Last spring, I did something crazy.

I signed up for one of those box clothing subscriptions– you might know the one. You fill out a short survey and a few weeks later, a box full of clothes you never would’ve picked out yourself comes perfectly packaged, right to your door! Try it all on, keep what you like, and whatever you don’t like (good luck with that!) send it back at no cost. 

I went off the deep end. I signed up. A friend had a coupon. It was a weak moment.

Normally, I would never just do these things; but I recently lost some weight and wanted some fresh new digs, and my schedule was so crazy that I refused to make time for clothes shopping. And the weather had been gloomy for three months and self-care was needed; I wanted to dig myself into a soft cashmere cardigan with perfectly fitted jeans and sleek booties. I wanted to at least look like I had my shit together.

This clothing subscription was almost too good to be true. A few of my mom friends in my circle had these subscriptions and raved about the service. Plus, the outfits were cute and practical. They all loved it. Surely, so would I. Squee.

I received my first box on the dot. Inside, I was astounded– everything I had wanted was there. A deliciously perfect, chunky sweater for the still chilly spring mornings; two flattering tops that were buttery soft; a long, cozy scarf that I didn’t know when I would wear it but I still cooed over; and the most comfortable pair of well-fitting jeans I had ever put my bum into.

I tried it all on. Everything fit in all the right places. I couldn’t stop staring at my butt in those jeans. What kind of voodoo magic was this?

This was amazing! I was on cloud nine! I looked good. Watch out, Victoria Beckham.

After a while, once my head went down to its normal size, I gently folded the clothes into a neat pile, being so gentle with my amazing new wardrobe, and the thoughts began to bounce around my brain:

“Where will be the first place I wear my new outfit??”

“Which shirt will I wear first to pair with my olive green cardigan– the flowy, off the shoulder plum long-sleeve, or the less subtle navy striped t-shirt?”

“Of course I am keeping IT ALL!!”

“I wonder what will be in my next box?”

Just like that, I was like an addict thinking about my next fix, practically itching as I frantically dug into the empty parcel box, hoping the answer would lie within.

I gripped my order slip in my shaking hands and my heart sank. To keep every single item in my box was, well, not cheap. Each individual item was well over what I would ever pay in a department store! I felt robbed, cheated, and foolish. I fell for the clothing box subscription dupe. Bully me.

To make the situation sting a little more, it was a better value to keep all five items. I guess I was stuck with that scarf after all. What a bunch of rubbish.

But, I remembered– the coupon! Yes. I had the precious coupon that would shave some money off the rather large bill. So I ended up keeping all five items, because I already fell in love with the clothes, and because I’m no quitter.

One more box and three months later, I gave it another go. I figured it would be my treat ‘yo self gift. Guys, I didn’t have to leave the house!! For clothes!!! I deserved it, after all. Hair flick.

My second box arrived. I was excited! Another little slice of stylist heaven. I received compliments on my previous box. What would the summer box include? I was dying for a flowy dress. Give me all the summer prints!! Maybe even the wedges I specifically asked for??? GIMME!

With every clothing item I unwrapped, a baby kitten died. Not really, but I was really, really disappointed!

Everything was wrong. The dresses I asked for were the opposite– I wanted flowy and got short, tight fitting cocktail attire. The two shirts were not something I would wear, in colors I didn’t ask for. And what perplexed me the most, was instead of wedges, I received a necklace that ran down to my stomach, when I specifically checked the no jewelry box.

I may have imagined it, but a loud, moaning sound escaped from my mouth.

It was all wrong. Frantically, I scanned the order slip. Same stylist, so what gives? It was like she didn’t even look at my style profile this time! It was like, she didn’t even KNOW ME! I thought we were friends???

That was it. I was done.

With a heavy heart, I piled everything inside my return package and sent it back that same week. I played around with the idea of giving it one more final chance, but I couldn’t bear it. I broke up with my box clothing subscription. The heartache of reliving the disappointment again was too much to handle.

It’s been four months since the breakup. Today, I received a fall coupon in my e-mail. I allowed myself two minutes to adore the pale pink cardigan and dark wash high rise jeans. Just two minutes. Maybe it could work out this time??  I thought as I stood barefoot in my kitchen, remembering that feeling of opening that first box. 

I shook my head. A wise lady once told me: fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you.

Then I clicked unsubscribe. And delete.



Laura has lived all around the world, recently moving from Europe to South Georgia. She's a Yankee, so don't expect her to say y'all. In her spare time of chasing her two energetic boys, Laura is a freelance writer, with her work featured on various platforms. Read more of her wit over on Medium, @laurabowerwriter.

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