Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Blues Jean Bar Express (BJB Express) Review

I had heard that Blues Jean Bar was doing a subscription service/personal shopping similar to other clothing services, so I contacted them to see if I might review for Blues Jean Bar Express, or BJB Express. They responded that they would be happy to work with me. I filled out a style/sizing profile online, and was notified within a day or two that I had packages on the way from them. BJB Express does require a credit card, but they only take an authorization for $1. I was pleased that unlike other companies, BJB Express does not charge a styling fee. You can get shipments from them every once in a while, or on a regular basis.

I was surprised with how many options they sent me. Their stylists bundled looks together, and shipped me a huge box and a bag. Honestly, I was blown away.

This was my first bundle. I knew right away that I would like the particular looks in this grouping. I am the first to admit that my style hasn't changed a ton over the years. I'm really trying, but I'm comfortable in jeans and tops, khakis, sweaters, etc. Change will be gradual for me, but I'm trying!

The first shirt that was in this bundle was a charcoal gray cowl neck thermal by LA Made. They called it black, but it really is a charcoal color. I LOVED this top. It's casual and comfortable, but the cowl neck dresses it up a bit. I don't think I would have picked this out myself, which is the point of trying new things! I put this in my "maybe" pile.

The next shirt was a long sleeved gray shirt with a cream sheer back by BB Collection. I liked this shirt because when you look at it from the front, it appears to be a plain light gray t-shirt, but when you see the back, it's interesting and unexpected. I would normally consider something sheer to be sexy, but it really isn't. This wasn't my style at all, but it looked so cute on. I put this in my "maybe" as well. Are you seeing a pattern? 

The next shirt that I tried on was very cute. I don't own anything with studs, but I love tissue tees. This was from LA Made, and is called the Leila top. When I tried this on, it was very cute, but it was very sheer. It would need a cami underneath, or to be layered under a shirt or jacket. The cut was cute, and I really liked it. It was very wearable, and seemed like it would look good on most frames. I decided against this shirt, simply because I knew that I could easily spend a ton of money on this box of treasures.

These two t-shirts were both Rib Sleeve Scoop Neck Tees from Alternate Apparel. I love long sleeve t-shirts. These were very cute, and the gray one was layered under the olive military shirt below. These would be a terrific staple item for anyone.  I decided against these t-shirts, but I may purchase them at a later date.

The next shirt was Joe's Jeans Unisex Military Shirt in Olive. I liked how they had it paired with the gray t-shirt, so that it was more of a jacket. Although I thought this was cute, it was not my style at all. Both shirts were very comfortable, but just not for me.

The last item in the first bundle was the Cornelia Dress by Alpine Stars. I loved this dress, and thought it would be a great addition to my wardrobe, but it fit VERY small. I couldn't even really tell how it would look because it was so tiny on me. The fabric was beautiful. It was lined, so that it wouldn't be uncomfortable against the skin. If you're interested in this dress, I would recommend purchasing a size up.

I knew immediately that unless it was hideous on me, I was going to love the sweater on top of the next bundle. My older sister had a sweater with a similar pattern in the 80s by Benetton in pink and light blue, and I always did my best to try to pack it with my things when I was heading back to boarding school. She always caught on though, and I never made off with more than a white turtleneck (I admitted to her years ago that I had it for years).

The sweater on top of the bundle was a peach leopard print sweater by Blu Pepper. It is absolutely gorgeous, and so soft. It has a slight hi/lo cut, which gives it a bit more shape. It fit true to size and was very comfortable. There was no question that I put this in the yes pile as soon as I took it off.

The first pair of jeans in my shipment was a pair of Lila Super Skinny Ankle Jeans by Henry & Belle. Their official color was Pure Indigo. These jeans were so nice, but unfortunately I had my jeans sizing off.  I will likely request these again in my size. I had never tried Henry & Belle jeans before, but they were beautiful. They were dressier than some jeans, and they could easily be worn out, and still look like adult clothing.

The next pair of jeans, and final item in the second bundle was another pair of jeans by Henry & Belle. They were Super Skinny Ankle Jeans in Onyx. Like the other pair, these were too small. They were very nice, and would be a dressier jean to wear. Henry & Belle Jeans are on the expensive side, a little over $150. You can tell, however, that they are well made, and that they are dressier than an average pair of jeans.

The next bundle immediately caught my eye when I opened the box, as on top there was a bright magenta scarf. It was a great pop of color that certainly would get noticed, but not in an obnoxious way.

I knew immediately that the jeans in the bundle wouldn't fit because of my mistake in sizing. Of course, I had to give them a try to prove to myself again, that I wouldn't fit into the jeans. Why do we do that to ourselves? These were The Hunter High Class Jeans by James Jeans. The color was Dark Paris, and they were not quite as fitted as the skinny jeans, but rather a bit more tailored. The price point was about the same. I like to think of many of the jeans that I purchase now as "grown up jeans." They are definitely worth the higher price. They are well made, last longer, look more put together, and can be worn for Casual Friday without looking schlumpy.

There was a nice black cami by PACT. It was cute, and had very nice lines. It fit well, and I liked the V neckline that it had, but that it didn't gap or show too much cleavage. I am not the kind of person who would ever wear a cami on its own, except to pair with pajama bottoms. It was put in to wear with the next shirt, and it was so pretty together.

The next shirt was by Blu Pepper, a brand that Ihad difficulty finding much about when I was researching online. I wish I had gotten a better picture. It was a black woven lace back shirt. As you can tell, the front is quite sheer , and the back was lace. It was long sleeved, and looked so pretty with the cami underneath and with the magenta scarf. It wouldn't be a shirt that I would choose to wear to work, but would look fantastic as it was put together for a night out, dinner, or drinks. I put the shirt in my "maybe" pile.

