My experience with an online personal styling service

I Tried Stitch Fix Personal Styling So You Don’t Have To

(This Stitch Fix review includes affiliate links)

In our last episode of “Amber Fails to Dress Herself, and Also to Stop Talking About It,” I’d come to the conclusion that there are literally no clothes in the world that suit me, and that I hate them all anyway. 

With that in mind, then, I decided it was time to call in the professionals, in the form of a personal stylist. Well, I mean, it was starting to get just a little bit ridiculous there, wasn’t it? Yes, it was, you can say it. 

StitchFix is a service that’s been around for a while now, and the basic idea is that you fill out a questionnaire on your shape, style, etc, then receive a box of clothes hand-picked by a stylist, just for you. (No, they haven’t sponsored this post, but that IS an affiliate link up there, so if you click it, I could earn a commission if you end up buying something, just FYI.) 

The styling service costs £10 per box, but that fee is refunded if you choose to keep any of the five items you’re sent. There’s no obligation to keep anything at all, though, and they offer free returns via Royal Mail, so I figured it was worth a go, just to see if they’d come up with something I hadn’t thought of myself.

Can you even stand the suspense here? I mean, my stomach is churning with excitement, and I already KNOW what happened: how are you guys even standing it?!

Anyway!

My Stitch Fix Review | The Questionnaire 

The first step in this process is, as I said, to fill in a questionnaire that asks for details on your size, shape, lifestyle, etc. I was impressed by how detailed this was, especially when it came to body shape. As you might know from some of my other posts on this subject, I (like most people, I suspect), have a hard time finding clothes that fit well, mostly because although my height and weight suggest I should have no problems at all with this, my proportions are all over the place – short legs, long torso, weirdly narrow shoulders, blah, blah, blah. 

I was reassured, then, when rather than simply asking for my height and dress size, The Stitch Fix questionnaire asked for a ton of extra details, which allowed me to list all of the peculiarities of my particular shape, as well as specifying what I like and don’t like in terms of colours, styles, etc. So far, so good. 

Finally, there’s a box at the end of the questionnaire where you can provide any extra information you think might be relevant to your allocated stylist. There was a character limit on this, unfortunately, so I wasn’t able to give them one of my usual rambles (Bet you’re wishing there was a character limit on this blog post, huh?), so, instead I had to content myself with noting that I work from home, and am the parent of an energetic 4 year-old, so I’m looking for comfortable, practical clothes that I can wear around the house, but which won’t look too sloppy at nursery drop-offs, or if I decide to pop out for something. (Not that I often DO, mind you. I rarely leave the house, because I have no life. Moving on, though…)

And then I sat back and waited. Like a spider in its lair. OK, not really, but I DID sit back and wait. Not for too long, though, because the next step is…

To Preview or Not to Preview? 

Once your stylist has selected five items for you, you’re given the option to preview that selection, so you can veto anything before it even gets sent out. 

I opted to skip this step – partly because I’m an idiot I liked the idea of an OMGSURPRISE in the mail (Look, like I said, I don’t get out much, OK?), but also because, as the whole point of this exercise was to see what the professionals would dress me in if given the chance, I didn’t want to just rule anything out without even trying it. And, I mean, I WOULD do that, wouldn’t I? Well, you read my mammoth list of things I hate (In fact, some f you are probably STILL reading it, THAT’S how long it was…): do I seriously sound like someone who’d be open to suggestions here? Don’t answer that.

On a serious note, though, I can think of plenty of times when I’ve totally overlooked something I’ve seen on a brand’s website, only to come across it in-store and love it, so I’m well aware that product shots don’t always give you the best idea of a particular item. Also, it’s not like I’ve been having a whole lot of success shopping for myself lately, so, yeah, I skipped the preview, and <SPOILER ALERT> I absolutely WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THAT. Nuh-uh. I make the mistakes so you don’t have to, remember? LEARN FROM THEM.

The Arrival of The Stitch Fix Box:

The much-anticipated Stitch Fix box arrived about a week after I’d ordered it. Here’s what was inside it:

Inside my Stitch Fix Box

First impressions? Pretty good, really. I’d said in my questionnaire that I prefer plain, neutral colours, and tend to avoid patterns other than stripes or dots. There’s one patterned item here, as you can probably see, but the print was small and the colours fairly neutral, so I was cautiously optimistic.

Here’s what I was sent:

What was inside my first Stitch Fix box

Now, before I show you what everything looked like, I need to just quickly add one of my lengthy, but necessary, caveats to this post. Here it is:

One of my lengthy but necessary caveats:

Because I don’t have a lot of spare time right now, this post is essentially a “real time” try-on, in that I quickly snapped the photos when I pulled the clothes out of the box, and without making any attempt to style them with other things I already have. This is important because, although you’re sent 5 items, there’s no suggestion that they’ll necessarily all “go” together, or that you should wear them at the same time. In fact, Stitch Fix actually include a handy list of suggestions with your order, so you can work out how you might style each piece: 

Stitch Fix styling suggestions

As I said, I didn’t attempt any of this, so I’m wearing the clothes straight out of the box in the following photos. And, speaking of which, here’s the first two items I pulled out:

Stitch Fix Fitting Room Review

(Er, I also didn’t bother to remove that random toilet roll in the background of the photo, so that’s another thing that’s in this post now.)

Item 1:

French Connection ‘Aura’ Ditsy Dobbie Blouse

So, I don’t really wear blouses –– mostly because they have a tendency to feel a bit “fussy” to me, but also because fabric like this one, which is a very thin viscose, just isn’t warm enough for me most of the time, and I don’t see the point in buying something just to cover it up with something else.

I wasn’t hopeful when I pulled this out of the box, then, and, sure enough, if the fabric and print hadn’t put me off, the fussy, frilly collar and big, floofy sleeves most certainly would have. It looks OK in the photos, but I felt like Charles the 1st in it, and that’s not a look I’m going for, so…

VERDICT: Returned 

Stitch Fix Fitting Room PhotosItem 2: 

Editor’s Cut ‘James’ Culotte Trousers

This brand is apparently exclusive to Stitch Fix, so I can’t link to these, but it’s OK, because – SPOILER ALERT – I didn’t keep them either. Don’t get me wrong –– I don’t HATE them; I just don’t like a single thing about them, and I don’t think they liked much about me, either, to be honest. 

To be fair, they were also a little too big, so maybe another size would’ve been better? They were too underwhelming for me to want to find out, though, so…

VERDICT: Returned. 

Item 3:

Whistles slim jersey jacket in navy

fitting room reviews

OK, guys, hold all my calls and cancel my 2 o’clock –– I have an important meeting to get to…

So, this was the point in my little try-on session when I realised that, instead of just saying I “work from home” on the questionnaire, I should probably also have specified that I’m self-employed –– and maybe even given some details on what I actually DO from home. 

Instead, I simply said that I was looking for clothes that would be comfortable enough to sit around the house in, but which wouldn’t look too scruffy on the school run. I suspect the Stitch Fix stylist has taken that to mean I’m the kind of busy, important person who spends her days on Zoom calls, and being called into the office to meet the board of directors or something, because, well, none of the first three items exactly screams “standing at the school gate in February”, or “sitting on my bed with the laptop on my knee?”, do they? 

mirror selfie

(OK, I could have tried harder to resist pairing these with heels, but even with trainers, this would still make me look like I’d gotten lost on my way to a business conference, wouldn’t it?)

(Also, I know I keep saying you don’t have to wear all of these the clothes together, but the combination of the filly sleeves and blazer made me feel a lot like Adam Ant, so there’s that. “Ridicule is nothing to be scared of, Amber,” I hear you say, but…yeah. No. )

In Stitch Fix’s defense, I do like blazers, and have a few of them in my wardrobe. Back in my childfree days, I used to wear them with jeans, to smarten them up a bit, and, if I was in the market for a blazer, I’d definitely have considered this one. It was great quality, comfortable to wear, and made from a thick jersey fabric, which I loved. So it was a great blazer, in other words; but given that I can’t really imagine myself wearing it around the house or at the soft play, back it went. 

VERDICT: Returned 

Items 4 & 5:

Editor’s Cut Samantha High Waist Relaxed Jeans

Object Eve Nonsia Knit Pullover

trying on items from a styling service

Umm…

OK, I’m going to start with the positives here, the main one being that jeans and jumpers are very much my style (In fact, some weeks they’re pretty much all I wear), so Stitch Fix were definitely thinking along the right lines when they selected these. Despite being the item of clothing I wear most often, jeans are also the hardest for me to shop for, so I was excited to see a pair in my Stitch Fix box. Just… not this pair.

