Can’t Get to a Store? These Clothing Services Let You Try Before You Buy
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Work-from-home burnout isn’t the only thing that’s taking a toll on quarantining working stiffs — so is decision fatigue. Our mental gas tank is getting drained from months of Zoom meetings, social distancing, and extra safety precautions, so it’s no surprise that we’re streamlining our WFH wardrobes and opting for loungewear as office attire.
When the pandemic shut down offices and in-person gatherings, gone were the reasons to dress to impress. Analytics firm GlobalData projected that clothing rental services would lose up to 50% of their business as customers sheltered in place. And as living rooms and spare bedrooms were converted into makeshift cubicles, comfort-seeking workers relished in the novelty of mixing collared button-downs with sweatpants to “the office.”
As companies continue to run hybrid options for employees, working from home may be corporate America’s new normal, but that doesn’t mean Americans have lost their appetite for shopping. Case in point: a spokesperson for Nordstrom-owned personal styling service, Trunk Club, says that there’s been an uptick in members seeking laid-back looks. “We have seen more customers ask for help with WFH styles and prioritize comfort in their Trunk requests,” the company says.
Whether you’re staying away from the mall due to Covid fears, or just prefer the ease of online shopping, these styling services and clothing subscription boxes to do the hard work (and the thinking) for you. With the ability to send you everything from denim to date night-wear, they’re also a great option if you’re finding yourself in a loungewear-as-workwear rut, and are ready to break out of your old tee and sweats routine.
What Are the Best Clothing Subscription Services?
If you’re a new customer, most (if not all) of the most popular clothing subscriptions will ask you to take a personal style quiz. You’ll share your sartorial goals, such as whether you’re hoping to save time on shopping or looking to get a closet makeover. You’ll also answer questions about your lifestyle and how you dress for a typical day, your style preferences (e.g. if you prefer certain colors, patterns, or materials), the types of silhouettes and fits you like best, and your budget, to name a few.
Some membership-based delivery services curate personalized looks from a range of big-name and under-the-radar fashion brands, while others focus strictly on essentials and accessories (such as underwear and socks) from their own label.
For those sheltering in place, these services offer a safe alternative to shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. One major convenience factor is the ability to try before you buy in the comfort of your own pad. As Nordstrom points out, Trunk Club “is one way we continue to serve customers who want to shop from home. They can get personalized recommendations and try on 10 to 12 items from the comfort of their own home. The service is always contactless, as customers can request a free UPS pickup within in the app.”
Whether you’re dressing for a Zoom date, you want to switch up your home office style, or you seem to be losing your socks to a black hole in your washing machine, the options are aplenty. We’ve hand-picked some of the best online personal styling services and top clothing subscription sites for restocking every compartment of your closet. From cheeky underpinnings to WFH-friendly options, see our favorites below.
1. Nordstrom Trunk Club
The retailer’s styling service pulls from its inventory of luxury designers and contemporary brands and sends personalized men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, and accessories in a “Trunk” every one, two, or three months. You’ll receive up to 12 items to keep or send back as desired, and shipping, exchanges, and returns are free.
You can also request Trunks focused on sustainability, affordability, seasonal looks, office-ready style, and more, which means you can order everything from cocktail dresses or suits to athleisure. In addition to the department retailer’s in-house lines, expect menswear options from brands like AG Jeans, Bonobos, Rag & Bone, Rodd & Gunn, Ted Baker, and Theory, among others; and womenswear from Good American, Madewell, Paige, Vince, Sam Edelman, and others.
Sizes: Women’s XXS to 4X, petite, plus, and maternity; men’s XS to 4XL, waist sizes 28 to 58 inches, inseams 28 to 36 inches
Pricing: $25 styling fee (free for Nordstrom cardholders), plus the cost of items that you keep; sign up here
2. Rent the Runway
No matter your style, you’ll have a never-ending rotation of designer pieces from Rent the Runway, a luxury womenswear membership service that allows you to borrow to up to four items that can exchanged for a new piece at any time. The company offers three tiers that vary by designer selection, the value of your monthly shipments, and the number of item “swaps” per month (from one to unlimited). It’s a great service for charity events, formal events (I.e. galas or weddings) or just to ace that interview look.
Choose from clothing, jewelry, bags, and accessories from popular and cult-favorite labels such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, A.L.C., Apiece Apart, Ganni, Kate Spade New York, Tory Burch, Ulla Johnson, Vince, and many, many others. Although the brand recently closed all of its brick-and-mortar showrooms to focus on its online business, members in select cities (including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, among others) can drop off their items in person. It’s a great way to find a designer look for a big meeting or for date night… even virtually.
