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Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Reviews | 19 comments

Stitch Fix: Next Time, Just Go Shopping with a Blindfold

Stitch Fix: Next Time, Just Go Shopping with a Blindfold

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:

dress

Remember this dress when I talk about it later.

assorted clothing

This seems harmless. Yeah, piranhas are cute too until you stick your finger in the water.

Doesn’t seem too bad, right?

Wrong.

First, here’s me, in a size XL from my closet.

My shirt. From my closet. Size: XL. Remember XL, this is important.

My shirt. From my closet. Size: XL. Remember XL, this is important.

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”.

Would you pay $38 for this???

Would you pay $38 for this???

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.

basket shirt

Yehaw! Where’s my lumberjack axe?

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?

black shirt

Stitch Fix can totally screw up a simple black shirt.

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.

pink sweater

Is their stylist color blind? Or do they figure I just wear suits to work. Pretty sure I specified I’m a web geek. Hint: we don’t wear suits to work.

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.

dress

“dress”

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.

19 Comments

  1. I did it and found the experience fun. I kept one shirt and sent the rest back, but I am trying again because I love the idea and the design aspects (and great shipping and return and okay pricing). I shop J Crew, Banana Republic and boutiques so the things they sent (yes plastic jewelry sometimes is in those stores) are reminiscent of cool things I see out and about, but with doorstep delivery. They admit their sizing is limited so don’t judge or feel bad for being at the high end and find some tightness, but rather refine the “ask ” for like stretchier sweaters or oversize cuts. The fuschia sweater looks great on you but maybe ask for gray or black tones next time. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yeah- I’ve peeked at what clothing is being sent to me as we speak. If they had let me “peek” before shipping, it would have saved everyone a lot if trouble! Nothing they’ve sent me has been close to my pinterest style & I’ve begged them not to send me- a 50+ woman- mini-dresses! After 4 horrible fixes, I’m canceling my subscription!

  3. Hi there! I love Stitch Fix, and as a woman in “women’s sizes” I know how frustrating it is to try something on and have it barely fit over one side of your head! But let’s be honest with one other – we’re the ones to blame, not them. It’s our choice that we’re this size. We should be pissed at ourselves.

    • Well, on the one hand I agree with you, on the other hand not so much. For me: yes, it’s my own fault I’m fat.

      I know other people with medical conditions that make it near impossible, if not 100% impossible, to lose weight.

      That said, any business that plans to sell to plus sized women needs to pay attention to how plus sizing works. We all know women’s clothing sizes vary wildly by brand. As professional outfitters, this would be something I would expect a professional to pay attention to.

      I’m glad you’re liking Stitch Fix. A lot of women do. I think it’s just not for all of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks so much for sharing your feedback.

    • This is a totally sad comment. I ordered stitch fix, too. I am not overweight and am a solid size 8. But, I am a woman and have a woman’s body. I have had children and I therefor have curves. Everything they sent me was too tight and fit like it belonged on a teenager. However, the clothes looked like prints and colors my grandma would wear. I’m irritated by the experience, too. It wasn’t worth my time or my $20 for the experience.

  4. Okay, wow. Seriously?

    “Itโ€™s our choice that weโ€™re this size. We should be pissed at ourselves.”

    I’m a size 12 but used to be a size 18. My main motivator for losing 50+ pounds was that I was made to feel like crap about myself. Among other things, this included the inability to find many flattering and fashion-forward clothes. Bottom line? Everyone deserves to feel attractive. Yes, even plus-sizers.

    Some clothing manufacturers get it, some don’t. It’s a sad reality that the fashion industry is largely (pun intended) oblivious to the needs of plus-size women. Maybe Stitch Fix will expand their inventory to help these women, maybe not. In any case, no one should be pissed at herself for how she looks. The industry is failing these women, not the other way around.

    It is inappropriate for a plus-size woman to insinuate that another plus-size woman should be pissed at herself because of her weight. Perhaps Janice’s body image is not as poor as Jessica’s.

    • Thanks Aleshia, I am comfortable with myself. I’m fat and I know it.

      But you know what? I participated in a physical exercise step challenge at work recently: logging the most steps (exercise, housework, childcare, etc counted in addition to using a pedometer).

