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Stitch Fix Review – February’s Men’s Box

The email notifying me of my February box hit my inbox more than a week ago, but the box itself didn’t show up on schedule.  I assume the awful weather we were having in Chicago had something to do with it.   I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat this month. Despite having kept everything from my past two boxes, I was feeling a little blasé this month. Remember, I returned EVERYTHING from November, but kept everything in December and January.  While I wasn’t in LOVE with the January items, the 25% savings you get by keeping EVERYTHING made it worthwhile. 

Unlike in the past, I didn’t take the time to properly comment on my fixes. I was busy and I just wanted to move on to something else.  Well, let me tell you, that was a mistake. 

As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office transitioned to a fully casual environment last year and after years of building up a solid business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants are mostly from Banana Republic.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on since last summer, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes herehere and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box
Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Boconi – Barstow Casual Vegan Leather Belt – $38
    • First off, what’s a Vegan Leather Belt?  Secondly, the belt wasn’t sized right, it said it was a 36, which is the perfect size for my 33-34″ waist.  This belt was a bit tight, but I really was diggin’ the color and style — and the price.  Undecided
  • 01ALGO – Interval Stretch Poplin Shirt – $64
    • I love this shirt.  The sleeves and the waist fit perfectly. I loved this shirt when they sent it to me over the summer, just in a different color.  I don’t need the exact same shirt in purple. Return
  • GRAYERS – Falmer Vintage Flannel Workshirt – $88
    • This shirt reminds me of growing up in rural Oregon. I dig a warm flannel.  This one fit very well too.  The colors and the pattern were really rough though.  This was actually the first thing I saw in the box and I knew I’d be returning it immediately.  WOWZER. Return
  • 7 Diamonds – Siena Pique Patch Pocket Blazer – $150
    • This blazer was quite nice and fit very well.  The problem, I have a ton of blue blazers, plus, Stitch Fix just sent me a blue blazer last month.  Return
  • Mavi – Zach Straight Leg Pant  – $98
    • These pants fit great and the color is not like anything I’ve got in my closet now.  Keep
Men's Stitch Fix Box
My February Style Box from Stitch Fix

Initial Impressions

I wasn’t impressed initially.  So much of the same stuff. You’ll remember last month I got a hoodie that looked almost identical to the hoodie from the previous month.  I always say, you can’t have too many blue blazers, but I think I’m at the point where I have too many blue blazers!  Plus, sending me a shirt that I love in just a different color seems a little lazy.  The belt and pants really sang to me though and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have selected those pants on my own. 

The Decision

This month, I decided to KEEP the belt and pants while returning the shirt, blazer and that flannel that I find to be just plain ugly.   I’m not getting the 25% discount this month, but I’m OK with that.  I wasn’t digging several of the items this month and while I can imagine them working into my wardrobe (except that flannel), my goal with Stitch Fix isn’t to provide slightly different versions of things I like.

My results aren’t all that consistent with StichFix, but I’m still digging this whole process.  I was offered free styling for a year for $49.  Without this offer, each month, you must pay $20 styling fee, even if you return everything.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?

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Workout Tips – No Really

I’ve written a few times about my journey on the Peloton. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Peloton, it’s a high end stationary bike. It has a large tablet attached which allows you to take live and on-demand classes. There are hundreds of classes on-demand and dozens of live classes each day. Peloton is more than a bike, it’s a community.

While having this bike at home makes it really easy to workout regularly, I still struggle. The easiest excuse I use to have for skipping a workout was that I didn’t want to go to the gym. Perhaps it was too cold. Maybe it was too hot. Too rainy? Really, I was just too lazy and hate working out. Now I just have to go to the basement. It is still very easy to find an excuse.

As I mentioned in my recent milestone post, I have been trying to workout each morning before work. I can’t bring myself to getting up early enough to take a full 45 minute class, but I push myself to take a 20 or 30 minute class before work.

Peloton Exercise Bike
The Peloton Bike! A beauty, isn’t she?

My mornings are very tightly organized. I maximize sleep and when adding a fitness regimen into the mix, I can be thrown out of sorts. I’ve come up with some tips that really cut down on my excuses and have really helped me maintain my morning workout routine. Take a look:

My Workout Prep Plan

Each night before I go to bed, I fully prep for my next morning. I find that if I can just get out of bed, make zero decisions, I can get a ride in. For this, I make sure these four things are set:

  • Filled water bottle in the fridge. I love ice cold water while riding.
  • Bluetooth headphones are charged. After my rides, I check the charge and plug in. Nothing is worse than not having proper headphones for an early morning ride. That’s just a way to piss off the entire house with you blaring spin music at 05h30.
  • Charged heart rate monitor. See above. While not as annoying to your household, it’s just as frustrating to me. I love metrics and heart rate is important to me.
  • Workout Clothes. I set out my workout clothes the night before. Actually, I set them out on the floor right next to the bed. I get up and actually step on the clothes. Just one more reminder not to be a lazy ass.

I keep my cycling shoes right next to the bike too, so there is no frantic searching for gear. That would be an easy excuse for me. I allocate about 30 minutes in the morning for a ride. That includes waking up, changing, grabbing water, gearing up (shoes, headphones and heart rate monitor) and a 20 minute ride. Then it’s off to the kitchen for breakfast.

Without these simple workout tips, I’d really have an easy time skipping my rides. What tips do you have for people like me who aren’t really fitness junkies?

Another Peloton Milestone: 350 Rides

Last week I crossed another major milestone on my Peloton cycling journey. Several months ago, I wrote about my first 200 rides, now I’ve crossed 350 rides. I decided to share some additional stats and some goals for the near future.

