Your Ultimate Guide To Online Personal Stylist Services
by Alexis Puebla
We’re spilling all the details on the major eight online personal styling services—from cost to downsides to styles—so you can make the best choice for you.
The new wave of personal styling services is here, and they’re all the rage, as busy schedules and packed stores have us saying no to shopping at the mall and hello to the ease of clicking through to a closet full of style. We’ve rounded up the top eight online personal stylist services so you can pick and choose which one is best for your style, budget, and overall shopping enjoyment.
You can thank us later.
1. Personal Stylist: Stitch Fix
How It Works: Stitch Fix is an online styling service for both men and women. First, you fill out a lengthy online style profile that goes over your sizing, style interests, and pricing preferences. After answering a series of questions through a detailed Style Quiz, you’re assigned a personal stylist who handpicks five curated items. Once they arrive in the mail, purchase the items you love, and you send back the items you don’t want with a prepaid shipping label within three to five days.
Cost: Cost per item ranges according to your pricing preferences, but the average price point is $55. A $20 styling fee is charged upon scheduling your first fix—however, you that fee can be applied to the cost of your purchases. In other words, it’s incredibly hard to pass on purchasing a $45 top when you’ve already invested $20, even if the shirt doesn’t exactly match your style. Very clever, Stitch Fix… we see you.
Pros: Stitch Fix allows you to sign up for automatic deliveries in different time increments, ranging from weekly to monthly to quarterly. You can also schedule fixes on demand, so if you just started a new job and need a quick wardrobe refresh or are just really bored with what’s in your closet, there are plenty of options for getting your new clothing “fix.” Stitch Fix also includes a brochure showing you ideas for how to style your new items.
Cons: Stitch Fix products feel a bit generic, and some consumers have claimed items appear on the cheap side. Your stylist will usually change from fix to fix so it can take a few shipments before a stylist truly knows how to style you based on your interests, which can be disheartening if you aren’t keeping any items but are still being charged that $20 styling fee.
The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a cheaper option for an online personal styling service, give Stitch Fix a try. Stitch Fix is a good option to give you that refresh that may *or may not* fit your style.
2. Peronal Stylist: Wantable
How It Works: Fill out an online styling profile to help Wantable find picks for you in everyday clothing. In case you’re looking for a different type of subscription box, they also offer services in fitness fashion, intimates, makeup products, and more. The standard styling service is called the Style Edit, which includes five total items, consisting of both clothing pieces and accessories. Wantable is a monthly subscription, but you can skip a month or cancel at any time.
Cost: Style Edit items are usually priced between $50 and $100 each, and they come from a wide range of premium brands, such as Cupcakes & Cashmere and Hudson Jeans. There is a $20 non-refundable styling fee with each edit that you can apply toward your purchases.
Pros: With a very detailed style quiz that drills down even to picking the very size you prefer your bracelets to fit, the Wantable boxes have great potential for items incredibly customized to your style preferences.
Cons: Prices can be a bit on the high side, especially when you’re comparing the cost of specific items to other styling services.
The Bottom Line: Give Wantable a try, especially if you’re willing to spend a few more bucks or looking to expand into a variety of product categories.
3. Peronal Stylist: Le Tote
How It Works: Take an online quiz so Le Tote can learn your style. Instead of getting items in the mail to try on and decide whether to purchase, Le Tote encourages customers to keep items as long as you want before returning them to get five more items. Consider it a clothing rental service.
Cost: Le Tote charges a flat fee each month, and shipping is free both ways.There are three tiers of pricing ranging from $59 to $79, depending on how many clothing items and accessories you want to receive. There’s also no limit on how many boxes you can receive per month, though in order to receive a new one you must return the previous one.
Pros: In an effort to make the process a bit more personalized, there is a strong emphasis on selecting items from their various collections and placing them in your “virtual closet.” Your stylist mines that closet to choose items to send. More often than not, the exact items you chose will appear in your box, but if they aren’t available, your stylist will choose items that are similar. You are also given a notification when your box is styled and you have the option to either approve or swap any of your five selected items. This is a nice feature, especially if you’re trying to find something specific like a dress for a wedding or top for a date night. You are also able to permanently keep any item in the box, and you will be charged for what you decide to keep similar to the other services. If you keep all five items in your box, they will wave the next month’s subscription fee. Le Tote also really emphasizes its maternity subscription service, which is really cool.
Cons: As with any rental service, the items have been pre-worn by others. Some items may come a little more worn than you may like. If you do find that there’s an item you can’t bear to send back, you have to purchase as is. Whether it’s a top that fits perfectly or a pair of pants that hug in all the right places, you have to pay the retail price even though that item may have been worn many times before.
The Bottom Line: Le Tote’s feature of allowing you to keep items as long as you want is a great perk, but there isn’t an option to buy new. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking for some fun new items to wear, but not your best option if you’re trying to rebuild or refresh your wardrobe long-term.
4. Peronal Stylist: Trunk Club
How It Works: Originally a men’s-only service, Trunk Club has just recently expanded to women’s fashion. Fill out an online style profile before being assigned your own real-life personalized stylist. Before your first Trunk is sent, you can personally speak to that stylist via instant messaging on the site or by phone to ensure your style ideas are aligned.
Cost: A standard non-refundable fee of $25 is applied prior to receiving your Trunk, and the items range from around $40 to $300. You can customize your price preference, but the cost per item is typically around the $90 mark. Similar to the other services, that $25 fee can be used toward any purchases.
