Over the years, I’ve gotten several questions about my thoughts on subscription clothing services. I’ve always answered that if you feel totally clueless when selecting pieces that flatter your figure, or making the latest trends work for you, then these services are absolutely worth taking advantage of. Beyond that though, they can also be a great resource for those who love fashion and want a fresh perspective.
How it works
- The process starts with you completing a questionnaire about your style preferences; this helps your stylist to understand your lifestyle, price point, and the types of clothing you’re looking to add to your wardrobe.
- From there, depending on the service (I used Trunk Club), you’ll receive a delivery at your doorstep, with anywhere from 5-12 pieces based on your style preferences.
- You will have a set number of days to review your items, after which time you mail back any pieces that do not work for you.
- You’re charged a “styling fee” for the service, but the fee is credited towards any items you purchase from your delivery. In some cases, if you purchase the entire box, you’ll receive a discount on the total cost of the items.
Trunk Club vs. Stitch Fix
In reviewing Trunk Club and Stitch Fix, I ended up choosing Trunk Club for a few reasons, as detailed below. However, I do feel like both services can meet your needs, it’s all a matter of personal preference.
- The styling fee is $25 but is waived if you are a Nordstrom card member, whereas with Stitch Fix you’re charged the $20 styling fee regardless. This was important to me because I wasn’t sure how successful these services would be for me in terms of available petite options.
- I’m familiar with the quality and selection available at Nordstrom and felt a level of comfort with their customer service,
- With Trunk Club, you have an opportunity to approve/disapprove your trunk before it is sent to you. This was huge because when my stylist first put my trunk together, it included mostly casual pieces and I was more interested in updates to my workwear.
- If alterations are needed, Nordstrom offers alterations in exchange for Nordstrom rewards–which is a huge perk because I know alterations are almost always necessary for me in workwear.
My stylist, Jewyl, was very sweet, and totally willing to accommodate my requests. The first thing I noticed when opening my trunk was that she nailed the color selection. I had told her which colors I want to stay away from, and those I enjoy wearing. I also made clear that I was most interested in work-to-weekend blouses and ankle dress pants for work. We had chatted in detail about my work environment and my preferences, and she did a great job honing in on the fabrics and styles that I was after.
The return process is just as easy–you just adhere the prepaid shipping label to your trunk, and secure it with the included tape strips. You can either schedule a UPS pickup at your home, or drop the package at your nearest UPS drop off. (Note that if you schedule a pickup, someone must be available to hand over the package.)
This service is great if you…
- Want a wardrobe refresh for a season or category (workwear, weekend attire, even lingerie)
- Have a special event coming up, like a wedding or conference
- Aren’t sure how to mix and match items in your wardrobe (the stylists provide recommendations with your trunk on how to style the looks)
- Are expecting a baby and need to invest in a few maternity pieces
- Love clothes but need a fresh perspective
I received 12 different items, and as I mentioned, all 12 were within my preferred color palette. In general, there were several pieces that I really liked but that were too big for my petite frame. I’m no stranger to alterations, but I am selective on the items I choose to tailor. My rule of thumb: if the alterations will cost more than the garment itself, it’s a no-go unless I feel like I absolutely cannot live without the piece (which is not usually the case).
I think, with any of these services, the hardest part is sizing. I really liked the Trouvé cutout printed blouse below, but it did not come in petite and even the XXS was too large. The Vince Camuto side zip ankle pants were exactly what I was looking for to wear to work, but the 00P was too small, and they felt uncomfortable. I would definitely purchase them in a 0P; I love a size zipper on work pants because I often think that the center button can create the illusion of a belly.
For my next trunk, I plan to specifically request ankle pants for work, so that I have several options to choose from and have better luck finding a pair that works.