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Stitch Fix Clothing Review: How To Upgrade Your Workout Wear

Assorted activewear from Stitch Fix.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Since its founding in 2011,

Stitch Fix

has been outfitting men and women when they need more than a little help in that area. From guiding Peter Pans into dressing their age, lightening the sartorial load of the manically overworked, or providing guidance to the oblivious on the season’s elevated styles and themes, this clothing subscription service is a solution for many guys who need a helping hand for a variety of reasons.

We’ve reviewed Stitch Fix as a general clothing service for men but want to take a closer look at its men’s workout style options. With all its casual-wear assistance, most people probably don’t think of it as a means of refreshing one’s workout clothing en masse — including myself. And so I set out to discover whether Stitch Fix could deliver as well on the activewear front as it has in the everyday. After 18 months of wearing my tech-t’s and synthetic shorts to the bone, I was ready for a massive overhaul.

How Does Stitch Fix Work?

Your Stitch Fix cost will depend on your budget and style. Though it’s not required, Stitch Fix offers the option to sign up for automatic delivery either every 2-3 weeks, every month, every other month, or every three months for men’s and women’s clothing. And you can choose to “Skip this Fix” if you want to skip an automatic delivery.

Though, the heart of the modern Stitch Fix machine is not its algorithms or computers designed to predict your favorite color or delivery. It’s with personally assigned, flesh-and-blood stylists. Sure, the process may start with a quick questionnaire on style and fit preferences to get you in the general vicinity. But the real line of demarcation that separates it from the bots is the comment box at the end of the process, which gives you an opportunity to offer final guidance before your assigned personal shopper goes to work. And so that’s what I did, typing, “I want to be able to sweat in every single piece,” before hitting “send” and holding my breath.

Lord knows how many elves Stitch Fix has worked behind the scenes fielding all manner of weird requests about oddly shaped right ankles and arms so long a man could scratch his own kneecap without bending over. My general needs felt rather straightforward, but I still half-believed I’d end up with some four-way-stretch button-down and crew socks. I’m happy to report that’s not what happened.

My First Impressions of Stitch Fix

A blue light jacket with undershirt, gray jogging pants, and navy blue sneakers on gray background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

My Fix Preview took approximately 24 hours from my final words to arrive in my inbox. A Fix Preview is a list of items that fall within your guidance and style choices, and, clicking through, I was provided with around 10 items, of which I selected five for delivery. All were appropriate for some kind of workout, though there was a large variance among selections. (Admittedly, in my notes, I didn’t specify how I’d be sweating, and so my stylist’s items seemed to run the gamut from a refrigerated weight room to a Death Valley hike).

Since I’m running outdoors and playing tennis most often, and since I’m in the South, I selected a pair of North Face above-knee shorts with deep pockets, two of Southern California athleisure brand, Vuori’s t-shirts, a lightweight long-sleeve quarter-zip by Stitch Fix in-house brand 01.Algo, as well as a pair of the company’s heavyweight sweatpants (hey, winter is coming). I submitted my approved items, and my gear was marked as shipped the following day.

Stitch Fix Shipping and Delivery

The afternoon of my Fix’s arrival, I spread out the items around my living room. Besides the maker’s tag (this is, after all, new, never-been-worn apparel) was a small Stitch Fix tag on each item — I assumed they were used for logging in rejected pieces via the enclosed, prepaid bag. The Vuori pieces were Vuori pieces — no weird fits, and the same performance I’ve loved with the company’s gear in the past. The North Face shorts were equally predictable.

And then there were the 01.Algo options, which I admit I was a bit leery of going in. After all, how many people get excited about the house brand? But when the weather in Nashville broke the following week and I was up on the bright for a morning run, its lightweight merino-blended top was the perfect weight for early fall and with an equally appropriate fit.

Most importantly, the Stitch Fix delivery came at the perfect time to ditch some of my over-loved pieces that were threadbare after especially hard duty over the last 18 months of the pandemic. I’ve heard it said that people either gained the COVID-19 pounds or slimmed down into a Spartan. I hovered somewhere in the grey area, logging more running miles than I have in years and wearing out a few cases of tennis balls while reviving a passion for Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream and absinthe. (You win some, you lose some.)

But while my body composition didn’t undergo a significant transition, many others did, and a Fix curated box seems like the perfect jumpstart to an update. Furthermore, I was able to pass some old 5K shirts on to that great thrift store in the sky while moving away from their garish neon colors. Now, when I run on the trails or rally on the courts, I look intentional rather than hastily assembled from whatever was free, in a run in support of prostate cancer research.

Final Review: A Successful Activewear Upgrade

A pink long-sleeved shirt, blue jogging pants, and white sneakers on gray background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

At the end of the three-day try-on period, rather than returning any of my Stitch Fix items, I elected to keep all five. It is still in the mid-80s in Nashville, and there’s no end to the heatwave in the forecast, so I’ll be waiting to break out those 01.Algo sweatpants and return that quarter-zip to service. But in the meantime, I’m wearing the rest of my Stitch Fix workout wardrobe for morning runs and evening tennis dates, looking more appropriate and adult-like while not smelling like a vinegar-soaked sponge. Sure, I could have used the company to refresh my casualwear, maybe pick up a pair of chukkas and slim jeans. But the biggest help I needed was with my workouts, and Stitch Fix delivered right to my door.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Gugala
Features Writer
Jon Gugala is a freelance writer and photographer based in Nashville, Tenn. A former gear editor for Outside Magazine, his…
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