Have you heard of Stitch Fix? It is an online personal shopping service, and for a $20 styling fee your stylist will select five pieces of clothing that get mailed to your home. You can try the clothes on at home, keep what you want and send back what you don’t. If you buy something, the styling fee gets applied to your purchase. If you buy everything, you get a 25% discount.
I first heard about Stitch Fix a few years ago, and was always intrigued by the concept. I love the idea of someone else making style selections for me, since I tend to stick with a fairly narrow design aesthetic and like the idea of pushing outside of my fashion comfort zone. Recently, I’ve had a few friends give it a try, and I decided that it was finally time for me to take the plunge myself. My new job was is a bit more casual and funky than my old job, so I thought this might be the perfect way to spice up my wardrobe.
My biggest concern with Stitch Fix was the price. Since you can’t select your own pieces with Stitch Fix, the price is a bit out of your control. The website states that the average price per piece is $55, which is a bit higher than I’d prefer but wouldn’t be unreasonable for unique pieces that I can’t get elsewhere. But I figured I’d give it a try. The worst that could happen is I’d be out $20.
My Stitch Fix Experience
I started my Stitch Fix account and filled out my “style profile” a few weeks ago. The profile was quite thorough, and included questions about size, style preferences, lifestyle, etc. The earliest delivery date available was about three weeks out, so I scheduled my “fix” for Monday, October 5. Unfortunately, my package was delayed a few days, but no big deal. I was super excited to get my first fix, so mostly I was just sad to have to wait even longer to get it!
When my fix finally arrived, I couldn’t wait to open it. It came is a pretty box and all of the items were nicely wrapped in tissue paper. I unpackaged each item and tried them on one at a time. My fix included a “statement” necklace, a pair of burgundy pants, a striped sweater, and two tops.
It was kind of fascinating to observe my emotional reaction to each piece. As I took each piece out of the package, I had an immediate gut reaction. Some of the pieces seemed adorable right from the start. Others I was very skeptical of, but I tried each of them on and tried to keep an open mind. As I put the pieces on, my mind would flip from loving the item, to seeing each of its flaws, to loving it again. I think something about having the items in my house made me really want to like them. I think it was a bit like confirmation bias; I had these things in my possession, and wanted to find a reason to keep them.
Unfortunately, despite really wanting to like all of the pieces, I ended up sending each and every item back. The necklace was cute but was way too “out there” for my style. The pants were cute but were too fitted to wear to work. The sweater was flattering but was very basic and quite similar to many items already in my wardrobe. The two tops were cute in their own ways, but seemed to be of relatively poor quality – either poorly fitted or of a cheap material.
My biggest problem with all of the items was that they seemed very expensive for what they were. I would say that they were roughly equivalent in quality to items I would purchase at TJ Max, Loft, or Francesca’s, but at 1.5 to 2 times the full price at those locations. Of course those stores often have sales, so I rarely actually pay full price for any item. You do get a good discount for purchasing all of the items in your fix, but I feel like it is probably pretty rare to get a fix in which you like all of the items.
Stitch Fix just isn’t for me
I realized through this process that there are several reasons why Stitch Fix probably isn’t for me. First, I am a bargain shopper. I am that person who shops on Black Friday because that is when you get the best deals. I’ll try things on in store and then wait for a sale to actually purchase items online. I also shop at outlets a lot, and I get GREAT deals there (more on that in a future post).
Second, I really really like shopping. Like, really really really. It’s a problem. I get a lot of joy out of the act of shopping. My mom and I often shop together, and it is a great way for us to spend time together, chatting and shopping. I also have plenty of time to go shopping at this point in my life, so for me there is really no benefit to be gained by avoiding shopping. As much as I enjoyed getting my fix in the mail, I like shopping much, much more.
Third, I learned through this process that I am actually more adventurous with clothing than I thought. I was hoping that Stitch Fix would expose me to new styles, but I realized that I’m actually very willing to try on those new styles in store anyway. I like trying on new things and I’m pretty good about keeping an open mind. I’ve also learned over the years that my mom is always (ALWAYS) right when it comes to clothes, so with her by my side I know I won’t go wrong. I really don’t need a stylist.
Finally, I have plenty of time at this point in my life to spend shopping and searching for deals. It isn’t a hassle to get out to a store. In fact, my new job is on one of the best shopping streets in Boston, so I can now easily stop in a store or two on my way home from work any day I like. I live within a 7 minute walk of a huge mall, and can easily drive to several others. Shopping is an easy thing to fit into my life.
Is Stitch Fix for you?
Despite realizing that Stich Fix probably isn’t the service for me, I do still see a lot of benefit in it if you meet certain criteria. Stitch Fix might be for you if you:
- Aren’t super price sensitive.
- Don’t like shopping.
- Don’t like going to stores and trying things on.
- Don’t know what kind of clothing you like or what looks good on you.
- Aren’t able to step outside of your clothing comfort zone (but wish you could!).
- Don’t have time to go to stores.
- Don’t have stores nearby.
If you fit the criteria above, I’d say go for it and give Stitch Fix a try. The worst that can happen is you lose $20. And maybe you’ll find a new style you love!
Have you ever tried Stitch Fix or another personal shopping service? What did you think? Is it worth the money?