Options: Online Stylists for Your Work Wardrobe

online stylists for your work wardrobeDoes your work wardrobe need a bit of a refresh — or are you just building one for the first time? It can all be a bit overwhelming in stores, so today I thought we’d round up some online stylists for your work wardrobe (especially since Keaton Row closed up shop)! A big welcome back to freelancer Ashley Wermick! – Kat.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, shopping at the mall or a department store can just be overwhelming. So many people, so many clothes, and so many fitting room disappointments.

Luckily, there are companies that cut out the middleman and send fabulous clothes right to your door, and also share expert ways to style looks for work, play, and more. We’re discussing five of our favorites below…

MM.LaFleur

If you’re in a workwear slump, MM.LaFleur is the answer. Once you answer a personal style questionnaire, you’ll receive a custom “bento box” filled with office-appropriate dresses, separates, and even accessories. You have four days to try everything on, and you only keep the pieces you want. (Note that all of the items they sell are from their own brand.)

Shipping is free both ways and so is your first bento box. Subsequent orders charge a $25 styling fee, but that’s waived if you purchase an item. MM.LaFleur currently carries sizes 0P to 16, with prices averaging between $110 and $365 per piece.

Trunk Club

Next up in our roundup of online stylists for your work wardrobe: Trunk Club. Offering high-quality, ready-to-wear clothing, Trunk Club (now owned by Nordstrom) provides styling services for both men and women.

You can either visit one of their seven brick-and-mortar “Clubhouses” (currently in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Charleston) or have handpicked clothing sent to your home. If you choose the latter, there’s a $25 home try-on fee, which acts as credit toward the items you keep.

For women, Trunk Club offers petite through plus sizes, as well as maternity gear. Items cost, on average, $100 to $300 each. In addition, they’ll only send boxes when you request them, though you can opt to receive them at regular intervals.

Stitch Fix

Seeking out casual weekend gear, business casual looks, or even the perfect dress for that upcoming summer wedding? Let Stitch Fix be your own personal stylist.

Just fill out a fun little personal style quiz, then your assigned stylist will handpick five items based on your personal preferences, measurements, and budget.

There’s no pressure to buy — in fact, you only pay for the items you keep. There is a $20 stylist fee, but you can use it toward your final order. Bonus: If you buy all five pieces, you get 25% off your total purchase price.

Stitch Fix offers personal styling services for sizes 0-24W, as well as petite and maternity sizes.

Dia & Co.

Dia&Co. is an online personal styling service that caters exclusively to women sizes 14 and up. There are similarities to Stitch Fix, such as the $20 styling fee that gets applied as credit toward purchases, and the 25% discount if you buy all five items in your box. Most items are priced between $50 and $55.

What’s cool about Dia&Co. is that they look beyond the label sizes to find items that truly match their customers’ measurements and body types. Vanity sizing can be a pain, but Dia&Co. takes the guesswork out of finding clothes that fit.

Cladwell

In a different vein than the services mentioned above, Cladwell is a suite of apps that takes the guesswork out of building a wardrobe and choosing daily outfits. Cladwell’s Capsules helps you build the perfect capsule wardrobe by cutting out clothing and accessories you never wear and keeping and purchasing quality items you truly love.

Their newest app, Outfits, sends its users outfit ideas based on items in their closets, weather conditions, and more. Simply use the app to select clothing similar to what you already own and Outfits does the rest. Both apps are free to download, but each has a $4.99 monthly subscription fee.

Have you used any of these shopping services, or others that are similar? Did you have a good experience? When you’re considering signing up, what do you see as the most important features of shopping services for work wardrobes? Are you most likely to use them for workwear or weekend wear? 

Picture credit: Deposit photos / © AndreyPopov.

Comments

  1. Both MM Lafleur and Stitch Fix are misspelled in this post.

    • Marshmallow :

      Big chunks of the descriptions also seem borrowed from marketing materials for these websites. How about a roundup of pieces or discussion of personal experiences? Or at least an indication of online user reviews?

    • AttiredAttorney :

      On top of the misspellings, I’m disappointed that someone was paid to produce this post. There is no new useful information – no personal experiences, no body type or fit recommendations other than sizes, not even a referral link to get your first styling fee waived (which most of these services do). Even a link back to any of the numerous MM Lafleur comment threads we’ve had here or the Work Edit’s great post about how to get your perfect bento would have been helpful. Disappointed in this content.

      • Agree. I don’t begrudge Kat for making a living by hosting a blog with sponsored content, but this is just lazy.

