Chaser Paeria Varsity Cotton Blend Knit Top
Photography by Liz Allocca / WTP
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How to Shop for Your Next Trip Using Stitch Fix

A stunning wardrobe with none of the shopping headaches—that’s the promise of Stitch Fix, the O.G. of clothing subscription services. In essence, Stitch Fix subscribers have outsourced the legwork of locating cute clothes: Stylists ship you a box of goodies based on your taste and needs, and you keep what you like. This approach can be an absolute godsend if you’re planning a trip. After all, who has the time to hunt through shop after shop for the perfect ballet flats when you’re busy checking the expiration date on your passport or replacing busted luggage? Putting your vacation outfits in someone else’s hands can be such a relief. But would it work in real time? We put it to the test for our own travels. Read on for our full review of Stitch Fix and see all the pros and cons of using this service to get a leg up on those vacation outfits.

Stitch Fix Review: What Are the Pros and
Cons of Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix Box items Laid-out on Bed.
Stitch Fix Pros

  • Clothes automatically sent to your door; no need to shop or order
  • Wide range of clothing styles and price points available
  • No sign-up fee, free shipping, and free returns
  • Low stylist fees that are deducted off your clothing purchases
  • Adjustable deliveries; boxes can come anywhere from biweekly to every three months
  • Adjustable return dates with ability to extend the return window
  • Boxes available for women, men, kids, maternity, and plus-size shoppers
  • Style quizzes and constant opportunities for feedback
  • Free to switch stylists or remain with your current stylist
  • Accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and handbags can be included
  • Ability to add “Extras” like underwear, PJs, and tank tops to an order
  • Generous referral programs and 25% off when all items are kept

Stitch Fix Cons

  • The $20 stylist fee is a sunk cost if you return all items
  • Items are full price, nothing is “on sale” or discounted
  • Luxury shoppers could be disappointed by lack of high-end brands
  • Some items feel like “fast fashion” lacking the finish or fabric their price indicates
  • No brick-and-mortar stores (as with Trunk Club) to see items IRL

Frequently Asked Questions About Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix Box Opened.
What Is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is arguably the most well-known clothing subscription service, the one that started it all. The premise behind it is simple: outsource the most annoying parts of shopping—combing through the racks, scrolling through the sites, or looking for items in your size and style. Stitch Fix’s stylists do this for you, and they send you a curated box of five items. You keep the items you like and return the rest in a prepaid envelope. You’re only charged for the items you decide to keep and a small stylist fee, typically $20. (See more pricing info below.)

Stitch Fix Pricing: How Much Is Stitch Fix?

The only set expense with Stitch Fix is the styling fee. Usually, this is $20 per shipment, which covers all of the stylist’s work curating your box, and that $20 fee can be deducted off the price of any item in your shipment you keep. (I have also heard from others that this fee will be waived on occasion if you return everything in your “Fix” to improve customer satisfaction and encourage you to give it another go.)

Eligible members can also opt into a “Style Pass” membership that works similar to Amazon Prime. One flat fee of $49 covers styling for a full year, and again that fee can be applied toward any items you keep. This option is by invite only and seems to be for establish members with a history of using Stitch Fix (versus newbies).

The clothing items themselves can range anywhere from $10 to $500. For example, one recent “Fix” of mine had an $88 jean jacket and a $49 A-line skirt. You can relay to your stylist the prices you’re willing to spend so they can curate your picks with that in mind. If you love everything in your “Fix” and you want to keep it all, Stitch Fix will reward you with 25% off the entire lot.

Stitch Fix Pricing Sheet.

Stitch Fix also runs a great referral program to spread the word. Members can send a link to a friend to sign up, and when they complete their first purchase, both people receive a $25 credit to their accounts. Win-win!

Is There a Sign-Up Fee for Stitch Fix?

Nope! Happily, there’s no sign-up fee, shipping fee, or return fee. The only cost is simply your stylist fee, which is subtracted off the price of any clothes you keep.

How to Cancel Stitch Fix?

