Find your style for photographers / Crystal tries Stitch Fix personal stylist!
As a mostly work-from-home wedding photographer, I’ve been noticing that I’m starting to struggle a little more with finding clothing to wear when I’m out at weddings, doing sessions, or just meeting with clients for coffee. As I transitioned through my 30s, my body started changing. I used to shop at stores that catered to 20somethings, or hunted the junior’s department to buy things in XL. However, this just wasn’t working anymore. I’ve had 2 kids and some stressful events in my life, and lets just say my midsection is not what it used to be, and my overall shape just doesn’t work with those clothes anymore. Plus I’m getting some fine lines on my face and have become painfully aware that these juniors styles are just not going to work for someone my age. (BTW, I’m still a believer that if you feel great in any outfit then you should wear it, no matter what age it was marketed to…. I just don’t feel great in clothes made for teenagers anymore!).
After watching pretty much the entire series of Queer Eye on Netflix (which BTW is a freaking INCREDIBLE show if you haven’t watched it yet), I started thinking to myself about how great it would be to just have someone else pick out my clothes and tell me what actually would look good on my body. On top of that, I’d read “The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up” by Maria Kondo and started thinking about how great it would be to just rid my life of clutter. I realized my closet was full of clothes that I seemed to hang onto thinking I’d maybe fit into them again someday, and a LOT of clothes that I’d found on clearance racks thinking “wow what an amazing deal” only to never find the right coordinating pieces and see that they were still hanging, YEARS later, with tags on. Even after trips to the mall and spending hundreds of dollars on clothes, I still was not doing that great of a job at actually creating a workable capsule wardrobe where I could always find something stylish to wear and know that a lot of the pieces will go together. I was shopping impulsively which resulted in a mish mash of articles of clothing that never quite went together right. My go to was a few pairs of jeans and some random tee shirts for TJ maxx. It was a little sad, TBH.
Then came the struggle of coming up with outfits to wear to meetings with couples and business contacts. The comfy tee shirts and jeans just were not going to cut it. The buying random pieces here and there was too draining to my bank account only to find I still never had complete outfits that I felt looked stylish and cute. Let me tell you this is embarrassing for me, as a creative person, to be so bland with clothing! But I’m telling you it is HARD when you get to my age and tart having a body that doesn’t fit the mold anymore. I used to be able to wear literally anything, 30 lbs ago, but now shopping trips are quite honestly a bit depressing for me.
Then, through the magic of technology and basically lack of privacy due to having a Facebook account, I started getting ads from Stitch Fix. Usually I just ignore ads, but I curiously clicked to see what it was all about. Through my clicking, I was able to discover that Stitch Fix was a service where a personal stylist would style me and send me clothes as often as I wanted. Sounded amazing but my immediate thought was, OMG I bet that is super expensive or they will send me stuff I do not like. I sat on it for several months and kept getting those pesky little ads, lol. It was eating away at me. I really wanted to try it, but again, I was so afraid that something would go wrong. I knew my body type can be hard to work with (thick waist and thick upper arms compared to the rest of my proportions). I had all these fears that they would send me things that would confirm to me that I must be impossible to dress and that I’ve aged out of anything even remotely cute. I convinced myself that they’d send me these granny clothes or something, or all baggy tops to compensate for my tummy (which always tend to make me look even bigger than I am!).
One day, I don’t know why, I think I had a little extra money, and I decided to just bite the bullet and spend the $20 to get styled. Yes, I was literally dragging my feet over $20 and those other completely mental hurdles. After creating an account, I went through Stitch Fix’s style quiz, which was very extensive. They basically ask you for your sizes in clothing, including how things fit on certain areas of your body. They give you a bunch of example outfits as well and ask you if they are things you could see yourself wearing. They ask what you normally spend on specific pieces of clothing and determine what you’d be comfortable with spending on the perfect outfit. I have to say, they have a very good system in place that helps them get a great idea of your style, and as long as you are putting the information out there for them and not leaving them to guess too much, they can get an extremely accurate portrayal of who you are and what you would wear.
