I am a self-proclaimed shopaholic. Meaning, I shop for fun. Shopping is a hobby. One of my favorite pastimes.
I shop A LOT. Yes, even with a three-year-old. After I had a child, shopping in person became somewhat more complicated, but that just means I took to shopping online a bit more than I had previously.
One of the reasons I love to shop is because I truly enjoy the thrill of a great bargain. I tend to make a beeline straight to the back of each store, to browse the clearance racks to see what great markdowns are there to be had.
Something about the in-store experience makes shopping more enjoyable to me. I like to make sure I’ve seen everything before I head to the dressing room. Plus, I want to try each individual item on before buying to make sure it’s a great fit. And then edit my selections before I check out.
So, when a friend of mine suggested I try Stitch Fix last summer, I was a bit skeptical. I had seen a few friends post about it on Facebook and understood the general concept. But I had not previously tried an online styling service.
What was someone online who has never met me going to be able to offer me that I couldn’t find myself?
If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, it’s an online personal styling service for men, women and kids. It’s actually been around since 2011, but really saw tremendous growth over the past couple of years.
To join Stitch Fix, you fill out a personal Style Profile, indicating your height, weight, sizes in each clothing category, style preferences, etc. This helps your personal stylist get to know who you are and what you are looking for in the service, along with your ideal price range.
You can also share links to your social media profiles, including Instagram and Pinterest, so that they can see pictures of you or things you like, in order to get a greater sense of your personal style.
You tell them exactly when you’d like a box to arrive, and how often. Then a stylist hand-picks five items to send to you, in what they call a “Fix”.
After you receive your items, you have three days to try it all on to see how you like them. Then you keep what you want and send the rest back.
Shipping is free both ways. Though you pay a $20 “styling fee” per box. However, that fee is directly applied to any items you keep.
One of my main concerns about Stitch Fix was the price of the items. Since I like to bargain shop, I knew I’d be paying full price for any items I wanted to keep out of each Fix. Which I didn’t like. Because the only real deal to be had with the service is that you get 25% off if you keep the whole box. Unfortunately, there is no “sale” or “clearance” section with Stitch Fix.
In any sense, I decided to give it a try. My friend sent me a referral code, which waived the $20 styling fee on my first box. So, I completed the profile and sent a personalized note to my stylist telling her what I was looking for and hoping to receive in my “Fix”. I included a link to my Pinterest style board, so she could get a sense of my personal style as well.
I set my frequency to have a box shipped quarterly, to basically get one with the change of the seasons. It started with summer.
The first box I received was a bit of a miss. My stylist sent me a pair of straight up Daisy Dukes. Even though I told her I was in my late 30’s and was looking for a pair of not-too short jean shorts for summer. These were “oh hey, is your booty peaking out?” short shorts. So, that was a no.
I also got a floral top that reminded me of the 90’s, and while I know that’s back in, the tiny flowers made me think 13-year-old vs. 39. I also have super broad shoulders and a huge bust, and it was a bit too snug in both areas to keep.
Two other items were so unmemorable that I don’t even recall what they were. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this pretty red top by Papermoon. It fit well and I knew it would be good for work. Plus, it was reasonably priced. So I decided to keep it.
The second box, which arrived a few months later, also had a few hits and mostly misses, primarily due to fit issues. However, I kept a pair of pull-on skinny jeans by Liverpool, a brand I was already familiar with and liked. The jeans were $89, which is not unreasonable, but more than I would typically spend on a pair of jeans. I didn’t want to lose my styling fee though. (And that’s how they get ‘ya.)
After those first two shipments, I decided to hit the pause button on Stitch Fix. Two “meh” boxes and I wasn’t really sold. I did appreciate how easy it was to go into my account and stop receiving Fixes. There was no having to call or email customer service. I liked that I had full control over my account.
A few months later I got an email from Stitch Fix saying they missed me. Therefore, they offered to waive the $20 styling fee on my next Fix to give them another try.
I took them up on the offer, indicating that I was looking for transitional items to get me from Winter to Spring. And that time, I actually liked every item in the box, but the sizing was all a bit off. So, I sent it all back.
The fun thing about that box, was I actually got an item I had pinned on my Pinterest board. And my stylist had made note of that.
That’s when I realized that she was starting to get to know me. After leaving detailed feedback on what I liked and didn’t like about each item I’d received in the past, and also telling her specifics about how things fit – I could tell that she was developing a good sense of what I liked. She’d been checking out my Pinterest boards. And personalizing the note included in each box to indicate that she was paying attention to my feedback.
So, I decided to give it one more try in advance of our anniversary this past June. Because I didn’t have anything fun to wear for our special night out in Milwaukee and thought maybe my personal stylist could help.
When I got that fourth box in June, I was excited about what I saw, with the exception of a floral jumpsuit that I immediately thought would never work for me. I don’t recall ever having worn a jumpsuit in my life. And didn’t think they’d really do me any favors given my size.
Yet, when I tried it on, I was surprised at how comfortable and forgiving it was. I mean, it was totally NOT my style. This was something I would never pick out for myself in a million years. But when I walked out to show my husband, expecting him to laugh, he raised his eyebrows and told me it was cute instead.
Huh. Who would have thunk it?
That’s exactly what I wore out for our anniversary. Along with the little pink Kate Spade crossbody they had sent.
And I loved it.
I wound up keeping that whole box. And wore the Level 99 linen shorts and Daniel Rainn tassel top the very next day.
When Stitch Fix sent me an offer to upgrade to an annual membership for $49 a year – which would be applied as store credit to any future purchases – I jumped on it.
Because, while not every Fix or item is a hit, they’ve sent me some great pieces that I actually could not find in stores around Madison, WI. I’ve done a few internet searches on items they’ve sent, just to price compare. (Or really to see if I could have gotten them cheaper elsewhere.) However, I’ve found that most of the items they send aren’t really available anywhere else online either.
I wound up keeping my entire Fall 2018 box as well, which included this adorable pair of ruffled booties. Again, there was one item in the box I wasn’t crazy about – a patterned kimono. Yet, when I styled it myself, with a pair of dark skinny jeans, a navy tank and some high-heeled open-toed shooties, I loved it. And got probably 10 compliments on my outfit by noon that day.
So, while Stitch Fix has not replaced my regular shopping habits, it has been a nice compliment to how I shop for clothes and accessories these days. I like seeing the variety of items that my Stylist sends me. Plus every once in awhile there is a wild-card included that I never would have picked out for myself, yet somehow totally works.
Interested in trying it out? If you use my referral link, you’ll get $25 off your first Fix! (And full disclosure, I’ll get $25 in credit to use on my next purchase as well. Win-win!) If you decide to try it, come back and let me know what you think!
Here are my tips for the best Fix!
1. Leave detailed notes and feedback on each individual item they send. This will help your stylist get to know you and your likes and dislikes.
2. Share links to your social media that you think will help them get a sense of your personal style. You can create a Pinterest board specific to your Stitch Fix stylist as well.
3. Stick with the same stylist, so they can really start to dial it in. The longer you stay with one, the better they’ll get to know you and your style.
Have you tried Stitch Fix or another online styling service? If so, what has your experience been like? Please share in the comments below!