A College Student's Guide to Stitch Fix

When I get dressed for class, I typically grab some humdrum assortment of clothing and throw it on without much thought. I can usually avoid major fashion faux pas like stripes and polka dots or pink and red, but beyond that, I'm pretty much fashion-inept.

When I first heard about Stitch Fix, I thought, "Where have you been all my life?" The service sends boxes of clothes (called Fixes), which are chosen based on the parameters you provide.

I quickly set up an account on their website. After inputting my sizes, Stitch Fix surveyed some basics about my day-to-day life, including how frequently I need formal wear. Setting up the profile was fun, kind of like "Queer Eye" fashion expert Tan France had been programmed into my laptop. 

My favorite part of the process was when they asked me what type of clothing I never wear. The answer? Dresses. Deal, they won't send me any dresses. You can rule out all kinds of things, from handbags to jewelry to shoes.

Then they take you through a quiz, which I can only compare to a BuzzFeed personality quiz with a bunch of different sample outfits, to get a sense of your style.

Stitch Fix allows you to dictate a price range on a scale from least to most expensive, which is a rather friendly feature for a college student's budget. 

Finally, I attached a link to my Pinterest board to give the stylist a little more of a sense of what I like, paid the $20 styling fee, and logged out to await my first Fix. 

I fully acknowledge the hassle of exchanging clothes online. I've actually avoided online shopping entirely up until now for that very reason. But I was enticed by Stitch Fix's model, where they provide both an envelope and paid postage for whatever pieces you want to send back.

My Fix arrived about a week later. It came in a nicely branded box, and honestly, I felt pretty fancy opening it. 

Inside sat five articles: a sweater, a cardigan, a button-down shirt, a pair of jeans and a gold necklace. I swiftly started trying things on. 

Everything fit reasonably well, except for the jeans. Jeans are extraordinarily hard to find, and if you find a good pair, you'd better hold onto them for dear life. I wasn't too surprised or disappointed that the jeans in my Fix didn't work, and I decided to send them back. 

Otherwise, I loved all the pieces. The outfits actually gave me a bit of imposter syndrome because, all at once, I looked like the high-fashion journalist I aspire to be someday.

Still, I decided only to keep two pieces. Although I had chosen the lowest price range in my profile, the clothes were fairly expensive at $40-$60 each.

The $20 styling fee comes off of whatever you choose to purchase, so I settled on the button-down shirt (this truly made me feel like a columnist!) and the knit sweater. I returned to the website to check out and provide feedback on the pieces, which was a super straightforward process. I stuck the rest back in the paid envelope that Stitch Fix enclosed and returned it well within the allotted 3-day return window.

Overall rating: I would give Stitch Fix a 7/10. 

I think this service is ideal for busy professionals who want a fresh wardrobe but may not have the time or interest to shop. It's a bit pricey on a college student budget, but it was a fun adventure to try out, and I walked away with some new clothes that I love!