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golden tote review


If you went clothes shopping with me, you would notice a trend in the things I collect to try on.  Most of the items are navy, black or gray and I don’t stray far from jeans and a cute, but comfy shirt, scarves and jackets.  I always feel a little out of my depth; trying to find what will fit, flatter and be current, yet age-appropriate, funky, yet professional.  I worked with Ella, a stylist, a few months ago and that helped a lot.  She didn’t push me into a new style or buying a bunch of clothes.  She just showed me how to wear the clothes I had.  I’ve slowly been adding new pieces to my wardrobe and have been trying to step out of my comfort zone a bit.

So, when I received an e-mail from Golden Tote about working with them, I figured that would be a fun way to step out of that blue/gray/black/jeans/tees zone.  I had heard about them through other bloggers.  The idea is that you create a style profile with Golden Tote.  For $49, you select one item and they curate two surprise items for you.  For $149, you select two items and they curate the remaining 3-5 items for you.  You can see the details of how it works HERE.

I must admit that the idea of someone, anyone, picking out clothes for me sight unseen was really out of my comfort zone.  I’m really particular about how clothes fit.  With some trepidation, I selected my items and ordered my tote.


I must admit, the girl in me who loves presents was really excited to see what was in the box.

I’ll start with my picks.  The first one was a belted gingham shirt-dress.  They included a card to show how they would style it to make an outfit.


The dress fit great, although it’s a little short for me to wear without leggings or thick tights.  I styled it with a long sweater as they suggested and it was comfy, but still looked stylish.


And it looks super cute with an apron!  This might be my “workshop outfit.”



The next piece was the Francophile top, which I also picked out.  I liked that it looked like a t-shirt with dress-shirt details.


I don’t have wide-legged jeans, but I paired the shirt with jeans, a scarf, bangles and boots like they showed on the card.


I can see wearing this shirt a lot.  Again, it’s comfortable, but doesn’t look boring or frumpy.


This shirt was a surprise and definitely my favorite of their picks.  The fabric is soft and comfortable and the neckline is embroidered, which adds a nice detail and look of quality.




Another one of their picks was something I would never had picked for myself.  I looked at it with skepticism, but tried it on anyway.  It is really comfortable (are you seeing a trend, here), but unique.  Both Kriste and Jeff gave it a thumb’s up, so I do think I’ll wear it.


Out of the six pieces I received, four were winners.  The other two, unfortunately didn’t fit.  One was a dress that was too big and the other was a sweater that was too small in the sleeves and the color wasn’t right for me.

There are a couple of options in a case like this.  First, you can return the entire box for a full refund.  That way, you can try it and see if you like it without a no-refund commitment.  If you get a box full of goodies you love, you’re good to go.  If you only like a couple of things, you can return it.  The other option is a Golden Tote trading group on Facebook.  If you have one or two things you don’t like, but love the rest, you can offer up your unwanted items for trade on the board.  I was going to do that in this case, but I decided to give those items away to people who liked them.

So, what’s the verdict?  This is definitely not how I would do all of my clothes shopping, but I think it’s a really fun way try some different styles and clothing items with your wardrobe staples.  It’s a great cure for a wardrobe rut.  The items I picked are still available as a part of the February tote and new options will become available in March.

Having just lost some weight on the heels of whole30, I enjoyed swapping out the paint clothes and playing a bit of dress-up today!

(Thanks, Kriste, for playing photographer for me.)


Disclosure: I was sent a Golden Tote ($149 value) in exchange for this post.  I thought this would be a fun thing to try and share with my readers.

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  1. Marian, let me say two things: I love all the outfits you put together out of your “tote”, and you look terrific in open necklines (the shirts they chose for you) and should consider wearing more of them!!! I really like that look on you. I love scarves and wear them alot myself, but sometimes I think they add too much bulk to a look. I bet that Francophile top would look super cute without a scarf as another option. Great stuff there, girlie!

    • I totally agree with Rita about the scarf.

      I love the first and last look the best but everything was cute (minus the scarf). The first outfit is very slimming on you and the boots look so cute with it.

      The other day you posted a photo of you in a pink top and I thought it was a great color on you and gave your complexion a little glow. I know I get stuck in the same old color routine year after year.

      Good job on trying something new.

