this early Stitch Fix box from fall 2012 holds two of my all-time favorite pieces: a star-studded scarf and a grey ruffled cardigan
I haven’t written about Stitch Fix in a long time. Today I’m (finally) answering a frequent reader question: Do you still use Stitch Fix, and are you still happy with it?
I got my first fix in October 2012. I’ve gotten many fixes since then. Like, more than I’d care to admit.
For several years now, I’ve been getting regular automatic Stitch Fix shipments. Women use Stitch Fix for different reasons; my big reason is that I don’t want to spend time shopping, or even thinking about shopping. Stitch Fix puts my closet on autopilot: it’s easy, it doesn’t take much time, and it’s a boon to those of us who struggle with decision fatigue.
I liked Stitch Fix from the very beginning, but I came to love it after a few poorly conceived shopping excursions. Since I hadn’t been shopping in a while, I thought it would be fun to browse the racks—and hit the dressing rooms—at Anthropologie and Nordstrom Rack.
Daniel Rainn blouse from Fall 2013
Clearly, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’d forgotten one important thing: I hate shopping. After 45 minutes, I had little to show (two tops I later returned) and was annoyed I spent my precious babysitting time in a poorly lit dressing room.
I don’t do that anymore: I just wait for my Stitch Fix box to show up every three weeks or so. When I started using the service, my wardrobe needed serious help: I hadn’t bought much since my last child was born, and my closet was empty. Stitch Fix didn’t fix that in just one shipment, but over time I’ve built a pretty and functional wardrobe.
An unexpected benefit: I have a more defined sense of personal style than I did when I started Stitch Fix, and it’s not just because I’m a little bit older and wiser. I’ve tried styles I wouldn’t have otherwise tried; I’ve learned what works for me, and what doesn’t; what I feel most comfortable in, and what styles just aren’t for me.
At this point the bulk of my wardrobe is from Stitch Fix. I didn’t do that on purpose; I just stopped shopping elsewhere without even noticing I was doing it. (I counted up my capsule pieces and 24/33 are from Stitch Fix.)
30-something fixes later, these are my best tips for getting the most out of Stitch Fix.
a favorite top and earrings, both from spring 2014
1. Try everything on.
This hardly seems worth saying, but try everything on, especially the garments that look horrible in the box. Sometimes the stuff that looks blah in the box looks terrific on, and sometimes the cutest item in a fix looks terrible on my body. Try it on.
2. Don’t buy it just because it’s there.
Stitch Fix is where I get the bulk of my clothes. If I need a sweater, and they send me a sweater, I’m always tempted to keep it—even if the fit isn’t quite right, or the color is slightly off, or the style isn’t really me—because it’s right there. But I’m always sorry later for keeping garments that aren’t exactly right.
3. But consider buying it because it’s there.
In the past, I’ve kept dresses even when I wasn’t sure where I would wear them, and denim even though I already had similar pairs, and thin tees even though it was the dead of winter. But I kept them because they were perfect for me, and was thrilled to have them later when my neighbor got married, when I ripped a hole in my favorite skinnies, and when spring finally came.
4. If it’s not a color you usually wear, think about it.
One of Stitch Fix’s professed goals is to expand your style horizons. Some of my favorite pieces from them have been in colors I don’t typically wear (bright blue, violet, mint) but have gone great with my neutral basics.
chevron maxi and coated multi-strand necklace from summer 2013
5. If it’s a color family that’s not flattering, send it back.
It doesn’t matter how stylish a piece is, or how well it fits: if the color isn’t flattering, send it back. (You could always ask Stitch Fix to send you the same item in a color that doesn’t make you look ill. They can’t always exchange a specific item for a different size or color, but if they can, they will.)
Alternatively, you can join one of the Buy/Sell/Trade Stitch Fix groups that are popping up on Facebook. Yes, it’s a real thing.
6. If you can’t figure out how to clean the jewelry, send it back.
Stitch Fix has sent me some fabulous jewelry. They’ve also sent me a few pieces that I loved but that didn’t wear well: they were impossible to clean, and couldn’t be worn more than a few times. Now I make sure I know how to clean a piece before I keep it.
7. Use the full three days.
After your Stitch Fix box arrives, you have three days to make up your mind before you send your rejects back. (There have been times I’ve taken longer, ahem.) Use the full three days to mull things over.
this 41 Hawthorne tote is my most-used Stitch Fix piece. I still use it everyday.
8. Don’t rule out basics.
I frequently see bloggers recommending that you get your basics elsewhere. Their reasoning: Why pay boutique prices when you can get the essentials at Marshall’s for a fraction of the price?
Since my goal is to stay out of the mall (or Gap.com), this advice doesn’t make sense for me. I’ve gotten a ton of great basics from Stitch Fix, because my goal is to build a wardrobe without having to shop for it.
9. Don’t automatically rule out outerwear.
When I first started with Stitch Fix, I told them I didn’t want outerwear. I don’t remember why I finally unchecked that box, but I’m glad I did: I’ve gotten some fabulous jackets—heavy and lightweight—from Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix sent me two fabulous winter coats this year, both from Andrew Marc: a navy peacoat and a burgundy down jacket (it’s a compliment magnet, similar to this one). Both were great values, and great additions to my winter wardrobe.
10. Plan ahead.
I’ve finally learned to tell Stitch Fix in advance that I need a dress for a friend’s wedding, another pair of black skinnies, lightweight blouses for spring. If I tell them what I need before I need it, I don’t have to shop.
black dress from Winter 2014
11. Give honest feedback.
After your fix arrives, tell Stitch Fix exactly what you liked, and what you didn’t, and why. The why is important. You aren’t going to hurt anybody’s feelings.
If you love the things your stylist is picking out for you, you can ask for them to be your regular stylist. I’ve been with Layla for nine months now and I love her.
12. Progress isn’t relentless.
You’ve probably heard that each client’s fixes improve over time. This is absolutely true: Stitch Fix uses your feedback to send you more of what you love the next time. But fixes don’t keep getting better and better. Every once in a while, you’ll get a dud box where nothing works, maybe nothing’s even close. It happens to everyone. It still happens to me.
(If your box is truly terrible—and this has only happened to me once—remember that Stitch Fix wants you to be happy and their customer service is wonderful. If you explain the problem and ask very, very nicely for a re-do box or a refund of your styling fee, you may just get what you ask for. No guarantees.)
13. Keep that style profile updated.
To keep getting fixes you love, keep your style profile up-to-date. (I shared my style profile best practices here, plus an explanation of how to get started, with screen shots.) I regularly updating mine to keep adding to the list of things I don’t want to see in my fixes: rayon, elastic waists, fit-and-flare. Pinning clothes to love to a designated pin board (here’s mine) also helps them choose well.
I’d love to hear your best Stitch Fix tips in comments. If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.
P.S. This post isn’t sponsored or perked in any way, but Stitch Fix does have terrific referral and affiliate programs. These are my affiliate links.