A Rather Wordy Review of Stitch Fix

by Ginger on February 5, 2013

in Rampant Consumerism

I’ve mentioned, on occasion, how much I dislike shopping for clothes. As I’ve grown a little more confident in some of my style, I’m finding that I like *getting* clothes more, but I still hate shopping. Going into stores and dressing rooms and those lights and…yeah, not my fave. (And forget trying to find and try on clothes with the 3 year old around. That’s an exercise in frustration.) And, I’m no good at the search–unless I know exactly what I’m looking for, I always feel like I’m completely incapable of finding anything I like that fits and isn’t just the same black shirt I have a million of already.

SO! When I saw a few different people talk about a service that would build your style profile, “shop” for you, and then send you those items for you to try on in the comfort of your own home? I was intrigued. What’s that you say? Someone else to find the clothes for me, AND I don’t have to deal with dressing rooms? And I can see how things might work with what I already own before buying? Interesting…

So, I figured I’d check it out.

The way Stitch Fix works is you sign up (fyi, that link gets me a credit if you sign up if you don’t like that kind of thing), fill out a style profile, pick a date you want your fix delivered, and you’re off. You pay a $20 “styling fee,” and then they send you a handful of items based on your profile.

Now, it’s not like any of other subscription services I’ve seen, in that you don’t just GET the clothes/accessories. You’re sent a handful of items that you then have the option to purchase. The $20 styling fee can be used towards whatever you purchase, and you also get a discount if you buy everything you were shipped. Anything you DON’T want to keep, you send back in the mailer they provide (that can be dropped in any USPS box) within 3 days, and you’re all set.  Anything you DO want to keep, you just tell them you want to keep it, they charge your card, and then you…keep it. You can also schedule when you get your box–either to be automatic, or for specific events, dates, etc.

This really does seem to be a shopping/styling program. The profile you fill out is pretty in depth, and they give you the option to share various social media sites if you want to help them figure out what to send you. Then, when you get the items, they send them with little cards that show a couple of styling options for that piece including what other items you could pair them with that you might already have.

So, I signed up, and got my first “fix” last week, and what did I think? Well…

  • I think that the more information you give them to work with, the better your choices will be. I was kind of vague about some of my style preferences and body shape concerns, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when I got items that didn’t MAGICALLY know those things. Like, duh, right? But I didn’t realize until after I got my box just HOW vague I had been. (I went back and put in a whole lot more detail for my next box). So if you want to do it, remember that it’s better to share that info than not.
  • I think the first box (and possibly the first few boxes, we’ll see) could be fairly hit or miss as they learn what does and doesn’t work for you. If I had expected my first box to show up and be 100% perfect, I would have been disappointed. But the misses gave me an opportunity to give further, specific direction on everything from fit to cut to colors to price that I hope will help my future boxes be a better match.
  • A couple of the items I got didn’t fit–I had items that were too small AND too large in my box. Again, some of this is on me for not being more specific in my sizing or in my body style, but it did seem odd that I ended up with clothes in both directions.
  • It was also a bummer that if you get something you like style-wise that is the wrong size, it’s not really something you can just easily exchange for the right size. There was one top I would have bought had it not been too big, but they say that the sizes are pretty limited. I could have emailed them to find out if this top was an exception, but honestly I got too busy.
  • I think if you’re over a size 12-14, you probably won’t have many options with Stitch Fix right now, which I think is a bummer. It appears that they use limited designers who focus mostly on the traditional XS-L/XL world. I do think that this may end up limiting, to some extent, the options I get in my boxes in the future, but we’ll have to see.
  • Ok, so price. This was a little more of a sticking point. The items I got ranged from about $30 up to about $130. It’s…very rare for me to pay over $100 for ANYTHING, so I went back in and adjusted my price points in my profile. I’ll be interested to see how the price points in my next box end up looking. I’m getting to a point where I’m willing to pay more for items I LOVE, so I’m not cutting Stitch Fix off just yet, but this is not going to be something that will compare, price-wise, with Old Navy or Target.
  • The return process was super, super easy, as is the process to give feedback on the items. I really appreciated that they make this really easy for their customers, both from a logistics standpoint (they provide the shipping envelope pre labeled) and from a user interface standpoint (the website is clean and easy to navigate through this step).
  • Despite the fact that I only ended up buying one of the five items (a pair of earrings), I actually really loved the *style* of four of the five items. (The fifth was a peplum top. I’m never going to get behind peplum). Fit and cost were the reasons I didn’t get the others. I never would have even picked any of the clothes up had I been out shopping, so it was a fun experiment to try on styles and fabrics I’d never have chosen. That’s a pretty large part of the reason why I like the idea of Stitch Fix–because I fall into a rut with the same 3 items over and over, it’s nice to see and try things that are different.

