“Let me spend the weekend shopping to refresh my wardrobe,” said not many guys, ever. More likely than not, you may find yourself getting dressed for an important meeting or a friend’s party and suddenly realize your look is more outdated than a flip phone. Sure, you could search store to store for the essential pieces that will flatter your body and reintroduce your look to the modern day—but let’s face it, most of us don’t have the time. That’s where online styling and subscription services come in. Here, we compare some popular services to narrow down what works best for your situation.
If you’ve seen paparazzi shots of stars leaving Whole Foods looking like they’re in a Mr Porter catalog, you know what a professional stylist can do for you. But who can afford that? Megan Collins, the highly personable and knowledgeable founder behind The Style Girlfriend, has just introduced a service that works like a personal stylist—without the high cost. Just fill out a questionnaire about your style and needs, then schedule a one-on-one Skype chat with a personal shopper assigned to peek into your closet and go over your budget, your body type, your style icons, and more. From there, you’ll be emailed a curated shopping list with items sourced from all over the web and chosen especially for you (at multiple price points, based on your feedback). Your personal shopper will curate outfit ideas and offer advice and styling tips for how to wear your new pieces together with the stuff you already own.
TIMING: Only as requested.
PRICING: There are two flat-fee options (neither include the clothes). A Wardrobe Refresh is $79 and will find you four to six pieces. It’s ideal for a specific occasion, like a party or interview. The Wardrobe Reboot is $199 and is meant for a more dramatic overhaul: It includes 12-15 pieces. Prices include one round of revisions.
SHIPPING: Prices depend on where you order your clothes from.
PROS: Since your personal shopper is hunting all over the internet, the variety of brands is endless and the clothing options they present can be discounted or on clearance. There’s no commission, so there’s no pressure to buy stuff if you don’t like it. The styling advice is also priceless.
CONS: You’re in charge of pulling the trigger and buying the clothes (which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your personality). The styling fee does not include the clothing.
IDEAL FOR: Guys who need style advice and someone to do the legwork of editing the endless options out there.
This hot and constantly innovating San-Francisco based service launched its men’s department in 2016 and offers a range of clothing, from performance gear to dress shirts. Complete an online profile and and Stitch Fix’s human stylists and AI algorithms will analyze your feedback to curate a box of five items and send them to your home. The company just recently expanded men’s offerings to include 100 brands and 800 potential size combinations, which is excellent news for guys who aren’t a standard size medium with a 32 inch inseam. New sizing options range up to 3XL in tops and pants run from 28 x 28 up to 48 x 36. Other recent offerings include shoes, accessories (everything from hats to ties), and Extras, a curated collection of basics that we all need but hate to shop for: underwear, undershirts, and socks. Also, the company just launched Stitch Fix for kids, so you can take the pain out of shopping for your offspring as well.
TIMING: Get a Fix on demand, bi-weekly, monthly, or sign up for installments every two or three months. You have three days to keep or return your items.
SHIPPING + RETURNS: Free.
PRICING: Clothing starts at $28 and goes up to $450 for tailored pieces, but the range you receive depends on your feedback. A $20 styling fee is applied towards your purchase and you’ll get a 25 percent discount if you keep everything in your box.
PROS: If you have trouble finding clothes that fit, this is your service. Stitch Fix offers an incredible number of options in every category for guys of every size. The in-house brands manufactured exclusively for Stitch Fix are on-trend and affordable, and the company is also constantly improving and adjusting based on client feedback.
CONS: It can take a few shipments for a stylist and the AI to figure out your style, and the lack of a preview option means less control over your Fix. Clothes don’t go on sale. The three day window can feel like a tight deadline, though they will work with you if you need more time.
IDEAL FOR: Any guy who has problems finding clothes that fit well. Stitch Fix’s size and style range is exceptional and its budget options are also vast.