So, this is the part I’m sure you want to know…. how did the clothes actually turn out? GAH! I wish I’d taken photos when my first box came back in June because I was so pleasantly surprised! They gave me a mix of pieces that I totally would have picked out for myself, but also some surprises. One surprise was ORANGE LINEN SHORTS. I admit when I pulled them out my first thought was OMG why on earth would I ever wear these?! You’ve gotta remember, I’m a plain jeans (and jean shorts) wearer, and hadn’t dared to adventure beyond that! Then I put them on. Holy hell, they were actually REALLY CUTE. They sent coordinating tops with them and let me tell you my kids now harass me constantly because I ALWAYS wear those orange shorts and black strappy top that they sent, haha! I kept that ENTIRE box. It was like everything in it was just perfect. I told them one of my brand colors is navy blue and they made sure to send me a top in navy blue for work too!
I was so obsessed with how amazing my experience was with Stitch Fix that I knew I couldn’t wait 4-5 months for another box (which I’d initially planned on so as not to spend too much with way too many deliveries). I decided to push my second delivery up to the end of July, which gave my bank account a little time to recoup but still satisfy my excitement of getting another box. So…. THAT BOX JUST CAME AND ONCE AGAIN I AM SUPER STOKED AT HOW WELL THEY DID. I chose to have the same stylist do this box because she did great on the first one. I had given feedback on the first box and she took that feedback and applied it to the second box perfectly! So without further ado, here are the photos!
As you can see, the presentation is really nice! Everything comes in a box, neatly wrapped in tissue, along with a welcome card and a style guide. I’m one of those people who doesn’t look at the style guide until I pull the pieces out because I want to be surprised! However, the guide is incredibly handy as a visual aid to show you other ways that you can build upon your wardrobe and create more outfits with the same piece. The stylist also sends a paragraph or so about why they selected specific items for you and which pieces you should put together. I’ll explain a little more about this with each photo!
Light peach floral kimono with white dress pants
This kimono was the first piece I saw in the box. My first thought was “wow those colors are so pretty, but I’m not sure if I’d ever wear this”. The stylist recommended that I wear the kimono with the white pants that were also in the box, along with any tank top in a coordinating color (happened to have a navy blue one in my closet). I wasn’t too sure how that all would look together, but I think it works! I showed the kimono to my husband and my daughter and they both loved it. We are a family that lives honestly (blunt sometimes!), so I know they would have told me if they didn’t like it, but both said they loved it. I’m still getting used to the idea of an “extra” piece like this, but I do feel that it adds a lot to the overall look. Stitch fix for the win in getting me to move out of my comfort zone a little and actually add a layer piece in an actual PRINT instead of some solid cardigan or something.
I think I would ultimately wear this outfit with different shoes though. These are my wear-everywhere knockoffs of Birkenstocks. I love them but they aren’t the best for lighter colored outfits. No biggie. I’m ok with getting a pair of light colored shoes to go with all of my lighter colored outfits.
Blue sleeveless top with the same white dress pants
Again, nailed what I’d totally wear to a wedding with the top. I’d probably put it with gray or black dress pants for a wedding, but its nice and cool and flowy so I know I wouldn’t get too hot working in it! I know it is probably hard to see but there are some vertical pleats going down the middle of the front of the top which gives it that little something “extra” that transforms it from basic to something a little dressier.
I think this is totally cute with the white pants and it looks like something I’d wear just out and about with the family or to meet up with friends and clients. I would feel super comfortable with wearing an outfit like this to church as well. I really love that my stylist sent me navy pieces twice because I told her its a color that looks great on me and is also a brand color. They DO pay attention to what you tell them! I also feel like the dark color on top hides my tummy better, and the light color on the bottom draws attention there, and I’ve always been happy with my legs!
OH, and almost forgot to add, the pants have a little stretch to them so I’m not worried about my weight fluctuating a little. I’m trying to lose some weight and I feel like these pants would look absolutely fine even if I drop a size (and I know they could withstand a couple big meals too, haha, but I’m trying not to do that!).
White pants with a navy top from my first box!
Ohhhh this top. This top came in my first box and was a recommendation as a work shirt. I struggled with this one a little because the cut is so amazing that I felt it showed my “assets” up top a little too well to be taken seriously as a professional, haha! Its a wrap shirt so there is some give there where you can tie it up a little tighter or take it out a little. Think wrap dress without the actual skirt attached! The V goes pretty deep, which basically means my husband is obsessed with it. I told my stylist this in my feedback after she sent me the first box. So, in this box, she told me to use this top with the white pants that were just sent and to use it as a date night outfit. YOU WOULD THINK I COULD DO THIS MYSELF BUT I DIDN’T THINK OF IT. lol So I pulled the top out of the closet, still with tags on because I didn’t know what to put it with, and it looks amazing with the white pants!!!! My husband loves the whole look and immediately said we need to go on a date again haha! I also would wear this as a work outfit, but just put a little safety pin in that deep V for extra security up top.