  2. This article would have been more useful if someone had actually tested out the services. As it is, it reads more as an advertisement for the companies than a thoughtful review/summary.

  3. Senior Attorney :

    I’ve used a few of these services.

    MM Lafleur: I’ve gotten one bento box and I liked it (kept all but one of the pieces) but not enough to get another one. The pieces were hit or miss with fit, and had a bad experience with a black blouse bleeding in the wash and ruining some other things. :( On the other hand, great customer service when I lost a belt and needed a replacement. Seems expensive for what you get.

    Stitch Fix: Have been pretty happy with them for weekend wear. Honestly wish they had some higher-end options.

    Trunk Club: The pieces they sent me were amazing but very very expensive so I haven’t ordered another trunk. My husband, on the other hand, is a die-hard Trunk Clubber. His stylist has really upped his game from “nicely put together from Macy’s” to “super stylin’ best dressed dude in any room.” Part of that is because he’s willing to pay, like, $250 for a shirt, which I can’t bring myself to do…

    • These services sound like a great idea. But my experience has not been good at all.

      MM – expensive, for that type of workwear go to Ann Taylor

      Stitch Fix – target quality. The accessories in particular were made of plastic!!

      Both easy to return but did not reorder.

  4. I’ve had Stitch Fix for a few months but I’m about to cancel. Most of what they send is too casual for what I do, and they aren’t good at honoring the ‘styles’ I identified for preferences. Example: My style icons are Claire Underwood and Selena Meyers – fitted, monochromatic power pieces. But last time I get a box full of floral prints / crochet-edged tops. And a paisley pencil skirt, “for weekend wear.” Paisley – why? And who wears pencil skirts for fun on the weekend?

    Also, quality is poor, and overpriced for what it is.

    • Yes to all your points. I got just a couple decent things from several months of Stitch Fix. My style is slightly edgy, and despite a very consistent Pinterest board I made for my stylist, I kept getting mumsy weekend wear. Too low-quality for the price, too: I could spend way less at Marshall’s and get way better.

      The thing that made me quit was my third straight month of every top having a stepped hem, which looks blobular on an hourglass, and which I asked them to stop sending after the first one.

      • Anonymous :

        Same experience here. I repeatedly told the stylist that I am a mid-thirties career woman who works in finance. They send me twee knit dresses that have polka dots and lemons each damn month. Very junior styling in my experienc.e

  5. Anonymous :

    I’ve tried several, here are my thoughts:

    Stitch Fix was fun to do post-first baby to get some new pieces to punch up my wardrobe. I generally really liked at least a piece or two each box and kept several. They do a lot of patterns, which is good in some ways (see wardrobe needing a punch), but limiting in others. My stylist did listen to me relatively well, but I always got a least a piece or two that made me question things. The quality is not great – like on par with Macy’s house brands maybe?

    I’ve tried Le Tote both as a rental and a subscription box. The rental was meh. I got a couple of cute pieces for work (mostly dresses) and one jacket that I loved and tried desperately to find in a store. The pieces were pretty shopworn though, which was what made me cancel after trying about 3 times. As a subscription box it was literally the WORST. The pieces looked frumpy, were more expensive than Stitch Fix, and totally not what I requested. I wish I could get my money back. I sent them a poor review and they sent back a happy, jaunty email asking me to pay for another month and a second try. Um, no.

    I just tried Trunk Club for the first time and I think it was the best of the options. The brands are ones you’ve heard of since they are from Nordstrom directly and the stylist took a long time to go through my preferences with me. And they send you a preview where you can opt out of pieces that are totally not your style. It is the most expensive, but I feel better paying for it since they are actual brands with which I am familiar and am better able to judge quality. I also got my fee waived since I’m a Nordstrom card holder.

  6. I loved the idea of Stitch Fix but the quality of the clothes wasn’t congruent with the price. I did however find many of the brands for sale on Amazon for a third of the price. There’s also a hashtag stitch fix brand to find them

  7. Anonymous :

    I have tried Stitch Fix, they are in my building, but was so disappointed. There items are seriously overpriced, tend towards polyester and just no.
    I have been doing LeTote for a few months now, after I purged my closet. I really like it. There are a few misses here and there, but I pick out all my stuff (I never take what they just send me) so it is more like a shopping substitute without the commitment. It helps me keep up my purge lifestyle. I tell them when they do something wrong, and I get credit. I have only ever kept accessories. But I like the chance to take a chance on clothes I wouldn’t buy.
    I think the others would be overpriced for me. But I am a bargain shopper to the core, so that may have something to do with it.