Sizing: Women’s sizes 0 to 22
Pricing: $69 for the first month, then $89 to $159 per month; sign up here
3. Stitch Fix
If you’re looking to defer the wardrobe decision making for your entire family, then allow Stitch Fix to answer the call. The popular online styling service offers personalized looks for women, men, and kids, and you can specify your budget and schedule automatic deliveries.
When your package arrives, you can keep what you want and send the rest back for free. Shipping, returns, and exchanges are also free. As far as brands, choose from well-known names like Bonobos, Eileen Fisher, Eloquii, Free People, Madewell, Michael Kors, O’Neill, Paige, Ralph Lauren, Toms, and others.
Sizing: Women’s sizes XS to 3X, petite, plus, and maternity; men’s XS to 3XL, waist sizes 28 to 48 inches, inseams 28 to 36 inches, and big & tall; kids sizes 2T to 14
Pricing: $20 styling fee, plus the cost of clothing; sign up here
Whether you’re dressing for brunch, board room meetings, or maximum WFH comfort, Armoire promises a never-ending closet for every style. The women’s clothing rental service offers luxe labels like Diane Von Furstenberg, Equipment, French Connection, Joie, Nicole Miller, Rails, Scotch & Soda, and countless more.
You’ll receive a case of four items, and there are three subscription options that vary in the number of shipments per month (one, two, or unlimited). What’s great is that you can back clothing and swap for another piece, or you have the option to buy your favorites at a discount.
As cleanliness is especially top of mind right now, know that Armoire uses wet and dry cleaning methods, a steam process that uses 250-degree heat, and a sanitizing process before shipping. All packaging workstations are regularly disinfected and cleaned, and the company follows CDC guidelines including providing employees with gloves and masks, conducting regular temperature checks, and other protocols.
Sizing: Women’s sizes 0 to 3X and maternity
Pricing: $39 for the first month, then $79+ per month; sign up here
5. Frank and Oak
Fans of A.P.C.’s effortless aesthetic and Everlane’s transparent practices will love Frank and Oak, a Canadian direct-to-consumer fashion company that focuses heavily on sustainability, ethical manufacturing, and functionality. Known for its minimalist-cool aesthetic, the brand’s Style Plan recently got changed from monthly curated subscription box, to an exclusive loyalty program that offers exclusive merchandise, private sales and discounts and limited-time offers.
Frank and Oak’s offerings include closet staples like classic fitted tees, linen skirts, slim fit denim, utilitarian dresses and outerwear, and other essential silhouettes. Expect sustainable fabrics such as hemp, Tencel, Lyocell, recycled cotton, ethically-sourced yak wool, and biodegradable SeaCell, to name just a handful of innovative materials.
Sizing: Women’s clothing sizes XXS to XL and shoe sizes 6 to 10; men’s clothing sizes XS to XL, and shoe sizes 8 to 13
Pricing: No monthly fee — just the price of clothing; sign up here
6. Menlo Club
Menlo House got its start as the online menswear brand Five Four, and expanded its offerings with footwear and accessories line, New Republic, and athletic apparel brand, Grand AC. Guys who dig streetwear looks and high fashion street style will want to try the affordable men’s styling service, which has collaborated with cool designers and labels including Mark McNairy, Nick Wooster, and Hotel 1171, among others; the company has even teamed with Marvel.
The company’s subscription-based Menlo Club offers two membership options: monthly and quarterly boxes, which each include two to three items. Monthly members get eight months of Five Four pieces, and two months each of New Republic and Grand AC merch. Quarterly subscribers will get Five Four goods that reflect each season.
Sizes: Men’s sizes S to 3XL, waist sizes 28 to 47 inches, inseam sizes 32 and 34 inches, shoe sizes 7 to 15
Pricing: $60 for monthly memberships or $75 for quarterly memberships, plus perks like free shipping and 25% off purchases; sign up here.
Out of tighty whities and not ecstatic about leaving the house for a fresh restock? Eco-minded brand MeUndies is simplifying underpinnings shopping for women and men with its monthly membership plans. They’ll send you one pair of underwear in a range of solid colors or playful prints and in your choice of cuts: boxers, briefs, and trunks for men; or thongs, bikinis, boyshorts, or hipsters for women. You can also order colorful socks in crew, ankle, or no-show styles.
Sizing: Women’s XS to 4XL (waist sizes 24 to 43 inches); men’s S to 4XL (waist sizes 26 to 47 inches); sock sizes S to L (men’s shoe sizes 3 to 13, women’s shoe sizes 4.5 to 15.5)
Pricing: Monthly pricing starts at $8 for one pair of socks, $14 for women’s underwear, and $16 for men’s underwear; sign up here
MeUndies membership, $8+ month
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