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Don't miss our "21 Must-Have Essentials for Summer Travel" for 2017.
Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service that allows women to set customized preferences for new additions to their wardrobe.
A stylist for the company reviews this data (which includes personal style data, sizing, and feedback from past shipments as well as special requests for an individual box shipment) and hand-selects five pieces for the “box” which is shipped to the customer for a $20 styling fee. Once received, the customer has three business days to try on the items and determine what they would like to keep or send back. The customer then logs onto their account to give feedback on all five items and pay for selected items (the $20 styling fee can be applied to any purchases in that shipment). Any unwanted items are returned via an enclosed postage paid envelope that can be dropped at any post office.
This was my third shipment with Stitch Fix. My previous shipments were intriguing enough to continue forward with the service as I had read that the company uses a “predictive analytics model” for selecting future shipments. The targeted hit rate per shipment is 2 out of 5 items – that allows enough success for the company to be profitable but also allows for feedback on undesirable items that allows the company to adjust to the preferences of an individual customer. At the same time, it also offers a way to stretch beyond what one might grab off the rack when shopping. All of my boxes have contained a couple of items I would have never considered for myself based on color or style – but I was surprised at what I liked once I tried it on
On previous shipments, I kept a dress (navy sleeveless fit & flare with white striping along the bottom) and a light stretch weave 3/4 sleeve jacket (which I altered by removing sleeve lining and changing out buttons). Both purchases also contained items I liked a lot but that did not fit – I provided detailed feedback to the company with my return and also made some adjustments to my own profile settings after each shipment. I also had a couple of horrid misses on the first two boxes – a couple of icky synthetic fiber items in the first box and some cute but ill-fitting items in the second.
Still, I liked the concept enough – and continued to see online posts about cute items that others were getting – so I decided to stick it out for one more shipment to see if I could have the same luck other had.
Box #3 was finally a winner for me – no strange synthetic fabrics and everything fit. I noticed I had a different stylist than the first two boxes, which may have been one factor. But I also think tweaking my settings helped a bit. For this box, I specifically requested a few pieces in blue/green as I’m using those as seasonal wardrobe colors to mix with black, navy, and charcoal grey separates – so my stylist was working with that specific data as well.
Martin Mini Layered Metal Cuff (Zad) – $28:
This bracelet has the look of bangles but is actually a stylish cuff with pretty inner detail on the sides.
The price point made this a “must have” as I liked it for a layered arm party look without the pieces that can snag on the side of an overhead bin.
I find that Stitch Fix typically likes to put an accessory piece in each box. I’ve got mine set to “no earrings, no rings” so that leaves just a few other items I can receive. This one managed to be in a price point I’m willing to spend for something that’s not Stella & Dot (my affinity brand for most mid-range accessory purchases).
Indianan Abstract Chevron Print Mixed Material Tee (Pomelo) – $44:
This long loose top is tailor made for jeggings or a pencil skirt and would be very comfortable for a day of travel. I like the breathable back – it has a breezy feel that would be great on a hot Texas August day.
This looked great with a charcoal grey maxi skirt and turquoise sandals for a recent flight.
Abrianna Longsleeeve Knit Cardigan (41Hawthorn) – $48:
The cardigan was very soft – it felt like cashmere.
I get cold on planes and could see this being an alternative to one of the dozen black cardigans I already travel with. I also liked the longer wrap style – it can be worn long and loose (like here) or belted or tied ballerina style at the waist.
Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank (Le Sample) – $48:
I loved this when I tried it on though – it has enough flare at the bottom to look cute with leggings or a slim skirt but also looks great with jeans.
I didn’t photograph it on as it needs a racerback or strapless bra which I didn’t have on hand while trying on my box but I’m excited to wear it on the weekends.
Kayli Stripe Cotton Fit & Flare Dress (Pomelo) – $78:
I normally would have avoided this dress on the rack as the cobalt blue is not a regular color for me and stripes tend to be unflattering. I decided to try it on anyway and was pleased with the fit. I needed to wear a minimizer as it was fitted in the bust but the fitted waist was ideal for belting. The dress is lined – a big plus for a summer dress – I think that’s why the skirt lays smoothly.
I liked this with a black blazer and heels and although it still screams “summer” to me, I think it would layer well for fall/spring with tights and a cardigan.
This was my favorite piece out of the box, even if it was the most expensive.
I decided to keep all pieces. Part of my decision was based on getting an overall 20% discount if I kept all five pieces. $56.50 off made one of the pieces totally free. With my $20 styling fee applied, I owed $169.60 at checkout. That averaged out to less than $40 per piece, not bad for the time saved not having to go around to different shops and try things on.
Shipments also come with style cards for each item included. You can keep these whether you opt to keep any of the items or not. I find that they are a helpful way of thinking about my own wardrobe in new combinations – I often find I own similar items that can be paired to make the outfits shown.
For me, a key draw of the service is being able to branch out and try new things without having to spend a lot of time shopping. I tend to gravitate towards the same neutral pieces and same familiar stores. Stitch Fix has been a way to try new things easily. My one challenge with my erratic travel schedule has been timing my shipments to coincide with time in town so I can return my items within three days. Fortunately they offer flexibility with scheduling so I can change a shipment prior to the actual order being pulled.
Stitch Fix is a “no commitment” service. You can sign up for a single box or shipments at set intervals that you choose (every 2-3 weeks or monthly). It right now only carries sizes up to a US 14, but appears to be growing so that may change in the future.
If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, I’d love it if you used my referral link as a blog reader. (Disclosure – I do receive store credit for any new customers I refer.)
And if you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear about your experiences!