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Tim Foolery

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Stitch Fix Review – December’s Men’s Box

It’s that time again, time for a Stitch Fix Review.  I received my December box this weekend.  My excitement level wasn’t too high, considering I returned EVERYTHING from November.  I was hoping my response and reviews of that fix would guide my stylist in a better direction. As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office transitioned to a fully casual environment a few months ago and after years of building up a business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants are mostly from Banana Republic.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on for a few months now, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes herehere and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box

Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Bixby Nomad – Straight Fit 5 Pocket Pant – $68
    • Liked the style, the fit and the color. Keep
  • Alesbury – Denali Two Pocket Doublecloth Workshirt – $60
    • This was interesting.  Didn’t LOVE it, but I also don’t have anything like this. Undecided
  • Flag and Anthem – Schenectady Dobby Shirt – $49.50
    • Loved the pattern and the fit was almost perfect.  Sleeves were a a perfect fit, but I know they will shrink a bit after the first wash. Keep
  • 01Algo – Heathered Knit Blazer -$128
    • A deconstructed blazer with good weight that actually fits?  Keep
  • Alesbury – Keaton Thermal Henley Hoodie  – $49.00
    • This hoodie looks like long underwear and fits like a glove, perfect for layering.  Keep
Men's Stitch Fix Box

The contents of my December Stitch Fix Box

Initial Impressions

I tore into this box and was pretty impressed.  The burnt orange pants really sang to me.  I ripped them out of the box and tried them on immediately and they were perfect!  The Hoodie looked like something I’d never buy on my own, but thought it was a great layering item for a cold Chicago winter.  When I saw the blazer, I thought it was going to be another blazer from these guys that just fit poorly or fit poorly and was expensive, not at all in this case.

The Decision

This month, I decided to KEEP everything. While I wasn’t COMPLETELY sold on one shirt, I did dig it well enough to keep.  Plus keeping all five items gives you an additional 25% off the items. Basically, if I bought all the items, it was cheaper than buying four of the items.  Kooky, I know.

My results aren’t all that consistent with StichFix, but I’m still digging this whole process.  I was offered free styling for a year for $49.  Without this offer, each month, you must pay $20 styling fee, even if you return everything.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?

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Stitch Fix Review – November’s Men’s Box

It’s that time again, time for a Stitch Fix Review.  I received my November box this week and I was excited to see what new items may enter my wardrobe.  As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office recently transitioned to a fully casual environment (perish the thought) and after years of building up a business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants usually come from Banana Republic, but sometimes I’ll get bespoke pants too.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on for a few months now, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes here and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box

Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Fairlane – Ashley Suprima Cotton Dress Shirt – $74
    • Liked the style. Sleeves were too long. Return
  • Fairlane – 24/7 Shirt – $68
    • Again, liked the style, sleeves were perfect, but it was just too form fitting. Return
  • Save the Duck – Giga Hooded Packable Jacket – $148
    • A down alternative puffy coat that actually fit well, and seemed to be a nice late fall jacket. I just bought an equivalent jacket.  Return
  • Ralph Lauren – Washable Merino Wool V-Neck Sweater – $98.50
    • Standard Merino Sweater.  Fit nicely, but the color wasn’t doing it for me. Return
  • Fairlane – Refined Wool Straight Fit Chino – $98.00
    • The lower legs had such a flare, I felt like an extra from a 70s film. Otherwise the fit was perfect.  The fabric wasn’t as fine (it felt very polyester like to me). Return

Initial Impressions

As I opened the paper wrapping, I was excited. The shirts were my style and it’s nice to have a pair of pants that EVERYONE else doesn’t have.  Do you shop at Banana and find that you have the same outfit as your colleagues?  Unfortunately, the fit just wasn’t right on most of these clothes.  If I hadn’t just purchased a new light weight jacket, I’d have kept this one. Timing is everything.

Men's Stitch Fix Box

POW! My fixes for November…hmmmm

The Decision

This month, I decided to return everything.  It’s a fine line between fit and style and I don’t want to compromise on either.  You shouldn’t have to.  That’s the beauty of Stitch Fix, if you don’t like the stuff, you just toss all the clothes into the USPS bag (that already has postage) and give it to your mail carrier. Easy Breezy.  You only bay the $20 styling charge (and there is a way around that too – I’ll tell you the secret next week).

While I didn’t have the greatest results this month, I’m still happy with the service and we’ll see what comes up in December.  If December turns out to be like November, I’ll probably put the service on hold until spring.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?

Jacket Required

Last Friday, I visited a restaurant here in Chicago where gentlemen are required to wear jackets in the dining room.  To my knowledge this has been the first time I’ve been to a restaurant with this requirement.  I often wear a jacket in general, but I don’t remember seeing this requirement on a reservation that I’ve made.

This restaurant, Les Nomades, even had a sign prominently displayed outside reminding diners of this rule.  The coat check was immediately at the entrance and this coat check was a little different. Not only were they taking coats and bags, but you could check out a jacket, it you failed to realize this requirement.  I came prepared.

I did a little research and found an article from 2014 that lists the restaurants that still require a jacket for men in the dining room, but I found how quickly that list isn’t accurate any more.  The list includes 5 restaurants in Chicago that require jackets, but now only 2 of those still require jackets: Les Nomades and Tru.  While Spiaggia, Alinea (now closed for extensive renos, but scheduled to open again in Spring 2016) and Everest have all relaxed their dress code.

I really don’t like how America is getting so casual. You see more people at the grocery store or on a plane wearing yoga pants than the number who actually practice yoga.  I understand the need for being comfortable, but this is just extreme.  We look like slobs.  I don’t necessarily like the idea of a required dress code for restaurants, events (theater for example) or flights, but we need to step up our wardrobe.

I will make this pledge that I will never wear sweatpants, yoga pants or pajamas in public.  I will also wear a jacket more often than not on a flight and I will never wear a t-shirt of a polo to the symphony, theater or opera. These are special events and we need to treat ourselves and other with respect and dressing the part is a great foundation.  I don’t think one needs to be in a suit all the time, but we need to shed the idea of “being comfortable” means wearing sweats or tees.  When you buys clothes, buy items that fit you and they will be comfortable.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to look nice either.

Am I nuts? Am I out of touch with the real world?  Am I being elitist?  What am I not understanding here?