I Didn’t Pick These Clothes and I Love Them

I Didn’t Pick These Clothes and I Love Them
If only there was a service that would shop for you at a reasonable price...

I receive the same few requests from readers a couple of times a year. First, requesting a print edition of Primer. (I’m considering it.) Second, an app. (Would you use it?)

But, one of the most common things I hear from you guys is you wish there was a Getup subscription service. An affordable style box, based on all of the Getups Primer does, sent right to your door. Shopping is hard, whether that’s because you’re too busy, hate shopping, or just feel ill-prepared for walking into the mall and picking the right things out of thousands of options.

I’d love to be able to offer that, I think it would be an incredibly helpful resource for everyone. The problem is, that would be an intensive undertaking.

I’d have to account for a lot of different sizes for each item, have all kinds of styles for different tastes and climate regions, maintain stock, develop an efficient and free-for-you shipping apparatus, all while continuing to develop the free content I love producing for you on the site.

To put it another way, it’s disappointingly unfeasible for me to do at this point.

But the good news is: Someone else has done it. Really, really well.

Men's Style Lab review

Everything but the watch and belt came in my box from Men's Style Lab.

Men's Style Lab subscription box
Mens Style Lab logoExcited to collaborate with Men's Style Lab on this post, get a personal stylist concierge to shop for you at http://www.mensstylelab.com. Primer readers save $25 off of their first order with PRIMER25!

What is this?

Men’s style subscription boxes aren’t new, they’ve been gaining traction in the last couple of years because traditional brick and mortar men’s clothing retailers have just completely dropped the ball when it comes to online sales. “Free shipping over $150”? Are you kidding? Amazon sent me a freaking 6 burner propane grill in TWO DAYS for FREE. And returns? I have to pay for return shipping??

To even get to the free shipping threshold, you have to order the minimum amount from ONE retailer. What if I want a pair of pants from one brand, and a shirt from another?

On top of that, it can feel impossible to keep up on current trends or knowing which holes in your wardrobe to fill with staples.

Even for me, a guy whose job it is to help other guys figure out what to wear, it can take a lot of time deciphering what’s actually stylish and not just hyped over-priced fashion.

You’ve probably come across Trunk Club before, but if you’re a Primer reader, I would bet money you’ve never used them for one simple reason. They only offer designer-level items: Their jeans can cost $250 per pair.

What I wanted was a box that was more affordable, but still had reputable, stylish brands that will last. I don’t mind paying a little more if I can feel confident that what I’m getting is solid.

And that’s exactly what the passionate folks at Men’s Style Lab provide. Brands like Original Penguin, Ben Sherman, Florsheim, Gant, Fossil, and more.

Men's Style Lab

My fav linen-cotton shirt by Slate & Stone from my Men's Style Lab box

Click Here to Check Out Men's Style Lab

They’re not just a box of stuff you receive each month like Birchbox. They’re literally a personal style concierge. It takes out all of the guesswork of dressing well, maybe:

  • you're too busy because you’re trying to make partner at work with a baby on the way,
  • you're new to style and don’t know where to start,
  • you just really hate shopping,
  • you live in a really, really, small town without many options (like I used to) where your ability to discover and try new brands is hard. (There isn’t even a Gap there anymore.)

With Men’s Style Lab, if you don’t like it, send it back for free. Doesn’t fit? Send it back for free. Love everything in the box? Save 25% on the whole thing.

Here’s how it works

You take 60 seconds to fill out their Style DNA Survey, which identifies what you love and what you need. It asks things like:

  • your age
  • which different types of personal styles you like
  • fit problems you have (broad shoulders, big legs, etc.)
  • what type of occasion they should focus on (casual weekend, night on the town, etc.)
  • and which types of items you most want in your box.

 

A style advisor handpicks 5 items based on your lifestyle and wardrobe preferences. They’ll send out your box and you get 5 days to try everything and decide what you want to keep. Send back what you don’t want for free, or keep everything and get 25% off everything in the box.

And the great thing that separates it from a lot of monthly boxes is, you can choose how often you need it, every 30, 60, or 90 days. Which I think makes Men’s Style Lab an incredibly useful tool. If you need to fill in holes or build your wardrobe or just like new stuff, 30 or 60 works perfectly. But if you’re just the kind of guy who needs a few new items every season, 90 days will keep you fresh without having to go shopping every time the temperature changes.

Now, like I said, I sort of “shop” for a living, so I was really curious about what my impressions would be when I received my box. I already have a pretty full closet, was I going to get stuff I already had? Am I too picky to be impressed?

My box hit it out of the park. I’m not being facetious when I say I love all 5 items that I received. If you’ve been reading Primer for awhile you can see my stylist perfectly matched my style. To say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

Men's Style Lab

Here’s what I got

When you first open the box you’re greeted with an envelope with a personal note from your stylist (who is a real person, who actually handpicks your items based on your preferences).

  • A versatile purple plaid shirt by Maker & Company, with the fit and weight to be worn casually untucked or dressed up. ($86)
  • Made in the USA dark denim by Ruell & Ray – I’ve been looking for a good pair of slimmer denim to wear with… ($123)
  • AWESOME casual wingtips by J Shoes – I’ve been needing a better pair ($144)
  • A really cool textured linen-cotton short sleeve shirt by Slate & Stone, perfect for summer ($96)
  • A Dibi tie that will work great casually or dressed up. ($36)

Everything fit great right out of the box, the only thing I had tailored were the jeans because they came in a single inseam (like a lot of higher end jeans). Those prices are with the 25% discount for keeping everything. They're on par with J.Crew and Banana Republic retail – and while you can get those two brands for cheaper if you spend the time and energy to hound sales, you're also paying for a helpful service. When you consider you're basically hiring a personal stylist, I find those prices to be very reasonable.

Men's Style Lab

Shirt by Maker & Co / Tie by Dibi / Jeans by Ruell and Ray

Men's Style Lab

MSL even puts out their own Style Guide magazine, which is really well done

The nice thing about Men’s Style Lab is, if your stylist gets your needs and style like mine did, you can continue to work with the same one over and over.

If you're a guy who wants a better way to upgrade your closet, than spending hours shopping, Men's Style Lab is an awesome solution.

Primer readers can save $25 off their first order with code PRIMER25!

Thanks for supporting the brands that support Primer!

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.