I inflicted myself on an online personal stylist to really test their mettle (Picture: Getty/Susannah Ireland)
Most clothing-lovers have thought at least briefly about having a personal stylist to guide them in the perfect direction.
When I was offered the opportunity to give online styling service Stitch Fix a try, I was exceptionally keen.
I readily admit that I’m a hugely fussy dresser with a vaguely alternative personal style that’s not easily definable.
On top of that, I’m very sensitive when it comes to fabric – I’m not sure exactly why, but anything that’s not super soft does my absolute head in, and touching wool makes me want to crawl out of my own skin.
As such, I expected to be a pretty tricky customer for the stylists to please, especially remotely, where I won’t be able to have a conversation with anyone directly to explain what I like and what I hate.
The process itself is fairly simple – all you need to do is make an account, share your measurements, and get explaining your taste in clothing, jewellery, bags and shoes – which is done through a series of questions and quizzes via their website.
A glimpse at my personal style – it’s giving ‘my boyfriend listens to Frank Turner, but I prefer Papa Roach’ (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
You can also, crucially, set a budget that you want your stylist to adhere to. You don’t have to buy anything until you decide to keep it – a selling point of Stitch Fix is that you have seven days to make up your mind, and have until then to send things back if you decide you don’t want them.
They also give you the chance to check out your stylist’s picks before they ship them, giving you the chance to vet their choices and give the stylist a chance to try again if need be.
When your options arrive, the package comes with a quick intro to your stylist – mine’s called Katie – and they mention the ways in which they feel the clothes they’ve picked adhere to your tastes, and give recommendations of what items would pair well together.
For example, Katie made note of how I said I tend to prefer a pointier toe in heeled boots, saying that led her to pick out a particular pair of Kurt Geigers for me.
In total, my selection included a:
- Editor’s Cut Serena Slim Fit Cashmere Roll Neck jumper
- Hobbs Margot Sheer Sleeve Top
- Editor’s Cut Blume Bias Cut Midi Satin Skirt
- Part Two Kasia Blouse
- Kurt Geiger London Burlington Leather Ankle Boots
Overall, I’m really impressed with what I’ve been sent.
The Editor’s Cut Serena Slim Fit Cashmere Roll Neck jumper (Picture: Stitch Fix)
Part Two Kasia Blouse (Picture: Stitch Fix)
The Editor’s Cut Blume Bias Cut Midi Satin Skirt (Picture: Stitch Fix)
The Hobbs Margot Sheer Sleeve Top (Picture: Stitch Fix)
And the Kurt Geiger London Burlington Leather Ankle Boots (Picture: Stitch Fix)
I wouldn’t describe anything in Katie’s bundle as a statement piece and I wouldn’t have minded some more colour variety, but everything fits perfectly, and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of the skirt, boots, and Kasia blouse – all three of which I’m pretty fond of.
Let’s start with the Kasia blouse – the fact that Katie managed to gauge my fondness for prairie collars and a hint of witchcore without me having to say as much is pretty impressive.
I love the floaty fabric, and I’m looking forward to wearing it with some white high-waisted jeans or a leopard print skirt.
Those sleeves! (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
Yes, I’m feeling it (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
The skirt and the boots look pretty cute together (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
I love the colour of the skirt, which I think is going to be great for autumn, although I don’t think I’ll be pairing it with the blouse like Katie recommended in her note.
The Kurt Geiger boots are a bit of me too – they fit well and feel super comfy so far.
As for the turtleneck, it’s a little simple, but I do like the look of it, and it fits like a glove. However, I’m ashamed to say that, even though I’d love to keep it, it’s just too itchy.
As my note from Katie says, she’s taken my need for soft fabrics into account and I can appreciate it’s an objectively touchable cashmere knit, so she definitely gets points for trying.
Because I am a big wimp, I didn’t want to keep the turtleneck on for very long (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
It’s giving ‘I work front of house and they let me wear what I want as long as it’s a black top and black bottoms’ (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
If anything, I feel like I’m in the wrong for finding cashmere too itchy – who do I think I am?
The only garment that I think isn’t my style is the Margot top.
I like the sheer sleeves, but there’s something in the neckline and the cut of it that I don’t think is really me.
I don’t think three out of five successful picks is bad going at all, especially given they’re so close to getting it right with the jumper, and I don’t exactly blame them for not sending something that appeases my all-too-sensitive skin.
Checking out those boots (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
A whole Stitch Fix ensemble based on Katie’s recommendation to pair the blouse with the skirt (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
It’s clear they’ve listened to me, and I can’t help but picture the stylists getting a better and better understanding of my tastes if I were to order more Fixes.
If you were to totally hate what you’ve been sent, they give you the option to rate it and change your stylist when you check out, which is where you let them know what you want to keep, return or exchange.
It’s giving ‘Stevie Nicks in the boardroom’… (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
…And I’m not mad at it (Picture: Susannah Ireland)
So would I try Stitch Fix again? Absolutely.
I’d suggest it to anyone looking for a wardrobe refresh who isn’t sure where to start and/or doesn’t have the time to scour the shops or the web to find exactly what they want.
It’s a fun way to get a professional’s opinion and get out of the habit of buying the same old things.
An added bonus is that, as it’s all digital, it’s a very Covid-safe way to shop too.
I don’t think a regular subscription would be for me, especially as I’m looking to cut down on my overall consumption, but if you fancy giving yourself a little treat from time to time, I’d definitely recommend an online personal stylist like this.
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected]