Le Tote, the Experiment

9:10 AM

Le, whaaa?!

I've always been against the whole shop by mailing box (or subscription-based shopping, probably a more technical term) phenomenon that caught on a handful of years ago. Birchbox, stupid! Stitch Fix, stupid! Ipsy, stupid! All of it, stupid. I'm I N D E P E N D E N T! I will buy my own damn clothes and make up I don't need some company boxing up random stuff, based on a few questions they asked me to determine they know my style. I don't need to pay for a box of make up samples that I probably won't ever use. I don't want used clothing. I want nothing to do with any of it!

Okay, so maybe I'm slightly controlling or maybe I just know what I like. I understand that there are those unlike me who do not like to shop, do not know what products they prefer, or just don't want to spend the time finding such things. The convenience is key, but it takes out all the fun of finding a dress to attend a wedding, an outfit for a birthday party, or something new and cute to wear.

So that's me. I've avoided the ridiculous fad for a long time. However, after I read Jamee's post, I was intrigued. She loves Nordies just as much as I do, so I know she has good taste ;) She's a busy mom, wife, blogger, and full time Marketer too, but appreciates fashion. Seeing her enjoy this service made me ponder the idea...more so than I ever have. As a blogger, I'm always thinking for things to write about. Mostly I just recap my life on here, but I thought: "Why not try it out? I'm so opposed to it, Jamee has a discount code, and it could be an interesting blog post." All it was hurting was my bank account and I can stop it whenever I want, no harm no foul. $39 for your first month, not too horrible. That's at least one trip to the mall -- and I'll be getting three clothing pieces and 2 accessories.

So after a lengthy Facebook string of inquiries on Jamee's post about LeTote, I literally signed up via a link she posted on FB through my iPhone. It was as easy as I imagined it would be. To start, there were 12 full outfits that I Tinder-ly swiped left for dislike and right for like. The issue I had with this was that I wasn't able to see all 12 at once on the mobile version. Which leads me to my first tip, sign up on a computer, don't use the mobile version (or the app, I'm guess its the same). If you're anything like me, I want to see all my options before I decide. With them stacked on top of one another I was scared to make a decision, cause what if I liked too little or too many? I guess it doesn't really matter, right? Come to find out, you can edit these options via the website (on a computer) at any time. After that was done, I answered a few questions on fit and style. Then I had to enter my payment information, somewhere squeezed in there I created a login and password too.

Something interesting I noticed was the that first question highlighted how important work is to a woman who may you use this site. Their question read "Work's a big part of your life. Tell us what you feel comfortable in." The options were: Casual Friday, daily // Business Casual // Anything Goes // I work from home. Another conflict, do I answer how I want to dress or how I actually dress -- because those are two different answers. I ended up selecting 'Business Casual' so I'd get options for work too.

Next, you get to tell them what you don't want. Which is a smart technique, since it's easier to eliminate that, unless you're crazy picky -- which I am not. You may not believe me, but it's true. They asked about most of their main categories and then colors and prints, the only thing I said I didn't want was earrings. My ears decided to be super sensitive the last few years, so I didn't even feel like bothering with them? Plus, are they used ones? Weird!

That's really all you have to do up front. But it's important to take the time to look through their items and 'like' them by selecting the little heart in the right, top corner (like most social media these days). This will give them guidance on what to send you and what you like. I'm assuming this helps assist with whatever algorithm they've created to predict future Totes.

Shortly after I received my first Tote notification via email. My Tote was ready. I used the link to access my account and looked at the items. I didn't like them, already. These were based on just the questions I answered when I created the account, I hadn't liked any items at this point. Since I had no clue how to switch items out, I accidentally accepted the Tote. Rook move! Ugh! I tried to figure out how to fix this mistake on my own, but to no avail. I saw the 'Chat' function appear on the bottom right of my screen, so I used it. Ashley, popped up and helped me super fast. It was super easy and simple to fix. Next thing I knew, I had a new email with my new Tote. This time it used things I'd liked and some of their own selections, of course I switched them out.

In the event of writing this post, I found an article on Fortune.com (11/19/15) - Le Tote Bags $15 Million for its Netflix-Style Clothing Service. Well just the title freaks me out, am I renting clothes? I am not one for 'used' anything, everyone who knows me can attest to that. I don't mind letting people borrow my clothes, but I rarely borrow anything from anyone. I'm super weird like that. I can't even think about thrifting or garage sales, but I'm down to sell my own goods! So, I'm definitely not their target audience -- as they are targeting the women who openly grow up sharing clothes with other women, family or friends. So, this lead me to the website to do more research. Yes, "...some of the garments are gently shared by the ladies of the LT community..." Well, there I have it. Now I'm a little more than skived out and I haven't even received my first Tote.

I'm keeping an open mind. I'm keeping an open mind. Well, I'll just keep repeating that mantra until I have said Tote in hand. I know they are a business and they have a reputation to uphold, so they won't send damaged, gross, or poor quality items -- but it still creeps me out. But, I committed to it, so I will try it for a month or so. You'd think this was a monumental life decision or something, they way I'm analyzing it.

When something isn't in your nature and you try it, it's uncomfortable. I don't like others telling me what to wear...or do, for that matter. In this instance, I am letting them tell me what to wear...a little, with some guidance from my online decisions and answers. Clothing is a little easier for me to try this with. I cannot understand anyone wanting a box of make-up and/or beauty samples every month. I know what products I love and want to use, but that also comes with years of working at Nordies and befriending the make-up girls on the first floor. I've had my share of trial and error with tons of brands, but I've honed my preferences down to a science. So, again, I'm just not their target market.

So my first Tote is on it's way. I may be over manipulating the system, but it's my way of giving it a try (at least). I want to show you pictures of my Tote, but I'll save that for another post.

 Trying something new, one Tote at a time!

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