Subscription boxes aren’t a brand new idea. We here at Literally, Darling have talked before about the kinds of boxes we love and why. So how can a new subscription clothing company set themselves apart in a very oversaturated market? Short answer: they found a niche. When Lydia Gilbert, co-founder of Dia&Co, was in business school, she was perplexed by the fact that 50% of the women in the U.S. are plus-sized but aren’t being served. So she and her two co-founders, Nadia and Dave, decided to give women a unique experience that would cater to individual clients.
Dia&Co is a styling service that sends clothes for plus-sized women sizes 14-32. You take an online survey about what you like to wear why you hate (or love) shopping and pay a $20 styling fee. After you’ve registered, you can ask for a styling call, and one of Dia&Co’s professional stylists can call you to talk about what you’d like in your box and get a sense of what kind of clothes you are looking for. Then you wait for your Dia Box.
To give you the full experience, I registered and waited for my box to arrive. Here’s what I got:
- Naked Zebra V-Neck Sleeveless Top in Blue
- Michael Kors 3/4 SleeveV-Neck in Red
- Deer Print Scarf in Blue/Coral
- Taylor 3/4 Sleeve Color-block Dress in Navy/Plum/Black (and it has pockets!)
- Tommy Hilfiger Slim Legged Pants in Black
I definitely appreciated how easy it was to return the clothes that weren’t quite the fit. Once you receive your box, you should go online to your account and go to “Rate My Items.” There, you tell them what you thought of the color, price, and fit, and you tell them if you want to keep it, return it, or exchange it for a smaller or bigger size. I had one item that was too small, so I went online and selected “exchange size up” and that was it. And instead of having to decide between getting a box every month or every six months, you can pick “skip a month” or “I’ll let you know,” which I thought was a nice change of pace.
Now the price. Your $20 styling fee is applied towards anything you buy in the box. Say I just wanted to keep my deer scarf (it really is so cute), which costs $22, but none of the other items. I would just have to pay $2, since I’d already paid $20 in my styling fee. If you buy the whole box, you get a 20% off credit, which for this box equaled $60. In the end, a box with $300-plus clothes could only end up costing you $200. For most of us, this wouldn’t be something we could afford every month, but wouldn’t it be nice to say, “I’m graduating in a few months and I need some nice interview clothes” or “I’m too stressed out from wedding planning to buy clothes for work.”
Anyone who’s ever had to shop for clothes bigger than a size 12 knows how hard it is to find a good fit with a quality fabric for a reasonable price. For a lot of plus-sized women, shopping is a drag where nothing fits and you feel uncomfortable. Dia&Co are hoping to change the way you think when you shop. I had the chance to talk to co-founder Lydia about what Dia&Co means to her and what she hopes women will take away from their experience.
Lydia has always loved fashion and believes it is an expression of who we are. It’s true. Style can be a reflection of your personality or mood. Anyone who chooses a shirt or outfit to support their favorite sports team knows this. Lydia says she herself is a eclectic shopper. Finding a balance between low and high end brands that match her personality is part of why she loves fashion.
Dia&Co believe that “style is uniquely tied to confidence” and that “fashion should empower women through style.” Fashion should be something that makes someone’s day better. Dia&Co think this is especially important for plus size women. Lydia said, “Every woman should be able to express themselves through style. It shouldn’t matter what size or shape they are. They are just like anyone else, and there shouldn’t be a lack of options.”
There are more designers who are creating lines just for this market. Dia&Co believe that by supporting these brands, they can encourage other designers to create more for this niche. Lydia stated that they “want to help build and support brands in the plus size market.”
There have also been a number of body positivity movements in the last few years, most recently with the winner of Project Runway, Ashley Nell Tipton, who was the first to win with a line designed for plus-sized women. When asked how she feels about the recent movements, Lydia said, “It’s a really powerful time. Body positivity is taking over and the plus-sized industry is leading the charge. Real women are reflected in society. This is changing the landscape in retail and media, especially for young girls.”
If you are looking for a way to make shopping fun again, go to Dia.co and sign up today. You can also check out some of their brand ambassadors on Instagram and see them turn their closet into style. You can also participate in the “Dia Style Challenge” for fun fashion trends. Check out Dia&Co on Twitter and Facebook.
I received a box of Dia&Co clothing free of charge for this review, but opinions stated are my own.