Motherhood changes bodies, and though none of us would trade our kids for our pre-baby bodies, we may still long for the physical self-esteem we had before our kids came along.
Aging changes bodies. And, child-bearing aside, when I go shopping for clothes, I often long for the body I had when I was a 20-something. Or even a 40-something.
I almost didn’t write this Tech Talk piece because writing it means admitting in print to the size I wear. But then I watched the Dia & Co. video and heard women describe their feelings when they go clothing shopping as “disheartened” or “unwelcomed” and “it’s hard to feel like I’m not the problem.”
As if that wasn’t enough, I scrolled down and read comments from women who were moved to tears by the fact that there was an option out there that could make them feel beautiful again.
That’s when I realized I wasn’t just writing about an online personal shopping service.
Good marketing? Maybe. But I was hooked on the product even before I heard the philosophy. The motivation behind the brand was just the cherry on the top of a very yummy shopping treat.
Dia & Co. appeared in my Facebook ad feed for quite some time before I clicked, took the quiz and signed up for my first box. There was no crusade behind my decision, and, quite honestly, I was more interested in the fact that the clothes would show up on my doorstep than whether or not the company had any philosophy besides making money. My daughter was leaving for college, I was about to begin a busy teaching semester and, quite frankly, I wanted to do something nice for myself.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Dia & Co.’s online quiz asks questions about your budget, your style, your favorite colors and what you’re dressing for. Taking all of these factors into account, the Dia & Co. stylists put together a box of clothing and accessory goodies and send it to you to try on in the comfort of your own home. No wacky fitting room lighting or mirrors. You can mix and match the pieces with the other clothes in the box or (even better) your own wardrobe. You can hide out in your bedroom, or model the clothes for members of your family who are going about their business, not checking their watches and cell phones in uncomfortable chairs outside the fitting room, wondering when you’ll be finished.
Then, when you are finished, you rate the box, keep what you want and send the rest back in a postage-paid envelope. You pay a $20 styling fee for each box, which is deducted from the cost of whatever you purchase, and, if you like the whole box, you can purchase everything for 20% off the total retail price.
Dia & Co. sends a box about once a month, but if you, like me, fall in love with the concept, you can request that they send the next box “as soon as possible.”
I’ve gone through four boxes in four weeks.
Some pieces are hits, some are painful misses, but, since I’m rating every piece in every box, the boxes promise to get better and better as the stylists read my feedback and adjust the contents accordingly.
So far, my $20 (x4) has defrayed the cost of a jacket and matching necklace, a dress, a pair of leggings and a top. And I never even had to leave the house.
I love that the clothes I’m buying come to me. I love that they don’t look like everything I see on every rack in every store at the mall. I love that I can ship back whatever I want “for free” (that’s where the $20 styling fee comes in if I send the whole box back) and, in the meantime, I can see whether or not the jacket in the box actually matches the top I already have in my closet.
And, after checking out Dia & Co. on Facebook, I love what they stand for. At the end of August, they launched a campaign called #mybodyfirst, focused on the idea that clothes should fit the bodies we have, not a sizing system that’s arguably inconsistent and outdated.
What a great concept to teach our daughters.
More in the market for business attire? Check out this review in Fortune magazine.
Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess