A Shopping Strategy for Women Who Hate to Shop

When I recently wrote about how I hate to shop, I was a little surprised at how many women (and men!) agreed with me. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one!

I shared my shopping strategies with you then, but I thought you hate-to-shoppers would want to know about a new strategy I recently added to my arsenal.

It’s called Stitch Fix, and it’s an online shopping (and styling) service.

stitchfix shopping for women who hate to shop
my first fix, waiting for me on my doorstep

After hearing the buzz (and seeing the cute clothes) at the Influence Conference, I signed up online: I filled out my style survey, scheduled my “fix,” and paid a $20 styling fee. A few days later, Stitch Fix mailed me a package with 5 clothing and accessory items that they personally selected for me.

In the profile, they ask you questions like this:

This is question #31 in the style profile. It’s pretty thorough.

I tried everything on at home after the kids went to bed. I really liked being able to try everything on at home, so I could immediately see if I had shoes to match (yes), or if I would need to buy a new belt to make the shirt dress that Stitch Fix sent me work (also yes, so the dress went back).

I didn’t take pictures of everything they sent me (or at least, I didn’t take pics that turned out well enough for me to want to share!) But here’s a peek:

trying on stitch fix items in my own closet
the pretty dress that didn’t work * my daughter wanted in on the fun * the shirt dress that needed a wide belt

Here’s what was in my first fix:

1. A black cardigan. It was perfect for me–so perfect that I already had a nearly identical one in my closet! (return)

2. A jersey striped shirtdress. Cute, but not great heading into the cooler months, and more than I wanted to pay. (return)

3. A pleated tank dress. I really liked this dress, and it had the flow-y vibe I’d asked for. But it just didn’t fit my body: I’m tall, and the proportions of the waistline were way off. (return)

4. A Grecian crossfront tank. This nearly-sheer blouse was pretty and a good price, and would be festive for the right holiday party. But I don’t have a party like that on my calendar. (return)

5. A tri-strand beaded silver necklace. I’ve been needing a necklace like this–the style and length are perfect. It was about $10 more than I wanted to spend, and I’d prefer to get my jewelry from Etsy and local small businesses. But I finally decided since I was staring at a necklace that was exactly what I was looking for, I needed to fight my maximizing ways and keep it. (It’s been 2 weeks and I’ve worn it 5 times. Good call.)

the styling cards that come with each item * the necklace I decided to keep

After I decided what I wanted to keep (the necklace), I mailed everything else back to Stitch Fix (for free, in the pre-paid envelope).

I also filled out a style survey about my first fix, so they can better choose my items next time. (I also adjusted a few items on my style survey: why did I say I was okay with “moderately” priced items when I know I really want inexpensive ones? I don’t know, but it’s fixed now.)

I’ve dreamed of using a personal shopper ever since reading Laura Vanderkam’s glowing experience in her book 168 Hours, but right now that sounds like a big (and expensive) project that I don’t want to allocate the time (or money) for.

In the meantime, Stitch Fix is a nice personalized service for me and my hate-to-shop habits. I love the idea of logging in to my account to say “I need a festive top to wear with jeans and high heels for an office party (or a 4:00 wedding, or Christmas Eve church)” and knowing they’ll send me one–at the price point I request–and it will appear on my doorstep, like magic.

If you’re interested in test-driving Stitch Fix, here’s what to do:

1. Sign up. You’ll typically be put on a waiting list–I didn’t know this was normal and was bummed to be wait-listed, but I was off the waiting list and ready to go about 6 hours later.

2. Fill out your style profile, answering questions about your lifestyle, body shape, and style preferences. (It took me about 10 minutes.)

3. Schedule your fix. Stitch Fix isn’t a subscription service; you schedule a fix whenever you’re ready. (You can request the week you’d like your fix to arrive, but they can’t guarantee a specific day.)

4. Come back and tell me what you think! I’d love to hear all about your experience.

Do you ever dream of using a personal shopper? What appeals to you about it? (And by all means, if you’ve used one PLEASE tell us all about it in comments!)

This post contains my affiliate link for Stitch Fix. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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  1. Linda says:

    This is almost like having Cindrella’s mice at your beck and call! Thank you for sharing this, I’ll be checking it out.

    • Anne says:

      Oh, enjoy! And know that you can specify very specific stuff if you’d like–like “give me print tops so the baby spit up doesn’t show!” (Or at least that’s what I always needed when my babies were tiny 🙂 )

  2. Niki says:

    I am so excited!!!! I HATE shopping (usually run home crying). This may work…and if I cry, I’m already at home! 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    I signed up with them a month or so ago and LOVE it! It is hard not to be addicted but they do such a great job at picking things out for you!

  4. Grace says:

    This is awesome. I always find shopping so exhausting and discouraging. Do you think you will do it again? I am sad because I just read that they only ship within the US, and I am from Canada. We always miss out on stuff like this, haha.

    • Anne says:

      Grace, I’ll definitely do it again. And I wasn’t kidding with the example of needing a top for a company Christmas party!

