If you are anything like me, you probably have a hard time finding boho and western style clothing you like that fits well too. Such is the fate of a plus sized boho chic cowgirl! If you manage to find anything that does the job, you'll probably find that price is way out of your budget. (Yes, Johnny Was, I'm talking about you!) So, you either have to resign yourself to looking frumpy or spend a huge chunk of your income on clothing. Not good!
Needless to say, I got really excited when I heard there existed personal styling services that would take into account both your style and measurements and your budget to come up with clothing you'd like to wear without the hassle of looking for it yourself. Most of these services charge you a styling fee, which then can be applied to anything you decide to purchase from the selection they send you. You return what you do not want, and that's it! Easy peasy! Even postage is on them - you don't have to pay shipping for either your package or the return.
Deciding to try some of these services was a no-brainer. However, I made sure to avoid one of the most popular outfits in the plus size field, Gwynnie Bee. The reason is that, unlike the other services which allow you to buy clothing, Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental service. You wear items you like for a while, then you return them to the company. They dry clean them (hopefully), and then rent the same clothes to the next person. I wasn't too enthused about wearing something another person (or many people) of unknown health status and hygienic habits wore before me, So Gwynnie Bee was out. Below are the four personal styling services I did try.
First, Dia & Co. - specifically geared toward plus sized women. If they provide only plus size clothing, I thought, they'd be more likely to send me something that actually fits and flatters my body shape. When you sign up with Dia & Co, you fill out a detailed customer profile where you can express your color and style preferences, share comments about your sizing and body shape, and even leave a personal note for your stylist with either a special request or a word about something that wasn't covered by the profile questions. For example, I am allergic to mohair, and I made sure to mention that in the note to my stylist. Dia charges a $20 styling fee, and you can choose to receive your Dia boxes at certain regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, etc.) or opt to request a box only when you choose to do so. I had Dia boxes sent to me at three different occasions, and you will be able to read my review of their service in one of the upcoming blog posts.
Next, there is Stitch Fix, which does carry plus size clothing but also provides regular women's sizes and men's clothing too. Much like Dia & Co, Stitch Fix requires you to fill out a detailed online profile and allows you to leave a personal note for your stylist. Their $20 styling fee and free shipping are also comparable to Dia's. The simple checkout process is also very similar, as is the quality of clothing they send you. I had "fixes" delivered to me three times to make sure I give this company a fair review, which you will be able to read in one of the upcoming posts on this blog.
The third service I tried was Trunk Club. Even before posting a detailed review, I must say this was the service I liked the least. Trunk Club is a subsidiary of Nordstrom's and all the clothing and accessories they provide are available at Nordstrom's stores. If you have ever been able to find a true boho or western piece of clothing in one of their stores, hats off to you! I discovered from my Trunk Club experience that such items are difficult if not impossible to find among their selections. The online profile Trunk Club has you fill out is much more detailed than the other two services mentioned above, and you can also chat in real time with your assigned stylist, but all that is to no avail if the company doesn't carry the styles you wear. Styling fee for Trunk Club is $25, and they also provide free shipping both ways. Read more about this service in one of my upcoming blog posts.
Last but not least of the four services I tried is Natalie Attired. This is a brand new service, in existence only for a year as of this post's writing, and it is based on Shari Braendel's color analysis tool and styling philosophy. On their website, you will fill out the most detailed profile by far among the four services reviewed, and you can also leave an extra note for your stylist. Styling fee is $20, and shipping is free both ways. I have only had one collection sent to me from this service so far, and I must say that the style of clothing was almost spot on. There were a lot of Johnny Was lookalikes in my first box, but alas, the sizing was off, so I will have to wait until my next collection arrives before I write a review of this service.
I will be posting detailed reviews of each of these services in a separate post, so if you don't like spoilers, you can stop reading right here. For those who are curious about my verdict, I must tell you that none of the services earned more than three stars on a scale from one to five. True, my rating of Natalie Attired might get amended depending on the next collection I am slated to receive mid-month, so stay tuned for detailed reviews and my honest opinion on whether a personal styling service is a good option for a picky plus sized cowgirl.
Have you tried any of these personal styling services? If so, feel free to share your impressions here.
the mind and hands behind hART Sense Design. I am a designer and hand-maker of one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry and accessories for artistic, chic cowgirls, boho babes, and lovers of all things western.
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