I used to really like shopping. When the right mood struck I’d take a few hours to myself and hit up my favorite retail havens to try on this and that and curse dressing room lighting and my hips. Because that’s loads o’ fun, right? Over the past couple of years though, I’m finding myself either falling out of love with the hunt for the perfect pair of pants, or I’m just getting old, lazy, and prefer convenience over time consuming browsing. These days I’m more into shopping online, with a twist. The twist being services like StitchFix and Gwynnie Bee.
A friend clued me in to StitchFix about a year and a half ago and the concept is pretty cool. You sign up for an account, fill out a detailed style questionnaire, take your measurements, hand over the almighty credit card number, and wait for the goodies to arrive. The goodies being a box of five pieces of clothing, including maybe a handbag or a piece of jewelry in the mix. You schedule your “fixes” as often as you like and give feedback on pieces you buy and ones you decide to send back. There’s a monthly styling fee and then you pay for pieces you keep, with a discount if you buy all five in the box.
Gwynnie Bee is somewhat similar except that you get to browse the clothes online and then choose what to put in your “closet” (with StitchFix, a stylist picks for you based on your answers to the style questions, so you never know what you’re getting until it arrives), and depending on the plan you chose, they mail you one or more selections from your virtual closet. You keep the item(s) for as long as you want and can either purchase or send it back and GB immediately sends you another selection from your closet. Its worth noting that some people are wigged out that you are wearing clothes that other people have worn but GB cleans everything and I see no difference in that vs putting on clothes in a dressing room that have been tried on by strangers and haven’t been cleaned. Live dangerously people, live dangerously. Personally, I like the “renting” option because I tire of things quickly (shut up) so sending it back and trading it in for something different is right up my fickle alley.
Overall, I really like both services but have recently put a hold on my SF for now and have switched to GB, primarily due to sizing. I was on the very upper end of size ranges that SF provides, and am on the lower end of GB’s size range. Stitch Fix’s largest available size is about a 12/14. Gwynnie Bee starts at around a size 10 and goes up. I’m in a weird in-between place and some SF things would fit alright and some would just make me curse and then weep. So far I’ve received two GB items and they have fit perfectly. I am happy to say that I’ve lost 7 lbs over the past month, so I’m not sure how long GB will work for me, but I’ll return to SF when the time comes. Options in all things folks…good for the soul.
I totally dig the whole subscription clothing concept. I like the element of surprise, getting a package with something fun in it just for me, “shopping” from the comfort of my home and my pajamas, and eliminating dressing room drama are all wins in my book. There are other services out there besides the two I talk about here…Golden Tote, Fabletics, and The Ms. Collection are ones I’ve heard of but haven’t tried. Yet.
The pics here (click to embiggen) are the two dresses I’ve received from GB so far. Sometimes being a girl is really awesome.
Peas ‘n carrots.