Stitch Fix Inspired Me to Wear Something Other Than a White Button-Up and Jeans

I ventured outside of my comfort zone with the help of a personal stylist.

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stitch fix review

Stitch Fix

If I could wear my favorite jeans, Ética’s Tyler Straight Crop, and one of the 15 white linen button-ups clogging my closet every day I would. OK, maybe I already do that, so frequently that even I, a creature of habit, knew a revamp was in order. The seasons are changing, and my wardrobe is ready for a change too. I wasn’t shopping for any pieces or events in particular, and I didn’t need a fresh pair of denim or—heaven forbid—another linen shirt, but I did need a new set of eyes to introduce me to similar-but-different styles and silhouettes I don’t already own. 

That’s where Stitch Fix comes in. The online subscription styling service, which has options for women, men, and kids, pairs you with a personal stylist who will handpick clothes and accessories from the thousands of brands it partners with. After telling Stitch Fix your size, height, and clothing preferences, your stylist gets to work choosing five pieces that’ll arrive on your doorstep days later. Try them on in the comfort of your own home, keep what you like, and send back what you don’t in a prepaid return mailer. It’s that simple. No, really. It’s that simple. 

Intrigued? So was I... so I tried the service for myself.

How I Tested Stitch Fix

I spent a week with my Stitch Fix box, which contained five items: a top, a pair of shorts, a bodysuit, a dress, and a jumpsuit. While subscribers are typically allowed three days to test their items, I opted to extend the try-on period (for free) by a few days to let me consider the items a little longer. Would I wear them? Could I mix and match them with items I already own? Are they worth the cost? 

While I’ve worked with personal stylists before, I’ve never tried a subscription box—essentially a stylist from afar. To review Stitch Fix, I took a few criteria into account, like how well they stuck to my budget, the ease of buying and returning, and if the stylist nailed my preferences. The fit and quality of the pieces themselves were top priorities too. 

Now that the testing period is over, I feel inspired to consider new looks, especially ones that push me ever so slightly out of my comfort zone. Stitch Fix’s professional stylist perfectly balanced what she knew I love (thanks to the extensive style quiz) with what she thought I also might like. All that without the hassle of endless scrolling or in-store shopping? I’m sold.

Key Specs

Base price $20/box
Free shipping? Yes 
Delivery frequency Flexible, though there are automatic biweekly, monthly, bimonthly, and quarterly plans
No. of items per box 5
Size range 0–24W, XS–3X

About Stitch Fix

First things first: Before your stylist can start considering clothes to send, you’ll have to take a style quiz. It’s fairly extensive but fun, with a series of outfits you give a thumbs up or a thumbs downs to. Even if you’re not a fan of the entire look, you can approve elements of it; say, you like the strappy sandals but want to nix a pair of cargo pants. You also tell them your height, weight, and how you prefer your clothing to fit. Stitch Fix is part data-driven and part stylist-picked, so you have both an algorithm and a fashion professional on your side. Because of this, no two Fixes (what Stitch Fix calls the boxes) are the same. 

Price, of course, is a top concern too. You wouldn’t want a $500 dress tempting you in your Fix if your budget is closer to $50. For each clothing category, you tell Stitch Fix how much you typically spend or are willing to spend on tops, dresses, jewelry, and more. 

You can also leave a note for your stylist, detailing any particular do’s and don’ts. For me, patterns are generally a no-go, though I’m down for interesting silhouettes. For the most part, I stick to neutrals, but a pop of red is always welcome. I have enough jeans to last a lifetime, so I’d love to stock my closet with breezy summer dresses. My stylist, Jenna, had her work cut out for her. 

Stitch Fix Review Packaging

Megan McCarty / InStyle

After deciding on what items you’d like to keep, exchange, and/or return, head to the Stitch Fix site and detail how the sizing, style, fit, quality, and price aligned with your needs and expectations. You can also leave comments on individual pieces, as well as request the same or a different stylist. While the feedback and return process is a little tedious, this will help really hone in on your style for future Fixes.

Some advice: Don’t delay trying on your items, as I did. You have a small window of just three days to check out and return any unwanted pieces. Life distracted me and—oops!—three days came and went. The good news is that Stitch Fix allows you to extend that window up to a couple of weeks if need be. Just don’t forget to pick a new return date. If you do, your card on file will be charged for the whole box.  

Each Fix’s delivery frequency is up to you. There are options for a fresh box every two to three weeks, every month, every other month, or every three months. I opted for none of those, instead changing my subscription to on-demand.

How Much Is Stitch Fix?

Upon opening a Stitch Fix account, you’ll be charged a $20 styling fee, which is credited toward any pieces you keep. The $20 fee applies to every Fix, but so does the credit. As long as you plan on keeping at least one item from each box, the service is essentially free. In that way, Stitch Fix is definitely worth it. On the other hand, if you use Stitch Fix to play dress up and continually return everything? Not so much. 

Pieces range in cost too, from under $50 to over $200. You set the parameters for that in your style profile, so each piece should fit comfortably in your budget. Best of all, if you love everything your stylist sent and keep the entire box, you’ll receive a 25 percent discount on the total price of the items in your Fix. 

