Stitch Fix: How to make it work for you

Odds are that unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Stitch Fix. I first signed up for Stitch Fix last summer and recieved my first fix in August. Since then I’ve recieved 6 Fixes (my seventh should be here in the next week).

I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends and coworkers about how they feel about the selection they get and the whole process. Some people swear by it, while others don’t love the items they recieve and cancel their subscriptions.

Here is my honest review of Stitch Fix:

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a personal shopper service in a box, like Birchbox for clothes. You fill out a style profile (and add a link to your Pinterest style board), pay a $20 styling fee (which gets credited towards your purchase) and then they send you five items selected just for you. Items include clothing, outerwear, bags, scarves and jewelry. You keep what  you like and send the rest back in the postage paid envelope they provide. Love everything? Keep it all and you get 25% off your total.

Why I decided to try Stitch Fix

After having two babies and finally losing my baby weight (and then some), I had no idea what to wear. I was too old to shop at trendy twenty something stores but not at all ready to settle into mom jeans and cat sweatshirts. I didn’t know what to buy or where to shop.

My other dilemma was that I had no time to shop. I would rather chew off my own arm than go shopping with my children, so that meant no shopping for this mama, except for the occasional solo trip to Target during my lunch break.

I saw a post on Facebook about Stitch Fix from one of my friends and thought why not give it a shot. I mean, I was wearing clothes from 2007, what did I have to lose.

My Fixes

I was a little skeptical about actually fitting in the clothes. I’m a short girl with wide hips who has a hard time finding clothes that fit right, but this really isn’t any different than shopping online at any retailer. Overall, the fit has been surprisingly good, though there have been issues with liking things that were too big or too small.

I’ve purchased around 10 items from my 7 fixes. I have yet to keep all 5 items from a fix. I have yet to have a fix where I send everything back. I have chosen to not receive jewelry, scarves or bags, becuase I feel like I prefer to choose those items on my own (though I did keep a great statement necklace from my first fix). I would rather get clothes and accessorize as I please.

I LOVE that they send me styling advice. They send personalized cards that show two options of how to style each item (usually a dressed down and a dressed up option). It’s great to see the versatility of an item and they give me a lot of ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Also, in the personal message from your stylist, they often talk about how the new items can be worn with items you’ve kept in the past, which means they take the time to see what you’ve kept and sent back.

I always make a point of getting a second (if not third, fourth and fifth) opinion on the items I select because I have a hard time getting outside of my comfort zone. I always enlist my husband to help me decide, because I care that he likes what I wear, and he has good taste (that’s why he married me duh).

Here are some of the items that I’ve kept from my fixes.

Now, there have been a couple fixes where I opened my box and thought ‘WTF was the stylist thinking?’. Like the time they sent me 2 burgundy shirts when burgundy is on the list of colors I don’t want. Or the time they sent me two nearly identical black cardigans.

Another downside is that they don’t really do exchanges. If an item is the wrong size or has a broken zipper, you can request another in your next fix, but they can’t guarantee they’ll have the item.

Their system and their stylists are not perfect. However, there are things you can do to really make this whole thing work for you, instead of just getting a random box of clothes and hoping you like something. 8 tips for making Stitch Fix work for you

  1. Set a realistic budget – When you fill out your initial style survey, be really realistic about what you’re willing to spend. I didn’t pay too much attention and ended up getting $120 pants that I LOVED (and kept) but normally never would have spent that on a pair of black pants. You’re getting good quality items (for the most part) so don’t expect to pay Target prices. Set your budget appropriately so you don’t get soemthing you love that you can’t afford.
  2. Think about what you really want – Look at your closet (or what you wear on a regular basis) and think about what items you really want. Do you need work clothes or cute tops for date nights or a nice dress for cocktail parties? Be sure to be realistic about your lifestyle and don’t request things that aren’t practical for your day-to-day needs.
  3. Give thorough feedback – This one might just be the MOST important thing to remember. When you get ready to send back your fix, you fill out a brief survey about each item, like how did it fit, was the style to your liking, etc. In the notes section, mention anything you strongly liked or didn’t like. Maybe the fabric was itchy, maybe you hated the print, or you loved the details but hated the color. The more specific you are, the better clothes you’ll get in future fixes.
  4. Set up a specific Stitch Fix Pinterest Board – If you’re anything like me, you have a Pinterest style board that you pack with cute shoes and outfits you love. However, the items on your board may not be a true reflection of what you actually wear (or want to wear). Set up a board specific for Pinterest and pin items you really want, like colored jeans or lace tops. Also, follow Stitch Fix on Pinterest and pin items they pin to your board to get really specific on the items, colors or styles you like.
  5. Send notes to your stylist – I recommend doing this a few weeks before you next fix is scheduled to ship (just login to your account and you should see the section to write a note). Be specific about items you’re looking for (like seasonal or on trend items). If you’ve seen an item on social media or from someone else’s fix, request it. Going on a trip or starting a new job? Let them know so they can pull items that are appropriate. Also, if you find a stylist that seems to really get you and sends you amazing stuff, request the same stylist everytime.
  6. Be open minded – if you’re not willing to be open minded about the items you get sent, then Stitch Fix is probably not for you. These stylists get paid to look at your past fix feedback, your Pinterest board and your style survey to determine your style and what to send. Just because you don’t like something when you open the box doesn’t mean you won’t like it once you try it on and add some of your own accessories.
  7. Don’t keep items you don’t love – You pay $20 (nonrefundable) to get your fix but don’t keep something just so you don’t lose that. You’ll end up with stuff you won’t wear. If you’re not loving the items you are getting, be more specific in your feedback, on your Pinterest board and in your Stylist note. Or schedule your next fix for 2 months out to give yourself a chance to take a little break.
  8. Tell your friends – You get $25 in credit everytime one of your friends signs up for Stitch Fix (when they’re first shipment ships) using your referral link. I’ve probably had about 10 friends sign up, which means I’ve earned over $250 in FREE stuff! Shut the front door right!?! Post your referral link on Facebook and Twitter or email it to your friends.

I’ve loved my experience with Stitch Fix and highly recommend it. Just be sure to set realistic expectations and go into it with a really open mind.

Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? I’d love it if you’d help fund my Stitch Fix habit and use my referral link.

Still not sure? Check out my April Stitch Fix Review.

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