  8. NYC_Consultant :

    Summary: Go with Trunk Club. I work with Tara in NYC ([email protected] – posted with her permission!), and she’s worth asking for as your stylist.

    The long version: I found MMLeFleur to have odd-ish sizing that didn’t quite work with my body type. I went into their shop in NYC and as a usual size 4/6, I felt like I needed to size up in everything. The quality seems to align with the price point, but honestly the outfits are fairly boring in person and all made of heavy stretch knit. That being said, a co-worker swears by them and it does allow her to really not worry about what to wear. She looks great everyday, but its just not as fashion-y as I wanted it to be.

    I signed up for Stitch Fix (and now defunct Keaton Row), but both were too casual and expensive for casual wear, and I wanted higher quality work wear pieces that were a bit more fashion forward (translation: no skin showing, but adventurous with fabrics, cuts, symmetry, etc). Also my stylist at Keaton Row didn’t seem to get what I was looking for despite multiple emails and pinterest boards.

    I have now done one box with Trunk Club and one in-person meeting at their NYC shop. Its by far the best option for me. I know the brands for the most part. If the item is on sale at Nordstrom, you get the sale price. If you go in person, they will mark and measure for tailoring, then send it to you when its done (hemming of pants is free!!). I also like that they send an email preview of the box and I can nix any items that i know are out of my price range or fashion sense. I can be VERY specific with my stylist about what i want and she’ll try and find the closest thing. I don’t have a ton of time to shop, so this is a good way for me to say I want a chambray button down, high waisted jeans in a light wash, navy pleated tapered pants, a cream knit blazer, and some colorful heels, and then she narrows down the decision making process for me. I can also say “keep the blazer under $400 please and shoes under $150”, so that we’re all on the same page. I tend to know what I like and want, but having someone move me along the process is way more helpful than I ever thought I needed. It also prevents me from doing things like buying 27 clearance items for $300 at old navy only to wish that i’d spent the same $300 on three shirts that I really loved and could wear for 5+ years.

    • KateMiddletown :

      This is super helpful – I didn’t realize Trunk Club was Nordstroms, and I just emailed my real-life Nords personal stylist today. (I use her like 1x a year but I don’t have time to shop for an upcoming wedding.) Are the TC reps located in store, or how does that work?

  9. I found Cladwell way too casual for most work environments – they think jeans are dressy (vs. sweatpants!). While I liked the idea of the app, it had a long way to go when I used it a few months ago.

  10. I have tried both MMLefleur and Stitch fix. I thought both were terrible.

    I got the bento box at MMLefleur and suggested five different dresses that I liked from their website. The stylist told me she wouldn’t be able to accommodate ALL of my requests, but in the end she accommodated none of them. Some styles weren’t sent in sizes that were entirely too big for me, even though they had my exact dimensions. Other styles were incredibly overpriced—$200-$300 for a polyester dress. I was thoroughly disappointed that not a single one of my suggestions made it into the box.

    I did Stitch fix for a few months and had pretty terrible results overall. Some people think that it’s ok to get one piece they like per box, but I don’t see any reason why a competent stylist cant get several pieces right. I was lucky if I could get one good piece. Also, the quality is absolutely terrible—$60-$80 for a polyester top.

    I will stick with trying to get the following brands on sale in the future: Hugo Boss, Luisa Spagnoli, LK Bennett, and Max Mara. It’s a shame that so few places seem to understand good craftsmanship. These brands are doing it right though. They are just out of my budget at full price.

  11. I like MMLaFleur if I pick out the clothes- I’ve tried enough at this point to know (mostly) what works for me- they have some great basic dresses and tops that don’t wrinkle too horribly. And the Morandi sweater was totally worth the cost. I’m in finance, and I like a modern, sleek, but minimalistic style (so that I spend less time in the morning trying to find “cute” outfits and more time grabbing my clothes and getting into work). The downside is that sizing can be really weird- I’m anywhere between a 12 and 14 in their dresses, simply cannot do their pants, and I have some blouses in size L that are great (meanwhile I wear an 8-10 blouse at JCrew) while some of their blouses do not fit over my bust no matter how I try. Despite that my bust usually doesn’t fill out blouses I buy elsewhere. I think I’ll be following the previous poster’s footsteps with Hugo Boss and Max Mara.

    Another downside is that they’ve been trying to get more creative with color/details, which is exactly what I don’t want- I want to invest money in quality pieces I can wear for years and mix/match with anything, not crap that is going to look tacky in 6 months.