To be fair, these are a size larger than I’d generally order for myself, and that’s totally on me. Although I gave my regular size for all of the other clothing options, I checked the “not sure” box for jeans, because I must have ordered hundreds of pairs of them over the last year or so, and the sizing has been so totally random that I’m convinced each brand just makes it up as they go along. In retrospect, then, I should have specified the size I THINK I am, rather than just leaving it to the stylist to guess from the measurements I gave, so, as I say, that one’s on me. 

To be totally honest, though, these jeans have so little going for them that I’m not sure the right size would’ve made that much of a difference. I just straight-up hate everything about them, from the droopy butt to the saggy legs, and all the way down to the way they seem to flare out at the bottom, even though they’re not described as flares. 

I have to confess, I can’t actually remember everything I wrote when I filled in my form, but I was pretty sure I’d said I don’t like wide-leg styles, so I was a bit surprised to see both these and culottes. On the plus side, though, I guess this has at least confirmed that I’m right to hate that style on me, so at least that’ll stop me ordering something like these, in the hope that they’ll magically work for me. 

jeans and a jumper

As for the jumper, meanwhile, it’s a perfectly fine jumper, which I’m sure would look much better with something other than the saggy jeans. I love the colour, and, if I’d kept this, I’m sure I’d have worn it. I’m not so sure I’d have actually enjoyed wearing it, though, because, well, it’s just a jumper. A perfectly fine jumper, sure, but I’d ideally like to fill my wardrobe with things that are better than just fine these days, so back it went, too. 

VERDICT: Returned 

Final Thoughts

Although I didn’t end up keeping any of the items I was sent, I did enjoy trying them on, and I’m not ready to write off this service just yet – mostly because I suspect I’m partly at fault here for not being clearer about what I was looking for, and the kind of lifestyle I have. Although the jeans and sweater are a good call for me (If not these exact items, obviously), the other three items were what I would tend to class as “office attire”, which just isn’t remotely suitable for my current lifestyle.

If I was using Stitch Fix again, then, I’d try to be much more specific about what I wanted, and about the sizes I’d want to receive. I’d also preview what was being sent out, because, much as enjoyed the surprise, there are some items here I’d have ruled out right away – which might have made way for something I loved instead.

Anyone else tried Stitch Fix? What did you think of it?

Liked this post?? Take a second to support Amber on Patreon!
COMMENTS
  • Hollie

    REPLY

    I’ve used StitchFix twice now. Both times I rejected everything on the preview.
    The first delivery I kept 3/5 and I did like the other items they just weren’t quite right fit wise.
    The second delivery I hate absolutely everything.

    I’ve been thinking about trying Lookerio but I’m worried I’ll hate everything again.

    February 17, 2022
  • Hazel Ann Johnson

    REPLY

    I’ve had two or three boxes from them with a mixture of success. I love the idea and think that I’ll certainly try again

    Did you see e style quizzes you can fill in too ? I think they help!

    February 17, 2022
  • Monika

    REPLY

    Hi Amber, from looking at the pics I’d say that the coulottes + high-heels + blazer looked really really good and smart on you. That said I understand why you returned the whole delivery.

    I have experienced phases of “self-estrangement” meaning not knowing what I want or what I like or even who I was anymore. It made me hate everything in my closet but also all of my furniture etc. Nothing I would buy or style would feel right. Stylewise I felt “homeless” and in a limbo.

    And here I can only speak for myself (hoping you can make something out of it for yourself): This frustrating state of transision will pass. Lookiero sounds good 🙂

    February 17, 2022
      • Monika

        REPLY

        Totally understand. I have bought dresses and shoes for – as it turned out – *fictional* situations which might have occured in a different life 🙂

        February 21, 2022
  • Myra Boyle

    REPLY

    The blazer did look good on you and your bum looked great n the jeans, but I agree with your decision to return the lot. Try again – but the thought occurs to me that you should have a go at styling another person.

    February 17, 2022
  • Jasmine

    REPLY

    Styling can be so difficult for the reasons you stated above, but giving credit to where credit is due, the pieces are pretty great, just not for you, and that’s okay x
    I must say though that I’m really enjoying your quest for something to wear, it’s both hilarious and real, which I appreciate from bloggers 🙂
    jasmine ♡ minae

    February 19, 2022
  • Erin

    REPLY

    I actually think most of what you received was cute but not practical. It’s a bit of a catch .22 because what you seem to be looking for (comfortable and stylish) is basically what you’re already wearing (jeans and jumpers) so there aren’t many options. If you lived in FL it would be much easier to branch out into clothing with shorter legs and sleeves, but when you live in a climate that’s cold/wet (I relate, I’m in Michigan, USA), there are only so many practical options for what to wear. Like you can’t show up to school pick-up in any variation of shorts/capris/short sleeves/tank tops/skirts without tights/dresses without tights/etc 80% of the year, and that makes it hard.