First off, my first 200 rides were made up of mostly 30 and 45 minute rides. I found it very hard to make the time to do 45 minute rides regularly. Notice I said “make the time” versus “find the time.” Fitness is all about pushing yourself to do it. My struggle was scheduling exercise. I feel better when I do it early, but I couldn’t consistently push myself to get up an hour earlier than normal just to ride. After work, I didn’t want to hurry home, ride then eat dinner later than normal. I had lots of excuses.

Starting in late October, I started riding twice a day. I found that doing a 20 minute ride in the morning before work was doable. Closing out the day with a 30 minute ride also wasn’t daunting – and I could eat at a reasonable hour.

So my 350 rides are quite varied. I’ve taken some 90 minute rides and some 10 minute rides, plus even some 5 minute rides. Those shorter ones are usually cool down rides.

I am a metric guy, so let’s take a look at some stats from my first 350 rides.

Peloton
Peloton
Peloton

My Next Goal

Now that I’ve passed 350 rides, my next goal is to hit 400 by my 40th birthday. At the time of write this post, I’ve actually ridden 365 rides. I’ve got 16 days until my birthday, which means I need to right more than 2 rides a day, which isn’t outside the norm. On the weekends, I’ve been trying to ride three times, so I’m not too stressed on this goal. My real goal is to time my 400 ride and my 40th birthday.

Do you ride with Peloton? Who is your favorite instructor? Are you one of those riders who believe that rides don’t count if they are less than 45 minutes? If you are a Peloton user, hit me up on the Leaderboard – my username is TimFoolery (obviously).

Stitch Fix Review – January’s Men’s Box

It’s that time again, time for a Stitch Fix Review.  I received my January box last weekend.  I had a pretty good box in December, so I was anticipating to get a dud this time.

As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office transitioned to a fully casual environment a few months ago and after years of building up a business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants are mostly from Banana Republic.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on for a few months now, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes herehere and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Red Ale – Velasquez Washed Twill Shirt – $48
    • Really liked the pattern and color, the shoulder fit was funky.  Undecided
  • DL1961 – Avery Modern Straight Jean – $125
    • I do love some grey jeans.  These looked and fit great, plus the smallest amount of stretch made them move smoothly.  Keep
  • Hawker Rye – Rose Bowl Hooded Sweater – $64
    • Meh, this looks like the long underwear hoodie from last month, which I kept. Do I need two?  Undecided
  • Hawker Rye – 95/5 Cotton Cashmere Shawl Collar Sweater – $64
    • A great casual and warm sweater.  Keep
  • Cole Haan –  Ogden Suede Chukka Boot – $130
    • Immediately loved the shoes and they fit like a glove.  Keep

 

Men's Stitch Fix Box
The contents of my January Stitch Fix Box

Initial Impressions

Sometimes it seems like these boxes are arriving every time I turn around.  My last few boxes have been pretty good, check out December and September.  The first thing I saw was the shoes and I immediately loved them. Too bad the Chicago winters with snow, ice and salt aren’t the best to wear suede shoes.  Soon though.  Why would Stitch Fix send two light weight hoodies that look almost identical in consecutive months?

The Decision

This month, I decided to KEEP everything. I didn’t really want the hoodie – I liked last month’s version better – and the Twill Shirt had a lot going for it, but the fit was just a little off.  So why did I end up keeping everything?  It’s that damn 25% savings if you purchase everything!  Keeping EVERYTHING vs just the three items I really like cost me only $4 more this month.  Since I didn’t hate any of these items, I figured paying just $2 for the two shirts that didn’t wow me, did make sense.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?

Stitch Fix Review – December’s Men’s Box

It’s that time again, time for a Stitch Fix Review.  I received my December box this weekend.  My excitement level wasn’t too high, considering I returned EVERYTHING from November.  I was hoping my response and reviews of that fix would guide my stylist in a better direction. As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office transitioned to a fully casual environment a few months ago and after years of building up a business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants are mostly from Banana Republic.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on for a few months now, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes herehere and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box

Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Bixby Nomad – Straight Fit 5 Pocket Pant – $68
    • Liked the style, the fit and the color. Keep
  • Alesbury – Denali Two Pocket Doublecloth Workshirt – $60
    • This was interesting.  Didn’t LOVE it, but I also don’t have anything like this. Undecided
  • Flag and Anthem – Schenectady Dobby Shirt – $49.50
    • Loved the pattern and the fit was almost perfect.  Sleeves were a a perfect fit, but I know they will shrink a bit after the first wash. Keep
  • 01Algo – Heathered Knit Blazer -$128
    • A deconstructed blazer with good weight that actually fits?  Keep
  • Alesbury – Keaton Thermal Henley Hoodie  – $49.00
    • This hoodie looks like long underwear and fits like a glove, perfect for layering.  Keep

Men's Stitch Fix Box

The contents of my December Stitch Fix Box

Initial Impressions

I tore into this box and was pretty impressed.  The burnt orange pants really sang to me.  I ripped them out of the box and tried them on immediately and they were perfect!  The Hoodie looked like something I’d never buy on my own, but thought it was a great layering item for a cold Chicago winter.  When I saw the blazer, I thought it was going to be another blazer from these guys that just fit poorly or fit poorly and was expensive, not at all in this case.

The Decision

This month, I decided to KEEP everything. While I wasn’t COMPLETELY sold on one shirt, I did dig it well enough to keep.  Plus keeping all five items gives you an additional 25% off the items. Basically, if I bought all the items, it was cheaper than buying four of the items.  Kooky, I know.

My results aren’t all that consistent with StichFix, but I’m still digging this whole process.  I was offered free styling for a year for $49.  Without this offer, each month, you must pay $20 styling fee, even if you return everything.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?