I live 100 miles from a shopping mall but I buy most anything I can locally in our small town of 1000 people. Like my Rock and Roll Cowgirl jeans at the local Western Shop. Or I drive 27 miles to our neighboring town to my favorite consignment shop, Nita’s Attic, sometimes to purchase but this winter it was to purge. It is where I took nine bags and boxes of clothes from my closet.
Most of the clothes still fit. Some don’t. They are tight in the stomach and hips. And a few pieces are even too big. That’s what happens when you swing between a 60 pound weight decrease or increase and have four sizes of clothes. I needed a purge and fresh start in my closet and how I present myself. I rid myself of favorites and clothes that had served me in my career over the past years but that needed a new home now.
My life has changed over the past 15 months as I have transitioned from full-time work, five days a week business suit or dresses attire to at-home work from home mom life. I know how it is tempting to wear jeans and a t-shirt or my favorite, stretchy yoga pants and a baggy hooded sweatshirt everyday. With wool socks nine months of the year on the prairie. Which the Western Shop also sells.
If I can’t buy something locally within close driving distance, I purchase online from Amazon to Zappos. But clothes shopping takes time and time I cannot take right now to find a style and put together a outfit. My past online shopping has more of a quick search and click to purchase. Or the famous leave it in a cart online and never decide to buy. Then the item haunts me in ads on Facebook.
Because of this lack of clothes shopping time or commitment maybe it is, I was well on my way to pulling off that yoga pants and wool socks look every day at home this past winter until I discovered StitchFix, an online personalized styling service.
I received a referral link from a fellow blogger. I checked it out, hesitant and unsure this could possibly work with my difficult shopping parameters. I’m not 5’4″ and a size 6. Lucky you if you are. I never have been. I gave it a try anyway.
I filled out answers to oodles of questions from how I want clothes to fit on my body type to looks and styles I dislike or like. When you fill it out, you can add notes and specifics. I added things like: I need 35″ inseam in pants. I prefer long over short. I carry unwanted weight in my middle. My shoulders are broad. My legs are long. I need casual chic, fashion forward attire that brings flexibility to my wardrobe. Sometimes I go to a meeting that I need to dress up for and sometimes I’m in a farm field and sometimes I’m in bleachers at a game. And sometimes I’m on the floor of our basement doing preschool with our sweet four-year-old. That’s a life I love and live and it doesn’t include business suits anymore.
It was time for a fresh start. Could StitchFix be a part of refreshing my wardrobe?
I set budget parameters. I planned. I even detailed in my first “Fix” that I needed shorts for a DisneyWorld vacation.
For three months, one box has arrived each month to my husband’s business office in town and he brings it home. Because when you build a house in a hayfield the UPS driver doesn’t find it. Ever. Because the address never exists in the system. Ever.
My husband is now is excited to see my “fix” each month. In it are five new pieces. On your StitchFix profile, you can even say what pieces you want more of or less of or not at all along with budget ranges. I need tops. Less but cheap accessories when they do send them. Pants sometimes. A dress once in a while.
I have always wanted a personal shopper. But I didn’t live near a big mall or major department store. And I never thought I had the budget for it. But StitchFix has proved me wrong. And while I don’t like sharing oodles of pictures of myself as I think it looks like a self-focused, slightly dramatic, attention seeking, slightly insecure blogging woman, I am about to break those barriers I set and show you photos of me in my StitchFix clothes in an array of locations and activities. They have proved to be flexible as I requested!
From an adorable dress in Disney World…I mean the princesses took center stage but my dress was perfect for the day and my style. Maybe another time I will go for Elsa or Sophia like our girls were going for that day. This dress is a Medium in size. It is more snug than I would have bought for myself but it fits and looks great. It is also a print I wouldn’t have picked out on my own. I attended The Leading Ladies Luncheon in Bismarck, North Dakota with my sister-in-law, Jenn. The jacket, top and necklace are all StitchFix. I never buy green. And now I love it. But I do buy pink and this pink top was another perfect Disney vacation outfit. Pink is my favorite color. And it’s not just because I married a guy with the last name of PINKE. That’s a bonus.
In my first fix, there was a pair of shorts. Green shorts and Bermuda length. And the brand was nothing I had worn before but since then I have bought a pair of jeans from the same brand. And I love the shorts! It’s the first pair of shorts I have bought in probably in three years. Thanks to Laila the StitchFix stylist for this find.
Each fix also comes with picture cards on how to wear the pieces and different styles to pair the piece with which is what I need. I literally need to SEE how to expand my options on a piece. StitchFix does that for me, all in the comforts and ease of my own home.
