Trunk Club for Women Subscription Review – June 2017
Trunk Club is a clothing styling service for both women and men. Similar to Stitchfix, subscribers fill out a detailed style profile which, in turn, your assigned stylist uses to handpick clothes, shoes, and accessories. There is a $25 styling fee which is credited towards whatever you decide to keep.
The clothes arrive in a cardboard box that looks like a suitcase trunk and is made of thick cardboard. If you choose to return anything, you’ll do so using this same box. So it’s nice that it seems rugged enough to handle two trips through the mail!
Trunk Club is a Nordstrom company, and they send similar brands that range in the $75-300 range. In the style profile, you can choose your preferred price range for each category (ie. $50-100, $100-200, or $200+). I chose the lowest price range for everything—to be honest, it’s still on the higher end of what I pay for clothing typically, but if I really love a really high-quality item (in other words, one I’ll get lots of value and use out of), I’ll spring for it.
The items in this box are reflective of my style and price preferences, so note that your Trunk Club may be completely different!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Trunk Club
The Cost: $25 styling fee, credited towards any items you choose to keep, plus the cost of whatever you keep. Shipping and returns are free.
The Products: Clothing, shoes, and accessories hand-selected by your stylist for you to try on at home
Ships to: Contiguous 48 states for free. Alaska and Hawaii (shipping and return fees apply)
Good to Know: Trunk Club carries sizes XS – 3X. Check out Anna’s plus size reviews here!
Also good to know: Trunk Club price matches “within 14 days of purchase exclusively to Nordstrom.”
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Inside the box, there’s a packet of all the information and paperwork I’ll need to get acquainted with, and potentially return my box.
When I signed up for my subscription, I was matched up with a stylist named Melissa. Melissa and I chatted online (via the simple, clean chat widget in my Trunk Club account page) about what I was looking for, what my likes and dislikes were, and any upcoming occasions that might warrant some new pieces. This is my first Trunk Club experience, so I was just looking to explore the kinds of everyday looks they might curate for me. I explained that my work wardrobe is usually pretty casual, but that I do go out and about and perform (I’m in improv comedy shows about 2 nights out of the week) a lot, which requires looks that are just a smidge more polished (I don’t have to get all dressed up, but I don’t necessarily want to be wearing leggings and tunic tees in front of an audience, either).
Melissa was awesome and asked some great questions about recent trends I might want to try. She checked out my fashion-focused Pinterest board, too, and seemed to really pick up what I was putting down in terms of the silhouettes, colors, and aesthetics that make me tick. More than that, she just seemed like a real person with genuine interest in what I was saying—the experience didn’t feel robotic or forced. I didn’t think I would say this, but it was honestly pretty darn fun!
Next up, there’s a list of everything in the box, as well as the price to keep each item. You get to preview the items that are picked for your box before it ships, so none of these items came as a huge surprise. You can also remove items if you’re just not digging them, and ask for your stylist to pop something different in before the box ships.
On the back of the booklet is instruction for returning the items I don’t want to keep. There’s a return label included, too. The process is literally packing everything up, smacking the return label on there, and passing it along to UPS. You can even schedule UPS to come to you, so you don’t even have to leave your house! I’m in love with how easy this whole process is.
They also include this little card.
It advertises Nordstrom’s alterations services, which can be used on the pieces in this box. That’s cool, I suppose, though I wonder how many folks have a Nordstrom within close-enough proximity to them. Still, knowing alteration help is out there does make any small sizing concerns a little less of a bummer (and less of a reason to send something back).
But enough about paperwork. Let’s check out these clothes!
Here’s the first ensemble I put together with some of the pieces in the box. Melissa and I talked a lot about versatility, so I’m not surprised that a lot of the pieces I got could actually work together quite well. I like that she really took that into consideration.
Crop Shirt in Blue Stripe with Embroidery from Madewell – Cost to Keep $78.00
As soon as I saw that this shirt was by Madewell, I was like, oh, YEP, that makes sense, because I love Madewell, and I just adore this little button down!
They call it a “crop shirt”, but it’s not a crop top in the Forever 21, Coachella sense of the word. (I’m not knocking it, though—I’ve got some much-loved crop tops in my wardrobe right now). This is more of just a boxier top with a floaty kind of square shape to it.
My favorite thing about this (super duper light) cotton shirt is the way the sleeves sit. They’re so perky and crisp! I can sense a lot of ironing or steaming in this shirt’s future, but it’s worth it for how sweet these sleeves look.
