Do you remember the days when you had to actually put on pants and leave the comfort of your own couch to shop for, well, pants? No? Me either.
But how about the days when you had to actually ransack the deep, dark depths of the internet for your travel apparel and cross your fingers that it’ll really perform how it alleges—and will fit as agreeably on you as it does on that handsomely rugged model? And then apprehensively “add to cart” before typing in your credit card information, taking a breath and, with even more trepidation, submitting your order?
“Thank you for your purchase! Your order will deliver within five to seven business days. Your order confirmation code is: WAS-THIS-AN-AWFUL-DECISION?”
Wait, those days are still among us, right?
Wrong. Gone are the days of impulsive, ill-informed online purchases that’ll almost always beget remorse. Today, you merely have to lift a finger…to still submit your order. Doing so won’t be such a painfully questionable experience, however, because someone with a heck of a lot more sartorial sense than you fills up your shopping cart for you!
That someone is behind Stitch Fix, an online subscription and personal shopping service that’ll save you both your time and sanity, especially when you’re planning a trip.
Having a curated collection of travel apparel delivered to your doorstep takes the detective work out of the process for you. You won’t have to sit online reading the fine print about the shock-absorbing materials in your cycling shorts or the sweat-wicking fabric of your compression T-shirt. You can just test them out in real life when they get to you.
Stitch Fix: The New Way to Buy Travel Clothes Online
Stitch Fix started as a shopping service for women but eventually expanded to servicing men, too. And now they’re transforming their men’s assortment to make it the most complete “un-shopping” experience ever.
For example, they recently announced some pretty important fall expansions for men, including Big & Tall sizes with 30 brands, tailored options, updated accessories a curated collection of basics (underwear, undershirts and socks), and, most importantly, activewear!
In fact, Stitch Fix’s new outdoor gear options cover every activity from golfing to running to hiking. All of the products feature performance technology and fabrics such as comfort waist bands, cooling cotton and moisture-wicking and anti-odor technology for optimal functionality and quality. You’ll get stretch, UV protection, breathability and more. Literally, everything you need from a good set of clothes for your next adventure.
The travel clothes are limitless. You’ll find jackets for all levels of activity. Think: an Adidas Terrex lightweight layer for a cool evening at the campsite. Or a hooded, breathable fleece for a sunny but windy day on the trails.
You’ll also have access to performance polos to take you from catching dinner out on the boat… straight to dinner itself.
Brands like Reigning Champs offer a selection of tee’s and long-sleeves for all sorts of adventures. And brands like Rhone will afford you some four-way stretch pants to finally give rock scrambling a go. You might even want to check out some Alesbury hiking boots, and then let your stylist know where in the world you left footprints in ’em.
And, of course, if you’re taking a trip to, let’s say, Paris, they’ll get you styled up for that, too. Brands like Bonobos have tons of tailored pants for meandering around the city streets. Whatever type of trip you’re taking, Stitch Fix has—and their stylists know—exactly what you need.
How It Works
Stitch Fix is simple. It works like this: You sign up through the site and introduce yourself via a detailed style quiz. This is the only part of the process that’ll require a little elbow grease on your end.
Beyond your measurements and price preferences, the quiz will even ask about your adventure habits. It’ll inquire about the fashion risks you’re willing to take, too. And anything and everything that might affect the way you dress. Think: your work and how you choose to commute there, whether or not you’re a parent, whether or not you're an avid shirt-tucker, how short you think is too short, stomach-able prints and patterns. It’ll even get your social media handles for stalking purposes.
The quiz just wants to get a sense of your preferences and any hard passes.
Before you place your order, you can tell your personal stylist what kind of person you are, too—an adventureman, a thrill seeker, a risk taker. You’ll want to leave them a note that you’re leaving for a week or a month or indefinitely for some intrepid journey. That, yes, you’re an IT guy and bike to work. And, no, you don’t typically tuck your shirts. But also that none of that matters because you’re quitting your job to go live on a beach where you don’t plan on wearing shirts.
If you’re going to Antwerp, you’re probably going to want something stylish. But if you're hiking Kilimanjaro, you’ll probably want some more technical gear for a rugged hike. And if you’re embarking on some intrepid hike in the Himalayas or camping in the Australian outback or fly fishing in Colorado, for example, you might have to specifically ask for insulated base layers or UPF-rated outerwear or waders (you may or may not get the waders).
Basically, your stylist needs to know exactly what adventures you have in store.
Then they will curate five pieces for you and send them to your home, where you’ll try them all on. They’ll send you a personal note with each shipment, too, with a style card with images that illustrate some suggestions for how to style each item.
The point is to bring the dressing room to you so you can try items on before committing to them. Just as you would if you were shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. Like one of those brick-and-mortar stores where the salespeople follow you around, asking you a bunch of questions and recommending you different pieces. Except they're not lingering outside of your dressing room door to check in on you. Or probably making you feel awkward and pressured into purchases (no, just me?). They’re quietly awaiting your feedback on the other side of your device somewhere else in the world.
Don’t be afraid to use the style cards if you do wish you could ask for help. I’ve found them to be helpful in finding new ways to pair the clothes in my own Fix. This way I can make the most of minimal options—quality over quantity. It feels like I’ve got a ton of gear when, really, I’ve just got essential gear. I can wear it in a wealth of ways. And I don’t need to weigh down my backpack with anything more.
After receiving your order, you can give your personal stylist feedback, keep what you’re into and ditch what you don’t like. You’ll only pay a $20 styling fee and the cost of the clothes that you hold onto. And, if you keep all of ’em, you’ll get a 25 percent discount! The rest you’ll ship back with the label provided, free of charge. Okay, you might have to put on pants to get to the post office and mail back your package.
If you’re the kind of person with an unabated addiction to unboxing deliveries, or someone who needs (perhaps strongly prefers) new travel clothing for every trip, or you’d just like to check out new travel items every season, you can set up scheduled, automated deliveries to keep the clothes coming.
So if you want to let someone else do the work for you, sign up for Stitch Fix here and get started building up your own travel wardrobe. Hand over the torch. You’ve got more important things to worry about…like where you’re going to sleep at night.