I mentioned previously, that I had been first introduced to the new Box subscription trend from a post on Refinery 29 in April. After comparing both Tog + Porter and Stitch Fix, I had decided to go with Tog + Porter because I really liked some of the items I saw on other peoples blogs, and you could set your price point for that one. Additionally, the reviews I read of the service just raved about how awesome it was. (I suspect some of these people may have been getting incentives or free items.)
Let me start at the beginning with box #1. I didn’t take pictures at the time, but have a lot to say about the whole experience. Back in May, I signed up through their website and answered surprisingly few questions about my measurements, sizes I typically wore, and what I was looking for. They then make you set up a Skype call with one of their 3 stylists before they’ll send you your first box, so I set that up for the first week of May. For me, the call was a little awkward and incredibly short. I expected her to ask me more questions but it was very brief and felt like she was rushing to get off the call with me. At the time I chalked it up to her possibly having another appointment she needed to get to. The things we did cover were the fact that she should avoid picking bottoms for me because of my hard to fit pear shape, and I was looking for neutral toned casual clothing, and some cute patterned blouses. Before we hung up she told me I could expect to receive my first box within 2-3 weeks. Fast forward to 4 weeks later, and it finally arrived. I had been so anxiously awaiting my first box and don’t know why it took so long but I was excited nevertheless.
Then I opened the box. Inside were items that showed she didn’t necessarily listen to my requests, since she sent some pretty bright stuff when I had asked for neutral colors. Sadly, only ONE of the items even fit. The rest of it was way too small and extremely fitted up top which does not work for pear shapes. I had listed my measurements accurately and given the sizes I wear at the stores I typically shop at like Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic (and made a note of this on my profile). I was not familiar with the brands they send, and apparently they ran much smaller. Overall I was left feeling fat and sad that nothing fit except one solid colored rose silk blouse that I ended up keeping.
Before I could send anything back, I needed to schedule another Skype call to go over what I liked and didn’t like. The stylist ended up calling me from her car 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment which was fine since I happened to be around. I then shared my feedback with her about sizes, and she was surprisingly terse about it, suggesting that I had provided the wrong size in my information, telling me that “those” stores have vanity sizing that is way off. (Even though I declared that’s what I was referring to in my profile.) Then when I told her the belt she sent was actually too big to wear around my waist, she seemed disgusted and asked me how I tried to wear it, “did you actually try to close it?” No, I have no idea how to work these complex contraptions, how did I get out of bed today?? So I had to get up and physically prove to her on the monitor, that once the belt had been properly fastened around my waist, there was about 10 inches of excess room. She told me she didn’t think they made belts any smaller than that, and it was an impossible ask. (Well, I found one at Anthropologie a week later so it wasn’t that hard.) There was also a dress that was so skin tight I couldn’t fit it over my hips (did I mention I’m a pear shape??) and she seemed annoyed when I told her that as well. In our discussion and in my profile, I made it very clear that I couldn’t wear short skirts or dresses to work, and needed them to be close to knee length so I tried to tell her that again when she asked me if I actually put it on. Yes, I did, and it was too short and didn’t fit around my hips. In all, I think the awkward call lasted a whole of 5 minutes before she told me she’d send the next box soon after I returned everything, and this time we’d go with a size medium in tops. I again asked her to focus on neutral colored casual clothing since that’s what I’d like to wear the majority of the time.
I had read so many reviews ahead of time about Tog + Porter, and many had mentioned that it felt like “chatting with a new girlfriend”. Well for me, it felt more like being dressed down from one of the put together girls from middle school. (No pun intended.) I just felt rather deflated and sad about the whole ordeal.
