I’m in the cabi Spring 2020 Campaign!

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seven women wearing cabi spring 2020 including alison gary of wardrobe oxygen

Being a full-time blogger can be an overwhelming job. I don’t have the security of a big company sending me paychecks, taking care of taxes and insurance and retirement. I don’t get paid time off for vacations and when I am sick, and I really miss that big fancy copier that scanned and collated. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, for full-time blogging has awarded me some of the coolest experiences. And one of the coolest experiences I had in 2019, I had to keep under wraps until last month.

The cabi Spring 2020 Campaign

In October, the clothing company cabi flew me out to Los Angeles to film me for their Spring 2020 campaign. I was so honored to represent a brand I’ve worn and loved since 2011 in such a major way. I hopped in a cab I mean an Uber at LAX with a dream and a cardigan, I mean a cabi Bond Blazer, and headed straight to Milk Studios. As we crossed streets I saw the Hollywood sign in the distance. I have been to California many times for work, both blogging and past careers in Corporate America, but never had I seen this landmark in person. We arrived at a modern building on a corner that had EDM music pulsing out of the wide-open doors. I entered a huge all-white with women in I can only describe as dystopian Harajuku garb being photographed. A woman saw me with my suitcase and came over to help me. “Oh you’re with cabi?” She exclaimed. “They are the NICEST! They’re in the next studio, you can get there through here,” and guided me through an office and a door to the lobby, where I accessed cabi’s studio across the hall. 

It too was all white, but a completely different vibe. Temporary walls segmented the first room into a hair and makeup studio, a dining room, and a dressing area. There were photos of me and the other campaign models on the walls with notes about our hair, age, personal style, and planned outfits in various places around the space. There was a room/hallway attached to it where a lunch buffet was set up, there were steamers and rolling racks, and a person at a sewing machine tailoring clothes to fit the models. Past this room was the studio, a cavernous room where half was completely white full of lights, cameras, director’s chairs and a large Beyoncé fan. I had been up since 3 am my time and it was now 4 pm my time. I was invited to sit in a director’s chair in front of the hair table where two super kind and talented individuals wrapped each of my individual curls around a small-barreled iron to give me the curly hair of my dreams. I then moved to the makeup table where another talented and super friendly artist gave me bronzy smoky eyes and lashes for days.

cabi spring 2020 on the set cabi spring 2020 photo shoot cabi spring 2020 ambassador

I then headed to the dressing area, a space framed with rolling racks full of cabi’s yet to be released Spring 2020 collection. It was like walking into a rainbow and cabi Fashion Director Becky Jantzen in the middle, as radiant as the sun. Becky had pre-selected two looks for me, but once on she did her magic, switching out tops and shoes, cuffing sleeves, adjusting here and there to fashion perfection. My first look was the Carriage Jacket and Carriage Trouser with the Minx Blouse and a pair of lavender suede Sam Edelman heeled sandals that really made the blouse pop. We headed to the studio where music was playing, the Beyonce fan was blowing, photographers and videographers were swirling, and cabi’s Executive Creative Director, Daniele Trussardi was at the helm. Makeup and hair were on deck with belt bags full of gear to fluff, matte, and reapply. One person kept reapplying a luminous cream to my hands and forearms to have them look healthy and hydrated, another reapplied my lipgloss, a third adjusted curls. There was a primary photographer but also other photographers capturing from different angles. There wasn’t a ton of direction, they wanted to capture us being us. I must say I was overwhelmed. I hadn’t consumed anything but coffee and water in several hours and hadn’t had a chance to take a breather, but the team did their best to get me relaxed and have fun. We then did a video portion where they asked me questions about friendship and about cabi.

After shooting the first look, I grabbed lunch. The food was amazing and they got me a lavender-infused latte which I never tried before but now want all the time. Then I got into the second outfit. Again, Becky had an idea but totally changed it and adjusted it into an even cooler look. For this one, I wore the Volley Pullover, the Trouser Jean, and the Shrimpton Scarf worn as a belt. I was able to hang out for a bit in the director chairs and watch other women from the campaign be photographed and interviewed for their video portions.

Then we did a group shot. By this time, I had gotten to known a few of the other women in the campaign (my friend Sam was part of the group shot the previous day) and it wasn’t hard to pretend we were friends. It was a super cool group of women with such interesting jobs and backgrounds and we all were new to such an experience. They interviewed us, we laughed into the Beyoncé fan, and I think a fly on the wall may have found it weird but it was the most comfortable and fun part of the whole shoot for me.

