budget living spending

How to Shop Online With Stitch Fix

stitch fixFinally, a way to go clothes shopping without going to the mall. Stitch Fix is an clothing subscription box which sets you up with a personal stylist. You tell the stylist what you like (the more specific and often you do this the better) and the Stitch Fix sends you boxes of clothing as often as you’d request them. Here’s my experience with Stitch Fix and some information about how it all works

The boxes aren’t free – there’s a $20 charge per box which goes towards a purchase if you decide to keep anything in the box. If you decide to keep everything, you get the $20 discount plus an additional 25% off your purchases. So while you might have sticker shock from a $38 cardigan, once the $20 discount is applied, as well as the 25% discount, the cardigan’s price could fall to $25. Luckily I loved everything in my box so I was able to take advantage of the discount!

How it works

The first step is to fill out a style profile. This super detailed profile includes things like colors you like to wear, sizes and wardrobe needs. You can also link to a Pinterest board which helps the stylist get to know you and what you like. When you get your boxes and return items, make sure to leave helpful comments about why you didn’t like a piece of clothing: “the skirt was an inch too short, I usually prefer skirts to fall just above my knee” is invaluably more helpful than “I didn’t like the skirt”. The comment section isn’t for judgement, it’s to help your stylist find the right clothes for your boxes.

Thankfully returns are free. Each box comes with a prepaid, addressed envelope so if you don’t like something you can easily return it within 3 days. If you don’t return an item within 3 days, your credit card will be charged so stay on top of it!

The boxes themselves are fun, as all subscription boxes are. Each month (or whatever frequency you choose), you will receive a mystery box full of goodies – almost as if it were Christmas. The boxes also contain stylist cards which help pair the Stitch Fix clothes with items you might already own.

Sounds great, what’s the catch?

The major downside to Stitch Fix is the cost of the clothing. As mentioned above, some of the prices can create a bit of sticker shock, especially for people used to shopping at Old Navy or thrift stores. Although prices are higher than in stores, if you consider the services you get – free styling, free shipping, free returns, free exchanges – you can see how the company justifies its price.

This service isn’t geared towards women with tons of time on their hands to shop sales, it’s gear towards busy women who either don’t have the time to shop at the mall or don’t want to drag their kids into the changing room. For these women, the slightly higher price is well worth the cost to be able to try on clothing in the comfort of their own home. Personally, I love being able to try on your existing clothing at the same time!

So to recap:

PROS

  • No mall shopping
  • Surprise box of goodies
  • Low-cost stylist
  • No obligation to buy
  • Free shipping, free returns, free exchanges

CONS

  • The price
  • It can take time for your stylist to get to know you

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping at the mall. The whole process seems so tedious now that I have a personal stylist to whom I can tell “I need a black blazer with gold buttons.” While Stitch Fix isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely a “need” in my budget.

If price is more a problem then time, check out these great articles to help you spend less on clothes then ever before.

How to Shop for Less: Where We Buy Clothes
The Five Classic Mistakes that Fashion Newbies Make (and How to Avoid Them)
Review: Shopping Online with DressLily

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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