A number of fashion services offer interesting and often-afforable home try-on-programs for clothes and online personal stylists, making them alternatives to a company like Stitch Fix.
About Stitch Fix
Originally founded in 2011 by Katrina Lake and Erin Morrison Flynn as “Rack Habit,” Stitch Fix is now a publicly-traded company (ticker: SFIX) that delivers “truly personalized” curated clothing boxes to more than 3.8 million active customers based on a combination of data science and personal touches by more than 5,600 stylists.
Start by taking a style quiz, and order your first box or “Fix.” From there, you will receive a personalized box of clothing based on your style and fit preferences selected by an online personal stylist.
Each Fix costs $20, which will be applied to the cost of any item you keep.
While I enjoyed the Christmas morning feeling of unboxing new clothing, I found the experience at times to be underwhelming, and their items tend to be fairly expensive. You’re paying full price for the convenience and privilege of discovering new brands.
(To learn more about my experience, see my in-depth review of Stitch Fix and discover why I returned everything in the box. Twice.)
Companies like Stitch Fix
If you like the idea behind Stitch Fix but are looking for alternatives, keep reading. There are a number of companies like Stitch Fix who serve up personalized selections of clothing to try on at home via online personal stylists.
Nordstrom’s Trunk Club is a company like Stitch Fix in that it also offers a selection of clothing for men or women curated by an online personal stylist. The goal is for Trunk Club’s customized box of clothing, aka “Trunk,” to match your personal style and fit preferences.
Joanna Van Vleck and Brian Spaly founded Trunk Club, which began life in 2009. Nordstrom acquired Trunk Club in 2014 for $350 million. The company has had its ups-and-downs, as Nordstrom wrote down the value of its acquisition by $197 million in 2016 and, as Stephen Garner of MR Magazine chronicles, shuttered all free-standing Trunk Club Clubhouses in 2020.
As I wrote in a behind-the-scenes review of Trunk Club‘s (now closed) DC Clubhouse, “Trunk Club’s pitch is — essentially — curated quality for busy professionals. They are willing to bet that busy professionals will pay full retail for the experience.”
Like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club charges a styling fee ($25) for each try-at-home box of clothing assembled by their online personal stylist, which will be credited to whatever you decide to keep.
The $25 Trunk Club styling fee is waived for Nordstrom cardholders. (You can apply for a Nordstrom Credit Card if you don’t have one yet, which also has other benefits including early access to the company’s revered anniversary sale.)
Get started by taking Trunk Club’s style quiz.
Wantable is a styling service that selects personalized clothing for women and men. Women can select a “style edit,” for business and casual clothing, or an “activewear edit” for athleisure. Men are eligible to receive activewear boxes only.
The company “partner[s] with hundreds of premium brands such as Hudson, Cupcakes & Cashmere, Kensie, Kut From the Kloth, Lyssé, Onzie, Beyond Yoga, Wear it to Heart, Rhone and Alternative Apparel.”
“We are focused on being everything to everyone, since each box is completely different,” Founder and CEO Jalem Getz told Milwaukee Magazine.
The company originally specialized in boxes of accessories for women. They have since pivoted to “style” and “activewear” edits, making them more of a direct competitor to a company like Stitch Fix or Trunk Club.
Like Stitch Fix, Wantable charges a $20 styling fee per “edit,” which isn’t refundable or transferrable. That styling fee can, however, be applied to any item of clothing you choose to buy from the edit you receive.
On Reddit, one Wantable customer emphasized that, “if your stylist pays attention to your notes it’s nice. I had times that I specifically asked for dresses and skirts but received jeans. I think the cheapest items I ever received were $35 or so. The most expensive was $85-$100 range.”
Thread.com (Thread Clothing)
British entrepreneurs Ben Phillips and Kieran O’Neill co-founded Thread to solve for their desire to dress well but aversion to shopping for clothes.
Thread combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) with online personal stylists to offer customized styling recommendations and wardrobe options for women and men.
Rather than sending you a box of clothing to try like Stitch Fix, customers log onto the Thread.com website to browse personalized style ideas as well as complete outfits. Customers can also shop by category or by brand.
One of the things I love about Thread is that it carries a number of British brands that are sometimes difficult to find in the United States.
For men, Thread offers everything from t-shirts, denim and knitwear to formal options including slim fit patch pocket blazers, wool slacks, and more from brands like AllSaints, Arlen, Antique Rogue, Autograph, Belstaff, Berghaus, Boden, Charles Tyrwhitt, Colorful Standard, Far Afield, Farah, Gant, Jack and Jones, John Lewis and Partners, Joules, Lyle and Scott, Only and Sons, Prolific, Remus Uomo, River Island, Selected Homme, Ted Baker, and Threadbare.
