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,
Trunk Club vs. Frank and Oak
Dressing rooms are almost universally considered stressful places with unflattering lighting. Fashion subscription boxes and styling services let you try clothes on before you buy them, so you can skip the dressing room experience and see what things look like in the comfort of your home. Trunk Club is a styling service that helps you explore your style through a range of pieces selected by a stylist. Frank and Oak is a clothing brand that lets you try on their items through a monthly subscription service. Both options provide free shipping and free returns for customer convenience.
Frank and Oak is a unique subscription service that offers sustainable fashion and clean, minimalist clothing. Trunk Club offers handpicked items that reflect the best of your personal style, all from quality brands sold at Nordstrom. These two fashion subscription boxes are pretty different, but both have a lot to offer. Trunk Club has more style variety, but Frank and Oak’s recycled fibers and modern style make it a worthy choice, too.
Trunk Club’s specialty is personal styling, while Frank and Oak’s Style Plan aims to let you sample different items from their brand’s clothing line. Both of these services provide a try-before-you-buy system, so you can try items and return them with free shipping.
When you first sign up, TC will ask you to answer questions about your preferred sizing, fit, and style. With that information, a stylist will select 12 items for you to review. You can reject some pieces ahead of time, but the rest will be shipped to you in your Trunk after you approve them.
You’ll have 5 days to try everything on. If that’s not enough, you can talk to customer service and ask for more time. Check out online to let TC know what you plan to return, and then you can send your box back with the included return shipping label.
Choose between a selection of a few dozen items and find the ones that you’d like to try on. You can choose up to 5. You have more control over what they send you. The service isn’t big on styling, but it does make sure to only show things that come in your size.
When you get your Style Plan box, you’ll have 10 days to try things on. When you’re ready to make your returns, you can check out online and then print out your prepaid return label. Frank and Oak will issue a refund around 15 business days after they process your return.
- Excellent styling
- Quality brands
- Many items to try on
Trunk Club’s stylists leave personalized notes on many of the items they send, so you can see how each piece fits into your style goals or fills a need.
Trunk Club carries reliable brands, and you can see the quality of their items right away. Their brands are also carried by Nordstrom, so they go through a certain amount of vetting before they hit shelves.
With each Trunk, you get around to 12 items to try on. It’s a lot of fun to get such a big box of clothes picked just for you. It also means your stylist has more chances to find something that you’ll love.
- Short try-on period
- Lots of packaging
Though you get 12 items in your Trunk, TC only gives you 5 days to try things on and choose what you want to keep. You can request an extension for your try-on time, but TC customer service needs to approve your extension, and it’s a little bit of a hassle.
Trunk Club sends each item packaged in a plastic bag, and even just one Trunk results in a lot of plastic trash. They’re expecting most customers to send back at least a few items per box, so it doesn’t make sense to package everything this way. 12 plastic bags per customer really adds up, and I wish they’d skip this pointless extra packaging.
- Sustainable design and production
- Unique design sense
Every item from Frank and Oak is designed with sustainability in mind. For example, their jeans are made in a factory that uses up to 95% less water. Some of their jeans incorporate organic denim, while others are circular denim made from salvaged denim fibers.
Since the company designs all their own clothes, they can add extra pockets, reversible options for jackets, and other details. They can design clothes to be more sustainable and more easily recycled. Fabrics made from natural fibers are more biodegradable, for example. The company makes rivetless jeans, because rivets make it much more difficult to recycle jeans.
- Higher price
- Charges up front
- Limited style options
Items at Frank and Oak start at $29 and go up to $199, for a pair of boots. You can expect to pay a little more for items like socks and t-shirts than you would from most stores. The higher cost is because of the sustainable materials and techniques, though.
Frank and Oak charges your card up front for everything in your Style Plan. You’ll get a refund for everything you return, but refunds can take up to a month and in the meantime, that money will be gone from your account. This is pretty different from most try-before-you-buy fashion boxes, so be aware of this before you order your Style Plan.
Since Frank and Oak is a clothing company, they only sell clothes from their own line. They carry footwear, pants, jeans, outerwear and more, but subscribers only have one brand to choose from. Their Style Plan is less about discovering your sense of style and more about finding staple items to complete your wardrobe.
Trunk Club and Frank and Oak both focus on higher-priced items, with items starting at around $40. Both companies offer discounts, but you’re not likely to find bargain prices.
Even if you don’t buy anything, Trunk Club will cost the styling fee of $25. If you do buy something, this money will be applied toward your purchase. Aside from this fee, the overall cost depends on how much you buy.
According to the company’s website, their prices range from $40 to $300. Sturdier items like shoes and coats will be on the higher end of the scale, but you can sometimes find tops and accessories for less than $40.
Your stylist will also take note of the budget you list in your style survey, so you can expect most items to be within that general price range. Trunk Club sells the brands found at Nordstrom, so you won’t find budget items here. They often include items that are on sale, though. When I tried Trunk Club, three of the items they sent were significantly discounted.
The monthly Style Plan costs $25, which is then credited toward anything you buy from your box. Frank and Oak lists their price range as around $29 to $149, though you can find a few items that are higher or lower. Socks start at $10, and boots are $199.
Frank and Oak is a small company selling items made using sustainable manufacturing techniques, so their prices skew a little high. T-shirts and other basics can be found for around $30, while jeans and nice blouses come in around $70-$80.
Trunk Club is primarily a styling service, though they do offer a monthly option. Their clothes are sourced from Nordstrom’s stock, which tends to be mid-range and higher-end. Many of their clothes are from classic, well-known brands.
Frank and Oak is a clothing brand that offers sleek, modern styles made sustainably. They specialize in basics and sleek styles that can fit into any wardrobe, especially a minimalist one.
Trunk Club includes plus sizes up to 24W, while Frank and Oak only carries up to size 14.
Trunk Club carries a variety of trustworthy brands, including Levi’s, BB Dakota, and French Connection. They have a few in-house brands like Chelsea28, which specializes in luxurious print pieces. The brands they choose will depend on your individual style, and the kind of occasion you’re preparing for.
Trunk Club offers themed trunks, like Fall Weekend Trunk or Fall Workwear Trunk. A Fall Weekend Trunk will include warm accessories, light coats, sweaters, and casual pants. They also have a trunk themed around Sustainable Style.
Frank and Oak only sends items from their own sustainable clothing line. Their clothes all share a distinct design vision, with sleek lines, utilitarian details, and a color palette of mostly muted colors. They have seasonal pieces, like The Shacket, which is a fall-friendly piece that sits somewhere between a shirt and a jacket. Their pieces are designed for comfortable wear and so that when an item wears out, it can be recycled easily.
Trunk Club lets you indulge in fashion in a maximalist way, offering lots of style options and lots of different brands. You can try on up to 12 pieces from quality brands, and your stylist has lots of material to work from to help you find your dream style. Trunk Club will probably appeal to a broader range of people, because they have more style options available.
Frank and Oak, on the other hand, is more of a subscription than a styling service. The company will show you a curated selection from their brand, but everything fits into their particular style vision, and color scheme. Certain customers will love their muted colors and minimalist, timeless fashion. Others will admire their sustainable approach to making and selling clothes.
Most clothing subscription boxes are geared toward women. Some of them do have options for men, and children, but they’re more difficult to find and
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