Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Best Way to Build Your Teaching Wardrobe

It's 2016.  Which means you likely have resolutions.  I'm not a huge resolution fan - in the past I've enthusiastically made them and then battled guilt when I didn't follow through - but last year I resolved to expand my personal style.

Because it was woefully lacking.

As in, if it didn't come from Gap or Loft, I wasn't wearing it.

Partly because I seriously lack the style gene that other women seem to be born with.  And partly because I have no time or patience for shopping.  So I tended to find something that fit well, buy it in every color available, and call it a day.

However, I knew I needed to kick it up a notch or fifteen, so when I stumbled across Stitch Fix on Facebook, I signed up.  And it's seriously one of the best decisions I've ever made.

What is Stitch Fix?  Well, according to their website, they are the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology, and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you.  Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and their personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget, and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest!

So how does it work?

First, you fill out the Style Profile on their website.  You tell them your size, style, shape, budget, etc. It takes about 10 minutes.  Then you pick the date you'd like to receive your shipment, and how often you want to receive Fixes - every two weeks, every month, whatever.

Then, on your shipment date, you get a glorious box on your doorstep with five clothing items and/or accessories that were handpicked by their personal stylists.  When your stylist styles your Fix, you're charged a $20 styling fee.  That $20 is applied as a credit toward anything you keep from your shipment.

You try everything on in your home!  Which is one of my favorite things, because in a store, I always think, "But do I already have something like this?" or "Do I have anything that would go with this?"  With Stitch Fix, I can play around and try their stuff on WITH my stuff to see how it will work.  I can take my time to try it on and really see if it looks - and feels good.  After all, we all know that comfort is incredibly important as a teacher, right?  You also get a styling card with your Fix that helps you see different ways you can put outfits together.  Stitch Fix is great at helping me really step outside of my usualness and try things I'd normally never pick up, and they encourage you to try on everything.  I can't tell you how many times I've pulled something out of the box and thought, "Meh," then tried it on and danced the happy dance.

You check out online, buy what you like and return the rest in their prepaid bag.  You have three days to decide what you'll purchase and what you want to send back.  If you keep everything in your Fix, you get 25% off the entire purchase.

And here's where the beautiful part happens.  You leave specific feedback about each item.  Keeping it?  Let them know why!  Returning it?  Let them know why, too!  Over time, your Fixes get better and better.  I also have a Pinterest board just for Fix ideas, and I linked it in my profile, so my stylist can see what I like and can use that to style my next Fix.   

Which comes whenever you want.  There's no monthly fee, so you can schedule it every month (like me), or more or less often, whatever works for you.

One of my favorite things about Stitch Fix is that it's so personal.  For example, I let them know that I needed some professional pieces for speaking engagements after being named Teacher of the Year.  A couple of days after my last Fix, I found a mysterious Stitch Fix package in my mailbox.  When I opened it, this is what I found:

I mean, that kind of thing doesn't happen in a store.

Now, do I still shop some?  Sure.  But mainly for the basics.  I can't tell you how much better my closet looks after signing up for Stitch Fix!  I absolutely love it.

If you'd like to try it, too, click here to use my referral link.  In the interest of full disclosure, I do get a $25 credit for each person who signs up using my referral link - but if you sign up, you will get your own referral link to share!

Stitch Fix is too much fun, and it's helped me (finally) actually stick to a resolution.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think!

Happy Shopping,

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