March 5, 2012

My Newest Obsession: StyleMint for Cool, Affordable T-Shirts

Mamas, I've been meaning to post about Stylemint for quite some time now.  However, I owed it to you dear readers, to figure out how to successfully decline the monthly tee from what is basically a modern version of a CD-of-the-month.  But with t-shirts.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Screen Shot 2012-03-01 at 11.00.32 AMT-shirts, you may have noticed, are a pretty big deal these days.  This wardrobe basic has come into it's own, and is often the focal point of an outfit.  Much like denim was revolutionized when "Sevens" came into existence, the simple t-shirt is now anything but.  Designers like Alexander Wang are turning out tees that are gorgeously drapy, with interesting little details like rolled hems, a slightly asymmetrical neckline or a flyaway shape.  These new tees manage to retain the casual charm of a classic tee "this old thing?" but they work equally well as part of a dressy ensemble. 

(photo credit: T by Alexander Wang at Shopbop)

My issue, however, is that many of these tees are dry clean only, and most have a price point range of $60 – $120.  

Which, OK, isn't horrible for something that you could wear every day.  The price-per-wear works out pretty well.  But the dry-clean thing doesn't work.  At all.

And while I'll admit there are other places to find tees (J.Crew's tissue tees being one of my favs)…when compared with the high-end tees, they don't quite measure up.  There's just a little more style, a better drape, and a few more interesting details in the higher-end tees.  Sometimes, you do get what you pay for.

Enter Stylemint.

I was hesitant, upon hearing about Stylemint's business model, simply because I was burned one-too-many times by the CD-of-the-month clubs as a kid.  (OK – just one time.  But my Mom said, "NO MORE!" and that was that.)  And I'll admit that Stylemint is hardly upfront about how things work.  Here's what they say:

You're in Charge

  • It's FREE to look! Get a FREE StyleProfile. Never an obligation to buy!
  • Start your membership with your first purchase!
  • All T Shirts are just $29.99 each!
  • You only receive what you order. We'll email you at the beginning of every month with your Showroom based on your StyleProfile.
  • Choose to buy or skip a month in the first 5 days at
    no charge! [emphasis mine]
  • Shipping is always FREE!
  • Returns are EASY!

 

Ok – so I guess they do infer that you need to do something at the beginning of each month.  But it took me a few months (embarrassing, but true) to figure out how.  HOWEVER….the tees are so fabulous that I almost didn't care.

Mamas, these tees are soft, drapey, and oh-so-crazy-chic.  They are, without exaggeration, the new workhorses of my closet. I've been wearing my Stylemint tees constantly, and the price-per-wear is now shockingly low.   

Here are a few of my favs:

Screen Shot 2012-03-04 at 7.11.19 PM
(wearing: on left – J. Brand Houlihans in navy, LOFT skinny belt, Stylemint Abbott-Kinney tee…on right – Stylemint Charlton tee)

I love how these tees are so chic that they work equally well hanging out with the kiddos as they do on date night:

Screen Shot 2012-03-04 at 6.59.45 PM
(wearing: on left – Stylemint Camden tee, J. Brand mid-rise cords, Gap leopard-print socks….on right Stylemint Camden tee, Windsor Store leather-look leggings, Nine West Booties, J. Crew moto sweater and glitter purse, Stella & Dot heart necklace)

 

Many of these tees come with either styling suggestions or (my favorite) a video.  The video really tells you much more about the tee than their slightly stiff models (my biggest complaint with Stylemint).  

For example, this tee looks pretty bad…

Screen Shot 2012-03-04 at 7.23.08 PM

Aaaannnddd…this looks awesome:

 

The. Same. Shirt.  Which I'm now coveting.  

But Mamas, these things sell out fast. I'm finding that if I wait even a day or two many of my favorite items sell out (restock Perry Sweater! restock Perry Sweater!)

So here's how to join:

  • Go to Stylemint and sign up.  You must give them your credit card. You'll take a quiz about your style preferences….this basically determines the order that they display the goods.  The quiz doesn't really matter – you'll still have access to all styles.
  • That's it for now.  Browse, etc.  Buy, don't buy.  No biggie.
  • THEN – here's the fine print.  At the beginning of each month, Stylemint will send you an email that says, "Shana Your March Showroom is Ready" (insert your name, obvs).  This email means YOUR CREDIT CARD WILL BE CHARGED IN 5 DAYS UNLESS YOU PHYSICALLY LOGON TO OUR SITE AND CHOOSE TO SKIP THIS MONTH.

How to skip the month?

Screen Shot 2012-03-04 at 7.35.28 PM
This button is only available the first five days of each month.  If you click it, they won't charge you for that month.

If you, uh, forget to skip the month?  They will charge you $29.99, and a credit will show up in your account to be used any time.  It's a credit that you paid for.  It's not, say, a welcome gift.  Nor is it some kind of buy one get one deal.  So don't be fooled.  Like, uh…some people were.

So Mamas, check it out.  It's one of the best deals I've found in terms of both style and price.  And as the weather gets warmer, I'm excited to see what they come up with…although I haven't been disappointed yet.  

xo,

S

ps.  Most of the Stylemint links in this article will give us some kind of credit (in free tees) for sending you.  If that really bugs you, then just go to www.stylemint.com.  If it doesn't bug you – thanks!!  If we do actually get a bunch of free tees we'll do a reader giveaway or something.