More $$ than I’d usually spend on earrings, but I REALLY liked them.

All in all, I’m intrigued by Stitch Fix. They’re still a relatively new company, so it seems like they’re still working on the business model, but I think it’s fun and helps me find new items or styles I might not try otherwise. I get my next Fix in a week or so, so we’ll see how they do with my notes and suggestions from the first go round, and if I get things I like, fit into, and can afford this time around. If it’s even close? I could see Stitch Fix becoming a dangerous little addiction, er, addition to my monthly subscription habit.

If you’re interested in checking Stitch Fix out, they’re technically in Beta right now, so you have to request an invitation–I waited about 2 days before mine was sent, but they say it could take up to a couple of weeks. If you do, I’d love to hear what you think of it (and what you get!!).

(None of this was sponsored, I signed up for and paid for Stitch Fix all on my own. I just think it’s kinda fun.)

Cloud February 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

I just got my first box last night. They actually got the sizes right on me. I am large on top (38F) and a size 12/14 overall, and everything I got fit. They only sent tops this time, though. Maybe if I ask for some bottoms things will be more hit or miss.

I ended up deciding to keep 3/5 of my items. I’ll be posting about it later this week. With pictures! (Headless pictures, but pictures!)

Ginger February 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Oooh, I can’t wait to see what you got!

oilandgarlic February 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I checked out their website and couldn’t really find much information on the brands they carry. Are they all smaller brands, or do they send you stuff from mainstream merchants, too, like J. Crew, Land’s End etc.? I probably don’t hate shopping enough to try it not could I really afford to buy clothes monthly! Plus I’m kind of brand loyal so I really want to know what clothing brands are available.

Ginger February 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm

They seem to mostly use smaller designers that I hadn’t heard of, not so much mainstream merchants. Granted, I’ve only had the one box so far, so I don’t have much to go off besides that and a few reviews I’ve found around the web…

Also, you can change it so that it’s on whatever schedule (or no schedule, like if you just had a special event coming up you wanted some new options for). I definitely don’t think I’ll do it monthly long term myself–that would be WAY outside my budget!

Alexis February 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I am totally looking into this. I am desperate to break out of my “one pair of jeans I like with 20 identical tops” rut, but like you, abhor shopping. Have I ever mentioned that I love your reviews because they are so in depth and always answer all my questions? No? Well, consider this my fangirl moment 🙂

Ginger February 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Awww, thanks! I try to think about the questions *I* had and use that for any reviews I do…so I’m glad they help you too!

Maribel Reyes February 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Had to check it out, which I did… tried signing up but sadly they said they don’t have anything in my size… 🙁 guess it’s more motivation to continue on my journey.

trina February 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I promised myself that after investing in clothes for my pregnancy I would do the same after. So this may be a great service to try some new things. I’m really interested in what you get with your next box.

Hope February 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I’m in a weird no-woman’s land size-wise. I’m getting smaller, but still not back to my pre-pregnancy size. I tend to be a “buy fewer things of higher quality” kind of a gal, but I can’t justify spending $$$ on anything that will (hopefully) end up being too big for me.

But…. I’m officiating at a wedding in about a month. And so I need to look super spiffy. I think I’ll try this out!

melissa March 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

damn, no plus sizes yet.

Ginger March 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

Ooh, a friend of mine shared this company which does something similar with plus sizes–maybe check it out? http://intro.gwynniebee.com/

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