Online shopping is slowly becoming more customer-friendly. New services let you try items on before you buy, to address the common problems of finding the right fit and the right feel. Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe gives you a range of options catered to your fashion sense. Each month, you can choose your favorite 8 pieces to try on, with free shipping and easy returns. These services are designed for convenience, so try Personal Shopper to save time that would otherwise be spent sifting through Amazon’s enormous catalogue of clothes.
In my Personal Shopper box for October, I received a pair of lace-up faux-leather pants, wine red calf hair boots, an oversized red-orange shirt, an oversized pink striped shirt, olive green jeans, a tie-front sweater, flared jeans, and a black blazer. My favorite piece was the faux-leather pants, because I loved the unique front fastening. The oversized red shirt was my least favorite because it was oversized without any specific style. Personal Shopper did a great job of styling me and I think it offers plenty of potential to introduce customers to new styles.
I can be hard to shop for, so I’m pleasantly surprised by Personal Shopper’s effective styling. Amazon carries a huge variety of shopping options, and Personal Shopper gives you an easy way to narrow down your focus and get a look at pieces that are the most interesting to you.
At first, your stylist sends you a list of 5 outfits, for a total of around 15 pieces. From these outfits, you get to choose up to 8 of your favorite items to try on. Once your box arrives, you have 7 days to try everything out.
I appreciate that Personal Shopper lets customers make the final decisions on what to include in their boxes. Even if some items are a miss, you can focus on the ones you like most.
My stylist’s comments showed that she read my own requests. I asked for menswear-inspired pieces and vintage flair. Her style notes included a lot of personality, with lines like, “Throw on a loafer or suede jacket to complete any groovy outfit.”
At their best, fashion boxes can introduce you to new trends or brands. My order definitely ticked this box, and included some styles I’d been meaning to try but hadn’t gotten around to yet.
The first thing I’ll point out about Personal Shopper is that this service loses the edge Amazon usually has in terms of shipping. The turnaround time between signup and receiving your first order is about the same as most other styling services, which is about a week and a half. I assume this is because they’re collecting your clothes from various warehouses to send in one big box, or as few packages as possible.
This service is only available on mobile, which is a little inconvenient. Using mobile makes it slightly harder to compare Amazon’s prices with the prices for the same item elsewhere. It’s also harder to check the reviews on your stylist’s suggestions. I normally check the reviews before ordering anything, so that was inconvenient for me.
You’ve probably noticed that Amazon’s prices are always changing. It’s not uncommon to see fluctuations over a short period of time. The pieces in your Personal Shopper box will stay at the cost they were when they were added to your selection, so you don’t need to worry about a sudden price change.
I compared the prices on my items to the newly updated prices. I found that 5 out of the 8 items were slightly cheaper on the Amazon website than they were in my order. The price differences were all $10 or less. However, one item was almost $30 more expensive on Amazon than in my order, and another was out of stock.
Personal Shopper has a strange quirk. The service doesn’t charge you for anything until you check out, but they do ask for your permission to contact your bank and have them approve the full cost of everything in your order. According to Amazon, after they approve the cost, you won’t have access to that money in your account until your order is complete.
If you don’t allow them to do this, they’ll cancel your order. It seems like a way to prevent them from losses, in case you decide to hold onto your order but don’t have the funds to pay for it all. It’s definitely unusual, and I haven’t experienced this with any other subscription or styling service.
My last complaint is a minor one: unlike other styling services, Personal Shopper doesn’t credit your styling fee toward your purchase. That must be the tradeoff for such a low fee of $5.
Personal Shopper shows you a selection of 5 or so outfits, and lets you choose 8 items from wha they have for you. Here’s what I started with:
This shirt is very oversized, as you can see. The previous person who tried it on cuffed the sleeves and tied it at the front. I decided not to tie it at the front, but I kept the cuffs. It’s a nice rayon fabric with an abstract print.
I like how the red-orange color looks against the olive pants, and I have a lot of olive pieces in my wardrobe that would look good with it.
I’m not a fan of oversized shirts, but styling services often recommend them to. Some trends are hard to escape! I just don’t think oversized shirts are flattering on me. I decided to give this shirt a try, but it didn’t work for me.
These dark-wash flares have an exaggerated silhouette that brings just a touch of drama to an outfit. There’s a fun stud detailing on the side slit of each pant leg, and the pants also have a raw edge.
I didn’t even notice the raw edge when I ordered them, because there was so much going on. It’s not frayed yet, so it isn’t as noticeable. The slight crop to these pants and the flared leg are both flattering, and a departure from plain, reliable skinny jeans.
This black top ties at the neck to create a fun keyhole effect, even though it’s not visible in these pictures! I think the ties themselves are also a nice detail. The fabric is a soft, fine sweater material and I loved how it felt against my skin. It fit me well, and I think it goes well with the rest of my outfit here. I considered buying this piece, but decided that I already have enough black sweater tops.
This Karl Lagerfeld blazer has a neat, classic style. I’m wearing the striped popover shirt under this blazer, and I actually like the combined look a lot!
I always enjoy a peaked lapel, and that detail also makes the piece seem more formal. The piece is simple, but would make a great closet staple. This piece could definitely fit in at work or special events. It’s more formal than any jacket I own, but I don’t have a great need for jackets like this in my daily life.
I’ve awnted lace-up front pants for a while now, so I was excited to see these in my stylist’s picks. I was a little apprehensive about the faux leather, but decided to bite the bullet and try them out. I’ve never had good experiences with the fit of leather or faux leather, so I was surprised at how well these fit. I like the jean-style cut of these pants. These were comfortable and flattering enough for me to finally make the jump and buy a pair of leather-like pants.
These boots are made from a gorgeous, shiny calf hair material dyed a deep wine color. They’re darker at the toe, which is a shoe design trend that I love. The boots are slightly pointed, which you can see better from the side. There’s some gold hardware on these, and I like the subtle studs near the sole of the shoe.
As soon as I tried these boots on, I noticed how comfortable they were. There’s plenty of padding in the footbed, so I imagine they’d make good walking shoes.
I’ve had calf hair shoes before, and they tend to get rubbed bare in certain areas, like the toe and the inside ankle. As nice as these shoes are, I’m not sure I want to deal with balding boots!
This big, billowy shirt instantly struck me as pirate-like, from the stripes to the dropped shoulder. I like the pink and lavender color, and the contrast yoke in the back is nice, too. I especially liked how it looked under the Karl Lagerfeld blazer.
I sent this shirt back, because it’s just too large for my tastes. The popover style is something I’d like to try, but I’m not ready to wear such an oversized piece.
These Levi’s have a fun olive color with white contrast topstitching, and the result is a vintage look. I don’t love the cropped length, and I think I would have liked them more at a full length. I like the color and the quality of these, but I don’t think they’re especially flattering on me, so I returned them.
Personal Shopper does well at styling, and the clothes they send represent a nice mix of different brands. I was familiar with some, but not others. I’d never heard of William Rast, but I loved the pair of Rast pants that I tried on. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that brand in the future.
I like the amount of control customers get over what goes in each box. My stylist made great selections, and I was able to select the items that fit most closely with my own style.
Amazon devotees will love this service, especially since it only costs $5 with Prime. You can’t apply the styling fee to your purchase, but I think the cost is worth it regardless.