Referral links are used within this post. You can read my full disclosure here.
The death of in-store shopping.
The realm of shopping, especially online shopping, is going through a major shift. Malls are beginning to dwindle as in-store sales begin to drop – mostly due to the rise, and convenience of, online shopping. Retailers, such as Amazon, have revolutionized the way we shop and what we expect in terms of experience, quality, and affordability of the things we buy.
I can’t tell you the last time I went shopping for clothes in-store aside from picking up basic tees on sale from Target. I can tell you, though, that this is large in part to my dissatisfaction with my overall shopping experience. Oftentimes when I go into one of my favorite brand’s stores I am not met with adequate customer service. As a previous employee of a major retailer, I know it was important for us to be well trained as helpers and providers of information about the product the customer may be specifically shopping for. It wasn’t just about following them around and nagging them into making a purchase, but rather giving them the opportunity to knowledgeably shop. Today, I find that many stores lack in cleanliness, engaging sales associates, quality clothing options, and sizing availability.
Which brings me to my next point.
The other aspect to shopping in-store has a lot to do with the quality of clothing that is available. Most stores offer cheaper products, hoping that affordability will help draw in business. But since switching over to a more minimalistic wardrobe, I’ve found that I get more out of the clothing I buy when I make that leap into spending a little more than I typically would on pieces I know I’ll get a lot of use out of. Plus, if it makes me feel comfortable and confident – that’s worth it’s weight in gold alone.
So, what to do? How do I shop for clothing that has helped me circumvent these common, and often frustrating, issues?
Personal styling subscription services such as Stitch Fix and Dia & Co!
My favorite cargo vest from my December fix!
It’s no secret that I have a love affair with Stitch Fix. From when I first began receiving my fixes a few years ago, the company has since grown into a major competitor in personal styling. It now has a variety of options for customers – including shoes, accessories, menswear, maternity, plus size, and petits. All of this for the same price of a $20 styling fee and free returns of the items you don’t wish to keep. Their customer service is top-notch, in my opinion, and I have found that they truly work with you to ensure you have an amazing experience.
Getting a Fix
The process is simple: you create a free online style profile, answer a few questions, and share your style preferences and measurements. Then, you select the date in which you’d like to receive your first fix. In the notes section you can get specific with your stylist about what you would like to see in your fix and inform them of any special occasions coming up. The more detailed and specific you are in your notes, the more on-point your fix will be! Once you receive your box you have three days to try on your items, think on it, and checkout. Your $20 styling fee is applied to any purchase you make and if you love all five items you get a bigger discount towards your purchase! Then you use their pre-paid envelope to send back anything you don’t want to keep. It’s really that easy.
The best thing for me about this service, aside from the obvious, is that there is no pressure to buy – let alone purchase all five items! The goal for your stylist is to simply expose you to other styles and brands that fit you best with the hopes you find at least one item to add to your closet.
I have posted many of my box reviews and continue to enjoy receiving a fix from time to time. Right now I am in the process of putting together my European capsule wardrobe since we plan on only packing carry-ons for our month long trip. Using styling services like Stitch Fix helps me narrow down specific items I need, or need to replace, all at affordable price points. Sometimes I do have to splurge a little bit, but I have found that these items last me season after season. Instead of picking up three of the same kind of shirt, I am exposed to different brands, styles, materials, and fits. The fun of each fix is the surprise of what your stylist picked for you as well as the possibility to trying something on you may not have otherwise picked for yourself…and loving it.
Dia & Co
Since having Greyson I have found that losing that baby weight has been difficult – to say the least. I struggle with seeing myself at my heaviest, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up style and comfort just because I’m technically plus sized. Dia & Co is a personal styling service that specifically caters to sizes 14+. When I became frustrated with Stitch Fix and finding that nothing fit – even their size 14 or XL items – I needed to find another service that provides the same level of quality clothing and affordability.
Luckily, their platform is very similar to that of Stitch Fix. For a $20 styling fee you receive five items in your box and have five days to make a decision about what you’d like to keep or send back. Your styling fee is applied to anything you purchase and you are given a pre-paid envelope to send all of your items back in. Again, a very easy process.
I love that Dia & Co has styles that fit in all of the right places for someone who has a large bust, a tummy leftover from pregnancy, and wider hips. I have found the most success in my boxes with their jeans, which happened to be the biggest items I needed to replace in my wardrobe after delivery. They were high-waisted, some even had sculpt (which is amazing!), and all for an affordable price. I have found a few tops here and there, but considering I just began using this service my stylist still needs to get to know me and what styles I’m looking for.
I have really enjoyed Dia & Cos boxes and I know I’ll be ordering another box in the future.
Which service is better?
Overall I’ve really enjoyed both services for different reasons. Their platform for customers are almost identical, which makes it easy to understand and start receiving personalized boxes. Personal styling is the way to go especially for people like me who can rarely get out of the house or find the time to try on clothes with a toddler to look after. And by trying on these clothes in your own home, you have the added comfort of privacy, no sales people bugging you, and you get to see what items go with the clothing you already own. I like that for each service you have a few days to try them on and make a decision about what you’d like to keep or send back. Oh! And I have found that a lot of these pieces, if not all of them, are items you can’t find in-store, which makes purchasing them a little more personal and unique to you.
+ Definitely start a style board on Pinterest if you haven’t already. By including your link to this board on your style profile for both services allows your stylist to see what fashions are inspiring you and your closet. Not only that, but when you pin an item, click on the description and leave a note to your stylist telling them what you love about that photo. Is it the denim jacket or color of the sweater? Is it the fit of that dress or the intricate design of that top? The more specific you are the better your boxes will be for sure.
+ Always leave a note to your stylist. Whether there’s something specific you’re looking for or just open to whatever your stylist wants to pick for you, tell them in your note. I also include sizing in my notes in case I want a specific size that is different than the one I listed in my style profile. For example, in cardigans I’d like them to be a little more fitted so I would tell them that in my note. This is an opportunity for you to speak directly with your stylist and give them any added details to what you need or would like to see.
+ Always leave a review of your items when checking out. Again, the more detailed you are about what you liked or didn’t like about each piece lets your stylist know. It helps them pick better items for you next time and ensure an even better box/fix.
+ Share your experience on social media! Stitch Fix was always quick to compliment my looks or give a little shout out back to me. Also, once when I had a fix that completely didn’t work (my original stylist was on vacation so a new girl was styling me) and I sent back all 5 items and left reviews, they contacted me immediately and offered me a waived styling fee to give them a chance to get it right next time. I found that to be so considerate and major brownie points to their customer service!
Another awesome experience I had was when I lost my favorite black Stitch Fix open cardigan. I tweeted them about my situation (and because I couldn’t find this cardigan elsewhere) they were eager to help me out. Luckily they still had it in their warehouse and I purchased it straight through them vs requesting it in another fix. Super helpful and now I own two colors of my favorite cardigan simply because of their efforts to help me out.
Treat yo self.
So, to anyone on the fence about trying a personal styling service, I encourage you to just try it and see if it works for you. I love that shopping no longer comes with stress and I enjoy looking into my closet and finding very specific pieces for each season. Both services provide similar but different clothing experiences, but both are definitely worth a try. Within this post are referral links, which just means I’ll have a styling fee waived if you decide to use my link to try your own boxes. It allows this SAHM to enjoy the simple things in life – like well fitting jeans – so I thank you in advance.
What styles are you most looking forward to or inspired by currently? Have you ever tried a personal styling service? What are your thoughts?