 

 

 

18 Comments
  • nell
    March 5, 2012

    Holy Moly! That Canden Tee is a-mazing. AND they ship to Canada for your loyal Canuck and American transplants up here in the true north. Double amazing! I have the same issue always love the shopbop dry clean only very pricey tees. Now if only they were made in the USA. Baby steps.

  • Emily
    March 5, 2012

    ooo-you have the camden-it’s my favorite! :)

  • Jen
    March 6, 2012

    they ship to Canada?? I swear I checked a few months back and they didn’t…that’s very good to know, off to check on my account again…

  • Emily
    March 6, 2012

    Any thoughts on how these tees look on well-endowed women? (say, hypothetically, 34DDD?)

  • Emily
    March 6, 2012

    Mmm, never mind. Just checked out their size charts, and they only go up to a bust of 39 inches. That leaves us larger ladies out. :(

  • Kristin
    March 6, 2012

    They DO have some cool designs and I LOVE the styling tips and videos. However, a small complaint: the white tees are way too see-through for my liking! I bought the Wilshire in in white http://www.stylemint.com/shirts/wilshire
    I love the drapey, flowly style but it begs me to layer it with a cami! I have a tattoo on my stomach that I would rather not call attention to and you can see right through the shirt :( Any tips on what would make this tee look great? As it stands, I am not wearing it at all.

  • S
    March 6, 2012

    Nell – Sigh. I wish.
    Em – Of course it is! :) I miss you!!
    Emily – Grrrr…
    Kristin – It’s such a cool shirt. I’d try throwing a cami underneath – but pick one that really stands out -a bright color, a pattern. Let it also peek out at the bottom if you can. Or you could try a vest of some kind, or a button down, but roll the sleeves so the Wilshire’s sleeves peek out. That’s kind of the best part – the cool sleeve detail. Does this help?

  • jen s.
    March 6, 2012

    I am a lover of expensive tees, too. But with a 3yo and 9mo I can go through a nice one in about a day. I don’t have a single Splendid or C&C without tiny holes, and don’t even get me started on Ella Moss. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, them but they might as well be made out of toilet paper. How do these Stylemint tees hold up?

  • ChecklistMommy
    March 6, 2012

    Very cool EXCEPT: when I signed up, I found I had aged into the 35-44 (44!!!!!!!!) category! Cue the Meg Ryan tears (“And I’m going to be 44″ — yeah, in 8 YEARS PEOPLE, CUT ME SOME SLACK!).

  • Shana
    March 6, 2012

    OMG I KNOW!  I hate that!  I also hate when mags do a "What to wear by decade" article…and they show a 22 year old (for the 20's decade) and then a 39 year old (for the 30's decade).  WHA????
    My only consolation is that pretty much all 40-somethings I know look really young and are….dare I say?  Cool?
    xo
    S

  • Shana
    March 6, 2012

    Jen S – I'm still a Stylemint newbie, so am not the best judge, but so far, so good!  Although, I've had much better luck with Splendid tees than you have….mine last for at least a year and a half before tiny holes show up.  Even then, I only tend to get tiny holes in the tees that I wear several times a week, so it's worth it (to me) to replace them almost yearly.  The C&C and Ella tees?  I agree they are the worst.  Have you tried James Perse?  I've also had luck with those…but again, I'm happy with Splendid, so take it with a grain of salt.
    Worst case, though, even if Stylemint doesn't hold up any better than your current tees, they are roughly half the cost.  :)

  • Rebecca
    March 9, 2012

    This looks awesome! I can’t wait to check it out.

  • Nicole
    March 9, 2012

    Just wondering about the fit… can anyone comment if they fit tight or should I size up to get a drapey look?

  • Shana
    March 9, 2012

    Nicole – I went up one size for a drapier fit and have been pretty happy with the results…
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Nicole
    March 9, 2012

    Thanks for the prompt advice! I normally wear a large-ish but have recently finished nursing (after more than 7 years of being pregnant and/or nursing!) and things are, er, decreasing. I’m concerned I’d float in an XL as I’m not a 14 in regular clothes, but with allowing extra room to shrink maybe it would be good??? I’m frazzled by bathing suit shopping earlier today so forgive me for asking twice.

  • Shana
    March 10, 2012

    Ugh.  At the risk of being wrong…I'd do a large in the floatier styles (charlton) and an xl in fitted (Abbott Kinney).
    Def. report back!
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Renee
    March 17, 2012

    I have two StyleMint tees and one dress and I love them all! I’ve never understood paying a lot for t-shirts, so I’ve mostly stayed with cheap Target shirts; $29.95 seemed a bit much for a t-shirt, but I can see and feel the quality, plus they’re made in the USA! I haven’t had a problem with them selling out of anything in my size; I either pick something else or skip the month. Anyone tried their cashmere?

  • Nicole
    March 20, 2012

    Hi Shana,
    Thrilled to have received my first StyleMint shirt today (with freebie samples from Josie Maran, Two Faced and tooth whitener – fun!). I got the large (size 4) in the Charlton, a floaty style, and couldn’t wait to try it on and I actually find it fits quite roomy. I probably could have even had a 3, and unless there’s huge shrinkage, I will probably go with a 4 in the more fitted styles… and will let you know how they fit too! FYI I would normally wear a L in Gap, Old Navy etc. and be a 10-12 on the bottom so that’s why I wasn’t sure… I measured but my measurements, er, exceeded their XL range – glad I didn’t go by that but by my usual clothing size. Thanks for bringing StyleMint to the fore, ANTM! It is AWESOME to get a cool monthly t-shirt in the mailbox!

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