Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Little Shopping Miracle (aka Stitch Fix)

Some of you might know that I hate shopping*. I hate grocery shopping. I avoid shoe shopping for as long as possible. I absolutely detest bra shopping. And clothes shopping is right up there in the top four.

*Books and art supplies not included.

Anyway, very few people know that I am going back to college to get a certificate in SLPA (Speech and Language Pathology Assistant) It's something I needed to do to get my life together (damn thing keeps falling apart!) It will also allow me a more steady income, which will greatly reduce the stress of not ever knowing if I'll be able to pay the mortgage this month. Although the program is at the Community College Level, there is a sense of professionalism expected in the way we act, speak, and dress.

Which made me realize that 95% of my clothing either has holes in them, paint on them, or don't fit very well. When running a business from home, how I look is not a top priority when the only people who see me are... well, no one really. I also suffer from low self-confidence, for various reasons I won't discuss, a therapist helped me unearth. Which led me to a revelation.

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. When you LOOK good, you FEEL good. Amiright?

I first discovered this during chemo when the American Cancer Society came along with their "Look Good Feel Better" program. Yes. Yes, it works.

I cleaned out my closet. Anything with a hole in it was binned. Anything ill fitting was put in a donation pile. Anything I didn't love anymore thrown in same pile, along with anything I haven't worn in several years for one reason or another. (I kept my date dresses because I believe in miracles and I might need them again.)

Remember the first line of this blog post? I hate shopping. I hate the thought of it. I hate dressing rooms with greenish fluorescent lighting that makes a pale girl look sickly. I hate walking around clothing racks not knowing what would look good, or what goes together, or what will fit. And while my angst grew, I kept seeing an ad on my FB timeline. Like a little nudge or whisper in my ear...


Yes, it's like hiring a personal stylist you never have to get naked in front of. How awesome is that? If you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, I'll give you the basics. You take an in-depth "survey" telling what sizes you are, how you like things to fit, what you like to flaunt/hide, what colors and patterns you like, and what sort of pieces you want based on various occasions. You can even tell them what price point you want. Once the stylist gets this information, she picks out 5 pieces of clothing and (if you choose) accessories. You get the box, you try the pieces on, you decide if you love/hate them, you send back what you don't want via a prepaid envelope. You do pay a $20 styling fee, which goes towards any purchase you make. If you decide that you hate everything, you have to pay the $20 anyway, but if you love all five pieces, you get a 25% discount on all the pieces (plus the $20 credit.) So that's the basics.

I filled out the survey and told the stylist I wanted a business casual outfit I could wear to an interview or wear to school for a "student professional" look. And went for it. And waited in anticipation... but seriously, let's face it. My expectations were low, I was prepared to be disappointed, because after all we were clothing this body. About a week later I received my box.

And LOVED everything.

Dammit. LOL. I'll show you...

She sent a beautiful maroon blazer.

A pair of black dress pants (casual leaning, not denim, with a nice front seaming detail.)

An adorable sleeveless polka dot blouse (navy background, white dots, split neck.)

Another cotton blouse in a faded-dot chambray fabric.

And a silver "Statement Necklace"

I tried it all on and it all fit really well (that was really shocking!) So how freaking adorable do I look?

This is the fit with the Chambray top.

Celia always makes me laugh.

The navy polka dotted blouse is something I would have never picked off the rack for myself, but I love it. It's really cute dressed down with jeans too.

So there ya have it. I had to buy everything in the box. Normally I wouldn't have spent money on a necklace because I'm really picky about jewelry and I really don't need any necklaces but this one was cute and it would have cost me more money to just send the necklace back and give up my 25% discount for the rest of the items. So with the styling fee credit and the 25% discount, it was a pretty reasonable price for all the pieces. (No, we are not talking Walmart or Target prices here, we are talking quality business-worthy clothing.) So I was a pretty happy customer and let my stylist know. I also let her know to not send any more jewelry :-)

So let's talk about quality over quantity. You can have a closet stuffed with crappy cheap ill fitting clothes, or you can have half a closet filled with quality well made and well fitting clothes. I am really happy with the quality of these pieces. The blazer is a really heavy knit (bonus because it's really comfortable and stretches instead of pulls across the back.) And it has a most adorable lining, bold black and white stripes vs a boring black nylon lining. One downside, pockets are fake. The pants are really thick fabric, not denim, but not cheap-feeling poly either. It has a nice front seam detail that elongates the leg (says the stylist) and has a skinny fit. Another thing I wouldn't have picked out myself! No pockets either, but I get it because pockets would add bulk (as would the phone you'd want to put in the pocket!) The blouse is a thin flowy fabric, but not see-through. Cool enough for summer days and fall evenings with a jacket over. The Chambray shirt is a nice weight cotton, not too thin, not too thick. The seams are sewn well, the details are nice.

Most importantly, it makes me feel good wearing these pieces. When you look good, you feel good, and it does amazing things to your confidence!

I would totally recommend trying Stitch Fix. It's not for everybody. I've watched some "unboxing videos" on youtube where it didn't quite work out as well as mine did. But you can cancel the service any time, they don't automatically charge you monthly, they only charge when you tell them what you want. (You have three days to try on and decide what to keep/send back.) You decide how often you want a box, or if you just want one on demand for a special occasion. (I like the no obligation/no auto CC charges!)

If you want to try it, I would really appreciate it if you used my referral link:  STITCH FIX
If you refer a friend, you get a $25 credit towards your box, and for me, every little bit counts. And when you get a box, you can use a referral link for credit too :-)

Um, and I may or may not be getting my second box next week :-D