FabFitFun Style Box Review

9 Nov

Okay guys, you know how I used to LOVE getting clothing subscription boxes? I tried Stitch Fix (you can read all the reviews here), as well as a bunch of other companies. Once I started with Trunk Club (you can read all the reviews here), I kind of let everyone else go because they were so awesome. BUT. Then I heard that FabFitFun was doing a slow launch of their FabFitFun Style box.

I absolutely love my regular quarterly FabFitFun box (here’s my last post with Winter spoilers) and they are usually amazing for any accessories that they include in those boxes. So, I put myself on the waiting list to try out their Style box. I figured, worst case scenario, I hate everything and still have something to blog about.

{By the way, they didn’t know I was a blogger. So it’s not like I got some special box or pushed through the waiting list faster.}

As for the nitty-gritty, its super similar to how Stitch Fix and Trunk Club start their stylist profiles. You fill out a survey with all your sizes and preferences, then you pay $20 for the box (which then can go towards your purchases) and they send you a number of items for you to try on in the comfort of your home. For FabFitFun Style, I got a follow up email asking if I’d like to send them photos of my favorite outfits so I sent them this and this and this. Once your box arrives, you get 3 days to try everything on and make your decisions. Unlike Trunk Club, there is no preview process… so you have to be patient and wait until your surprise box is delivered.

And OHMYGOSH did I have to be patient. I received an email that the box was shipped out on October 27 and would be delivered on November 5. Then, the tracking changed to have it being delivered on Monday, November 6. On Monday, it switched to say that it would be delivered to the post office – not me – on Monday. Sigh. It FINALLY arrived on Tuesday, November 7. I also received their ‘check out’ email on November 2, but no other communication.

I REALLY thought I’d love this box… but, well. It’s pretty obvious that they are in their initial phases of a roll-out. When I opened the box, everything was nicely wrapped in tissue paper with cute FabFitFun stickers. However, there was no note from the stylist or instructions on how to send back your returns. For the item breakdown, it was printed out on a piece of cardstock with barely any information:

It didn’t exactly give me any warm-and-fuzzies, if you know what I mean.

But what is MOST important is the clothes! Did they live up to the extremely high standard set by the FabFitFun quarterly boxes?

Uh… no.

Let’s check them out:

Item #1: Genetic Los Angeles Shya Mid Rise Super Skinny Jeans, size 32, $98

The first item in the box was a pair of blue skinny jeans from a brand called Genetic. You may notice I am not wearing the jeans… that is because they absolutely STUNK. The jeans gave off a super strong chemical smell and I couldn’t even stand to be around them, much less put them on my body. I did a quick google search and apparently this Amazon reviewer said the same thing about her pair. I’m kind of over skinny jeans (and already have a couple pairs I like), but if I had liked these I would have been annoyed that they are charging $98 when I did a super quick search and found them for $31.48 – $74.97 at other stores. Maybe they charge extra for the stomach-churning smell?

Item #2: Skies are Blue Tribal Knit Back Utility Jacket, 1X, $59

When I filled out all my sizes I let them know that I typically wear a large in tops, so I’m not sure why they sent me a 1X jacket. This jacket does have interesting details, but I was totally swimming in it. Also, I wore it for only a split second because it had absorbed the jean’s stink.

Item #3: Assorted Jewelry, $29

One of the things I was most excited about was to check out any jewelry or accessories included in the box. Like I said, FabFitFun does an amazing job on their selections in their main box. In fact, over the past couple years they have provided some of my most worn scarves and jewelry!

I had high hopes when I opened this jewelry box and was disappointed to see these two items that look like they were purchased at Claire’s. What’s extra weird is that the price is just $29 for “assorted jewelry” so what if I liked one item, but not the other? How would they charge me for it? I was considering keeping the necklace just so I didn’t waste my stylist fee, but after looking at it closer it literally looks like it would fall apart if I took it off the backing card. Such a disappointment!

Item #4: Skies are Blue Printed Chiffon Blouson Dress, Large, $64

It took me a while to try to think up something positive to say about this dress and all I came up with is, I typically like patterns. Not this one though. This dress is a total wreck. It is the kind of polyester that causes static the moment you touch it, and it has a scratchy off-the-shoulder neckline and it fits like a sack. I’m going to give this one a HARD pass.

Item #5: Cable & Gauge Keyhole Lycra Top, XL, $39

Once again, we are all over the place with sizing… this one is an XL. This top is okay. I mean, it’s basically the only thing in the box that I could see myself wearing. It was too big though, through both the sleeves and the body…since they sent the wrong size. I’m also not a fan of the random keyhole. It also smelled really bad from hanging out with those poisonous jeans. I was *almost* considering buying this so that I wouldn’t be throwing my $20 stylist fee away, but I refuse to buy something just because it’s “okay”.

Now, to talk about returning the box. It was kind of a pain the butt. There was no information in the box about the length of time to keep the clothes or how to return them; however, there was a FedEx envelope. On an email they sent over, they instructed me to “keep what you love and use the enclosed prepaid envelope to return. Drop off at either a FedEx or USPS!” The problem is that the post office doesn’t take FedEx envelopes, so I had to hunt down a FedEx box. There are literally none by my home, but luckily I was working in Rockville this week and found one by my work. It would have been SO MUCH easier if they had just used a USPS prepaid envelope (like Stitch Fix) or a UPS box that could be picked up from my house for free (like Trunk Club).

Final Thoughts:
I was so excited to check out this new box, based on how happy I am with FabFitFun’s other products. However, it was a total bomb. I understand that stylists need time to get to know you, so I could have let the ugly dress and ho-hum shirt slide. The fact that someone packaged this up knowing full well that the jeans smelled like chemical death is ridiculous. Also, the jewelry was nowhere near the quality that they offer in the FabFitFun boxes. With everything being a different size, it really felt like they just grabbed whether was close and stuck it in a box for me.

Tips for the FabFitFun Style Team:
I get it, launching a new brand extension is difficult. Luckily you haven’t done a full launch with advertising yet. Here are some tips on how to improve:

  • Make sure your clothes don’t stink when you pack them up. This is a HUGE deal-breaker.
  • Include a personalized note from the stylist. Maybe put in some information about WHY they chose a particular item for me, so that I feel like you actually reviewed my file. Did you even look at the photos I sent over?
  • Invest in a better printer and if there is an ‘image not available’ take a photo of the item.
  • If you are including jewelry, give prices for each piece. It shouldn’t be an ‘all or nothing’ purchase.
  • Include instructions on how to return the items. Sure, there was a return bag (with half the return address rubbed off… get a better printer), but there was no information saying how long I have to review the items. Also, it really sucked to have to go and hunt down a FedEx box to get the return out within 3 days.
  • It’s okay if you are trying to make a business model like Stitch Fix, but keep in mind what makes your fans love your brand. If FabFitFun is known for awesome jewelry and accessories, STEP UP YOUR GAME and include some awesome jewelry and accessories in the box!

Okay, that’s all the free marketing advice I’m giving out for the day. I have a bunch of other suggestions, but momma doesn’t give it all away for free (*cough* consulting fee *cough*). I knew it was a gamble going into it and this gamble lost me $20. I think I’ll stick with my Trunk Club stylist. SHE really gets me. And the clothes never stink…

What do you all think… would you have been as upset about the stinky jeans as I was? I can still kind of taste the smell when I think about it… BLEGH! If you’ve also tried the FabFitFun Style Box, I’d love to know your thoughts… maybe mine was just a fluke?

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