I recall being a teenager wanting a pair of brogues I'd seen in Dolly magazine and walking home from the local shoe store holding back tears of frustration. Fashion-starved, the closest thing I could reference was mum's "off limits" wardrobe and her "Color Me Beautiful" book.
The nearest department store was an hour away. I rectified that the week before I turned 18 and moved into the city. Life got hectic and I got less interested in fashion and more interested in work. Next thing I was 30 years old in a bar looking at a girl wearing something resembling my grandmother's tablecloth. "What is happening here?" Suddenly it seemed, I had no idea what was going on in the world of fashion. Was I completely out of date in my white pants and silver halter neck top? Was I destined to be stuck in the 90's? Desperate not to be left behind by the younger crowd I turned to Rachel Zoe. I bought Rachel Zoe's book "Style A to ZOE". Rachel explains the basics of fashion and how to dress well. This book rocked my world.
Rachel Zoe is the Richard Branson of fashion. If she shares a tip or trick then you bet I'm going to take it. Who has time to spend scouring the fashion magazines? Not I. She curates The Zoe Report which is the online "go to" for fashion advice. She breaks it down and saves hours of time for regular people like me. She started as a stylist to the Hollywood stars and quickly became a celebrity in her own right. She has evolved into an acclaimed fashion designer and media mogul.
When I found out about Rachel Zoe's Box of Style and that it was coming to Australia for the first time in "Spring 2016", I was beyond excited! The quarterly Box of Style provides a wardrobe update every season without you lifting a finger. If anyone has the influence to pull a great value subscription box together, it's her. If there is an opportunity to get a box of accessories and styling staples curated by the one and only fashion styling expert and now fashion designer, Rachel Zoe, I'm in. 100%.
The Box of Style is like Christmas for women but better because it comes 4 times a year and you get things you actually want and will use and wouldn't buy yourself. The fact that each item is individually wrapped adds to the surprise factor and makes this whole unboxing process extremely exciting! The box itself is such incredible quality that you can use it for many years and it will always look chic on display or in your wardrobe.
The Zoe Report teases fans for months. They advertise a hero item up front which this season is a leather bucket bag by Shaffer LA called "The Sidekick" with a retail value of $150. It is an excellent quality light weight cross body bag with tassels. It is giving me a 70's vibe yet the bucket style reminds me of the 80's. It has minimalist lines in a versatile caramel colour that can be worn all year round.
The Box of Style itself sells for $100 (or less with a coupon) so you know you are ahead before any other items are revealed. It's a no brainer. The next item revealed was a sample 5ml bottle of "La Mer" concentrate. This again has a value of between $60-80. Just like Charlie Sheen infamously boasted, "WINNING!". Indeed. This product is so special I am not sure just yet whether to use it myself or give it to my mum.
Next they revealed the luxurious Jouer Crème Eyeshadow Crayon. Subscribers would receive one of 8 colors. What color would they send? Would they take into consideration the information on my skin tone that they asked when I started my account? This just added to my anticipation - which is one of the things that makes The Box of Style so much better than Christmas. They sent me "Abstract" which didn't disappoint. I created a smoky eye in seconds. The crayon feels smooth and luxurious. The pen itself is pleasing to hold and looks chic. Value $24.
Amplifying my anticipation was the next spoiler. Jules Smith pave bar and stone cuff. Rachel Zoe advocates the importance of accessories and this bracelet is an instant wardrobe update. This is a modern and delicate bracelet with 4 diamantes and a turquoise style stone. This comes in gold or silver. A believer in mixing metals it really wouldn't matter which one I received but I was vibing hard for gold. When I opened the Jules Smith pouch and saw the gold bracelet I was beyond thrilled! I intended to wear this on the week-ends with my more relaxed outfits but I put it against my Hermes H clic clac bracelet and it looked amazing so I have been wearing mine to work every day. I love this so much and feel like this might have taken 10 years off my look. The retail value of this bracelet is $45 but because of the way it makes me feel it's worth a lot more than that.
Subscribers get a 30% discount off all Jules Smith orders for a month! That is a bonus I wasn't expecting. All of the contributing brands except for La Mer have included a discount offer with codes. I was also pleasantly surprised to receive a $50 voucher for Rachelzoe.com in the mail a few days prior to the arrival of the subscription box itself.
The Zoe Report hits it out of the park again with the chic Wembley Earbuds by LSTN Sound Co which are listening devices you can use with your phone, ipad, computer, ipod. I'm not gonna lie. I wasn't that excited about ear buds but when I opened the package and read the box I was really thrilled to see that proceeds from the sale of these assists people to hear for the first time through Starkey Hearing Foundation. I am substantially more thrilled with this item than expected. They are wooden with gold trim and white volume controls. Valued at $100.
I am happy and surprised at the same time with how these ear phones subtly elevate my day to day look whilst streamlining my handbag. Being in real estate I always use earbuds with my phone but they are inevitably always tangled up. The Box of Style over delivered yet again with a bonus stylish pouch making them easy to control and find in your handbag.
The next items I unboxed are what I would call styling staples. I've been using Klorane the dry shampoo since my hairdresser put me onto it many years ago. He used to charge me $30 for it but I found it in the local grocery store for $12. This is a great item and will benefit many busy women out there once they give it a try. You can substantially extend the life of your blow dry by spraying some of this into the roots of your hair. Another staple is the Hollywood Oil Blotting Tissues. These are sold for around $5 on amazon. I am happy to try these and suspect I may come to rely on them forever more.
As far as fashion subscription boxes go The Box of Style is more fun than Christmas. It is unsurpassed for value and curation because, let's face it, who has more pull than Rachel Zoe? Three months of anticipation between boxes plus teasers coupled with surprises makes it so much fun and you cannot put a price on that. I recommend this box to anyone who is remotely interested in fashion. It is a great gift for your wife or girlfriend. Just don't forget to use a coupon code link to get a discount off your first box.
This article was originally posted on kristavandersharp.com and is republished here with permission.