Since I did like some of the clothes she picked that were just too small, I decided to try it for a second time and hoped that my bad experience was just a one off. I told her to go ahead and put my order in for the next one during our last call, which was the last week of May. Then one month passed. No box, so I decided to contact her to see what was going on. For this exchange, she had no explanation and just asked me to be patient and she’d be in touch when it was on it’s way. Two more weeks, no box. I contacted her again, and she said they were moving the main office and to be patient because she’d send it as soon as she could. Two MORE weeks, and it was now officially 8 weeks after the last Skype call, and no box. We had talked about summer clothes during our last chat, and I realized that almost the entire season had passed already with very few weeks left of warm weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Feeling resigned, I finally contacted her a last time and told her that if she thought she could get the box to me in the next few days then we could go ahead, otherwise the investment in summer clothes wasn’t going to be worth it and I wanted to cancel my order. Within a few hours, I got an email back from her apologizing and telling me that she contacted the main office and the box would be shipped that night and on my doorstep the next day. (A Saturday.) The main office then sent me an email apologizing for the delay, because when they switched offices my order fell through the cracks. (Even though I emailed twice to inquire about the status? So much for the squeaky wheel.) They offered me a $25 credit for the delay, which was nice but didn’t really make up for it.
So Saturday arrives, as does my second box. It’s the standard medium flat rate box from the post office, and weighs a ton so I can tell they crammed a bunch of stuff in there. (12 items to be exact.) I open it and it’s just wrapped in their chevron patterned tissue paper, with no personalized note or anything, just the receipt and return label for what I don’t want to keep.
I’m still hopeful at this point so I eagerly pull out the contents and lay them out. The colors are nice, but not exactly “neutral”. I like the yellow and orange.
Here are all of the items one by one.
At first glance, I could already tell that some of these things would not work, but I was committed to trying everything on regardless. What follows are photos of me trying everything on, even the embarrassing and very unflattering ones. (I can’t believe I’m making some of these public.)
The things I decided to keep
The yellow skirt was a lovely color and the fit was okay for my shape. It was a little shorter than I’d like and I’m not sure if I could really wear it to work and feel comfortable, but maybe I’ll give it a try.
I also liked the pattern of this sleeveless top and think it will look cute under jackets and cardigans. By itself it sort of looks like a pregnancy top. At least the pattern is nice and the colors are neutral.
I probably wouldn’t have picked this black and cream top myself because it’s pretty pricey for a simple top and I usually don’t care for tunics, but this one was really flattering on and made me look skinny. (It was also a size small and I probably could have used a medium as I had asked for before. I could move my arms just barely enough to wear it and sit at a computer.)
And last, I decided to keep the necklace. It was pretty simple and I liked the gold and silver accents. So out of 12 pieces I decided to keep 4. Now to the bad and the ugly.
What didn’t work
The orange maxi had to be one of the worst most unflattering items. In addition to a really unflattering fit, the back was entirely strappy and made me look like a piece of beef all tied up for the oven. My bra showed right through the mesh of straps. I think it was tied with the cropped denim for least flattering, but here is a lovely picture of what it looked like in silhouette. I look horribly frumpy and bumpy. Shudder…
Tied for first place of the worst fitting items were the “boyfriend” style jeans. (Maybe if my boyfriend was 10 sizes smaller than me? I’m picturing Eric Foreman from that 70’s show…) They were a little loose around the waist, and so tight on the legs that I literally could not bend my knees. Also, whiskers at the hips? That is the worst choice for a person with a pear shape or more weight in their lower half. It draws attention there and makes you look even more disproportionate. Major fail here.
Then the rest of the items were just sort of “blah” or unflattering. This blazer did not have enough definition at the waist to flatter my upper half, and the white blouse was just okay, hitting at a not great spot on my hips. Also it was 49.00 for a tank like blouse which seemed really expensive for what it was.
Next up, we have the “hoochi” skirt. It was so short, it barely covered my bottom in the back, and made me look as wide as a truck. The picture doesn’t really reflect just how short this was, and I’m not sharing a picture of the back, because its just too scary and offensive to the eye.
Next was the khaki sleeveless blouse that blended in with my skin tone and made me look rather sickly. Also it was 49.00 and I felt like I could get something identical at H&M for much cheaper.
And last we have what I’m calling the “mullet blouse”. It’s extremely boring and button up in the front, and then has the crazy twists in the back. Not to mention it’s sheer and see through so I needed to wear a tank underneath so you wouldn’t see my bra, but then that shows up in the back.