You can reschedule or cancel any individual shipment directly on the Stitch Fix site. You can also change the frequency of your Fixes from the default of monthly to more or less frequently, opting for a shipment every two or three weeks (the most frequent) to every three months (the least).

Manage Your Stitch Fix Shipments.

Manage Your Stitch Fix Shipments.

If you want to end your Fixes completely, just head to the website and under the “Account” section, select “I want to stop receiving automatic Fixes.” Easy peasy. You can come back to the site if you ever want to start up Stitch Fix again. You can also use this approach if you’d rather get one-off packages, versus a regularly scheduled delivery. Note, you can perform this action on the company’s app, too.

What’s the Size Range on Stitch Fix?

One of the best things about Stitch Fix is everybody is welcome to the party. The company does Fixes for plus sizes and petite sizes. Sizing for women runs 0-24W and XS-3X. (A far, far better range than most mainstream clothing companies.) And Stitch Fix prides itself on styling for a diverse range of ages, and maternity styles and sizes are available, too.

Is Men’s Stitch Fix Available? What About Kids?

Yes! Gentlemen and kiddos aren’t left on the sidelines. Stitch Fix does Fixes for them, too. Kids’ sizes are 2T-14. For men’s sizing, it’s XS-3XL, again covering plus-size turf.

Stitch Fix Sign-up for Women, Men or Kids.

Stitch Fix is Available for Women, Men, & Kids.

How Does Stitch Fix Work?

The first step to joining Stitch Fix is setting up your account. Along with entering in your payment and shipping info as you would for any online order, you take an extensive style quiz. When we say “extensive,” we mean it! Set aside at least 10 minutes to go through these questions thoughtfully. Height, weight, and sizes are recorded, but you’re also asked a lot of questions about clothing and body preferences. (See more details below.) After this, you can select the frequency of your Fix and add any special notes to your stylist. It’s here I mentioned to my stylist that I’d be going to the Caribbean and that I’d like some tropical/vacation outfits and items. You can add notes like this any time before a shipment goes out. Your first Fix goes out about a week after you sign up.

Note to Stylist on Stitch Fix.

Note to Your Personal Stylist.

Once your Fix arrives, the fun begins. Inside the box, you’ll get your five items plus a written rundown of the contents, along with outfit ideas from your stylist and prices. Try on everything at home—a true bonus, since unlike a store’s fitting room, you can try things on with your own footwear, accessories, and other items. (We also recommend cranking a playlist and vamping in front of a full-length mirror.) Keep whatever you like and toss the rest in a pre-paid return envelope. Check out online, where you can give feedback on any returns and help the stylist hone in on your likes and dislikes. The standard window of time for a return is three days, but it’s possible to extend that time online by a week or two, something I’ve certainly done when travel gets in the way of a trip to the post office. 

Stitch Fix Style Sheet.

How Do Take the “Style Quiz”?

Stitch Fix’s style quiz is central to their “secret sauce” of selecting clothes that suit you. The initial quiz is a comprehensive questionnaire. In addition to providing your height, weight, and clothing sizes, you’ll be asked how you prefer your clothes to fit at various points of your body (fitted or flowing), if there are body parts you like to flaunt or hide, how frequently you dress for specific occasions, what’s your preferred jean rise, and what mix of items you’d like to receive. (For example, I didn’t ask for any shoes, opting to keep my shipments just clothes.) Along the way, you’ll rate various items of clothing with a thumbs up or a thumbs down, continuing to give the stylist an understanding of your taste. Log into your Stitch Fix account and you can even rate pictures of clothes daily to give a better and better sense of your style. And you can link to a Pinterest board, if you have one, showing outfits you like.

Screenshot of Taking the Stitch Fix Style Quiz.

The Stitch Fix Style Quiz.

How Do You Request a Fix?

When you sign up and create an account through the process above, you can select how frequently you’d like to receive a Fix. The default is monthly, and if you go with this option, you’ll get a package every month like clockwork, with an email notification that it’s heading your way and tracking info. If you opted out of the scheduled deliveries, you can simply log into your account and request a Fix on their website.