I have two pink tops now from StitchFix. The most recent one I wore to a baby shower hosted by my sister on a ranch in western North Dakota for a friend. My sister always has style. And I had some thanks to my new top. That green jacket has put in miles this spring, like when my prairie mama friend Val and I went on a road trip to a political convention. Because that is what prairie mamas do to share our voice. At least we do. And you should too.
Now the greatest challenge in my wardrobe are jeans to fit me. That’s why I love stretchy yoga pants so much. I’m a 35-year-old mom. I don’t want to look like a 35-year-old mom trying to wear 21-year-old girl jeans. I also don’t want to look like a 1987 mom in jeans. No Jordache or Chic here.
Act your age, not your shoe size.
I’m long-legged. I’m thicker in the middle. Could StitchFix pull off finding jeans to fit me? In my latest April fix not only did they send jeans that fit me, my husband says they are the best jeans I have owned in the nine years I have been wearing jeans around him. He has seen me and loved me through my 60 pound yo-yo of weight gains (including two pregnancies) and dramatic decreases and then with 25 lb. increases. He has seen me in four different sizes of jeans. But these jeans are his favorite. They are Level 99 brand and I am a believer in them.
Consistently, StitchFix provides me prints and colors I love, like in this top I wore with Talbots gray dress pants and a CAbi jean jacket to Hunter’s piano recital last weekend.
I spoke last week at a FFA banquet in rural North Dakota. A fellow speaker and rural mom, also name Katie stood on a cement block to take a picture with me. I was wearing the first ever maxi dress long enough for my 6’0″ frame. It was from StitchFix! Another shout out to Laila.
I don’t know Laila personally but you get a personal note in your StitchFix box from the shopper that helped you on the Fix. So far, two fixes from Laila and one from Olivia have scored for me.
And those jeans I have already raved about from Level 99, the best fitting jeans I have owned? I wore them on a dairy farm to visit my friend Emily before shopping at a big city mall in them with my sister-in-law Lori. Flexible wardrobe options, I love.
I have a lot less in my closet than I did earlier this year. Purging and cleaning out was the best thing I did before signing up for StitchFix. Now I have a fresh start with new, fashion forward pieces that keep me out of wearing yoga pants and wool socks everyday I am home. Plus I have new, fresh looks when I have commitments outside of home.
How much am I spending? How much should you spend? It varies on the month and budget. I have a budgeted amount I will spend. If you keep all five items, you get a 25% total discount on the total amount plus the $20 stylist fee is waived. If you send back an item in the self-addressed envelope they include with your shipment, you miss out on those savings. But I did have a pair of white jeans that just did not fit my life or my middle very well. White jeans on the dusty prairie get gray very quickly. Plus they were tight. I sent them back. Otherwise I have kept all items sent to me.
The greatest bonus I have received StitchFix is the referral program.
April’s Fix which included a dress, three tops and jeans, cost me $75. How? 25% off for buying all items. Waived $20 stylist fee. And I had $175 credit. For each person who signs up under your referral link, you get $25 credit. So, thank you to my seven friends for signing up for StitchFix! SCORE.
The negatives I have read online is that StitchFix only offers sizes 0-14 and that the wait time now is two months out when you schedule your first fix. I’m understanding to that as they are a young and booming business. I think they will expand their offerings with time and of course have more stylists to help more customers but it all takes time. So for now, I’m sticking to monthly fixes which are scheduled in and at anytime I can “skip” a fix which might happen later this summer. Or you can just schedule in a fix when you need one or as budget allows. Once a year. Four times a year. Every month. Whatever works best for you.
For now I am awaiting my May 21 fix that will include a dress to wear to summer weddings. HOORAY. I’m all for making my life less hectic, more organized and productive. StitchFix does that for me.
A woman who looks and feels good can be a happy woman. A happy mama makes a happy family. Whatever it takes, I’m justifying StitchFix in my life.
Hopefully for the many that have asked me on Facebook page about StitchFix, this gives you an overview. Let me know if you have tried it, with luck or no luck or are going to give it a try. I’m still a buy local first woman but the ease added to my life with StitchFix is definitely worth it for me. I can’t wait to see others enjoying this online personal stylist service!
What’s your favorite place to shop for clothes? Have you tried StitchFix?
StitchFix didn’t ask me to write this. I’m not sponsored. If you subscribe to my blog by email (in the right column) and/or answer ONE of above questions before Wednesday morning, May 7 at 6 a.m CST, you will be entered to win one of three $50 StitchFix gift cards. Limit two entries for those that subscribe to my blog and enter a comment.
Make you sure you list your email address and name when you comment so I can contact you if you win on Wednesday. Even if you aren’t going to use StitchFix, it would make for a fantastic gift for a mom, sister, friend, neighbor or colleague.
Update: This giveaway is now closed. You can see the winners here.