Part of it is because it takes a certain kind of person to want such a service. How many of us attend glitzy functions and galas and high-profile parties, let only have the money, to merit paying for a second opinion in our ear? And if you’re the vintage clothing shopper kind of gal who thrives on looking independent, having a stylist might rob all the fun and spontaneity from the hunt.
For other women, having a stylist to perk up your wardrobe and lend some well-meaning advice could keep you looking on-trend and fresh. An expert opinion could be especially helpful if you rock a special body type, such as petite and athletic (me!) or short and curvy (one of my best friends).
Said best friend recently wrote a Facebook post highly recommending Stitch Fix. In fact, she downright raved about it. She was always the friend who kept a lid on silly nonsense and had a strong head on her shoulders, so such an announcement suggested something about the credibility of this brand.
Stitch Fix is one of a few websites trying to edge into the niche of online personal styling, along with Keaton Row, Stylit and Ajent, all either in beta mode or less than a year old, and all with different takes on the styling market.
Stitch Fix is simple. You pay $20, they ship hand-picked items customized to your style and body type. If you buy any of the clothing, you get $20 credited toward your shopping cart. It has one of the cleaner, more modern websites. They also seem to have a very simple, minimalist sense of style, judging by the customer reviews. It seems very hassle-free for those who want style tips but don’t necessarily want a one-on-one relationship with a stylist.
Keaton Row’s personal stylists offer uptown, high fashion statement pieces. (Makes sense: Dani Stahl, the creative director, previously worked for Nylon.) Clients shop lookbooks and get matched with a stylist who chat with you online – all for free. If you buy items from the lookbook, shipping is free.
It’s not immediately clear what Stylit’s target demographic or style is. They seem to be a one-for-all marketplace. But they offer yet another take: Stylists offer weekly outfit suggestions, kind of like Keaton Row’s lookbooks. Clients rate them to improve their next week’s suggestions and can buy the suggested pieces.
Ajent focuses on the relationship part of styling. You put a lot more trust in your stylist’s hands. Clients can see hourly rates of a list of agents, and once they book an agent, they can talk to the stylist via online video or chat. Stylists make recommendations and buy clothing for you upon your approval.
There’s a service for the gentlemen, too. The cheapest tier, $69 per “essential” item, sends a set of basics to the client, including button-ups, polos, chinos, tees and shorts from designer brands. You only pay if you keep the item. Styling is free. Sounds like a deal to us.