  5. My questions:
    1. What did you think of the quality of the clothing?
    2. Can you specify things like “machine washable only”?
    3. Can you explain, for example when returning the “perfect cardigan,” that the reason you are returning it is because you have its twin but to please send more of that kind of thing?
    4. One huge issue with me is modesty. I wouldn’t wear the cute striped jersey dress, for example (too short). Can they work with that?
    5. Other huge issue with me: Do they have such a style as “just this side of fuddy-duddy”?

    • Anne says:

      Hi Lori! Here’s what I think:
      1. What they sent me was good quality. I knew a little of what to expect because I knew they regularly selected items from several brands (Tulle, Everley) that I knew, liked, and could afford. And were good quality.
      2. Yes–I personally specified “no dry cleaning.”
      3. Yes, I said exactly that in the comments when I sent the items back from my first fix.
      4. Yes! Question 15 on the style profile is “To flaunt or not to flaunt- What do you like to show off and what do you prefer to keep subtle?” Your choices are “less is more, leave it to the imagination”/”Sometimes I’ll show it off”/”I’ll flaunt it!”

      Also there’s a spot where you can write a novel if you’d like about exactly what you are (or aren’t) interested in getting.

      5. This is from their FAQ: “One of the great things about Stitch Fix is that we provide unique, customized, curated fixes, so we really do style for a huge range of clients– our clients range from 22-year old Bohemian chic girls who live in Manhattan to 65 year old teachers in rural Alabama to 34 year old lawyers in Minnesota”

      I hope that’s helpful!

    • Anne says:

      I think women who love to shop will love Stitch Fix. It just so happens that I love it because I *don’t* love shopping 🙂

  6. Suzette says:

    This is noottttt really in the budget but maybe a good use if I end up with Christmas money! Thanks for sharing! Sounds really fun and exciting!! I also prefer Etsy but am a maximizer too. Smart call keeping the necklace!

  7. HopefulLeigh says:

    I got my first fix last weekend and LOVED it. I kept two of the five and also tweaked my profile a bit for next time. I wish I could justify another fix right this second.

  8. Beth @ dot in the city says:

    Love that shirt dress! I got my first Stitch Fix a few weeks ago and it wasn’t quite what I expected. But I was happy with the quality of the clothes overall. I will try it again for sure! and be more specific in what I hope to get out of the deal 🙂

  9. Tara says:

    If you have the department store Nodrstrom in your area they offer a FREE personal stylist service. I have used it several times and it is honestly the only way I stay dressed and feeling good about myself. It is a more upper end store so you have to be very specific with your price range. But I have found that they have always been willing to stay within my budget. It saves me tons of time, I feel put together, and shopping becomes fun again. You might want to check out if other department stores in your area offer a similar service?

    • Anne says:

      Yet another reason why I WISH I had a Nordstrom nearby! There are department stores nearby that offer personal shopping service, but I don’t love their selections as much as I love what the local boutiques have to offer. Stitch Fix carries some of the brands I love at the local shops that the department stores don’t carry. One day, though, I’d like to take a personal shopping service for a spin. When I do, I’ll tell you all about it!

  10. I totally just went and signed up. Now I have to think through the style questions and not answer as I wish I could answer (but can’t) since that would probably defeat the purpose.

    • Anne says:

      Ack, that’s my problem, too! I have a hard time distinguishing between what is actually true for me and what is truly true. (And getting the two confused definitely confuses the purpose!)

      I hope you enjoy it!

  11. Amy Walker says:

    Hmmm…I too hate shopping, except thrift {there’s something thrilling about finding a needle in a haystack} but with with my 2 little ones the sifting necessary is not usually possible.

    I might just check this out!

  12. Jessica @ Acting Adult says:

    Thank you for this! It sounds like exactly what I need, even though I really do like shopping. I like the idea that it’s styled for me, something I can’t seem to get right yet. I’ve signed up and I’m looking forward to trying it out!

  13. Sydney says:

    Hi Anne!

    Thanks for sharing this. I am in the ranks of girls who HATE shopping! This morning I was waxing eloquent to myself in the car about *how* annoying it is to even go through the mental/physical/emotional process of selecting a parking space to begin shopping. MAJOR aversion! But then again, I like to be cute. This Stitch Fix could be the perfect solution, but I’m going to have to wait — I signed up on the 14th and currently I’m still on the waiting list. Something tells me a little word of mouth is going a long way!

    • Anne says:

      Sydney, good to know you’re still waiting after 5 days. It can’t be too much longer! Come back and let me know how it works out for you!

  14. Kacia says:

    I’m super behind in my blog-reading 🙁 🙁 🙁

    but can I say something happy?

    I have the same necklace!! So now!?!? It’s my Anne necklace. y’know. because I’m a thing friend.
    love you!

    and miss you oodles.

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  16. Courtney says:

    I tried stitch fix but had put that I liked inexpensive clothes and the cheapest thing they sent me was an $80 necklace. I was really disappointed because I loved everything in the box but I didn’t have the money to buy any of them. I feel like rather than inexpensive, moderate, etc, they need to ask questions like how much are you willing to spend on jeans? Cause the pair they sent me was $120 and my price point is closer to $40.

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