I’ve clicked on my fair share of scam YouTube ads promising extreme discounts for “New VIP members,” so initially, I was pretty skeptical about paying for clothes I hadn’t bought yet, let alone an entire fashion subscription service. I’m on a tight budget when it comes to shopping, so my wardrobe updates have always been limited to once or twice a year. Still, I decided that I wanted to start getting more serious about fashion this year and decided to take a chance on Stitchfix, a personal styling service. When I got my first subscription, I was stunned by the variety and quality of clothing. Since then, these memberships have allowed me to seriously upgrade my style this year while still ballin’ on a budget.
Stitchfix isn’t a retailer (although it does have some of its own products) — it’s a styling service. It caters to women of all different ages, sizes, and budgets (though it also has services for men and children). The example “fixes” on the website range from a fancy cruise outfit sent for a woman in her 60s to a biker chick look for a woman in her 20s. A “fix” usually consists of 5-6 clothing pieces, and each comes with an inspiration booklet. You can choose to have one sent to you biweekly, monthly, or seasonally, and are charged a $20 styling fee toward any clothes that you decide to keep. You complete a personal, in-depth style profile (where your budget is also taken into consideration) and are matched with a stylist. Based on your style profile and notes, your stylist picks out a few pieces and sends them to you. You can then try them on at home – no need to go to the mall! Your stylist really takes the time to get to know you and your needs; mine was particularly successful in cultivating the “college fashionista” look I was going for. You then pick out the pieces that you want to keep and send the rest back; if you’re unsatisfied, you can also leave comments for your stylist, so that they has a better idea of your preferences for next time. Essentially, you have your own personal stylist for just $20 a session! I’ve only had one “fix” sent so far, as I have opted for the bimonthly option, but I’ve gotten two really cute outfits out of it – including my first-ever jumpsuit and a denim skirt that (finally) actually fits!
JustFab is best known for their boots, but they also offer a wide range of clothing, from activewear to clubwear. This was one of those “New VIP Offer” ads that popped up while I was browsing YouTube one day. I was looking for a pair of gray fashion boots, when I stumbled upon this service. With the new VIP offer, I got my gray boots and another pair for $39.95, compared to the $79.95 boots that I had bookmarked. I was surprised at how high-quality they were, compared to the low price they were sold at. My last pair cost twice as much and had badly busted heels, but these new ones are still kicking! I was concerned that everything would be unaffordable after the New VIP discount expired, but this was not the case – this pair of boots would be $39.95 for a regular VIP. As a VIP, every month you have the option to “skip the month” (not be charged a store credit), or be charged $39.95 in store credit towards your next order. I have so many products on my wish list that it’ll probably take me until graduation to buy them all, but as of now, I have at least enough clothing to start my 20s off in style.
- Savage x Fenty
Savage x Fenty only sells lingerie (no shoes nor clothes), but I have to give them a shoutout for creating the most comfortable T-shirt bras in existence. This line was created by the fabulous Rihanna with plus-sized women and women of color in mind. With bra sizes ranging from 32A to 42H and clothing sizes from XS to 3X, as well as nude lingerie in a variety of different skin tones (thank the Lord!), the brand successfully accomplishes its goal of promoting inclusivity and body positivity. The items are cute, yet practical, and they never feel uncomfortable or too much. Right now, new VIP members get a sitewide 65% discount for “Cyber Month,” so you can have one of the most comfortable T-shirt bras in existence for just $11.90! I’m seriously considering signing up again with a different card because that’s an even better deal than the one I got when I joined in August. Shop or “skip” by the 5th of each month, or be charged a $49.95 store credit towards your next order. (The items are pretty affordable, so that’s enough to buy at least one new bra.)
None of these services requires you to spend money on items you won’t buy – even if you don’t “skip” on the VIP memberships, the store credit will be charged to your next order. For Stitchfix, you are only charged for the items you decide to keep. I’ve never felt like I could be “into fashion” due to the inability to afford a new wardrobe every season, but building it up in increments has been a great confidence booster.