I was so excited to see my Stitch Fix box arrive that I had to open it before I left to drop Big Intern at horse camp and then meet a client. I didn't have time to try anything on (or look at price tags), but my initial reactions were mixed. I was surprised by the lack of summery choices, considering it's, you know....summer and all. But then I thought maybe there's a place in the world where black skinny ponte pants are appropriate to wear year-round. Then I thought, "I should move there". Because me +heat+humidity = misery. Mostly for those who have to put up with me. Anyway, Stitch Fix. If you haven't heard of it, Stitch Fix is an online styling service that sends you 5 items on a scheduled basis. For the service, you pay $20. If you keep any of the 5 items, they deduct the styling fee from your purchase. If you don't like anything they send you, send it all back, and they keep the $20. If you keep all 5 pieces, you get a 25% discount on everything. To help understand your style and needs, you fill out an online profile before your first Fix arrives, and then you provide as much feedback as possible to get boxes that are even more suited to your tastes and needs.
I like this concept for 2 reasons. First, it's hard to find cute, different things when I shop the same stores all the time. It's tough to take the Interns shopping, and when we head into an eclectic, unique shop, I'm mostly focused on how much I'm going to have to spend on stuff they break. This has never actually happened (the breaking, I mean), but I'm too stressed to really look at anything. The second reason I like the Stitch Fix model is the same reason I like book clubs. It forces me to try things I normally wouldn't choose on my own. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut and end up with a wardrobe that all looks the same. Marisa, this month's Stitch Fix stylist, doesn't know my bordering-on-obsessive preferences, which is nice.
Everything arrived nicely packaged (before I tore into it), with a note from the stylist, a price/order form, a pre-paid return bag, and these handy dandy little styling cards. As a wardrobe stylist, I feel ok in the styling department, but new ideas are always nice. The styling tips weren't overly original, but whatever...still a nice add-on to the service.
Now for the items....let me apologize in advance for the crappy cell phone pics. I can't find my real camera, and I'm too impatient to wait until the IT guy gets home to see if he knows where it is.
Malia Cevron Border Tunic in Navy
When I opened the box, this was the item I was most excited about. I love navy, and tunics, and split necklines. Then I put it on, and my poor boobs started crying and begging for mercy. It was also really wide at the bottom. This would be a perfect top for a pear, but it didn't do any favors for my apple body.
Verdict: Going Back, with a lone sad tear that I don't have a bigger butt and no boobs...
41Hawthorn (which is Stitch Fix's house brand, btw)
Candice Embellished Tie-Waist Tunic in Navy
Again with the navy tunics! Well done, Marisa! When I pulled this one out, I thought "No way. No defining of the waist for me, please". See, when you don't have a waist, it's best not to put a string around it to show people exactly how much of a waist you don't have. I got over myself and tried it on anyway, and I love it. Love, love, love, love, love it. The silver beading is gorgeous, and it looks stunning with wide leg, white linen pants. My inner child is a 62-year-old who likes to go on cruises, apparently, but I don't care. This top makes me happy. The arm holes are crazy low...almost like a swim cover up. One look at my styling cards assures me that I am, in fact, correct. Marisa has shown me that I can wear this over my red and blue bikini when I lounge by the pool. Oh, Marisa. Sweet, sweet, naive Marisa. I haven't lounged by the pool in 6 years, and I haven't worn a bikini...um, ever. But I appreciate the thought. Back in my real world, I would just wear a cami under it and move on.
Verdict: I'm torn. On one hand, I love it. On the other, it's $88. I'm fine with a few splurges in my closet, but is $88, and won't get worn all that often. What would you do if you were me? Leave a comment and tell me to keep it, or send it back. I'll let you guys decide. Keep in mind I already spent $20 for the styling fee, so really, I'd only be spending $68.
I should mention that you can set your price preferences when you fill out your profile. I've set mine to mid-range because I didn't want to miss out on something wonderful and worth it. Maybe I'll change it up for the next box and see what comes at a lower price point.
Corinna Striped Dolman Top in Gray
This sweater was the first thing I pulled out of my Stitch Fix box for June. And although it's a light sweater, it's still a sweater. In June. In Washington, DC--political nonsense and humidity capital of the world. Initial reaction besides "Good God, that looks hot" was that it's gray and black, and I put on my profile that I don't wear gray or black. In keeping with the spirit of the Stitch Fix, I tried it on, and it looks nice--other than the color, which does nothing for me. I have to give Marisa props--I said on my profile that because I have a long torso, I need longer (or tunic) length tops. All three tops in the box were long enough, which was great.
