Friday, August 4, 2017

My First (and Probably Only) Fashion Blog: The Pros and Cons of Stitch Fix

The boxes are cute!
Let’s talk about Stitch Fix. Yeah, I signed up for it. You probably know what it is, but if you don’t, it’s a service where you receive a regular shipment of five clothing items that have been especially selected for you… after you have told them your measurements and sizes and likes and dislikes and such. If you like the clothes, you buy them; if you don’t, you send them back.

Lots of people do it – a woman I work with LOVES it, and she always looks great! My friend Molly, who’s a fashion blogger, reviews all her shipments piece by piece. She generally has a good experience. But you know what? I don’t think it’s for me.

I swear those black jeans
made my thighs look
like giant hams!
To be honest, I’ve only received two shipments, so maybe I’m not being fair to “the Fix”… The first shipment was a total bust… Here’s my review (and since it was in March, I can't photograph myself trying each piece on as other reviewers do – or even give you specific brand names!):

1. A pair of skinny black jeans full of spandex—Okay, I have huge thighs, and this made them look like ginormous hams. Seriously, I looked like female Porky Pig! No thanks.

2. A dark color-block sleeveless dress—It was a really thick jersey, so I’m guessing it was for winter? But why sleeveless for winter? It was too fitted to be a jumper, so guess I was supposed to constantly wear a jacket with it? Also, since it was so fitted, it served to draw a big arrow to each of my prominent saddlebags (outer thigh fat). Again, no.

I kept this top, but $38?
3. A dark, plaid straight skirt—it was dark tan and black, a very small check, made sort of like a jean skirt. I actually liked it, but the straight skirt… did I mention I have enormous saddlebags? Those babies poked right outa that thing!

4. A black and white 3/4 sleeve striped t-shirt with peach trim at the neck and sleeves—Although I like a 3/4 sleeve and a black and white stripe, I just didn’t like this top. Maybe it was the peach trim? It just looked kinda nerdy.

5. A short sleeved top that’s grey jersey in the front and a crepe-y black material with tiny white flowers on a back that was slightly longer than the front. This was actually a cute top, and the only piece I kept. I might not have, though, if I hadn’t already paid 20 bucks for the shipment. 

See that’s how it works is, each shipment is $20, but if you buy something, they take that $20 out of it. Which brings me to the first reason that SF is not for me—the cost. The $20 is not bad, but the price of each item of clothing, while not so expensive in the grand scheme of things, is more than I would normally pay*.

Because I do love clothes, but I just don’t have that much to spend on them. I wish I could remember how much each of these pieces cost but I just don’t—I do remember that the top I bought was $38. For a t-shirt.I know that, in general, you get what you pay for quality-wise, but for me to pay the prices of their clothes, I want something I absolutely LOVE.
I LOVED these jeans,
but they don't look like
this on ME!

Anyway, I sent most of the shipment back. I told my “stylist” why I didn’t like the items—not to be a bitch, but because I think it’s helpful to them so that the next shipment will be better…? And it did help! The second shipment was pretty good!

1. A pair of faded, torn boyfriend jeans—loved them. Needed jeans. They’re a little big, but I like a loose jean. I can always wear a belt!

2. A black and white patterned long-sleeved t-shirt dress. Although I had some questions (Why send a long sleeved dress in summer? Don't they know I live in the south?), I loved it. It fit great. AND it was as comfortable as pajamas!

3. A pair of sweet low-top red sneakers. Super cute.

4. A black 3/4 sleeve jersey top with shoulder cut-outs. It was really cute, had nice pleats in the front but I just am NOT into the shoulder cut-out fad. It needs to run its course, seriously.

5. A halter style top that looked gray, but was a very tiny black and white stripe. The cord around the neck was braided fabric. Loved it! Unfortunately, a 55-year-old woman who is a 32DDD doesn’t need to be NOT wearing a bra. And I’ve never met a strapless bra that could keep the girls up comfortably.

I kept this knit dress because
when I HAVE to go to the
office, I like to be comfy.
So out of this box (and they do come in a cute little box), I kept the jeans and the dress—together they were about $150.00. And I would have bought them if I had seen them in a store and had the patience to try them on… In that way, it was actually a huge help! Because of my crazy shape, I absolutely LOATHE trying on jeans (seriously it makes me cry!), so having a great pair sent right to my mailbox was totally worth it. The shoes were super cute, but $65? Plus I have a bunch of pairs of similarly-styled sneakers already… just couldn’t justify it. 

Okay, so I just contradicted myself by saying that it as worth it to have a pair of perfect jeans sent directly to me. But here's the second and more important thing… Stitch Fix has this Facebook game where they show you a bunch of photos of items and you give them thumbs up or thumbs down, and I realized today that I gave a thumbs down to 9 out of 10 of their items… Because their stuff is modern and trendy, and not what my style is… which is just too hard to nail down. 

I don’t want skinny pants (or ANY pants now that I have my great pair of jeans) or anything strapless or with spaghetti straps or cut-out shoulders… or roll-tab sleeves, blazers or cardigans or cowl necks or scarves – please, please no scarves! I don’t like bubble-gummy colors or pastels—too nerdy (unless the shape is kinda retro); I don’t like wedge or clunky heels...

Things I like:
Black coat with faux fur
and ribbon trim (H&M $50)
and Catskill Mountain
moccasins boots
What DO I like? I like cute retro dresses with empire waists, or of the “fit and flare” variety, stuff that isn’t too tight, long shirts/short dresses I can wear with black leggings… I like classic colors like black, white, gray, red, hot pink, khaki and more black… classic materials like blue and black denim, seersucker, madras, white eyelet, gingham, tweed and tartan plaids … classic pieces like pea coats, denim jackets, fisherman sweaters, black turtlenecks, white eyelet tops, oversized men’s rugby shirts, striped French sailor tops, kilts, Doc Martens, checkerboard Vans, black or white high-top Chuck Taylors, gladiator sandals, cowboy boots, Geiger boiled wool jackets… 

I also love funky pieces like my handmade boots from Catskill Mountain Moccasins and my "Red Queen Battle Coat"with striped lining. I like well-placed details like ribbons, ankle straps and kitten heels, lace, pleats, lacings, pretty buttons, contrasting trim, and nautical or military styling… 

I will wear almost anything if it's black, and to keep things interesting, I like to mix classic pieces with edgy finds. I wear cute dresses with Chuck Taylors, skirts with band T-shirts and I don't mind admitting that I buy clothes from (among other places) Target, Hot Topic, Brooks Brothers and... my husband's closet.

I’m a Mod, a rocker, a punk, a New Romantic, a steampunk – slightly retro, slightly gothic, very slightly preppy... and a curvy, weird, mutton-dressed-as-lamb, 55-year-old mom who works in an office three days a week. And I know all that stuff together is the opposite of something that is likely to come in a box—no matter how cute—from someone I’ve never met!

*It says on the SF web site that the average price for their pieces is $55.

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