For the many women who experience crippling anxiety when faced with racks on racks of clothing, Stitch Fix is something of a godsend.
The San Francisco-based subscription service eliminates the agonizing process of choosing your own garments and trying them on in a stuffy dressing room with bad, fluorescent lighting—or worse, skinny mirrors.
It works like this: For the low low price of $20, Stitch Fix's "personal stylists" utilize an archaic tool called The United States Postal Service to provide their female subscribers with a box of five items, or “fixes” (which makes the clothes boxes kind of sound like drugs??).
Subscribers then get to try on the outfits and accessories, walk around their apartments in them, and decide which items to keep and which to send back. It’s like shopping, but better! Because you don’t have to venture any farther than your mailbox for this trendy excursion.
The only problem with this business model is that it eliminates one of the most vital parts of clothes shopping: dressing room banter. I’m a feminist and I think women should feel comfortable in their own clothes/skin/hair/whatever—but nothing convinces a woman to buy that pair of burgundy skinny jeans quite like having a female stranger compliment her in them.
Here to solve this problem and introduce delightful dressing room banter to the subscription box clothing industry is my new favorite Facebook group: "Stitch Fix B/S/T and discussion."
The group is completely unaffiliated with Stitch Fix—it appears to have been created by a handful of Stitch Fix enthusiasts who simply wanted an online place to discuss their online shopping habit. It’s unclear when the group was created, exactly, but hundreds of new members are added each day. The group is currently over 23,000 strong.
"Stitch Fix B/S/T and discussion" is filled with handy tips and tricks on how to utilize the service to its fullest potential. Since one of Stitch Fix’s biggest catches is that subscribers can’t request specific items—only hope their stylist sends along things they like—a lot of the Facebook group’s discussion is about how to finagle your profile on the site to get that polka dot blouse you’ve been eyeing on other subscribers.
My favorite piece of advice in the group is to just lower your age a little bit! It’s theorized among group members that a stylist may not be sending you any low-cut shirts because your age is listed as 42—but if you list it as something like, oh, I don’t know, 25, your next fix may be filled with busty looks.
The "B/S/T" stands for "Buy/Sell/Trade," because this group also serves as a makeshift Stitch Fix-exclusive Ebay. Women who don’t love everything in their boxes—but still want to enjoy the 25% off discount Stitch Fix offers when a subscriber buys all five items—can sell their extras in the group. Or if they wear something once or twice and decide that chevron-patterned blouse just isn’t their taste, they can sell it used. Since many of the brands Stitch Fix offers can’t be (easily) bought anywhere else, this is a great solution if you’re the type of woman who adores the service’s supply of wholesale clothing.
I love this Facebook group in the same way I love being in any other women-exclusive space. It's a place for well-meaning strangers to form a camaraderie around the one thing that unifies them all: a love for Stitch Fix. The haven feels especially rare on today's internet, where comments from strangers are not usually a source of uplift.
Also, not allowing any men into the group (as far as I can tell) makes the "Stitch Fix B/S/T and discussion" group a 24/7 gal time party. Fun!! Stitch Fix clothing-adorned mirror selfies are not only permitted, they’re encouraged. The general vibe is safe, cozy, and, at times, a little bit sassy.
“This group is a warm & encouraging environment for women to share photos of themselves for advice/opinions—we do not want this to change,” reads the group’s pinned group guidelines post. What a magical place.
One post from Tuesday came from a woman who wanted to know if her outfit was “busy mom appropriate.” The outfit was tame enough: She had on a cute pair of cuffed skinny jeans, a plain gray T-shirt, a faux-leather jacket, and a pair of brown booties. In a little less than a day, the post acquired more than 700 likes and 170 comments that range from things like “I did the booties/skinny jeans thing today for the first time…major departure for me but I got tons of compliments!” to “If all eyes were on you by moms at school it's because they were jealous!” Other outfit posts receive similar reactions.
This is the kind of interaction the group facilitates. Feedback, tips, and encouragement between women in a space free of the insecurities a male presence may introduce.
Of course, the group is peppered with the occasional bit of drama. Also on Tuesday, a woman (since removed from the group) started a discussion thread with the intention of criticizing the lesser quality of some of Stitch Fix's items, and expressed unhappiness that some items have be found cheaper at stores like Nordstrom Rack. The critical post prompted a lively discussion, and many were quick to come to Stitch Fix's defense.
"I have since discontinued there services," the original poster clarified, after a commenter told her she could simply stop using Stitch Fix if she was so unhappy.
The thread was eventually shut down by another woman's incredible own, which simply read: *their.
Hannah Smothers is a reporter for Fusion's Sex & Life section, a Texpat, and a former homecoming princess.