Have you ever bought an item at a store, even tried it on in the fitting room, only to come home and realize it just isn’t right? Maybe that shade of gold is really a brassy yellow in the light of day, or the hem of the skirt just doesn’t work with your favorite pair of knee high riding boots. Either way, the thought of driving back to the store to return the chameleon item in question is just kind of exhausting (especially when it’s the season of mob scenes at the mall, ugh!). I recently tried Stitch Fix, a personal styling subscription service that lets you try clothing on in the privacy of your own home instead of the poorly lit, cramped and lonely fitting rooms most stores have. (By lonely, I mean you don’t have the input of real live people to tell you that yes, you are a bit advanced in age for a particular midriff-baring sweater – although I frequently text my “style team” photos from the fitting room, that’s what best friends are for!)
Here is how Stitch Fix works:
- Head to the Stitch Fix website and fill out an online style and size profile. They currently accommodate sizes 0-14 (XS-XL).
- Schedule one “Fix” to arrive on a certain date; you don’t have to “subscribe” to one a month, but that is an option if you prefer to receive regular shipments. It costs $20 to schedule a Fix, but that fee is will be applied toward any items you decide to keep.
- The stylist sends you five items based upon your style profile PLUS photo tips on how to style the pieces.
- You try everything on at home and return what you don’t want and keep what you do. You’ll receive a 25% discount for keeping all 5 pieces.
- Returns are free but must be completed within 3 days of receipt of fix or you will be charged for all of the items
Let’s take a look at the profile, shall we? Be prepared to provide in-depth answers to get the best Fix possible!
The nitty gritty:
They ask all the basics, your height, weight, DOB, bra size, dress, shirt and pant size.
They ask how you want your clothes to fit specific parts of your body- ex: long pants, loose tops, rise on jeans, and proportion characterization of all parts of your body. I love the fact they added these questions in as most of these weren’t on the profile the first time I scheduled a fix.
They give you 7 different outfit style sets and ask you to rate them:
- Love it
- Like it
- Don’t really like it
- Hate it
Now on to lifestyle questions – occupation classification, if you are a mom (I SO wanted to say no to this question for fear they would style me in tunics only, but answered honestly), and frequency of specific occasions like Business, Cocktail, Casual, Date Night.
I am a fan of the fact they ask what you would like to avoid, be it specific types of clothing, accessories/jewelry, colors/patterns and what areas of your body you like to flaunt vs. cover up.
All about the money:
They ask your ideal price range for different items, here are the categories (BTW, each piece they send out tends to cost around $55 on average):
- The cheaper the better
Let’s get social:
THIS is where I think you can truly let your stylist know what is on your wish list. You can enter your social media profile links (Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin).
They have an open comments section that I used every single character of, here’s what I told my stylist verbatim:
I have a TON of holiday events so would love maybe a classic dress that I can wear to multiple events by adding accessories. I am very fashion-forward, so don’t be afraid to add in unique pieces! Would love a trendy statement necklace/statement earrings. A coat would be fabulous, but I do have broad shoulders for my size. Take a look at my Fall 2014 Pinterest board for inspiration! http://www.pinterest.com/cjleahy/fall-2014/ Into chunky knits, love sweater dresses, micro pleats, window pane and buffalo plaid!
The result? Amazing!
Here’s what I received in my Stitch Fix:
Here is the note my stylist sent along with the box: Hi Cheryl! I had such fun styling this Fix for you and hope these pieces will become great additions to your wardrobe! For upcoming holiday events, I have included two dresses. The Neel Dress has a unique lace detail at the bust that takes the place of wearing a necklace. But it would look fabulous paired with the Eileen Studs! All the window pane patterns on your Pinterest Board inspired me to include the Perry Dress. It can be dressed up with heels or dressed down with tights and boots. The Loreen Coat has many of the features I found on your board, including a belted waist and textured material. And to add a bit of color to this Fix, I couldn’t resist including the Melita Sweater in the cable knit style you love! Have fun trying everything on and please let me know what you think of each piece! Enjoy!
My thoughts on Stitch Fix:
Since this was my third Fix, the stylist reviewed my feedback on previous fixes and knows a little more about what I like (and what I definitely don’t). My first two fixes weren’t as impressive and I ended up keeping only a pair of jeans from each. I was blown away by the attention she paid to my Pinterest board this time around and she’s right, I loved every piece! Everything fit me perfectly, except the sweater was a little short in the sleeves (I haven’t found a sweater where this isn’t an issue on me) but I always roll them up anyways. The prices were a bit higher than I am used to paying for clothes since I am a total bargain shopper, but they are all great additions to my wardrobe.
So, how much does Stitch Fix Cost?
Here are the final costs of everything I received, and what I ended up paying.
Merchandise Total: $400
Styling Fee Credit: -$20
Buy 5 Discount (25% off): -$95
Total Spent: $285
Tips for how to get a great box from Stitch Fix:
Upcoming events – Tell the stylist what you have coming up and what the clothes are for. If you are going on vacation, tell them where you are going! If you have a work event, let them know whether you work at an art studio or a Fortune 500 company. Provide as many details as possible so they can get a sense of your style.
Social media – Again, this is key! I created a Pinterest board that had all of the current styles on my wish list. Pin your dream clothes, even if you can’t afford them. A stylist’s job is to find pieces for you in your budget. Also, pin a full body shot of yourself if possible so they can see what you look like!
Tell them what you don’t want – Be very specific if you can’t stand capris, or have a million maxi dresses, or if the color yellow makes you look like you have jaundice. Tell ’em!
Do you think Stitch Fix would work for you? Have you worked with them before? Let us know what you think of this personal styling service!
Cheryl Leahy is the author of the blog all dressed up with nothing to drink…, and her motto is“Don’t Give Up! Figuring out how to adapt to motherhood while keeping a sense of self is an art form.” She is also the Style Editor for The Little Style File and is a featured contributor and social media manager for 30Second Mom.