Subscription boxes are a relatively new thing. There are all kinds of boxes you can subscribe for: beauty boxes, lifestyle boxes, clothing boxes, cleaning supplies, dog treats and toys… But who was the first clothing subscription box to open its virtual doors? Well two trailblazers are Trunk Club and Bombfell, both seeing the pain points in the men’s fashion industry and focusing on men’s styling.
So how do these two boxes work? Which one is superior? Lets take a look at comparing these two subscription boxes, and see which one is a better trailblazer in the clothing subscription box industry. The main difference between Trunk Club and Bombfell is that Trunk Club is run under the Nordstrom umbrella, whereas Bombfell is not directly affiliated with a large retailer. We’ll get more into this later.
*** Both the Bombfell and Trunk Club clothing subscription boxes have been recently discontinued for good.
Surprisingly both the Trunk Club and the Bombfell subscription boxes work in very similar ways.
Trunk Club was one of the first subscription boxes to revolutionize the fashion industry, opening its virtual doors in 2009. Initially focusing on men’s fashion, in 2014 major retailer, Nordstrom, bought out Trunk Club for millions of dollars and included womens trunks, as well as children.
Now that you know a brief history of Trunk Club, let’s talk about how it works…
Nordstroms Trunk Club is unlike many other clothing subscription boxes that are available as it doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee. Trunk Club is more of a personal styling service that does have a styling fee, but you can get a Trunk however often you’d like. It’s a great service that takes a lot of the headache out of shopping.
To get your first Trunk, you’ll start by completing a comprehensive style questionnaire. The answer to these questions will help your personal stylist know what to send you in your first Trunk, so the more specific the better! What’s cool is you can also upload inspo photos of outfits that you like and would like to replicate, and you can also set a budget and your preferred sizing. When done with the questionnaire, you’ll then pay for your styling fee and schedule out your Trunk or have it come immediately!
After your personal stylist has put your Trunk together, and before it ships out, you’ll get to review the items inside! If you see something you really feel doesn’t suit you, you have 2 days to leave feedback, edit or accept the Trunk. Once your Trunk comes, you’ll have 5 days to try everything on in the comfort of your own home. Need more than 5 days? You can request a 3 day extension no problem. Keep what you want, and send what you don’t want back. Easy as pie. And the $25 styling fee you paid to get your Trunk will be credited toward anything you decide to purchase, which is way cool!
Another trailblazer in the subscription box industry, and especially focusing on men’s fashion, is Bombfell. Founded in 2011, Bombfell revolutionized shopping for men by taking away some major pain points, and also introducing more men to quality brands.
*Bombfell closed their doors for good in late 2020.
Bombfell is very similar to Trunk Club in the way that they send you a box of clothing, styled specifically for you by your very own personal stylist, and then you pay for the clothing that you decide to keep.
To get started with Bombfell, you’ll first complete their thorough style quiz on your typical style, body measurements, fit preferences and color preferences. You’ll also choose specific stores that you’d like to shop from, and you’re budget. Once your quiz is submitted, your personal stylist will take your answers and handpick specific items to put in your box and send your way.
Before your box makes it way through the mail system, you’ll be given a preview of the items in your box that you can approve or reject. You’ll only have 48 hours to make these changes before your box is sent. With Bombfell you have a nonrefundable stylist fee, as well as the cost of anything you decide to keep. You also have the flexibility to decide whether you want to receive a box monthly (which is the default), or receive a box whenever you decide and purchase from their online store.
Once you receive your clothing, you’ll have 7 days to try on your items and decide which ones are keepers, and which did not make the cut. Those that are “no” items can be sent back for free. Very simple!
- No monthly subscription is required!
- You can use a Nordstrom gift card and Nordy Club points toward your Trunk Club purchases.
- It is budget-conscious, and prices vary per piece of clothing.
- The styling fee of $25 goes toward anything you purchase.
- They have both men’s and women’s clothing options available.
- Sometimes items are a huge miss! It can take a couple of times for you and your stylist to get into a groove.
- Returns after purchases are not very simple. You have to request a return.
- Works with a variety of high-quality brands.
- A personal stylist works based on a very comprehensive style quiz.
- Free shipping and returns.
- Don’t have to have a monthly subscription.
- Discount for large purchases.
- The cost per item can be quite high depending on the brand you get it from.
- Charged full price for items you purchase through their online store.
- The stylist fee does not go toward anything you purchase.
To receive a Trunk, you’ll pay a non-refundable style fee of $25 (this is billed when your Trunk ships). Anything piece of clothing you decide to keep you’ll need to pay for. These items can range from $50-$300 depending on the budget you set in your quiz. But the cool thing is that your stylist fee can be credited toward any purchase you make! TIP: you can also price match items from Nordstrom.com.
Bombfell has a non-refundable stylist fee of $20 that cannot be used toward anything you purchase. The items of clothing Bombfell sends are quality, but can tend toward the higher side of your budget. The more items you decide to purchase and keep in one box, the larger the discount you are able to get. This means that small purchases aren’t that cost-friendly.
Your Trunk will have high-quality clothing from the various brands that Nordstrom carries. Sizing is standard for men’s and women’s clothing, but women also have options for petite, regular, and curvy sizing. What comes in your trunk will hopefully be in line with your preferences as noted on your style quiz. As we said before though, this can take a few tries for you and your stylist to get into a groove.
Your Bombfell subscription box will be filled with a variety of clothing from various brands. Some of the brands that Bombfell collaborates with are many well-known brands such as Tommy Bahama, Lucky Brand, and Levi. They also promote many up-and-coming brands. Sizing is standard and will depend on your answers in the initial intake questionnaire that you took.
Bombfell and Trunk Club are very similar subscription services. They compare on price, business structure, and how they work… There were honestly very few differences. After I learned that both of these subscription boxes were discontinued, most recently Nordstrom Trunk Club, I started looking into the history of these companies and found that they were trailblazers in the clothing subscription box industry. They made shopping less of a headache and a hassle, they paired you up with a personal stylist, and they made clothing more affordable, and fashion more attainable. It really is a shame that these two trailblazers are no longer around helping the men’s fashion industry.
If you’re looking for a good clothing subscription box for men, check out Five Four Menlo Club.