The back has this floaty little gathering across my shoulder blades. I feel like I’d typically shy away from shirts like this since my frame is already kind of short and broad, but I actually don’t mind this look. It’s not boxy in the way, say, ’80s or ’90s shirts can be (I’m a frequent vintage shopper, so I’m all too familiar with boxy, sometimes wacky tops). I think the lightness of the fabric and the crispness of the sleeves and collar make it look sort of sweet and surprisingly flattering.
Floral Embroidered Jessica Boyfriend Jeans by NYDJ – Cost to Keep $148.00
The second part of this look is likewise forcing me to lean into that boxy shape I’ve been running from. These jeans are a “boyfriend” cut, which essentially translates to looser all around and a little higher waisted. I can’t remember exactly when skinny jeans became a thing, but I honestly haven’t bought anything but for literally… maybe 10 years? Part of it is that there really weren’t other options that weren’t a little frumpy looking, but I also feel like 20s me has been kind of skittish about my body (which is curvier on the bottom and pretty broad all over) looking any bigger than it was. Now that I’m on the brink of 30, I know that’s pretty bogus—first, because I’ve watched enough What Not to Wear to know that tight doesn’t always mean flattering, and second because, hey, my body is healthy and awesome, and I deserve to wear what makes me happy, no matter how big or small it makes me look. So here I am, the skinny jean queen, and I see these pants in the box and go “ehhh?”… and then I put them on… and then I ask myself… what the heck I’ve been doing wearing skinny jeans all this time because THESE ARE AWESOME!
These. Jeans. Are. So. Comfortable! And it’s not just because they’re cut in such a way that I didn’t have to fight and pull to yank them on. The fabric is soft and still has stretch to it, so I didn’t feel at all inhibited or stuffed in. At first, I was constantly tempted to pull these up — the crotch is low, because of the boyfriend cut, so skinny-jeans me is going, oh these must be high-waisted. But no, they sit comfortably just above my hips, and the lower crotch just lends to the general roomy, free feeling of these pants.
They were a bit long (as all jeans are usually a bit long on my 5′ 3″ bod), but they look so darn cute rolled up that it didn’t matter one bit.
And then, of course, there are the pretty indigo embroidered designs at the hip and shin of these jeans. They felt so pretty and unique! I love that they aren’t so big and bold that they make the jeans less versatile. And for something kind of boho (which isn’t really my thing), I actually kind of like these details!
These jeans definitely make me look shorter than I’m used to (especially with the crop shirt), but I don’t know. When I looked in the mirror, I actually thought I looked downright adorable!
Okay, so the only bummer? These are $148.00, which is a lot for me to spend on a pair of jeans. Melissa did ask specifically if it was okay to stray outside of my budget just a little if she found something that seemed really appropriate, and hey, she knocked it out of the park with these. I’ll just have to think hard about whether I should spring for them or not!
Stripe Linen Blend Bell Sleeve Top from Sanctuary – Cost to Keep $79.00
I tossed this top on over my new best friends, a.k.a. those embroidered jeans, just for efficiency, but I probably wouldn’t wear it with them in real life. I feel like this top is begging for some shorts, a denim skirt, or dare I say it, some skinny jeans. (Don’t worry, skinny jeans, I’m never giving you up for good!)
Again, I think Melissa did a great job of taking my general aesthetic into a summertime space, but not an overtly boho-festival-priestess space (not my vibe). Actually, I think we literally talked about how I like clean lines and shapes with romantic, or out-of-the-ordinary flourishes, and this piece absolutely nails that. It’s just a plain woven top (like the button-down from earlier, it’s super lightweight and cottony), but the ruffly sleeves and off-the-shoulder silhouette give it a different kind of twist.
Speaking of the off-the-shoulder thing, I was surprised how much I liked this shape on me. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a little shy about my broad shoulders, and have shied away from this kind of silhouette, worrying about it making me look like a big rectangle. But I feel so pretty wearing this floaty, gathered piece, like I’m my own modern-day remake of Ever After. I don’t know if I love this piece enough to spend $80 on it, but I am so delighted to have been given a reason to try out this trend—I’m going to have to give these kinds of looks a chance from here on in!
Also, hello, how fun are these sleeves? I feel like this is the refined, women’s wear version of the Seinfeld puffy shirt. LOVE it.
Here’s my next look, starring this super cute pom-pom top!
