In a fit of desperation after failing at maternity shopping (see previous post), I signed up to get a Stitch Fix box. For those who aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, they’re a personal styling service that will send you five items based on a style profile and any specific requests you have for that box (e.g. “I need a special occasion outfit for an upcoming family wedding”).
This sounded great to me, since I tend to be set in my ways when it comes to clothes shopping. I hesitate to branch out from the tried-and-true, so a personal styling service that might nudge me out of my comfort zone and show me things I wouldn’t find on my own sounded awesome.
After the first box I was absolutely in love with the service. I asked for business casual maternity clothes. Everything they sent me was cute and in line with my style profile; the items I sent back got sent back because of fit problems or fabric issues. My five items were:
- A darling silver necklace that I loved the minute I put it on.
- A cute navy maternity dress that I considered keeping, but decided against because of the overly generous back pleating (hello, bubble butt!).
- A coral-colored blouse that I liked a lot but that wrinkled almost from the moment I pulled it out of the box — I knew if I kept it I’d never wear it because I’d have to iron it every time I did.
- A gorgeous teal blouse that was, alas, way too tight through the shoulders.
- Comfy, trendy maternity leggings at exactly the right price point — perfect for fall weekends.
One thing I did notice was that the box had a very West Coast interpretation of business casual — see this comic by The Oatmeal for a handy primer on the difference between East Coast and West Coast sartorial philosophy. For example, I have never seen a single pair of stretch leggings at my workplace and I would never, ever teach in such tight pants, but the stylist specifically said that the leggings would be “perfect for work.” I decided I’d mention that my workplace is fairly conservative in my next note and eagerly signed up for my next Fix.
Alas, my second box was kind of a wreck. I might have gotten too specific in my styling note — I asked for sleeveless or short-sleeved work tops and business casual dresses (mentioning the bit about being on the more formal end of business casual), and also said I didn’t need any more pants. These requests went more or less ignored. Instead, I got:
- Bright purple long-sleeved blouse with a missing button and fraying seams at the cuffs (yikes!).
- Blue flowered maternity tunic with long sleeves and smocking across the chest — sort of Little House on the Prairie meets 70s flower child.
- A pair of black maternity “jeggings” that were so tight I couldn’t get them over my bump, which I think was the baby’s way of expressing his displeasure with the entire concept of “jeggings.”
- A mock wrap dress that actually fit quite well, although I worried that the geometric pattern was making me look even bigger.
- A bumblebee costume.
Oh, you think I’m kidding about the bumblebee costume? BEHOLD:
See? I was so not kidding about the bumblebee costume. What is WITH maternity clothes and horizontal stripes?!
So our score so far is one excellent box, one poor one. I’m considering a third box as a tiebreaker but I’m actually fairly happy with my maternity wardrobe right now — I may wait until I a) start the semester and b) get more pregnant to see if I really need more/different items.
In the meantime, if you’re on the fence about Stitch Fix I say give it a try! The $20 styling fee is (IMO) pretty reasonable, returns are free and low-maintenance, and if all else fails you’ll have your own bumblebee costume to giggle over for hours at a time!