I remember feeling totally lost after I had Alice when it came to getting out of my maternity wear and back into normal clothes. Towards the end of my 2nd pregnancy I found myself gazing longingly at all the normal clothes in shops and couldn’t wait to ditch the same couple of maternity dresses I had come to rely on. When it came to it though I felt just as clueless as I had after my first pregnancy about what to wear for my new shape, ease of breastfeeding and what’s appropriate for a Mum without being ‘Mumsy’. All of this teamed with trying to shop with a newborn made the whole thing feel impossible.
I heard about Stitch Fix through a friend who is a stylist for them and apart from sounding like a load of fun I thought I’d put my new style conundrum in the hands of someone else and give it a go! If you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix it is a bit like a subscription service (you can choose to receive boxes regularly or just one offs) and you are sent 5 items of clothes/ accessories/ shoes chosen just for you through the post. You can then decide what, if any, items you like or don’t like and only pay for what you keep. Stitch Fix has been established in the US for some time now and has recently come to the UK and already stocks a great range of well known brands for different budgets. I’ve broken down my experience for you here (FYI, this isn’t an affiliate post, I paid the styling fee and purchased the items myself and was inspired to spread the word!).
How it works
You start with Stitch Fix by setting up a profile, then taking their style quiz to answer questions about your size, style preferences, budget for different items, where you like to normally shop, your occupation etc and they begin to build your style profile. You also have the option to write a personal note about anything you’d like them to know so I told them that I had just had a baby and was looking for some new stylish items to feel a bit more like me again, but they still needed to be practical for breastfeeding and life with kids. What I really like about it is that an actual person has the final say, so although your profile is built using their algorithm it doesn’t just auto-pick what it has calculated might work from what you’ve told them, a stylist takes the time to review your profile, quiz responses and any personal notes you’ve left them to choose 5 items that they think will really work for you.
Once you have registered and completed the style quiz you can keep building up your profile by doing the Style Shuffle, which is essentially Tinder for fashion and really quite fun! You can login daily to swipe left and right on images of items to let them know if it’s your style or not which helps your stylist whenever you book a fix.
Booking a Fix
Stitch Fix works a bit like a subscription box but gives you the option of receiving regular fixes, or ordering one offs. I started with a one off booking to test it out and I think this is a great option to treat yourself, if you’re looking for something special for an event or if you’re like me and are stuck in a bit of a style rut and need some inspiration. Regular fixes would work great if you hate shopping for yourself or just don’t have the time to be browsing the high street or online. Booking a fix is easy, you just let them know when you’d like to receive your box and they’ll get working on it. Each booking will cost you £10 to receive which is later taken off the cost of anything you buy.
Getting your Fix
I did feel a bit like a kid waiting for Christmas once I had booked my fix. I was pretty excited to find out what my stylist had chosen for me and hopefully be able to break free of the maternity jeans and nursing tops! I ordered my delivery on Sunday and I received my box of goodies on Wednesday which was impressively fast!
They arrived in a big box which was beautifully branded on the inside and included my items, a personal note from the stylist, an info and outfit inspiration card for each item chosen for me, a free returns envelope and of course the bill with a breakdown of the cost of each item, the total and the total if you make use of the 20% discount by keeping everything in the fix.
What I Received
When I first glanced at the list of items sent to me I saw the words ‘Skinny Jeans’ and thought my stylist hadn’t paid much attention at all. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong! I received a lovely personal note congratulating me on my new baby, explaining why she had chosen some of the items and giving me tips for how to wear them together.
First up was this gorgeous soft leather shopper bag from Warehouse chosen for me as a new Mum who has lots of stuff to carry around (I really do!). I loved the colour when I saw it and it feels so nice. It has a really handy purse attached to the inside to keep money and smaller items super safe and easy to find and I knew I didn’t want to send it back! I was really impressed that my stylist had thought outside the box by including a bag handy for Mum life, rather than just new Mum clothes.
Next up was the skinny jeans from Oasis that I thought I was definitely going to be sending back! However, my stylist clearly knew her stuff as they were bang on my style and the pair she picked were soft and stretchy and fit amazingly. I feel so good being back in a pair of skinny jeans and much more like myself again. This pair are mid rise so hide my mum-tum and work for a casual look or could be dressed up. 2nd item in the bag!
I then received 3 tops, each one suitable for different occasions. 2 of them I loved and the other wasn’t something I would have chosen, which is part of the fun of Stitch Fix, but just wasn’t me and didn’t make me feel as good as the other items.
The first of the 2 tops I loved was this relaxed fit stripe t-shirt from a brand I hadn’t heard of before- In Wear. I really like the dropped shoulder seams and the colour of the stripes works well with the shopper bag. It’s a perfect addition to the jeans and is comfy and practical for day to day Mum life.
Next is this gorgeous striped shirt from Oasis which being button-up is ideal for breastfeeding and layering, I also love the unique collar. My stylist mentioned I should french tuck it into the jeans to keep my shape and I really love this look. It was the only item that came up slightly small though but was easy enough to exchange for the size up when I confirmed my order (more on this later!).
The final top from Warehouse was more of a ‘nice top and jeans’ top and is my least favourite. I can see why my stylist chose it, animal print is on trend and again it goes with the jeans so from 5 items I’ve been given 3 outfits, but I just don’t have the excitement for it that I had for the other items. What do you think?
Once you’ve received your Fix you have 3 days to decide what you’d like to keep and send back. I knew I loved 4 of the 5 items and was on the fence about the 5th so I did the maths from the itemised bill they sent. By offering a 20% discount for purchasing everything and taking off the £10 styling fee I paid I was actually receiving the top I was unsure about for free so it made sense this time to purchase the whole box and make use of the discount.
To complete my order I just logged into my account on the app and it takes you through each item you received so you can review it’s size, style, fit etc (to continue to build your style profile) and let them know whether you’d like to keep it or return it. I was also able to opt for an exchange for a new size on one of the tops, so I could make use of the discount by purchasing it at the same time and receive the new size in the post. Once you’ve reviewed all 5 items they work out your final total to complete any purchases and you pop any returns in the free returns envelope.
From the fun of the style shuffle to the excitement of opening up surprise post and receiving items which made me feel really good again, I loved the whole process of getting my first fix from Stitch Fix. I was really at a loss as to what my style is and should be now and having cleared out literally half of my wardrobe I was in desperate need of some new, versatile, good quality items. The personal styling was just what I needed at the moment and I’m so impressed at how many of the items I loved and fitted well. Sadly my budget couldn’t stretch to regular boxes (especially if they’re all this successful!!) however I’m looking forward to booking some more one off fixes in the future and will probably try out booking a fix for a wedding we’re going to later in the year- I’ll keep you updated!
I’d love to know if you have tried Stitch Fix or something similar and how successful it was for you. If you haven’t tried this sort of thing, would you be up for it? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!