I have been trying to write a post about GoldenTote for many months. There were different variations, but none were quite right. And (as with most things in my life) while the words were good, they never hit the mark energetically.
What do I mean by “energetically hitting the mark?”
I put a lot of stock in things that “feel” right. That is, I based decisions on energy. On je ne sais quoi, on something that’s far more than a hunch. I keep all my energetic tentacles open for that “right” moment. Is it the right time to buy a car? It definitely was last month when the stars collided and the absolutely perfect car was ready for me at the right time, place, and price.
Last year I was completely bored with my clothes. No amount of shopping would make me feel revved up about my wardrobe like I used to feel like I did in my teens and twenties. I was chic, in style, and took chances; people regularly complimented me on my clothes and how great I looked. Coupled with a low self esteem, though, those compliments often whizzed by me, but the recognition made me feel special at least for a minute or two.
As the years rolled by, keeping up with fashion became a chore. I couldn’t read every magazine or watch enough tv shows. Mostly I wore a lot of black, jeans, and fleece – the ubiquitous three season fabric that washes well and comes in a myriad of colors and patterns. My clothes made me feel frumpy and downright old.
I was envious of those cute clothes and piles of boxes that bloggers wrote about, and imagined myself stepping into the spotlight with super chic clothes. And that (minus the spotlight) came true when I explored GoldenTote.com.
My adrenaline was high when I clicked the buy button that first tote day. I clicked as fast as I could to get through the checkout process. And then I took a deep breath and began the long wait process for the tote to arrive.
And here is one of my most disliked things about GT: waiting for the tote to arrive. They’re in California, I’m in Michigan, and delivery typically takes 14 or more days. With a 2-3 purchase to delivery window via AmazonPrime and other online shopping services, that 14 days feels like forever. Then I came home after a long, hard day at work to the GT package waiting for me.
It was like Christmas. It was more exciting than receiving Stitch Fix because I already liked two of the items. I’d selected them as my chosen, and was working them into my wardrobe in my imagination. Over the next several months I ordered all sorts of things from GoldenTote. There were definitely hits – those things that I will wore again and again.
Let’s look at these items one at a time, starting with the largest picture, and working my way around clockwise:
- The black and white sweater is oversized so layering is easy; it’s a soft, cuddly sweater that works hard all winter.
- The denim vest and the GT t-shirt both are worn on a regular basis (I mostly sleep in the t-shirt!)
- The short-sleeve shirt with red on the shoulders and black below is good quality and just different enough – there’s even a zipper in back.
- The bomber jacket is excellent quality and really warm; it’s another winter staple.
- The 70s ski chalet style sweater is a good basic that I love. It’s warm and goes in the washer with no problem (another issue with a lot of GT clothes – so very many hand wash only!)
- The pleather vest and black and white swing dress. More politically correctly called “Vegan Leather” it’s plastic masquerading as leather: pleather. And swing dresses? Love them worn with leggings and tall black boots; it’s like wearing pj’s or sweats to work.
- The last two pictures are of the same thing – or, there’s a fit and flare plaid dress on me, and a close-up picture of the dress fabric and a necklace I love.
See? Hits. These are all things I will wear continuously until I tire of them, or until they are too ratty to wear so they are donated, demoted to dust rag, or thrown away. These pieces hit my energetic mark every single time. But oh my, there were duds, too. These are things that straight out of the box I knew they wouldn’t work for me.
Let’s start with that teal/aqua monstrosity on the left.
- It’s polyester. Now, modern polyester can be really nice and silky. This is NOT silky and frankly reminds me of 70s double-knit yuckiness. And the color is horrid on me. I tried to give it away, tried to sell it recently. I’ll probably donate it.
- There’s that tweed thing. It’s peach, beige, and black mixed together. Even the sheer back couldn’t get me to wear it. I gave it to a friend.
- The sweater in the upper right corner looks good, was heavy enough for winter in Michigan, but it didn’t feel good. It was a dull blue, the pockets were fake, and there were these two weird “landing strips” running from under the arms pointing towards my crotch. Not a good look for anyone; I removed the landing strips – not a help. It got donated asap.
- The remaining two are different stories. I loved both out of the box. The blue and white striped top fits me well, definitely is a color I like and wear. But the more I thought about it the less I liked it; I haven’t been able to sell it, either.
- I loved this sweater. It’s oversized, beige and black, fluffy, soft, and warm. And then I washed it. In a washing machine. It’s no longer fluffy. I can still wear it, but oops – shoulda followed those hand washed instructions. Another shirt (not pictured) shrunk so much that it would now fit a small child. These are two examples of why you absolutely must be careful of what you buy online not only from GoldenTote, but also from other retailers; and you must be diligent in following the manufacturer’s recommended washing methods. I didn’t, and had two miserable failures. other times I get lucky and the clothes wash OK so long as I air dry them. Boo – all the way around – not good energy and it feels so wrong.
I also bought a number of different jewelry pieces, and it was also hit or miss quality. That feather necklace above was a hit: simple, elegant, and good quality. Other pieces felt cheap. One superbly cute necklace came with a clasp so horrid there’s no way I’ll ever be able to get it done up by myself. Double boo.
There are a lot of opinions online about GoldenTote. Many folks seem to obtain totes every month and love everything; really, go Google and you’ll see what I mean. Precious few truly express likes, dislikes, and downsides. For further reading, check out these posts:
- For a no-holds barred dissection of GoldenTote, read what Andy has to say.
- Tami posts reviews of many subscription services and gives honest opinions. She goes into detail about how GoldenTote works for her. She has cute cats, too.
- Stacey is a straight shooting lawyer and unrepentant shopper. Boy, has she got things to say about GT.
Sure, following the GoldenTote road is bowing down to the gods and goddesses of fashion. It’s a grand and exciting game to see who can get the best pieces first. It’s a game that never ends, and the consumer is always the loser because there’s always something new to buy. Think I’m joking? Check out the Golden Tote Game I created for kicks and giggles. Beware! There are “trading group only” phrases here – TeamKB, unicorn, PPF&F, OiOi, 1 large, 1 small, 1 mystery, and more.
And despite my experiences, I like GoldenTote. Though I’ve explored other online shopping websites (and talk about them a bunch) I’m still interested in what GoldenTote has to offer. Yet I no longer run to join the queue of crazed woman on Tote Day. Instead of being the love of my shopping life, there now just another place to check for cute clothes. For good vibes in so many ways, I’ve recently made the Facebook trading group associated with MoxieStyle my favorite hangout place. And that group feels absolutely right.