you said the second dress isn't you, but it really looks great on you! I also love the floral top and bright tank! My boss's wife does Golden Tote and she's had a lot of success with it. I may need to try it out sometime!

  8. Kind of a dud box, I have to agree. Although that maxi dress with sleeves I really liked on you. It looked really good!

  9. Hmm....interesting concept! I love your pieces, but I agree that they are pretty basic. What I love about other companies is how different the pieces are - I wouldn't normally pick them in a store. I would totally pick these for myself, which takes the fun out of it for me. And the all or nothing...not crazy about it! Fun box, though!!

  10. Always fun to have clothes shipped to your door and try them on..!! Cute stuff!! I think that 'to the maxi' dress is super cute on you, that was my fav.

  11. I actually really like the floral shirt! But yeah, otherwise, the fit wasn't quite right. Major bummer!

  12. Hmm! Never heard of them. Question - so you keep what you get, right? Or do you send back the items you don't love. Did I miss that above?

  13. I actually loved both those maxi dresses on you!!!

  14. Such a bummer on that first dress friend. It is super cute. I can totally see what you mean about that last shirt too but I actually kind of like it on you :D!

  15. I think you looked darling in everything, but feeling good in it is definitely more important! Those pompoms are so cute! I have a long torso so that wouldnt work for me either. Score on the "new" denim jacket lol.

  16. So, I do love the maxi with sleeves - I think it's super fun and flattering! And I also love the turquoise tank, despite the fact that it's short. It still looks adorable and the color is great on you. Aside from that, I agree that the box was just eh. I did Golden Tote too, and while I did like a couple of my items, I REALLY disliked a few of them as well, and would have been upset had I paid $150 and been stuck with them. Getting them for free made it ok, but I definitely like the business set up (and quality) of Stitch Fix a lot more!

  17. Ooooh, this is a new service I hadn't heard of.
    I really liked that second dress, the blue stripped dress, and that last top. I thought they all looked great on you!! And, I don't think you're too old to rock anything! :)
    Also. Total bummer the box is an all or nothing concept.

  18. That striped maxi looks SO good on you! Sad about it being a little short, I didn't notice until you said something. Still looks good =) That first maxi looks very matronly to me. That bright top is super fun, but it does kind of look like something a high school girl would wear. It's still fun and pretty on you though. Do you just keep it all?


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