This top would be so cute with skinnies and boots for fall. Most of my clients want to be the cute, casual mom who looks put together, but is also appropriately dressed for her day. This hits the mark perfectly. The material feels comfortable, but high-quality, and the 3/4 length dolman sleeve is cute and flattering.
Verdict: Going back. If it were cream and brown, or navy and coral, or any other color combo that looks good on me, I'd keep it. But sadly, the color is just not flattering.
Rizzo Skinny Ponte Pants in Black
First of all, let me doubly apologize for the picture. The pants were really slippery and wouldn't stay in the hanger unless I folded them in a weird way. I was going to fold them in half, but I was afraid you'd think they sent me one-legged pants. And then you'd wonder if that was a thing, and should you be looking for one-legged pants too? To keep the confusion to a minimum, I folded them oddly and moved on. Doing the best you can and then moving on is my life motto, by the way.
So. These pants. They were the second thing I pulled out, and they kept the theme of "Stitch Fix must based at the North Pole" theme alive, because full-length ponte pants in June is absurd. I wasn't even going to try them on, and then I looked at the price tag and giggled because 88 bucks for leggings also seems a little absurd. Again, staying open minded and enjoying the Spirit of the Stitch Fix, I tried them on. Incidentally, I tried them on in my dining room, where the box was. I was changing back out of them when Big Intern, with a few neighborhood friends, came through the door. My poor daughter has now suffered the humiliation of her friends seeing her mother's underwear, and is scarred for life. I'm glad we got that out of the way at 6. I feel like it's all smooth sailing from here.
Yes, right. The pants. The pants are pure heaven. You know when you put something on and you can feel the quality? That's these pants. If you don't know that feeling, its time to buy yourself something nice. Seriously, its worth it. They fit like a dream (except for being crazy long) and were so soft and comfy that I wanted to throw on the Stitch Fix sweater and curl up by the fire. Until I remembered that it was 90 degrees outside. I say without any irony that I think they'd be worth every penny. They seem like they'd hold their shape well, and not get baggy knees and saggy butt, which can be a problem with low-quality ponte.
Verdict: Going Back. As much as I loved them, my shopping philosophy is that you should be able to wear whatever you buy the next day. Unless it's an incredible bargain, like a $99 dress for $6, or $200 boots for $20. Those things you buy and put away for next season, but why buy something full-price that will still be available in the fall? $88 could be spent on clothes I can wear now--like a certain navy tunic, or fun sandals, or a new summer bag. If they had sent these in September we might be having a different conversation. Until then, I'm going to try to score a deal on some Sanctuary ponte pants on my own.
Bay to Baubles
Lanie Gem Stone Long Necklace in Black/Gold
My first impression was an enthusiastic "Meh". After putting in on, the feeling stayed the same. On one hand, it's long and in the gold-tone family, which are 2 of my necklace requirements. On the other hand, it doesn't really make much of a statement. It's kind of just there. However, I have a blouse I bought last winter that has gold buttons with black gems, and I didn't wear it much because I never had the right accessories. This would be perfect for it.
Verdict: If I keep the tunic, this is going back. I'd rather have a jewelry party and have someone give me my accessories for free! If the tunic goes back, I'll keep it. I do like it, and I don't want my $20 styling fee to go to waste.
Final Thoughts: First and foremost, this was fun. I had my Stitch Fix preferences set to "every other month", but I've upped the frequency and will be getting a box monthly. For those of you who REALLY need a Fix, you can get a box every couple of weeks. I don't have enough wallet restraint for that.
Out of 5 items, only one was WOW! and only one was a definite send back. I think if I wasn't as picky and budget-conscious, as I am, I would have kept everything but the boob-tourniquet tunic. I'm looking forward to seeing how the boxes improve over time, and what pieces push me out of my comfort zone.
This was also a good reminder that self-imposed rules are all well and good, but like I always tell my clients "You never know until you try" and "There's no charge for trying something on" and "You can't elevate your style if you don't try something new" and "Your jeans are too big". Actually, that last one doesn't have anything to do with my Stitch Fix box, but I feel like I say that a lot.
I'm super excited to see what the verdict is on the navy tunic. I have until Friday to decide.
If you want to try Stitch Fix, use this link: http://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3104668