When I first heard of StitchFix, I was slightly obsessed. I was listening to a podcast where the host was interviewing a successful businesswoman and asking her for her best tips and resources to keep her life organized and remain productive. She mentioned Stitch Fix, and I immediately had to look it up.
Basically, Stitch Fix is a service that shops for you based on your style preferences and sends you clothing to check out and buy. Stich Fix users have to pay a styling fee of $20 which can apply to their purchase if they decide to buy any clothing the stylist picks out. If they choose to pass on all the items in a shipment, they can, but they still have to pay the $20 styling fee.
You can order your clothing ‘fix’ whenever it’s convenient for you or set up automatic shipments for every 2-3 weeks, every month, every other month, or every three months.
The True Cost of Stitch Fix
From the outside looking in, Stitch Fix looks like an excellent service. Having a personal stylist shop for you and handpick clothing items that match your preferences certainly sounds like the royal treatment. While I still like clothes, I find it hard to make time to shop, and sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the hassle.
However, once I tried Stitch Fix and saw how much it would really cost me, I realized I probably couldn’t afford it. Sure, Stitch Fix only charges a styling fee of $20 per shipment every time you order a fix. However, the clothing they send you often costs way more than that.
While applying the $20 styling fee as a discount to the final price might help, the cost of each clothing item can get pretty high. The lowest amount you’ll pay per article of clothing is $25 for adult items, but they can reach as high as $500 per piece. Since each box includes the items for one outfit, the base price for all of the clothing items together in a shipment (not including taxes) can be anywhere from $125 to $2,500.
When you buy all five pieces that Stitch Fix sends you, you’ll receive 25% off your purchase. But with the lowest price per piece being $25, the minimum you’d pay for a single outfit is $100 (not including taxes).
If you don’t have that type of money to dish out regularly, Stitch Fix may not be the right service for you. On the bright side, there is a cheaper version of Stitch Fix and some additional alternatives to consider.
Lele Tote is a service similar to Stitch Fix, but it allows you to rent your clothes or buy them, depending on your preference. With Lele Tote, you still have a virtual stylist, and there are several plans available.
Users can pay $59 per month to receive three clothing items and two accessories each month. During that month, you can wear the items as often as you’d like. Then, you have a choice. You can return everything you don’t want to purchase (and keep) by the deadline, rent your favorite pieces again, or buy everything at up to 50 percent off the retail cost.
The service often offers discounts or free trials for new members, with the exact deal varying during the year. After the free trial or discounted period ends, you’ll pay the normal subscription costs.
How much you pay depends on your subscription plan, which outlines the number of pieces you’re receiving or renting at a time. Here’s a breakdown:
- 1 item – $49 per month
- 2 items – $69 per month
- 3 items – $95 per month
- 5 items – $139 per month
- 7 items – $179 per month
- 10 items – $199 per month
If you love an item, you have the option of buying it for less than the retail price. Then, you can keep it forever. Otherwise, you can either continue renting them or return the items you don’t want to add to your closet permanently to receive new pieces.
The Cheapest Alternative Option to Stitch Fix
I’m really going to just be blunt and say that these clothing subscription services are not going to be in everyone’s budget, no matter how ‘budget friendly’ they seem. If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to Stitch Fix, you may very well just have to shop for your own clothing the traditional way.
Having a personal stylist and clothing sent straight to your door sounds nice, but you must realize that you have to pay extra for this type of convenient service. If you figure your money would be best spent elsewhere in your budget or you just don’t shop much to begin with, consider buying your clothes online for cheap at stores like ThredUp. Granted, these stores offer gently used clothing, but everything is in good condition, and they even offer brand names.
Plus, by shopping online, you can save time and the hassle associated with searching for deals in retail stores.
Whatever option you choose, be realistic about your budget and carefully weigh the pros and cons.
Have you ever tried Stitch Fix or any other clothing subscription service? Why or why not?