You Do Not Need Your Own Stylist

You Do Not Need Your Own Stylist

Undeniably, it is exciting to receive a package in the mail. Even when you paid for it, know it’s coming, and have a scheduled arrival time, it is still more fun to get something in the mail than actually going to the store. This natural human truth might not be psychologically understood yet (or maybe it is, but that’s not my argument here), but there are plenty of companies that are taking advantage of our human weakness.

For example, do you use StitchFix? It must be great to receive a monthly, personalized, mystery box that might have a hidden treasure you never knew you needed. The mystery creates a stronger appeal. The ability to choose what you want and send the rest back eliminates risk. So, what’s not to like?

Please, if you use any service like StitchFix, read further so I can explain how irrational this process is. If you don’t, good. Read anyways so you know why you shouldn’t start.

The Basics

The “Online Personal Stylist” experience sends you clothes at retail price, with no sales, no discounts, and usually one head-to-toe outfit.

How many full outfits do you need? I understand that it’s an interesting experience and it’s fun to be surprised by something you get in the mail, but that’s the only real benefit. Put another way: How many surprise outfits do you want in your closet?

Imagine someone came up to you on the street and said, “Hey there, I can give you a full outfit that’s in-style right now. Just give me $100 and I’ll grab the bag out of my truck.” Would you also be okay with that deal?

Is it because you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends? That’s not me, but maybe it’s important to you, and that’s fine. You can still be on-trend without these services. What is wrong with going to the mall or Kohls? You can definitely find a better deal at either place, especially because retail stores often have a “Buy one, get one” special or limited time discount on their items–even the new ones. Use that store loyalty card you have in your wallet somewhere and you’ll get at least a slightly better deal than StitchFix could offer you. Even if you don’t have a store loyalty or credit card, head over to Kohls and they’ll hand you some Kohls Cash right off the printing press. They give you money for buying anything, even if your whole cart is clearance socks.


Well, I could always pick just the best thing…

That is entirely true. However, that one item probably costs more than you would pay for it at a retail store. I’ve seen the pricing breakdown of a StitchFix order, and some of the simplest shirts are $30-40. I also saw jeans for $70, which I can’t imagine is justified nowadays (maybe at Abercrombie or Hollister…ten years ago). Think about how much you actually like the item, how much you would pay for it at the mall, and how much you just don’t want to disappoint your “personal stylist”.


Or I can send it all back for free!

The free shipping bag that they send in the package is a great hook to keep people subscribed. Think of it this way: the shipping actually costs you $15-20, because that’s what the styling fee costs. Even if you don’t like any of the items or if the ones you want are too expensive, they still charge you for your order! Would you pay extra at the mall if an associate helped you find an item? No? Then why would you pay an anonymous stranger for putting together a box with your address on it? Even if you only purchase something in half of your orders over a year, you’re throwing away over $100 for nothing (and probably overpaying for the items you do keep).


Life is always too expensive if you’re lazy or too afraid to tell someone “no”. Do yourself a favor and stay away from these mystery boxes.

Joseph Laraiso
Advertising Master's Student, focused in Account Management. Background in finance and investing. Progressive Rock enthusiast. Expert in being very blunt and straightforward.

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