Screenshot of Changing Your Stitch Fix Frequency.

Choose the Frequency of Stitch Fix.

How Does the Stylist Curate Your Fix and How Long Does It Take?

Typically, a brand-new order is curated and shipped out within a week. But the default monthly setting means there’s a three- to four-week lag between shipments. In this window before an item is shipped, you can send notes to your stylist about anything you’d like them to include or pick out “Extras” to add to your package. (See below.)

What Are “Extras” and How Can I Add Them to My Fix?

When Stitch Fix started, it specialized in statement pieces with fun patterns, cuts, or colors. What it didn’t do was cover those boring, basic pieces every closet needs: socks, underwear, layering tank tops, or tights. But as their scope expanded, and Stitch Fix wanted to be all things to all people, they decided they’d tackle this, too, and added a category called Extras. Before your Fix is sent (in the same window of time where you can pass along a note to your stylist for anything you need), you can log into your account and shop the Extras, which include all those building-block items. You can see these items and their prices before you add them to a shipment. In the past, I’ve added Hue opaque tights for $15 or a PJ Salvage chemise nightgown for $48 (both winners) and the Stitch Fix-branded bikini underpants for $10 (not a winner). These are an added item to your shipment and don’t count to your five stylist-selected items. Any “Extras” purchase can also count toward your stylist’s $20 fee. I use this as a bit of a strategy: If I add an “Extra” I know I’ll keep, I’ll never be out those 20 bucks without having something to show for it.

Screenshot of Adding Extras To Your Stitch Fix Box.

Add Extras to Your Stitch Fix.

Will I Know What’s in My Fix?

Apart from any Extras you may have added (see above), you won’t know what’s in your shipment until you open it. This can make it feel a bit more like a gift—who doesn’t love a fun surprise? (Stitch Fix amps up that feeling by adding colored tissue and a note from your stylist.) And generally, Stitch Fix fans are only too happy that all of the shopping has been outsourced to their stylist. But this approach could frustrate anyone that wants more of a say in what gets delivered to them. Those folks might prefer Trunk Club, which gives you one round of vetoes via email before a box is sent. (See a comparison of both below.)

When Is Your Fix Delivered?

Screenshot of Stitch Fix Delivery Date Confirmation.

Schedule Your Stitch Fix Delivery.

Your Fix is delivered typically a week from your initial sign up. If you’re signed up for a monthly send (the default for Stitch Fix), you can expect a regular shipment in a rotation of three to four weeks. If you have a delivery coming your way, you can always check the expected delivery date on the homepage of the site. You can also reschedule or cancel any shipments.

What Happens Once the Fix Is Delivered?

Once the Fix is delivered, it’s try-on time! Open up your box and inspect all the items you got. You might want to read over the note from your stylist that explains why they picked the items for you, along with some outfit recommendations—very helpful if you’re trying to figure out exactly how a certain piece could fit into your current wardrobe. And of course, you should look at the prices for your items, printed out on an invoice in the same envelope as your stylist’s note (versus on the clothes’ tags). Now you can get started trying everything. Those of you with dressing room phobias will appreciate being in a safe space at home with zero florescent lighting or intrusive salespeople. You can also keep an item on for a longer period of time, really kicking the tires to see if it’ll get scratchy or gape or ride up when you sit down, etc. (Not exactly something you can do in a store.) After a few days with your box, you’ll get an email prompting you to check out online and mail your returns.

Stitch Fix Unboxed.

How Do You Check Out and Send Things Back?

With luck, you’ve got some items you’re keeping and others you’re sending back. Throw the latter into the pre-paid USPS envelope included in your shipment and seal it shut. Then hop online and do the checkout process. Go item by item here, noting if you’ll “Return,” “Exchange,” or “Keep” a piece. You’ll also be asked a series of optional questions about whether you liked the fit, style, or price of these items or if they’re off in some way—yet another attempt for Stitch Fix to collect intel and keep zeroing in on what works for you and what doesn’t. Once that’s done, you can take your package to the post office or schedule a pick up.

