Friday, January 10, 2014

OTOD: Clothing the Cyborgling!

Because my brain has been stuck in painville, I've been back to playing with various aesthetic things lately again.  Since I'm still in love with my current hairstyle (an undercut with the top layer shoulder length), still in love with my bright auburn hair dye (although, if my job would allow me to, I would love to play with funky colors), and am not in a financial position to get the tattoos that I'm planning, I'm left with clothing and makeup.  I'm not a particularly feminine person most of the time, but my adventures in appearance-related things always feels like drag.

"We're born naked, and the rest is drag." ~RuPaul

The problem is that this kind of experiment always ends up being expensive, and my finances really haven't sorted themselves out since a while before my spine surgery almost a year ago.  Not only is it monetarily expensive, but it can be hard from a physical energy standpoint (trying on clothes when you have trouble bending or twisting makes trying on things in store more difficult).  It's also a hassle when many companies that cater to people above a size 14 sell most of their clothes online.

So when I heard about this company called Gwynnie Bee on Facebook and through an article on xoJane I was intrigued.  What it is is a subscription clothing service that you pay a monthly fee for (the first month is free with a referral, so if you are interested check it out), with the fee dependent on how many items you want out at a time much like Netflix with physical DVDs.  It caters to sizes 10-32 and has dresses, tops, skirts, blazers, and cardigans from a variety of clothing labels (sadly no pants...I have the most problem with pants).

I'd been waffling on the service for a while because of the price.  It starts out at $35 a month for one garment at a time (shipping both ways included in that price), but I realized that I probably wasted that much trying to find things that I like, that fit me well, that are work appropriate, and that last more than a few washes (which is my current issue with Old Navy right now).  I figured that the first month free was a good way to try it out, so here's my first Asos Curve tailored skater skirt with a belt.

Black + black + black
Photo description: the author seated on a bench taking a self-photo in an accessible dressing room with a black tshirt, black flared skirt, brown belt, black leggings, and black boots. She is holding one of the grab bars with her right hand, and the left is holding a cellphone to take the photo.

Thanks to measurements that one of my conference roommates took in November for my wedding garb, I had a better idea of what size would work for me. This skirt was great, although I've never worn a high-waisted garment like this before so I was constantly fussing with the skirt waist (it was a little loose, so that didn't help).  I felt cute, looked professional enough for my office (with a cardigan over the shirt), and the whole experience made it so I have a better idea of how Asos Curve's size chart runs (a little big, but worked well on my pear shaped body with my 10-11 inch difference between my waist & hips).

This skirt was great for the office on a day where I was using my crutch to get around.  Since my wheelchair doesn't have clothing guards, this skirt won't work for a wheeling day (I'm sitting in the photo above to show how poofy the skirt is since I was walking and not wheeling that evening).  There are a lot of skirts and dresses that like to get tangled in crutches and canes, so I'm really happy with this style overall.

I wore the skirt once then popped it in the pre-paid, pre-addressed bag so I could get the next item in my queue (they call it the closet).  They dry clean every item in between customers!  Pretty slick deal.

There are a few things I find a little annoying about the service though.  You have to have six items in your closet for them to ship an item, and you don't get to pick what ships.  I was actually hoping that this red leopard print dress from Asos Curve was going to ship first, but alas.  The second complaint I have is that they don't have pants.  I'm guessing that this is because pants can wear out faster depending on body shape (like chub rub for those of us with pear or hourglass shapes, or with large thighs).  The last one I have is that some of the items are much more "trendy" than I would normally wear, so I had trouble finding enough items that I wanted to try right off the bat....although since I only have one item out at a time, I decided to put different colors of the same item in my closet to try to increase my chances of getting a style I wanted, even if the color wasn't my favorite.

I just received my second item today to try out, this red polka dotted dress from Cherry Velvet.  I'm not in love with the pattern, but I snagged it to try the cut of the dress.  I'll post another OTOD (outfit of the day) to tell you all how it went!

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