Once upon a time, months after I had my second child, my oldest said “Why are you so dressed up?” I know what you are imagining: a dress, heels, fancy hair, AND I’m actually wearing jewelry.

NOPE. I actually showered that day AND blew dry my hair. I had on jeans, flip-flops and a tank top that didn’t unhinge from the top straps to expose my nipples. That’s when I knew I needed some new clothes.

But I know, like most mothers, it is impossible to find time to shop? And when you do find the time, where do you go? And then there’s the dreaded acceptance that you may be a new size. And lets be honest, when you have the “time”, you are on borrowed time. There is a ticking clock that is counting down the time til you have to rush home and resume Mommy duties (ha…I said Doodie).

But despite all these fashion hurdles, when my friend first told me about Stitch Fix, my initial thought was “Why the heck would anyone pay for that?”

Quick background, I live to shop. I am the person you shop with if you want to buy everything. I’ll even talk you into getting something in two colors. I am your husband’s worst nightmare.

So the thought of this online service that picks out clothes for you and ships them to your house just seemed to take all the fun out of shopping.

Here is the rundown: Stitch Fitch is an online stylist service that picks out clothes for you, Five items to be exact, and mails them to your home. They ask you a million questions about your body, your personal sense of style and then a “stylist” will choose what they think suits you best.

how does stitch fix work?

You first create your account. You fill out a profile and fill in your body sizes, dimensions and how you view your body. Next Stitch Fix lists a few styled looks and you rank which one you would prefer between the two options (could be dressy vs. preppy). They ask you how you dress for certain occasions, how often you wear these styles (work casual, date night, formal, casual), what body part you like to flaunt, how much you would spend on items, any items to avoid adding to your shipment, prints and colors to avoid…this process alone made me want to shut my laptop and run to the mall.

Then there is a Social Networks section where you can share your pinterest board, twitter (why?) and linkedin to get a better sense of your style. This is optional, and thank god, because I would have said FORGET it here.
Finally, you schedule your shipment and choose how often you would like to receive a package (2/3 weeks, monthly, every other or every three months). Delivery can be as early as a week and it looks like there are no deliveries on Fridays or Sundays. Your box arrives with five items and a styling card demonstrating what to pair your newly purchased items with that are already in your closet. Next, book a sitter and get out!

What I was most interested in was DID IT WORK?

Well, those responses varied.

no time to shop

Only the Real Housewives of Bravo really have the time and the money to shop. But to us Real Mothers of Baltimore, lets face it, we can barely find time to get to the grocery store. Stitch Fix seems to be an easy solution for busy mothers in need of clothes.

One mom, Jen, told me she didn’t have time to shop and stay on top of the latest fashion trends. She also said it was a nice treat for her each month. And what mother doesn’t deserve a monthly treat! She loved her first shipment. Stitch Fix sent her fun colors and she ended up loving them. But her issue was the price. $50 for a shirt was doable, but the pants, jackets and sweaters were priced closer to $75 and this was over her budget. After a few months, she said while most of the items fit and she liked them, she didn’t want to keep spending the money.

want to try something new

Are you tired of your wardrobe and wondering if your clothes are actually in style? How much easier can it get, if a box came to your door with some new items to try on? Stitch Fix may be your answer.

Another friend of mine Meggan, was bored with her clothes and wanted to try some pieces that were out of her comfort zone. But when her shipments were filled with similar looking shirts, same cut, different colors (and all a Stitch Fix brand 41 Hawthorne), she ended up returning most of the clothes. She said each package was from a different stylist. Wouldn’t it benefit the customer to stick with the same stylist, who can get to know the client and customize their clothing best?
She added that she felt pressured to buy at least one item each time, otherwise she would loose the $20 (yup, if you return all the clothes, you loose the $20). She said in seven shipments, she kept a total of 10 pieces and there is only one item that she really loves.

i hate shopping

Some people, not me, dread shopping for clothes. Where do you go? Which style looks best on you? Which color do you get? Do you have to try it on? What shoes go with it? And now you have to go to a shoe store? Stitch Fix says they make all these decisions for you AND save you time by delivering to your door!

My neighbor Leabe, despises the time consumption of shopping, so she decided to try Stitch Fix. She received her first shipment and LOVED it! She got jeans, a sleeveless blouse, two work dresses and another shirt. She kept all of them. But the second shipment came and she only kept two items. Why? She felt they were out of her comfort zone. I asked her if she still felt like she needed to shop, to supplement her wardrobe, and she said No. Unless she saw something she absolutely had to have (duh). But she knows come September, she will buy more items in her Stitch Fix box.

want a styling assistant

I hear a lot of people say, “I just don’t know how to put things together”. Stitch Fix sends you a style card, which shows you what to pair with your new purchases. Sounds like the perfect solution.

… so, did it work for me?

I just received my very own Stitch Fix Box yesterday. Yes, I decided to invest 20 minutes of my time and $20 to see if it really works.

Here is what I got:

1 dark green Sweater (hated it, said like the men on films from In Living Color)
1 black and white sweater cardigan (meh)
2 pairs of “slimming pants” in black and burgundy patterned (horrible material)
1 Black and white, horizontal stripe cotton blazer (only thing I liked)

Total was $470 but there was a $100 discount if you bought the entire box.

Then I checked the Style Card. I have to say it made the blah clothing look way better to see them put together with other items. Beautiful! So why didn’t they send me a complete look? If I was looking for help, and needed to update my wardrobe, I would want an entire outfit. THEN show me other ways to style the pieces. And for a busy mom, its adding more time for me to locate these suggested pieces. Maybe I don’t own a huge ivory jeweled necklace. Then what? I’m wearing a partially styled look.

I also think —  if they are sending you pictures of these other items that go with the “meh” cardigan AND I like the look — show me how to purchase the complete look. There needs to be an easier way to say I’ll buy it all. Oh, and you need to make the decision and return within 3 business days. I don’t know about you, but life is hectic and that is just adding 1 more thing on my to do list (reminds me I need to finish filling out PTA forms, ahhhhhhhh).

can stitch fix fix your wardrobe?

So while I have concluded that Stitch Fix isn’t for me, it’s still a GREAT idea (and answer!) for some busy mothers. You probably know if you have a sense of style and in that case, I would say skip Stitch Fix and get to your local retailers (favs are in Cross Keys, Green Spring Station, Ruxton, Fells and Harbor East).

BUT if you haven’t bought a new outfit in years and your idea of a “going out” look is old jeans and flip flops with a tank top…maybe you could use a stitch fix.

Why not spend $20 to have someone send you something you wouldn’t normally try on, save a trip to the mall AND have 5 new items delivered to your door?

I’ll leave you with this fabulous quote:

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
― Coco Chanel