I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. It can be a blast and so worth it to find great clothes at even better prices. Alas, my options are limited by an almost non-existent budget for clothes, and the struggle of being curvier than the average XL but not having quite the right body type for most “plus-size” clothes. Landing good-quality clothes in my size and fit at an affordable price is, essentially, a unicorn of an occasion.
My experience with shopping as a plus-size woman is not unique, and that seems to be why Dia&Co exists.
I’ve been seeing ads for Dia&Co for months. Hindered by my budget and my hesitation to give subscription services a try (yes, this was my first one), I didn’t take the plunge until last week, when I was reading an article about plus-size models on Racked, tweeted by my friend Alicia. That article linked to another one about Dia&Co, and somehow, I ended up on their website, creating an account to order my first box.
The process on Dia.com is simple: complete a survey, write a note for your first stylist (if you’d like), pick your subscription option, and try to wait patiently for that first box! Their initial survey went so in-depth, I actually felt a bit emotional when going through the questions. “What parts of your body are you comfortable showing off?” “What parts of your body do you like to keep covered?” They were thoughtful enough to ask for a budget range on a variety of clothing items, not just a broad overall budget. Similarly, they wanted to know the specifics of sizing, not just a broad “I’m a size XXL!” or whatever. This was made for people like me.
I wasn’t without my misgivings through this process. I knew my $20 styling fee (shipping both ways, in case you decide to return or exchange anything, is free) would be applied to any item I wanted to purchase. But… what if I didn’t want any of the five items that were shipped to me in that first box? What if nothing fit right or none of the styles were “me”? What if I just couldn’t justify the price of any of the items? It’s a thrifty gal’s nightmare.
Spoiler alert… I shouldn’t have worried.
My box arrived on Wednesday (I placed that initial order late on the previous Thursday). I had eagerly checked the tracking number they had emailed me and knew to expect it on my stoop when Chris and I got home from work (and quickly had to turn around and head to church for VBS — but that’s its own blog post).
Inside, I found an envelope with a letter from my first stylist, Jonelle, and the itemized invoice for each of the items.
So what was in the box?
First, this absolutely perfect peplum top. The fit is spot-on and, if I’m being honest, peplum flatters my body type in a big way! The best part is that I feel like I can wear this to work, to church, or out with Chris with just a tweak of the accessories or my choice of pants.
I also died over this wrap dress! In my survey, I told Dia&Co that I like retro styles, and this is one of the choices my stylist made based on that response. The fit was perfect, and the skirt length and modest neckline made it just right for work (and, again, it would feel right to wear to church or out to dinner). I felt incredible in this dress, which is why I took the plunge and paid waaayyy more for this than I would have in a store. (Just being real with y’all.)
Those are the two items I decided to keep from my box! There were three additional items I didn’t keep for largely budgetary reasons:
First, this cute top. This sucker is so me, but I already have several things like it in my closet, so I decided not to keep it.
These killer skinny jeans! Y’all, I have never felt such soft jeans in my life. The fit was good from the hips down, but the waist was a bit too snug and I didn’t think going up a size would be the right choice with these (due to my height).
There was also this necklace that I wasn’t nuts about. I don’t wear much silver, and the price tag on this couldn’t be justified for its simplicity. I have plenty of cheaper, funkier pendant necklaces already.
Alright, time for some real talk: the total cost for all five items in my first Dia&Co box was $270. Yep. If I wanted to buy all five items, Dia would have applied a 25% discount ($67.50), bringing the total down to $182.50 once the original $20 styling fee was deducted as well.
I had to be pretty honest with myself about what I could justify splurging on, which is how I ended up keeping the peplum top and the wrap dress ($131 before deducting my styling fee and a referral bonus). Wearing those two items, I felt like a new woman, and the way I figured it, that was the whole point. Additionally, I am starting to consider that I should be more willing to splurge on high-quality, well-fitting clothes instead of always just taking what I can find on a clearance rack.
All in all, I truly loved this first box. My concerns about the survey not being able to clearly convey my style to my first box’s stylist were unwarranted. I truly feel like Dia&Co worked hard to ensure this first box would match what I already liked to wear while simultaneously challenging me to try variations of my favorite styles. However, I won’t be able to afford to do this on a monthly basis. I hope I made that clear in my post-box survey, because I definitely want to order another box again in the future (once I’ve saved up enough that I could buy everything I might want from the box)!
If you are interested in trying a Dia&Co box, please feel free to use my referral link: https://www.dia.com/r/qt98
What subscription services have you tried? What was the verdict? Let me know in the comments!