      I ended at #20 of 392 in our region. #214 of 2,042 in the nation!

      At one point, on the message boards, I politely told people to “catch up to the fat, middle-aged woman!” ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like I said though: some of us only have ourselves to blame. But that’s not true for everyone. Judging everyone based on their weight, by the same standards, is just, well, not thoughtful or even empathetic.

      Everyone’s body is different. Everyone is overweight for different reasons too. There is NO “one size fits all” (ha, I made a punny!) when it comes to why someone is overweight.

      Excellent response you’ve made. My favorite lines: “Bottom line? Everyone deserves to feel attractive. Yes, even plus-sizers.”

      And

      “The industry is failing these women, not the other way around”.

      Absolutely. 100%

      • Great job on the steps! My response was to address Jessica’s comment above. If plus-sizers had more positive body images and didn’t feel such a tug to mold to the fashion industry’s standards of beautiful, then more designers might cater to the market. As it is, though, the cycle continues: Jessica feels pissed at herself because she can’t find any good clothes. Blames herself. Informs you that you should blame yourself also. Fashion designers concur. NOTHING HAPPENS. It is completely unproductive.

        • Thanks Aleshia. I know you were aiming at Jessica. But it was pretty clear that she already has body issues, and I don’t want a flame war to make it worse.

          On my blog, I try and stay polite and fairly low-key. That said, I don’t mind debate at ALL so long as it is civil (Oh, my Facebook page generates tons of debate…LOL!).

          Your points are 100% valid. That said, perhaps she’ll reconsider that she doesn’t need to entirely blame herself. Even for those of us who are overweight and acknowledge that it is “our fault”…well, there are a LOT of variables in play there.

          For example, my job keeps me in front of a computer around 10 hours a day or more (I’m on salary AND I run a business part-time making websites). I have twin toddlers too. WHEN am I supposed to exercise???

          That step program? I ONLY did so well because I telecommute for my day job; so did stretching, yoga, calisthenics, and stationary bike on my 15 minute breaks, at lunch, and after work. Just 5 or 10 minutes of exercise here and there, because I’m too out of shape for the stamina of a full 30 minute workout, much less an hour. 5 to 10 minutes here and there makes a big difference once you modify your diet too.

          But again: everyone’s body is different. For example, in high school, I was on dance team and at 5’1”, topped at 105 of solid muscle and danced AT LEAST 2 hours a day.

          My best friend was overweight and had tried EVERYTHING to lose weight. But you know what? When it came to aerobics and swimming, she kicked my butt!! I’ve seen that a lot: fat does not = out of shape any more than skinny = healthy and in shape.

          And I just recovered from an ugly round of depression so severe, I went on short-term disability per my doctor. I gained a LOT of weight under that depression. I mean I REALLY hit bottom. (FYI, I’ve come out the other side due to leave, therapy, meds, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and lots of support from friends and family….life is rockin’ now! I haven’t felt this good in YEARS!)

          So yeah, it may be “our own fault” but sometimes due to how our economy and society set us up, we have no choice in the matter. I’ve grown up broke and spent a lot of my adult life broke. I’ve had money too.

          And I gotta say: there’s a reason po’ folk are fat…healthy food costs money and you can’t get full on just fruit and veggies and pasta (or it’s hard…the vegan diet isn’t for everyone and certainly not me).

          Shoot, I *know* overweight vegans and vegetarians!

          Honey, you are 100% right on! I’m really digging our discussion. Thanks so much for posting!

  5. I just got my first stitch fix today, I am a size 12 mostly, with some 10’s and some 14’s fitting, and didn’t see your review till now. I probably wouldn’t of subscribed had I saw this first, but, luckily, for me, the did manage to get 3 things I loved, the other 2 fit fine, they just weren’t something I’d ever wear…but, yea, none of it was really my style, like my pinterest board, it was similar, I have a lot of outfits that are boot cut jeans and and long layered sweater over t-shirt/tank type tops, and they sent me skinny jeans and normal length, as opposed to long length sweaters with tanks to go under them, except, the tanks did not match the sweater no matter what their styling cards said… I think I liked it enough to try it again, not 100% sure yet, I just skipped my next delivery so I could make up my mind first.

