I ran across this cool-looking site called Stitch Fix. The site was great, the concept was cool: fill out a profile and they’ll send you a box of clothes and if you like it, you buy it; if you don’t, you send it back. They will help “fix” your wardrobe; you only pay for the items you want.
And that sounded really neat to me. Because, let’s face it, I suck at girly stuff. Seriously. I’ve always been terrible at it. I figured out some of it when I worked as a web developer at Fossil (from the ages of 36 to 37), but I’m still far below the average female when it comes to doing the whole clothes and hair thing. I nearly have a panic attack going to a social function, especially if it’s a mainstream one where I have to look “normal”. That was one of the many reasons I liked living in Austin: I didn’t have to match or be fashionable and no one would even notice. Also: I just really hate shopping. I’m not a shopping kind of gal. The Internet is the Best Thing Ever and I buy tons of stuff via Amazon since it’s a good price, I don’t have to go anywhere, and they probably have the best customer service on the planet. In fact, for my household, it is totally worth it to use Amazon Prime.
Back to Stitch Fix. Filling out the profile was kinda fun, although I felt it was lacking a bit. Apparently what I call certain fashion styles are not what they call them. Thankfully, they have a section that lets you clarify that with giving how you feel about photos of clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Sort of. I couldn’t point out the exact items I liked and did not like. There was just a photo of a selection of items and you could give them your feeling on a scale as to whether you love it or hate it.
There was no area to put in measurements though and the comment area was on the short side. But hey, they let me link my Pinterest board in so they can see my style, so that seemed like an awesome idea. I had my trepidations since I refuse to buy clothes online because let’s face it: not many females can find a size that we know fits us unless it’s a brand and style we are VERY familiar with and even then, the same pair of pants at the same store by the same manufacturer fitting correctly from one season to the next is always iffy. And S,M,L,XL fits totally different from one manufacturer to another. We all know that soapbox.
But I filled out the profile anyway, and sent forth to the social networks, “This looks awesome, you should check it out!”. And then set a date for a few months in the future, when I would be done taking care of a few medical bills.
And a friend did the same and made her order much sooner.
My recommendation was not well thought-out on my part, and I gave a very good friend a sad. Her Stitch Fix was a horrible, frustrating, saddening experience. Go ahead and read that, I’ll wait.
Seeing how awful her “fix” was, I set to work filling up Pinterest with more images in the My Style section in hopes of helping them out there. I also pinned a fair number of photos using plus size models to drive home the fact that I wear an XL.
Eventually, my friend sent them a politely worded letter hoping they could give this another shot, because in a nutshell, it didn’t seem like anyone over there actually read her profile before sending her anything. She got an email from them saying her ticket was answered before they actually answered her. When they did answer her with a response it was, as she phrased it, in a nutshell: “Don’t go away mad, just go away.” Feel free to read that follow-up, I can still wait here.
So I crossed my fingers and hoped that maybe this was just a one-time bad experience.
And here is what arrived:
Doesn’t seem too bad, right?
First, here’s me, in a size XL from my closet.
Before anyone feels the need to comment: yes, I’m fat, get over it. I do not expect my clothing to make me magically look skinny. That said, I DO expect my clothing to at least fit. I expect to NOT have to fight it for 5 minutes to get into it. I also expect it to at least demonstrate I have some form of figure or at least not make me look more hideous, thankyouverymuch.
And they did send me size XL shirts. Remember this when you are reading.
So, here’s the first item out of the box: plastic “gems” in plastic “gold”.
Selling for $38. Really??? I can get a nice necklace with real gems in it for that price. Pass. Plus: I just don’t do the plastic jewelry thing. I haven’t since the 6th grade.
Next up: the basket shirt.
Photo doesn’t convey it there but the lighter colors are pastel (see previous photo). On me: this looks like I’ve got a basket crammed on my torso. Or like I’m ready to go cut some lumber. Look, I’m from Texas but that doesn’t mean I need to look like I just swung down off a horse at the ranch.
Also: that shirt has no buttons. Know what holds it together in front? NOTHING. There’s some stitching at the top and the bottom. In the middle is just this section that will just flap in the breeze. Because the world totally needs to see the deep stretch marks left by twins. I guarantee there was nothing in my profile stating that I am a nubile 21 year old. Pass.
And now we have something that seems like it should be easy. Black shirt, who can mess this up?
That shirt was a REALLY tight fit. Again, it was an XL. What you can’t see are the buttons straining across my cleavage. Literally. I was going to pop a button if I breathed too deeply. Trying to get out of it, I eventually had to give up and call my husband, otherwise, I’d have to bust out of it like The Hulk. My husband had a field day with that one.
Next, a sweater. The cut was like some of the ones on my Pinterest board. But you know what my Stitch Fix profile stated? “No pink for work”. This is a sweater I could wear to work. But it’s pink. I’m sure they’d call it magenta or something but whatever you want to call it, it is FRIGGIN’ PINK! And “bright-pink-hey-notice-me-notice-me!!!” pink at that.
Lastly, we have a “dress”. I say dress in quotes, because what they sent me….well, if I wore it on the street, I would be arrested for public indecency.
Ok, so here again is the first photo of the dress I posted. See that black thing? It goes under the multi-color fabric. And the multi-color fabric is VERY sheer. Remember this part.
The black part of the dress stopped just below my torso. That’s right. If I wore this on the street, I would totally be arrested. Plus, no one wants to see what’s under that. I assume this is a thing someone wears with tights (which I haven’t worn since high school in the late ’80s/early ’90s). But the packing slip said “dress”. So that’s why you see this over pants. Also, it had a belt. Because fat chicks totally love to show off them love handles. (Note: I couldn’t actually get the belt to fit into a single loop.)
It should be noted that it took me about 7 minutes to get this on, because OMG I HATE CLOTHING THAT HAVE THE CHAMISOLE-THINGY ATTACHED and those are never easy to get into. And then, because it was so tight, it took another 3 minutes to get out of. (My husband was off getting the kids from day care by this point.)
It took me longer to get into and out of the clothing, than it did to snap the pictures. And then crop them in Photoshop. And lighten them up so you could see the colors better because I’m a crappy photographer.
Not a single size XL fit like anything in my closet. And the one I put on was one of my tighter-fitting XLs.
Stitch Fix has a lot of positive customer reviews on their site. With some well-done professional photography, probably of friends and family. Most of them are averagely built. They have one XL girl there, but I’m assuming they shopped with her personally rather than by her online profile.
So in a nutshell: Nancy, I’m really, really sorry I recommended Stitch Fix to you. I recommend no one else bother unless you just have some thick skin or think you would have fodder for a hilarious blog post. If your body type is not “average” (whatever that is), Stitch Fix sucks and can’t help you. And they don’t seem to want to either.