Stylish Surprise Fail and My Divorce from ModCloth

Just to be clear, Stylish Surprise is not the reason I’m breaking up with ModCloth.  There are two separate things happening in this post.

Thing 1: My Stylish Surprise was Stylishly Sad

I tried to resist the urge…but the marketing was just so good. In games, we call this type of campaign a “gacha mechanic”. The short of it is that you present the customer with a “box” and tell them that there are a variety of things that could be in the “box” – some really awesome and some mediocre. The customer must pay some type of currency to open it. It’s a gamble, but it’s exactly that gambling compulsion in human nature that causes people to monetize on this type of coin toss.

Stylish Surprise is essentially the gacha mechanic of fashion retail. I knew it, I fell victim to it, and I loved it.

Stylish Surprise Dress

Sizing is always a pain in the ass. For me, this is a literal statement. Shoulders to waist, I’m pretty consistently a size small. Hips and below…well…that can be anywhere form a medium to an x-large depending on the piece. When I gain/lose weight, it’s all in the butt and legs.  My lower half is one of the reasons I gravitate to dresses, specifically fit and flare or a-line, because no matter where I fall on the scale, dresses always fit and always look great.

The Strategy

Order a small. I’ve purchased several small dresses from ModCloth before with quite a bit of luck.

The Risk

The risk is two fold: length and style. ModCloth smalls are often way too short for my taste, so there’s a good chance I’d end up with a dress that exposed half my ass. Also, if they send a sheath or wriggle dress, there’s no way it would fit.

What Happened

I LOVED the look of the dress. Check it out!

It’s not something I would have chosen for myself, but I would definitely wear it. And bonus! I was pretty sure it would fit.

But wait…

My boobs prevent the dress from fitting. If I loose about 10 lbs in the chest, I might be able to zip this thing.

Stylish Surprise Shirt

The Strategy

Shirts are a lot more straight forward. Every shirt I have ordered from Modcloth has been a size small and has fit perfectly, so it was a very easy decision to order a small.

The Risk

I was confident there was no risk with the shirt. In fact, one of the reasons I ordered a shirt was so that I’d have a consolation prize if the dress sucked.

What Happened

WTF is this…another dress? Whatever it is, it’s super cute!

Nope…too short to be a dress (for me).

Also, it definitely doesn’t fit.

I suppose it covers all the important bits, but it’s so snug across my hips that it rides up when I walk.

I really liked both of the pieces ModCloth sent, but sizing failed on both fronts, which I guess doesn’t matter in the long run because…

Thing 2: ModCloth’s Buy Out is the End of Our Relationship

Unless you’ve hanging out under a rock for the past week, you know that ModCloth has been purchased by Walmart.


While ModCloth was never really “shopping local” or “shopping small”, I was enthusiastic about supporting the company because the story of the founder is just so amazingly inspirational.  I love what Susan Gregg Koger created and her outlook on entrepreneurship.

If you’d like to catch up on some of her awesomeness, here are a few links to her story:

Unfortunately, I cannot bring myself to support Walmart – you know, since it’s the devil – so this is where ModCloth and I part ways.

For me, it’s a very bittersweet parting.  I’m going to miss my giant online boutique and the awesome variety and constant positivity. I’m also very sad that they chose Walmart as their buyer. That’s the bitter.

Now for the sweet. Susan Gregg Koger achieved the entrepreneur’s dream of realizing a vision, making it incredibly successful, and then selling it for truckloads of cash to a company or individual who passionately loves the product and wants to do more with it. I can’t begrudge her for selling. On the contrary, I’m quite happy for her…and maybe just a little envious.

3 Replies to “Stylish Surprise Fail and My Divorce from ModCloth”

  1. Waaaaay envious!!! Y’know, as an entrepreneur.

    1. Meg Chaney says:

      Riiiiiiight!? Me too.

  2. Walmart–that’s just so loooow. Explains why I’m not finding the cute knit tops and the jewelry selection is so sad and sparse. Where to go now?

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