We Tried It: Curated Style Services That Take the Stress Out of Shopping
These new home-delivery boxes offer the latest in swimwear, gymwear and accessories
What It Is: Andie, a customizable try-at-home swimwear service
Who Tried It: Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor (and Jersey Shore native)
Why We Tried It: Swimsuit shopping at department stores sucks. Period.
Level of Difficulty: 2/10. If you’re stuck on sizing, set aside 5-10 minutes to call one of the Andie fit experts. Other than that, it takes about five minutes to build your own box and your suits are shipped to your front door.
How It Works: I love swimsuits, but I hate shopping for them. Trying on a handful of styles in a harshly lit dressing room at a busy department store is not a fun way to spend an afternoon. (We’ve all been there.) Which is why I usually order my suits online. So when a friend introduced me to the Andie concept I was all in. At-home swim try-ons with no commitment? No-brainer.
First, you customize your box. The brand offers three different one-piece swim styles — The Montauk, The Catalina and The Tulum — and four different colorways (white, black, navy and forest green). Once you decide on your three suit styles, you place the order and then have seven days to try the suits on at home and decide what you want to keep. You have to return any suits you don’t want (return labels and packaging are included in the shipment) to avoid being charged.
As for pricing, one suit costs $125. If you keep two, each suit drops to $115. If you keep three, they then drop to $105. At first I thought that was pricey, but once I saw the quality of the suits and how well they fit, I became a collector of all three. Plus, I was able to try them on in the privacy of my own bedroom which was the best part.
The brand even has the backing of ultimate bikini babe Demi Moore. The A-list actress signed on as an investor and advisor for Andie earlier this month.
“I was drawn to Andie’s approach, which puts women at the forefront,” Moore said in a release. “Shopping for a swimsuit can be stressful and time-consuming for so many women, but Andie’s at-home try-on makes finding the perfect swimsuit an incredibly simple, easy and comfortable experience.”
The Verdict: The Andie tagline is “A Better Way to Shop for Swimwear” and my experience backs up that sentiment. I kept all three suits (!) but my favorite was the Montauk. I liked the open-back silhouette and how the front provided full coverage (I’m very conscious about burning my chest) with a little sexy side-boob action. The spandex material is high-quality, and I know all the suits will last me for seasons to come, which makes the price tag worth it.. They’re durable, fashionable and look just as cute on a kayak as they do with a pair of cutoffs at happy hour. I’ll leave it to the Boomerang below to show how I really feel:
What It Is: Sweatstyle, an athletic and leisure apparel subscription box
Who Tried It: Lindy Segal, Style Social Media Editor
Why We Tried It: As much fun as shopping for workout clothes is, we don’t always have the time to do it. Plus, with more and more brands on the market, the idea of having a curated box of athleisure clothes delivered right to your doorstep is pretty appealing (and who doesn’t love the element of surprise?).
Level of Difficulty: 2/10. Set aside 10 minutes to fill out the questionnaire and enter your billing information, and the rest is done for you. (That HIIT class, on the other hand…)
How it works: You fill out a fairly detailed (but easy) questionnaire, then your box of five items arrives within a few days. Because much of the clothing is meant to be worn for working out, they ask you about the types of activity you’ll be doing, as well as fit and style preferences, which you can rank as “love it,” “sometimes,” or “not for me.” (See above.) There are also a few text fields you can fill in with personal things, such as anything they should avoid picking for you (for example, I specified nothing yellow or orange, even though I said I’m good with color).
In the section with your shipping information, you also select how frequently you’d like to receive your box. If you’re a fitness fanatic, you can do monthly, but there are options for every other month or every three months, too. Once you receive your picks, you choose what you want to keep, and send back what you don’t with the included prepaid mailing envelope within five days. (You’re only charged for the pieces you keep.)
Now let’s talk about the good stuff: the clothes! Inside my seafoam box were three pairs of leggings and two tops, all in the same black/gray/blue color family. So far, so good. My next thought was that I would have liked a sports bra instead of one of the leggings, but can you ever really have enough pairs? (Hard no.) Brand-wise, the only one I had heard of is Alala, and I was really excited to try their leggings (more on that later), while everything else was new to me. This is a good perk of Sweatstyle: You get to try brands you otherwise may not come across.
Alala is an activewear line beloved by celebs and fitness stars alike, so I was eager to try out their “all day tight” in charcoal (left). Bold Statement: This wasn’t just my favorite piece in the Sweatstyle box, it also may be my new favorite legging, period. They are crazy-soft and comfortable, didn’t budge during my run and (TMI?) didn’t stink post-gym. My only regret is that it’s now too hot to wear them every single day.
The marble pair, by Glyder (right), was my second favorite. Snug and soft, I can see myself doing a dance cardio class in these. My least favorite pair was the reversible Nux leggings (center). Both prints were cute and not-too-crazy, but they slipped down from my waist just while walking around my apartment, so I’m not sure how they will hold up at the gym.
Both tanks were wins. The “nothing decaf” tank by good hYOUman is definitely more for hanging out then working out (unsurprising, considering I checked “brunch” as an activity on my questionnaire), and it’s already in my pajama rotation. The black tank, also by Glyder, is ideal for yoga and, to be honest, I think would be cute with jeans and booties for a night out too (it’s hard to tell in the photo, but it has a little sheer patch in the back).
The verdict: If you love athleisure, try Sweatstyle! I am excited about four of the five pieces I was sent, and the other one was really cute, just not as functional as I would have liked. They took my styling and fit preferences into account, and even though I would have liked a sports bra thrown in the mix, the assortment was still varied between functional and fun pieces.
What It Is: Flont.Club a jewelry rental membership website
Who Tried It: Sarah Ball, Fashion Market Editor
Why We Tried It: First of all, I’m a huge fine jewelry lover and couldn’t resist the opportunity to get my hands on some diamonds. Secondly, I have a few black tie events coming up that I’d love to have some impressive jewels to flaunt, so I wanted to test it out to see if it’s worth signing up for.
Level of Difficulty: Super easy! Only takes a few minutes to sign up for your subscription and become a member. The ordering and returning process was a breeze.
How it works: The concept is brilliant. Members (for $299 per month) have unlimited access to Flont.Club’s entire fine jewelry collection, which means you can borrow as frequently as you like! You can borrow two items together under $2,500 each, or a single jewel up to $8,000 in value. Once you return your current Flont.Club piece, you can choose something new.
I started with a Bulgari 18K rose gold cocktail ring set with diamonds that retail for a cool $2,300 if you were to actually purchase it (because #casual). I wore it all the time. I paired it with jeans and a tee, my summer dresses — literally everything in my wardrobe. I felt glamorous in that not-on-purpose way (which kind of makes you feel even more legitimate in a way. Hey, you’re wearing Bulgari with a t-shirt!).
The second item was clearly even more practical – these gorgeous Marilyn Cooperman emerald diamond silver 18K gold earrings. Again, with no special events on the calendar, I paired them with my everyday outfits and these were a little less inconspicuous than the ring, but obviously fabulous with my poplin button down, jeans and heels and even more perfect for any black tie or special event that you need to dress to impress.
The return process was surprisingly very simple and pain-free. When the jewelry arrives it comes with a FedEx return label (I know, FedEx! Not a security guard hand delivery service? Crazy and amazing) and you just place them back in the velvet pouch and foam lined hard case they came in, and send away.
The verdict: Perfect for all of the jewelry lovers out there like me or for anyone who has frequent special events on the calendar.
Which ones do you want to try? Share below!