6 Things I Like About kidpik and 2 Things I Don’t
Meeting the need for a styling service where parents can seamlessly access fashionably coordinated outfits for their children, kidpik was born in 2016, sparing families the challenges of in-store shopping ever since. As an early subscriber of this box, I have lived and loved kidpik for everything from my daughter’s back-to-school wardrobe to dressy occasions. After five years with this box occupying our closets and drawers, I’ve come to identify several reasons to love kidpik, as well as a couple of areas where this subscription leaves room for improvement. Whether you’re a current subscriber evaluating your options or considering signing up, in this article, I’ll offer my two cents about this kids’ clothing styling service as you determine the best fit for your family.
6 Things I Like About kidpik
1. Affordable Clothes for Messy Moments
The beautiful thing about being a kid is that they’re free to be carefree. Messy art projects, melting ice cream sundaes, and sticky fingers from who knows what – they seem to come with the territory. For the most part, I just roll with it (except for glitter; I despise glitter). Childhood passes too quickly to get hung up on keeping tidy, and this is where kidpik has been heaven-sent. I won’t deny that I’ve overspent on an outfit or two that my daughter will too soon outgrow, but that comes with a hefty dose of anxiety (would you finger paint in Burberry?). I like having stylish and comfortable clothes for my daughter, and more importantly, she wants to wear stylish and comfortable clothes… and get messy. kidpik meets the need, so I’m not only saving money on her wardrobe with its affordable price point, but I’m also sparing my sanity, not getting hung up on what happens to her cute new top. Where the average item costs around $14, I can breathe easy, and not micromanage the arts and crafts table. When I’m not actually too stressed about the messy, this is where the fun steps in and allows us to live in the moment.
2. Setting (and Updating) the Style Profiles
When you first sign up for kidpik, you take a 3-minute Style Profile survey. It begins with the basic details (name and birthdate) and zeroes in on style particulars from there. I shop for my daughter, so our experience is rooted in the girls’ apparel survey.
I love this survey (which I think has been unchanged since we signed up in 2016), because it’s easy to complete, holds my daughter’s attention span, and makes it super easy to get what we want, leave out what we don’t, and keep her sizes and style preferences up to date.
3. It’s Not Just For Girls
We’re veteran kidpikers, so I remember when this kids styling service didn’t offer boys apparel. One of my closest mom friends has a son the same age as Penny, and we always swap parenting hacks and fab finds, but once upon a time, I was frustrated that I couldn’t share kidpik with her, because they couldn’t outfit her boys in what they wanted to wear. kidpik eventually went on to style boys’ apparel too, and while I may not have a need for it myself, I would definitely shop from their collection of one-offs as a gift for somebody else.
4. The kidpik Shop
And speaking of shopping one-offs, my favorite thing about kidpik might be their direct buy outlet, Shop kidpik. Formerly known as kidpik basics, I’ve been using this section of the site for years to stock up on styles we loved and wanted to enjoy long after she outgrew them (I’ve literally bought the same blazer in 5 years worth of sizing). Frankly, the Shop is almost as good as the subscription box itself; it regularly has flash sales, free shipping, and great pricing for guilt-free purchases.
5. Top-to-Bottom Styling
Kidpik is all about styling the whole look; they’ll keep you covered with tees, jackets, pants, and shoes, but more than that, they’ll also include hair accessories, purses, sunglasses, and other bits. Penny is obsessed with pretty hair bows, mini backpacks, and sunglasses, so if one lands in her box, there’s a 99% chance it’s for keeps. Currently, Shop kidpik has child-sized face masks, and sensory snap toys in fun shapes too.
6. kidpik cares Donation Matching Program
There have been a couple of times where our kidpik box was a major hit… except for one item. It usually doesn’t make sense to return that one item, because I would inadvertently miss out on the 30% discount off the entire box if I don’t keep the whole kit and caboodle. Then what? Do I force it to work? Shove it into an overstuffed drawer until I’m forced to find another solution? Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way.
As part of its donation matching initiative, kidpik cares is dedicated to helping children in need by matching the donations of its subscribers. Donate one item or all- it’s up to you- kidpik will match your donation item for item, and pony up for the return shipping too. Having partnered with nonprofits like the GOOD+ Foundation, tons of clothing have been provided to children and families that are working to break the cycle of poverty.
… and 2 Things I Don’t
1. kidpik’s New Styling Fee
As of August 24, 2021, kidpik began applying a $20 styling fee to every box, which is applied as a credit toward a purchase in its box. I can’t say I blame kidpik for this new policy – there have been times that the box wasn’t a perfect match or the need wasn’t there, and everything went back – and that must’ve come at a great loss to the brand, who had to go to the effort and expense of shipping Penny’s curated selections both ways. That said, when the styling fee didn’t apply, I always felt like kidpik presented a truly unique service where zero risk was extended to the customer. If we weren’t in love with the box, it went back, and I didn’t have to spare a dime. Now with this styling fee, I feel like I’d be pressured to keep something that amounts to at least $20, in order to justify the styling fee. We’ve got limited space for articles that are just “meh,” so it’s not ideal. There is, however, the option to donate that piece through kidpik’s matching program, which I suppose is a redeeming factor here. In an ideal world, what I would like to see is this box styling fee roll over to future boxes (it currently does not), that way, I know it’ll get spent eventually, and I’m not out $20 for a box that didn’t wow us.
2. Swag No More (Sorta)
It has been several months since we received our last kidpik box, as we’re keeping the subscription on standby while we’re living in London (sadly, kidpik does not ship to the UK). Still, I like to keep up with the style offerings at kidpik, just in case there’s something really special that might be worth coaxing a friend or relative based in the US into accepting a delivery for us. I was reading a recent kidpik review, and couldn’t help but notice there wasn’t a remark about the free swag. I decided to reach out to the MSA reviewer, Kelly, and ask if she had a little freebie tucked inside her boxes… and she had no idea what I was talking about. For years, we’d been receiving one little free bit of swag in every box, and even if we bought nothing from the box, it was Penny’s to keep. These freebies were small and usually consisted of a mini squish, bracelet, necklace, patch, button, or otherwise. It came in a little fabric drawstring bag, and in my opinion, it was a nice touch.
Investigating the matter of the missing kidpik swag a little deeper, what I learned is that the subscription box no longer includes it, however, the pre-styled gift box does. Sometimes a promotion will pop up that includes a free gift, but it’s not quite the regular appearance we’d come to expect. I suppose the reason for this is that it added to the company’s costs, but I think this is something we would miss if we subscribed again. Even on the rare occasion that a box was a miss for us, Penny never felt like she was totally missing out because she got some new little accessory to keep her spirits high. Personally, I’d love to see a comeback for this one, as this little gesture really enhanced the box experience as a whole.
Have you tried kidpik yet? What are you loving or not loving? Let us know what you think in the comments!