What if you could have your very own personal stylist,
whose one goal was to search for only the most stylish outfits for you? What if you could look great every day of the week and eliminate the stress of going to crowded malls and wasting valuable time standing in line?
Imagine this: coming home to find a delivery, just for you. You rush inside to rip open the box, and inside you find it packed to the brim with beautiful, high-quality clothing, shoes and accessories. Whole outfits of the latest styles that you could wear that very day! You’re excited to get dressed so you can rack up a crazy amount of compliments. And, you are patting yourself on the back, because you didn’t have to pay anything extra to have an expert find these amazing styles for you.
The good news is, this doesn’t have to be a fantasy. You can experience this in real life!
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have your own personal stylist?
There are more and more companies cropping up with these “outfit in a box” services or subscription boxes for fashion, and I’ve tried a number of them myself.
The one I’ll be discussing in this post is Trunk Club for women.
As a side note, this is not a sponsored post. This is going to be an honest review of the Trunk Club online wardrobe stylist service.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Disclosures for more details.
What is a clothing subscription box?
A clothing subscription box is essentially the retail experience delivered to your doorstep. There are 2 basic types: services that allow you to borrow (rent) clothing to wear and/or purchase and services that provide clothing for you to try on and purchase only.
Some provide clothing only, others have clothing and accessories like shoes, jewelry, and purses.
The amount of time between deliveries varies according to the particular service. Some deliver monthly, others allow you to schedule how often you receive deliveries. Some allow you to request boxes on demand. Others work as a type of running exchange. For a monthly fee, you receive clothing, wear the items and send them back when you’re ready to change out for another set. Kind of like the old Netflix with DVDs.
What is Trunk Club?
Trunk Club is a subsidiary of Nordstrom. This is a retail service which provides clothing curated by an online personal wardrobe stylist. These boxes, or trunks, as they are referred to, can contain clothing items, jewelry, shoes or purses. Essentially, anything that you can find at the Nordstrom brick and mortar store or online, you can likely get through Trunk Club.
It’s actually a misnomer to call Trunk Club a subscription service. Although you do have the option of receiving a trunk each month, it’s not a requirement and you won’t automatically be sent a trunk of clothing every month as you would in other traditional subscription services. Trunk Club is largely an on-demand styling service that can give you as much or as little styling as you choose. So, if you want a trunk monthly, you will have to specifically request a box every month.
Similarly, you can have the trunk tailored to exactly what you need. You can get anything from workout clothes to work attire. Trunk Club also offers maternity styling, and there is a Trunk Club Men. This is an all-inclusive brand and curates trunks for all sizes, from petite to plus size.
Trunk Club stylists can do more than just shop for you. They can help you identify your personal style, provide styling tips and help you find the best clothing for you based on your specific body shape. It is a full-service experience.
How does Trunk Club work?
It’s ridiculously easy to get started with Trunk Club. You can sign up for this service on any device and it’s just as seamless. The site is extremely user-friendly, fast and intuitive.
First, you’ll come to a page that will ask you whether you’re shopping for a man or woman. Then you’ll answer questions about why you are signing up for the service, from just looking for something new to discovering your style.
After that, you’ll go through a few screens of flat lays showing outfits and you will indicate yes or no whether you like the style. You will then indicate how you dress on a normal weekday, what you wear on the weekends, and any colors you don’t like.
You will be asked if there are any areas of your body that you want to conceal. You will be asked the style of dress you prefer, how high you like to wear your heels. You will answer questions about how often you shop, where and what brands you like.
There is a screen in the process where you will click the button that best describes how much you usually spend on clothing items and accessories. Nordstrom carries brands in a range of prices, from inexpensive and affordable to very expensive designer brands. This is important so that your stylist can provide you with clothing options that stay within your budget.
After that, you will indicate your usual sizes, your height, weight, and age. You will then have the option of deciding how often you would like to have a trunk put together for you. You can choose every month, every 2 months or every 3 months (this is the most popular). Or, you can choose to decide later on. These are guidelines.
My point is this: if you want a trunk, you get a trunk! For example, even if you request a trunk every 3 months, if you wanted a trunk a month or 2 months later, you can request one.
What is the cost of Trunk Club?
The short answer is that it depends. The clothing you receive in the trunk will be within a certain price range. The cost will be based on your preferred clothing prices that you indicated during the signup process. The total price will depend on which items from the trunk that you choose to buy.
What’s the catch?
Just one. There’s a nonrefundable $25 styling fee. BUT, if you keep anything out of the trunk, this $25 goes towards the purchase price. AND if you are a Nordstrom cardholder, the styling fee is waived for you.
My experience with Trunk Club
I requested a trunk to arrive within a couple of weeks. I could indicate the reason for my trunk request. Was it for a vacation, a special event, job interview? I chose the option for a wardrobe refresh. I could leave a note to my stylist to tell her what types of clothing I was looking to add to my wardrobe. I wrote that I was looking for some workout clothes, some blouses, and pants, like business casual or smart casual.
