Monday, March 19, 2018

Stitch Fix: A Review

Ever since having Munchkin, I've struggled with clothing. This has to do with my post-preggo body which still has all the baby weight plus more fluff in the front than before. I wore a mix of leggings, maxi skirts, oversized shirts, and maternity clothes for the first nine months post-partum. Even now seventeen months after giving birth, I still have at least four maternity tops in rotation* and will wear leggings and a hoodie any chance I get.

One of the normal post-partum styles for me
Despite my post-partum outfits being comfortable, I felt frumpy. A lot of my clothes didn't fit the same exact way they did pre-Munchkin since the fluff shifted to different areas which made wearing my old clothes pretty much awful. If I went clothes shopping, I'd come home with more leggings and oversized shirts. I needed to change my style to something a little more in line with how I used to dress and find things that defined me.

Enter Stitch Fix.

What you should know: Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription box. You pay a $20 "styling fee" and fill out a form with questions ranging from clothing sizes to style to how much you want to spend. They encourage you to include links to your social media (especially Pinterest) so they can see your clothing tastes. You get assigned a stylist who will put together a box of 5 items for you. Once received you get 3 days to review the items, try them on, and decide if you want them or not. You can choose to get a box every 2 to 3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly.

The mysterious delivery box
What I wanted: An edgy look that encompassed my love of rock n roll and goth that would work in the business casual environment of the day job but also in my day to day as a Munchkin wrangler and a jeans/leggings and metal tee girl. I clearly specified no ruffles and some other crazy comments. I felt bad for the stylist who got assigned to me.

Allowing some complete stranger pick clothes for you is a little scary. So the days leading up to receiving my Fix, as they call it on the site, had me in a state between trepidation and excitement. When it got a delivered a day earlier than expected, I was thrilled. I couldn't wait until Munchkin went to bed so I could try it all out.

My first thought upon seeing the box was "Hmm, I'm not sure how they fix 5 pieces of clothing in that little thing." I'm plus-sized and in my mind I am much larger than I am in real life which meant that the box was too small for what I pictured as clothes the size of a muumuu. In reality, it was just a very well-packed, well-folded set of clothes and a necklace along with a return envelope in case the clothes did not work. The box also came with a style card which gave you suggestions for each item and a little note from your stylist.

Pretty pleased with this outfit
In my box, I received a grey and white striped cardigan (with pockets!), a black sleeveless top, a floral sheer top, and some olive green parachute-looking pants. There wasn't a ruffle in sight! At the pants, I deflated. They looked like "fat lady" pants: elastic in the back, semi-pleated, and wide enough ass an elephant could sit in them comfortably. If my stylist picked out something like that, was the whole box doomed?

Normally everything in the box totalled a retail of about $230, which is well outside of my clothing price range. With the bulk discount and my $20 styling fee applied, everything would have been $151. Still high, but more doable. 

So I tried on the outfits with Hubby's encouragement. The first thing I tried was the black top with the pants and the cardigan. The pants fit surprisingly well with only a little gap in the back. The top was amazingly cut, comfortable, and soft. The cardigan I immediately loved. The ensemble didn't look to bad. Hubby was impressed by how the pants looked much better on me than in the box. So was I. However, I wasn't a fan of the rayon-esque material and how they wrinkled within a minute. I'm anti-iron so anything that wrinkles is a big no-no for me.

Totally not a fan
The floral top, which I thought was beautiful in the box, turned out not to work for me AT ALL. The colors in it were great: navy blue background with some nice fall/spring pops of color. It had a pleat in the back and with my bust size it just looked like the muumuu I envisioned. It wasn't a perfect fit either so I definitely wasn't a fan. Plus, I already had a sheer floral top for the day job. I didn't need 2.

I got the opinion of Bestie D and a few coworkers and friends. They all agreed the floral print top was not working so that was going to be returned. However, by returning the top, the rest of the box would come out higher or almost the same cost as the entire thing. I reviewed the rest of the items again. The silver lariat necklace I received was pretty but not necessary. Out of the box, my favorite items were the cardigan and the black sleeveless top. Hubby and I agreed I was definitely keeping the cardigan. Because pockets.

That left me agonizing over the black sleeveless top. I loved it but if I purchased that and the cardigan, it would have been $115. That's a lot of two pieces of clothing. Hubby pointed out I could probably find a similar top on Amazon. I did for $10. Time to return the black top too.

I purchased the cardigan and with my $20 styling fee applied it wound up being $38 bucks. But it's very versatile. I've worn it several times already. However, this did not change my wardrobe. In fact, it was more of the same: comfy with toeing the line at frumpy.

The bottom line: Stitch Fix is what you make of it and, if you're in a Walmart budget, pricey. If you put a lot of thought and advanced work into what you are looking for, the stylist will have a better idea of what you want. I'm pretty sure my stylist looked at my clothing board on Pinterest and saw a bunch of items in direct conflict of what I had made notes of and promptly opened up a bottle of wine and cried. For my next delivery (in June) I've already added styles of clothes to my Pinterest that are more in alignment with my preferred style and not that of characters I'm writing about. I have yet filled out the notes for the stylist but I still have time. I requested the same styler because I believe it will take a few times around until we're both on the same page.



 Have you tried Stitch Fix or another clothing subscription box? What have been your experiences with them?




* Mainly because I like how comfortable the maternity tees are. Seriously, there is nothing comfier to hang out in.

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