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I Tried Stitch Fix's Personal Styling Service, Here's What I Thought

For those who seek to dress better, this desire starts from one of two general places. One, you don’t know where to begin: Style rules are unfamiliar, what’s appropriate feels vague, and the vast terrain between T-shirts and suits seems more like a mystery than an adventure. Or, secondly, you’re interested in style, get the basic rules, but really don’t know what works for your body. In between this, you might know – just from going about in the world – that your wardrobe needs a refresh, or often as a result of work and other commitments, you just feel out of the loop about what to wear at this point in time or stage in your life.

In the not-too-distant past, you would’ve been told to seek out a stylist – likely a friend who has a decent eye, maybe someone at a clothing store, or, if you have the cash, someone who does this professionally. Results would be mixed: In these instances, someone gravitates toward their own style preferences while attempting to dress you, or they give you general advice about finding flattering clothing that you could’ve gotten from What Not to Wear. In response to this quandary – and the increasing assumption that your looks and style frame your personal brand – digital styling has helped guys find new brands, consider new styles and find clothes that fit. Stitch Fix – a cross between a digital styling and clothing box service are the pioneers of this space.

What is Stitch Fix and How Does it Work? 

You’ve likely seen a commercial somewhere or might even know someone who’s already tried it out. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that has an intelligent algorithm that works with human stylists in order to send customers items in their fit, taste, and budget. The clothing that customers receive is designed to be highly curated and personalized. You’ll start out with a quiz about your style, and these results form your Style Profile, which influences your first box. The stylist then takes what you liked into account to create boxes more in line with your tastes from here on out. Also, for your convenience, customers aren’t locked into a subscription model and, instead, can schedule boxes as they see fit – ideal for everyone from the regular style experimenter to the seasonal wardrobe refresher. You then have a few days to try on these personalized recommendations – all conveniently from the comfort of your home – before you determine what to keep, exchange, or send back. 

So the algorithm and then your stylist can get a sense of what you’re curious about – or what matches your vision – you’ll begin with a quiz. You’ll be asked about brands you wear and how much you spend on particular garments, as well as your size and fit, before you’re served with a series of outfit combinations. These range from almost entirely athleisure based to casual to elevated smart casual. You then check what appeals to you – either for the full group or particular items within the group. The algorithm, meanwhile, takes this information to present more refined, likely personalized arrays.

As Stitch Fix has access to thousands of brands over a wide price range – think Barbour to Levi’s – the presentation changes each time without significant overlap. This also presents the opportunity to try out a wide spectrum of brands – from ones you’re familiar with to those that might not have been on your radar. With the results from your Style Profile, your stylist hand-picks 10 items for you to review via the website or app and then refines this down to five, which will then be packaged and sent to you. Once your box arrives, you have seven days to go through the arrangement to see what you like. When you’re ready, you’ll mail the rest back with pre-paid shipping. Your order further comes with an itemized list by price: Should you decide to keep an item, you’ll be charged this amount, in addition to the £10 styling fee. If you decide to keep all five items, you’ll receive 20-percent off the total. 

Understand that you don’t just pack and ship what you want back: Before you do this step, you’ll be asked to review the items – purchase, exchange, or return – online and give your stylist feedback. This information helps your stylist continue making more targeted, curated decisions with future boxes. Through this same interface, you’ll also be presented with new and suggested offerings based on your identified preferences. For those interested in Stitch Fix to overhaul their personal style, realize that much of what gets presented veers toward neutral and classic, rather than brightly coloured and trendy. You won’t encounter too many prints – just some checks, stripes, and smaller-scale options – and might see an occasional pop of colour. This can result in a wardrobe that’s current and yields greater longevity. For menswear, sizes up to XXL are available. To begin your style journey, get started by completing your Style Profile at stitchfix.co.uk.

Why Use Stitch Fix 

Overall, I was very impressed with how seamless and non-intrusive the experience was. You really don’t need to set aside a significant amount of your time. I would say I spent a total of 20 mins setting up the account, answering the style preferences questions and clicking on items I liked and didn’t like after my stylist had sent some recommendations. I was also impressed with the selection of clothing that arrived. There was the green check shirt for days when I want to be more colourful and the black linen shirt for days when I want to be a more muted. I discovered new brands I didn’t know about too. I was particularly impressed with the jeans because they fit perfectly, and the silhouette is just what I like. Of all styling and subscription box services out there, Stitch Fix stands out with the following: 

The Garments Fit Well 

We all know what it’s like ordering something online, only to find it’s too large, too tight, or just fits oddly. The garments arriving from Stitch Fix all fit relatively well, in terms of slim to regular sizing. If you’re someone looking to streamline your wardrobe without having to shop around excessively, Stitch Fix’s box eliminates the guesswork when it comes to finding something that flatters and feels comfortable.

Ideal for Building Up Basics 

Among all the novelty prints and fabrics, we all need a core, somewhat minimalist and versatile wardrobe of jeans, chinos, and button-front shirts that suit the work week and weekend. Stitch Fix excels in this regard: Aside from the fit, a majority of the offerings presented during the initial quiz reflected neutral colours and cuts. These are clothes that’ll deliver more mileage, so you’re not stuck with something you’ll wear once or twice. 

Try Out Something New 

You don’t want to end up with a wardrobe of clothes you won’t wear – but you also wish to expand your style horizons. Stitch Fix lets you try out more garments, cuts, and brands without having to make a definite, costly investment upfront. Should you like it and find it fits, you have the opportunity to hold onto and purchase the item. 

To begin your style journey, get started by completing your Style Profile at stitchfix.co.uk.

Ivan Yaskey

Philadelphia’s streetwear scenes and working as a copywriter for a Boston-based menswear brand sparked Ivan's passion for fashion and style more than a decade ago.

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