The OG of subscription boxes, Trunk Club launched in 2009 and offers two ways to help you shop. You can do it in person at a Clubhouse (there are locations in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York) or go online. The former involves an in-store fitting with a stylist who matches you with size, style, and spending preferences. In this scenario you can try everything on and leave with clothing that day. If you aren’t in one of those six cities or can’t make it to a Clubhouse, you can chat with a stylist on the phone or via instant messenger and complete an online profile with your sizes, style, and budget. Then your stylist will curate a selection of six to ten pieces and send an itemized preview email. Accept or reject the selections and a Trunk will be shipped out to you within about a week. They also offer men’s custom clothing services at their Clubhouses, where you can get measured and choose the fabrics and styles of the pieces you want.
TIMING: You’ll have 48 hours to approve or change your Trunk preview. Returns must be made five days after you receive your items. Set up monthly or seasonal Trunk deliveries, or work with your stylist to come up with another delivery schedule.
PRICING: A $25 styling fee is charged even if you don’t keep anything in your delivery. If you decide to keep at least one item, that $25 will be credited toward whatever you keep.
SHIPPING + RETURNS: Free
PROS: The delivery includes name brands, and the preview helps improve the chances you’ll get something you like.
CONS: Inseam options are limited to size 34, but Trunk Club will hem pants or jeans at Clubhouses and Nordstrom locations for free. Six to ten pieces might be a lot for some guys.
IDEAL FOR: Guys who want premium brands and don’t mind paying for them, and those who like the flexibility of getting fitted and choosing items in-store.
Frank + Oak Style Plan
This Canadian do-good brand marries style with sustainability. The company is mindful of the materials used in clothing, and it offers ethically sourced products made with recycled polyester and organic fibers, as well as water-efficient denim. The brand seeks out local manufacturers like Petites-Mains, which supports underprivileged women, and they also contribute a portion of sales to the human rights organization Equitas. For customers, the styling process is as straightforward as the company’s classic styles: Fill out a profile and each month Frank + Oak stylists will choose up to three on-trend pieces, which include everything from machine-washable merino wool sweaters and oxford shirts to clean-cut suits and sturdy leather boots. You have 72 hours to approve their choices and add or delete items when you preview your box.
TIMING: You have seven days to keep or return items sent. For now, it’s only offered on a monthly basis, but members can choose to skip a month. Frank + Oak is considering more frequency options in the future.
PRICING: Items cost between $29 and $149. The stylists’ fee is $25, which can be applied to items you choose to keep.
SHIPPING + RETURNS: Free
PROS: The prices for this conscious clothing are really accessible and the limited number of pieces sent in each box won’t be overwhelming.
CONS: The process doesn’t seem to involve the stylist as much as other services, but the ability to preview and edit your delivery helps eliminate misses.
IDEAL FOR: Environmentally and ethically woke fellas who don’t need a major wardrobe overhaul—just a few clean and classic pieces each month.
If you go with Bombfell, be prepared to talk about yourself. Founded in 2011, this New York-based service asks for a ton of details in its initial questionnaire, such as body type and complementary colors, as well as brands you like and dislike, plus what style questions and issues you’d like to focus on. It’s a highly customizable service where clients can request anywhere between one to five items per shipment instead of a mandatory number of picks. Using a combination of AI and human stylist input, Bombfell focuses on mostly casual items (everything from jeans and tees to blazers and bags) and sends preview emails before orders ship so you’ll know what to expect. The brand recently partnered with JCPenney and targeted the Big & Tall men’s market, so they have more fits for bigger guys. They also offer free half-hour consultations with a stylist in person at their New York City headquarters.
TIMING: Choose to have shipments arrive every month, two months, three months, or on demand. Returns should be made within seven days of receiving your order.
PRICING: The average price for pieces is $89, and there’s a $20 styling fee with each order. The more you keep, the bigger the discounts: Hanging on to four or more items in a single shipment means 20 percent off of your entire purchase. If you keep 3 items, you’ll get 15 percent off. If you keep 2 items, you’ll get 10 percent off.
SHIPPING + RETURNS: Free
PROS: Bombfell includes plenty of affordable brands you know and a few lesser known ones as well. With the new partnership with JC Penney, bigger guys will have more options.
CONS: Sizes are somewhat limited for shorter and smaller men.
IDEAL FOR: Guys who want maximum flexibility to choose just a few items rather being tied to a set number of pieces in each delivery.
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