Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Stitch in Time


I hate shopping. Seriously. Unless it is for shoes or furniture or books, I don't like it. Which means clothes shopping is one of my least favorite activities. Recently I discovered a service - at a great price point - which will shop for you! Heaven!


This is what happened when I tried Stitch Fix. (And yes, chalk this one up to serial sharing as well.) 
First ,a quick overview of what the service is:
- For a $20 styling fee, they will send you 5 items of clothing selected for you. (As part of the sign up process, you go through a style quiz to determine what you like; note your sizes in everything; you also provide your stylist with a selfie of you; and can even create a Pinterest board for your likes.)
- You determine what types of clothes you are interested in (only jeans? All dresses? Special occasion outfit?) And at what price point per item type.
- They send you a box. (It's fun to get.)
- Inside are the 5 items and some visuals (see below) on styling them.
- If you like any of the items, the $20 styling fee is applied to the purchase of those items; you send the rest of the items back.
- If you like all of them, you also get 25% off of your whole purchase.
- If you like none of them (or only a few), you put the unchosen pieces in the pre-paid return envelope within 3 days and ship them back. (Drop them at any post box.) The only expense is the $20 styling fee.

Stitch Fix also has an app. That makes it quick and easy to make choices on the go.


Scarf, sweater, sweater, dress, jacket
The first time was a bust. I was very sad. In my profile, I noted I do NOT like v-necks. They sent 2 V-neck sweaters of coarse fiber. And a V-neck dress. All 3 items were cut to my sternum. Not a good look. The other two items were an oddly nude purple mixed material jacket which did not flatter me either in cut or color and an infinity scarf in a herringbone pattern of gray and cream with touches of red.

Not one thing matched, or coordinated with anything I currently own - which I'd been specific about when doing my profile. Basically, since my intent was to stretch my current wardrobe while injecting a little fresh style, this Stitch Fix box fell far short of the promise. The only item I liked was the scarf - but I never wear cream and rarely wear gray so it matched nothing I own. Trusov's rule of clothing - it must go with at least 2 other things in your closet or you can't buy it.

Well, if at first you don't succeed... In the spirit of Netflix suggestions, each "no" tells the company as much about you at a "yes".... I packed up the unwanted items in the returns envelope, sent them back, changed my selfie from a headshot to a picture of me at work so the stylist could see what I actually wear every day, and  scheduled my next Fix.
This is the style guide that came with box 2

The second box was a partial success. The second box arrived just after Thanksgiving. This time it was a better box in that I liked two of the five items sent. I kept a nice burgundy jacket - a tad less tailored than I liked and of a less expensive fabric than I usually pick, but a great color and a good overall cut -  as well as a very nice navy  A-line dress with an interesting design at the neckline in an elegant fabric. (I took both to the Vegas conference.) I sent back an unflattering V-neck wrap-dress  - that again hit my sternum - in a busy pattern and two more unattractive, coarse sweaters.

This second box did not feel like a better fit in terms of style. It felt like pure chance that the Stitch Fix stylist got any of it right. As my height, weight, various sizes, and style preferences are on file as part of my Stitch Fix profile, I felt disappointed. The items were not more flattering than what I select myself. They also did not fit my Midwestern office sensibilities nor did they stretch my current clothing options in new ways. And the items were about 10% more than I usually budget. 

Spring is coming. And I feel like it's time for something different.  So, I'm likely to try Stitch Fix one more time (I tend to be an optimist.) My criteria is three pieces I love, rather than quite like, and at least one I regret sending back. Truth? I suspect it may not work out, but I judge it worth the risk.


Take-away - Take a risk. Try something new. You might like it - or at least figure out what you don't want.

Other posts of potential interest:
- Coming Clean
- Is It Kismet
- Small Changes
- Scent and Memory

**I name names, because that's how I roll. This post, like the blog, is purely my opinion and is not sponsored in any way.**

All images by me. (Yeah, you could tell.)

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