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. Wantable
For some people, the most exciting part of a subscription box is the styling aspect. If regular shopping feels like a chore, receiving a curated box of goodies can help make it fun again. Subscription boxes like Trunk Club and Wantable excel when it comes to giving you what you want.
Trunk Club and Wantable both make for a simpler shopping experience. You can rely on either option to deliver clothes in your size and selected by a stylist who can help you elevate your style. Wantable has a fun, easy-to-use site interface and style quiz that gets deep into personal style. Trunk Club’s strengths are consistent, reliable quality, both in terms of clothes and styling.
These two options have some basic similarities in how they work. Both use your answers to a survey to create a style profile for you, along with other input like comments and Pinterest boards. They both focus on helping you express your fashion sense, and you can choose to get styled for everyday wear or a specific event.
You can try on clothes, but you can’t wear them or take the tags off. You can take up to five days to try items on and decide what you’d like to keep. Returns are free and convenient, setting these boxes apart from the typical online shopping experience.
Trunk Club has Trunk options for both men and women, and packs up to 12 items of clothing per box. Your stylist will primarily be working off of your answers to the style survey. You can also do Style Swipes, where you give outfits a thumbs up or thumbs down, to help flesh out your preferences even more. You can also send an inspiration image to your stylist or leave notes about your personal fashion goals.
Next, you’ll receive a digital version of your curated Trunk. You can view all the items in your Trunk before it ships, and if there’s anything in it that you hate, you can reject it and ask for something else.
Wantable only offers women’s clothing for their Style Edit boxes. Men and women can both check out their Active Edit option for selections of workout gear. For either option, you’ll get 7 items per box. The Active Edit includes loungewear, too, perfect for working from home or having a night in.
The style quiz from Wantable is streamlined while still getting into the details of what you want as a shopper. It asks about your proportions, size, and color preferences– all the usual questions. What sets it apart from other quizzes is the ability to rank how much you like something, instead of stating that you do or don’t like it.
Each Style Edit includes a prepaid bag for returns, but the return policy on their website seems stricter than most. The policy states that “You will not be billed for returned items as long as your return shipment is postmarked by 4:00 pm CT on your due date.” That rule about postmark time is unusually specific. Other services I’ve tried are a little more flexible, letting you extend your try-on period and accepting returns as long as you check out by the due date.
The service has plenty of pros:
- Skilled, qualified stylists
- Large selection
- Great customer service
Trunk Club’s strengths are the personalized nature of each box. If you want a collection of clothes and accessories with a strong overall style, this box is perfect for you. Stylists put together outfits out of the clothes in your Trunk, offering valuable advice on how to wear each piece.
Nordstrom carries many clothing brands and is able to represent lots of different style preferences. The selection is large and well-curated.
Customer service is one of the key elements here that sets Trunk Club apart. The effective styling and benefits like free alterations in Nordstrom stores are two great examples.
The service still has a few cons:
- Can’t request specific items
- So many clothes, so little try-on time
Some styling services let you choose items to put in your box. Trunk Club doesn’t let shoppers choose anything, so you’ll have to rely entirely on what your stylist picks out for you.
Another way they could improve is by extending the time customers have to try on clothes. They include up to 12 items, and each Trunk is huge. If you’re having a particularly busy week, it’s hard to carve out the time to try on so many clothes and figure out what you can see yourself wearing. As it is, you need to contact customer service to request an extension to get more time.
First, the pros:
- Highly specific style quiz
- 20% off discount on 5+ items
- Choose items before styling
Wantable has a great styling quiz that gives you plenty of chances to opt-out of specific items. If you hate a style or type of clothing, you can rate it as a “dislike” and it won’t end up in your Edit.
If you decide to keep more than 5 of your items, you’ll get a 20% discount on the total. This adds up to some great potential savings.
Wantable shows you items that fit in with your self-described style and lets you choose some to add to your edit, if you want. The step is optional, so you can leave it up to your stylist if you want expert advice.
