My Shopping Stylist Experience: An Allume Review

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Update for 2021: Unfortunately, Allume has gone out of business.

The first time I worked with a shopping stylist for new clothing, the stylist took me to a variety of stores to go shopping. In one day we hit up Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, J.Crew and more. When I decided to try out the shopping stylist experience through Allume, it was much the same. Except I was getting stylist help online.

shopping stylist allume review

I loved this ability to use Allume Style to shop with an online stylist at a variety stores without leaving the comfort of my home. So if you’re looking for detailed Allume Style reviews on exactly what it’s like to use the service, you’ve come to the right place.

What is Allume Style

What do I mean that it was similar to working with a shopping stylist IRL? Well, Allume style isn’t so much a subscription service or an outfit in a box option like other online styling companies. Instead, with Allume you’re working with an online wardrobe stylist or a personal stylist online. That person has an “in” (i.e. established relationships) with some of today’s best brands and retailers.

The purpose of this Allume review is to explain exactly how this unique stylist online works. I’ll take you through the steps I took when signing up with Allume, what it was like working my Allume shopping stylist and how I made out with the clothes. I hope you’ll find this to be one of the best Allume Style reviews out there.

Why write Allume Style reviews

I wouldn’t have ever know about Allume if people visiting this blog hadn’t been searching for Allume reviews. Once my readers started asking me to check out Allume or do a review of Allume, I knew I had to check out Allume.

In addition, I discovered that Allume has an affiliate program for bloggers like me. What does that mean? If you click through and sign up for Allume, I’ll get a small commission.

How does Allume work

Wondering how Allume works? Well, like other online styling websites or services that offer a personal stylist online, you get started with Allume Style by signing up and taking a quiz.

Allume asked me to look at pictures of outfits based on occasion–weekend wear, date night, etc.–and then rate them. It also asks if I like to wear clothing on trend, if I find inspiration in any celebrity style icons, and which stores where I like to shop. Other questions include:

  • style of jeans I prefer
  • colors I like or dislike
  • my height, weight, bra size

One of the questions took me by surprise. It asked if I had any special challenges when it came to clothes. Wow. You’ll recall in my What is Stitch Fix review, where I complained about constantly getting tops that don’t fit my busty, well, top.

Speaking of busty, I just published a post on the top bras for big busts.

Anyway, I was so happy to have Allume give me a space to explain the kinds of tops I like to get–stretch please–and the kinds of tops I like to avoid–button-down anything. In addition, I could tell them about my double-wide, hard-to-fit feet!

Have you read my blog post on the best wide width shoes for women yet?

The rest of the Allume questions were pretty basic and commonplace–my age, occupation, how much I spend on clothing, etc.

How much does Allume Style cost

Since Allume is not a subscription box service but rather a service that provides a shopping or personal stylist online, you are paying differently than with other online styling websites. So as you sign up for Allume Style, you’ll choose your level and length of “membership.”

I chose a one-time membership for $30 for my session. You could spend as little as $15 per session for a 12-month membership–or $180 over a year. These multi-month plans auto renew on your credit card.

Like with other online styling websites, you get the styling session fee back when you buy something. In other words that amount is deducted from whatever you spend on your clothing. Finally, I entered my credit card and then Allume asked me to schedule a text appointment with my stylist. Hmmm. That’s a new one on me.

Anyway, I did it, for a week later. Then, Allume confirmed that my stylist would put together a “look book” of outfits for me in advance of that appointment.

Allume Style review: the pros

Perhaps the biggest pro of working with Allume is the sheer volume of clothing you get to choose from. When my stylist, Samantha, eventually sent me my Look Book, it had 36 items in it. WOW!

They were categorized in three ways.

  1. Everyday looks
  2. Business attire
  3. Weekend wear

Here are some screenshots from my Look Book!

shopping stylist allume clothing review
shopping stylist allume clothing review
shopping stylist alume clothing review

Also, Samantha introduced me to some new-to-me brands. I was most excited about the Jen7 jeans from 7 For All Mankind. Of course, after I saw them in my Allume Look Book, I started seeing them mentioned everywhere.

