A Stitch Fix Story: Part 2

Are some things too good to be true?

The other week, I shared with you my excitement about ordering my first Stitch Fix shipment.

The online styling service is an exciting, promising concept: make a thorough style profile, order a shipment, and voila—a few weeks later, a box of handpicked clothes and accessories arrives on your doorstep.

I was fortified by the portion of the style profile (the main resource the stylist who is assigned to you uses to assess what to pick for you) that allows you to rate pre-arranged looks from “Hate It” to “Love It.” I threw in several “Hate It” ratings to make sure the stylist knew what to steer clear of.

I rated two looks “Love It” and yet nothing in my much-anticipated box, when I finally got to rip it open, contained anything resembling the pieces in those collages. In fact, most of the items were straight out of the looks I’d rated “Hate It”—especially a glitzy, clunky, cheap-looking necklace and a pair of skin-tight black pants with faux leather strips up the sides. (The pants admittedly fit like a glove, but they just weren’t my thing.) The box’s contents made me wonder about the reality of Stitch Fix: how much did the stylist know about these articles of clothing? How likely is it that they went more with their personal style than trying to understand mine? Was my style profile detailed enough?

Or—the pinnacle of my Stitch Fix inquisitiveness—is it an imperfect system? It’s somewhere between paying a real stylist (who can dedicate time to getting to know you) and shopping online—and perhaps part of participating is accepting that they might miss the mark. Maybe there’s also some luck involved in terms of landing a stylist who has similar taste.

All of that said, I’m still a Stitch Fix optimist. I got a cute and comfortable jean jacket out of it, and by buying one item in your shipment, you not only don’t pay the $20 styling fee, it’s deducted from your total. Would I have bought that jean jacket if I spotted it in a store? Probably not, but that’s part of the Stitch Fix appeal—you can journey outside the bounds of your comfort zone. (The jacket is pictured above; the looks in the image are the styling suggestions they included for the jacket in my box, neither of which appeal to me.)

So was it too good to be true? No, I don’t think that’s it. I think risk and surprise is part of the deal, and I now realize that there are ways to improve my chances of getting better shipments in the future. For instance, whenever I take the plunge again, I’ll be sure to add a Pinterest board to my style profile to help the stylist understand my taste. And I’ll be sure to ready myself with more realistic expectations. 

Have you tried Stitch Fix? If so, let us know how it worked for you in the comments below.

A Stitch Fix Story Part One

It’s a cliché, but one thing I think most women reading this have been guilty of at some point is staring dolefully at a full closet and groaning, “I have nothing to wear.” 

It’s how I’ve been feeling about my wardrobe lately. Step one in curing my closet blues was a thorough cleaning. I was more ruthless than I’d ever been in weeding out my wares—anything that was too past its prime became a rag or joined a massive pile destined for Goodwill and the nicer things were set aside for friends to pick through or for trying to sell at Crossroads Trading Co.

With a significantly lighter load, it was time for step two: joining Stitch Fix. 

I first heard about the website from a friend who tried and loved it. It’s basically mail-order personal styling in a box. Simply sign up for free on the website, fill out a thorough questionnaire, and request a shipment. Awhile later (their popularity means a sort of long wait time), a box arrives on your doorstep filled with clothing and accessories that were handpicked by a Stitch Fix stylist for you. You try it all on, keep (and pay for) what you like, and return what you don’t. If you don’t pick anything, there is a $20 styling fee.

In my current wardrobe-weary, style-slacking state, this sounded like music to my ears. 

I have yet to receive the box (so the full verdict on this service will come in part two of this blog), but I was pleased with the ordering process. The “style profile” (questionnaire) covers the basics—height, weight, and clothing sizes—and then moves into the details. For instance, they want to know the answers to questions like “How do you prefer clothes to fit the top half of your body?” and how often you dress for certain occasions (such as work, nights out, etc.).   

I’m guessing the most elucidating section for the stylist is the visual portion, in which you rate seven looks from “Hate It” to “Love It.” I rated three looks with “Hate It,” two with “Love it” (the two looks pictured here), one with “Like It,” and one with “Don’t Really Like It.”

You then have the opportunity to specify what it is you’re looking for in your shipment (dresses but no jeans, for instance), how revealing or modest you like different types of clothing, your price range for each category of items, and much more. As a vegan, I appreciated the section that allows you to rule out materials you don’t want, like leather.

I can’t be sure how well the styling will be executed, but so far I can say that they make sure to get all of the information they need to do a good job. They even give you the option of sharing a Pinterest board with them (which I didn’t utilize, but perhaps should have). 

Will Stitch Fix be the style boost I’ve been looking for? I’m hoping so, but I’ll be sure to tell you all about it either way with part two.