A while back I wrote a post about Stitch Fix. If it’s not your thing, I get it. I don’t listen to Serial or do Cross Fit, go ahead and skip this one if you need to. I just wanted to share why I still value Stitch Fix as a shopping resource and appreciate that I can use it on my terms.
I put my Fixes on hold back in November for a couple for reasons. The first reason being that I was sensitive to non-essential purchases as we moved into the holidays. I wanted the leeway to buy gifts for friends and family, putting this particular me-thing to the side felt good. The second reason I did it was that I got a fix that disappointed me.
When I sent that last fix back I explained that I needed to be heard when I responded that I did not want to receive lacy or boxy things. Part of the problem may have been how I use Pinterest. When I joined Pinterest I named my boards whatever I wanted, not what might help them be found and followed. I have a board called Self, which I made to help me remember things when I get in a rut:
I also have boards for Mileage (about getting out of your own way), DIY (but the kind that multi-thumbed, sloppy people like me can maybe do), and even one that the girls pin to called Daughters’ Picks. Back to my point, Stitch Fix uses your Pinterest boards to inform how they shop for you. I have pinned things on my Wear board because I thought they were lovely, but not for me, more like, “Damn, I am glad that she can wear that.” For example:
A week ago I got an email saying my Fix was on the way. I tried to remember what I had changed in my profile to try to re-synch what they were picking with what would actually work. The box felt different when it came, heavier. I felt the same: giddy to have a box addressed to me with surprises inside that I could keep or send back.
I carried my first fix of 2015 up to my room. It had a pair of pants, which at first glance seemed to be similar in style to the two pairs I kept from an earlier fix. There was a black top, with velvet trim that I loved at first touch, a grey top that looked boxy, a large skirt, and a bag.
I went immediately to the black top, pulling it over my head, and purring as it clung to my body in the coziest, most appealing way. Here it is in all the glory of our very high-traffic bathroom. I have a long torso and this shirt, even with its curves sides, covered the whole thing. It reminds me of a Free People thermal that I wore into the ground.
It also has extra long sleeves which have these delightfully, unexpected buttons. It also has a quirky little pocket, which adds no bulk. A seam runs diagonally across the body, which makes it fit like a second skin without the sausage effect.
This is the kind of shirt that I live in, but can rarely find when out shopping. I wasted no time in putting this guy in the keep pile. Here it is in my V-neck sweater stack, waiting to surprise me one morning with the rare, “Oh, my gosh, I get to wear this today!” closet euphoria. I’ve paid my share of $34 tickets on long sleeves shirts that I spend the entire day tugging down to cover my abdomen, or pulling at the sleeves so that the shoulders seams stretch across my shoulders. The shirt was $68, which when you account for the $20 styling fee that I would (happily) pay whether I kept it or not, it is sort of $48. Done.
Let’s talk about the skirt though. The note said that they saw something similar on my Pinterest board. I went back to look, and there is indeed a skirt in a pin about needing to “conquer the skirt and bootie look.” The skirt they sent was shorter. It’s the length that makes me look like how Rip Torn might look in a skirt. It hits about three inches below my knee. I looked absurd. However, if I were a skirt kind of person, I would appreciate the fabric. It was thick enough to not show any lines, but still buttery and fluid enough to have a lovely drape. It also had pockets! Alas, I am not meant to be the forever home for this one. Back it goes.
Next up, the pants. I am on the fence. These pants are very much like some that I already have. The problem that I have with these skinny, jeggingesque pants is that if the waist goes over a certain height I feel like my pelvis-into-mid section looks to be approximately the size of Wyoming. Here they are from the front. See how they kind of boxify me?
Ok, this one is hard to show. Here they are from the back. It’s not good. I’d have to wear something long and untucked and never, ever wear a belt. I like belts.
If I really wanted to try to make a go of it, these pants can give good ass, but I know myself. Even if they look ok, I will not feel good in them. I have tried to override this feeling before. One of those gifts about being 41 is knowing the things I cannot change about myself and accepting them. I know, I expected the wisdom of my 40s to be more noble. Nope. Hitting my forties didn’t make me a better or different person, I am simply more willing to admit that I know myself better. Back ’em right into that return pile.
There is still the issue of the grey shirt. It had long sleeves and the feel of the fabric was nice—like the love child of a sweatshirt and a great t-shirt. The back had that split thing I can’t explain. Look at this.
I think that back flap is a neat concept, but rarely have I seen it work. It either seems sort of like a flowy, cropped kaftan or plain slutty. Neither are looks that I am going for, but I decided to try it. I had the grey pants on when I first tried it. The thing is, the shirt feels great. The quality of the fabric and the craftsmanship are both excellent.
I can’t wear it with these pants; it feels at once to be too much and not enough fabric. I tried it with a skirt that I haven’t been able to match with anything. I don’t blame this on the shirt. I think maybe my skirt is just a bust.
I am conflicted about the bag. I never buy bags. This bag is not a style that screams me, but it is kind of fun. Briar loved it, “Please keep it, Mom. It’s reversible. It could be so useful.”
I tried it with my typical weekend or Friday outfit—jeans and a plaid flannel. It worked. This may be one of the times I need to lean on the part of Stitch Fix that is so fascinating to me. I never would have picked this bag, or even shopped for a bag, yet I often complain that I don’t have any bags that work with professional outfits. I think I’ll send the grey shirt back and keep the bag. This puts my total cost $116, with the $20 I was already charged for the styling fee deducted for a total of $96.
I maintain that after my holiday shopping experience and my increasingly complex schedule, having options sent to me is a luxury that scratches a necessary itch. I don’t have a great mall close by and what I can buy locally, I do. Like the plaid, flannel, Horny Toad top I bought at a friend’s shop. It has a buttons in the back that I can loop so that I can wear my weekend uniform and still show my waist. It looks great with the navy pants from an earlier fix, or at home in a pair of Alternative leggings from a local boutique.
I don’t go in for pedicures or blow-outs and I sometimes envy those who do. I think having a treat that you can swing financially and that makes you feel good is a very worthwhile investment. As I think about ways to take care of myself, Stitch Fix still falls squarely in the worth it category. I’ve loved hearing how friends and family have loved theirs too. You can adjust your price tolerance at any time to have less or more expensive items sent. Switch from requesting professional clothes to date clothes, to errand running stuff. You can rant to your stylist about what you received, or you can gush about how you are in love with a piece.
Here’s my link if you are ready to give it a try. Stitch Fix isn’t sponsoring this post or doing anything special for me beyond what I pay for in my subscription. I just believe in balancing my complaining with praise. If you end up using my link I will get a $25 credit, which is cool, but not necessary. Ultimately I just hope everyone finds a little treat for them, however that may manifest.