Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stitch Fix: Discovering Your Style With A Personal Shopper

A year or so ago I heard about this fabulous mail order company called Stitch Fix. The idea behind it is that each subscriber is assigned a personal stylist, who chooses clothing, jewelry, and accessories for you based on a style profile you create. You answer a bunch of style questions and for a $20 styling fee (that can be applied to any purchases you make) you get a box with five pieces chosen with you specifically in mind.

 Months ago I signed up for Stitch Fix and was placed on a waiting list, but a few days ago a friend gave me a link that included her referral code and I was accepted immediately. I updated my profile, and in three days time a box of lovelies was waiting at my front door.

It's a pretty genius concept, especially for those of us whose chic fashion choices come from the clearance rack at Target. I love me a $3 blouse, but sometimes mama wants something fabulous and pretty without having to sacrifice an afternoon at the mall. I also can have a hard time "allowing" myself to buy nice clothes, so I end up spending lots of money on cruddy, cheap clothes that fall apart or generally just look awful after a washing or two. This ends up leaving me frustrated and feeling drab all the time and pretty desperate for some intervention. Enter Stitch Fix.

For my first box I was sent four tops and a cardigan. It's almost as if my stylist peeked into my closet and gasped when she saw what a sad assortment of shirts I have and thought to herself, "It's my mission to fix this girl's shirt problem!" I can honestly say I loved all five items. They were all well within my chosen price range of $50-100 per item, they all fit, though not all were styles that flattered my body type.

At the end of the day my two favorites were the polka dot/striped blouse and the green tunic. Both are casual enough for every day mom life and can easily be dressed up for a night out. Both items are a bit splurgy compared to my normal clearance rack, but both are lovely and timeless enough for my tastes. I feel like if I am going to spend $100 on two items I need to be able to see myself wearing them for years to come, and I certainly could. I have to admit my only hesitation with both these items is that neither is machine washable, which is a huge bummer for me. You should see my current hand wash/dry cleaning basket. I have to think long and hard (within three days) about whether or not I'll be keeping these items. (ps, I kept the green tunic and wore it several times in the last two weeks!)

How do you decide if Stitch Fix is good for you?

- Those of us who don't like to go shopping, don't have to visit the mall again. Can I get an AMEN?

- The style profile is super detailed and makes it easy to ensure that even your first box includes a bunch of winners. (Do be sure to include washing preferences, if you have any, so you don't end up with all hand wash or dry clean only if that isn't ok with you.)

- By having someone else choose for you, there will be items included that you might pass up at the store, but you'll end up loving (like the polka dot/stripe top above).

- You can specify your budget from "as cheap as possible" on up, and your items will always be within your budget. I choose $50-100 and was happy with the quality/prices of all my items.

- You can leave notes for you stylist to include certain items the following month, like "I need a dress for a wedding, can you send me several to try?" and they will!

- You can try things on at home instead of creepy dressing rooms.

- You have three days to decide what to keep, after which you pop the unwanted items into a pre-paid bag and mail them back, which for me is a great thing, since I frequently end up with buyers remorse thirty seconds after I get home. I also love that I can try an item on with my own clothes to really get a feel for what works with what I already own.

- Keep everything and there is a 25% discount.

- You can earn money for referrals you make, when you share your link and someone receives a box, you get $25. Those referrals can really add up, so be sure to tell your friends if you sign up. (Signing up through my links, will get me $25, too, so I'd love it if you used my link!) You will get a link as soon as you create a profile, not after you receive a box, so it's possible to tell other people about the service and get some credit before you ever get your first Stitch Fix!

- The $20 fee is applied even if you do not keep anything in your box, so you have to be willing to take that risk. Basically, the fee covers shipping, if you decide not to keep anything. (remember, your $20 is applied towards whatever you keep, so shipping is essentially free)

All in all I really enjoyed getting Stitch Fix and can't wait to get another one!

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