Stitch Fix was one of the first subscription box clothing services to gain major traction. Others have launched in the years since, hoping to copy the success.
I tried four other clothing subscription services to see how they compared to Stitch Fix, giving them ratings between 1 and 5. For reference, I would rank Stitch Fix the highest at 5.
Stitch Fix charges a $20 styling fee and sends a mystery box of five clothing and accessory items that match your style, budget and fit preferences. If you keep at least one item, Stitch Fix subtracts that $20 fee from your total bill. And if you keep all five items, you get a 25 percent discount. My boxes typically range in total price from $150 to $250.
What they sell: Athletic and “athleisure” clothing for men and women (fytso.com).
My experience: Started by filling out an extensive online profile of style preferences and sizes, along with setting a budget for how much I typically spend on certain items. It was challenging to navigate their website and figure out how to order my first box.
After filling out the online profile, a stylist eventually sent me an email with her “picks” for me.
Unlike Stitch Fix, you get the opportunity to decline certain items. And they don’t require you to sign up for regular shipments. About 10 days after the email from my stylist, my box shipped.
I got a gray workout sweater, gray-and-white tights and a green sports bra — all Adidas brand. I wore these clothes frequently over the winter and they fit well and were high-quality. Overall, a good experience. I would definitely use FYTSO again.
Cost: $142.85 (price varies).
What they sell: Previously worn women’s clothing and jewelry (letote.com).
My experience: Le Tote’s website was intuitive and easy to navigate. You’re encouraged to “shop” their online closet and pick clothing that you like to help inform your stylist.
Le Tote essentially rents the clothing and jewelry to you for about a month, though you are allowed to keep any clothes you like. Subscribers wear the clothes and accessories as much as they want and then return them and get a new box with new clothes.
While the clothing fit my style, I realized that wearing clothes for only a short period of time isn’t my thing. I prefer to find outfits I really like — and wear them frequently. Even so, I kept a gray dress and gold necklace that Le Tote sent me, which cost me $74.
My main quibble with Le Tote is how tough it was to cancel the service. It’s easier to “pause” it. But to outright cancel I had to email their customer service department to ensure that I wasn’t sent more boxes and charged more monthly fees.
Cost: $49 a shipment ($54 with tax).
What they sell: Athletic and “athleisure” clothing for men and women (fabletics.com).
My experience: The Fabletics experience starts with filling out a quiz about what type of workouts you like to do, where you like to work out — such as the gym or outside — picking out patterns you like and disclosing your clothing size.
Then you’re shown a list of outfits based on those quiz results. Sometimes it’s just sweats and a tank top; other times, you get three items: a bra, jacket and tights, for instance.
You pick one outfit to be shipped to you. My first shipment took nearly a month to ship. The loose-fitting orange sweats and gray tank top fit well enough, though the material wasn’t very high-quality.
The main complaint most people have about Fabletics is that you have to log in to their site at the first of every month and either pick out a new outfit or tell them to skip a month. Otherwise you get charged $49.95.
Cost: $49.95 to $79.95.
What they sell: Women’s clothing (goldentote.com).
My experience: First, I picked the kind of “tote” I wanted to receive. The options are picking two items you like and then being surprised by three more picks for $149, picking one item you like and a surprise second item for $59, or the “surprise tote,” which is three clothing pieces that are a total surprise for $89 (though I was charged, with tax, $108.95).
Like Stitch Fix, the clothing is tailored to a style profile that you fill out online.
I thought I picked the surprise tote with three items, but when I opened my tote I had four pieces: a green shirt, a white dress, a blouse and a casual black dress with flowers on it. The clothes weren’t packed very well and emerged wrinkled. Also, Golden Tote didn’t nail my style. I liked the dress and blouse, but the other items seemed more appropriate for someone 10 years younger.
One thing I really like about Golden Tote is how easy it is to try their service. You aren’t committed to a monthly plan. It’s up to you how frequently you want to get a tote. And it’s a cheaper service than Stitch Fix.