A stitch in time online

By Melanie Yingst - Contributing Columnist

Last week, I shared my experience of farming out my grocery shopping list, thanks to online technology.

This week, I tested the waters in a new technological endeavor with mixed results.

I farmed out my clothes shopping to a complete stranger.

A few weeks ago, I met my girlfriend Tory in Troy to power-walk a few miles with our kids. We, of course, immediately undid all the work by stuffing our faces at a local pub, but it was a beautiful fall day and the kids needed to burn energy. It was nice to walk along the levee with the gorgeous river views and catch up on life.

During our walk, I happened to comment how I loved Tory’s jeans, and well, her whole outfit was cute. I had just been slumming it that evening after a session with my LEGO robotics kids and here she was all pulled together after her long day at work and two kids.

The rest of the walk, Tory twisted my arm into trying this online shopping website called Stitch Fix.

Stitch Fix is an online clothing shop designed to provide personal styling services. It was specifically created for people who need to wear nicer clothes for events or work but who don’t want to spend hours and hours combing through clothing stores to put together outfits.

Over the last year, I had read how one of my favorite bloggers, Crystal Paine, had tried this service out a few times. In fact, one of the books she recommended was called “Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear!” It was a pretty fun read.

I like shopping for clothes. It’s the closest thing I have to a hobby, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve had a harder time pulling outfits together.

You know those people who look like they are on their way to a family photo shoot, yet they are just walking out to their mailbox?

I’ll never be like them. I’ll just admire them from afar.

So Tory hooked me up with a referral code to give this Stitch Fix deal a try. Through a variety of surveys and questions, you tell complete strangers — or “stylists” — what you are looking for either for special occasions or work purposes. You pay a $20 “styling fee” which is reimbursed if you decide to keep any of the clothes that are shipped to your home. Tory encouraged me to be really, really specific in what I asked for and also encouraged me to set up a Pinterest board with wardrobe ideas. That was the fun part.

I got my first “Stitch Fix” this week and it was like Christmas morning. It was exciting and the anticipation was pretty fun.

But it was also like Christmas morning when someone gives you a gift that, well, just doesn’t quite jive.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not in love with color — the darker, the better. I gravitate toward gray and black more often than I should. It’s just the one color I feel most comfortable in.

I’m not depressed or anything. In fact, I hadn’t noticed it until this fall when my clothes dryer died. I’ve been hanging all my clothes up on the line the old-fashioned way. When you look out my window, it’s just like one long black row of clothes.

I opened the box and I sifted through the items. The clothes come with styling cards which show you how to make the items into an outfit. That was one of my favorite parts. The first sweater they sent was okay, but was emerald green.

In fact, I have the same sweater in gray and black. I know. Shocking.

They also sent me a navy blue scarf with large feathers on it. Meh. Tory warned me about scarves, so that also went back.

Also in “my fix” was a pair of basic jeans. They fit amazing, but the price tag was not worth it when I have 35 pairs in my closet.

The one item I almost kept was a camel-colored sweater with cute buttons down the back and leather-patched elbows. It was cute, but it was made out of acrylic and the price tag was close to what I spend on a cell phone bill each month.

So in the end, I pulled out the pre-labeled USPS bag they provided and sent all of the items back. That was definitely handy.

While I was disappointed with my first experience, I’ll be giving this service another shot in the dark, but maybe some things are better left done the old-fashioned way.


By Melanie Yingst

Contributing Columnist

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She has more than 50 pairs of jeans in her closet, but only wears three pairs of them.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She has more than 50 pairs of jeans in her closet, but only wears three pairs of them.


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