Some people love shopping for clothes. Not me. I’m the queen of online ordering, but that also means I spend a lot of time boxing items up and mailing them back. It’s hard to know how something will look until you try it on.
Luckily, technology has brought another way to do things.
Stitch Fix and Trunk Club both use personal stylists to curate a box of fashions that you can try on at home. You simply box up the items you don’t want and send them back. You’ll only be charged for what you keep.
But which service is better? Both are alike in many ways, but there are some notable differences, too.
Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club summary
Both Stitch Fix and Trunk Club offer a fun alternative to the traditional retail shopping experience. You’ll create a style profile and wait for your first box to arrive, at which point you’ll have a limited time to try your items on.
But there are some differences in the way each service operates. Your level of interaction with stylists, the size ranges available, and how you return unused items are just a few.
Features Stitch Fix Trunk Club
Styling fee $20, credited toward your first purchase $25, credited toward your first purchase; waived for Nordstrom cardholders
Per-item price range $25-$500 $50-$300
Pieces per box 5 6-10
Sizes available Women’s XS-3X; men’s XS-3XL; children’s 2T-14 Women’s 0-3X; men’s XS-3XL
Discount for keeping all items 25% Not offered
Return method Hand to postal carrier or drop into USPS box Schedule free FedEx pickup
About Stitch Fix
In 2011, Harvard MBA candidate Katrina Lake came up with an idea. Seeing flaws in the way customers shopped for clothing, Lake wanted to create a personalized shopping experience for clothes shoppers. From that idea, Stitch Fix was born.
Stitch Fix uses a combination of data analytics and personal stylists to send each subscriber a unique selection. When you first sign up, you take a detailed style quiz that helps stylists see your preferences and sizing. There is a $20 styling fee, but the cost is taken off of your first purchase. There’s no subscription required.
Once you’ve taken the quiz, a stylist gets to work curating a selection of clothing for you. The box is sent to your house, at which point you get to try on every piece in the comfort of your home. This is the part I like. No dealing with public fitting rooms or guessing if something will fit, only to get home and have to return it.
Another great thing about Stitch Fix is the return process. You keep the items you like and put the rest in a prepaid return envelope. You can hand the envelope to your postal delivery person or drop it in any USPS mailbox. The stylist and technology will pay attention to the items you kept and adjust the choices for you the next time you order a box.
About Trunk Club
Trunk Club kicked off in 2009 and a few years later, it captured the interest of Nordstrom. The national retailer bought Trunk Club in 2014 for $350 million, rebranding it Nordstrom Trunk Club. Like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club charges an initial styling fee of $25, which is credited toward your first purchase. You can also use a Nordstrom credit or debit card and have the $25 fee waived.
Like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club uses a style quiz to get an idea of your fit and style preferences. A stylist curates a selection of 6 to 10 items, which are shipped to you. What’s great about Trunk Club is that you can preview the items being sent to you before they actually ship. Stitch Fix likes to keep it a “surprise.” Trunk Club gives you 48 hours to make changes or approve the box before it ships.
Once you receive your trunk, you have up to five days to try the items on. Package up the items you don’t want and schedule a free FedEx pickup through the app. No chasing your postal carrier down or driving it to the nearest post office. Your trunk will be picked up at your front door.
Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club items offered
Stitch Fix works with a variety of popular brands for the fashions it offers. Here are some of the participating brands:
- Rebecca Minkoff.
- Kate Spade.
- Free People.
- Cole Haan.
- City Chic.
- Dolce Vita.
- Sam Edelman.
- Addition Elle.
- Alice and Olivia.
Trunk Club is owned by Nordstrom, so the brands mirror what you’d see in Nordstrom stores. Although Trunk Club doesn’t list included brands online, here are some of the clothing brands found in Nordstrom Stores. This is only a small sampling of a very long list:
- St. John Collection.
- Oscar de la Renta.
- Stella McCartney.
- Dolce & Gabanna.
- Saint Laurent.
- Carolina Herrera.
Keep in mind that Nordstrom prices can be on the high side, so you might not have the number of affordable options you’d have with Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club pricing
Both Stitch Fix and Trunk Club let you order a box whenever you want. You’ll get an initial shipment at signup, but after that, you don’t have to request a box again until you’re ready.
Both services also charge a styling fee for your initial box. The price with Stitch Fix is $20, but that credit will be discounted from your first purchase. If you have a Nordstrom card, you can save on the $25 styling fee, but even if you don’t, the amount will be subtracted from your first purchase.
Then there are the prices of the items themselves.
Stitch Fix’s items start as low as $25, but they can go all the way up to $500. You’ll specify your price preferences when you sign up, and you can adjust that range at any time.
Nordstrom Trunk Club’s prices range from $50 – $300. You’ll be asked during signup what your budget preferences are, and that will drive the items that are chosen for you.
In both cases, you’ll only pay for the items you buy. Shipping is free, both for the items to come to you and for you to return them using the prepaid mailer.
Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club sizes available
Both Stitch Fix and Trunk Club offer clothing for women and men. Stitch Fix has a special kids line, called Stitch Fix Kids.
Here’s the sizing breakdown for both Stitch Fix and Trunk Club.
Stitch Fix Trunk Club
Women’s XS-XXL, 14W-24W, 1X-3X; petite and maternity sizes available 0-16, 00P-12P, 1X-3X, and XS-2L
Men’s XS-3XL, waist sizes from 28-48, inseams from 28-36; Tall shirts available XS-3XL; dress shirts 14.5”-20” neck; 32/33”-36/37” sleeve; pants 28”-44” waist and up to 36” inseam
Kids 2T-14 Not available
Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club clothing management
Perhaps the biggest difference between these two services is how the stylists interact with the customers. Here’s what you need to know about each service.
Stitch Fix uses a combination of technology and a professional stylist to make your picks. As you request boxes and choose items from those boxes, the technology learns your preferences and adjusts accordingly.
One downside to Stitch Fix is that you can’t directly contact your stylist. You can only leave notes. You’ll input your requests into a “Fix Request Note,” and it’s the first thing your stylist will check before putting your order together. You can also leave a Fix Request Note for your stylist during checkout. Checkout feedback can state what you liked or didn’t like to give guidance for future boxes.
Stitch Fix also doesn’t assign the same stylist to each customer permanently. But the good news is, you can leave a Fix Note to request the same stylist you had the last time.
One thing that puts Trunk Club ahead of Stitch Fix is that you can take a look at your stylist’s picks before they ship. If you don’t like something, you can edit it and up the chances that you’ll like more of the items in your box.
Trunk Club also lets you interact with your stylist. You can contact your stylist via direct message through the website or the Trunk Club app.
Best of all, you get the same stylist every time, assuming that stylist remains on the Trunk Club team. This gives a stylist time to learn from your past orders, increasing the chances you’ll get pieces you want to keep.
Stitch Fix vs Trunk Club pros
Stitch Fix pros:
- Technology-based styling. With Stitch Fix, you don’t just rely on a stylist’s judgment. Data science is also applied to help track down the best items for you.
- Lower-priced items. Prices start as low as $25, which means you could specify you only want items priced between $25 and $50.
- Children’s sizes are available. With Stitch Fix Kids, you can have a box curated for your child.
Trunk Club pros:
- Edit items before they ship. You’ll boost the odds that you’ll like the items in your box with Trunk Club’s edit option.
- Interact with stylist. If you have feedback or special requests for your stylist, send a direct message in the app or through the website.
- Free pickup. Once you’ve tried on your items, you can schedule a free FedEx pickup for anything you want to send back.
Stitch Fix vs Trunk Club cons
Stitch Fix cons:
- No direct interaction with stylists. You can leave a note for your stylist, but that’s the only interaction available.
- Shorter return window. You’ll only get three days to return the items you don’t want, while Trunk Club allows up to five.
- No assigned stylist. Unless you specifically request it, Stitch Fix will not give you the same stylist each time.
Trunk Club cons:
- Higher prices. Trunk Club shops brands available at Nordstrom, with prices starting at $50.
- Stylist discretion only. Unlike Stitch Fix, Trunk Club doesn’t combine data science with stylist judgment, so you’re reliant on the stylist’s interpretation of your personal preferences.
- Fewer sizing options. Not only does Trunk Club not offer a children’s box, but there’s also not a maternity option.
Why choose Stitch Fix
More budget-friendly items
Although this can certainly vary, Stitch Fix offers items priced as low as $25. Trunk Club sources from Nordstrom, which can be on the pricey side. You can set a budget preference with either service, but you likely will see more lower-priced items with Stitch Fix.
A wider range of sizes
For petite or pregnant women, Stitch Club is the best choice. Stitch Fix has maternity clothing for each trimester to help with the perfect fit. You’ll also have the option of Stitch Fix Kids, which lets younger family members participate in the fun.
Technology meets style
With Stitch Fix, you don’t just have a stylist looking at your preferences and using expertise to decide what you want. Algorithms also make recommendations, and over time, those algorithms learn your preferences based on what you keep and what you return.
Why choose Trunk Club
Free FedEx pickup
Once you’ve tried on the items and decided whether you want to keep any, you can easily return the items you don’t want. Simply box them up and schedule a free FedEx pickup using the link provided in the email.
Personalized stylist experience
You’ll be assigned a personal stylist who will curate your trunk for you. Over time, this stylist will learn your likes and dislikes. Best of all, you can direct message your stylist with any requests or feedback.
More items per box
Trunk Club offers 6-10 items per trunk. You can also see the items being shipped and edit them before they’re in the mail. This will boost the chances that you’ll receive items you want to keep in each shipment.
Whether you choose Stitch Fix or Trunk Club, you can’t go wrong. In the end, it’s a matter of personal preference. You can view the items for sale on Nordstrom’s website to get a feel for their fashion offerings. Then review the brands listed on Stitch Fix’s website and choose which of the two best suits your own personal style.