Trunk Club Brings Style Right to Guys’ Doors
What irks guys at the mall isn’t that different from what annoys the fairer sex: trying on clothes in cramped fitting rooms with harsh lighting. The alternative is to scour Web sites, but without trying it on or feeling the fabric, many people are still hesitant to pull the trigger and grab wardrobe essentials from the Web. Enter Trunk Club, a service which allows men to schedule deliveries of clothes to try on in the privacy of their own home and get the latest looks without ever having to leave the living room.
Founded by Brian Spaly, the guy behind popular Web-based brand Bonobos (which revolutionized the way stylish guys buy pants), Trunk Club sets up actual trunks of clothing based on each customer’s style preference. The customer works with a personal stylist to choose which pieces will be in the delivery, which may contain anything from sport coats to shoes. Guys can even opt to have their deliveries packed so each outfit is already put together. They have 10 days to try the contents of their trunk on, figure out what works and return the rest.
“The businesses Ive built stemmed from my own frustrations with shopping,” said Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club. “I started Bonobos because I couldnt find trousers that fit me well. I simply designed a better pattern and found a way to get them manufactured. With Trunk Club, I realized that guys want to look good, but hate to shop, and that we could potentially solve this problem for them.”
And unlike other subscription shopping services, Trunk Club sends brands guys recognize. Contemporary designers mingle with high-end brands that will impress both seasoned fashion vets and guys who just want to look great. Because of his work with Bonobos, Spaly emphasizes fit as well as function.
“We look for brands that focus on great fit, that make high quality clothes with solid value, and that are good partners to work with,” said Jason Smith, Vice President of Product Merchandising, adding that the brand counts John Varvatos, Jack Spade, Eton, Jeremy Argyle, Gant Rugger, Fidelity and AG Jeans among its key vendors.
After each client gets his first box, subsequent boxes get more and more tailored so that returns become less frequent. Typically the first box has eight to 10 items, and Spaly said that customers typically keep half to a third of their items. As their closets fill with staples and standbys, Trunk Club’s personal stylists get a better feel for every customer’s tastes and preferences. Said Spaly, “Our reputation is on the line with every trunk we send out. We cant succeed unless we give guys great clothes and the confidence to wear them.”
Having been in the world of men’s apparel for the past five years, Spaly knows that guys want great quality and great fit. While they don’t necessarily follow the latest trends and have the most current pieces from a designer’s collection, they do appreciate how items are made and how well they hold up. “Our guys have also gotten hooked on the John Varvatos boat shoe in assorted colors,” said Smith, who also cites Jack Spade oxford shirts and the 5011 fit from Fidelity denim as popular pieces.
With the changing season, the newest shipment of trunks will include Chubbies. Contrary to their name, they’re a label that’s known for trim fits. “I do love that men’s shorts are getting shorter inseams again,” Spaly said. “I’ve never understood why guys want to wear these heinous baggy, cargo, long shorts that go below the knee; they make guys look a little ridiculous, they aren’t that comfortable in hot weather, and they aren’t flattering!”
We’ll raise our gin + tonic glass to that, and to clothes delivered straight to our easy chair!
For more information on Trunk Club, visit their Web site at www.trunkclub.com
Photos courtesy Trunk Club and Bonobos