Overall, it felt like my requests weren’t really heard. I still received some size small items, the items were not very casual, and they lacked the modesty I prefer for work wear. I do not have the kind of life where I’m out at the bar on weekends, or sipping mojitos on a beach with girlfriends. (What I imagined you’d do in the maxi dress if you were fabulously skinny and stick straight.) I was just looking for pieces to wear to my casual environment job, and for weekends spent shopping and running errands. To me, Tog + Porter felt less personalized then Stitch Fix. It seems like maybe they have a set of items that they send to all clients, regardless of their taste and preference and hope that they’ll just stick with some of what they see. More of a one size fits all approach. I specifically said no bottoms, and yet received capri jeans and two skirts. Also there were no personal touches to this box. No notes or anything. Stitch Fix has the outfit cards which were incredibly helpful and give you ideas for how to wear things you might not otherwise have though of. Stitch Fix had asked how much I wanted to cover certain areas of my body, and respected those choices well. I felt like they had the appropriate level of modesty and style. I don’t see myself as extremely conservative, there are just parts of my body I’d rather not expose because I’m not particularly fond of them and just feel more comfortable covering up.
For our last call (which was required in order to send items back) she seemed a lot more friendly and was apologetic about the delay. It sounds like they must be doing really well and were just experiencing a backup with all of their customers requests. She gave me some general ideas about what to wear with the pieces I kept, and I might try some of them out, but in general it was just things I probably would have tried on my own. She was suggesting adding a lot of color, but that’s something I’m trying to get away from. The people in my office just really don’t wear color. It’s mostly grey and black and jeans so I try to wear neutral outfits that don’t stand out quite so much. I still want to be fashionable, but I don’t want to draw all eyes in a meeting room.
So was it worth the 8 week wait? Not for me. This box will probably end my journey with Tog + Porter, and I’ll continue to go with Stitch Fix for now. In general it’s a cool idea, and I love getting a box full of surprises in the mail, but I think I’ll pass on Tog + Porter for now.
12 thoughts on “Tog + Porter = dissapointment for me”
Oh my goodness, I feel the same way! Just got my first box from Tog+Porter and I feel as if everything I’d told her via Skype was ignored! Instead of va-va-voom a la 40’s style glamour, I get strange looking pieces that look a bit cheap quite frankly. Instead of flouncy and fun skirts and dresses, I get these almost dowdy looking lace clothes that either look dowdy or overly girly. I would really love to return immediately. I even got a horrid pair of black and white vertically striped pants where my husband asked, “Did you get the clown shoes to go with it?” Only one blouse was doable and perhaps a dress but I know I can do better at Nordstrom. I don’t think I’ll continue because I have my first Stitch Fix coming at the end of this month and I’m far more hopeful about that! Keaton Row was also a bust for me as well but at least I could return to Nordstrom. So far, I’m doing better for myself buying at Macy’s and ModCloth!
I hope you have better luck with Stitch Fix! I really didn’t like the mandatory Skype calls for Tog+Porter and I’m not sure what the point was if they just ignore everything you ask for. I love ModCloth too and just ordered a couple of skirts from there that I hope work. I’ve also been eyeing some vintage style dresses that I might get next month. (I’m over my budget for May already.) 🙂
Rachel, we are so upset to hear this was your experience. Please contact me if there is anything we can do to make this right by you (email@example.com). Tog + Porter was sold to its current owners in July-Aug. of 2014. It appears you received your TogBox just before this. The new owners relocated the business to Los Angeles to improve turnaround times. TogBoxes are now required to ship within 14 days of your style consult being completed. There are of course the occasional exceptions, but your stylist should confirm your approval to wait on any pieces that may not have arrived in time to make this deadline. Unlike other online personal styling services, our stylists do not shop for you until after your style consult has taken place. Depending on where your stylist is sourcing from, the arrival of your TogBox may be affected. However, even with our stylists sourcing from all over the world, 95% of TogBoxes meet the 14-day deadline.
Since this issue is mentioned multiple times in this thread, I’m compelled to shed some additional information on behalf of Tog + Porter as I now handle customer support and take great pride in the service we provide. I would like to reassure you that turnaround time is something my team and I diligently track. The *most common reason* for shipping delays is invalid or declined payment. TogBoxes ship within one business day or less of payment being received.
