The Want Not Review: Stitch Fix

Listen, I know. I am way late to the party. Everyone and their cousins have already tried Stitch Fix and I am the last person on earth to try them. I’m aware. There are some good reasons for my hesitation, though.

1) I am cheap. Like, hello, I am super, super cheap. I knew I wasn’t going to want to pay full retail. And while I knew that keeping the whole box meant a 25% discount, I thought it unlikely that even a ninja stylist could knock it out of the park on five whole pieces.

2) I actually love to shop. Some people don’t, and Stitch Fix is a good idea for them, but I don’t mind. And now that I’m Poshmarking in earnest, I shop regularly and I find plenty of stuff I love.

3) I have a pretty good idea of how to dress myself. Again, some people don’t, and again, Stitch Fix is an awesome option for those folks who need style help.

So clearly, Stitch Fix was not for me. Still, I remained intrigued. And while the normal bonus you can pass to your friends is $25, one of my pals had a limited-time $50 bonus to share, so I decided to go for it.

This is the part where I tell you I did everything I was supposed to with my style profile and the box came and I loved and kept everything. Right? Wrong. Sorry.

I did do everything I was supposed to—I filled out my style profile in excruciating detail, I shared my measurements, I gave a detailed list of what I like and what I don’t. And—bonus!—I have a friend who is a stylist there, so I was able to ask for her to do my box. So far, so good. I also said that the one item I’m specifically looking for right now is a pair of wide-legged pants. (No joke, I thrift every week and have yet to find this unicorn of an item in a style I’d like.)

I liked that there were lots of ways to constrain what you did and didn’t want. I could say I never ever ever wear yellow, for example. (I love yellow! But if I wear it I look ill.) And I said don’t send me any purses, because really I wanted clothing, not bags. I also liked that there was a question about price levels, to which I (predictably) answered “as cheap as possible” for every possible category.

I didn’t like that some of the questions didn’t have an exhaustive list of options but also didn’t allow write-ins. So, for example, there’s a style question about which part of your body you’d like to show off. “Waist” is not one of the options, and if you’re a curvy person in a world full of flowy blouses (hello!) that might be a useful choice, y’know? I think I ended up saying “arms” even though I pay no attention to my arms. I just figured hey, I live in the south, and that will likely get me some sleeveless items so I can stay cool.

I liked that my stylist, perhaps because I know her outside of Stitch Fix, asked me some additional questions before styling me. I don’t know if that would’ve happened if we didn’t know each other already.

I didn’t like that the first thing she told me is that they didn’t currently have any wide-leg pants. She said “they go fast when we have them” and I feel like maybe that’s their cue to stock more…? Just sayin’.

My box arrived today. It contained a dress, three tops, and a maxi skirt. The total cost of the box items came to $212, or $159 with the 25% discount you get if you buy the whole thing. You know what I’m going to say next, right? $159 is about $32/piece. I understand that in the world of regular retail that’s not bad, but as someone with a wardrobe comprised mainly of thrifting finds and Kohls clearance, that seems… high. Well, maybe it would all be amazing! (Here seems like a good time to tell you that I’m not doing a fashion show. Sorry. I only try on for my dogs.)

I tried on the dress first. It fit well and was very flattering, and as a bonus, the green it came in is one of my favorite colors. It was basically perfect, so I kept it, right? Yeah, no. I already own a dress almost exactly like it. But there was no way for my stylist to know that, and I was heartened by my first item out of the box being such a good match for my taste. The dress would have to go back.

Next was this tank top, picked because I said I prefer “quirky prints.” Again, this was a good pick style-wise because I do love mixed prints. But… $44 for a tank top is against my religion. I told myself that if I ended up keeping the whole box (and getting the discount) that maybe I’d keep it, but then I remembered that I was already sending the dress back. Whoops. Okay, tank top would have to go back.

