Stitchfix Review

Over the last two years, I've heard a lot about Stitchfix. Described as a service that, "makes shopping fun, effortless and empowering for busy women on the go," it intrigued me. I don't have a lot of extra time to shop for myself. I usually end up having to take the kids with me and it quickly turns into a miserable experience for all of us. Convenience was't the only factor, however. The idea of inputting a style profile and having an "expert styler" hand pick clothes for me sounded amazing! 

stitch fix

I have a lot of work to do with my wardrobe. I have several tops that I've worn once or twice and don't particularly love, but feel the need to keep for a "rainy day." Though I consider them semi-casual and I love wearing them, I admit I have an abundance of dresses. I am also severely lacking in basic casual attire, so in my notes to the stylist, I asked for casual tees and a few items I could dress up or down depending on my mood. 

After receiving two fixes, I can say that it's just not for me.

                                                                            I liked this shirt a lot, but it was way too billowy.      

                                                                            I liked this shirt a lot, but it was way too billowy.      

                                                                             This wasn't really my style. Also, much too big.

                                                                             This wasn't really my style. Also, much too big.

There were certainly pros:

  •  The website is simple to navigate,
  • the style profile is extensive
  • the convenience factor is great.
  • I even kept one of the items I received-a flowy, maxi skirt. (something I would've steered away from on a rack, but turned out well through the stylist)

BUT-

  • The clothes simply didn't fit me well. I am 5'0 feet tall with a large bust and small waist. Based on the size guide, I selected XS tops and Size 2 for bottoms, which is what I normally wear. The reviews said that the sizes were pretty true to form. Perhaps they are for a taller person or a slightly different body type, but it didn't work for me. The tops were HUGE and extremely billowy, giving me a less than flattering silhouette. Both pairs of jeans I received were a little too big as well. When I cancelled my account, I received an email from Client Support stating that they're still in the process of acquiring petite-friendly vendors. This may be good news for any fellow petite women looking to try Stitchfix in the future, but I simply don't have time to wait around. 
                                                                           Just no. Not even close. And it looked even worse on!

                                                                           Just no. Not even close. And it looked even worse on!

 

  • I didn't realize when I signed up that they keep your $20 styling fee, even if you don't like anything from that month's fix. I understand that they need to pay their stylists, but losing money on top of a disheartening selection doesn't seem particularly fair either. 
                                                       Loved this shirt, but the fit was all wrong and is already at their smallest offered size. 

                                                       Loved this shirt, but the fit was all wrong and is already at their smallest offered size. 

 

  • I don't feel that the style of the clothes I received matched what I was asking for, and when I did find something I liked, it was too big. (They don't carry anything less than an XS) 
 This is supposed to be a fringe crop top that was paired with the maxi skirt I got. Because I'm so short, this didn't look like a crop top at all and was super boxy and billowy.

 This is supposed to be a fringe crop top that was paired with the maxi skirt I got. Because I'm so short, this didn't look like a crop top at all and was super boxy and billowy.

  • Some of the clothes weren't seasonally appropriate. I received these boxes towards the end of Spring/beginning of Summer. Still, I received two pairs of jeans and a sweater. Both fixes, I felt like half of the fix was wasted on clothes that I wouldn't be able to wear for the next several months. 
                    This was cute, but again, the fit was way off. Too baggy and misshapen. Also, not very warm weather appropriate.

                    This was cute, but again, the fit was way off. Too baggy and misshapen. Also, not very warm weather appropriate.

 

If you plan to sign up in the future, just know that it may take a few fixes to get the kind of items you're looking for and will love. Ultimately, Stitchfix is a gamble I'm just not willing to bet on. I'll have the hubs watch the kids from now on so that I can create my own perfect wardrobe and use that $20 styling fee to treat myself to lunch while I'm at it. 