The cabi Spring 2020 Collection

I think each season I say, “This is cabi's best collection yet!” and this season is no different.  Unlike previous seasons when my first glimpse of cabi's new offerings are still images of the clothes on a white background, I had the pleasure of not only being able to touch the pieces on the rolling racks at the shoot, I got to see them on bodies.  And not just models, but real women like me, in a beautiful range of sizes, shapes, and ages.  I could see how they moved, and got so many ideas on how to style them too.  The riot of color is so refreshing after a cold gray winter, and the choice of colors are fresh and unexpected.

wardrobe oxygen cabi spring 2020
me, myself, and I at cabi Scoop

I had the opportunity to pick out an outfit from the cabi Spring 2020 collection to wear to Scoop, cabi's conference, and I chose the Poem Cami, Poet Jacket, and the Discovery Trouser.  I liked the relaxed yet polished boho feel of the ensemble, and how versatile the pieces are individually.  The Discovery Trouser I have since worn with a gray merino turtleneck and black booties tall enough to slip under the hem, and I've also worn them with a slouchy striped sweater half tucked in front with sneakers.  The Poem Cami and the Poet Jacket are 100% Viscose with a subtle crepe-like texture making them wrinkle resistant, not clingy, and easy to dress up and down.  I've worn the Poem Cami under a blazer and think the Poet Jacket is a great layering piece over a graphic tee or even as a beach coverup this summer.  The Poet Jacket has pockets and the sash slides through a tube of fabric in back making it removable and no weird belt loops left if you choose to do so.

cabi spring 2020 size 14 3 cabi spring 2020 review 3

I also received the Drama Skirt and the Thespian Blouse.  When I first saw them on Instagram I thought it was a dress and said, “I MUST have this!” Then I found it was two pieces and was even more excited.  The Thespian Blouse is sheer (I have the v-neck cami underneath) and has cool details like little ruffles at the shoulders.  It's the kind of piece you can tuck into black pants for work and then wear untucked on the weekend with skinny jeans and ballet flats.  The Drama Skirt is cool.  It's a heavy stretchy poly/spandex knit that has amazing drape.  And like the blouse it has cool details like strategic ruffles and draping to best highlight curves.  It's a true wrap skirt with a button to secure the waist and a slip lining for modesty. I think this would look chic now with a black turtleneck sweater and come summer with a graphic tee and pair of trendy sneakers! 

My Role as a cabi Ambassador

The spring cabi 2020 campaign featuring Wardrobe Oxygen

Sadly, I had to leave the cabi clothing at the studio (even the Trouser Jean which was hemmed for my short self) and had to keep mum about the whole experience until the launch of the Spring 2020 collection. I’m so thrilled I can share all of this with you now! I am honored to be an Ambassador for cabi this season. Not only will you see my familiar face in cabi marketing like their Spring Look Book (and those who attended Scoop saw my face on the San Diego Convention Center walls, street light banners, and on banners around the conference), but each month I will be writing a post about cabi here on the blog and on Instagram.

Over the years showcasing cabi on Wardrobe Oxygen, I have received many questions about this unique clothing brand. I will be answering the most asked questions in these posts to better understand the brand and my love for cabi. Sure I’ll be rocking their fashion (and yes there will be another cabi capsule wardrobe!), but I also will delve into questions like cabi’s sizing, the different ways you can shop cabi, and their business model. I don’t take partnerships lightly, and I am really excited to take my partnership with cabi to the next level providing the information you deserve to be an informed consumer.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. What size are you wearing in the Poets Jacket? I’m 5 foot nothing and a size 8-10, built a lot like you. There are so many pieces you didn’t show that I’m not sure would work for me, or I don’t know what size to get (like the Kelly wide leg crop). It’s really helpful when you indicate the sizes you’re wearing on things. Thanks!

    1. I’m wearing a Large in the Poet Jacket, if you’re unsure I’d say size down, I think for your size a Medium would be good. I haven’t tried the Kelly Wide Crop but with the knit pants from the past two seasons that were similar but full length (forgot the name, last season was black, the previous was navy) I liked a medium. Large was fine but sagged a bit, Medium (with a hemming) was perfect and I still wear them!

  2. I’m so happy to hear of your adventure with Cabi. It sounds fabulous and you look fabulous. I think I would be interested in some of their clothes if I can purchase them without having to go through a stylist.

  3. Most of the time I work at home as a consultant, and if I could live my way, I would be the Gypsy Queen In Her Pajamas everyday. Life dictates otherwise sometimes though, and a few years ago I had a long-term contract that involved working in an office setting. I work in archives and records management, and the work can get physical – bending, lifting, squatting, climbing ladders, getting dirty.