While I don’t wear a plus size, many of the clothing brands Allume offers include plus size options. I was really happy to see that women of all sizes could enjoy working with an Allume shopping stylist like Samantha.

Finally, while I was a bit unsure of how working with a stylist over text would go, I loved it. Samantha and I chatted for about 40 minutes, and it was so incredibly personal. She was updating my Look Book while we were “on the phone” and helping shaped it to be exactly the kind of clothing I wanted. That was just, as I said, so incredibly personal. Here is a snippet of our text conversation.

shopping stylist allume clothing review

Allume Style review: the cons

Perhaps the biggest “con” is the fact that clothing from Allume doesn’t arrive the way it does from say a Trunk Club or a Stitch Fix (i.e. all in the same box). Instead, with Allume, it works a little differently.

You click on the clothes you want, you check out on the Allume site, but then that clothing is sent to you from third party retailers. They are legit retailers–Saks Fifth Avenue, Ann Taylor, Neiman Marcus, to name a few. That means that not everything is arriving at the same time. Additionally, not every retailer has the same shipping and return policies.

Once I figured this out, I went back to Samantha (in our text conversation). Then, I asked her to focus on retailers that offer free shipping and free returns only.

Note: with many retailers filing for bankruptcy, such as Ann Taylor and Neiman Marcus, or going out of business all together, I’m unsure how sustainable the Allume model will be going forward. 

Too many companies called “Allume” out there

This last “con” has nothing to do with the awesome shopping stylists services that Allume offers but rather about its name and web domain. If those writing Allume reviews like me are being honest, then they would say, hey, Allume, you should really change your name.

When you visit the website, you’ll see that you go to dot co domain. If you got to the dot com associated with their name, it is a spiritual conference. There is also a lighting company called Allume and a home health care company called Allume. That’s a lot of brand confusion.

I would strongly suggest to those in the C suites at Allume, rebrand now to a name that at least three other companies do not already use in the public domain.

Allume vs Stitch Fix

So how does Allume compare with other online styling companies like Stitch Fix? Well, I’ve decided to include this section on Allume vs Stitch Fix.

Styling fee Allume vs Stitch Fix

Allume: $20

Stitch Fix: $20

Both companies will apply the $20 styling fee to anything you purchase

Communicating with stylist Allume vs Stitch Fix

Allume: You have a text appointment with your stylist. Then, the stylist sends you a link to your “look book” of clothing from which you can shop

Stitch Fix: You can leave a note for your stylist on the Stitch Fix website or via the app. But you don’t have any idea of what’s coming your way as far as clothing goes until the package ships. Then you can see a preview in the app.

Number of clothing items Allume vs Stitch Fix

Allume: The couple of times I’ve worked with Allume now, my “Look Book” included dozens of pieces of clothing. 

Stitch Fix: You get five pieces of clothing.

How clothing is shipped to you Allume vs Stitch Fix

Allume: Anything you buy is shipped directly from the various retailers that Allume connects you with–usually at a discount. So you can expect multiple shipments.

Stitch Fix: Everything comes in a single Stitch Fix box.

Overall thoughts on my Allume Style clothing reviews

So how were the clothes? Well, in the end I self limited myself to what I got because of my aforementioned issue with free shipping and free returns.

So I got the Jen7 jeans and a lovely dress from Neiman Marcus. Both were gorgeous and I’m so thankful that Allume introduced me to them. Unfortunately, neither fit like I wanted and so I sent them back–to Neiman Marcus. At least it was free shipping and free returns.

With my second order from Allume, I was a lot less restrictive. But, like before, I ended up ordering from one retailer only–Ann Taylor. While the shipping was not free, I bought enough to qualify for free shipping. I can’t wait for my clothes to get here!

This is how Allume works

Turns out that in its role as a shopping stylist, Allume is really a fashion facilitator. Allume has multiple jobs in that role.

It shows you great clothing, helps you put together outfits, introduces you to new brands but then turns the actual fulfillment over to the stores. That’s awesome if you’re looking to discover new brands and new stores where you can shop online.

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