Dear Men

I do not write this to malign you; to pin the good for the actions of the bad. I have good male friends, an amazing male mentor, a supportive brother and a loving husband. I have been aided in times of need by men. I was rescued from an attempted abduction by a male. I am grateful for the many good men out there.

I am writing to you, because we need your help. 

You see, it's impossible to turn on the news without seeing yet another story of a violent attack on a woman. A runner going out for an afternoon jog. A girl walking to a friend's house. A female heading to her car in the parking lot. A woman asleep in her own bed. 

We are not safe anywhere.

I read the comments on an article about the victims who were jogging in their respective towns when they were taken, and it all read more or less the same. Seemingly well-intentioned people who honestly believed that if all women carried a weapon on their being at all times, that we could simply avoid this. As if that was the point. The responsibility laid firmly at our feet. 

If you commented this way and truly believed this, then we have more work to do than I once thought.

Every day that I go out into the world, I am forced to worry about my safety. Every day, I am ogled or honked at or loudly talked about by men from all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. I have walked through a parking lot with my children and had men three times my age undress me with their eyes. Some of you may say, "What does that even mean? That's completely subjective." To you, I say, "If it's never happened to you, you'll never know exactly what that feels like." But I can tell you that every woman I've ever met has. 

I have been followed. I have been harassed. I have been grabbed at and "accidentally" brushed against and was even almost abducted once. I was 10 when the harassment began. 11 when the grabbing began. 18 at the time of the attempted abduction. Followed at 23. I could go on.

Every night that I spend alone, I am forced to worry about my safety. Are all of the windows shut? Vehicles locked? Garage put down? Women all over the world as I write this are double checking their locks and laying in bed awake because they think they heard a strange noise in the dark. They are being given pep talks from their husbands about how to use the gun in case there's an intruder while they're away. They are being reminded about the need to take a self-defense class. 

In magazines, I read about the ten most unsafe places for women. Number two is a parking lot. Every place on the list in fact, is commonplace. 

I have never seen such a list for a man. I know that I never will.

It is not lack of knowledge about keeping ourselves safe in the world. We have been trained since childhood to move cautiously, always on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations. Nor is it a gun issue or a running with friends issue or a location issue. 

The real issue, the one thing that most women are saying to themselves and each other as they hear of another attack is: Why do I have to live this way? How is that fair? 

We shouldn't and it isn't. 

Men, you may think we're being paranoid or that it doesn't happen with the alarming regularity that it does, but I urge you to really look within. Visit your mother, your sister, your cousins or aunts or best female friend. Ask your spouse. Let them tell you what they've endured. It will shock you, but it will also open your eyes to the injustice of what we face. Once you're done listening, the next step is action. Have a conversation with your father, your brother, your cousins, your uncle, work colleagues, your fraternity, your best male friends. Share what you've learned. Ask that they listen with open hearts. And no matter what, never ever stop fighting beside us. Help us change the current rape and victim blaming culture.  Women deserve to live in a world where they don't incessantly have to fear being the next attack. 

It was never about how best to protect us. It will always be the fact that we need protection at all. 

What My Twenties Have Taught Me/ Guest Post

*Several years ago when I first began blogging, I asked a few of my favorite people to tell me what their twenties had taught them and share it with the blogosphere. The old site has long been taken down and replaced with this one, but the posts still live on over there in my archives, so I decided to dig some up. Enjoy!

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What have my 20s taught me? 

At 21 I returned from serving as an LDS missionary in Japan and headed off to the University of Western Ontario. I was working hard and excited about the coming decade. Western is a prestigious university and I was going to be a doctor. Growing up in a large religious community meant that marriage prospects were good. So career, marriage and a boat load of kids were the foreseeable future for this proud Canadian. By the time I turned 30 I was living in Charleston, South Carolina in a marriage that was collapsing under the weight of my first wife’s personality disorder. (Don’t ask; just know that she has been diagnosed several times in several psyche units as an Anti-Social Personality Disorder), my teaching career was stillborn and I was beginning the effort to hold on to my kids.