    The fall Cabi campaign had just come out when I was looking with panic in my closet every day and trying to look decent for work. I didn’t want to invest in fussy, harsh, or uncomfortable clothing that I wouldn’t wear again and that would require a lot of maintenance. I bought two pairs of pants, a suit jacket, and a few tops to match with an older Cabi cardigan and blazer. At the time I thought, “I cannot justify this expense.” But by the end of the year, I had spent three or four days a week mainly in Cabi wear, which was comfortable, polished, and held up under the rigors of working in a storage warehouse full of old records – and all of those pieces are still in my closet, in regular rotation. I was out today running errands in a pair of jeans and my In The Band Jacket (Fall 2017). I wore my Valentina jacket (Spring 2018) into the garment district in Paris a few months ago and a showroom greeter complimented me. ! Seriously! In Paris!

    I have some sensory issues, so a lot of the tops and camis are not comfortable for me (I just can’t stand polyester against my skin), but the suiting pieces, knit tops, and sweaters are the best. I really wear this stuff until it falls apart, and it takes a long time to fall apart. And in the meantime, the new collections always have something that I can match with items from past season to make them look and feel fresh. Since Cabi pays so much attention to color and to the season mixing aspect, I can buy a new navy jacket to go with old pants or vice versa, and know that the colors will match. The Cabi community is very creative and a good source of ideas for putting together outfits, as you yourself have demonstrated with your Cabi Capsules.

    I am so looking forward to the new Caby capsule from you!

    p.s. That Poet Jacket does seem to reach Gypsy Queen Pajama standards.

  4. For those of you worry about working with a consultant, I wanted to share my experience. I was introduced to cabithrough a friend’s parties. I loved the clothes and the way you can coordinate them in so many ways, and started hosting my own parties so that I could afford to buy more. It’s an also an excuse to entertain and bring together my women friends. Beth, my consultant, really makes the event. First of all, she is energetic and entertaining when presenting the collection, which sets a fun tone. She knows the merchandise and sizing well and is really helpful getting people to the right size and making suggestions, without ever pressuring people. In fact, it’s not unusual for her to advise someone against a purchase and then suggest something more flattering. She’s gotten to know my friends who are regular attendees and understand their style preferences. In addition, when you host a party, the other attendees are your friends and they are there to give you an honest opinion too. To me, that is part of the fun: to share opinions about what we are trying on.

  5. So thrilled you are a cabi Ambassador this season. You look fabulous in the Spring ’20 campaign and your posts. Missed seeing you at Scoop.

  6. How cool is this?! You look amazing. And that shot of you in front of that banner – you look like you live somewhere where you are completely unbothered all day.

  7. You looked incredibly beautiful. Prettier than anything on Vogue or Elle. It looks like you had a blast. Glad you had a great time.

  8. Honored and proud to have your representing a brand that I have represented myself for 13+ years. Once you know cabi, you understand what a wonderful company, culture and tribe of women we all are. And…those clothes make us all feel wonderful and confident!

  9. This is so exciting for you–congratulations!!! I’ve taken your recommendation on many clothing and beauty items, but haven’t taken the plunge on Cabi yet. What are the chances you’ll host an event for your DC-based readers to try the brand out in person? I love the idea of the app, but when trying out a new brand, it does seem like seeing it in person first would help! And the idea of connecting with a stylist has an intimidation factor–but a local meet-up with a favorite blogger where there happens to be a new brand to check out–that sounds awesome! =)

  10. Congrats! I won’t order from “stylists”, way too close to MLM for my taste, however that floral wrap dress looks amazing on you.

    1. I get where you’re coming from and that’s one of the upcoming posts I’ll be writing about them. I don’t like MLMs, they often prey on women, they only make money by preying on their friends, it’s just a big pyramid scheme. cabi isn’t like that, it’s at-home sales so they can control the style (cabi originally stood for Carol Anderson by Invitation who was a fashion designer frustrated by buyers forcing her to change her vision). But thank you Heather!

    2. Cabi is an MLM. That is its legal classification. I just think it is important to be honest and clear with people, and not use “softer” sounding names like “social selling” or what have you. If it is a good company acknowledge that is a MLM and then sing its praises.

      1. Cabi doesn’t call itself an MLM and isn’t in any of the organizations associated with and to support MLMs which is why I say they are not. They do accept downlines and you can make money from them, but you are only able to have a limited number of downlines and it’s not the bread and butter of your financial success and when you bring people on you need them to succeed, you’re expected to mentor and manage them. They break it down honestly on their website and I’ll be delving into this more thoroughly in a future post. https://www.cabionline.com/career-in-fashion/

        1. Yes many MLMs do not like to call themselves MLMs because that style of company has gotten a lot of bad press over the last few years. But just because they don’t call themselves a MLM doesn’t mean they aren’t one. MLMs are actually required to limit their down lines and the amount of money you can make from your down line — this has been the subject of several lawsuits over the past couple of years. It is good to know that Cabi is following the laws and regulations (laws and regulations can vary state to state).

