Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service that allows women to set customized preferences for new additions to their wardrobe.
I am a monthly subscriber so each month brings a new surprise. And OH what a difference a month can make!
Here’s how it works: You fill out a detailed profile online. A stylist for the company reviews this data (which includes personal style data, sizing, and feedback from past shipments as well as special requests for an individual box shipment) and hand-selects five pieces for the “box” which is shipped to the customer for a $20 styling fee. Once received, the customer has three business days to try on the items and determine what they would like to keep or send back. The customer then logs onto their account to give feedback on all five items and pay for selected items (the $20 styling fee can be applied to any purchases in that shipment). Any unwanted items are returned via an enclosed postage paid envelope that can be dropped at any post office.
August was not quite the same. This was my fourth shipment with Stitch Fix. The company uses a “predictive analytics” model to select each shipment. The targeted hit rate is that shoppers keep 2 out of the 5 items (on average) for each box. That formula allows enough sales for the company to be profitable but also allows for feedback that helps future shipments adapt to the style of the consumer.
Sometimes I get great items. Other times my results have been mixed – some items have just not been my style, a few have been awkwardly ill-fitting, others have been made from undesirable synthetic fibers. Through my July box, I had kept 7 of 15 items (and liked a couple of others that I had to send back due to having similar items already in my closet or because they didn’t fit correctly).
This month I feel like I got the short end of the stick. I was assigned a new stylist and I don’t feel that she read my profile very well. There are a couple of things I have highlighted on my profile that I don’t think were noticed and I also wrote a note asking specifically for a few pieces in red and/or black so that I’d have some items for early season football game days!
Here is what I got, including photos in the lovely lighting of our ladies room at work. (I needed to get the returns back in the mail before leaving town so I didn’t have time for fancy camera shots!)
Lori Lace Fit & Flare Dress (41Hawthorn) – $88
I cringed when I pulled this dress out of the box.
Pastels are NOT my thing. Pastel purple lace is definitely not my thing. But I’m always willing to try an item on anyhow.
I did not mind the overall shape of this dress (it’s very feminine) but I felt like a gigantic Easter egg. That is NOT a look I want to cultivate!
Fit was also a major issue. While the bottom fit fine, I could not zip the dress beyond the bust line and all I saw in the mirror was that bust line. I am busting out of this dress!
The shoulders were also uncomfortably tight which brings me to one of my issues with this box – I have specifically noted on my permanent profile that I have issues with the 41Hawthorn line fitting me through the shoulders, arms, bust.
I think I might have liked this dress in a darker neutral color IF it had fit (and that’s a biggie).
I thought the $88 price tag was slightly steep, but when I logged online the on-screen price was $58 which was more reasonable.
Linda Layered Cross Front Knit Top (41 Hawthorn) – $54
There was so much to like about this top when I pulled it out of the box. Cute color, cute front drape style, soft fabric.
Ah, but when I got it on… fail.
I like the style but it hugged all the wrong curves… it made me look like I was pregnant and highlighted a piece of back bacon that I didn’t realize I had.
Total fit disaster.
The other issue for me personally was color – I already have a draped knit top in this color. If it had fit, I might have liked it in a different color (like maybe the red or black I requested?!) – but fit again was the ultimate deciding factor here and this just looked horrible on!
Khloe Abstract Tie-Dye Maxi Skirt (Loveappella) – $68
I am not a tie-dye person so this may have been the most adventurous thing in the mix for me.
I didn’t really like it when I pulled it out of the box, but I liked it much better on.
The fit was great and the fabric was a very soft knit.
I debated whether to keep this one because I thought it would be a great piece for travel days – comfortable and easy to layer.
I ultimately sent it back as I own a half dozen maxi skirts already (including both black and cobalt blue ones) and I couldn’t see spending $68 for another one.
If this had been a different color I might have kept it.
Johnny Regular Length Skinny Jean (Kensie) – $88
I *really* wanted to like these jeans.
I was worried about trying them on as I have a great deal of finding jeans that fit, especially in the butt/thighs. And skinny jeans are always an issue in that area so I figured these would be a fail.
Instead they went on easily.
Except they wouldn’t button.
Yep, the rest fit but the waist was too small. Not my normal issue with jeans at all.
I did like the Kensie style though – the dark navy wash was beautiful and I’d like a pair of navy jeans so they are on my shopping list for my next Nordstrom trip.
I was glad to discover this brand as I’ll add it to the dressing room in the future.
I also thought the price point was reasonable given what most of my jeans have cost in the last couple of years.
Gonzalez Double Strap Button-Front Tank – $44
This was my last item (and paired with the jeans I wore to work that day).
And finally a win!
I liked the simple style of this loose-fit cotton top.
It will require ironing, so that’s a consideration for being travel-ready. But given that I live in Texas where it’s 150 degrees for half the year (or at least feels that way) and I get hot on airplanes and I mostly vacation in tropical locations, I am always in need of cute cotton summer tops.
I wish this had come in an earlier shipment so I could have worn it all summer.
It will definitely be going on my Indonesian cruise later this fall – it will be a versatile mix-and-match piece!
I only kept the Gonzalez Double Strap Button-Front Tank.
I would have kept the jeans had fit been better.
My total cost was $24 plus tax, as my $20 non-refundable styling fee was applied to anything I purchased from the box.
If I had kept everything, my invoice was for $186.50 (although that might have been less given the pricing discrepancy I noticed on the dress).
Shipments also come with style cards for each item included. You can keep these whether you opt to keep any of the items or not. I find that they are a helpful way of thinking about my own wardrobe in new combinations – I often find I own similar items that can be paired to make the outfits shown.
I like being able to branch out and try new things without having to spend a lot of time shopping. I tend to gravitate towards the same neutral pieces and same familiar stores when I do shop so Stitch Fix has been a way to try new things easily.
My one challenge with my erratic travel schedule has been timing my shipments to coincide with time in town so I can return my items within three days. Fortunately they offer flexibility with scheduling so I can change a shipment prior to the actual order being pulled (usually about 10 days prior to the scheduled ship date).
Stitch Fix is a “no commitment” service. You can sign up for a single box or shipments at set intervals that you choose (every 2-3 weeks or monthly). Right now, they only carry sizes up to a US 14 or XL, but they do appear to be growing as a company, so that may change in the future.
If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, I’d love it if you used my referral link as a blog reader.
(Disclosure – I do receive store credit for any new customers I refer.) And if you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear about your experiences!