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Online Personal Shopping Services Flourishing

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Who wouldn't love to have their own personal shopper? Online personal shopping services have exploded in popularity in recent years. Clothes are picked out for users and then sent in the mail, saving them time and, some say, money.

Bryn Davis, a busy mother of two in Belle Plaine, liked shopping but struggled to find time to shop for herself.

She started a subscription with Stitch Fix, which sends shoppers a box of clothing items based on a style and sizing profile they fill out online. A personal stylist assembles their best picks and the outfits arrive at your door step.

"I had a friend on Facebook who posted her link to it," Davis said. "I thought it was a good way of maybe trying some things that maybe I might not actually try myself."

After her first box, Bryn was hooked. She pays a $20 "styling fee" for each box, which goes toward whatever she buys. Whatever she doesn't keep she can ship back free of charge.

But what if you're not even interested in buying clothes at all? Minneapolis businesswoman Jessie Benson uses Le Tote, an online delivery service that allows you to rent clothing. Again, it's based on a style profile. Le Tote even takes care of the dry cleaning.

"It's really a fun way to kind of get trendy, on-season pieces without spending too much money," Benson said.

Today you can find clothing delivery services for just about anything, from fitness gear to even lingerie. There are also clothing delivery services for men.

Fashion expert and Mall of America trend specialist Sara Rogers says online clothing delivery services are convenient, but she's skeptical.

"Their product inventory and their selection is limited, so it's really kind of a turnoff to go into the office and see yourself in the exact same outfit," Rogers said.

Rogers says the online clothing delivery services can save money only if you also cut back on trips to the mall. Each subscription fee is different depending on the service.

"I think this service appeals to individuals that live in areas where they don't have access to the market that we do," Rogers said.

Among those individuals might be Duluth-based photographer Amanda Cane. She uses Rent the Runway to get discounted designer dresses for weddings.

"They're high-end dresses that you can rent for like $50," Cane said.

Davis, Benson and Cane all said their services saved them time, money, and helped keep them on trend.

"Once I finally get home at the end of the day, I usually rip it right open and look at it," Davis said.

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