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.
What is Allume
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, you’re working with an online wardrobe stylist who has an in (i.e. established relationships) with some of today’s best brands and retailers.
The purpose of this Allume review 2019 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 wouldn’t have ever know about Allume if people visiting this blog hadn’t been searching for Allume reviews. Once I saw that phrase show up in my metric, 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, Allume sends me a small commission.
How does Allume work
Wondering how Allume works? Well, like other online styling websites, 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. 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.
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 cost
Since Allume is not a subscription box service but rather a service that provides a shopping 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.
Here are two discount codes to get you started:
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.
Pros of this Allume review
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.
They were categorized in three ways.
- Every day looks
- Business attire
- Weekend wear
Here are some screenshots from my Look Book!
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 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.
Cons of this Allume review
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), and asked her to focus on retailers that offer free shipping and free returns only.
Too many Allume companies 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. Allume should really change its 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 clothing review
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.
Turns out that in its role as a shopping stylist, Allume is really a fashion facilitator. 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.
If you love the excitement of getting multiple packages from multiple retailers–like a Christmas morning experience with an online shopping stylist–then Allume is definitely a great option for you to try.
Maybe it’s my ADHD brain, but at this point, here’s where I stand. When thinking of Allume vs. Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club, I’m not sure it’s right for me. I like my clothing to come in one box, at one time, and not have to worry about sending items back to multiple retailers.
But that’s me. You do you.