So what can you do? How about a styling service? That’s right, shopping for the lazy. These sites pick out those cool pieces you can never seem to find on your own in the wilds of the mall and send them right to your door. And while it might be the time of year when you should be getting gifts for others, it’s never the wrong time for some self-love. So we’ve compiled a comparison of some of these services so you can find the one that’s right for you. Happy (not) shopping!
Tested by: Danelle S.
How it Works: Very easy, even though there are lots of questions to answer up front. You answer basic questions about things like height, top/bottom, dress, and bra size. You also tell them what body parts you don’t mind showing off and what you’d like to keep covered, as well as your “style” (i.e. edgy, preppy, whatever). I like that they ask you what colors and patterns you’d like to avoid (no yellow, orange or gold for me please – I look like I have jaundice when I wear them!) Then they ask what your budget is for each type of clothing: bottoms, denim, skirts, tops, outerwear, dresses, and accessories; the options are: as low as you can go (my fav!), $50-$100, $100-$150 or $150-$200.
The last page asks you things like how often you dress a certain way: laid-back casual, business formal, business casual, date night or special occasion, as well as how long you like your skirts and dresses, what types of tops you like to wear, and whether you’d like to include jackets, winter coats, and accessories, as well as what types of pants you want to avoid getting in your boxes. They give you an option to elaborate with a text field for you to give any additional info if you wish.
When you receive your box, you try on the items and decide if you want to keep them, exchange them or send them back. Then you go onto the Dia & Co. website and rate the items, tell them what you didn’t like about the ones you are sending back, and let them know what special requests you have for the next box. They give you a bag for the items you want to return or exchange and its free to send them back.
Price Range: There is a $20 styling fee for each box, which Dia & Co. will credit back to you if you decide to keep anything in the box, so unless you send every item back it’s totally worth it. The least I’ve paid for any item has been $35, and that was literally the only item that was ever that inexpensive. Usually, the items I get – and I chose the “go as low as you can” option on everything but denim – run from around $49 to $69 each, and I end up keeping one to three items in each box. My favorite item I’ve ever received – which I also felt super guilty about – was a tank top for $49. It was so cute that I couldn’t send it back, even though anything over $25 for a tank top is craziness. I’ve also spent $98 each on two different pairs of jeans, which is ridiculous…but I think the stylists must know what the deal is and that I am a sucker for good denim.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommended for: Anyone size 14 and up. They get the curvy-girl niche pretty well. Sometimes I get randomly weird items that are either really fugly (this week’s box had the ugliest dress I’ve ever seen – the fabric looked like curtains from the 70’s. NO.) or just not my style, but I just let the stylist know and it’s happened less and less as time has gone on, for the most part. I’ve never kept every item in any box, but a bonus for anyone who does is that you get the $20 styling fee back PLUS a 25% discount on the price of every item.
I’ve gotten some really nice pieces for my wardrobe, and I’ve been using this service since February of this year. One thing I like to do when I decide what to keep is to take a piece of old clothing that I don’t wear out of my closet in exchange for each item I add into it. It helps me keep my options fresh, and I donate the older items from my closet to a shelter or pantry in my area. “Not shopping” is my jam – I do everything I can online, so this is totally up my alley.
Tested by: Amy
How it Works: In a way my overworked, old lady brain can handle. In other words, easy peasy, Hemsworth squeazy.
I found Le Tote because they advertise on Bitch Sesh, the mandatory podcast for Real Housewives obsessives like me.
For $59 a month, the gals at Le Tote send you unlimited totes (aka boxes of clothes). A tote includes either three pieces of clothing or two pieces of clothing and one accessory. You can wear the clothes as long (or as short) as you like and then return for a new tote. I was able to get about 2 totes per month. Wear them, and if you love them, you can buy them by not including in your return box.
The first step is showing the stylists items you like, to give a sense of your personal style. My style is all over the place, from Boho chic to silk pussy-bow blouses, and they had lots of options.
You can select items off the Le Tote website to include in your box or you can be totally surprised!
Price Range: $59, free shipping. If you chose to purchase the items, they average about 1/3 off retail. For example, I bought a $68 blouse for $43.
Rating: 5 out of 5. I had to stop because they styled me so well, I wanted to buy every item in my tote. I will probably go back in the spring, as my spring wardrobe is a little weak. It was easy to cancel my totes, by sending an email to one of the Le Tote ladies.
Recommended for: Anyone who wants a new look, something that goes beyond what you find at JCrew or Banana. Lots of great casual items, especially pieces that are on trend right now like bomber jackets, color blocked cardigans, leather leggings, and athleisure. Brands include French Connection, Free People, and Catherine Malandrino.
It’s a great option if you want to wear trendy pieces but not invest in something that might look dated in a few years. Isn’t this the continual problem of fashun?
Tested by: Emily L
How it Works: Stitch Fix is pretty similar to Dia, but not specifically marketed for plus size (although they go up to 3x and also have petite and maternity options!). You start by filling out your style profile with your size, fit preferences, typical style, what type of clothes you’re looking for, the price range you’re willing to spend (which for me is the cheaper the better), and finally some personal details about yourself – what you do for work, if you have any social media they can look at, you can link to your fashion Pinterest board – basically anything they can use to get to know you better and find things you’ll love. It feels very personal. They try their best to make it feel like they’re picking each piece with you in mind, not just sending everyone the same top.
You can schedule the frequency in which you’ll receive your fix – monthly, or every other month. And in a couple weeks, you’ve got a cute package at your door and it feels like Christmas. You then have 3 days to try things on and decide what you want to keep. Besides the 5 pieces, you’ll receive a price guide, outfit suggestions, as well as a note from your stylist (hey Daniela, what’s good?). You send back whatever you don’t like in a pre-paid envelope and the rest is yours! On the Stitch Fix site, you review every piece for fit and style so they can nail your fashion sense even more. I’m pretty excited for my next Fix, I have some holiday parties I want to look bangin’ for.
Price Range: For me, Stitch Fix is my little splurge so I can get unique pieces that I don’t have the energy/fashion sense to pick out myself. It’s not overly expensive, especially since you can note your price preferences, but I was raised to shop on the sale rack so my ass is cheap. There’s a $20 styling fee for each box that goes toward whatever items you keep, so it makes sense to keep at least one item. If you buy all 5 you get a 25% discount. Hopefully, I never like all 5 items because even with a 25% discount they’re too rich for my blood. The total for my first box was around $200, but I kept only one item so I don’t feel too guilty…
Rating: 4 out of 5 snazzy tops my coworkers will now see me wear once a week.
Recommended for: Literally anyone. Even if you love shopping, I think this is a great service. If nothing else it will introduce you to brands you might not be familiar with and pieces you might not pick out for yourself. It won’t replace the need to go shopping everyone once in a while, but for someone like me who gets fed up with their closet every month or so, this is just the treat you need to freshen things up. And when you’ve worn your new clothes so much that everyone starts to wonder if it’s the only outfit you own, it’ll be just in time for your new fix to arrive. Thus the cycle begins again. #TeamLazy