5 Fashion Subscription Boxes That Are Actually Worth It
Imagine getting a box full of floral blouses, wedding season-ready dresses and wear-all-day comfortable heels shipped to your door every day. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, with the right subscription box, your dream can be a reality. But how do you know which are filled with gems and which are a waste of money? We talked to real women to find out which ones actually pass the style and budget test. Here, five that won’t let you, or your wardrobe, down.
For those who hate to shop, listen up. Stitch Fix starts out with a style quiz about your preferences: What are you shopping for? What kind of style represents you? Where are going in these picks? After a quick assessment, you're matched up with a stylist who becomes your own personal shopper. You can send him or her Pinterest boards, inspiration photos and continue to update your preferences based on what’s going on in your life. (Getting married soon? They can send you white dresses and blouses for events. Pregnant? Switch to maternity sizing only.)
Each box comes with five personalized items for a $20 styling fee, which can go toward your final purchase. With the average item coming in around $55, the quality is good for what you get. You have three days to decide what to keep and what to return. Keep it all and get 25 percent off of your entire purchase. Because you don’t see what you get until it arrives, some users say that it really can be hit-or-miss, however the more information you put into your stylist’s hands, the more you’ll love what they send.
Similar to Stich Fix, Trunk Club is a personal subscription that does the browsing for you. But the biggest difference, to us, is that it lives under the Nordstrom umbrella. Think: Access to all the inventory, plus that impeccable customer service you know and love.
Upon signing up, you are assigned to a stylist who chats with you to get the lowdown on your style preferences. They’ll add you on Pinterest, get an idea of what you like to wear and what looks best on you and send you an email of the twelve items in your box. From there, you can thumbs up, swap out and confirm shipment on all of the selections.
Each box comes with a $25 styling fee—waived for Nordstrom cardholders—which can also be credited towards any purchase. Trunk Club advertises that most of its inventory is in the $100 to $300 range, however many users claim it’s closer to $100. You have five days to decide what to keep and what to return. But it’s worth noting that if something breaks or rips, the all-star customer service we spoke of will take care of it—no questions asked.
Rent the Runway
This subscription service is truly meant for women who love to shop and try new brands. With pages filled with designer clothing and accessories, it’s a smart choice for someone who wants to try out high-end brands without the high price tags. There are two plans to choose from: RTR Update and RTR Unlimited. Update is $89 per month and includes four pieces, while Unlimited is $159 per month and includes four pieces at a time, on a constant rotation.
Here’s how it works: You browse through the thousands of tops, pants, dresses, jewelry and more to select your favorite things. Rent the Runway takes care of shipping, returns and dry cleaning, so all you have to worry about is online shopping. Reviews from real women and stylists help determine sizing and fit before ordering, but the company is also quick to expedite a return if something doesn’t work for you. If you love an item, you have the chance to purchase it for up to 70 percent off the original price. (Think: $131 for an originally $438 dress.)
The OG plus-size subscription box, Gwynnie Bee has truly revolutionized the shopping experience for women who wear sizes 10 to 32. Similar to Rent the Runway, the model of the business is unlimited items that you can wear as many times as you want before returning at the end of the month. They’ll also take care of shipping, returns and dry cleaning. Choose from one to ten items per month, ranging in price from $49 to $199, respectively. (Full price breakdown here, but they also offer a free 30-day trial.)
Instead of consulting a stylist to choose for you, you are free to explore the site and “favorite” all of the items that you love, flagging a few select items as “priority.” Gwynnie Bee promises to always send as least one priority item. At the end of the month, you either send the pieces back and re-pick, or you can buy any item you love for a discounted price.
For business professional ladies, staying stylish within the dress code can be a challenge. Enter the MM.LaFleur Bento Box: A shipment of four to six dresses, separates and accessories for a week at the office. But wait, it gets better. A majority of the pieces are machine-washable (see ya, dry-cleaning bill). Because their designs are relatively simple, all that’s required is a quick online survey to assess your style preferences.
Your first Bento Box is completely free, and subsequent boxes are charged a $25 styling fee credited toward your purchase. Prices range from $110 for tops to $595 for dresses, sizes 0P to 22W, and the quality is excellent. You have four days to decide what to keep and send back the rest. The best part of this service is that there’s no commitment; you can have a box sent to you as often or seldom as you want.