Fashion at your door

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Subscription boxes

Over the past several years, subscription boxes have begun to take center stage when it comes to convenience and the latest “in” consumer fad. Subscription boxes come in all sorts of varieties, such as food, electronics, make up, intimates, jewelry, children’s clothes and even dog toy/treat boxes but for this article we will focus on fashion.
For fashion, they have maternity, children, men and women boxes. They can arrive once a month, more than once a month or upon request. You can pay a monthly fee or a styling fee and then pay for any items you would like in your box.
Here is an overview, along with my take, on some of the subscription boxes that caught my eye on my Facebook newsfeed, as well as some of the You Tube fashion unboxing videos.
First up is Stitch Fix (stitchfix.com), which assigns a personal stylist who will choose five pieces based on your style profile that you make on the site. Once you get the box, you have three days to decide what you want to buy and what you want to send back. You can even send your stylist detailed feedback about the items, so they can make a better, more personalized selections the next time or send them your Pinterest link to show your stylist what fashions you enjoy. A styling card on how to wear the items is included along with a personal note from your stylist. There’s a $20 styling fee for every box, but that fee can be credited toward any item you decide to buy. If you purchase all five items, you receive a 25% discount and the credited styling fee. The items average at about $65; however, you can select different price points for whatever your budget allows.
I tried Stitch Fix and, like most subscription boxes, I felt the cost was much higher than if I were to shop for the items myself. The quality of the items was pretty good and I only ended up keeping one item from my box. As I am cost-conscious, I felt that I needed to find one item, since I paid them my styling fee.
Next is Gwynnie Bee (closet.gwynniebee.com). The website states it is for sizes 10-32. Based on your subscription plan, you can choose from one to ten garments at a time from the site’s collections. Wear all the pieces from the box for as long as you want as there’s no limit—keep the ones you want to purchase and send back the ones that you don’t want. For the one garment subscription, the cost is $35. Per the website, you can try it for free for 30 days and it might be worth a try.
Fabletics (fabletics.com) is more for the work-out wear and was co-founded by actress Kate Hudson. Customers first take a lifestyle quiz, then Fabletics will recommend some workout clothing for you to purchase. If you buy the VIP subscription, you’ll choose a complete outfit, a top and a bottom, by the 5th of each month to be shipped to your house. If you don’t like any of the choices, you can opt to “Skip the Month,” so you won’t be charged. The monthly fee starts at $49.95 per month.
I also tried this box. I found that you had to become a VIP member to obtain the best prices. I also found a small hole in one of my items, but overall the quality was decent. The work-out outfits were on trend and looked great at the gym. It was easy to cancel my subscription after a few months with a simple phone call.
Wantable (wantable.com), like most subscription boxes, has an initial styling fee ($20), you take a quiz, they send you your items and you have seven days to try things on and decide what to keep. The items range from $50-$100 and the styles range from casual to a night out on the town. As with Stitch Fix, if you keep an item, your styling fee is deducted. Wantable offers two different services, depending on your needs: Collection or Edit. With the Collection option, you’ll choose between the accessories, makeup, and intimates categories. You’ll receive three to five items—if you keep everything, you’ll get a $4 credit toward your next box, and if you keep some and return the rest, you’ll get a partial or full credit for what you sent back. Edit offers two categories, fitness and style. You pay a $20 styling fee, which can be applied to whatever you decide to purchase, and receive five items to try on and decide what to keep and return. The cost starts at $40 for the Collections service and $20 for the Edits service.

Are boxes for you?
Many people videotape what they received in their boxes and upload try-on videos on You Tube. It gives a good flavor of what others think of the different subscription boxes and what they receive, as well as how the items look when tried on. Overall, I think subscription boxes are for women who may not entirely enjoy clothing shopping or have little to no time to shop. Many of us are in the latter category. Once your box arrives, it is very enjoyable to see what they sent you, find out what fits well and, most importantly, what makes you feel great.

— Luann Conlon

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