More than ever, people are too busy – or just not interested – in searching around the mall for quality, stylish clothing. But what is the alternative? Shopping online for clothing can be a gamble, and if you’re not the type of person that keeps up with fashion trends, it can be hard to find what looks good, and is a current look.
Luckily, there is a service out there that is designed specifically for people who want to look good, but don’t want to spend the time to keep up with the fashion world, scour the malls for quality pieces at good prices, and then have to do it all over again in a few weeks or months. The service is called Stitch Fix, and let’s go over this Stitch Fix review.
Stitch Fix was created to make it as easy as possible for people to find great looks, at great prices, with no risk. It’s like having a personal shopper who will even return unchosen items for free.
Sounds expensive, right? You might be surprised.
Stitch Fix is not expensive as a service, and the clothing included is only as expensive as you want it to be – you get to set the budget levels. There is an initial $20 styling fee, but it is credited toward your first purchase, so if you buy anything, the initial consultation is effectively free. That’s a great start.
You’ll tell your stylist your preferences. This includes things you like and don’t like, the kind of pieces you’re looking for (i.e., tops and jeans, no dresses, and any prints or colors you don’t like – or the ones you love). You’ll also set budget parameters. You can set the prices to “The cheaper the better,” or you can set it at $200+ per item.
You’ll then receive a box with five carefully-wrapped items in it. It will also contain a pricing sheet, a postage-paid envelope for easy returns, and a note with outfit selections. You’ll have three days to decide what to keep and what to send back.
If you purchase all five items they send, you’ll even receive an additional 25% off of the purchase price.
Stitch Fix will work with you to get an idea of your personal style and budget parameters, then they’ll send you five carefully chosen items, within that price range, that they think you’ll like.
The initial consultation takes place online. You’ll be asked a number of questions and be given the chance to give personal information to help them make the best choices possible for you.
For example, you’ll give them your measurements and sizes. Be as accurate as possible to ensure that the clothing will fit well. Your stylist will know if certain cuts fit looser or tighter, so leave that up to them. You can tell them what styles you like. Are you into metallic and glittery items? They can find a current style that fits your tastes. Be sure to include things you don’t like as well; if you don’t want dresses, or you hate stripes items, let them know so they can avoid sending them.
The next step is to set your budget. Some people want the high-end items and don’t mind investing substantial amounts in their wardrobes. Others want great looks, but as economically as possible. You might even be in the middle of that spectrum. Don’t worry. You’ll set the amount you want to pay, and your stylist will work within those limitations to find the best items available at the best prices.
Stitch Fix will then send you a box with five items in it. You try them on in the privacy of your home. You’ll have three days to decide what to keep, too, so you can get a friend’s opinion before finalizing your choices.
If you want all five items, you’ll receive a 25% discount. If you want to keep a few of them and send the others back, then you simply use the postage-paid envelope and drop it off at a local business for free return.
Stitch Fix isn’t just for women, either, they have stylists that will make sure men are looking sharp, too.
There are pros and cons to this service regardless of how you use it, but many of the pros and cons are a result of the care put into setting up your preferences. As we discuss the pros and cons of Stitch Fix, we’ll be clear about the places you can take extra care to make the experience as positive as possible.
First of all, Stitch Fix takes some time to set up. A big part of the appeal of a service like this, is that it saves us from having to spend hours at the mall or other stores, looking for the right clothing at the right prices. Stitch Fix helps to eliminate that time, but only after the initial consultation, and often after a few rounds of boxes to dial in on your specific style and tastes.
You can shorten the initial period by being super specific when communicating what you want – and what you don’t want.
You won’t be able to avoid the time it takes to ship the items to you – a few days in most cases – but once you’ve received a few boxes and your wardrobe is in good condition, this will be less of an issue. You’ll have regular, quality additions to your wardrobe, so there won’t be emergency rushes to buy the right piece for an event of activity.
A huge benefit of using Stitch Fix is that you’ll have a professional stylist helping you set up the looks you want. The ultimate choice is still yours of course, but isn’t it nice to have a set of carefully-selected items laid out for you to choose from – tailored specifically to your tastes, needs, and budget!
Unlike clothing that’s been steamed and is hanging on display at the mall, the clothing you receive in your Stitch Fix box may be wrinkled. This is both a pro and a con. It’s a con because nobody likes wrinkled clothing, and it means that it doesn’t look its best when you first see it. You’ll need to look past the wrinkles to get an idea of how it will look when freshly laundered and hung. It’s pro in the long term though, because it gives you a good idea of the degree of care that item is going to need if you choose to keep it.
Because the Stitch Fix stylists shop for clothing full time, and due in part to the discounts Stitch Fix can get from wholesalers and retailers because they spend so much each month, Stitch Fix can find and give you great deals. Add to this the 25% discount for choosing all five items in the box, and you can get this great service for free, and great clothes at a substantial discount.
Don’t worry if your first box doesn’t nail it on all five items; remember that your stylist is just getting to know you. Once you’ve chosen a few items, and rejected others, the boxes will become more accurate and you’ll be more likely to get that great 25% discount.
This depends mostly on you. If you know fashion, and love to wander the malls looking for hidden treasures, then you probably won’t see the value offered here. If you need a little help knowing what’s on trend, or if you know what’s on trend but don’t want to spend the time searching for it at the prices you want, then Stitch Fix is a great solution.
The more specific you are when setting it up, the better the satisfaction and value you are likely to have.
The customer sets the price ranges, and the quality of items vary with the range. In some cases, you might find similar items at lower prices, but on average the prices seem to match or beat what’s available in stores.
The overall verdict? If you do your part, and stick with it for a few boxes (even if you don’t buy much at first), then this is a great way to get a fresh wardrobe at reasonable prices – without having to range through the malls in your free time.
The best advice for ensuring a positive experience on Stitch Fix is to be very, very, specific when setting up your profile (pickier than you think you should be), and to use all of the options available, including taking a photo of yourself to show body type and coloring. You can even use Pinterest to showcase looks you love, and share the link with your stylist.
When requesting items, it’s also a good idea to keep them varied. Unless you’re planning to buy 5 pair of a single type of item (jeans, for example), getting a more varied box increases the chances that you’ll like all of the items and can take advantage of the 25% discount for buying all of them. Also keep an eye on the prices: If you want four of the five items, and you save 25% by taking all five, it might be worth doing so. You can always use the fifth item as a gift for someone else.
Go into it with a long-term goal. Don’t expect your first box to be perfect for you – though this does happen sometimes – and don’t be shy about sending items back or updating your profile. You’re paying for this service, even if you don’t see the markups, so make sure you are getting the value you deserve.