If you’re ready to add to your wardrobe, a fashion subscription box can be an efficient, low-pressure way to try new styles and find the perfect fit. These boxes are designed to let you try on lots of clothes without having to buy them, which makes it easier to experiment with your style even while shopping online.
Stitch Fix specializes in personal styling, while Frank and Oak caters to those looking for sustainable clothing options. The stylists at Stitch Fix are ready to help you try out new clothes and styles, and the service can really change your personal style. Frank and Oak focuses more , but you can count on organic cotton and recycled fibers, along with clever clothing design.
Both of these are subscription boxes, but they’re very different in how they work. Stitch Fix selects a stylist for you, and that stylist chooses clothes for you, designed to fit into your state style goals.
Frank and Oak doesn’t have as much of a styling component, however, since they have a limited number of styles. They focus on showing you their seasonal selection, and let you make the choices from there.
Frank and Oak includes a short style and sizing quiz, so they can be sure to send the right sizes. After you finish the survey, they take a few days to generate some customized suggestions for your box. You’ll also get a few dozen other options to look at, in case you don’t like their selections.
Once you approve up to 5 items for your box, you can expect it in the mail. Here’s where Frank and Oak differs from other subscription boxes: they charge you for everything in your box up-front. Other boxes wait to charge you until after you decide what to keep, so this is an unusual approach. A box of 5 items might add up to around $300, which is a significant charge if you’re not expecting it.
When the box gets to you, you can try the clothes on and make your choices about what to keep. You’ll need to print your own return shipping label, but Frank and Oak pays for the return. They also ask that you return items in the same box or bag that they sent to you. It takes about 15 business days to get a refund for your returns.
The Stitch Fix style quiz asks about your favorite cut of jeans, favorite colors, lifestyle and fashion sense. After you complete your style quiz, Stitch Fix will assign a stylist to you and have them assemble a box of 5 items that suit your style and come in your size.
You can’t preview your SF box until after it ships, but you can take a look at the contents once it does.
Once you get your box, you have 5 business days to try on clothes and decide what to keep. You can check out online to pay for the things you do want to keep. Everything else goes into the prepaid shipping envelope, and you can either drop it off at the post office or schedule a pickup from your home.
- Sustainable practices
- Cool design details
- Classic pieces
Frank and Oak has a lot of exciting ideas on how to make their business increasingly sustainable. They already use organic cotton, recycled polyester, wool and other fibers in nearly all of their clothes.
Each item is meticulously designed. The blazer I tried on had more than 5 pockets, along with microfiber lining that helps with cleaning glass, for smudge-free phones and glasses. Their quilted bomber jacket is reversible, water repellant and has 5 roomy pockets.
The items they have really are classic styles that can go with lots of outfits. Even if you prefer bolder looks, you’re likely to find some useful items here.
- Returns are a bit of a hassle
- Limited selection
Returns are free, but that’s the only convenience you’ll find here. You need to print your own label and reuse the same packaging they sent to you. My own refund was a little delayed due to COVID-related shipping woes, but a quick email to customer service sorted out the problem.
Frank and Oak’s mission is to provide long-lasting clothes, so you don’t have to keep buying more. However, some customers will be turned off by the lack of selection. They only have a few cuts of jeans, t-shirts, and blouses, and only one style of outerwear jacket.
The main pros:
- Lots of brands
- Effortless returns
- 25% off if you buy the entire box
Stitch Fix is a great service to try if you want to shop around. The company has access to more than 1000 brands to use when they fill your box. They use this huge stock of clothes to look for clothes that fit your specific style and sizing needs.
SF includes a prepaid shipping envelope with each order, so all you need to do is put the package in the mail.
Stitch Fix boxes tend to be well-coordinated, so it’s easy to make outfits out of what they send. If you end up liking those outfits, you can buy the whole box and save 25% on everything.
- So-so styling
- Inconsistent clothing quality
Personally, I didn’t love the way my box was styled. Other review I’ve seen have mentioned similar complaints: preferences were ignored,
Another complaint is that some of the items are poor quality, with thin fabric or messy stitching. These items tend to be the cheaper ones, and they’re obviously not made to last. These fast fashion items
Both of these subscription services charge a styling fee. Frank and Oak’s fee is $25, but they often have discounts or waive the fee for new users. Stitch Fix charges a $20 fee for each box. Fortunately, both of these styling fees are credited toward anything you decide to buy.
Beyond the styling fee, the cost depends on what you end up buying from your box.
Frank and Oak uses sustainable factories, materials, and techniques to create their clothing, so the prices are going to be higher. The range is from around $10 for accessories to $200 for shoes. Items like tops and bottoms are between $60 and 80, though.
That being said, they seem to have end-of-season sales and other discount opportunities pretty often. Right now, during the transitional season, most of the clothes in their shop are on sale.
Stitch Fix’s website lists their price range as from $25 to $500. The $25 items are things like small accessories and t-shirts, while the $500 items are likely to be leather jackets, coats, and shoes.
When you first sign up, you can indicate the budget you’re working with. Budget tiers range from “As cheap as possible” to $200+. The company’s stylists generally do a good job of sticking to your stated budget, so you don’t have to worry about getting items outside your price range. If you keep all 5 items in your box, you automatically get 25% off the entire purchase.
Frank and Oak is first and foremost a clothing company, so the clothes you’ll get through their Style Plan are all from their brand. They have a sleek, simple style that blends in well with pretty much any wardrobe.
Stitch Fix is a personal styling service, and the company has access to more than a thousand brands. There’s definitely more style variation here, since they’re not limited to one particular brand’s artistic vision. SF also has a few of its own clothing lines to send out in boxes.
It can be hard to find clothes that aren’t made in trendy cuts or with embellishments, but that’s one of this brand’s strengths.
At Frank and Oak, you’ll find lots of simple, minimalist styles. Nothing has much embellishment, aside from the occasional button or quilting. The brand is focused on delivering quality basics that fit into any closet. If you’re especially interested in a minimalist look, you’ll like the brand even more.
Their styling process gives you a selection of a few dozen seasonal items, and from those you can choose up to 5 items to receive. You can request specific items in your next Style Plan box from their online store.
Stitch Fix carries more than 1,000 brands, which means the company is prepared to send you a selection that’s closely catered to your personal style. They have all kinds of brands, but their selection skews toward trendy, contemporary items. A lot of their items have trendy cuts and
The best option between these two really depends on what you’re looking for, since they’re so different.
Frank and Oak’s Style Plan is best as a one-time service, if you want a few new pieces and to add more sustainable pieces to your wardrobe. The company doesn’t do much in terms of styling, except selecting pieces in your size. One box is all it takes to get a good idea of their selection, and what you want out of it. You can choose up to 5 items to try on.
Stitch Fix is more affordable over a long period of time, and offers more variety for refreshing your wardrobe. Since there’s more variety and more personal styling, you’ll have more luck developing your sense of style and trying new trends. If you’re looking to explore your personal style, I recommend Stitch Fix over Frank and Oak.