As for the cons:
- Can’t preview boxes
- Weak themed edits
Being able to preview boxes is important to a lot of customers, and the chance to reject pieces can really improve a customer’s box. Wantable doesn’t offer a box preview, though, and you can only check out the selection after it’s shipped.
Wantable offers monthly themed edits, but they don’t seem to reflect seasonal needs very well. The themes aren’t very strong and don’t seem useful for developing style or building out a wardrobe.
These aren’t budget retailers. Instead, they have clothes at the kind of prices you find at department stores and similar retailers. You can expect a certain level of quality from these boxes, but that also means you aren’t likely to find a standout bargain.
Each has a base styling fee that you pay even if you return all items, but that money translates to credit if you do buy something. Trunk Club charges $25 for this, and Wantable charges $20.
TC is owned by Nordstrom, and as a result it carries plenty of mid-to-high range pieces. Their items cost from $50 to $300, so it’s safe to say they have pricier clothes than Wantable.
The service doesn’t offer any bundle discounts, but they have plenty of sales on individual items. When I ordered a box, four out of 10 items were on sale.
Wantable pieces for Style Edits tend to range from $50 to $100. Active Edits cost a little less, usually between $40 and $70. The range is lower than most services, and it makes me wonder if they avoid carrying statement pieces. A well-made pair of shoes or coat often costs more than $100, for example. Wantable offers a 20% off discount if you buy more than 5 items.
One of the benefits of shopping via a subscription box is the sheer variety of brands and styles you can typically find from a service. Trunk Club carries brands found at Nordstrom like rag & bone, along with some of their own in-house lines. Wantable carries similar brands, and there’s a bit of overlap, since both carry Kut from the Kloth, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and others.
The specific style you receive in your boxes will depend on how you answer your style quiz and what you tell your stylist. Both of these companies have some fairly detailed style quizzes, so you can trust them to cater your subscription to your personal taste.
The style options in TC cover a wide span of looks, from bold and glam to classically stylish. They have clothes from sizes 0 to 24W, though I can’t vouch for the robustness of their plus size selection. They tend to focus on elevated looks as opposed to trends, but you can still find some edgy pieces from the likes of TopShop and other youthful brands.
Trunk Club also has a variety of themed boxes. They’re aimed at including clothes appropriate for various seasons and occasions. Right now, they have Fall Trends, Fall Weekend, Sustainable Style, and more. The Fall Weekend Trunk page tells you exactly what to expect in your trunk: comfortable shoes, sweaters, fall accessories like beanies, transitional coats and knit tops.
Wantable has two subscription plans: one for activewear and one for other clothes. The Style Edit includes casual, formal and going-out clothes. If you choose an Active Edit box, you’ll get activewear, athleisure items, and loungewear. This option is the perfect choice to find comfortable, casual apparel.
Aside from those two distinctions, you have a fair amount of control over what ends up in your box. They ask your opinion on fit, jean cut, jewelry metal tone, color and so much more. You can let them know you hate necklaces, faux fur, and the color orange, and your box won’t contain any of those. The company makes it a point to exclude anything you rank as Dislike.
Wantable also has monthly themed boxes. September has two boxes. One is a Denim Style Edit, which features up to four jeans with matching tops, and the other is a Leggings Active Edit, which includes up to four leggings and assorted tops. This option might be appealing to people who aren’t sure where to start with revamping their wardrobes.
These are both worthwhile subscription services, but Trunk Club manages to pull ahead because of the commitment to customer service and the well-rounded Trunks they deliver. When it comes to personal styling services, those two traits are vital.
Wantable’s style quiz is a little sleeker, and it’s perfect for customers with a lot of preferences. However, Trunk Club gives you a clear line of communication to your stylist, adding the all-important human touch to the experience. I would recommend Trunk Club to anyone wanting to try a new subscription box.
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