Your Facebook feed is probably peppered with ads for style boxes shipped directly to your home. Here's how it works with Dia&Co.
Imagine having a virtual friend picking out clothes just for you. She'll take into account your likes and dislikes, your various sizes, and your style goals. That's the idea behind online styling services. Companies like Dia&Co and Stitch Fix have become pretty mainstream.
You start by filling out a survey all about your clothing preferences. They cover everything from colors to avoid to what features you're comfortable showing off, and you can even type in additional notes. With Dia&Co you can pick from three different price tiers, so I went with mid-range for most items, from $50-$100 for things like dresses, jackets, and pants. You can get everything from clothes to accessories.
A few days later, a box arrives with all of your goodies. Here is how it went for me with Dia&Co, a plus-sized styling service. Everything arrived very nicely packed in a medium-sized box. I had a total of five items, a return envelope, and a folder of instructions.
Photo by Sarina Petrocelly
My stylist had chosen five things for me: a maxi dress, a blouse, a short-sleeved cardigan, black capri pants, and jeans. By all accounts, these were the types of items I asked for – conservative, work-appropriate, and in various patterns and solids.
Photo by Sarina Petrocelly
In my case, nothing quite worked. The dress and the top fit, but the top was a bit loud for my tastes. The dress has two really high slits, which I found odd. The cardigan was too big and too expensive for what it was, and both of the pants were just a tad snug. Overall, nothing earth-shattering, but I was somewhat disappointed. Here's where the experience gets more customized. You return what you don't want within five days, and you go online and rate each item. As you continue to work together, your stylist gets to know you better, and hopefully, the items work out in future boxes.
Because I returned everything in my first box, Dia&Co waived my $20 styling fee for the next box. I started out with a $50 gift certificate from my BFF so I haven't lost anything in the process. The cool thing is, you can also go in and choose specific items to appear in your next box for a shop-from-home experience.
Bottom line, an online styling service is great for people like me who hate to shop in person. Whether it's a lack of time or energy to schlep out to the stores, this is a good option that is somewhat catered to your tastes. The return process is easy – the clothes all fit into a plastic return envelope that you simply drop in a mailbox. You can get a box on your terms: monthly, every other month, or whenever you want one. Another bonus was that I found a new brand (London Times) that I really liked. All in all, this was a fun experience and I'm looking forward to seeing how my future boxes turn out.
For more information on getting started with your own stylist, visit the Dia&Co website or search for other online styling services. They're everywhere!
**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Dia&Co unless credited otherwise.
Do you use an online stylist? Any tips? Tell us about it in the comments!