Gwynnie Bee has let me down

I have been a loyal Gwynnie Bee customer for a little over a year. I opened my account in April 2014 and I haven't looked back. Until now.

Let me start by saying that I have never been particularly "fashion forward." My favorite clothes are jeans and sweatshirts. However, Gwynnie Bee opened me up to a whole new world. They showed me that I don't need to hide under sweatshirts. For the first time in a very long time, I wore dresses. And they were cute dresses. And, even though I am "fat," I could look good. Really good. And I felt good.

In case you haven't seen my Gwynnie Bee video reviews, I will start from the beginning. Gwynnie Bee rents plus-size clothes. From pants to cartigans to dresses, you can probably find something you will like there. For a monthly fee, you can receive anywhere from one to ten pieces at a time. When you receive your clothes, you also receive a blue bag for returning the item. Once you wear the item, you simply put it in the blue bag and mail it back. But if you like the piece, you can purchase it. In the past year, I have purchased two dresses. 

Fast forward to this week. On Monday, a mere five ago, I wore this amazing dress.  At $78, it was a little pricey for me but I decided that I would buy it on Friday, when I got paid. This morning, I logged onto my Gwynnie Bee account, fully ready to purchase the dress. I was stunned to find out that the dress now cost $91.50. In less than a week, the price went up. I don't think I have ever experienced a retailer raising prices on their clothing. Sure, there may be sales or discounts but the cost going up?

So, I emailed the company, hoping it was just a typo. Nope. I received a reponse stating that their prices are dynamic and they change based on how many pieces of a certain item they have versus how many customers have "closeted" the item. Basically, because I chose to wait until payday, I have to pay an extra $13.

Sorry, Gywnnie Bee, I refuse to play that game. I had every intention of purchasing this dress and I probably would have purchased the dress that is arriving today. (It is the same dress in a different pattern.) And I am quite seriously debating on closing my account. Why should I continue to try on clothes without a guarantee on how much the piece will cost if I want to buy it?  What happens if the price changes in the two or three days that it takes for a piece to get from your warehouse to my door? Not only do I get punished for waiting until my paycheck arrives, I also get punished for the delivery time? This is a ridiculous pricing structure and I suggest you rethink it.  

Game review: Fashion Solitaire

I thought Fashion Solitaire sounded interesting so I gave it a try. Basically, you are given a deck of cards with various types of fashion on it. Some cards are dresses, some are pants/skirts, some are tops, some are jewelry and so on. Three models at a time are presented to you and you need to properly attire them with the cards you have available. As with all solitaire games, not all of the cards are available. You need to uncover the cards by using the ones on top. If you put a skirt on model #2, the card under that will become available to you. However, each model has a preference of what they would like to wear. Perhaps model #3 wants to wear something white while model #1 wants some jewelry. You get bonus points for fulfilling these wants. After each round, you get the opportunity to create your own fashions and you'll get more bonus points for using those cards in the game. This game was a lot more fun than I expected. To be honest, I expected something along the lines of Greek Goddesses of Solitaire but this was nothing like it. You end up being focused more on the fashion than the solitaire portion of the game. It's just as much fun designing your own pieces as it is dressing the models. Granted, the game had some annoying parts. For example, I got stuck when I needed some shirts for my girls but all I had available were pants and skirts. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to rearrange things to get the unavailable cards to pop up. So, while it was a little aggravating, I think it gave the game that needed bit of difficulty to keep it from being tedious. I might actually have my daughter try the game out. After all, she likes dressing up her dolls. This isn't all that different really. Dress up is always fun!

Game review: Dress Shop Hop

Another game from the creators of Diner Dash and Wedding Dash, Dress Shop Hop is a fashion-based time management game. Flo (from Diner Dash) and Quinn (from Wedding Dash) tell Bobbi (Dress Shop Hop) to open her own clothes shop. Of course, the heroine of this games listens to her predecessors. They have rather successful businesses themselves after all. Ohhhh....I really wanted to like this game and I did in the beginning but then it goes to hell. Much like other time management games, you move the customer to their "table." In this cast, the "table" is a machine that helps the customer decide what clothes they want. Then you have to go to the fabric machine to get their color fabric and take that to the sewing machine that makes the clothes. The problem with all of this? The machines take forever to do anything and the customers get impatient quickly. So by the time you reach the second chapter of the story, it's difficult to complete each level. If the machines moved a little faster or if the customers were a little more patient, the game would have been a lot better. As it is, it's frustrating to have to play the same level multiple times and still not be able to complete it.

Game review: Vogue Tales

Vogue Tales is a wacky fashion-themed time management game. You play fashion designer Wendy. Her grandmother sent her a mysterious gift but before she could open it, a thief stole the gift and her favorite dummy. Wendy must raise enough money to go to London to get her stuff back. Once again, this is a game where the customers choose the type and color for the piece of clothing they want. Wendy takes the design to the fabric, where it is magically sewed, then hands the clothes to the customer. There isn't anything particularly difficult about the game. Though it can be a challenge to keep the customers happy. You can buy upgrades for help you keep their hearts full.

Personally, I'd like to see a little more variety in the time management genre. While the general themes are slightly different, the gameplay is exactly the same. I'm ready for something amazing to come along and make me love the genre all over again.

Game review: Jojo's Fashion Show

There has definitely been a sudden influx of fashion-based casual games. Few of them really had anything to do with fashion though. Well, things are different now. Jojo's Fashion Show is definitely about the fashion and nothing else. You play Jojo Cruz, a retired fashion designer. She's trying to come back to the fashion scene and it's your job to help her. The goal is to make the best outfit you can. You are given three models, a variety of clothes and a couple of themes. It is your job to create the best outfit for the given theme with the clothes you have.

Sounds easy, right? It's a lot more difficult than you would think! Sometimes you don't get the right clothes and you are forced to just throw something together before the model walks onto the runway naked. But sometimes everything comes together and you create the absolute perfect outfit.

This is definitely a game for those interested in fashion. I can't imagine someone who doesn't like clothes enjoying this. Clothes are the game. And this is most definitely the best fashion game I've come across so far.

Game review: Fashion Rush

It seems that fashion based time management games are becoming extremely popular. I've already talked about Fashion Fits! and Fashion Craze. Now we've been presented with Fashion Rush. Fashion Rush is similar to Fashion Craze in that your character has to pick fabric colors and clothes styles instead of just handing out pre-made clothes. However, this game steps it up by making you keep track of how much fabric you have available. Each color has a set amount of fabric and each time a piece is cut to make a garment, the roll gets smaller. When the roll of fabric runs out, it is up to you to put a new roll on the holder. (Hm, that makes it sound like toilet paper!)

You also get to choose which styles of clothing you are going to offer to your customers. There is a limit of four styles per level but it is up to you to decide if you will sell four styles of dresses or one pants design with a jacket, a shirt and a dress. I found this part to be the most exciting. If you don't like a certain style that is offered, you don't need to offer it to your customers. Of course, the problem is that a lot of the designs are cute and you can only have four designs at a time!

While I'm not a fashion mogul, I do like the direction that these games are taking. Instead of forcing the gamer into an already determined path in the game, there are a ton of choices that are being offered. Considering that these types of games need to follow a "work your way to the top" type of theme, it is really refreshing to have at least a little bit of say in the storyline. I hope that more time management games pick up on this. Maybe one day we'll see a Diner Dash where Flo gets a say in what goes on the menu!