Stitch Fix Email - Time to Check-Out.

Check Out After Choosing What to Keep.

If you need more time, you can always extend the return date using the calendar on the Stitch Fix site and picking a date further into the future. This is something I do with almost every “Fix,” and it’s never been an issue.

Can You Exchange Sizes on Stitch Fix?

Yes! One of the options when you check out is to select “Exchange.” To do this, you would ship an item back same as you would any return, and Stitch Fix sends out the replacement. In my experience, they didn’t even wait for the returned item to arrive before sending out a swap. Just note that any exchanges are subject to availability (i.e. there’s no guarantee that item is in stock in the size/color you’re seeking).

Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club, How Do These Compare?

In the world of subscription boxes, there are two big names: Stitch Fix and Trunk Club. Trunk Club is the company’s biggest competition, and while they’re very similar in loads of ways—outsourcing shopping to a stylist that will send you an assortment of clothes based on a style quiz—it’s helpful to outline all the ways they’re different. To start, Trunk Club is affiliated with Nordstrom. That connection plays into the clothes selected, which tend to be a bit more high-end and name-brand compared with Stitch Fix. For example, a shipment from Trunk Club could include known brands such as Madewell and 7 For All Mankind; a shipment from Stitch Fix often includes brands that are almost exclusively stocked by Stitch Fix, like Pixley or Cosmic Blue Love. It also means Trunk Club has some brick-and-mortar locations, dubbed Clubhouses, where you can shop in person or get alterations to any items. And you can make Trunk Club returns at Nordstrom as well.

Trunk Club v Stitch Fix

Another key difference is whether shoppers can preview their shipments. With Stitch Fix, subscribers are surprised by every box that arrives and they don’t know what’s inside until they’re unboxing their goodies. For Trunk Club, shoppers get an email outlining stylist selections before the Trunk goes out for delivery, and, quite critically, they have the option to veto an item before it’s sent and replace it with something else, letting you eliminate something you know from the get-go would never work out.

On the plus side, Stitch Fix services a much broader audience, offering fixes with maternity or kids’ clothes, something Trunk Club hasn’t done as of this writing. Trunk Club also goes heavy on the plastic packaging, which Stitch Fix omits in favor of stylish tissue paper (a far nicer, more eco-friendly look).

It’s also worth noting that Trunk Club positions itself in opposition of subscription boxes and the Stitch Fix model, touting that it can send a one-off “Trunk” or reoccurring shipments. But considering both of these options are also available via Stitch Fix, this distinction is more lip service than anything else. 

Our Stitch Fix Review for Travel

How I Made My Request

My goal was to test out how Stitch Fix could provide some cute, much-needed items for my vacation wardrobe. With my monthly Fix coming up, I sent a note to my stylist via the website that I needed clothes for an upcoming one-week trip to the Caribbean. About a week later, my box arrived with my five items and a very sweet note from my stylist acknowledging my trip (“Wow, so exciting!”) and mentioning why she picked the items she did (“I thought this would be super cute over a swimsuit”).

What Came in My Stitch Fix Box

Stitch Fix Flat-Lay of the Unboxed Clothing.

  • Chaser Paeria Varsity Cotton Blend Knit Top, $48
  • Bancroft Halie Round Pendant Necklace, $28
  • Cosmic Blue Love Joni Patch Pocket Short, $64
  • Skies Are Blue Nutria Embroidery Detail Top, $58
  • Pixley Auria Embroidered Dress, $74

 

Chaser Paeria Varsity Cotton Blend Knit Top

Chaser Paeria Varsity Cotton Blend Knit Top

To my eye, this was the least “Caribbean” item of the bunch. The colors here feel more appropriate for an urban vacation, say London, versus sipping pina coladas by a steel-drum band. My stylist’s logic isn’t super strong here either. She noted, “I thought this would be a great basic piece with a kick to bring to the Caribbean. Try it with some black shorts or a skirt!” When I picture that outfit by the shore, it seems oddly somber and even a little goth as beachwear. But to her credit, I am a New Yorker who’s known to wear head-to-toe black, so maybe she was hedging her bets a bit. Still, this is a flop for me.

