It’s a strange thing – despite not being super interested in shopping for myself, ever since baby B was born I have found myself being a teensy bit of a shopaholic. I don’t regret too much – baby girl clothes are SO CUTE. And she needs things like pajamas. Unfortunately, I’m not just buying pajamas, and so it’s gotten to the point where I’m having to make a conscious effort to dress her in a new outfit every day so that she wears everything I buy her at least once. I have also taken to posting pictures of her outfits on Instagram Stories, and I don’t know if my followers there like it or are like, “Ugh. Seriously – your baby is cute, we get it, and she has a lot of clothes. Find something else to do with your time!” or if it’s as passingly amusing to them as it is for me.
In any case, I’ve found myself more interested in kids clothing recently. And much earlier in the summer, I got an email from the folks at Stitch Fix, who I’ve been using for a few years now. It turns out that in addition to their Women’s and Men’s service, they were launching a service for kids in the summer, and was I interested in participating? The sizing for their kids clothes starts at 2T, so I won’t be able to use the service for B for a while, but the sizes go all the way up to 14, meaning they’ll cover both E and H. Before I committed to spending money on clothes for them, I talked to the Boy. Normally their mother is in charge of buying clothes for them, so this would not need to be a regular thing, and would be better off as a special treat, but he was on board. And then before I scheduled a fix, I talked to the girls – would they be interested? After a few questions, and showing them the website, they were intrigued, and on-board.
Now, when you’re dealing with pre-teens, they like individuality. So the idea that they would have access to clothing that is much less likely to also be sported by half the girls in their class because they also shop at Target or Old Navy, or wherever, was very appealing. And before you can even schedule your fix, there is a whole survey/quiz thing where you look at measurements and sizes for your children, and also look at their tastes, and what they need and like. Since the girls are big enough, I had them answer these with me. Perhaps the favorite part was looking at the sample outfits on the website and rating each of them as “Would wear” “Maybe wear” or “NEVER wear”. And after that it was easy – choose a date for delivery, and you’re good to go!
The packaging when it arrives is very similar to the regular Stitch Fix boxes, but they do a good job of adding a splash of child-like color to distinguish them. There’s the colorful logo on the outside tape, and the BRIGHT YELLOW paper used on the inside. Each box contains the clothing (10-12 items instead of the 5 that appear in adult boxes), style cards, price lists and return envelopes that also appear in adult boxes, but the kid boxes also contain stickers (appealing even if you’re 10), and a challenge of how to re-use the box the clothes arrived in. You can choose the price you’re willing/interested in paying for different kinds of items, and for kids stuff, that starts as low as $10 each. As a friend who had also tried it out said, that’s comparable to Target, and as we said earlier – it’s not the same Target tee that half the class will have.
After opening the box and looking at the contents, it was time to try things on. Amusingly, when E and I were looking at the items in her box initially, she scoffed at a few and I told her the same thing I tell myself – it’s important to try everything on. That dress you initially think is terrible may not be as bad as you imagine. And that skirt you’re so excited about may look terrible when it’s hanging off your body. So try everything on! And we did that. There were a few things we definitely didn’t like, a couple maybes, and a few clear winners. After waiting for the Boy to get home and consult on what we could keep, and what should go back, we decided to keep all the winners. There is still the 20% discount if you keep everything in the box, but with 10+ items, it’s more difficult to get up to a box full of winners.
Now, I’d set our price limit a little higher, but still at a reasonable level for our family, and so once I’d checked out for each girl, things averaged out to about $20 per item. This is perhaps more than they are normally having spent on clothing for everyday wear, but that doesn’t mean it’s excessive. These are nicer things, and special – it may mean being more conscientious about taking care of those items of clothing, but it doesn’t make them unwearable apart from special occasions. To the contrary: we explained to the girls that these were slightly nicer, and specially purchased, and because they had a hand in the profile creation and the choosing, I think they are more excited to wear and care for these items. In fact – both girls have either taken the clothes to wear at times when it wasn’t planned/expected, or tried to wear seasonally-inappropriate things (long-sleeve shirts, for example, during our heat wave last week) because they were so excited and enamored of the new things.
Both girls ended up choosing things that were both comfortably in the range of what they already wear, but also a few things outside their comfort zones. For more stylish E, that means more dresses, fewer things with writing on them, and being sure to take transitional pieces (cardigans!) into account so that items get more wear. For more practical H, that means a couple more sophisticated pieces that will look smart dressed up or down, things with a slightly different cut, but still leaning heavily towards her jeans and tee shirt style.
So – after one fix (for each girl), can I really judge how good their kids styling service is? Maybe not definitively, but I’ve got a pretty good idea. With E, our stylist didn’t get the message as clearly that we don’t want writing on their clothing if we can help it (too much of that in their normal batch as it is), but we were pleasantly surprised at how nice many of the things were and how excited she was to wear them. For H they did a better job of approximating her style, but I have a feeling that she’ll grow out of the “kids wear” sooner than later, and we won’t be able to take advantage of this service for her for long. We also had an issue where we got the letter/style card for a younger boy, while getting the rest of the items for H – perhaps a little mix-up in these first months of existence that I’m sure will be resolved (and was!). I do like the price points, and I’m pleased that the fixes come in larger batches of clothing. So while I may not want little B to get too big too fast, I’m looking forward to the day when she’s big enough where I can start ordering fixes for her, and keep her Instagram outfits of the day fresh and unique!