  2. What a fun way to try something new. You look great in all but the dress is just adorable!

  3. What a FUN post!!! Thanks so much for doing it!

  4. Billie Meyer says:

    I like the short sleeved top with the great red design the best on you. So cute!

  5. I loved this post and I just wanted to tell you the gingham dress is adorable on you – it seems sweet but with the tights and sweater really hip – maybe a big edgy – great contradiction.

  6. I’m glad Golden Tote asked you to do that. What a great way to share new ideas!
    I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  7. Alice R. says:

    Love what you got. Very cute and flattering! Do I understand this right: you have to take the whole box or nothing? Are you not able to keep what you like, and return the rest? If so, that seems a bit daunting.

  8. Monika says:

    You look wonderful in the last top. All the rest is cute as well, but this is definitely the winner for me.

  9. janpartist says:

    To scarf or not to scarf….you may as well scarf now cause once you are pre-menopausal you will be SO FREAKING HOT you won’t be able to touch a scarf let alone wear one. Just looking at someone wearing a scarf will make you sweat! Not to be the bearer of bad tidings or anything. Just trying to settle the scarf debate.

    • I think I like the dress on you best, it is very cute! I have to laugh at janpartist’s comment. I love the scarf look, but I’ve hit menopause, and would be dying with your scarf on indoors:)

  10. How cute Marian! I love all the outfits. You look great!
    What a fun way to shop once in a while to try something different!
    Thanks so much for letting us know!

  11. I concur that the blouse with the red detailing looked fabulous on you and the color flatters you in an unexpected way. . .even when it’s trim and embroidery on your workshop apron. It might be worth a try to add that color in a bit sometimes, maybe in a scarf? I’ve discovered after too many years that sometimes the colors that appeal to our eyes don’t necessarily translate well into colors to WEAR, and as we “age”, the colors that are flattering can also change. This GT concept is an interesting way to try our some new items in the comfort of your own home and with your own pieces.

  12. I don’t know why but it seems your style of clothes is super similar to how your home is styled! I love the looks & your home , so it’s a plus!! :))))


  13. Super cute! I’m so fickle with my clothes, I’d be afraid to give this a try. But I never say never.


  14. Gayle from Atlanta says:

    I enjoy reading your posts. Sometimes we need someone else to help our own personal styles evolve because we get in a rut and don’t even realize it! The shirt with the red patterned fabric on the top looks great on you and seems brighter than the clothes you often wear. Also, the necklace looks pretty and cool at the same time. Thank you for putting God in the center of your life and your posts. I find your perspective inspiring and helpful!

  15. Naomi S. says:

    What a fun way to change the pace of your blog a little and introduce us to Golden Tote. It’s definitely a unique way to get your wardrobe out of the doldrums. I feel like I wear the same-old, same-old all the time: jeans and long-sleeved T-shirts or turtle necks of various colors in the winter and jeans and short-sleeved T-shirts of various colors in the summer! Maybe a sweater here and there or pants of a cotton or linen for a little dressier look, but that’s about it! Pathetic, huh? I do insist on comfort and those clothes are comfortable. Maybe I’ll give Golden Tote a try.

    I also want to say, Marian, you look terrific in all the outfits. You looked fine before but the loss of those few pounds have given you a different feeling about how you look and that shows. Looking at the photos in this post, I tho’t to myself: Marian is a beautiful woman with a sweet, open countenance and a beautiful, warm smile and sparkling eyes. Just from looking at you I can tell you are someone who is genuine. SO, give yourself a big hug and feel confident that you can do whatever you set out to do!

  16. Kelley says:

    The gingham dress looks great on you – I like all the styles you modeled. What a great way to shop! I think I’ll try it. P.S. Your skin really does look amazing after the Whole 30:-)

  17. The dress and blue tops look like they could be classic MMS wardrobe staples! It’s like you styled your wardrobe right along with your home. I really liked them, and they are very flattering and fun, but still modest.


  18. Nancy Lobeck says:

    I thought you looked super cute in everything!! The dress would be adorable in the summer with white or navy Capri leggings.

  19. This is such a fun idea! I love all of the options and it’s a great way to add some great pieces that you wouldn’t normally pick out… they all look great on you! I think the last two are my favorite though. The neckline on the blue top looks great and for some reason I really like the red!

    Love it!

  20. Interesting concept! Do they have other styles of clothing or is it mostly “California casual”?

  21. MaryLisa Noyes says:

    very flattering! I will check this site out.

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