Skinny jeans, purple cut-shoulder top, and the kimono
I thought I’d pull out the kimono again just to see how it looked with these jeans and top that were also in my box. Its not bad but its not my favorite either. I really do prefer the kimono with the white pants and a tank top, maybe even a lighter colored tank top. My stylist didn’t recommend putting the kimono with this, although it does have hints of purple in it, which matches the shirt. So I’d wear it, I just like it with the white better!
Purple cut sleeve shirt and stretch skinny jeans
When I pulled the purple shirt out of the box, I pretty much knew immediately that I’d wear it a lot. Its a good basic and the cheapest article of clothing in the box. I would wear this EVERYWHERE. Its comfortable but there’s a cut in the top of the sleeve which takes it up a notch from super basic, and I can appreciate that! Plus, its a jewel tone, and I specifically told my stylist that I think I look pretty good in jewel tones. She listens! By the way, don’t mind all my silly poses. I’m used to being behind the camera, not in front of it! So I just danced around and had fun while my daughter took the photos.
The jeans were the one article of clothing in the box that I considered maybe not keeping. Its not that there was anything wrong with them, because there isn’t! They are great jeans and they look great on me! They were just a little on the pricier side and I have a lot of jeans already. The jeans had that perfect amount of stretch where they hugged all my curves just right, and the color goes with so many tops. My stylist mentioned that she sent them because I had said I’d like to try jeans in the next box. Boom, done!
Stich fix does offer the option to send jewelry, shoes, bags, and accessories in your box, but I chose for them to leave out these items as I enjoy shopping around for them. I will probably add them to a later box though because I realize my jewelry is also a hodgepodge of nothing that matches anything haha!
So here’s the thing with Stitch Fix. You set a budget of what you’d be comfortable spending. You need to be reasonable and not expect them to send you a box of things at Walmart prices because it will not happen. Everything they send seems to be high quality items that you’d find at boutique stores. I personally love this and I am not a thrift shopper. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE finding deals, but nothing is truly a “deal” if you don’t actually need it and you impulsively bought it because it was cheap. Trust me I know, I’ve been there, I lived that life and I’m done. I personally don’t want my boxes over $200 and I tell them this. I tell them that I want them as cheap as they are able to do them, and my first box was $160. I’ve spoken with others who use the service and it sounds like that is about the norm, unless you tell them you are comfortable with spending more than that. I personally am used to cheaper articles of clothing, but have found that its the Stitch Fix pieces that I continually choose to wear because they are so versatile, well-made, and look great on me. I like that I don’t have to drive all over and get tempted in a bunch of stores and impulse buy a lot of other crap I don’t need - they just send me a great little capsule type wardrobe. I love how they built upon the last box so that I’m able to coordinate everything together. I ultimately decided that I’m keeping the jeans, even though I have other jeans, because if I buy the whole box of clothes, I save 25% off the whole box, which is almost the cost of the jeans. So its like getting a free pair of high end jeans, and who doesn’t love that?
If you’d like to try Stitch Fix, its just $20 to get styled, and you take that $20 off of your box if you decide to purchase anything out of it. So if you’re buying the clothes, its free to get styled! The $20 is just there to ensure that they are covering their shipping costs and stylist’s time if people don’t actually buy anything from the box. I’d be shocked though if anyone didn’t buy the clothes, because they do such a good job of matching them to you! I found out Stitch Fix styles both men and women, so my husband is excited to give it a whirl too. My daughter says they do such a great job on me that she wants to just to Stitch Fix for her school wardrobe. Yes, its that amazing. Its like they just truly get to know who you are, style wise, and they stick to that!
If you would like to try Stitch Fix, please use my referral code! You will get $25 off your first box and then I get $25 off my next one. Who doesn’t love saving money when they can? If you don’t use the link or the code, neither of us will get that $25 off. The $25 credit will show up on your invoice that comes with the box, and you can use it on whatever you keep!
Also remember that you will get different things in your box than what I got. This are very much tailored to ME and my age and lifestyle. What works for me may not be your style, so you just tell them what you love and you will get things that are perfect for YOU!
Special thanks to my daughter for taking photos of me in all of the outfits!