This blog probably needs more fluffy and lighthearted posts. I'm already working on another one about the more pressing issues in my life and in the world. Here is something to help counteract that.
Right now I am in the midst of the very difficult, dramatically life-altering* dilemma of deciding whether or not I want to join Stitch Fix. Have any of my readers tried it?
*Not really, but you know I have to inject a little drama into everything
For those of you who don’t know what it is, Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service. You fill out a fairly detailed online profile. They ask you questions about your size, your preferred style, your regular clothing needs (such as work, dressy, or casual clothes), and your print and color preferences. Then they ask you how much money you are typically willing to spend on different types of clothing. Using that information a stylist picks out 5 pieces of clothing for you (which can also include jewelry or accessories) and mails them to you each month, or for whatever time period you specify. There is a $20 styling fee for each box. You can buy all 5 pieces, or you can send them all back. If you buy anything the $20 is credited back to you. If you buy everything, there is a 25% discount. If you don't send it back in a certain period of time, you pay for it all anyway (they pay for all shipping costs).
The more you shop with Stitch Fix, the more customized it becomes. After you receive your box, you can give feedback to the stylists about what you like or don’t like about the clothes you receive. That helps the stylist make even better choices in the future. Plus you can request certain pieces. If you need jeans, they can send you jeans. If you need a dress for a wedding, you can request a dressy dress.
Why would I sign up for something like this? Well, it does have many advantages.
I do enjoy clothes shopping. I don’t make a sport out of it, and I don’t consider it a hobby, but I love walking around my favorite stores, checking out which styles I like, and finding clothing I really love. I feel a happy sense of satisfaction when I make the perfect purchase and hang it in my closet.
Even though I like shopping, I rarely ever have time to really do the kind of hardcore browsing I did in the past. I don’t have a free afternoon to stroll through the mall anymore. What was once a leisurely activity is now often a quick run through one or two stores on my lunch hour or else on a rare free evening (it’s a happy situation that I work so close to 5th and Madison Avenues where I have a wide variety of stores to browse) I really like the idea of having someone pick out clothes for me and then having them arrive conveniently at my doorstep.
Another issue with shopping is that I tend to experience Murphy’s Law whenever I’m online or in a store. If I’m broke and just browsing, I find a hundred items I would like to buy. If I have a pocketful of cash and am ready to augment my wardrobe, it is almost guaranteed that I won’t find much that I like. Sometimes I will end up buying clothes that I’m not even that crazy about because I feel as if I should be buying something if I made the special trip to the store (especially if I make a long trip the outlet malls or other distant shopping venues). Stitch Fix would eliminate some of that uncertainty. I’m likely to find something I want and it won’t waste my time.
I have set up an account and filled out the profile. I haven’t pulled the trigger on actually ordering a box yet. There are some compelling reasons not to buy a box as well.
I have been looking at some reviews of Stitch Fix online. There are women who devote entire blogs to their Stitch Fix boxes. It sometimes seems the choices are really hit or miss. It’s rare I see someone say she loves or needs everything in the shipment. The worst part is that if you don’t like anything they send, you are out $20. Some women have reviewed their shipments and said they didn’t like anything in the box, but still felt obliged to keep something because they didn’t want to waste the styling fee.
Shopping online is risky, especially when it comes to quality and size. I do shop online most of the time because of the time constraints mentioned above. Every time I shop in a new online store, I take the risk that clothes won’t fit well or be a very high quality. I can reduce this risk by shopping at the same websites consistently. I learn the way sizing works over time. Stitch Fix has an in-house brand, but also sends a variety of other brands. I will have no idea how well clothes will fit. I have a very difficult figure to fit because I’m both short and rather voluptuous with very wide thighs, big boobs, and a thick belly. I would hate to receive a box full of cute clothes and end up sending it all back because nothing fits.
The final issue to consider is money. Is this in my budget? The older I get, the more I find that cheap clothing doesn’t flatter me. If I want to look good, I need to spend. I need quality. Can I afford a monthly shipment of decent quality clothing? Also, just because I’m interested in what Stitch Fix has to offer, I still will want to shop other venues. My current Pin Board for clothing is filled with stuff from some of my favorite websites. What if I buy a box from Stitch Fix and still want that cute dress from ModCloth?
My current plan of action is to take no action. I have some items on my wish list for spring that come from other sources. I will look into buying those first. Maybe once the seasons change I will consider a box from Stitch Fix. I might get one for my birthday in July. For now, I’m just hoping I won’t need the winter clothes that I already own for much longer. (Crossing my fingers for a change in weather soon.)