Nearly a year ago, I ordered my first Bento Box from MM LaFleur, a company that specializes in clothing and personal styling for “professional women.” The Bento box concept is similar to how other personal styling services work. You fill out a survey, they send you clothes that might fit you based on your answers. In my review of my first Bento Box, I noted that I kept one item, the Graham kimono. I had a similar experience this time around, and ended up keeping one of the items in my box.
The Bento Box Request
When you Re-bento, you can make specific requests to your stylist. I’ve been wanting to try the Foster pants, but given my track record with pants, was nervous about purchasing them and having to return them. I figured getting a pair in my Bento would be the ideal option. If they worked, great, if not, no worries, back they’d go. I left a note with my order requesting the pants.
MM LaFleur’s newest collection has a number of dresses in an amazing deep, forest green color. Since green is my favorite color, I asked my stylist to include a few of their new dresses in that color.
The Bento Box Arrives
My box arrived a day before my requested date (10/5, it got here on the 4th). When I opened it up it contained:
- The Foster Pant in black, size 8
- The Davis Top in Watercolor, size Medium
- The Aditi 2.0 dress in Deep Forest, size 6
- The Lydia Dress in Deep Forest, size 8
- The Woolf Jardigan in Black, size Medium
Bento Box: Foster Pant
So let’s start my Bento Box review with the Foster pant. The description on the website said that the pants ran small, so I asked for a size 8. My first reaction when pulling them out of the box was, well, I’m not going to fit into those.
I did, but just barely. I had to suck in to pull the waist closed and I’m standing with my legs slightly apart in the photo, because I couldn’t really bring them together due to the tightness of the pants. Not a good look and definitely not how I would want to go about my day.
The fabric of the Foster pant was also a bit of a surprise. I was expecting a soft and stretchy ponte, since they are described as feeling like yoga pants, but these were a woven cotton-blend fabric. They were stiffer than expected, which didn’t go well with the overall tightness.
Suffice it to say, I didn’t keep them.
Bento Box: Davis Top
I was pleasantly surprised to get the Davis top in my Bento. I’d seen in on the website and thought it looked interesting, but wouldn’t have ordered it for myself, especially in the yellow-orange watercolor print.
The top fits close up in the bust, but then loosens up over your waist and hips. It’s lined, so it’s a really sturdy feeling shirt. I like the overlap on the front, but ended up returning it for two reasons. One I’m not super into the yellow-orange pattern. Two, it was $210, which I think it just a bit too much for a top, although it is made in NYC.
Bento Box: Aditi 2.0 Dress
Let’s move on to the dresses. I love the shape and color of the Aditi 2.0 dress. But this style doesn’t work on me. This is a size 6, and there are a lot of bumps and rolls in the dress because of its close fit. Some of those bumps are me, some are the dress.
Maybe it’d be worth trying in an 8, but this was just way too tight for me to wear.
Bento Box: Lydia Dress
I debated for a couple of days over whether to keep the Lydia or not. Arguments in favor of the dress: great color, interesting twisty part at the shoulder, soft, comfortable fabric. Arguments against the dress: weird fit, dry clean only.
I ended up sending it back, because it was loose at the waist and very tight at the hips (this was a size 8). Also, I dunno, I just don’t want another dry clean only dress.
Bento Box: Woolf Jardigan
Last, but not least, the one piece I did keep. The Woolf Jardigan (that’s jacket + cardigan) is a slightly longer version of the St. Ambroeus jardigan (which I also own). It was love at first wear. From the minute I pulled on the Woolf, I knew I was going to keep it, even though I really, really don’t need another jacket.
The Woolf works well as both a blazer and a comfy cardigan. I always feel a bit dowdy in cardigans, but not in the Woolf. It also has split seams on the side, which give it a more flattering shape and look. It looks OK worn with pants, but I find it’s most flattering worn over a dress.
So there you have it. My second Bento Box. All in all, I find getting a Bento a fun experience and will probably do it again. I think specifically asking for items or giving your stylist a clue about what you like and don’t like, helps make the Bento experience more useful, rather than hoping and praying your stylist gets it right.