According to the note included with my box, this maxi skirt was both a fun print and fit the same sort of profile as those wide leg pants I’ve been wanting. And guess what? I love this piece. I was surprised by that, too, because I’ve always gone with the “big people, big prints; little people, little prints” styling mantra and so I never would’ve picked this skirt off a rack because the print is fairly large and I’m pretty small. But! I think because it’s just two neutral colors, it works. (Also I think it’s supposed to be palm fronds, but to me it looks like dandelions, which tickles me.) I decided I would definitely keep the skirt.

The top my stylist sent to go with the skirt was this one, and I immediately decided I would never wear them together; I tend to wear one neutral piece with one colored piece, so will probably pair the skirt with a bright top, and this gray top with a colorful bottom. That said, it’s a crazy flattering top that will go with a million things already in my closet, plus it’s a soft but substantial knit, and I love it. Another keeper.

The last piece was this tie-front blouse, and it was the only item in the box that just didn’t fix right. I was unsure about the orange-ness of it to begin with, but it was too tight across my chest and too loose (like, make-me-look-pregnant loose) over my stomach, and so there was never any question of keeping that one. Didn’t fit, going back.

So I was going to keep two items, and because I had a $50 credit, it would basically be free, maybe. Wait. I looked up the prices. The skirt and top were each $38 (the cheapest items in my box! I swear that’s not why I picked them), which meant that if I wasn’t shopping with a credit I would’ve fallen dead of a coronary on the spot. Ahem. Because I did have that generous $50 credit, I was looking at $26 plus tax for the two pieces, which brought it into an acceptable price range for me. I went ahead and paid and kept those two pieces.

What did I learn from this? Well, as I suspected, Stitch Fix is probably not the right service for someone like me who is very cheap and also already enjoys shopping for clothes. That said, I never in a million years would’ve picked up that maxi skirt for myself, so I can definitely see the allure of “I thought you might like this” and discovering items that might be outside of your norm. Also, I thought Stitch Fix was “sign up for regular deliveries only” and you can actually sign up for “on demand,” meaning you can try the one box and that’s it, if you want, so I do like that as a splurge option. I mean, the credit is part of the reason I finally caved, but I also ordered my box on my birthday, because why not?

Bottom line: If you have more money than time, if you are overwhelmed or aggravated by selecting your own wardrobe, or if you’re looking for a one-time or occasional splurge, Stitch Fix might be a good option for you. If you use my referral link you’ll get a $25 credit and they’ll waive the styling fee (normally you pay $20 for the “fix” and they take it off if you keep anything, but for your first one you pay nothing up front!), which means it’s risk-free, and at the very least you can probably get one cool item at a significant discount even if you’re not into the whole box. So maybe it won’t be your regular thing, but definitely worth a try-out. Treat yo’self!

5 Responses to “The Want Not Review: Stitch Fix”

  1. 1
    Melissa August 22, 2019 at 10:09 am #

    I agree with your thoughts! I’ve tried a few boxes and found a couple of LOVES, but definitely some misses. I will say that they truly take your feedback to heart and improve each time, and they look at my Pinterest board and send what I ask for.

    Have you tried a goody box from ThredUp? Same concept, but because they can be secondhand pieces, the prices are much lower for some great quality stuff, and they’ve done great at sending me items that work.

    • 1.1
      Mir August 22, 2019 at 2:41 pm #

      I haven’t tried that, but I’ve had great luck with ThredUp items in the past, so maybe that’s more in line with my sensibilities.

  2. 2
    Kay August 22, 2019 at 9:13 pm #

    Thank you for this review!

  3. 3
    Janet Ritchie August 23, 2019 at 8:06 am #

    I agree. It’s too expensive for me, especially since I like to shop, anyway.

  4. 4
    Erin August 23, 2019 at 9:36 am #

    I did Stitch Fix AGES ago (like…5 years, I think?) and had exactly the same thoughts and feelings. EXACTLY the same. Thumbs up for an honest and thoughtful review (though, of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the wonderful Mir!).