Aug 7, 2013

All the (Stitch) Fixins

Fashion blogger I am not, but I am so excited about Stitch Fix that I had to write a post about it.  Stitch Fix is a "personal styling service."  They have a stylist send a package of 5 items of clothing/accessories to you whenever you decide you want it.  You  get to keep anything in your fix that you like and send back anything you don't like.

Here's how it works.  You sign up for a Fix through Stitch Fix's website.  They'll ask you all kinds of questions about yourself.  What is your height and weight?  What size tops/bottoms do you normally wear?  How are you proportioned- short/long torso, arms, legs?  You also get asked about how you feel about your body.  Are there certain aspects of your figure that you like to show off or hide?  Then you get asked questions about your fashion choices.  They have several styles that you are asked how much you like or dislike.  You can sort through collections of clothes and indicate if you like some, a lot, a few, or none of the clothes pictured.  You can also tell them if you're hoping to add a specific item to your wardrobe, if there's types or colors of clothes you don't want to receive (for example, I rarely wear skirts or dresses, so I asked not to receive those) or if you'd like to shift your style at all, and how adventurous you'd like your Stitch Fix package to be.  Lastly, you get to decide when your Stitch Fix arrives.  You can schedule a single package whenever you want or you can schedule recurring Fixes.  And you get to tell your stylist how much you'd typically spend on different types of pieces so they can attempt to operate within your typical budget.

Once you've got everything set up, you are charged a $20 deposit, called a "styling fee."  Stitch Fix will have one of their stylists hand-pick items to send to you based on your exhaustive answers to all the stuff mentioned above.  Your Fix arrives when you tell it to.  You then have three days to try on the items in your box and decide what you'd like to keep and what you'd like to return.  If you keep all five items in your fix, you get a 25% discount on every item in your fix.  If you decide to keep at least one item from your fix, your $20 styling fee gets applied to the cost of anything you want to keep.  Any items you don't want to keep?  They provide a prepaid envelope in your Fix- just put anything you don't want in the bag and drop it in the mail when your three days are up.

I got my first fix last week.  I have to say that part of the fun was the excitement of waiting for it to come.  I was curious to see what my stylist would pick for me since they give you the opportunity to link to a Pinterest board to your profile to give your stylist a flavor for what you like, and the idea of someone hand-picking pieces for me that would have a similar feel to items on my Pinterest fashion board was pretty thrilling.  The package arrived a day earlier than expected and the packaging itself was so pretty!  All five of my items were inside, along with the name of my stylist, and an inventory and price list for each item in my Fix.  Pulling items out of the package was like Christmas.  My favorite part was that each item of clothing included a card showing two different ways you could style the item.  I felt so excited to not only have someone send me things they thought I would like and would look good on me, but also give me some ideas of what I could wear with it!

So let's see the items, shall we?!

This coral crepe blouse and the blue floral necklace were in my fix.  I have to say, I loved the style of the blouse on first sight but was a little sad about the color- I didn't think coral would be a good color on me.  To my surprise, it worked!  And the fit of the blouse was PERFECT.  The neckline was flattering but not too exposing to wear to work.  The pockets and eaupulets gave it a little safari flair and the sleeves were just a tiny bit puffed to keep things feminine.  My favorite part was the bottom hem.  It was very flattering and it flowed enough to do exactly what I told my stylist I wanted- minimize my hips and tummy.  Unfortunately my posing in the photo pulled the hemline up high enough that it did exactly the opposite!  #FashionModelFail

Dog cameo.

I also loved the blue floral necklace.  I would have never thought to pair it with the coral shirt, but one of the suggestions on the style card that came with the shirt showed a necklace almost exactly like it, so I gave it a go and LOVED it.  Verdict: kept both!  Wore this outfit on a shopping date with my mom.

More dog cameos.

This purple and black stripe dolman-sleeve top was also included.  Normally dolman sleeves just bug me, but Steve thought it was really flattering.  It is a really nice weight- it feels like a light summer terry sweatshirt.  The style card showed it with jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt (I'd have never have thought to do that!) and the casual suggestion showed it with a mint scarf.  I opted for a chunky mint bracelet for easier photographing.  Verdict: kept it!  Wore this out to sushi with Tabi and Will.

Someone get this girl a camera tripod, stat.

Next was this cute patterned tank.  I loved it on sight, and the fit was right on.  I grumbled a little at the care instructions- hand wash cold, hang dry- and a little bit more at the price ($38 for a TANK??), and put it back in the box.  The next day, I tried it back on, and with a few different combinations of pants and shorts and cardis and blazers I already owned, and decided that the neckline and the pattern would make it fabulous as a shell that I could wear to work all year.  Verdict: kept!  I wore this to my friend Kalen's wedding shower.

Seriously need some photography help.

The last item in my Fix was a pair of Kut from the Kloth jeans.  I was wary.  Pants and I rarely get along.  I've got a high waist, long legs, and my hips are much wider than my waist proportionally.  And I had tried Kut jeans on at department stores before with disastrous results.  The jeans were a really dark navy wash in a slim boot cut, and unlike most Kut jeans, the back pockets were blissfully unadorned.  Much to my surprise, they fit.  LIKE A GLOVE.  They were the perfect length for me to wear with flats provided they didn't shrink in the wash (33" inseam, told ya I have long legs) and dark enough that I could wear them to work.  Even better, they had a lot of stretch and felt so comfy.  They were priced about $5 more than I've seen similar styles from Kut in department stores.  Verdict: kept!  Sorry, I don't have any pictures of the jeans because it's been in the low 80s here for the last few days and I just can't convince myself to wear them while it's so warm outside.

So if you've been keeping score, this means that I decided to keep all five items that came in my Fix, which meant that each item in my Fix would be discounted 25%.  And with my $20 prepaid styling fee, I essentially got one piece for free.  FUH.  REE.

Now, from what I understand, most people don't love everything in their first Fix as much as I did.  So when I logged back into StitchFix to let them know what I was keeping, they also asked for feedback.  How did each item fit?  How did I feel about each item- love? like? OK?  What did you think of the prices of each item?  When they asked for other comments, I asked to keep my same stylist.  I've read other stories in blog land about people getting passed from stylist to stylist with mixed results, and since I had such a positive experience the first time around, I wanted my gal, Ishara, to keep on keeping on.

Overall I am pretty darn happy about my StitchFix experience.  I had a lot of fun waiting for my Fix and discovering the items my stylist sent me.  It was fun to try things on in my own house with access to my own closet.  And I loved the little cards with styling suggestions.  I also totally rocked it in terms of getting items that I thought were cute but pushed my fashion boundaries a little, and the fit of each item was great.  And can I tell you how marvelous it is to find a pair of jeans that fit without trying on a million bazillion pairs at the mall?!  The only cons I experienced were getting sent items that included non-lazy-girl washing instructions (although I did cheat for the items marked "hand wash" and just turned them inside out and sent them through a regular cycle in a lingerie bag) and the fact that some of the items were priced at more than I'd normally pay for them if I picked them out myself.  However, because I kept all five items in my fix, the discount I scored brought the price of each item pretty close to or under what I'd budget for them if I had been looking for them at my local mall.

I'd totally recommend StitchFix if you're looking to give your wardrobe a shot in the arm, want help creating fresh ensembles when dressing, or if you just really love the anticipation leading up to Christmas (hee!).  If you want to give them a go, you can tell them I sent you by following this link.  I'd also recommend liking them on Facebook- they post great tips and some photos of items you can request in your Fixes.  If you decide to give them a try, let me know!  I'm curious to hear about your experiences with them too!

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