A Year of Stitch Fix!

Stitch Fix Year 1 Review Image

I realized yesterday evening (as I struggled, alone, through Core Lesson 2 of my Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish) that it was the one year anniversary date of my very first Stitch Fix! My last box was a bit of a dud so I bumped up my next one by a couple of weeks and also switched my subscription frequency back to every 2 – 3 weeks. I wasn’t loving the wait between boxes, especially when I’ve only kept one item out of the last two Fixes. I feel less disappointed in a light box when I know the next one is almost on its way. Anyhoo, it seemed appropriate to take a look back and see if and what I’ve learned from the experience!

1. By the numbers: I’ve kept 45 items out of a possible 85 in 17 Fixes, which is a bit more than half of what I’ve been sent. Of those 45, I’ve donated 1 piece and am on the verge of donating at least 1 more, which would bring my average to just about half. Those 17 Fixes have include four “grand slams” where I kept 5 out of 5, and only one total miss (which included two items in less-than-perfect condition, so my styling fee was refunded). Statistically I’m pleased with where I’ve landed. I find that I don’t regret returning any item that I chose not to keep, but do have a tinge of regret about a few that I’ve kept, but that regret is balanced by the fact that those pieces all taught me something. The pieces I’ll show later as being “regrets” are all also from my first five Fixes, and I’ll interpret that as proving that I did in fact learn some stuff. 🙂

2. I love Lauren!: After a steady decline in the first five Fixes, and feeling a bit marginalized by some repetitive and very un-personal stylists notes, the good folks at Stitch Fix assigned me Lauren for Fix #6 and my attitude about the service completely turned around. I wrote to customer service to commend Lauren’s work and got a nice thank you from Brienne in return — and then a follow-up email saying they were going to assign Lauren to me whenever she was available. Not my first nor last interaction with Stitch Fix’s excellent customer service team — I have read a lot of complaints about how they don’t provide a phone number but I have always found their email-only customer service to be efficient, fair, and responsive. I can understand if they’d want to guarantee that all of their customer interactions are in writing, and also why they might not want to invest in the real estate for an actual call center.

3. It’s all about expectations: I admit that I was one of those people for awhile who would get angry when my requests were ignored, nothing matched my Pinterest page, or I peeked ahead to see something on its way that seemed to contradict what I had in my Style Profile. I would let a lot of resentment build up and make myself miserable. I learned to let all of that go and just really enjoy the service for exactly the fun thing that it is — if I need sundresses or want a particular thing, I will go and buy it. I believe the stylists do their best to send people stuff they believe we’ll like. They aren’t mind readers, and they are just as subject to misinterpretation as anyone else. Their inventory isn’t bottomless.

On the other hand, I wish they would partner with more manufacturers of plus-size clothing to open up their customer base to more women. The great feeling of getting a box of new clothes hand-picked by someone who wants to make you smile shouldn’t be limited to sizes 2 – 14.

Hits and misses and maybes.
I went through all of my style cards this morning and chose 5 pieces that highlight my experience with Stitch Fix and fives that were more like learning opportunities. And one that I’m still on the fence about. Let’s start with the mild regrets and get those out of the way.

Blue TopAguerro Gather Detail Knit Top by Colourworks (Fix #1). I freely admit that when I got my first Fix, after a month and a half of anticipation, I was insane. I would describe myself as predestined to love and keep everything. When the honeymoon was over I found myself with a couple of items that I might have considered more carefully, and this top is one. While the color is amazing (and was the only bold color in my first Fix) the shape is very unflattering to a pear like me. I tried for months to pair it with something that would work, to tuck it in, to cover it up, but ultimately I donated it. Hopefully it is sprucing up someone else’s color palette as we speak.

Silver Necklace

Katelyn Layered Geometric Necklace by Zad (Fix #1). The other item in Fix #1 that I might have considered more thoughtfully is the Katelyn necklace. I don’t think I’ve worn it more than once in the last year, and that time it was mostly out of guilt. There’s nothing wrong with this necklace, but it doesn’t really go with my wardrobe. I was so excited to get something that didn’t look like anything else I owned that I kept it without considering why I didn’t own anything like it. It hits my chest at precisely the wrong point to flatter either my chest or itself. I haven’t donated this one yet, but it’s on the list.

Vita Boat Neck Stripe Knit Shirt by Toss (Fix #2). I kept this white and navy piece, again, because I didn’t have anything like it, and I’veworn it plenty of times in the last year. It’s comfortable and fits well, but I have never loved it. It feels very conservative, though I do like that it dresses up and down easily. I have another mixed-stripe top from Fix #12 that I usually choose instead because it’s more fun. I haven’t donated it and won’t, but I think it will cycle out of my closet before many of my other more beloved pieces.

