BEHIND THE SCENES
The Elements of Style
Tap to learn how data helps Stitch Fix find the perfect style for you.
Stitch Fix - Personal Stylist
Clothing, shoes & accessories
Stitch Fix has a knack for finding the perfect clothes to suit your style and body type. Millions subscribe to the service, eager to see which five hand-selected items will be delivered to their door. How is Stitch Fix so confident each shipment will be a hit? By relying on a mix of technology and human instinct.
Before receiving your first order, you take an in-depth quiz to help the app zero in on your personal style, basic needs, and preferred brands, as well as practical details such as size, fit, and budget.
Taking the time to answer those questions thoughtfully is worth it. Your responses (all 85 of them) power Stitch Fix’s algorithm, which help its 3,500 stylists filter the service’s vast inventory to find only the clothes that suit you.
“I couldn’t imagine being a stylist without our data science team,” says Rachelle Gee, a styling team lead at Stitch Fix. “I’m able to quickly match a client’s style preferences without the burden of searching for the right size or price point”—a process that can be incredibly time-consuming.
Despite the magic of data science, Gee knows an algorithm won’t be taking her job anytime soon. She sees the relationship between stylist and computer as symbiotic. “The algorithm wouldn’t be as successful without stylists creating human connections and interpreting feedback like ‘I really love how these jeans fit on my hips.’”
Some of Gee’s clients have been with her for years. A young professional from Boston, for example, started working with her two years ago. “I’ve styled her through her wedding engagement, bridal shower, honeymoon, and a new job,” Gee says.
Because most of the communication happens online, stylists need more than chic fashion sense. Empathy, compassion, and excellent writing skills are also key, says Gee, who has a degree in psychology and child development.
New hires go through an intensive 12-week onboarding program. Ultimately all that training and data science exists to strengthen the connection between stylist and client.
“It’s such a joy to have a small window into our clients’ lives and to be their partner in personal style.”