The final item was the Magenta Infinity Ruffle Scarf by Created New. I loved the color, the light silky texture, and how it draped. It looked beautiful with the black lace shirt. I also put the scarf into my "maybes." The pile was getting a little big...

The next bundle had the same scarf on top that I already knew I liked, except in a smokey color. Except for a shirt and jeans, I couldn't see what was in the bundle. Kind of like Christmas.

The scarf was the same Created New Infinity Ruffle Scarf in Taupe. I liked the color, and don't have a scarf in a grayish color. I already knew I liked the scarf, so I put it with my other possibilities. 

The shirt that was paired with the scarf and jeans was also by Blu Pepper. It was labeled as an Ivory Woven Sheer Jacket, but personally I would never consider it to be a jacket. When I first looked at it, I almost didn't try it on at all, as it seemed a little too "folky" for my tastes. Is folky a word? I just didn't think I would even remotely like this shirt. I did try it on though, and it looked cute, especially with the scarf. Still not for me, but I was surprised by how cute it really was on.

I won't continue to say that the jeans didn't fit, but I want to reiterate that it wasn't because the jeans are cut small or ill fitting. I had my sizing off. The first pair of jeans were The Madison Baby Boot in Indigo by 15 FIFTEEN Jeans. I didn't like these as well, but they were still very nice. I prefer jeans to be completely straight or even to taper a bit, so a boot cut, even a baby one, isn't for me. I'm also quite short, so that could be the reason I prefer jeans to be more fitted at the ankle-I can get away with them being a bit long on me that way. If you like bit of a boot cut, you would really like these jeans. They have a bit of variation in the dye to look a bit worn in, and are quite sharp.

There were several pairs of jeans in this bundle. The second pair was The Microflare Jean in Rustic by Henry & Bella. Again, a little less tapered than I prefer, but you can see that they are actually quite straight. I may have really liked these though, but it was difficult to tell what they would look like on my frame. They were a lighter color denim than the other jeans, and seemed a bit more casual. These would be an excellent everyday jean.

The next item was The La Brea Muscle Tee by Alpine Stars. The fabric was a pretty woven black and white, with black leather trim. It was a funnel neck and sleeveless, and I can honestly say that it looked terrible on me. I know that as a forever prepster, it is completely out of my comfort zone, but I can say that it just did not look good on me at all. I perhaps do not have the frame for this, and it was much cuter off than on. It is beautiful as pictured on the model below, so I think this is truly one that would need to be tried on and be the right style.

So, interestingly enough, as much as the shirt above was out of my style comfort zone, the next jacket was REALLY out there. Also by Alpine Stars, this is the Tessa Jacket in black. When I first picked it up, it was a light jersey fabric with a bit of a shawl collar and a zip front. I was really excited, thinking it would be something I would wear all the time. As I put it on, however, I realized that there were leather cuffs/sleeves up to the elbows. I thought I shouldn't even bother putting it on, but when I did, I loved it! It was very comfortable and unexpectedly cute. After all, I'm trying to branch out a bit. Not everything I own has to be pink, plaid or polo. My husband liked this jacket a lot as well. It was so soft, and again, unexpected. I put it in my "maybe" pile.

The next pair of jeans were Henry & Bella's Super Skinny Ankle Jeans in Pitch. They were a coated jean, so there was a bit of a sheen to them. These were gorgeous. Definitely dressier, and absolutely nicer than pictured. I will definitely try these on in my size at another date, and if you're looking for a nicer pair of dark jeans, I would recommend giving these a try. Henry & Bella was a company that was new to me, and I'm so glad that I was sent several pair to look at-I will definitely want to take a closer look at these on.

The last item in my shipment was a pair of jeans by Yummie Tummie.  I've heard of the brand, and seen them online, but I hadn't ever seen them in person. They were very nice, and have a slimming effect. The jeans were their Slimming Mid-Rise Skinny Jean in Jet Black. I will want to try these again, as with most moms out there, this is an area that I am always trying to improve. As a mid-rise, they sat a bit lower, but didn't have that awkward gap in the back when you lean forward. They were slim at the ankle, and a very nice jean that I will look forward to a more serious try-on in the future. Yummie Tummie has become a very popular brand, and they offer a whole line. If this is an area that you are looking to minimize without a squeeze of special undergarments, give this brand a try.

I was happily surprised with how much BJB Express sent, and it was SO nice to get an idea of what they offer their clients. Not everything was a hit for me, but I definitely found some things that would fit into my closet and that were wearable with my current wardrobe. Of course, there were a few things that just weren't me, but that will always happen when trying to freshen up your look. I did have to narrow it down a bit, so what did I purchase? I bought the LA Made Black Cowl Neck Thermal and the Blu Pepper Peach Leopard Sweater. I'm so happy with my purchases. I would have liked a few more pieces, but decided to control myself, and I sent the rest back to BJB.

Will I continue to receive shipments from BJB Express? Absolutely!! I worked with Scottie, who was my personal shopper. I gave her feedback so that she will continue to send me items I love, as well as some that will surprise me. 

You can follow BJB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. They are listed under thebluesjeanbar.

Would you like to give BJB a try? You can find them at By using "Preppy Mom" where it asks how you heard of their service, you will receive 20% off! That's a great way to give them a try. 

**Disclaimer-I was sent items to review, but was not monetarily compensated in any way. This, however, in no way altered my opinion of items or my review. 

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