With the start of November, fall fashion is in its prime as the temperature continues to drop. Today, men and women both obsess over the latest styles and find themselves frequently replenishing their wardrobes for the most current season. Although a favorite pastime for some, shopping can be absolutely dreadful for others. Even if it’s not a painful process, it can sometimes be difficult to recreate the looks you see on fashion moguls, celebrities, and those featured in aesthetically pleasing Instagram posts. The most popular solution to this problem is online subscription retailers that style your wardrobe and ship it directly to you. Fabletics, Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, Thred Up, Urbane Box, and Tog and Porter are just some of the top companies who specialize in this stress-free, personalized shopping experience.  

Most of these sites operate on the same basis by using a survey filled out by the customer and the expertise of a stylist to hand-select a consistent number of items to be shipped directly to their house. The convenience factor combined with the elimination of a selection process is the biggest catch, especially for those who don’t trust their own fashion sense or know where to shop.   

Fabletics previously offered both men and women’s clothing but has recently switched over to exclusively offering women’s athletic and lounge apparel. The brand is sponsored by Kate Hudson and offers new complete outfits each month where you can select single items or entire sets. In becoming a VIP member, you get charged $49 each month unless you “skip the month.” Without skipping, you choose an outfit styled by the company or Hudson herself. This company does not tailor to your tastes as closely as the other forms and if you forget to skip the month and do not select an outfit you will still be charged. This will become store credit for future use however. Fabletics is the perfect fit if you live in athletic wear or are in need of new gym clothes.  

Stich Fix is a higher-end, more tailored subscription retailer that focuses on casual, preppy, business, and “date night” wear. You begin by taking an extensive quiz on your body physique, fit preferences, favorite brands, and what exactly you want to receive each month. A stylist will then use this information to select five items to send in a box to you at your desired frequency- every two to three weeks, once a month, once every two months, or once every three months. You can choose your general budget for the boxes and will also be charged a $20 styling fee each time. After trying on the items, you send back whichever ones you don’t want and then pay for the one’s you’d like to keep. The styling fee gets credited towards the items you buy. A typical box averages around $225 and can include jewelry, bags, shoes, tops, dresses, and bottoms. The high price understandably scares away younger customers like college students, but it is important to remember that you only pay for the items you love and keep. 

A very similar company is Trunk Club which is run by Nordstrom and includes brands such as Top Shop, Zara, J. Crew, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Banana Republic. You create your personal profile, chat with your stylist, review the items they hand-picked for you online, then receive your order. The more favorable feature with Trunk Club is the ability to look at the stylist’s picks and choose what you are interested in before they get shipped to you. This helps eliminate the uncertainty that makes customers shy away from exploring these types of businesses. There’s a $25 styling fee and the items are usually even more expensive than those in Stich Fix boxes; single items can range from $40 to $300. The trunks are also marge larger, containing six to ten items. You pay for what you keep and send back what isn’t quite the right fit or style.  

Thred Up is centered around second-hand clothing so it is substantially cheaper than the other brands, but they offer the same kind of fashion aid to their customer through their Good Boxes feature. Urbane Box is for both men and women and follows the same format but is more flexible when it comes to pricing. A single box can range from $90 to $400 for the same number of items, which makes it much more affordable. If you are looking for a sincerer experience in shopping online this way, Tog and Porter is likely your best option. You are matched one-on-one with a personal stylist who you will communicate with on what your current wardrobe looks like and what you are looking for. Then, after receiving your box, you will have a virtual session with your stylist to discuss what you like and dislike.  

Retailers running on a subscription bases as these allows for a personalized shopping journey. The process is set up as if you are shopping with a fashion-forward friend and the hassle of running around the mall to a multitude of stores to find just what you’re looking for is eliminated. The items in the boxes can help you expand your wardrobe by matching your current tastes, but they are also an excellent way to broaden your styles. Although these methods seem highly out of the college student’s price range, you can easily tailor your shipments and item selections to work for you.

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