Back in the day (circa 2016-2018), I worked for a large local pharmaceutical company and went into the office 3-4 days a week. This was my first job where “not-so-casual” business attire was required, and the week before I started my new job, I panicked. I was not a real adult, let alone an adult who dressed like other adults. I got a few staple items from JC Penney (a handful of wrap dresses–which is super impressive if you know me because before this I would NEVER wear a dress voluntarily–a few blouses, dress slacks, etc.) and these got me through my first few weeks at the new job, but I still needed more.
One of my new coworkers dressed SO cute every single day, and she also had 3 kids and I was like, how do you dress so cute? Teach me your ways. And she told me she did Stitch Fix.
If you haven’t done one of these outfit subscription boxes before, you start out by taking a style quiz online to determine what your “style” is (I thought mine was a combination of yoga pants-wearing hobo and tie-dye t-shirt hot mess mom) and then the style gods determine what type of items to send you. You can also pick your price ranges for items, so your “personal stylist” sends you items that fit in your budget.
After one box, I was hooked. My stylist, Layla, hit my style (that I didn’t know I had), body type (I’m short and heavy-chested, not everything fits us well-endowed ladies in a flattering way), and what I needed for work SPOT ON. I did Stitch Fix once a month for all of 2017, which built up my closet with clothes not just for work, but for date nights (back before the “ours” baby, when date night didn’t consist of Door Dashing our favorite brew pub burgers, minus the delicious beer because we don’t drink during the week, because we’re tired and the toddler still refuses to sleep at 20 months old).
I will say: Stitch Fix (at least, back then) was not cheap. Each box had 5 items, ranging from jeans and dress pants to blouses and blazers, from maxi dresses to Toms shoes and accessories and more. I kept every item my dear Layla ever chose for me (she went on leave for 6 weeks during that summer of 2017 and I felt like I was missing a dear friend, replacement stylist Ashley tried her best, but she didn’t GET ME like Layla did). Each box cost me between $180-$220. BUT–these were quality garments. 3 years later, my wardrobe is still filled with the items I got from my Stitch Fix days.
Now, we come to the present times. I have 4 kids who are home 24/7 and never stop eating, a pack of dogs, a job where I work from home full-time, a partridge and a freaking pear tree. Stitch Fix is not something I can reasonably spend the money on these days (especially since I no longer go into the office). **Side Note: I have heard from friends that Stitch Fix now offers less expensive options for any budget. I may need to look into this. But I digress…
Nadine West: Expectations
I kept seeing advertisements on Facebook for Nadine West. Like Stitch Fix, it was an outfit and accessory subscription box, and upon further investigation, I discovered the items were priced well in my price range. So I gave it a whirl. I completed the style quiz, gave my desired price range and what time of items I was looking for. And excitedly waited for my first box!
…and had a glass of merlot on the front porch on day 12 waiting for the mailman to come, because my tracking info said it would be there between 12-4pm. And it wasn’t.
Around 15 days after I placed my first order, I received an email from Nadine West Customer Service stating that they were using their warehouses for mask production. And I thought, oh, that’s very neighborly of them. No problem, Nadine. I can wait.
I received my shipment 29 days after I placed my order–but hey, we’re helping the world with mask production, here. No problem.
Unfortunately, Nadine’s stylists did not capture my fashion sense (or lack thereof) the way Stitch Fix did the first go-round. I got a long great cardigan and a pair of snake-skin patterned, soft leggings that I kept because…well, why not? But the other pieces (2 t-shirts I could have gotten at Old Navy for ¼ the price that were 2 sizes too big and a statement necklace that I wish I could pull off but was NOT me) were not keepers. So I sent the items back, canceled my subscription (by way of emailing their customer service company, because they do not have a phone number or online chat) and I was on my merry way.
Little did I know, my way was not so merry. Last week (a full 6 weeks after I canceled my subscription) I received not one, but 2 orders from Nadine. To say that these items did not reflect my style or what I asked for in my style profile (which I had since then canceled) would be a gross understatement. I got 3 pair of sweatpants (not cute Juicy-style sweatpants, but the baggy kind you wear after you give birth and just want to hide from the world), and 3 t-shirts (not cutesy t-shirts, but generic, Hanes-style men’s t-shirts) in size 3X. Now folks, I am not a skinny bitch. But I can tell you with full confidence that I am not a size 3X, even on my worst days.
So I email their customer service, again. I get no response in 7 days. So I email them again with a full-on Karen email subject line (“Contacting the BBB”) and, lo and behold, I get a response within an hour! I am still fighting them to refund the $9.78 in shipping for the second order that I never placed (after I canceled my subscription).
Nadine West: Yay or Nay?
Nay. Hard pass. Violent head shake.