    • Jillian, if you order again, let me know how it goes.

      I mean, I went to TOWN on my Pinterest board finding clothes I like and only the sweater matched anything on it (and I said “NO PINK”) in my profile, and the sweater was pink so that was out. (And I’m not a fashion bug so that was the first time I’ve bothered to put clothes on a board and now Pinterest thinks I love fashion…ugh.)

      Even if you got some of what you like and it fits, maybe try it again with some extra feedback for them. Be really specific about what worked and what didn’t and maybe that will help them.

  6. I was penning a review of my own Stitch Fix experience, and just for fun Googled “Stitch Fix sucks” and came across your blog. Right before I got my own Stitch Fix box, I took a 2 hour class with a personal stylist and it occurred to me how many aspects of myself I wasn’t asked about via the Stitch Fix.. and if anything, it seems like pure magic/luck that some women get something that they like! You mentioned measurements; there’s also skin tone, proportions (leg length! torso length! etc.!) and so on.

    I am a 14/XL and warned them as such, mentioning specifically that a lot of bottoms don’t necessarily fit me. I DID provide them with measurements in the “notes” section. They sent me a pair of jeans marked size “32.” They seemed exceptionally small.. I found a sizing chart online for another cut by the same manufacturer and they were the equivalent of a US size 10! No wonder I couldn’t even zip them. They sent me a couple things that fit well (I just didn’t want to spend $50-80 on them, especially in such crazy patterns that would be noticeable if I wore them often..) and two things that were gigantic. You know, those blousy, flowy tops that are so in right now. In retrospect, I’m not sure what individual person would have possibly fit in all five of these items! Perhaps it’s “my fault” that I’m a size 14/XL, but I am leaving Stitch Fix fully culpable for completely ignoring the information I provided..!

    Anyways, glad to see that I’m not the only one admitting to a negative experience! Seems they’ve improved a little bit since you originally wrote this, but only marginally. I did enjoy your blog, and your friend’s blog posts as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks for the feedback Beth! Nice to know it’s not just me either. And I’ve lost 39 pounds since I used them.

      I still will not use them. They didn’t seem to pay attention to anything in my profile, or what was on my Pinterest board. It’s like they just gave it a quick glance, threw some crap in a box, and mailed it. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • I know this is an older post, but I received my fix today, and I hated everything! I googled “I hate my stitch fix” and you pooped up. Anyway, I received the same jeans with the 32…I got them over my hips but no way could I zip them. Everything is going back and I’m going to Old Navy for some cheap jeans that fit.

  7. I wear “normal” sizes and I hated my first and last stitch fix box. There was nothing personalized about what they sent. I too told them I would not wear a certain color and they sent me a top in that color anyway. The prices were outrageous. Nothing special about the clothes they sent. Seriously, just go to the mall and put on a blind fold.

  8. My first fix arrived today after a coworker (albeit one exactly 10 years my junior ) claimed it was great. The stylist
    not only failed to look at my Pinterest selections (which I only created for Stitchfix), she obviously did not even bother to read my profile, as the fits were the exact opposite of what I indicated. Must be using child labor here, as my stylist is obviously a blind 5 year old.

  9. Just arrived today. Horrible. I wanted Boho chic or glam. I got mid west lady business – with an ugly handbag that could carry a goat. Very disappointed. I think they get you in that you are already committed to the 20 buck stylist fee- so you have to keep one item. I am out of this club.

  10. I am about to receive my 2nd stitch fix and it is all going back just like the first one. I am a size 4-8 btw, not that it matters. Crazy overpriced for Target Old Navy style and quality. 54 buck for a cheaply made top? Even if I liked the style, it is junk quality. I agree that one is better off blindfolded at an outlet mall and that it looks like child labor styled the box. They send the same thing to everyone, too, it seems. Run the items thru eBay and you will see second hand versions available. Stitch Fix peddles the same styles for a few years, too.

  11. Stitch Fix is for teenagers, plain and simple, I just cancelled my account after they kept sending me see-thru shirts, even after I specified several times that Iโ€™m a professor and have to dress respectably for work.

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