  11. I’ve been wearing Cabi for 10+ years. Cabi has transformed me from someone with the fashion sense of a farm animal to a woman with a sense of style! I laugh when I think about how I declined my friend’s invitations to Cabi parties for years – life was hectic enough, I didn’t need to go to a Tupperware party for clothes. Then my friend showed up somewhere in the most fabulous jacket (the Cabi Tapestry Coat) and when she said it was from her friend’s clothes party, I finally agreed to check it out. That decision has not only improved my wardrobe and my confidence, but I’ve made lasting friendships and had endless good times. I had hoped to attend my first Scoop in San Diego this year but instead to went to Charleston to be with my son for his ACL repair surgery. I’ll get there eventually though! Kudos to you Alison, for all of your work – which means so much to so many of us – and for embracing a fabulous organization like Cabi and representing so many woman in such a glorious way.

  12. I think it’s smart that cabi is doing this type of influencer campaign–I honestly never heard of them before reading your blog, or maybe I knew of them vaguely and thought they were some kind of lularoe-like pyramid scheme. I also took a look at the size chart and see that their sizing seems quite generous, a la Universal Standard–according to the cabi size charts I would be a 14/16, whereas in many other brands I am a 16/18 or even an 18/20. That seems promising!

    1. It is generously sized. I am a 12 in jackets and pants with them and when the pants are stretchy I’ve even gone down to a 10 or medium while I’m a definite 14 in most any other brand on the market (except like you said, Universal Standard where I’m XS). I think it’s important to look at size charts and not gauge just on sizes because we’ve all put on what we think is our size to find it’s way too small or too big!

  13. I was introduced to CAbi around 2011. I’m a “CAbi addict”. I have attended many shows and had shows at my house. I love being able to shop in the comfort of my home or someone else’s home. You are fantastic in the clothes. What I love is that you are a “normal” size woman and it makes me realize that I can look great in these clothes as well since I’m a “normal” size woman. I love seeing how you have been styled in these clothes. I’m still not into the tucking my shirts in just yet, but I may have to try. Love your blog and you!

  14. You look absolutely fabulous in these photos! I am getting ready to set up for my first cabi party of the season and will share this with my customers! I am so glad that you had such a wonderful time with the cabi team and that you enjoyed Scoop! I can’t wait to read all of your posts this season!

  15. Look at you on the big screen! I need those trouser jeans in my life. I have not had a great pair in years and these look promising. When do we get a photo of you actually wearing those? And that poet jacket… Crap I’m going to be in trouble.

    I’m always intrigued with the pieces you showcase. But, I too find the idea of having a Cabi rep a little daunting. Looking forward to you explaining how Cabi works. And all the good styling tips they used to elevate your look.

    Go Alison!

    1. I will be getting a pair of those trousers so expect to see them on me in the near future! As for shopping cabi, the standard way is through attending a party or making an appointment with your local stylist. However, for those who don’t want to interact in person they have an app called cabi Tap. While you will be connected with a stylist (necessary in case there are returns or exchanges) through the app you can make purchases and not have to engage with a single person. The app also has cool features like tracking what you own from previous cabi seasons so you can mix and match and style looks and more.

      1. For me, it’s not about having to engage with a person. I want to know my options and then be allowed to make my own decisions without feeling pressure. It’s so hard to say no to a nice stylist (makeup counter person, etc.) because they make a connection with you and then it’s hard to just walk away without making a purchase. I understand that’s their job, but I know what I want/like/need and sometimes, I’ve spent the whole day talking and just need that time to myself to try stuff on and play with makeup. Rant aside, this has been my main reason not to buy cabi. I am also not a purchase party kind of person. This is the first I’ve heard of an app! I might check that out! Let us know if you learn of any way we can purchase from the app so you get clicks/credit!

        1. Oh no, I don’t make any affiliate revenue or credit off reccomending cabi, but thank you for thinking of me! And I fully get it, I feel the same way and the only way it has become easier is by seeing the brand and having a stylist that is an old friend so she “gets” me. The app is great and I expect to see it’s capabilities expanded over the seasons!

  16. This entire post makes me “whoop and click” right over to cabi! I don’t even like Bobo style, and after seeing this post, I absolutely have to have the Poet Jacket.

    So happy for you; they chose well.

