(This post was not perked in any way but there is a special deal for readers at the end.)
By the time the September issues of InStyle and Vogue arrive in the mail, I've already pondered what sweaters and cozy shirts my fall wardrobe requires. Autumn inspires me to shop, possibly because it's my favorite season but more likely because sweaters are my love language.
Fall in San Francisco is different from fall in the Midwest or South. While Nashville often boasted pleasant warm days, San Francisco's summer and fall appear to have swapped places. We've had more than several hot days and I've barely worn my cardigans, after practically living in them in July and August. The mornings start out cool when I leave home but I'm usually quite warm by the time I leave work.
The name of the game is layers.
Since moving to San Francisco and starting an office job, I've noticed areas where my wardrobe lacked and have slowly been filling in the gaps. Shopping is more complicated here (what bus line will I take? if I drive, will there be parking? how many bags can I carry while walking home?) so I've relied more on the convenience of ordering online.
But it's also really important to find clothes that are unique to me.
Enter The MK Box.
The MK Box is a brand new styling service offering a hand curated clothing box of 5 items delivered straight to your doorstep. Does this remind you of Stitch Fix? They're similar but there are some big differences. A selling point for me: MK Box offers the option of fabulous vintage pieces, to which I say please and thank you.
Started by friends Maria and Krissa, the MK Box isn't a membership service. You can order a box whenever you want, however often you want it. You'll receive 5 items for a flat rate of $99, plus $8 S&H. There are no returns unless you don't want to keep all 5 items. However, you can sell or trade what you don't want to keep in the Facebook group.
I was nervous about the lack of a return policy but I thought it was worth a try and I'm glad I did.
Here's what I got in my first MK Box.
1. This shirt by eyeshadow was the first thing I pulled out of the box and I promptly wore it that night. I have worn it at least 2 other times since. It's my new favorite!
It's made out of a super comfortable sweatshirt material and I love the lace accents. I also love that I've never seen a shirt like it before.
2. The second shirt also had a lacy detail, which I'm all about this fall. I was a little uncertain about this one before I tried it on. This is normally the kind of shirt I'd be drawn to but I've been trying to wear more fitted clothes the past couple of years to show off my waist per my stylist friend Megan's mandate. But I can wear a more drapey top if I pair it with skinny jeans or leggings. Problem solved!
3. The third and final shirt is by Deb. I'm not much of a floral pattern wearer but I have been drawn to some floral patterns when they've had dark backgrounds. While I'm trying to wear more fitted tops, this is clingier than I'm used to so I decided to pair it with black wide-leg pants and tuck it in. This was an inspired idea, if I do say so myself. The scooped back is a fun change, too!
4. The past year or two I've thought about getting a trench coat but I haven't found any that I had to have. So I was more than pleased to see this vintage number appear in my MK Box. Maria and Krissa wrote they included the coat specifically because of the SF climate. It made me wonder if they've been reading my mind. I swooned when I pulled it out of the box!
5. Skinny black jeans. Sadly, I will not be keeping these. They're too snug for my taste. I've listed them in the Facebook Group and if no one bites, I'll probably sell them via thredUP.
All in all, I'm really pleased with my experience.
Tips for requesting your MK Box:
1. While I filled out a style questionnaire when I requested my first box, this isn't currently available on their website. However, you do provide your sizes and there is an area for you to leave a note for Maria and Krissa. Be very thorough in your note. Include what items you're hoping to add to your closet and what they should avoid. Mention any colors or patterns you don't like or don't want anymore of.
While I filled the questionnaire out, I actually pulled up my Stitch Fix profile so I could give them the most accurate reflection of my style. Mostly, I didn't want to end up with anything orange or paisley, which I never wear.
2. Be honest about your style. What do you really, truly wear as opposed to what you think or wish you wear? Styling services are great at helping us try things we might otherwise overlook but it has to be rooted in your actual style or you'll never wear what they send.
3. If you have a Pinterest board for Stitch Fix or your fashion faves, include the link in your note. If you don't have something like this, start one. Here's mine. I note what I like or don't like about anything I pin.
For instance, with this pin, I said, "I love the idea of these layers with skinny jeans, though I'd skip the heels now that I ride a bus to work most days." Or this one: "I am so drawn to this sweater, even though I should probably wear something more fitted. It's hard to resist a cozy sweater though!"
MK Box is a new company finding its footing. Their ordering process could use some improvement but the quality of the styling service is on point. They're open to feedback and I have no doubt they'll continue to streamline their service. I love the interesting pieces they offer and their aesthetic and will surely be ordering another box from them in the future.
Through October 31, 2015, LeighKramer.com readers who purchase an MK Box receive free shipping with the code FREESHIP. Be sure to tell them I sent you!
Heads up: if you refer 5 friends who purchase full price boxes, you can receive your next box for just $59 plus $8 S&H. Just make sure when your friends fill out their form to request a box they put down your name as the person who referred them. Ahem.