Obligatory disclaimer: This is a rant. Nothing disclosed herein has not already been addressed with the company that I have written this review about.
This is my first foray into personal stylist subscription box and going out the gate color me not impressed, at least with my stylist. Their Customer Service department is another story altogether.
By way of instruction, Dia & Co. is a Plus-size clothing subscription service. They charge $20 per box styling fee, which is credits towards whatever you purchase, assuming that you like what they send you. If you love everything, they credit the styling fee and give you a 20% discount on the purchase of the full box. You can get a box monthly, quarterly or whenever you’re looking for something new. You answer a series of questions like do you like type of tops, bottoms, dresses, outwear, accessories and what type do you like; what body parts do you like and what do you want to hide; colors to avoid; styles you like (vintage, preppie, urban, etc.); companies you like and the like and price range that you’re comfortable paying per garment, not per outfit, per individual garment piece. The cynic in me looks at the styling fee as covering the cost of shipping to and fro under a different and more tolerable name.
In my case, it was purely migraine pain medication fueled curiosity: it sounded like fun and I spend so much of my sewing time not in the 21st century, I decided why not see what the rest of the world is wearing when I found the link in my Pinterest recommendations. I spent the better part of Saturday evening binge-watching almost every “Review” unboxing video on YouTube. Based on what I saw, knew before my box arrived that I was going to be sending everything back. The target audience was Millennials, which I am so not (tail end of the Baby Boomers, thank you very much), and the clothes were way out of my price range — Not going to pay night unto $50 for an unlined skirt or top unless it has some seriously awesome detailing.
The box arrived and to quote Lorelai Gilmore of the Gilmore Girls “Oy with the poodles already!” I have never seen such a mismatch. I dutifully filled out my profile and answered by style questions, which in retrospect was not as thorough as it now is, but really? Did my stylist even look at my profile and if she did, did make any notes?
First, the clothing was all too small or way too short, but definitely way, way too young for this increasingly conservative middle-aged woman. I clicked all the appropriate boxes to describe my style, I really did, but nowhere could be found anything remotely looking preppie, or classic, or romantic, or retro (meaning 1950-1960, not 1970s or ’80s [shudder]. What I got was modern, urban and 1970s disco-equese. So let’s break down the list of the five items I received in my box.
- A Multicolor Skirt — I specifically said no yellows, oranges and gold and I got a georgette mini-skirt in a 1980s vertical stripe with those very colors I said to avoid. It also had 2-1/2 inch wide black exposed elastic waistband. A personal dislike second only to exposed zippers.
- A Wrap Dress — There was a cobalt and kelly and white faux wrap dress that even had it fit, would have had way too much northern exposure with the girls busting out all over.
- Top #1 — There was the black asymmetrical hem, sheer georgette with a chiffon top. In truth, there was probably less wrong with this top overall, but who decided it would be a good idea to give the overweight, middle age woman a top that she would have to wear something underneath it? And the name of the top was “meadow”, which conjures up something green with a small lavender floral print, not a little black blouse.
- The LBD — I suppose that if I were 12 or 13 years old, this could have passed for a dress, but it would have been a tunic on me and I am not that tall. It was a basic black sleeveless shift with a large, cut-out black lace appliqué…on the back so it would be impossible to wear a bra without to showing. This look always makes me think, “hey, you’ve got your top on backward!” It’s all I can do not to take pity of the poor soul wearing it and say something. Something else about this dress-tunic-thing: It felt like this was something that I had seen far too often and on too many people to be done with the look.
- Top #2 — I am not sure if I can adequately describe the horror that this shirt was. The overall silhouette was a basic shell with sleeves; normal, classic design and then it fell off the rails. The card said it was gray, but it was taupe, at least the front was. It too was fashionable in georgette and had a brown polka dot cotton patch pocket over the left boob. The sleeves were in the same color. The back was white, a jersey I think and had a 1-1/2 inch wide strip running down the center back. The whole thing looked like it was made from leftover fabric scraps from past projects in an attempt pad the designer’s bottom line.
I said I like Classics, yet I saw none.
I said I like “preppie”, yet where were my polo shirts, pencil skirts, my pinstripes/dots/ginghams?
I mentioned previously, I said Vintage meaning 1950-1960, not 1970s or ’80s yet I got clothes made in the same fabrics we sold at Cloth World and House of Fabrics when I worked for them in the 1980s. (I had a black and purple version of this very stripe in a Jonathan Martin dress in the late 1980s.)
I said I like Bohemian and Romantic, yet where was the paisley, the small floral prints, and fine lace or even fringe?
Where was the cute little clutch style handbag or scarves (love scarves), where was the cute black with white polka dots and white collar or the houndstooth cape or the floral print tops that I saw on YouTube? [sigh]
Now, here is why I was impressed with their Customer Service department. I had problems creating an account and they helped me out using a live chat feature on their website. When I received my box, I asked about their target market because the box was too young for my tastes which then opened up a conversation on the whole experience and her giving me a $20 credit on the next box and me going back and adding more details about my personal and giving them a second chance.
Here are a few excerpts from our chat conversation:
She patiently explained that, “We have stylish pieces for women of all ages, but with first boxes it can be really difficult to grasp your personal style solely based on your style and fit preferences. The feedback you can provide will really help us make smarter selections for your next box!” and then she added, “The first box is always the trickiest, so with the help of your feedback on the items, we can definitely make sure to make selections that match your specific style!”
We’ll see if they get it right in September. Stay Tuned.