Katrina Dick: Be careful when signing up for monthly fashion subscriptions

August 29, 2018

Stitchfix.com Stitch Fix is an online subscription box for fashion and clothing.

Hello all, I hope your week has been well. Mine has been OK, but with school being back in session that means schedules have changed, and I am still trying to get used to it.

Another week or so and I’ll be fine. Luckily for me, my best friend is often alone in the evenings, too, which means we chat quite a bit. During one of our recent conversations, she mentioned that she really wanted to try Stitch Fix. I wasted no time in regaling her with my own experience.

If you have never heard of Stitch Fix, here’s a quick rundown - it’s a monthly subscription service for clothes (kind of like Boxycharm or Ipsy for makeup). You create an account on their website, answer a few questions about your size, taste in clothes, age and whether you’re a mom or not - I’m not sure why that matters.

You are then given a personal stylist, who, based on your choices, puts together clothing options for you, all for $25 a month. How can you go wrong?

I know it all sounds like a stellar deal, but with any good deal, there is often fine print that we don’t see until after the fact. Stitch Fix is no exception. While you do only pay $25 a month for the service, the clothes themselves, are not free. They aren’t cheap, either.

But wait, there’s more: Stich Fix works by sending you clothing made by “up and coming” brands, not brands you have worn for years and know are good quality. I know this because I had my own go around with Stitch Fix a couple of years ago.

I was all too eager to begin receiving a box clothes in the mail every month for only $25. Once I received my box, I hastily unwrapped the clothes and began trying them on. I loved every top I had received, and desperately wanted to keep them, until I noticed the price tags. The tops were anywhere from $40-$150, the jewelry that came was also well out of my price range and whatever I didn’t want to keep I had to send back within so many days. After that time frame was up, my credit card was charged the full price for whatever clothes I decided to keep.

Cue me starting to panic, trying to put everything back in the bag to send back. I basically paid $25 for someone to send me a box of clothes from brands I had not only never even heard of, but also couldn’t afford. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

While Stitch Fix may be a good idea for those of us who can afford the $25 a month subscription fee, as well as the cost of whatever outfits he or she decided to keep, for me it was a no-go. Not only was I disappointed by the cost of the clothing, I also felt misled by the company.

If you like the idea of a monthly clothing subscription, there are other options.

Shoe Dazzle and Just Fab are two that are pretty good. I have used both of them over the years, and never had a problem. They work by charging around $49 a month to your card, which then buys you a credit, and you use that credit toward a new pair of shoes, a hand bag or an outfit. If you don’t want to be charged the $49 fee for the month, you just log in to your account and select to “skip the month.” You typically have until the fifth of the month to do so before you’re charged.

The company’s customer service is pretty top notch as well, especially if you forget to “skip the month” until the sixth. With these services, there are no hidden fees and no surprises. I have ordered quite a few pairs of shoes from both of them, and they are surprisingly good quality.

If you, like so many others, have been wanting to try a clothing subscription such as Stitch Fix, make sure to do your research, and definitely don’t take their ads at face value. Have a great week and happy shopping!

Katrina Dick is a lifelong Wayne County resident who is looking to inspire others in Wayne how to not only be frugal when shopping, but be stylish while saving.

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