We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (party preparation from hell) to bring you a review of this month’s Stitch Fix.
No, really. I’m drowning in aqua here, people. And lists. Lots and lots of lists. I need to talk something other than mermaids for five minutes, ok?
My grandmother always said “God don’t like ugly.” She usually said this as a reminder to herself rather than as a condemnation of others. I use this saying in the same way. And I’m saying it over and over as I type out the review of my latest Stitch Fix shipment. I’ll be honest. I had to write this review twice. The first time, I had to get the ugly out. I just hope there isn’t too much ugly left in this second version.
This month’s Fix was disappointing at best. I’m going to start with the positives:
1. I accidentally canceled my fix this month but the lovely customer service folks at Stitch Fix were able to change that for me on fairly short notice. Yippee!
2. The colors in this month’s fix were nice and neutral. I liked the idea of this as I am really trying to move towards a capsule wardrobe.
3. I really liked one shirt and would have never tried it on (or possibly noticed it) in a store.
4. I’m sure my stylist is super nice and she probably looks great every day.
5. $20 is still a great deal to get a shipment of possibility given the cost and time of driving to the nearest mall from the boonies where I live or the cost of shipping to and from with any major retailer.
And now, we move on to the not so greats. Let’s put aside the fact that three of the four tops were simply not my style. Let’s also put aside the fact that I am not often found at Costco wearing stiletto sandals nor do I don leather skirts for date night as depicted on my stylist’s outfit inspiration cards. The real issue that I had with this Fix was that I spent quite a bit of time updating my Pinterest board with Stitch Fix styles, sent a specific request into my stylist identifying what I was looking for this month, and left comments in last month’s check out about why I returned everything only to find myself with a fix that wasn’t my style, did not include the items that I was looking for, and included two items that I had previously (at least I think I had) identified as being items I would not wear.
That was a run on sentence. Let’s try again.
After my very unsuccessful second fix, I read this article on Stitch Fix’s blog about how to get a better fix. Number one: Edit your style profile. Done. Number two: Send a note to your stylist. Done. Number three: Pin things from Stitch Fix’s social media platforms. Done. Number four: Update your style board for the season. Done. Number five: comment during checkout. Done. Number six: add comments about what you like and don’t like about an outfit. Ok, this wasn’t on the list but I felt it couldn’t hurt.
Here is where I could see that a couple of my Fix items were easily something my stylist would have thought perfect but were not. I love stripes. I love sweaters. I live in the mountains. Striped sweater? Of course that’s a match. The colors of this sweater were neutral, the stripes cute. But (here comes my grandmother’s voice in my head) this sweater reminded me of something from the teen department at the Bon Marché in the eighties. The thickness of the weave and shiny quality of the thread screamed poor quality not to mention let’s see how fat we can make you look. Not exactly what I’m going for at this point. (By the way, this sweater is much cuter in this horrible photo than in real life. Isn't that odd?)
What I was looking for in my fix was something that could get me through spring mountain weather. Specifically, in my note to my stylist I said that I was looking for “something to wear on bottom for crazy mountain weather – 30s at night and 50s during day. Layers = good. Need some replacements for t’s on top also. Thanks!” I also noted that I was “struggling with pants right now – on the high end of my usual size.”
What I clearly was inarticulate at saying was that I needed pants. Or any bottoms at all, really. And some spring appropriate non-t-shirt tops that I could layer for the temperatures where I live. What I got was a pair of ripped jeans, a cowl-neck sweater, a thick cotton sweater, a t-shirt layered thing (honestly, I have no idea what to call this top), and a tank top that could not possibly be worn with any of the sweaters due to cut.
I kept one item: the tulip tank top. Loved the grey. Loved the simple pattern. The top was a bit too big and if I had ordered it from a normal store, I would have sent it back for a smaller size, but because it came from Stitch Fix, I kept it. This will be a great top in the summer. The cut makes it difficult to layer with anything other than an oversized cardigan but I’ll work on that.
We’ve already discussed the striped sweater. I really do get how this might have seemed like the perfect addition to my closet, but it wasn’t. Perhaps I need to up my cost range in my profile. As to the other two sweaters, I’ll just say that they were not my style. I like to layer for practical reasons (temperature changes), not for the look, so a sweater with built in layering is just not for me. I didn’t check the price on the layered cardigan (I didn’t even try it on), but the quality didn’t seem great. The cowl-neck was cute in theory. Great beige color and a great style for fall. Except that it is April. The fit was huge and the zippers on the sleeves were an automatic no. I’m sure I’m just not being fashion forward or open minded. The truth is, and I feel like I’ve said this one hundred times, I do not want to look like I borrowed my teenagers clothes. I am an adult. Can I get a cute adult outfit or is it time to resign myself to St. John suits?
The biggest disappointment was definitely the jeans.
I was glad to receive a pair of jeans, and these actually fit, but I was really bummed to receive another pair of “distressed” jeans after returning the first pair because they were overly distressed. These jeans actually had a full hole in the knee. I’m sorry to be fuddy-duddy, but at 41, I just can’t walk around with holes in my pants, no matter how cute they look on Hollywood moms. I was also very disappointed to receive only one bottom after (I thought) asking for a bottom-focused Fix.
Here’s what I think would improve the Stitch Fix experience.
1. Assign one stylist, with a substitute as necessary, per customer. I’ve had three Fixes and three stylists. How is the Fix supposed to get better if the stylist keeps changing? (Note that the opening of the post about getting your best Fix on Stitch Fix’s blog says “Part of what makes Stitch Fix special is the relationship you build with your Stylist. The more feedback you give and inspiration you share, the more your Stylist will understand your style and fit preferences. Essentially, the more you share with your Stylist, the better your Fixes can be!”)
2. Read the comments provided by customers. I received an automated email after both of my last two Fixes asking what Stitch Fix could do better. But there was no method of providing feedback other than the feedback that I had already provided in my note to stylist pre-Fix (as requested) and my check out comments post-Fix (also as requested). If you aren’t going to read the comments that you’ve asked for, I can’t help you make my Fix better.
3. It would be great to be able to exchange sizes rather than simply return items that are almost right.
Was I too ugly about my Fix? Probably. I hope my stylist, if she’s reading this, knows that I get why the style of my Fix wasn’t quite right. You aren’t in my closet nor have you seen how I dress in real life. And yes, we come to Stitch Fix (or maybe it is just me) to improve our look, to get help with our style, to look better out in the world. We need to be open to surprises like the cute tulip tank. But I still need to be practical. The clothes that I receive need to be something that I will actually wear. I’ve worn both tops that I kept from my first Fix several times. I’d like to get a little more of that, please.