  17. Congratulations!

    Between this post & yesterday’s sounds like 2020 is going to be a great year for you professionally. You’ve written before how hard the behind the scenes work is to get assignments like this. Glad you’re seeing the fruits of your labor.

    And I really want those trouser jeans.

  18. This looks super fun, and congratulations on such a big win and experience. You look happy and beautiful in your photos.
    Can you address in your next post how cabi doesn’t support plus size clothing options? While I love your blog, and have been a reader since the beginning, this partnership is always disappointing to me because cabi doesn’t have plus size options. (I don’t consider 8 items in XXL to be plus size options, or worth applauding.)

    1. Agreed! So cool that you got to work with this brand but I’m hoping they launch more clothing options in a greater range of sizes.

    2. We have 14 fabulous pieces this season in xxl, 18 and 20. I’m hoping they sell well so we will have more in the future. You’ll have to try them out and see if that changes your view about cabi.

    3. Working with cabi, I’ve learned how incredibly difficult it is to extend their size range. Unlike say Everlane who can just add it to their website, cabi has thousands of stylists as their sellers. Those sellers have to buy a selection of pieces at the beginning of each season for their parties (though they can sell it all at the end of the season). They would have to buy more pieces, requiring a larger investment. They also go through extensive training for fit, and would need additional training for understanding plus sizes. So they have been working on these two issues for a long while with focus groups, fit models, beta testers, and the such because this is not something they can do lightly and they don’t want to be like other retailers who do it and give up after a year. Once they felt they had the product and training set, they decided to start small to test it out. They believe the audience is there but they need proof to put the funding behind it. So they picked a selection for this season and from what I heard it will continue to expand. It’s not perfect, but I am also sick AF of brands who feel they are so special because they extended their size range and either did a piss-poor job in fit (OMG can we STOP with the 6 foot long sleeves???), they altered the styles so much for larger sizes that it’s essentially a bunch of tunics and shift dresses in the brand’s prints, or after one year of not really promoting it well they give up or send it just to online. I’d rather a brand does it slow and steady and wins the race instead of a lot of flash just for some articles in Bustle and Refinery29 celebrating their body positivity yet there’s no quality or thought behind the process.

      1. I totally agree with you on this – I want Cabi to keep expanding but not in a “pp” way. I want the sizes/fit to be worth the wait and dollars. I am willing to wait for the slow and steady….and quality. Now, off to look at the offerings!!!

  19. That’s cute with the pink blouse and shoes. I see with the pants in front of the poster you’ve also got not-nude shoes that coordinate with the outfit and blend into your skin tone without being boring. Seeing their styling tricks has to be a valuable experience.

    1. I wish they had stores. Many of their items look interesting or fun, but I hate the idea of making an appointment with a stylist only to find they don’t have inventory in my size (so I can’t check the fit) and I fear I would feel obligated to buy something I don’t love since that person did block out an hour of their day for me. The anonymity and impersonal nature of a storefront is so nice sometimes. Do they do anything like Trunk Club or any online service where I could select several pieces and know I’ll return a bunch for fit reasons, without paying a ton of shipping charges?

      1. We love what we do to serve women. I always tell people “I want you loving and wearing your cabi”. We have a flat rate shipping of $7. You can order online or with our cabi Tap app.

      2. I’ll be writing about this in a blog post, but I am so psyched they came out with their app, cabi Tap. While it does connect you to a stylist (you have to do returns and exchanges through a stylist), it lets you peruse the collection and shop without having to interact with a single human. Cabi sees how the way we shop is changing and they’re adapting to that with this app. Unfortunately, there is no Trunk Club like way to try clothes before you buy except for meeting with a stylist. However, I find their sizing is incredibly consistent from year to year and their size chart measurements incredibly helpful and accurate. There are cabi outlets around the country which is a place to try on a lot of cabi all at once and get deals on past-season clothing. And don’t feel obligated to buy, one thing I love about cabi is they teach their stylists it’s far better for someone to not make a purchase than buy one out of obligation and have buyer’s remorse. Someone who buys out of guilt doesn’t buy again, but the person who leaves without guilt is more likely to return in the future and have a positive view of the brand.

        1. There are cabi outlets (thankfully one is about 30 minutes from me). The inventory in the outlets is firs-quality but it is past seasons, not current. A good way to get to know cabi, though.

    2. It is really a great opportunity! For the look I’m wearing in front of the poster, those are the Margaux heels I reviewed last month. I put that look together, I didn’t even realize women wore those same pants the same day I did and now I look back at the photos and videos and am like, she was standing right next to me! LOL! But their Look Book and their magazine The Notion give me so many ideas each season!

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