Bancroft Halie Round Pendant Necklace

Bancroft Halie Round Pendant Necklace

Again, this necklace doesn’t speak to my upcoming trip or the destination. My stylist added it, in her words, to give “a great hint of shine” for any “lunches or dinners out.” I’m a fan of packing light and dressing up or down a maxi dress with some jewelry, so I see what she’s going for here. I also have a history of buying just about every necklace Stitch Fix has sent me. (One layered gold necklace with a tassel flourish from a previous “Fix” remains in permanent rotation.) On the other hand, this item seems a bit generic with its design. I would have loved something with a hint of the ocean—perhaps a shell-shaped pendant? And overall it feels flimsy. That said, the price is phenomenal.

Cosmic Blue Love Joni Patch Pocket Short

Cosmic Blue Love Joni Patch Pocket Short.

The world is divided into two camps, those that wear bootie shorts and those that do not. I am firmly in the latter camp, and I’ll pick a swingy skirt or a sundress over short-shorts any day. But part of the beauty of Stitch Fix is it’ll sometimes nudge you try things you’d otherwise avoid. And once on, I had to admit, as far as shorts go, these weren’t half bad. Also, they’d totally work as a quick layer to toss on over bikini bottoms, as my stylists wrote, and they felt very appropriate for a beach getaway.

Skies Are Blue Nutria Embroidery Detail Top

Skies Are Blue Nutria Embroidery Detail Top

Now this, this top seemed absolutely made for a Caribbean jaunt. In fact, it’s the type of top your friends might assume you picked up over there, in an artisan market surrounded by leatherwork, woven items, and embroidery. The halter top is beachy and bare-shouldered, and the cut is loose and breezy across the midline. Unfortunately, I prefer a cinched waist, since anything flowy across my middle doesn’t work on my body and makes me look square. And it’s a preference I’ve called out to my stylist in my quiz and other feedback. So this gets an A for style and a C for fit.

Pixley Auria Embroidered Dress

Pixley Auria Embroidered Dress.

Finally an item that’s a win through and through. This short, swingy skirt feels like it belongs on a hammock with a glass of Sangria and a paperback book nearby. The slip-on cut makes it easy to throw over a swimsuit, and the short length looks summery. It can see this working with lace-up leather sandals or a bit of jewelry and a jacket to go out at night. I also love the buttercup shade, and totally agree with my stylist when she wrote, “Such a fun color and easy breezy for a warm trip!”

What Would I Keep and What Would I Send Back?

My items were pretty much an even split, with about half coming with me to the Caribbean and the other half going back to Stitch Fix. To be fair, that’s about the ratio I have for online shopping when I pick everything myself, since I’m a fairly finicky shopper. And Stitch Fix has taught me there’s no need to compromise. If you don’t like something send it back, since another Fix is just a month away.

Pixley Auria Embroidered Dress

  • Cosmic Blue Love Joni Patch Pocket Short, $64
  • Pixley Auria Embroidered Dress, $74
  • Credit (styling fee), $20
  • My total: $118

Finally: Is Stitch Fix Worth It?

Unpacking the Stitch Fix Box.

If you don’t relish “the hunt” for cute clothes and you like the gifty surprise of getting a box of clothes pre-picked and sent to you, Stitch Fix is absolutely worth it. It’s also great for those shoppers who are excellent at spending on others and terrible at treating themselves. (I count myself among this crowd.) For us, automated shopping is how we can refresh our closets with minimal fuss. And that is the very reason Stitch Fix is also particularly helpful when you’re crazed pre-trip. You don’t have the time to comb racks looking for the perfect sundress when you’re also booking the hotel and lining up the pet sitter. Sure, not everything sent will be a winner, but with five items and an in-depth style quiz, the odds are in your favor something will hit the bull’s eye and become a vacation staple that graces every jetsetting selfie you post.

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