After watching many of my favorite influencers (@sharonsaysso is by far the most fun to watch) do subscription box try-ons, I decided to give it
Trunk Club vs. Stitch Fix
As more people turn to online shopping, subscription boxes are more exciting than ever. Trunk Club and Stitch Fix are two of the most popular clothing subscription services. With these services, you can try on clothes in person before you commit to buying them. This new format lets you shop around and get the best fit possible without having to deal with an annoying, drawn-out refund process.
Trunk Club and Stitch Fix have a lot in common, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. Trunk Club has a fantastic selection of higher-end clothes and accessories, and their styling options feel more personalized. On the other hand, Stitch Fix has more affordable options and reflects the latest fashion trends. I’ll be comparing the two in more detail here, but Trunk Club’s the definite winner in my eyes.
These popular subscription services both have a similar structure. They both offer personal styling for men and women. Once you sign up, you’re asked to complete a quiz or survey with information like your size, weight, body type, fit preference and more. There’s also a fashion component to these assessments, and the stylists at Stitch Fix and Trunk Club use those to pick out clothes for you.
After your assessment is done, your stylists will start to curate boxes for you. This might take more time during busy periods. My Trunk Club box was styled very quickly, but my Stitch Fix box took a little longer due to a backlog of orders.
Each Trunk arrives in a cardboard box printed to look like a real trunk, and it’s packed with up to 12 items. The box includes a prepaid return label for a smooth return process. Your card won’t be charged until you check out with your final selections.
For each box you receive, your stylist puts together a series of outfits. Here’s an example of some of my outfits:
Each Fix includes 5 items, and it’s usually a mix of accessories and clothing. The box comes with a prepaid return envelope and an infosheet on the pieces included. There’s also a note from your stylist explaining the role each piece could have in your wardrobe. The service only charges you at the end of the 5 day try-on period, after you select what you want to keep and check out.
Some of the pros for Trunk Club are:
- Great styling
- Quality clothing
- Customer service
The styling for Trunk Club really does seem to take style profiles into account. The styling isn’t perfect, but it tends to have clear connections to each customer’s preferences.
Most of the items are from trustworthy, quality brands. When you touch the fabric and look at the seams, you can see that the pieces will last more than a few washes.
TC prioritizes customer service, which ties in with the styling. Customers also get benefits like the select free alterations, which you can get in any Nordstrom store.
The cons of Trunk Club:
- Only 5 days of try-on time
- Higher prices
Each Trunk includes up to 12 pieces, and it can take a significant chunk of time to try everything on and make decisions about what to keep. The 5 day try-on period can slip by pretty quickly. It would be helpful if it were easier to extend the try-on period, but as of now you need to email customer service and get approval.
Trunk Club pieces are mostly higher in cost, and this might be a turn-off for some shoppers. If you’re on a budget, this probably isn’t the subscription box for you. TC items are higher in price, but there are often discounts on individual items to help make up for it.
First, the pros:
- 25% discount if you keep the entire box
- Discover new trends
- Cohesive Fix boxes
One of the most exciting things about Stitch Fix is the potential 25% off discount, if you choose to keep everything in your box. The savings add up quickly.
The service focuses on trendy items, making this box a great way to try out new styles among clothes specifically catered to you.
Another positive is that the boxes they send include pieces that go well together. They don’t offer outfit examples, but it’s easy to put together outfits out of the 5 pieces they send.
The cons are:
- No box preview
- Weak styling
- Inconsistent quality
I wish Stitch Fix offered a box preview before the box is shipped. Some other boxes give you the option to reject items so your stylist can replace them with something else you might like more. You can’t see what Stitch Fix has in store for you until after your box ships.
Stitch Fix styling seems limited in terms of selection, despite the many brands they carry. Their selection seems to skew toward classic pieces with a trendy twist, like a striped sailor shirt with an unusual cut or ruffle attached.
Some of the clothes aren’t of the best quality. Quality often reflects price, but some items are upwards of $50 and still feel like fast fashion buys.
Both of these companies charge a styling fee as their base price. That means that even if you don’t like any of the clothes in your box, you’ll have to pay for the time it took stylists to find clothes for you. You’ll receive store credit for the styling fee, though, so the price is definitely worth it as long as you keep at least one piece from your box.
Stitch Fix has slightly cheaper items on average, but in my opinion, the price difference is linked to a noticeable drop in quality. Trunk Club’s items tend to be a little more expensive on average, but they tend to be made from higher quality materials.
Trunk Club is definitely the pricier option out of the two, and it has a $25 styling fee. Trunk Club specializes in higher-end brands, including designer brands. The price range is from $50 to $300, though in my box I received three items under $50 because of sales. During the style quiz your stylist will take note of your budget and keep things in that general range.
Trunk Club doesn’t offer any discounts based on buying a certain number of clothes, but they do offer discounts on individual items. Several of the items in my box were on sale for more than 30% off.
Stitch Fix mostly has mid-range prices. The styling fee is $20, and their pieces can cost anywhere from $20 to $500. From a service that boasts more than 1,000 brands, the range makes sense. Pricey items like shoes and leather jackets will probably be at the higher end of the spectrum.
The cost is affected by your stated budget, and you can specify how much you’re willing to spend for various types of clothing. For example, my box didn’t include anything over $100, and the most expensive item was a moto-style denim jacket. The Fix I received stayed well within my budget.
The beauty of these subscription boxes is that they aren’t associated with any particular style. Both Trunk Club and Stitch Fix aim to cater to your needs, whatever they might be. If you need lots of office-ready outfits, you can indicate that during your survey. If you’re shopping for a special occasion, you can include details about the occasion and how you want to look.
Trunk Club is associated with Nordstrom and tends to carry higher-end clothes and accessories. Stitch Fix has positioned itself as a mid-range subscription box, and favors current pieces that reflect trends in cut and style. The company carries more than 1,000 brands, including some of their own exclusive lines.
The clothes available through Trunk Club are from Nordstrom’s selection, including their own clothing lines. You can expect to find classic brands like Levi’s alongside Nordstrom brands Chelsea28 and Halogen. Trunk Club has extended size options, from 0 to 24W for women and from XS to 4XL for men.
The service doesn’t specialize in any one style of clothing, and you can expect a diverse selection of different styles. They can meet the various needs of customers, from classic preppy staples to edgy statement pieces and everything in between.
Stitch Fix brands itself as affordable and trendy. You can expect to find pieces with cute embellishments and very current cuts. The downside here is that you’re not likely to get classic pieces, and if you have a specific style goal, then you might not find what you’re looking for. They carry mainly trendy stock, though. In reviews, I tend to see the same few brands over and over again, despite the many brands they carry. My Fix included some of those same common brands.
The company carries extended sizes for men and women. What sets them apart is Stitch Fix Kids, a service that curates clothing for children in sizes 2T to 14. Not many clothing styling services offer an option for children, so this is a great option for parents who want headache-free shopping.
The selection through Trunk Club is definitely higher-end, and they carry items from Nordstrom’s extensive, well-curated selection. The service has exceptionally good styling services and through TC, you can build a more detailed style profile. You also have more of a chance to connect with your stylist, especially over the course of several boxes with detailed feedback and even chat messages.
Stitch Fix is a good option for people seeking out trendy, versatile pieces. Their selection seems to have less variation in terms of style, though. There doesn’t seem to be much variation, and it limits their effectiveness at meeting customer needs.
For me, Trunk Club is the best option. I’m willing to shell out a few extra dollars for clothing that goes with the rest of my wardrobe that I can expect to last a long time.
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