For women, Thread.com carries a range of interesting options including activewear, denim, wrap and midi dresses, jumpsuits and intimates from designer, British and European brands like Boden, Izabel London, French Connection, Girls on Film, Simply Be, NA-KD, Joules, Paper Dolls, People Tree, Pretty Lavish, Oliver Bonas, and Louche.
Happily, Thread offers free standard shipping to the United States on orders over $100 and free returns within 100 days. (Shipping on orders under $100 is $7.99.)
Amazon’s Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe
Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe is Amazon’s effort to be like Stitch Fix.
Through Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe, you pay $4.99 per month for personalized styling from Amazon.
But I signed up for the service, and was presented with a number of high-quality and cutting edge third party brands including UnTUCKit, Billy Reid, Alternative Apparel, Joe’s Jeans, Pendleton and J. Crew alongside a small handful of Amazon labels like Buttoned Down.
I have to say, of all of the services I’ve tried so far, Amazon nailed my style better than most, and I love that you can preview the selections before your package ships. I adjusted several items and am looking forward to receiving my delivery.
This is definitely a new initiative by Amazon, to the point that, last I checked, you can only initiate this service via Amazon’s mobile app. To get started, go to Amazon’s mobile app and search “personal shopper.”
Prime Wardrobe by Amazon
If you would prefer to curate your own clothing to try on at home, Amazon also offers its Prime Wardrobe service, which allows customers to try on clothing for free at once before purchasing.
Here is how Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe works:
- Select up to 8 eligible items of clothing and/or shoes to add to your Prime Wardrobe cart. (You can use Amazon’s search filters to limit results to items that are eligible for its Prime Wardrobe program.)
- Check out.
- Receive and explore your clothing. You have 7 days to try it on. (This is 4 more days than a company like Stitch Fix offers.)
- Keep what you want and return what you don’t. You will only be charged for the items you keep, assuming you return the rest within 7 days.
I have used Amazon Prime Wardrobe several times to test out items that I was on the fence about, including a number of Amazon’s own Prime Brands of clothing for men.
It’s extremely convenient, and I’ve never had any problems returning items. (In some cases I have returned every single item that they sent me.)
I like that you can curate your own selections and that Amazon offers a mix of its own brands as well as other innovative clothing brands on its site.
Here’s the catch: You have to be a member of Amazon Prime in order to utilize the service.
Not a member? Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime.
Nora Gardner Style Box
Nora Gardner left a Wall Street career to found her eponymous clothing company. Her elevated work clothing for women is a great example of the kind of stylish online boutique helping women dress sharp in the digital age.
Nora Gardner offers a Style Box to “keep you feeling confident and looking smart from desk to dinner.”
Start by taking a style quiz, and then receive a box containing about 4 to 6 items that could include dresses, separates and/or accessories. This isn’t cut-rate-clothing: Expect to pay around $100 for business-appropriate skirts and tops to more than $300 for dresses and suit separates.
Gardner features inclusive sizing from 00-16.
Menlo Club is a curated subscription shopping service for men from the Five Four Group, a constellation of luxury menswear brands Five Four, New Republic, Grand Running Club, and Melrose Place.
Andres Izquieta and Dee Murthy, who were friends at USC, co-founded the Five Four Group in 2002. The two partnered with lead designer Mark McNairy with the goal of designing easy and approachable fashion for men.
Guys have the option of choosing a $60 monthly subscription or receiving a $75 box each season. (Seasonal boxes are generally shipped out approximately 3 months apart, according to the Menlo House website.)
The box will contain “a curated package of Five Four, New Republic, Grand Running Club, or Melrose Place apparel.” Unlike Stitch Fix, which sends around 5 items per package, Menlo Club will send you about 2 items per shipment on average.
Founded in 1998 by Brian Ree, Daily Look is a subscription personal styling service like Stitch Fix for women.
Fill out a style quiz and receive a box of clothing with up to 12 items every month or every quarter. You can read more about Daily Look’s stylists who select clothing online.
Daily Look facilitates access to an incredible A-to-Z array of fashion brands and retailers including: Articles Of Society, Chinese Laundry, Circus by Sam Edelman, Finders Keepers, For Love & Lemons, Free People, Genetic Denim, Giles & Brother, H Brand, House of Harlow 1960, H by Hudson, Joie, June & Hudson, Lucy Paris, Maison Scotch, Olive & Oak, Quay, Rachel Pally, RES Denim, Sage & Stone, State of Being, Tigerlily Clothing, The Laundry Room, Velvet Heart, and Wade & Belle.