Kacia Geo-Print Mixed Material Blouse by Daniel Rainn (Fix #2). I stepped way outside my comfort zone to keep this piece and I wear it every now and then as sort of a challenge, but I don’t love the odd look at the shoulders, and it always feels a little big (even since I’ve gained some weight back from all those years on the deprivation/binge cycle that is modern dieting). I always get compliments on it, but sometimes I wish I had just saved my money for something else.

2014-07-01 19.18.40Colibri Abstract Print Sleeveless Top by Market and Spruce (Fix #6). I would like to be able to say I only kept this top for the 5/5 discount, but I really did like it at the time (and there was probably an over-excitement element about getting a new stylist involved as well). At the moment, it’s the only piece I’ve gotten from Stitch Fix that I know for a fact doesn’t fit me well anymore, with the buttons straining across my chest in that way every woman hates — I’m thinking of ditching pretty much ALL my button downs in the next purge because they just aren’t made for larger-chested ladies (discuss). This one is getting donated, not just because of the ill fit, but also because the paler colors don’t do me any favors.

But enough with the regrets! Let’s get on to the hits! All of these are coming in the order that they were received. I’m not even going to try to rank them in any meaningful way.

Adora Skinny Jean by Just Black (Fix #2). I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried these on in months and have no idea if they even fit me anymore, but they made the list because getting these made me feel special and awesome and trendy and cool. I know, I know, that’s a bit shallow, but whatevs. Mint skinnies were It last spring and I had them. I remember telling my friend I was afraid to buy them because they would put too much pressure on my to maintain my weight. Now I’m proud to say, if they never fit me again, so what. As the 9th Doctor would have said, they were fanTAStic.

ponchoAsher Button Detail Cotton Poncho by LA Made (Fix #5). This piece perfectly illustrates what I appreciate most about Stitch Fix. In a million years I never would have given this piece a second glance, and here we many months later it’s still one of my favorites. It is also the least expensive piece of clothing I’ve received in a Fix at $38. It’s versatile enough for work or play and the bright color makes me happy.

braceletVeronica Layered Metal Cuff by Zad (Fix #5). Trendy and not at all annoying in the way many bracelets can be when you work a desk job, this cute little cuff has become a staple in my accessories rotation. Again, it’s not something I ever would have tried on myself.

opencardiganAbrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan by 41Hawthorn (Fix #12). I’m wearing this piece right now. I can’t seem to convey how cold it gets for how long where I live so I haven’t gotten a lot of sweater or cardigan options even though I wear them every day. Of course I’m not the only one in a cold climate so I’m sure Stitch Fix is doing their best to keep up with demand. I love the simplicity and elegant shape of this cardigan and the strong jewel tone. When I look at this sweater I want to go ahead and request more in different colors even though I’m trying to break myself of that tendency!

blackdolmanQueensland Dolman Jersey Top by 41Hawthorn (Fix #15). Everyone gets this top from Stitch Fix. Everyone. Don’t care. It’s so comfortable and versatile and flattering on every body type. I wear this once a week, paired with a pencil skirt or jeans or what have you, and it welcomes any kind of accessories.

So there’s my top five — but I couldn’t resist adding in one more piece that I bought last December but haven’t actually worn yet because it’s been far too cold. Since I suspect it’s going to shoot to the top of my favorites list I thought it deserved a little spotlight, the Angelo Cargo Anorak Jacket by Market and Spruce (Fix #12), in a great plum color and adorable polka-dot lining:

anorak

There you have it! One year in and I’m delighted to still have this service in my life. Despite a wealth of emotional issues concerning my weight and body shape over the last year, Stitch Fix has remained a positive force. It’s actually, in a weird way, helped me let go of some deeply embedded beliefs about my body and myself. It’s easier to look at something that doesn’t fit and avoid labeling it a failure of my own willpower. Some things fit, some things don’t. Some flatter, some don’t. I let go of the things that don’t fit or flatter and embrace the ones that do, for as long as they do, and allow them to help me present my best self to the world — a best self that reflects what I love about me, and not what I’m trying to hide.

If you want to give Stitch Fix a try yourself, please consider using my referral link. I am not compensated in any way for reviewing this service, but if you sign up through my link and schedule your own Fix, I get  a $25 credit to my account. Enjoy!

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