We’d love to ship every box as soon as all pieces arrive at our warehouse, trusting that valid payment will eventually be submitted, but have learned the hard way, this just isn’t smart business. Unfortunately, a few bad apples do spoil the bunch.
Tog + Porter’s mission is to help women feel and look their best by offering direct access to highly-vetted personal stylists for a fraction of what it would cost to hire them in a traditional sense. There are however limitations to working with clients via webcam. The biggest challenge being fit. This is the purpose of the Style Showing, so your stylist can see how the clothes look on you and receive candid feedback. The goal being for you to identify what works and what doesn’t, collaboratively. Our stylists keep detailed records on every client interaction, and we’ve implemented cross-checks to ensure that what’s shipping matches the notes and Style Profile submitted. Without the luxury of being able to go through your closet or to a store with you, your stylist might not nail it on the first Togbox.
While this is always the goal, it may take your stylist a time or two to get it right. We can ensure her selections continue to improve the more she works with you. A traditional personal stylist may have you try on dozens of garments before finding something you love.
We understand this method does not work for everyone, and we are sincerely sorry if we are not the best fit for you. We do wish you much success in reaching your style goals. And we are happy to provide any assistance we can.
I found your blog post today as I was waiting for my initial Skype call… After I realized my call was about 10 minutes late, I checked my email and had a ‘can we bump back our time’ email. It wouldn’t have been a big deal but they wanted to move it from 2:00 to 6:30pm – and that just turned me off. How unprofessional! I’m looking into Stitch Fix now 🙂
I had a nearly identical experience to this! I felt rushed on the phone. The shipments took 7+ weeks which meant that the items were arriving in another season. Also, they said they would help me find a cute cocktail dress for a wedding I was going to. They volunteered to help me with that which I thought was awesome. About 10 days before the out-of-town wedding, I emailed them to see how the dress shipment was coming along. They emailed me back saying they didn’t find anything. If I hadn’t prompted them with an email, I would have kept waiting. So they didn’t save me any time at all. I still had to go out shopping for a new dress. As a new mom who also works full time, I thought Tog & Porter seemed like a great way to save time and freshen up my wardrobe. All it did was waste my time and send me cheaply made, mediocre clothes. I hate having to do the Skype calls – made it feel like an assignment. Overall, I am going to go with Stitch Fix. Their process makes a lot more sense to me.
I’m glad I found this review! I was looking into whether Tog + Porter would be worthwhile, but it looks like they are having some issues. I have my first Stitch Fix box coming at the end of this month so hopefully that goes well. Thanks for sharing your experience!
I am currently struggling with a similar disastrous situation with T&P as well as $411 in charges for merchandise I didn’t order. Did anyone have their issues resolved? Do any of you still use their styling service?
Can you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org? I would be more than happy to assist you with any issues.
Finally got my Tog + Porter box after a month waiting and after being billed over $500 for 6 items, I swear not one thing seems worth more than $20 bucks. I asked for just skirts and dresses because I already own every single shirt, tank, blouse known to man and shoes to go with everything possible. What I don’t own is dresses and skirts, which is why I got excited about a stylist to pick them out for me. Well I got one skirt, a dress that is more like a circus tent, a cheap pair of booties and three cheap-o tops just like the ones I told her I already own in every color but these are wayyy less quality. WTF. I don’t want a skype call to show her anything. I want to send it ALL back and forget the whole thing. Seriously disappointed.
Dandy, I would be happy to help assist you and want to make this right. Please email me, Stephanie, at email@example.com
I actually had to cancel my credit card to stop the continued crazy charges. I honestly don’t know how they are still in business. Never again. They ruined clothing subscriptions for me.
I’m so sorry to hear this Kim. I should point out that we are not a subscription clothing service. We never have been. Our clients tell us when they want a TogBox and set a budget for each one. We don’t charge a client until all the pieces have arrived for her and the box is ready to ship. I would like to get to the bottom of this and make this right by you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org