Founded by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna in 2012, Birchbox provides monthly beauty and grooming subscription boxes for women. The boxes include a number of beauty samples as well as styling tips and tricks.
Birchbox draws on a deep well of beauty and fashion brands including Aveda, Brown Girl Jane, Bumble and bumble., English Laundry, Gaffer&Child, Harvey Prince, Inner Beauty, Juicy Couture, Jurlique, Kérastase, Lancôme, Project Beauty, Ursa Major and Violet Oasis.
The Style Plan by Frank and Oak (discontinued)
Canadian sustainable fashion brand and fashion startup Frank and Oak offers a range of stylish and solid value clothing for women and men. The digital-first retailer, which prioritizes eco-friendly fabrics and production methods, has developed a brick-and-mortar retail presence in Canada and the United States (though they closed the Frank and Oak store in Washington, DC’s Shaw neighborhood).
Until 2021, Frank and Oak offered the Style Plan, a subscription clothing service that operated a lot like Stitch Fix. Here’s how it worked:
- First take a short style survey: You would fork over your sizing, style preferences and budget expectations;
- Preview your Style Box: I liked Frank and Oak’s approach to allow customers to preview the clothing contained in the style box before it ships. You were able confirm the shipment, customize with different pieces or skip the month entirely.
- Try on your clothing at home: Like Stitch Fix, Frank and Oak offered free returns. Also like Stitch Fix, Frank and Oak charged a $25 styling fee per box, which was credited towards any clothing item you decided to keep.
In 2021, Frank and Oak discontinued the Style Plan, turning it into a new, free-to-join loyalty program.
Frank and Oak advertises that its loyalty program includes:
- member pricing with up to 20% off every order,
- free shipping & returns on all orders,
- early access to new collections and events, and
- exclusive private sale events for registered members.
Bombfell was a subscription-based personal styling service for men founded in 2011 by Bernie Yoo, which ceased sending new boxes in 2020. Bombfell was unique in not charging a subscription or styling fee. It also used AI to scrape data to shape stylist’s decisions on what to send clients.
Even more companies like Stitch Fix
In my mind, the companies most analogous to Stitch Fix are the Trunk Clubs and Wantables of the world — companies that curate clothing to deliver a personalized shopping experience.
However, there are a number of other ways to discover and try on clothing at home to replicate the kind of experience that a company like Stitch Fix offers:
Try on clothes at home from digital native brands
A number digital clothing retailers will allow you to try clothes at home before you buy them. Unlike Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, who curate clothing from multiple brands, the companies below offer their own direct-to-consumer brand of clothing up to try on at home.
- Miles Apparel offers luxury athleisure and is a promising alternative to lululemon for men. Try up to 8 items at home for up to 7 days. Take 10% off at Miles Apparel with coupon code Myles10 or 15% off by signing up for emails.
- Lime Ricki sells modest swimwear for women. Try up to 5 items of clothing at home for up to 7 days.
- Universal Standard – Try up to 7 items for up to 14 days from this inclusive fashion brand for women.
- Ash and Erie lets you try up to 8 items of its clothing for shorter guys for up to 7 days
- Mott and Bow has a version of a home try on program for its jeans: Order two pairs of jeans with different sizes. You keep the pair that fits best and send back the other one with a free, pre-paid UPS label.
- Paskho, a luxury travel clothing company, has a home try on program that lets you select up to 3 items of clothing to try for 5 days.
Like Stitch Fix, these stores provide free shipping and returns
Another way to replicate the experience of a company like Stitch Fix is to take advantage of generous free shipping and free returns from direct-to-consumer ecommerce companies.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
- Nordstrom provides an often-seamless omnichannel shopping experience and superlative customer service. Nordstrom provides free shipping and returns and is an excellent way to try on clothing at home with extremely easy, hassle-free returns.
- Revtown makes extremely comfortable jeans for women and men. I’ve taken advantage of their free shipping and free returns, and am wearing my favorite pair of Revtown Sharps as I type this sentence.
- M. M. Lafleur‘s motto, “live with purpose, dress with ease,” is reflected in their streamlined work dresses, double-breasted blazers, wrap sweaters and workleisure pants. They offer free shipping and free returns (or, as they like to say, “free shipping both ways.”
- Bonobos is one of the best men’s clothing stores in my opinion. The company offers free shipping and free returns, as well as the option to try the brand out via a network of Bonobos guideshops.
What is your favorite company like Stitch Fix?
Have you had a positive or negative experience with a brand listed here? Who else is missing? Let me know in the comments.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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