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Scoring 5 personal shopping services on finding the best work clothes

September 28, 2015, 4:40 PM UTC
Kacy Burdette, Fortune

Today’s working women arguably have more items on their to-do lists—and less time to accomplish those tasks—than ever before. So, it’s no surprise that a host of online services have sprung up to help cross one of those items off the list: shopping for clothes.

But while that solves one problem, it raises a new one: Which company should you choose? As a young professional still building my office wardrobe, I decided to put five of the most popular online styling services to the test, all with a single goal: finding stylish, affordable workwear. What follows is my final assessment of the five stylists I tried. To read each individual review, click here.


When it comes to shopping for work clothes, MM.LaFleur aced the test. Of all the services I tried, it offered the best combination of quality, ease-of-use and focus on office-friendly attire.

Summary: An online and brick-and-mortar store that allows you to try out their products via a “Bento Box” that’s mailed to you. The store specializes in office attire of varying levels of formality.

Cost: Free for the first Bento; $25 for each subsequent box, which gets subtracted from any purchase you end up making.


  • Free shipping and returns
  • High-quality clothing specifically made for office settings
  • Ability to both be surprised with a Bento, or buy exactly what you want from the store


  • Only one brand to choose from
  • Selection is limited and changes with the seasons

Best for: Those who work in corporate settings who like the MM aethetic and are looking to add to their work wardrobe

Clothing courtesy of MM.LaFleurKacy Burdette, Fortune

That said, the each of the four other services I tested had its own unique strengths and could be a perfect match for a shopper with slightly different needs. Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of our runners-up:

Stitch Fix

Summary: A subscription service that regularly sends you clothing based on your stated preferences. Keep the items you like, send back the ones you don’t.

Cost: A $20 styling fee per shipment that gets put toward any items you keep.


  • Free shipping and returns
  • Easy returns; pre-paid return label
  • Good for all different budgets


  • Little to no control over the items you receive
  • Limited personalization; can’t select only officewear
  • No one-to-one interaction with a personal stylist

Best for: Those crunched from time and looking to update their overall wardrobe rather fill a particular hole.

Clothing courtesy of Stitch FixKacy Burdette, Fortune
Kacy Burdette, Fortune

Keaton Row

Summary: A service that pairs you up with a freelance personal stylist. You and your stylist review your needs and tastes via email. You receive item suggestions online and you buy what you want directly through Keaton Row’s retail partners.

Cost: Free if you make at least one purchase within 90 days.


  • Free shipping and returns through retail partners Shopbop, Saks, and Les Nouvelles
  • Choose exactly what you want to buy
  • Personal attention and style ideas from a professional stylist


  • No low-budget option (tops range from $75 to $249 at the minimum)
  • Experience depends almost entirely on your stylist

Best for: Those with an ample shopping budget who are looking for professional advice on how to add to their wardrobe.

Clothing courtesy of Keaton RowKacy Burdette, Fortune


Summary: A startup that uses a machine learning algorithm to suggest weekly outfits based on your stated preferences. Buy what you like from Stylit’s retail partners.

Cost: Free to use; may have to pay for shipping and returns


  • Free to use
  • Access to 20,000 brands and 3.5 million items
  • Helpful for finding bargains and sales


  • May have to pay for shipping and returns depending on the retailer
  • No way to give detailed feedback yet
  • No way to specify the kinds of outfits you want to see

Best for: Those who enjoy hunting for a good deal, but who aren’t trying to fill a particular need.

Clothing courtesy of StylitMarina Zarya, Time Inc

Tog and Porter

Summary: A stylist-matching service that pairs you with a personal stylist who sends you shipments of clothing that he or she chooses for you. The two of you talk via video chat, and work together over the longterm to help you hone in on your personal style.

Cost: $50 styling fee and $25 shipping and handling per shipment.


  • Lots of personal, one-on-one attention
  • Stylist does the shopping for you; no need to choose what you want to buy
  • Can request office wear specifically


  • A $75 fee for the first two shipments; $25 for each subsequent shipment
  • No low-budget option ($250 is the minimum price per shipment)
  • Experience depends almost entirely on your stylist

Best for: Those who want a relationship with a professional stylist, and who plan on working with a stylist over a long period of time.

Clothing courtesy of Tog and PorterMarina Zarya, Time Inc

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