That’s right, I said teaching career. Part way through the third year of my BSc, I realized that I did not want to be a doctor at all. I loved to read. English was my best subject by far all through high school, I had enjoyed teaching in Japan, I had always tutored people…I want to be a teacher, NOT a doctor…an English Teacher! That epiphany came in three steps as I was on the way home from class. A series of convolutions meant that that decision would take three years to lead to a teaching certificate and then four more years to get a green card to be able to work in the States.

Why the States?

Well, right wing politics worked against nurses and teachers in Ontario at that time and jobs were scarce for both my wife and myself. South Carolina burns out teachers so fast that teenagers can work as substitutes the September after they get their high school diplomas (no, seriously!) so they always need teachers, and Canadian trained nurses can get a job anywhere in the United States. We devised a five-year plan to work and pay off our student loans and then come home to Canada. On 1 July, 2007 (exactly eleven years after we moved to South Carolina), divorced and burnt out (see above for how South Carolina burns out teachers) I brought my two kids home and moved in with my parents in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

I’m now forty-five years old. I am remarried and have four kids.

I work in a hotel and have been a DJ since 2002.

My lovely wife is an angel, by the way.

What does all this have to do with what I learned from my 20s?

Remember that little phrase from the first paragraph?

“The foreseeable future?”

I got married in my early twenties and that ended in disaster.

When I met my current wife, I was avoiding relationships so diligently that I would have worn a hazmat suit had there been one to ward off romance.

I started DJing to make extra money and now it is an integral part of my life.

Fluency in Japanese has gotten me more jobs than my MA from the College of Charleston.

I no longer teach.

I was NEVER going to go to med school. I’m just not that smart.

I’m still Mormon, still Canadian, and I’m still a father. Other than those three things, no one who attended my first wedding would recognize me. I know that because when I run into my friends from those days they don’t recognize me.

In my early thirties had you asked what my 20s taught me, I would have told much of this story and answered that I had learned little more than disappointment. Perspective resulting from still another decade and a half of surprises, though, has changed the main lesson of my twenties into something less bilious. There is no foreseeable future, there is only preparation and acceptance. Everything in my life, intimidatingly brilliant kids, angelically kind wife, failed career aspirations, zero free time, bench-pressing 250 lbs in middle-age, a six-month old premie growing fat and happy, baldness. I saw none of it coming.

Jennifer, our hostess, knows that one of my favourite poems is The Road Not Taken.

I taught it every year, every semester, every grade - because it is so poorly taught that it leads people into a false sense of individuality. For me the most important lines are these

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

See that? I get one path and can only see a little way along till it bends beyond my perception. It is NOT foreseeable. The road chooses you as much as you choose it. Education, fitness, spirituality, frugality, hard work are how we plan to get the things we want out of life, but, truth be told, they guarantee nothing when it comes to our expectations. That hard truth can lead to fear and bitterness, which is what I had thought my 20s taught me when I was thirty. The deeper truth, though, is that bitterness and fear come from those very limited and brittle expectations - if the future is not what I think it should be then God, the universe, kharma, etc have failed me or, at the very least, I have failed. The destructive responses available to me include, but are not limited to, sitting down to give up, looking in foolish envy at the roads other travel, sabotaging the efforts of others, fantasizing aboutthe roads I didn’t choose so long ago, or drugs, or alcohol. or ....

Or I can learn, adapt, and grow.

I love this quote from Bruce Lee. It clarifies for me how I might accept life as it comes and still remain essentially me.

Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

The water stays water, but it experiences every circumstance because it is not brittle. I could go on, but that would simply multiply words without deepening understanding. I will add this little tidbit, though, by way of warning. Jennifer asked for my input because I am WAY past my 20s so I should be able to say something deep. Here it is. If you reread this, you will see that I learned nothing from my 20s until my late 30s. Please be wiser than that.