Worth It? Stitch Fix
By Allison Baker
Like most women in their twenties, I don’t have a lot of free time. Between work, friends, romance, fitness, and streaming Netflix, who has time to go shopping anymore? So, when I heard about Stitch Fix (Facebook, Twitter), a monthly clothing subscription service that doubles as a personal stylist, I figured I’d give it a shot.
I imagined my newly Stitch-Fixed self walking down the street, turning heads with my excellently coordinated, yet impossibly breezy outfits. At least, this was my fantasy of what signing up for Stitch Fix would look like. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed.
The specs were great: For $20 a month, I would get 5 items of clothing (selected based upon my style, budget, and sizing preferences) shipped to me every month (you have to pay for the clothes you keep, but the $20 goes toward your purchase). It’s like Birchbox, but for cute clothes. My personal stylist could even follow me on Pinterest to get a better idea of my taste/style. And even better, if I inspired others to sign up too (which I did), I would get $25 in credits for every person who used my referral code.
But when my first Stitch Fix arrived, there wasn’t a single item I could see myself wearing. Despite the fact that I had $75 in credits, I didn’t think anything in my Fix was worth it, which says a lot, because: FREE CLOTHES. Still, I decided to have another go, thinking my first Fix was just a one-off. Surely, they would get to know me better and transform me into the fashion goddess I’ve always wanted to be.
And now, after 4 shipments from Stitch Fix, I’m ready to call it quits. Here’s why:
1. FIT. To accommodate a variety of body types, the clothing in my Fix was rarely fitted (read: lots of universally flattering A-lines, pleated dresses, and loose blouses). While everything usually fit me, I didn’t feel like they really fit me. Even though I’m not a size 2, I still believe that wearing fitted clothing can be figure-flattering. So for me, the lack of fitted clothing just seemed lazy and took the “personal” out of “personal stylist.”
2. PRICE. I’m not cheap, but if I’m going to pay a higher price for a garment, I have higher expectations. Some of the clothing I received was aptly-priced, but many of it didn’t garner the higher price tag. I kept a dress that was in the $80-range because it only ended up costing me $7.50 due to the credits I earned. I would never have bought it for its original price because it wasn’t worth the price tag, IMHO (maybe a $40 dress). Similarly, I was not going to pay for a $35 bracelet that I could have easily bought at Forever 21 for $8.
3. LACKED ORIGINALITY. While there were some pieces I felt I wouldn’t have selected on my own, many of the styles that were sent seemed ubiquitous and, honestly, boring. After all, I could get a basic black jersey wrap dress for under $30, easily. Why did I need to buy one for $60 from them? On top of that, they often sent me clones of items I already had, which felt like a waste. Obviously, there’s no way for them to know what I already have, but then why am I paying them to send me clothes?
4. STILL NOT GETTING IT. After sending feedback that I wanted to see more fitted and “edgy” pieces, I still never really got anything I thought I would wear. With the exception of two dresses, all four shipments were a strikeout. In my third shipment, they sent a pair of flare jeans. I know those are supposed to be flattering, but I haven’t worn flare jeans since the 90s. And after my most recent shipment, I’m fairly certain they are dressing my mother. I’m serious. I’m actually taking the clothes to her house later this week because I think they will look great on her. Although my mom is pretty stylin’, she’s 59, and I’m 27. So, fuck you, Stitch Fix.
Here’s the thing: it’s super fun to get new surprise clothes sent to you every month, but if you have an even slightly developed personal style already, I say: SKIP IT. Instead, just shop online at the many retailers that have free or minimal shipping and returns (Nordstrom, Modcloth, Zappos) and take the guessing out of the equation. Because raiding my mom’s closet, if I’m sneaky, doesn’t cost me $20 a month.
I will say that it’s worth it if you want to develop a personal style and really hate shopping. For some, it can be a great way to add some modern pieces into your wardrobe. The styling guide that comes with your Fix can be helpful for figuring out how to wear and coordinate your new clothes, too. Plus, the Stitch Fix credit-earning scheme can be pretty rewarding.
I guess what I’ve learned from my Stitch Fix experiment is that a) I’m a picky jerk when it comes to clothes, b) online shopping is more convenient and cheaper for me than Stitch Fix, and c) I make for a stylish middle-aged woman now, and will, hopefully during the age-appropriate time frame.