    I tried Stitch Fix and agree with others- quality not up to the price point, and the stylists flat don’t listen to my style (I even made a pinterest board just for them). Supposedly, they do some quantitative analysis on your past choices to see what you’ll buy next time, but the boxes kept getting worse and worse.

  12. bellatrix :

    Re: Dia & Co: I got several boxes from them and most items were well over $55. You can set an average price point of $50-55, but then you’re talking $40 shirts, $70 pants and $85 dresses.

    I got several things I love from them — I never would have considered skinny jeans, but they sent me a pair in purple and they were so comfy I couldn’t resist — but I had a different stylist every time and I never felt like anyone really “got” me. The last box in particular was way off; I had a few items that were so frumpy my mother wouldn’t have worn them. (That wasn’t what made me cancel, though — I had just gotten enough clothes and was trying to save $$.)

  13. I’ve had two “trunks” from Trunk Club and just canceled Stitch Fix after two boxes.

    Everything Stitch Fix sent looked like it was from the clearance rack at Kohl’s or something that a 55 year old 3rd grade teacher would wear, like a fleece blazer with shoulder pads. They also sent me three sweaters in the last box they sent a week ago (I don’t live somewhere cold).

    With Trunk Club, the quality is much higher but I have had two trunks where the stylist has sent multiple pieces that were *exactly* what I said I didn’t want – I said “please don’t send any swing dresses, flowy tops, or anything without a defined waist” and received one of each of them, as well as jeans when I said I didn’t need jeans.

    When I was a little heavier, I tried Dia & Co and really liked it, particularly because plus size shopping for cute stuff in stores is virtually impossible.

  14. A review from the plus size perspective:

    I absolutely hated Trunk Club. As a plus size gal with limited options, I’ve already scoured the Nordstrom website for options, and that is pretty much TC’s inventory. The pieces I was sent were high quality, but nothing I hadn’t already seen before. They also sent me A LOT of Sejour, which I know is an in-house brand and seemed more than a little self-serving. The stylist was also either or bot or someone with absolutely zero experience. She blatantly ignored my style preferences (I do not wear sleeveless clothing under any circumstances because I’m self-conscious about my arms–she sent me several) and requests (I wanted more color in my wardrobe–EVERYTHING she sent was black or white). Overall, it just doesn’t seem like they have a varied selection to choose from and the clothing is much more expensive than other services.

    I am enjoying Stitch Fix for now. What I like about their plus size options is that they are actually working with certain brands to develop SF exclusive products that are not usually available in plus sizes. That alone makes it worth it to me, because it’s essentially opening up a whole new set of retail options. While the clothes are more casual than Trunk Club, it’s still possible to get options for a lot of different occasions. Plus, I can find boring work clothes anywhere.

  15. I actually use wantable… which is very similar to Stitch Fix. The reasoning for Wantable was for a fitness stream (I have a problem buying fitness clothes, clearly..). I am loving it. I did switch over to the style stream, the first one I liked about half of the items, but I ended up finding the exact things online cheaper so I re-purchased and saved about $120 doing that ;)

    Basically, I’m cheating and using the stylist, keeping at least one thing, then finding the stuff cheaper elsewhere. i find this harder to work on the fitness items though. I am still a pretty new member, so I’ve received 2 “style” ones (normal clothes), and the 2nd was really bad. I loved the jeans from the first, great fit, and couldn’t find anywhere else. The 2nd just missed the mark, they aren’t listening as well. I am superbly explicit in what I want and am very happy with my fitness stylist, so hoping with more time my other stylist starts to get better. I hate everything at the malls these days so I really enjoy this process so far.

  16. Friends have tried StitchFix, and Le Tote. It tires a variety of things… Trunk Club, Nordstrom Personal Shopper, J Crew Personal Shopper, and Rent the Runway. Friends who did StitchFix and LeTote said the quality was crappy. I thought Trunk Club was great quality but too expensive. I like the Nordstrom Personal Shopper. They fill a dressing room for me and I just show up and buy what I need. The J Crew personal shopper I did online and it saved me time of sifting through a bunch of options, but I ended up returning a bunch of stuff because it’s really hard to convey your style over a couple of emails. My favorite so far has been Rent the Runway Unlimited. I try things out and if I like them, I buy it (not through RTR, their used clothing prices are way too high) and if I try and don’t like, I just return. RTR has helped me discover new brands and try new styles. I would love to hire a seasonal stylist service from someone with great style. Shannon Ables comes to mind, but I don’t think she is accepting new clients right now and I’m huge and pregnant right now anyways.

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