Shipping is also free, and so are returns. (Though you do have to make a field trip to the post office.) Beware of checking out and returning the pieces on time though. If you don’t, your credit card on file will be charged for the total of all five pieces.

Delivery and Packaging

Stitch Fix Clothing and Packaging

Megan McCarty / InStyle

Just five days after requesting a box, my first Stitch Fix arrived neatly packaged on my doorstep. I knew when it was coming too, since Stitch Fix sent a tracking number as soon as it was shipped—the day after I took the style quiz. (Yes, I did excitedly watch out my window for my delivery person to arrive.) 

Upon opening the Fix, I was immediately impressed at how efficiently the pieces were packaged in the just-big-enough box. Recyclable kraft paper wrapped all five pieces in a bundle—no plastic, no excess, no need to immediately take a trip to the recycling bin with arms full of packaging. Best yet, Stitch Fix boxes are made from 100 percent post-recycled material that isn’t derived from ancient or endangered forests. 

Along with the five pieces of clothing, the box contained a receipt detailing the cost of each item, a prepaid return mailing bag, a small trend report, and a printout with a note from my stylist, Jenna, and ways to style each piece she sent. 

Megan McCarty Stitch Fix Jumpsuit

Megan McCarty / InStyle

Here’s what Jenna picked out: a gray Eileen Fisher knit dress, a pair of toffee-colored Studio Blue shorts, a nude Violet & Roses bodysuit, a white top from Michael Stars, and a black jumpsuit from Kaileigh. In what I considered a mild miracle, each piece fit perfectly. I also appreciated that there was a cohesive color story; that way the pieces could not only be mixed and matched with each other but also rotated into what I already own and love.

The box also included a note from Jenna, as well as visuals showing how I could wear each piece—super helpful if you need a little assistance seeing your stylist’s vision. While everything was packaged well and informative, I had mixed feelings about the clothes in my Fix. Two of the pieces (the dress and jumpsuit) would seamlessly blend into my wardrobe, two of the other pieces I wasn’t impressed with, as I didn’t love the fit or fabric of the top or shorts. And while I was initially weary of the bodysuit’s tone, once I tried it on, I was pleasantly surprised with how flattering and versatile it was. Considering how picky I can be—really, really picky—I consider two-and-a-half likes out of five pieces a win. Ultimately, though, I didn’t keep anything from my Stitch Fix box. While I could see myself wearing the dress or jumpsuit often, they were too similar to pieces I already own. 

Quality of Clothing

Overall, I was impressed with the cuts and quality of Stitch Fix's clothes. You could definitely feel which pieces were made from synthetic material, but the trade-off for those was a lower price point. I can be particular about fabric and generally prefer linen and organic cotton, but if synthetics don’t bother you, Stitch Fix can stock your closet with plenty of trendy yet timeless pieces on a budget.  

Pros and Cons


  • Introduces you to new styles and silhouettes
  • Stylist curates box based on your likes and needs
  • Comes with prepaid postage for returning items
  • Site is easy to navigate
  • Box arrives within a few days


  • Must return items within three days or request an extension
  • Not for picky types

Who Should Use Stitch Fix?

Too busy to shop? Bored with your wardrobe’s old standbys? Itching to try new styles but not sure where to start? A single yes to any of the above means you’re a good fit for Stitch Fix. Consider it a convenient and exciting alternative to spending hours scrolling retailer’s sites or browsing racks in-store and subjecting yourself to dressing room lighting. (The worst.)

Final Thoughts

The entire Stitch Fix process, from the style quiz to returning items, is easy and efficient. The company offers a wide range of styles, brands, sizes, and price points, so you can hone in on your specific needs (and perhaps discover some pieces you didn’t know you needed.) If I ever felt uninspired with my wardrobe or needed a fresh perspective on styles to try, I’d absolutely use Stitch Fix again and would recommend the same for friends. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do You Pick the Clothes You Receive in a Clothing Subscription Box?

    With Stitch Fix, you don’t get to pick the specific items in your box. That’s part of the fun—embrace the element of surprise! However, you can shop for specific items through Stitch Fix’s Freestyle program, which is just like shopping on your favorite retailer’s site. There you can browse thousands of items from countless brands and then order them directly without a Fix. 

  • Can You Return Clothes That Don’t Work for You?

    Yes! You can return any piece, no matter the reason. Simply check out on the Stitch Fix site, noting whether you are returning, exchanging, or keeping an item. There you can make notes on the fit, style, and price point, so your stylist can (hopefully) make more spot-on decisions for your next Fix. After checking out, return the pieces in the prepaid USPS postage bag.  

  • What Brands Will You Find in a Stitch Fix Box?

    Stitch Fix carries over 1,000 brands. Some you know and love, like Madewell, Adidas, Free People, and Farm Rio. Many more may be new to you. Stitch Fix also has its own in-house labels, for both women and men, which are sold exclusively through its subscriptions.  

  • Are Clothing Subscriptions Sustainable?

    While the fashion industry can be notoriously wasteful, Stitch Fix is committed to being as sustainable as possible. It focuses on efficient shipping methods with minimal, recyclable packaging, as well as partnering with brands whose fabrics use fewer chemicals and less water.

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