While I was waiting for my trunk, I went through a feature in the app (also available on desktop) called Style Swipes. In it, you get a series of shots of outfits, some full-body, some just lower or upper body, or accessories like shoes or earrings. The question is: Would you wear this? You click a thumbs down icon for no or a thumbs up icon for yes.
It’s actually pretty fun and addictive. Probably hundreds of outfits later and who knows how much time I’d spend doing that. I have no idea whether there’s a rhyme or reason to the order or types, but it was definitely interesting. Some outfits would look very similar, just in a different pattern or color.
Anyway, soon after that, I got the name of a stylist assigned to me. I don’t recall how much longer after that, but I received an email from my stylist, introducing herself. In a few more days, I got a notification through the app that I had a note from my stylist and that she had put together the proposed trunk for my review.
I have to say, I was impressed right off. Maybe all that Style Swiping? Just talented? Probably! I don’t know. But there were 12 items and there was a little of everything I asked for: some workout gear, blouses, bottoms, and shoes. You have the option of removing items from your trunk if you don’t like them, and the stylist will replace it with another item. However, I didn’t need to do this. I was excited to try the trunk just as it was.
Here’s the extra fun bonus: there is a feature right before you finalize your trunk where you can choose up to 3 other items to add to the trunk. If your stylist adds an awesome off the shoulder top and you need a new strapless bra to go with it? Not a problem, you can add it to the trunk. Don’t have any good earrings to go with that dress? You can add some earrings to the trunk to try on, too! There are other choices like necklaces, bracelets, sunglasses, and scarves for you to choose from.
I chose a couple of pairs of sunglasses and some earrings, then finalized the trunk. When the trunk was shipped, I received an email with a tracking code.
Actually, it turned into trunk week. I was so excited to find the trunk on the doorstep, but I didn’t get to try on the clothes immediately. But I did finally!
The first outfit is a Veronica Beard Tristen Tie Silk Blouse. I wore it with the Oriana Bootcut Jeans from L’agence and the Tory Burch Kira Studded Pointy Toe Flat. The clutch is also Tory Burch, the Miller Leather Clutch. I also wore the Little Stud Crystal Chevron Stud Earrings from Uncommon James by Kristin Cavallari.
I really liked this outfit. The blouse had a cute bow that tied at the back of my neck and it fit perfectly. The jeans had the perfect amount of stretch. They were just a little short, so had I kept them, I would probably have had them altered.
One of the many advantages of using Trunk Club is that if you need anything in your trunk altered, you can just take it to your nearest Nordstrom and have any alterations done. Some alterations are actually complementary, but some are not. The Tory Burch flats were a little too big, I would have gone a half size down.
The next outfit is the Elaine Belted Minidress from A.L.C. Again, I carried the Tory Burch Miller Leather Clutch and wore the Little Stud Crystal Chevron Stud Earrings from Uncommon James by Kristin Cavallari. I wore this with some classic black pumps of my own (not pictured). The dress was in my usual size but felt a little small. I would have also tried the next size up.
Then I tried on another dress, this one called Cipriana Leopard Print Asymmetrical Silk Dress. I also wore this with my own pumps (not pictured) and tried it with the Tory Burch Miller Clutch. The fit was perfect, but the silk fabric felt paper thin. I sort of felt like Wilma Flintstone of the new millennium, LOL.
Then there is the athleticwear! I’m sporting the High Waist Lounge Leggings by Alo and the Fadeaway Mesh Hooded Jacket, also by Alo. The sneakers are the Marlow Slip-On by Via Spiga. The pink sports bra underneath is my own. The leggings were SO soft and comfortable! I also loved the shoes. They were pull-on, no laces. This would have been great except it turned out to be very similar to some shoes I already had. Besides, they were also about a half size too big.
Pictured below are the Perry Fabric Blocked Blouse by L’agence and Stretch Cotton Blend Suit Pants from Tailored by Rebecca Taylor. In the photo, I pair it with some taupe Tory Burch open toe sandals as an example. I didn’t take any pictures in this blouse and pants combination. I didn’t really like the color of the pants, the fabric was itchy and they didn’t fit very well. Again, they were in my usual size but were big at the waist and hips.
Also from the box is the Yvonet Button-Up Top by Equipment. It was a beautiful silk top and it fit well. Sadly, I just couldn’t fit it into my wardrobe at this time.
So I ended up keeping the A.L.C. minidress, the Tory Burch flats, the Chevron earrings, and the Alo leggings. I was able to exchange the flats for a smaller size, but as for the dress, I’m still waiting on whether the exchange will be available.
What do I think of the Trunk Club fashion trunk for women?
