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Review: Stitch Fix Helped Me Ditch My Fast-Fashion Obsession For Good

I needed clothes that suited the professional I'd become. So I asked for professional help.
Yes, I seem to only own one pair of shoes. Time to request a new pair from Stitch Fix, perhaps?
Yes, I seem to only own one pair of shoes. Time to request a new pair from Stitch Fix, perhaps?

I want to make one thing clear: I am not the type of person who hates shopping for clothes. Since I was a young teen, shopping has been a form of artistic expression and my ultimate antidote to boredom and malaise.

That’s why it may seem a bit out of character that I — a woman so devoted to the act of shopping that I prefer to shop alone rather than have anyone slow me down — would pay someone to shop for me. Yet here I am, six months into my Stitch Fix membership, fully obsessed.

I signed up for Stitch Fix in October 2018, on the eve of my 29th birthday. As I dug through the tangled mess of clothing bursting out of my closet and looked for something — anything — to wear to my party, I realized I had a problem: a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. My mountain of crop tops and miniskirts was cute, but half of it was untouched, purchased in the heat of the moment and left to languish in the back of my dresser. On top of that, were any of the clothes my style anymore? I seemed to be stuck in a shopping rut, buying cheap, fast-fashion outfits that suited the party girl I was in my early 20s, not the professional woman I had become.

But what do professional women wear? I honestly wasn’t sure. That’s when I realized it was time to get professional help.

What It Was Like Getting Started With Stitch Fix

I initially signed up for both Trunk Club and Stitch Fix. The plan was to compare the services and see which one I liked best, but the Trunk Club on-boarding process proved a bit too complicated for my goldfish-like attention span.

Both Stitch Fix and Trunk Club ask you to take an online style quiz and input your measurements. I signed up for both late at night, and that’s where I hit a snag with Trunk Club: You have to chat with an actual person before you can get your first order. While that seemed appealing at first, it proved difficult at 11 p.m., and I kept missing my stylist’s messages in the days that followed. I ended up dropping Trunk Club for the simple reason that it was just easier to sign up for Stitch Fix.

Still, I was skeptical. Could a faceless stylist who’d never talked to me actually pick out clothes I’d like? Would they even fit? I got my answer less than two weeks later, when my first box arrived with five hand-picked items.

What To Expect From Your First Box

The box included a nice note from my personal stylist, Bryer, who welcomed me to Stitch Fix and explained in detail why she’d picked out each item for me. Attached to that note was a style guide for each item featuring outfit suggestions, which you can access online as well. Also in the box: a prepaid USPS bag to send back any unwanted items and a receipt so I could see how much each item would cost to keep.

Here's an example of the style cards that come with each item in your Stitch Fix shipment. This style card is for the black crop top in the middle.
Here's an example of the style cards that come with each item in your Stitch Fix shipment. This style card is for the black crop top in the middle.

My first box was a major success. The detailed style quiz I took helped Bryer totally nail my look, and I ended up keeping three out of the five items in the first shipment, including a pair of jeans, which blew my mind. As a size 8/10 gal with a very traditional hourglass figure, buying jeans has always been a struggle. I either have a gap in the waist or the damn things don’t fit over my ample booty. Bryer’s suggested jeans, however, fit like a glove. I was hooked.

“I ended up keeping three out of the five items in the first shipment, including a pair of jeans, which blew my mind. As a size 8/10 gal with a very traditional hourglass figure, buying jeans has always been a struggle.”

Over the past six months, I have purchased a grand total of 29 items from Stitch Fix, including sweaters, purses, shoes, skirts, pants, tank tops, T-shirts and leggings. If I tell my stylist I’m looking for something in particular, she finds a creative way to deliver on that fashion need. For example, I told her my favorite flannel needed replacing, so she sent me a buttery-soft flannel shirt (with a hood!). When I told her I work mostly from home and needed something comfortable but cute to wear in place of my ratty old robe, she sent me an entire box full of athleisure gear (I bought the whole thing). I asked for wide-leg cropped pants I could wear when I do go into the office, and she kept trying until I got a pair I loved. I requested something colorful to spice up my spring wardrobe, and she sent me an amazing Madewell sweater that caused a woman on the street to chase me for a block so she could ask where I got it.

Even better than the things I ask for are the things she puts in each box that I would never pick out for myself. I didn’t know I was into leopard print until my stylist sent me a leopard skirt, and I never would have picked out the brown sweater she sent with it. Yet I ended up wearing them together for two days straight.

How To Know If Stitch Fix Is Right For You

Stitch Fix costs $20 per box for the service. That $20 is put toward your purchase if you decide to keep any of the items in your shipment, and you get an additional 25% off the bill if you decide to buy all of the items in your box.

You can choose your pricing preference when building your profile online, too. I picked “The Cheaper The Better,” and the clothes I get are typically between $25 and $80. The quality of these items is significantly better than any of the fast-fashion pieces I was buying for myself, and I’ve never sent back more than three of the five pieces in any box. There are always multiple things I just have to keep.

Once you get your box, you have three days to review your items and send back what you don’t want. If you need more time, all you have to do is ask for an extension. The detailed review process allows you to tell your stylist exactly what you did or didn’t like about each piece, and if you’d like a different stylist, you can ask for a new one, no questions asked.

The green flannel (hooded!) shirt my stylish sent along when I told her I needed to replace my old flannel.
The green flannel (hooded!) shirt my stylish sent along when I told her I needed to replace my old flannel.

Since starting my Stitch Fix journey, I’ve cut down on the amount of mindless shopping I do on my own. I used to peruse the racks at Anthropologie every other week, buying things I didn’t need, but now I only step out to shop if I need something specific. I find myself wearing Stitch Fix items almost every day, which has inspired me to purge my old clothes once and for all. I’ve transformed my tornado of a dresser into a manageable wardrobe full of pieces I actually wear, and my friends are more than happy to take regular donations from Caroline’s closet.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person who let someone do the shopping for me, but Stitch Fix really has my back and helped me learn more about my own sense of style than I could have discovered with my own closet.

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