Tuesday, August 9, 2016

STITCH FIX: A PERSONAL STYLIST'S EXPERIENCE

Photo via StitchFix.com

As you may have guessed from the title, I joined Stitch Fix!  I heard so many people talk about it (good and bad), and I've also had several clients who have joined, so I wanted to find out for myself what it was all about.

I know there are other online personal styling services out there, and I thought it would be good to experience more than one, so I chose to try out Trunk Club, a Nordstrom Company.

I want to give you lots of great information without getting too boring and snoozy (but bear with me...it's more than I usually write), so I'm going to break it into a few different posts.  As of now, I can foresee 3 posts:

Post 1.  My experience with Stitch Fix (this post)
Post 2.  My experience with Trunk Club
Post 3.  A quick recap and comparison of the two services, and some information on the differences between using this type of online service and hiring a local personal stylist.

A Quick Overview

If you don't know about Stitch Fix, I'll give you a quick overview of how it works, but I'll leave it to you to explore their website for more details.  If you need or want some new clothes, but you don't have time to go out hunting for them, StitchFix will set you up with a stylist who, for a $20 fee, will choose 5 pieces for you, based on your answers to a style questionnaire.  The average cost per piece is $55 (though my average was a little higher).  Once you receive your "Fix," you have 3 days to try everything on and determine what you want to keep and what you want to return.  If you keep all 5 pieces, you will get a 25% discount on your entire purchase.  If you keep anything at all, your $20 fee is applied to your total.  If you send it all back, you're out your $20.  You may get on a schedule to receive a Fix once a week, once a month, etc.  Alternatively, you can just hop online and request a Fix when you need one.  It's all very flexible and convenient.

The Questionnaire

The "Style Profile" lets you answer questions about what types of pieces you'd like to receive (cocktail, casual, business, etc.), as well as what your personal style tastes are and how you like your clothes to fit.  It, of course, also asks for your sizes.  Finally, you're asked about your job (which I listed as "fashion," so they didn't really know that I'm a personal stylist) and your social media handles.  They really encourage you to link to your Pinterest account so that your stylist can get an idea of your general aesthetic, in addition to specific Stitch Fix pieces you've seen on other people that interest you.  I chose not to share that information with them this time around, but I may go back in and add that later.


My Fix

I completed the Style Profile just before going on vacation, so I asked them to please deliver it on the day I returned.  I got notification a few days before my return that delivery had been attempted.  Knowing I only had a 3-day turnaround, I gave them a call to make sure they weren't counting those vacation days against me.  They were very quick to respond and super-flexible with me on the return date.

I got home on a Sunday, and the next day, the box was (re)delivered.  Here's what it contained:


I was really excited when I opened this box!  This stuff looks right up my alley.  Let's break it down.

41Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top - $48

Oooh, 3 pieces in one outfit, and I love them all!  Maybe I'll be keeping all 5 pieces and getting that 25% discount!!  This black top fit me perfectly, and while we all know I don't need another black top, I really love how it drapes.  I could dress it up or down.  And at $48, it's a pretty affordable addition to my wardrobe.

Bancroft Dante Cut Out Metal Oval Layered Necklace - $32

I really love how this necklace looks with the outfit, but I was a little disappointed that it isn't adjustable.  The length is the length.  And this perforated metal look was really big a few years ago.  I wonder if it'll be out of style soon.  Nevertheless, I don't have anything like it, it's versatile, and it's definitely reasonably priced.

Henry & Belle Reggie Skinny Jean - $149 (I think??)

Can we please discuss these jeans and how good they make my butt look?  We don't have to talk about it for long.  I love the all-over dark wash, making it easy to dress them up for date night.  They were SUPER comfortable, too.  They are not without fault, though.  While I like them rolled up, they are way too long to wear unrolled, which negates the perk of dressing them up.  I also felt like I was hiking them up a bunch at the waist, just for this photo shoot.  Finally, if I'm being honest, I already own at least one or two very similar pairs.

Skies are Blue Biosca Crochet Detail Top - $58

This top is really cute, though it's not something I would normally pick out for myself.  I love the floral crochet detail!  It's hard to tell from this picture, but it's a really pretty bright pink/peach color, and it's lined and seems well-made.  It's perfect to wear right now with shorts or a skirt, and it will definitely work right into fall with ...


...a leather jacket and booties:)  I'm not head over heels, but I'm starting to convince myself that I could probably keep and wear all 5 pieces and get the 25% discount.  And now, for the last piece:

Gilli Jessie Knit Maxi Dress - $74

Womp Womp Womp :(  Not cute.  (The double arm in the picture is my daughter posing behind me!)  I love the color and the detail under the bust, but I felt a little pregnant and wider than usual in this.  The back was a little snug for my liking.  The material is also pretty thin, making it difficult to disguise any rolling and shaking happening under there.


The Verdict

The maxi dress wasn't awful, but I won't wear it.  I decided to send it back, and since I wouldn't qualify for the discount, I decided to send back that peach top, too.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn't need the jeans or the necklace either, so they went back in the box.

But I didn't want to waste my $20 fee, and since I really do love the black top, that was my one and only keeper from my first Fix.

My Takeaways

1.  This was fun!
2.  I love getting new clothes shipped (for free) to my house!  I was really pleased with most of what my stylist picked for me.  I'm second-guessing having sent some of it back, but I think I made the right decision.
3.  The style questionnaire was pretty easy for me to complete, but I imagine if you really don't know how to describe your personal style, it would be pretty tough.  I also imagine that some folks might not know if the should keep something or send it back.  People who need help with their wardrobe often like to get a second opinion, but..
4.  I love that they send you a card with some styling suggestions for each piece.
5.  STITCH FIX, ARE YOU READING THIS???  I think they would be smart to offer some sort of sliding or weighted discount.  Currently, you need to keep all 5 pieces to get a 25% discount; otherwise, no discount for you!  I definitely considered keeping a couple of things I was on the fence about, just because of the discount.  Is that a healthy spending practice?  Maybe not, but it's also not an unusual spending practice.  If they offered a 20% discount for keeping 4 pieces, 15% for keeping 3, etc., I would have kept 4 pieces instead of one.  Just a thought, Stitch Fix.
6.  I'll probably try it again.

Have you tried Stitch Fix?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments below, and stay tuned for Part 2 of this discussion, when I give you the skinny on Trunk Club.  But give me a couple of days to recover from this post!

As a personal stylist in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect!  


2 comments:

  1. Yup, I think you nailed it. These are my exact thoughts about using StitchFix. I think I'm relatively style savvy, but often long for the expert 2nd opinion. Another thing Stitch Fix might want to do is have clients add measurements because let's be honest, my size 6/8 may not be the same as my best friend's size 6/8. But I sure love seeing that box by my front door every so often and I do end up keeping at least one thing!

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    1. Thanks for chiming in, Kate! Glad I echoed some of your sentiments. Isn't it fun to see the box?! I'm such a sucker...just the kind of customer they're looking for!

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