Friday, August 12, 2016


Happy Friday!  If you didn't read my last post, now's the time!  This is Part 2 of a 3-parter about my experience with a couple of online styling services.  My last post was about Stitch Fix, and today I'm going to give you my thoughts about Trunk Club.

Photo via (NOT my box)

A Quick Overview

Trunk Club, which used to be a men's clothing service and was acquired by Nordstrom in 2014, now serves both men and women.  The way they operate is very similar to Stitch Fix.  You complete and online questionnaire, work with one of their personal stylists, receive a box of clothes, keep what you want and return what you don't.   Unlike Stitch Fix, Trunk Club does not charge you a fee, and there is no discount incentive to keep everything they send.  Trunk Club offers clothing from higher-end, contemporary designers that you would see in Nordstrom, such as Joie, Vince, Rebecca Minkoff, and Theory, so their price per item is quite a bit higher than Stitch Fix.  Trunk Club sends you 10 items to try, and you have 10 days to make a decision and send back what you don't want (free shipping and return shipping).

The Questionnaire

The Trunk Club questionnaire was far less detailed than the Stitch Fix questionnaire, which puzzled me at first.  Then I realized that after you answer a few introductory questions, your stylist will actually reach out to you to determine if you'd rather chat on the phone or via email to go into a little more depth.  I chose the email route, mainly because it's hard for me to carry on an uninterrupted conversation this summer with kids at home!  The questions she emailed me asked for much more detail, and most of the questions were open-ended, whereas a good number of the Stitch Fix questions were more "multiple choice."  I did disclose to my stylist that I am a personal stylist, and I wonder if that had any effect on what she chose to send.  I guess I could just ask her;)

My Trunk

The very day that we returned from the beach, I received an email from my stylist with a personal note ("hope you had fun at the beach") and a preview of what would be in my trunk.  There were descriptions and pictures, and I had the opportunity to say "yea" or "nay" to all of it.  I nixed 5 of the 10 items in the preview--a couple of things because they didn't appeal to me and a couple more because I had similar pieces in my wardrobe.  I totally understand why they do the preview, but honestly, I would rather skip that step and just be surprised.  Having said that, when the trunk arrived, my stylist had replaced those 5 nixed pieces with 5 more!  Surprise!!  And once I received my trunk, I received an email with some styling suggestions.  I prefer the cards that Stitch Fix sends, but I love that they give you a little help!  Here's what I got:

Vince Camuto Pants, Splendid Tank, Topshop Blazer, Corso Como Pumps (and my son)

I really do like how this all looks together, but I have black pumps, cropped black pants (yes, even ones with a flared leg), a couple of black blazers (yes, even a long one--though not this long), and a black tank.

Corso Como Pumps

These are lovely, but a little boring for my non-coporate lifestyle.  I already have a pair of pointy black pumps that I can dress up for a cocktail party or wear with jeans out to dinner, which are really the only times I would wear them.

Vince Tank

Vince Tank

I LOOOVE this top.  I like the shape, the slits on the side (which you can't see), and the neckline.  It fit like a dream; however, it was really sheer and required a camisole and, more deal-breakingly, it cost nearly $200...for a white tank top.

Rebecca Minkoff Bag

This bag is perfect.  I love the size, the sturdy shoulder strap, the lack of hardware, and the addition of the fun tassels.  But guess what?!?  I already have a basic black bag.  Can't justify $300 for another.

Equipment/Kate Moss Oversize Blouse

Equipment/Kate Moss Oversize Blouse

This animal print is really fun, especially with the addition of the polka dot bow!  You can remove the bow altogether, too, if you're not feeling it.  It's intended to be oversize, but it overwhelmed me a bit, even with very skinny pants.

Rails Button-down

Rails top styled with my own skirt.   

Meh...I have better.

Cupcakes and Cashmere Top

I love the pattern and the neckline!  It's adorable now and would go right into fall with the addition of a sweater or jacket.  It's weirdly cropped in front, with an elastic seam around the bottom.  As long as I'm not raising my arms, I'm not showing skin.

Stan Smith Sneakers

These are cute and uber-trendy.  But I think we can all agree that I'm too old, not cool enough, and my feet are too big.  I need to stick with a darker color for casual sneaks.  Maybe I need some black Converse.  I saw some at Marshall's yesterday!

Price List

The Verdict

Back it all went.  I blame part of this on myself.  I'm a shopper!  My stylist had no way of knowing how much of this mimics what I already own.  I did tell her that I like to keep things classic, but I also told her that I like to add some edge and trend to my outfits.  Many of these pieces are so basic that either they border on boring, or I would assume most people (especially personal stylists) already have similar items in their closets.  The rest just wasn't enticing enough for the cost.  Whereas with Stitch Fix I had to carefully consider what I might keep and whether or not I'd regret returning the rest, there was no question I would ship all 10 of these items back.  

My Takeaways

1.  Just like I said about my Stitch Fix experience, this was fun!!
2.  Just like I said about my Stitch Fix experience, I love the anticipating of getting new clothes shipped to my house.  Or really any mail, for that matter!
3.  Again, the style questionnaire and follow-up questions were gathering great information, but it could be hard for their target audience to be able to explain their personal style preferences in writing.
4.  I am familiar with all of the brands that were sent in this shipment, and I generally like their respective aesthetics, but even if I had a completely empty closet, it would have been hard for me to stomach paying full price for most of these items.
5.  I probably should have been a little more specific about what I was looking for, which might have bridged the gap between "totally age appropriate" and "way too trendy."
6.  I haven't decided if I'll try it again.  I think I'll get in touch with my stylist to discuss it.

Have you tried Trunk Club?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments below, and stay tuned for Part 3 of this discussion, when I give you my take on the differences between using an online stylist service and hiring a local stylist (and possibly how they could be used in tandem.)  

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