The Fix is in (again)

photo-47I 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.

photo-48Which 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.


11 thoughts on “The Fix is in (again)

  1. I had been wondering why they don’t send pants. That makes sense!

    I think I am an ideal customer too, because I’m a “satisficer”…except my budget is smaller than yours.

    1. @Carrie – I think the satisficer part is huge. I’m not looking for the perfect dress. I’m looking for one that looks better than what I currently have in my closet. That’s not a huge hurdle. I think I set my price range on Stitch Fix on the lowest category — I probably would be returning more stuff if I’d set it higher. I guess the perfect Stitch Fix customer would have the highest budget and also never return anything.

  2. I’m signed up to get my first “fix” in just a couple of days — I’m very curious to see what they send me! I noticed another blogger that I follow traded some items with her mom (they both got shipments around the same time) and ended up with more items they liked that way. Maybe the weird sweater would make a good gift for a friend with a different body type?

    1. @Sarah – the funny thing is, I’ve probably worn the weird sweater more than any other item in the fix. It’s warm and comfortable to wear sleeping and around the house in the mornings, where, if people have opinions on how my backside looks in clothes, they have wisely learned to keep these to themselves. I didn’t need a stylist to pick out pajamas for me though.

  3. I know I should be all into this as you and Cloud rave about it, but I just can’t. I love shopping. This takes all the fun out of it for me. (Though it’s not like I HAVE a ton of time to shop on my own right now. But I think someday I will.)

    For those who hate it, I can totally see how this works. It’s brilliant. Just not for me, I guess.

    1. @ARC – I could enjoy shopping if I got long uninterrupted periods of time in uncrowded stores to do it. As with you, though, my life doesn’t really look like that right now. When I’m 50, I won’t need clothes shipped to me.

  4. Now that so many people are blogging about their fixes its interesting to see what of the same items the are sending people. I am getting my second fix on Wednesday and can’t wait. I will take your tip and ask for a skirt next time.

    1. @Cloud – yep, no pants. I get it, though I think it’s too bad. I just got a new pair of jeans from Zappos, though, which I think will work out. I need a new pair of black pants. The ones I love just got a big rip in the lining. I can sew it to fix it, but this may also be a sign that it’s time to start shopping around.

  5. I was so interested to hear the details of their business model: I had no knowledge of the “dressing room ratio” before, and was very curious about how many items the average shopper keeps from each fix.

    And oh yes, I fall prey to their psychology! (And depending on what I really love from each fix, it may be cheaper for me to keep all 5 items than it would be to only keep 3!)

    Luckily (for my mom), in the last two fixes I’ve received two fabulous blouses–that are a little too big for me but fit my mom perfectly. My loss, her gain–especially because with the 25% off it saves me money to keep those items anyway.

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