    Basically, what I think I’m trying to say is that you get long pants and long shirts with jackets and practical shoes as your only option and let’s be real, finding fashion in that limiting selection is difficult. Especially, I would imagine, for someone who used to get to dress like an impractical fairy princess when she wanted to (I loved all of your pin-up style dresses and voluminous skirts of days of yore). I don’t have a kid/s, but I do have farm animals and work from home so I’m in a similar position style-wise, but since I’ve never had a strong personal style (other than slutty ceramics teacher – that’s what I call my aesthetic), let alone made a portion of my living having one, I don’t feel a huge loss. I can imagine it’s so different for you. For what it’s worth, I think you look cute in everything you post and even in all of this stitch fix stuff even if it’s not a fit for you personally. I like the exact opposite jeans that you do and am thrilled at wide leg everything returning. FWIW, I think you look adorable in those jeans despite what you think, especially if they were a smaller size, but I also get that it’s not what you like and that’s what’s important. it’s just so hard to find COMFORTABLE FUNCTIONAL fashion. I think stitchfix as a whole did a pretty good job within the parameters, and I hope that if you try them again they find something that works for you! Sorry for the ramble.

    February 23, 2022
  • Erin

    REPLY

    Also, to Monica above, thank you for posting about the self-estrangement. I think that’s an interesting concept and I’m not sure if I’ve gone through it with fashion persay, but I can see it in other areas of my life as well as friends’ lives!

    February 23, 2022
  • Kristin

    REPLY

    Curious if you have ever thought about hiring an in-person stylist? Often times they can come in and see what you already have (which can give a much better sense of style than a questionnaire) and help you define your style if you are unsure or in a spot where you just want to try something different. Bonus: they could also help incorporate the Stitch Fix pieces into your existing wardrobe 🙂

    March 1, 2022
  • Amy

    REPLY

    I had ~six Stitch Fix boxes recently, I returned every single thing they sent. They didn’t listen to me at all. I have a genetic condition that means I have no fat on the lower half of my body so my shape is an inverse triangle. I wear an 18/20 on top and a 12/14 on bottom. They continued to send things that were tight on the hips when I told them no. Wool is really itchy to me and I asked them to not send any wool and they kept sending things with 10-20% wool. I dislike floral patterns and asked to not have those and they kept sending them anyway. I did do the previews and rejected most of the things and they still sent things I didn’t like or that didn’t fit. I had a miserable experience with them and I would be hard pressed to consider anything like it again.

    March 13, 2022
  • lism.

    REPLY

    I signed up to Stitch Fix when I got promoted, since even my office look is “oversized toddler”. The first box I received didn’t particularly work for me (though there was a cute blazer I kept, as I don’t own anything like that and I also really resented losing out on the £10 styling fee 😉

    The second box? I kept EVERYTHING. Which I wouldn’t necessarily have done – there were two jumpsuits, for example, and I didn’t *need* both – but the brands they pick are at a higher price point than I would otherwise go for and I wanted that sweet sweet 20% discount!

    The “no obligation” aspect is what has kept me signed up to this point. I do preview the contents of my boxes – it effectively allows you to choose five from 15 or so potential items, and they’ll find you something else if you don’t like anything. That said, the only thing I’m in the market for now is a 40th birthday party dress, and I doubt they have anything on file that caters to the full-on princess look I’m after!

    Lis x

    March 14, 2022
  • Kay Caton

    REPLY

    I’ve tried them a couple times and each time they’ve got it wrong, despite being VERY clear in my profile. Sending me tops with a neck-cut that I personally don’t like, sending me an item I’d already purchased from them a previous time which didn’t make room for a new item, or sending me a £300 coat when I said I’m on a very low budget. I guess “low budget” can be interpreted different ways, but to me it means I’m expecting to spend far less than £300 for the full box! But, having said all that, I agree I like the idea of the service but I’d be more open to trying other alternatives like Lookiero or Thread for example.

    March 28, 2022
POST A COMMENT