Pros: The big draw is that Trunk Club is owned by Nordstrom, so all its pieces are top-quality and ultra trendy, but can be more costly than other services. Trendy fashion pieces mixed with classic staples fill the whopping six to 10 items. It really feels like you’re receiving a whole wardrobe refresh. With Trunk Club, you can view your Trunk before it’s sent and can approve or reject items. Trunk Club also offers free alterations at any Nordstrom location. Similar to the other services, you get 5 days to decide which items you can live without and which pieces you need in your closet STAT.
Cons: Because most items are name brand, they can sometimes be found at any major department store for the same price or cheaper.
The Bottom Line: For us, Trunk Club is a big winner. Though it can get pricier than other subscription boxes, the products are the best quality, and because there are so many items sent per Trunk, usually you can find a few items you’ll want to keep.
5. Personal Stylist: Bungalow Clothing
How It Works: Fill out a style profile and get matched with a stylist who you can speak with in real time. You receive five to ten items in your “Dressing Room” and have to return them in five days if you don’t want to purchase.
Cost: Bungalow Clothing does not charge a styling fee, however because this is a luxury-brand company including name brands like Bailey44, Adriano Goldschmied, and Paige— the product prices range from about $75 to $400.
Pros: John Legend is a co-founder, so that’s definitely a plus in our book. Plus, the no styling fee makes it easy to consider giving this service a try, because what do you have to lose? We also found that the vibe of this brand is very luxurious and trendy, so it’s a really great option if you’re looking for pieces to spruce up your wardrobe that you otherwise wouldn’t buy—or even see—at a store near you.
Cons: The website isn’t the most user friendly which can be a little discouraging upon starting your style profile.
The Bottom Line: Bungalow Clothing is definitely worth a try, and the no styling fee is the biggest draw. Plus, who doesn’t want to totally take a risk, and discover some new funky pieces to add your wardrobe?
6. Personal Stylist: Tog + Porter
How It Works: Tog + Porter is similar to the other services, but really hones in on that personal connection by including a video chat with your stylist to better assess your fashion wants, needs, and interests. After you receive your five items, you video chat with your stylist again to discuss what went well and what didn’t, named by their website as a “Styling Session.” Tog + Porter offers a wide range of brands including both well-known names to indie labels alike.
Cost: Arguably the most expensive just with fees alone, Tog + Porter charges a $50 styling fee for your first box, in addition to a $25 fee for shipping and handling. The $50 styling fee is waived if you make a purchase of $250, and the budget preferences can reach all the way up to $3,000.
Pros: Though some people might not be down to hop on a Skype call with their online stylist, it does offer up a better opportunity to get across your style interests. Also, the wide range of brands can definitely be a big draw to people, especially if you’re willing to try some new brands you may not have even heard of before.
Cons: The high fees are the biggest downfall to this service, because you’re basically out $75 if you don’t want to invest $250. And regardless of purchasing products, you have to pay a $25 shipping fee which is hard to justify considering nearly every other service ships your boxes for free. Maybe it’s just us, but part of the draw of online shopping and styling services is the fact that you don’t have to interact with people. Having not one, but two different video chats per shipment seems a little excessive, and so this is also a con for us.
The Bottom Line: Based on fees alone, this service isn’t our favorite. The products do typically fit style profiles well, but sizing and quality can sometimes be lacking.
7. Personal Stylist: Urbane Box
How It Works: Urbane Box specializes in classic styles for him and her. The biggest difference between this service and the others is that with a monthly subscription fee, you keep all the items every month no matter what.
Cost: Every package contains at least $120 worth of product, but you only pay $60. It is a monthly subscription, but you can pause, skip a month, or cancel at anytime. If you’re totally loving it, you can also up the number of items in your box for an additional charge or just request another box entirely.
Pros: It’s pretty cool that you get to keep all the items in your box each month. For a flat fee, you get five new items sent just for you without having to return anything. The no-hassle factor is definitely a draw.
Cons: You aren’t sent a preview until the box has shipped, which prohibits you from approving or disapproving of any items. You also have to keep everything that is sent to you. Though they do allow size exchanges if something doesn’t fit, you are stuck with everything else. By signing up for Urbane Box, you’re pretty much signing up for a clothing delivery subscription box, and what you get is what you keep, period.
The Bottom Line: Because Urbane Box is true subscription style, it’s a great service if you’re looking to get a wardrobe refresh each month. However, if you aren’t willing to step outside of your comfort zone then this service may not be the most cost-efficient service for you.
8. Personal Stylist: Dia & Co
How It Works: Dia & Co exclusively specializes in plus-size women’s clothing, offering sizes 14 and up only. You get five items per shipment, and similar to many other online stylist services, you return what you don’t want and only pay for what you do in a five-day period.
Cost: A $20 styling fee is charged initially and can be applied toward anything you keep, which can range in three different tiers: items ranging from $40 to $70, $70 to $100, or $100 and up.
Pros: Specializing in plus-sizes is a huge pro, and stylists truly recognize how sizing differs brand to brand and make a point to help find what styles and brands are best for your body type. If something does not fit, they will always cover the shipping to fix the error.
Cons: There is no preview of your box prior to or after it sends. It also doesn’t disclose which brands it carries, so it’s a complete surprise what arrives at your doorstep.
The Bottom Line: Dia & Co appears to be a reliable service that prides itself in tailoring to your needs. Definitely worth a try in our book!