What’s to Love about Trunk Club
1. An actual person chooses your clothing.
I loved that there is a real, live, human being that is choosing what clothes I need. We can work together to find items to add to my wardrobe. It’s a level of personalization that makes the process so much more fun.
2. Communication with your personal stylist is easy.
Like all of the stylists, my personal stylist could be reached by phone, email or by sending notes within the Trunk Club App. I was in touch with her throughout this process and she was very responsive. If I sent a message and she was unavailable, I would get a message saying so, and what day she would return. The in-app correspondence is excellent and is just like texting on your phone. If I had any issues or questions, and even if I wanted something else, all I had to do was shoot a message to my stylist.
3. You get unparalleled customer service.
Nordstrom is well known for its impeccable customer service. Trunk Club is no different. If there are any issues, they work to resolve them. As I said, my personal stylist was great at communicating and updating me on item availability.
4. They make price adjustments.
The clothing you get are often new arrivals to Nordstrom, so they rarely are on sale. However, should you find that what you purchased went on sale at Nordstrom within a period of time, Trunk Club will match the price and issue you a refund.
5. It’s freakishly easy to return.
The shipping is free both ways! Plus, you have a lot of good options for return. You can drop it off at your nearest UPS. Or you have the option of having UPS come to your door to pick it up. You choose the day and your friendly UPS driver will be there to take your trunk back to Trunk Club home base. OR you can drop it off at some Nordstroms! It’s just so convenient.
6. The Trunk Club app is awesome.
It works as good as the desktop version. I can’t comment on how it functions on something like an iPad, because I didn’t personally test that out. I would imagine it would be essentially the same. What I love about it is that I can receive notifications through the app as well as have direct communication with my stylist.
7. New clothes, new arrivals, fresh looks.
Your outfits will always be current with the latest styles available. It’s almost like the fashion goes straight from the floor to your door. Or straight from the warehouse to your door (but that sounds less sexy). So you’ll be the first of your friends to debut an outfit. And even if you don’t care about that, you know you’ll look great and have something you love.
8. You can use your Nordstrom card and accrue points!
As I mentioned, if you have a Nordstrom card, the $25 styling fee is waived for you. On top of that, Trunk Club purchases count toward the Nordie Club, so you can continue to rack up your points and getting closer to that next Nordstrom Note!
9. You are in control.
You control everything, from how often you receive a trunk, to the price range of the items, to what you want in the box. You can try on the clothes at your leisure–before work, 2 am, while watching your favorite show, whenever! Your stylist is there to guide you to the best outfits to flatter you, but ultimately, you decide what you keep and what you send back.
What There is to Dislike about Trunk Club
1. You can’t give the clothes a test run.
Trunk Club is not providing clothes for you to rent. These are meant to be treasured pieces of your wardrobe. The clothing you return must be in new, unworn condition with the tags on.
2. Inventory can be limited.
It’s not like buying something online, where you can keep buying until it says sold out. It’s more like boutique shopping. The most popular items can run out and you may not be able to get a size exchanged.
3. You don’t get sale items or clearance.
It makes sense because it’s a personal styling experience. You wouldn’t want clothing that is out of season or out of style. On the other hand, you will rarely get the satisfaction of finding a deal.
4. Vanity sizing can make the experience challenging.
While all my items had the same size on the tags, they didn’t all fit the way they probably should. The obvious one was the Stretch Cotton Blend Suit Pants from Tailored by Rebecca Taylor. These slacks seemed to be a whole size too big.
If you’re just doing something like I did, a seasonal closet refresh, it’s not a big deal. But if you’re going on vacation or getting new clothes for a job interview, I would advise that you plan for any possible delays for exchanges. The exchange size for my shoes was sent out immediately, but there is still the transit time added on there to arrive at my house.
5. It’s a process.
If you have ever tried other services, you know that the first few times can be great, or they could be a disaster. It may take a little bit of time for your stylist to get a good feel for your aesthetic and your personal style. I was very fortunate in that my stylist did an amazing job on the first trunk. I am both excited about my wardrobe and afraid for my budget at the same time!
Final thoughts on Trunk Club
Online shopping and online styling services are becoming mainstream. There are so many great reasons to get an online stylist a try. In the case of Trunk Club, you can request infusions into your wardrobe when you want or need them. It’s so simple and convenient to use Trunk Club for your styling options. You get the personalization of your wardrobe picks without the extra cost of a stylist.
While there are some aspects of the shopping process that you might miss, like the euphoria of finding that dress you’ve been stalking to be on sale (!!), it seems that the benefits outweigh the negatives. You can determine the pricing of the items in your trunk and check them out in the comfort of your own home, where there’s no pressure.
So go ahead, give Trunk Club a try. Give yourself some much-needed pampering. Take advantage of the time you save, and the stress you avoid, and make the shopping process simple and fun!
And Remember — Share the love!