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I Tried Three Different Online Styling Services And This Is What Happened

I wanted my style to be summed up by saying, "She looks fly as hell."

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I'm Lara, and I hate shopping. It's not that I hate getting new clothes — um, I love that — it's that I get very impatient. I end up picking out things that I would NEVER actually wear and convince myself that I would.

Instagram: @laraeparker

But like anyone who has access to Pinterest, I have Fashion Goals™. The problem is that my impatience and overall lack of knowledge leaves me buying 100% of my clothes from Forever 21 or H&M...and buying a lot of weird rompers that I don't know how to wear just because they were on sale.

(For the record, I have YET to wear this romper. But there's still time.)

My style can probably be summed up best by saying, "Sometimes she thinks Forever 21 is too expensive." And for once, I wanted it to be summed up by saying, "She looks fly as fuck."

So in an effort to stop wearing the same thing over and over and over again, I decided to try out some online styling services to become the woman my 13-year-old self always dreamed of.

The rules were simple:

# I would subscribe to three different online styling services and do exactly as they said to see which one I liked best.

# I would not tell them that I was writing about the service so that I would get the same experience as seemingly anyone.

# I would do everything they asked of me.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

Stitch Fix costs $20 to get a box, and the stylist chooses said box based completely on your online profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn(?), and Pinterest) and 100 words or less of what you choose to tell them. In the 100 words I didn't know what to say so I basically said I was looking to branch out and that I hate tight clothes around my abdomen because I have abdominal pain daily. I never actually met with a stylist, which I didn't mind at first because, like 99% of the population, I hate talking on the phone. Also, for the record, I don't use Pinterest very often. This was probably my first mistake.

When my box arrived, I was excited. As I opened it and pulled out each piece, I got considerably less excited. Was this MY box? Had they sent me the right one? Was this actually supposed to be shipped to my mother? They sent me two shirts I would most likely never wear anywhere other than to bed, a pair of jeans that were comfy but looked awful on my body in my opinion, some shoes (the orange ones) that would be cute on anyone but me, and a dress which I would sleep in because it was comfy but would not want to wear out because...burlap sack. I'm not sure what she found out by looking online, or if she ever actually did, but apparently my online persona is similar to my mother's. For the record, my mom has a very awesome style. It's just not me. Sorry, mom. Lesson learned. Stitch Fix gets points because it's so easy to use, but loses points everywhere else.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

OK, let's get this out of the way — Trunk Club is amazing. I didn't know what to expect because all I knew about Trunk Club was that it started out as a service exclusively for men and you can only get clothes through Nordstrom. But this turned out to be one of the best shopping experiences and I didn't even have to leave my house. It started out by a simple sign-up process where I answered several questions about my style and what I was looking for. Already it was more detailed than Stitch Fix. Then I actually got matched up with a stylist and we were able to chat in real time.

After chatting for a bit, we set up a phone call. And after the phone call she put together my "trunk" and sent me pages of clothing, shoes, and accessories. From there, I could choose which pieces I wanted her to include in my trunk. I had all the power and it was SCARY AND AMAZING. When I finally got my trunk I was AMAZED at how much stuff was inside. I had two more outfits I didn't even include in this. I pretty much wanted to live in the black Kendall and Kylie cutout dress, and wanted to cry about how much I loved the Nike sneakers. It was so hard to not want to buy everything, but after careful evaluation I knew I didn't need it all. Overall it was totally my style, and I was impressed. And when it was all said and done? They came and picked up the clothes I didn't want to keep for free. Life really is beautiful sometimes, you guys.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

OK, let me start by saying I really wanted to like Tog + Porter. It has all the ingredients for a successful styling service! You video chat with a stylist, they pick out clothes for you online, they send them to you, and then they meet with you on video chat again and help you put together the outfits. It sounds great, doesn't it? Well, it wasn't so great. Not only was this service $50 no matter what, it costs an extra $25 to ship the package to you. Not only that, but if I didn't meet face to face with her again to "style" the three shirts, jumpsuit, and leggings I got, I would be charged an extra $50.

It was the most expensive one and my least favorite. I have to be honest and blame myself a little bit for the overall experience, because I don't think I gave the stylist enough direction. But I also had no idea what direction to take her in. I'm not a huge fan of collared shirts, and I didn't say that, but I also didn't expect to receive two of them. I didn't know what I was doing going into this, and I was disappointed with what I received. The pleather pants were something I would never wear and I didn't like any of the shirts I received (a separate collared one not pictured). The romper was OK; I liked it, but it's not something I could justify spending over $50 on. All in all, I wouldn't try this service again. I would rather spend six hours straight in a crowded Forever 21. OK, that's a lie. But almost. At the end of the day, the clothes weren't that bad, but they definitely weren't me.

Will I stop shopping at Forever 21? Hell no. Will I use any of these services in the future? Yes. I've already scheduled my next Trunk Club. It's super fun to let someone shop for you and send you clothes. Who doesn't like receiving clothes in the mail? And the best part is that you don't have to deal with shitty dressing room mirrors — you can use your own.

At the end of the day, I know my clothes don't determine who I am. But they definitely help me express myself. And now instead of saying, "She shops at Forever 21," hopefully people will start saying, "Someone take a picture of that girl and put it on Pinterest."

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