When I was younger – much younger, actually – I was a complete girly-girl.
On one memorable occasion I threw such a tantrum over not being allowed to get an incredibly expensive dress that I got my mother and I kicked out of the mall . . . I was about three at the time and said dress cost upwards of $500. My mom was right to veto.
As a pre-teen and teen I developed more of a goth/emo/punk aesthetic when it comes to fashion. I wore black eyeliner, Tripp pants, and a leather jacket every day. I never, ever wore shorts, but sometimes I’d fall in love with a skirt and wear it for days at a time.
In my early twenties, I settled into the “style” I still currently have – comfortable, low-key, and affordable. I have a few pairs of plain jeans, an entire drawer of t-shirts (most with quirky sayings or logos on them), a few beach-ready items (light skirts, board-shorts, bikini tops, and a sarong), and a few business casual outfits. Plus a whole ton of pajamas.
That said, I do still find fashion relatively interesting. I think the clothes we wear do, to some degree, reflect who we are. And you can see how society is evolving, in part, through what fashion trends rise and fall. Throw in climate, sub-cultures, and marketing pushes and fashion becomes this multi-faceted beast of modern society. For someone whose primary style is, perhaps, best described as “safe” the entire thing can be overwhelming. That’s why, when I realized at the end of last year that I’ll need to start looking at outfits that are interview worthy now that I’ve graduated with my ASN, I started to feel a little bit of panic.
So, I turned to trusty Google. I searched affordable, rent-able, styled outfits.
And within fifteen minutes I’d signed up for Stitch Fix.
(Let me add the disclosure now – I’m not paid by them, they don’t know I’m reviewing.)
The initial process of signing up for my first Stitch Fix box was extremely simple. On the home page, you select your gender or the gender you wish to dress like. From there, you enter in a few basics – height, weight, what sizes you generally wear, your proportions (curvy, broad-shouldered, petite, ect). After that, you take a short style quiz. You select how often you wear different items – skirts, pants, dressy clothes, ect. You also let them know what colors and prints you wear and what you’re interested in trying. There’s even an option to let them know what type of budget you’d like to stay in for different items and a place to let them know more about your needs.
For me, I used that box to let them know that I’m entering a new career and looking for appropriate interview blouses. I have slacks and shoes covered, but my selection of business tops is very severely lacking – I have three or four business casual tops that I wore to school, but that’s about it and they’re obviously a bit aged. I also let them know I live in Florida, so even though most of the country is arctic right now, I’m still pretty warm, comparatively, so jackets and heavy material wouldn’t benefit me.
About a week later and $20 poorer (that $20 goes towards any items you choose to keep), I got my first box! My sister happened to be over and in the general excitement and the hurry to do other things that day, I lapsed and didn’t get any pictures of the reveal or myself in the clothes. That said, this is what I got and what I thought of it.
- Mello Day – Debby Tie Sleeve Blouse – $44. This was pretty, in the box, but not for me once I put it on. It was a muted purple with small flowers printed on it. It was the only thing that didn’t fit me quite right (tight in the shoulders). Suffice it to say that my sister broke into giggles when I came out in it. Final verdict was that it did not suit me – too “hippy.”
- Hazel – Sancia Tie Neck Blouse- $64. Again, this was nice in the box. It’s closer to my style, because it was a pretty emerald green, but my sister and I both agreed that it was a little too mature to suit me. It reminded us both of something our grandmother would wear. That’s not a bad thing, because my grandmother is very stylish, but I wouldn’t see spending this much money on something I wouldn’t feel good in for another few decades.
- Status – Berkeley Mock Neck Blouse – $44. This piece caused the greatest division in opinions. I personally sorta liked it. My sister was neutral. My other half made faces at me until I took it off. It was one of two sleeveless options that I was sent, it was a bold orange (my favorite color, but not one I wear), it was a crepe-type material, and it had large white flowers on it. In the end, I think it was a fun pick, but not something I’d commit to buying.
- Q&A – Jini Ruffle Packet Blouse – $64. If I were better off financially, I would have tried to justify spending the money on this one. It was the other sleeveless option and suited my personal “dressy” style perfectly. Black cami-top under a sheer black polka-dot patterned over shirt with some ruffles. A blend of classic and rocker chic. I have made it a mission to find something similar and buy it.
- Crescent – Bariel Cold Shoulder Blouse – $44. I would have bought this, if I hadn’t just gone back to working full time and was still catching up on bills. I have never worn a cold-shoulder blouse before and I wouldn’t have chosen one for myself, because I typically don’t like to show my shoulders. This top; however, changed my mind. It was black, which increased my comfort level and the white micro-dot pattern on it made my other half say it looked like a starry night. Loved it!
Okay, so, the breakdown of the pros and the things I wish were different.
First up in the “pro” column is the level of customization and the attention to detail that my stylist had. There’s an option to link to a Pinterest style board or Instagram account, but I didn’t do either and still felt my stylist was great. Everything fit me (mostly), even though the styles were different. Everything also felt wearable – nothing flimsy or cheap or uncomfortable. The box contained an envelope with instructions for returning the items and a personal style-guide with two outfit suggestions per item I was sent. I found the suggestions to be very helpful and followed one almost exactly when I had on the cold shoulder blouse (there were compliments, people!). The return process itself is very simple, because they send a prepaid bag to send everything back in. For $20 that could have gone towards buying something that was sent, I feel it was affordable. I also selected the option that lets me get a box every other month, but you can get them more or less frequently, based on your needs.
I had to really consider things to come up with some things for the “cons” side and even then I feel that they’re more just things I feel would improve the service. I think the length of time the items can be kept should be increased a bit. You have three days to wear everything that gets sent. That might not be as inconvenient, if you don’t get five shirts, but it was kind of a bummer, because I only really wore three of the shirts for substantial periods of time. I think this would be a non-issue if I’d gotten just a couple shirts, a pair of pants or shoes, and a bag or something. My only other suggestion would be to create a tiered discount system. As it is, you get 25% off, if you buy all five items. I would have happily bought two, but I wasn’t impressed enough with everything to get it all. A discount system of 10% for two items, 15% for three items, 20% for four items, and then the 25% for all five makes a little more sense to me.
Overall, I will definitely be doing Stitch Fix again in February or March. I’ll also be sure to take pictures of everything for the second-impression review!
Clicking on that link will, I believe, will waive your first style fee of $20 within the first 30 days. I will also get a $25 credit for Stitch Fix, if you get a box. No pressure, but if it’s something you’re curious about and my review influenced you to try it out, it would be appreciated if you use the link!