A few weeks ago, I discovered Stitch Fix, a self-described "personal shopping service". How it works is this: you fill out a pretty extensive style profile that includes your size, your basic style and a bunch of questions about specifics, like do you prefer your back to be covered or do you show it sometimes, do you prefer silver or gold, and how fitted do you like your pants. You can also specify a price range for items. Then you schedule a "fix" and a stylist picks out five items s/he thinks you would like. Once you receive the fix, you have three days to try everything on, decide what you want to keep, and return the rest in a postage-paid envelope. For each shipment there's a $20 styling fee, which you can apply to the cost of any items you want to keep. If you decide to keep all five items, you get a 25% discount. You can either schedule shipments when you want them, or you can sign up for a monthly shipment.
Having someone else pick out clothes and accessories sounded like fun to me, so I signed up, filled out my profile, and yesterday I received my box. I realize now that I should've taken a picture of the box or something, but I didn't, so you'll have to use your imagination - it was a standard brown cardboard shipping box, about yay high and so wide, with the words "Stitch Fix" on the side. Inside were four pieces of clothing and one necklace, plus an envelope that contained a notecard with instructions and a list of items with a note from the stylist.
Here's what I got in Stitch Fix #1:
Pink Martini NIle Bird Print Belted Dress
Sweet Rain Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Jacket
Collective Concepts Benzian Triangle Print Cap Sleeve Blouse
Chris & Carol Eden Front Button Top
41Hawthorn Basket Weave Circles Long Necklace
The first thing I pulled out was the Pink Martini dress:
I'm not sure what I answered to get this dress, but I need to go change that answer immediately. I hated the print, I hated the color combination, I hated the buttons and the piping. Just...no. The cut of the dress was okay, but overall it was not something I could see myself wearing. Ever. On top of that, I obviously picked the wrong size range, because three out of the four pieces were way too big, including this one. Oh vanity sizing, so nice to see you.
Next out of the box was the Collective Concepts Benzian Triangle Print blouse.
I had high hopes for this one - I liked the color and style, and I immediately thought of a pair of pants I could pair it with. Unfortunately, it was also WAY too big, and it hung on me like a sack.
Next up was the Chris & Carol Eden top.
I didn't realize that the only picture I'd taken of this was SO blurry. When I Googled this looking for a better picture of it, I discovered that this is a pretty common Stitch Fix item, and also apparently comes in red. Unfortunately, it was also way too big and didn't look like it would be terribly flattering on me even in the right size. And honestly, I need another black top like I need another hole in my head.
This one's going back, too.
The last clothing item was the Sweet Rain Alan Cowl Neck jacket.
This one may seem familiar to a few of you reading this - it's known as the Airport Greeting Cardigan at ModCloth. (The Pink Martini dress is also available at ModCloth, by the way.) I've always liked the style of this sweater and this was the single item of clothing that fit, but the oatmeal color was terrible on me, and I'm not really up for buying woolly-feeling cardigans in the dead of a South Carolina summer. On top of that, I bought a similar asymmetrical cardigan from ModCloth this spring (the Busy Day Chic cardigan)and really, how many asymmetrical cardigans does one wardrobe need?
So this one? Also going back.
The last item was the 41Hawthorn basket weave necklace.
This one, I really liked. It's silver, which I love, and has a nice little sparkle on each of the basket weave pieces. I don't have much in this length and lately I've been thinking I could use some longer pieces. This one is very adjustable, too. It would hit me right at the waist at its longest, and right across the chest at its shortest. Here it is with what I wore to work yesterday.
I'm actually wearing this today with this outfit, so I'd say it's keeper.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. It was every bit as fun as I suspected it might be to have someone randomly pick clothes out for me. I liked that each piece came with a little card attached that had a description of the item on one side, and styling suggestions on the other.
I thought it was funny that two of the pieces are also available at one of my favorite shopping sites. I guess that means their stylists are on the right track for me. I didn't like that I only have three days to try everything on, think about whether I like it and decide whether I want to keep it. I also didn't like that you forfeit your $20 styling fee if you don't buy anything from the shipment. I felt like there was pressure to find something I liked, just so I hadn't wasted the $20, although in this case I'd probably have bought the necklace regardless.
I will definitely be trying this again, probably in September or October. I can't imagine doing it on a monthly subscription basis, though - even if you only bought one piece a month, at an average of $50 a piece that's $600 a year on random single pieces of clothes. It's a fun idea, but I worry that I'd end up with all these cute things I like but don't have anything to wear with them.
And I promise, next time I do this I'll remember to close the blind in the bathroom before I starting taking photos.