I wrote in January about my first encounter with Stitch Fix. This “personal stylist for the masses” company sends you 5 items as often as you want. You try them on at home, keep what you like and return the rest. Over time, your stylist should get to know you better, and send you items that you like more. The business model of Stitch Fix is built around you keeping 1-2 items. As Stitch Fix explained to me, women bring 10 items into a dressing room and keep one, so a 20-40% hit rate is pretty good.
I like the informed serendipity to this kind of shopping. I also realized, when my second Fix showed up this week, that I’m the perfect Stitch Fix customer. I set my desired price range low enough that I know I could easily spend more on five items on my own. I also am inclined to try to make things work, figuring the stylist somewhat knows what she's doing. And then I fall prey to the smart psychology tactic they’ve got going on. If you buy all 5 items, you get a 25% discount. So it’s almost never worth it to keep just four items, and if you’re marginal on the fourth item, often the economics of the all-in discount point toward keeping it (it may be a $60 skirt, but you’re getting it for $20).
So this is my second fix where I’ve kept all 5 items. I have two skirts that I quite like and have already worn -- one out to dinner, one on Saturday. At first I was unsure about this bright green scarf they sent with a map of Mexico on it, but when you’re wearing the scarf, you can’t see that it’s Mexico, and the colors are perfect to punch up the sort of monochromatic stuff I find myself wearing. They also sent me this pretty cowl neck dress that looks like a watercolor painting. It’s a little cool to wear it right now, but with black heels and a nice black cardigan or wrap, it will be great in the spring.
Which brings me to the subject of black cardigans. My 5th item was a basic black cardigan, which seems like the kind of thing I’d really get into and use, except that somehow this cardigan managed to be completely unflattering. It’s long, and has a weird shape that cuts in at the waist and then goes out. The net effect is not exactly slimming to my rear end, and I really don’t need any amplification in that part of my body. The main reason I’m keeping it is that it was less than 25% of the total... meaning that if I sent it back, my Fix would be more expensive than if I kept it. So I’ve been wearing it to sleep in and around the house. At least it’s comfortable and warm.
An interesting note for people considering trying Stitch Fix: I’d asked for more skirts and pants this time around. They didn’t send me any pants, which my stylist explained in a note. Basically, they know that with so many different body types, it’s almost impossible that a pair of pants they send you will meet with your approval. So they don’t carry many pants styles. I’m sure they ran tests and had like 99% return rates, which clearly isn’t going to work. So, good to know that I’m still on my own for buying jeans and black pants.