My Review of Stitch Fix Personal Styling

I think most women would agree with me that having a personal stylist hand-select clothes for you and dress you to the 9s every day is the stuff that dreams are made of. I enjoy fashion, but I also have a limited budget and limited time, so sometimes the simple thought of keeping up with the trends just exhausts me. Not to mention that as I get older, I've begun to refine my personal style more and more, which means I care a little less about the trends and more about finding pieces that fit me well, are made well and express my sense of self. Of course, given that limited budget I just mentioned, personal styling was never something remotely within reach for me...that is, until I discovered Stitch Fix.

What is Stitch Fix?
It's an online personal styling service that charges a $20 styling fee and then sends you a box of 5 pieces of clothing and accessories "custom" curated for you based on your sizes and personal style. You can choose to receive a "Fix," as they call it, at regular intervals of your choosing, or you can just order one when you fancy it or have a special event coming up that you need some new clothes for. Once you get your box, you have 3 days to try everything on, determine what you like and send the rest back. Your $20 styling fee goes toward the purchase price of whatever you decide to keep and IF you like everything that was sent to you, you receive a 25% discount on the purchase price of the entire box.

How do I get started?
When you create your account, one of the first things you'll be prompted to do is create a Style Profile. They'll ask for things like your height, weight, bra size, how you like different types of clothes to fit (i.e. do you like your pants tight or loose? do you like to show off your arms or your stomach?) and then they'll show you pictures of clothing that fits into certain types of styles and ask how much you like or dislike what is shown. Finally, they'll ask you how much you'd usually spend on different types of clothing (as little as $50-$100 or up to $250+) and then will give you a free-form space to describe your style and include a link to a Pinterest board that you'd like your stylist to use as inspiration. It only takes a few minutes to fill out your profile, yet it's pretty exhaustive and should theoretically help someone reading it truly understand the types of clothes you're looking for.

So, how did it work out for you?
I wanted to make sure that I gave the service a good old college try before writing my review, so I've received a fix once a month for the last three months. In addition, I've started following a Facebook page called Stitch Fix Reviews where women write blog posts similar to mine on a monthly basis and show off the items they've received, in addition to sharing their reviews of their individual fixes. I wanted to make sure I had lots of data points to guide my thinking and set my expectations!

When I got my first box, I was super excited to see what was inside. When you first open your box, you'll find a style card that comes with a personal note from your stylist, as well as pictures of each of the items you've received styled in a casual and dressy way for inspiration. You'll separately receive a price sheet that shows how much everything costs and a pre-paid mailing bag for you to send back whichever items you decide you didn't like.

Upon looking at my style card, I was pleasantly surprised to at least visually like every single item on there! Each piece looked really cute and the way they were styled felt pretty up my alley. I excitedly proceeded to my bedroom to try everything on....and that's when things went down hill. As I examined each piece, I first noticed that 3 of the 5 pieces I was sent were made of polyester. Now this would have been fine normally, but I had specifically asked not to be sent any polyester in my style profile, so they clearly did not read it closely or ignored my request outright. Then, I noticed that the fit was WAY off on most of the garments. They sent me a teal henley top that was a size medium, but it was way too big. The navy dress they sent (size 12) was also so big it looked like I was wearing a potato sack. The gray and white blazer they sent fit oddly and while I really liked the maxi dress, it was too tight in the waist. The only thing I wound up keeping was the tribal print pink and blue tank top.

Although I was disappointed to only walk away with one item, I had heard that the service was something that got better over time as your stylist got a chance to know you and hear your feedback. I forgot to mention that when you "checkout" and tell them what pieces you'll be keeping, you have an opportunity to rate all of the items you've received and explain why you did or did not like them. Apparently this information is passed on to your stylist the next time to help them pick out a refined set of clothing. I was anxious to see if this was true.

When I received my second fix, the story was eerily similar. I walked away with one pretty blue maxi dress, but returned the rest of the items either because the fit was poor, the quality was poor or I simply didn't like the pieces. And while I was REALLY happy with the item I got, and although I did see that as a result of my "note," the stylist specifically sent me the TYPES of pieces I requested (i.e. maxi dresses and colorful tops), it was starting to become obvious to me that the STYLE of the pieces in no way, shape or form matched what I was asking for in my Style Profile or what I was showing as "my style" on my Pinterest board.

By the time I got my third box, I was SO disappointed with the not-my-style, ill-fitting, poorly made and/or expensive-for-the-quality pieces that I was sent. It was at this point that a pattern really became obvious to me. In my three months, I've read a LOT of Stitch Fix Reviews on the Facebook page I mentioned, but it didn't quite click for me until recently. Stitch Fix sends the exact same style of clothing to every single person I've seen, regardless of their stated "personal style." I'm serious. I've seen the same few brands with the same casual, sort of preppy style showing up in every person's box. Yet if you look at my stated style on Pinterest, I'm showing edgier pieces, lots of solids, fitted blazers, interesting metallics, animal prints, color blocking, mixed medium fabrics. None of the pieces I received could be added to this Pinterest board and look cohesive, nor did the "styling suggestions" on my style card match up to the style I said I prefer.

Along those same lines, despite your stated price range for items, everything you get will be between $50-$100 (with a few exceptions). I stated in my style profile that I spent $100-$150 or even $200+ on some categories and talked about preferring higher end materials like 100% silk, yet I was never sent a single item that reached the $150 threshold. In my third box, I finally did get a few items that came close to the $150 mark, but they were for "blazers" that were more like thin cardigans - no shape, no structure and made of incredibly thin material. Nothing I'd pay that price for.

Will you use Stitch Fix again?
I'm not sure. This past month I forfeited my $20 styling fee because I didn't like anything in the box, and frankly, I'm a little pissed that I spent $20 for someone to "style" me when it's clear they didn't try all that hard to actually send pieces that reflected my personal style. After all, that's the premise of the service - that this is customized to you. I also noticed that I had a different stylist every single month, so the idea of "your" stylist learning and growing with you now feels a little far fetched. I may grow soft after the sting of this last box fades in the next few weeks and give it a shot one more time, maybe with some edits to my style profile to try and hone in on what I want a little bit more. If things improve, I'll certainly come back and let everyone on the blog know! For now, I'd recommend the service cautiously. If you have a more fluid personal style, or are less particular about the quality of the items, it certainly does deliver a fun high to receive a box of clothes in the mail. Just set your expectations carefully and don't put too much stock into it being personal to you.

Have you tried Stitch Fix? What has your experience been like and would you recommend it to others? Let me know in the comments below!


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