Back in March I gave you the chance to win free shoes for a year from Stylist Pick.
I promised to try the service out for a few months and then let you know my thoughts, and, finally, here they are.
Stylist Pick is a subscription service with a panel of 6 stylists who each month curate a small selection of shoes and handbags for the site. You complete a “style questionnaire” to enable them to match up you with styles of shoes that should appeal to you, and then they pick a selection of 6 or 8 for you to chose from each month.
All the shoes and bags cost £39.95. You have the option to skip a month if you don’t like the selection as long as you do it before the 5th of the month. If you forget to cancel and get charged then that becomes a credit that you can save to use in future months.
The Sign Up
Signing up involved completing a styling questionaire where you are shown pictures of shoes, celebrities and models and asked a variety of questions. I found the questionnaire very difficult to complete as often I wasn’t fond of any of the 3 looks on offer and I found myself second guessing the results in order to know which one to pick. Given the choice between Rhianna, Cheryl Cole and Gwyneth Paltrow, for instance, I am guessing that Rihanna is “funky” Cheryl “glam” and Gwyneth “Classic” so I chose Gwyneth, even though it’s not necessarily my favourite.
Once sign up is completed you can’t access your results without entering your name, email and address and then, on clicking proceed you are told “Your Showroom is being Created”
I signed up mid month and received an email saying my showroom was being created. 3 days later when I had no further communication I logged in and found a showroom sat there waiting for me, so initial impressions on communications weren’t good! It also made me a little nervous about not being reminded each month and ending up with my card being charged (my subscription is “free” but what I actually have is a discount voucher to use when I order, so if I miss a month I’ll be charged the full £39.95)
You actually don’t need to enter your credit card details until first purchase, so you can safely sign up just for a sneak peek without accidentally being charged.
I have now ordered 3 pairs of shoes via Stylist Pick. The first month I joined mid month and found my size sold out in most of the shoes in my showroom. This infuriated me slightly as my shoe size had been asked during sign up and I would have preferred to just see what was left in my size. I ended up ordering a pair of shoes I wouldn’t normally have bothered with, flat black “suede” with pointy toes, as they were all that was left.
Month 2 I logged on myself on the first of the month and all sizes were available, I didn’t receive a reminder email, so I decided to give the service one more month. In month 3 I received not one, but 2 reminder emails, so I hope this continues!
You are offered a showroom of styles to suit you each month, but the styling aspect is somewhat of a gimmick as if you don’t like them you can select from any of the styles available that month.
My month 2 showroom
So far each month I’ve liked maybe 20% of the styles available, but there have always been one or 2 that caught my eye. The month above, for instance, I like just one of the bags and 2 of the shoes in my showroom whilst others are, frankly, hideous (look at those gladiator things right at the bottom *shudders*).
Ordering is as easy as any other site. Click, select size, all your details are saved on file, though you need to reconfirm your credit card details each time and that’s it. Easy peasy.
Delivery is using Home Delivery Network *Groan*
I HATE Home Delivery Network. They take about 3 days to get to you and so far I’ve been in each time they called, but anyone who has used HDN before will know that if you’re not then rearranging delivery is an utter nightmare. Collection is just as hard, and that’s if you even get a card at all, you’re as likely to come home and find your shoes in a puddle outside the door.
Once I had them inside and I opened the box, though, I squealed in delight. The shoes are beautifully packed in a shiny black ribbon tied box inside a smart carrier bag.
not only that, but on opening the box I found it contained not only shoes, but a STICKY PICTURE OF THE SHOES! I swear it should be obligatory to sell all shoes this way, so I can stack them tidily with little pictures for easy identification. So far I’ve also received a free gift of a long lasting Rimmel lipstick each month too.
Now, to the most important bit. The shoes themselves. For £39.95 you don’t get leather and hand stitching, they’re synthetic materials, but look as well put together as most High Street shoes.
Month one’s shoes have become a wardrobe staple for me, despite being a style I wouldn’t normally have picked. They’re comfortable and smart and have stayed that way thus far, though the fabric label is starting to shift slightly after 3 months wear.
Month two’s shoes were a different matter. The Stylist Pick label on the inside was clearly a padded sticky label that had been used to rebrand the shoes as Stylist Pick. After one evenings wear the label shifted and wandered up the inside of the shoe leaving me with a horrible sticky patch on my heel. When I tried to remove the sticker completely it ripped the inner sole slightly. They’re comfortable to wear and no one sees the inside of my shoes, but it doesn’t exactly scream quality.
Month 3’s shoes have also arrived with the same padded replacement sticker on the inside. I have yet to wear them out, so don’t know how it will stand up to wear with wedge sandals.
Ultimately the subscription and styling aspect are a huge gimmick. It keeps you coming back to the site each month to look at shoes and therefore tempts you to buy.
Essentially it’s a shoe shop with limited curated stock that changes on a monthly basis.
The shoes are pretty enough and reasonable quality for the price. A trip to New Look might score you something fractionally cheaper, but you’ll carry them home in a plastic bag and leave them to get kicked about the floor and damaged, where as Stylist Pick send you a sexy box and sticky picture. This might seem an irrelevance, but when it comes to caring for your shoes, keeping them free from dust and actually being able to find them when you want to wear them it’s the kind of little gesture that’s really appreciated.
Personally I would happily sign up for Stylist Pick, even if I only bought 2 pairs of shoes a year and skipped the rest of the year. I like having a pretty new selection of shoes presented to me each month and so far I like the shoes. I also like how they are presented on delivery.
For me the only downside is the risk of accidentally being charged each month if you forget to visit, but I guess from Stylist Picks perspective that’s the hook that keeps you coming back to the website to look at shoes.
If you think you can trust yourself to log in and skip a month without being tempted then it’s worth signing up for a nosey. If you can’t then don’t do it and go to New Look!