Trunk Club Review

After having such a great experience with Bonobos, I decided to try out Brian Spaly’s newest venture, Trunk Club. If he could make pants fit that well, in my mind, the man could do no wrong.

About Trunk Club
Though its name may be a little misleading, Trunk Club is not a pants company. It’s more like a personal shopping service for men. The company’s main goal is to ease the burden of clothing shopping for extremely busy professionals. To do this, Trunk Club tries to figure out what clothes you like/need through their registration process and a phone or email exchange with a personal stylist. Based on your initial consultation, Trunk Club sends you a variety of tops, bottoms, and accessories from brands such as Bonobos, Jack Spade, and Eton. Trunk Club has an inventory of clothes at their disposal that they use to put together your “trunk.” The value of the service for customers is the ability to dress fashionably without having to invest much time into the shopping process.

The company is able to “keep the lights on” by buying their clothing at wholesale prices while selling them to you at full retail prices. Trunk Club thinks you’ll pay full price for these items because you are a busy professional with no time to even think about your clothes.

My Experience
Registration: To start the process, I first had to register on Trunk Club’s website and give them some pretty detailed information about myself: height, weight, favorite stores and brands, measurements, and my needs.

Phone Consultation: A couple of days later, I was able to talk to a personal stylist on the phone that tried to get a better understanding of my needs and preferences so she could send me clothes that she thought would be best for me.

Clothes Arrive: Three days later, my “trunk” (a FedEx box), arrived. It was nicely packed with a note explaining that I should try everything on even if I thought, at first glance, I wouldn’t like an item. I realized later why they wanted me to do this. I received an email asking me for feedback on all of the different clothing items: what I liked, what I didn’t like, and why. The more clothes that I try on and give feedback on, the more Trunk Club is able to learn about my style and preferences so they can provide a better match of clothing the next time, and hopefully over time, the process can become more automatic.

Returning Clothes: After trying everything on, I decided to keep none of the 10 items that were sent to me. The items were either too big, too expensive, not my style, or a combination of those things.

Next Steps: I thought about getting another trunk sent to me, but I realized that this service is probably not a good match for me for a couple of reasons:

  • Fit: For someone that is smaller than the typical adult male, a lot of brands off the rack just don’t fit me properly. That doesn’t really mesh well with Trunk Club since they pick from a variety of brands that are geared toward the average adult male.
  • Price: I just can’t stomach paying full price for clothes and plus, I get such a rush from finding a great deal. This service would take that joy out of my life.
  • Time: My time isn’t so scarce that I can’t spare 30 minutes a week to browse online sales. Also, these days, many stores offer free shipping and free returns, so there are a lot of places where I can shop risk-free without ever having to leave my apartment.

Save Money Online Shopping!In the end, Trunk Club’s service didn’t work out for me, but it may be worthwhile for you to try out just to see what you’d get. It’s free shipping and free returns, so there’s no real risk in testing it out, just a small time commitment in registering for the service and having a phone conversation. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to shopping the online sales, like me.

Other Resources
The Top 23 Posts That You Missed
NYC Startup Scene
Renters Insurance 101
What’s Your Burn Rate?
Bonobos: Why the Pants Are Worth It
Finding an Apartment in NYC: Resources
Finding Cheap Alcohol in NYC

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Roger

I’m a 30-something professional with a career in digital media, a background in finance, and a passion for value. lifelaidout is my attempt at sharing some of the thought processes that I use in my everyday life to identify value and save time, money, and energy.

16 Responses to “Trunk Club Review”

  • Nice review, I just signed up and am looking forward to my first “trunk” to see what it’s all about. From their site’s Pricing page I think the prices might be more than I’m willing but it doesn’t cost anything to try!

  • roger says:

    Thanks for reading Seth! Hope the trunk works out for you. I’ve only ordered one trunk so far, but may give them another try in the New Year!

  • Ken Bruan says:

    I also decided to give TC a try because of the free shipping and return, but I also have my reservations about fit and price. I was supposed to received my first box today but dealing with FedEx is starting to become a major production and may ruin this experience enough to tip the scales against them.

  • roger says:

    Ken, I’d love to hear what you think when you get your clothes. For me, once I saw the price tags and felt the fit, it just didn’t seem worth it. I’d rather spend 20 minutes a week browsing the Nordstrom sale sections online and still getting free shipping and free returns rather than paying full price for something that doesn’t quite fit right.

  • Will Hench says:

    Awesome review of Trunk Club. If anyone on here wants to test a more flexible personal shopping platform we are in Beta with Don’t Shop, Inc. This is a low touch / lower cost model. We are focused more on convenience and fit versus luxury trendy cutting edge style. http://www.dontshop.co is our URL. Thanks! Will

  • roger says:

    Thanks for stopping by Will. I’ll definitely try to check out your site and maybe even do a review in the next couple of months!

  • Jose says:

    Good review. Your assessment of yourself sounds spot on with mine. I love finding good deals and even brag about it plus i’m 5’6″ and like all my stuff slim, not regular fit.

    • roger says:

      Haha, nice Jose – great minds think alike! It’s tough to find stuff that actually fits me a lot of the time and it really annoys me when clothes don’t fit properly. Do you have any good store recommendations for people like us?

  • […] just being a pessimist. This is an educated guess. I searched the Web for Trunk Club reviews, and one of them was from a smaller gent who […]

  • […] said, Trunk Club is not good for short men. As others have suggested, Trunk Club is geared toward men with average builds, plenty of cash and a lack of interest in […]

  • Charles says:

    I just signed up for trunk of the month. But I keep hearing about hiw expensive it really is. Just what are we talking about money wise?

    • Roger says:

      It’s been so long, so I can’t remember exact prices, but think regular prices at Bloomingdales or Saks for jeans, belts, or shirts. Maybe $200 for a button up shirt, $100 for a belt, and $200 for pants? Much more than I would pay for stuff that doesn’t fit.

  • jeff says:

    I just ordered my first trunk. am a little anxious and a little scared and not sure about the giving of information of my credit card. hopefully this will e legitimate. my fingers are crossed.

    • Roger says:

      Jeff, it’s definitely a legitimate company, so I wouldn’t be worried about being scammed, but no guarantees on the clothes fitting. Good luck and hoping for the best!

  • Bill Shirer says:

    I just purchased some clothes from the location in Dallas. It was a pleasant experience. I walked in, and was somewhat reminded of the Castle Anthrax scene from Monty Python. There were many attractive young women on the phone and their computers, and all appeared to be happy to see me.

    I was assigned a representative, and she was very helpful. During the conversation and fitting, I was offered wine or beer, and I noticed that there was some Scotch available as well. I did not partake.

    I don’t know what the “average” size is for men, but I’m 5’10″ and weigh 165 lbs. I found quite a few items that fit me, but I had to try on a few different sizes first.

    All in all, it was a pleasant experience. Sure, it was expensive, but I’m just the kind of customer they are looking for. I don’t like to shop for clothes, I don’t know really where to shop, and I need some guidance. In the end, it’s better to have fewer things that you really like to wear and that look good instead of a closet full of crap.

    • Roger says:

      Hi Bill, thanks for stopping by and for your detailed account of your Trunk Club experience! I didn’t even know TC had physical stores.

      For me, I value fit above all else and am willing to pay for it. However, with Trunk Club, I found the clothes to be both expensive and ill-fitting. That may all change now that Nordstrom acquired TC for $350MM. It sounds like following the close of the deal, TC shoppers will be able to use Nordstrom tailors to make adjustments to their clothes – though not sure if this service is free or an additional charge.


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