Pom-Pom Trim Tank from J.Crew – Cost to Keep $39.50
This was another one of those, why-do-I-love-this-so-much-oh-it’s-my-brand moments like the Madewell one from earlier. I know J.Crew has changed it’s aesthetic a bit over the past few years, and it’s gotten a little more… hmm… “mainstream” might be the best way to describe it… but I feel like that shift has really made me love it even more. It’s not as intimidating a place to shop as it used to be for me. And I love how they work special little details into everyday pieces like this muscle tank. It’s such a great combo of hard and (literally) soft shapes and sensibilities. And that’s 100% me.
The pom-poms are a pretty sapphire color. As with so many of these picks, this top feels cute, special, and versatile at the same time. I do worry whether my sometimes rushed laundry habits would be compatible with these precarious pom-poms… I also would switch my vote from like to love for this top if the neckline were just a little tighter. (I like my crew necks to be really nice and close—I just dig how it looks with my short hair.) I’m not as thrilled with this piece as I am with other things in this box, but I really love the fact that I feel like it’s an indication that my stylist really did listen to me and what I like to wear. I’m totally cool with this box not being 100% wins, if simply because I can see why Melissa added the pieces she did. She didn’t phone it in one bit!
Okay folks, hold onto your hats. I’m switching pants!
Alina Frayed Stretch Twill Ankle Pants from NYDJ – Cost to Keep $114.00
The last pants are a tough act to follow, but I was impressed by how nicely these twill pants fit. The olive color is awesome, too. It’s so rare that I try on pants that fit so nicely in the waist and have a crisp, tailored cut to them, but also give some breathing room through the calves and thighs. (I know, I’m talking about non-skinny jeans like I just discovered a new species—it’s been a long time, people! I promise I’m coming slowly but surely out of the cave!)
There’s a nice amount of room in the booty, too. I like that the design of these pants toes the line between 9-5 casual office twill pants and weekend-ready jeans. I said I wanted versatility, and Melissa rose to the challenge!
I do think they could be a smidge shorter, so if I keep ’em, I’ll have to check out this Nordstrom alterations business (or the tailor in my neighborhood). I wonder how they’d shorten them while retaining this little frayed detail at the ankles? Honestly, I’m not such a fan of the frayed detail that I’d be sad if it was gone…
Corset Tee by Project Social T in Black – Cost to Keep $35.00
Okay, let’s talk about this tee. I wanted to like this tee so much! It hits on so many of my usual style requirements. It’s black (the color of my soul… just kidding, though it is the color of about 75% of my closet), it’s really soft and comfortable, and I’ve never seen a shirt with this kind of awesome detail. I’m kind of in love with this pseudo-goth, ren-fair corseting design. Like, if a vampire wanted to stop by a coffee shop and use their wifi to get some work done, she’d probably be wearing this top.
Trouble is, I don’t think it’s quite the right thing for my body. Or at least, I can’t figure out how to make it work in a way that feels right. It sits along the very tippy top of the waist of these pants, but I don’t know that the casual elegance of this shirt looks all that cool with belt-loops and denim stitching. I wouldn’t want to tuck it in to anything, because then I’d lose the appeal of the corset. And it does keep wanting to scrunch upwards, because it’s hugging in on my waist and thus, slinking up my hips. I think on a straighter silhouette, it’d look really cute resting over some jeans, but for me, I’m just not sure I’m the right home for it. It’s such a cool pick, though!
Scram, pants, your moment is over. It’s time to try on this dress!
Holly Chevron Stripe Dress from Madewell in Navy – Cost to Keep $69.50
Hello again, Madewell, my love. This dress is really sweet and simple. Melissa and I talked extensively about my love for t-shirt dresses, so I’m guessing this is her attempt at classing that concept up one friendly notch. It’s a great pick—the navy color is very me, and it’s so darn easy to wear, since it’s a thicker, nicer knit. I could easily class this up with accessories, or wear it with sneakers or sandals.
The back has a tidy little chevron pattern to it, which is actually pretty flattering as well as visually interesting. Sweet, simple, the perfect size… I really like this piece for summer!
Cassie Perforated Sneaker from Caslon in White – Cost to Keep $79.95
Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to introduce you to the real star of every one of these outfits—these super-cool sneakers! Melissa and I talked about my shoe needs in planning the box. I love sneakers, but I’m forever buying the ones with the brightest, most ridiculous patterns. I could use a simple, all-purpose shoe like these, which could transition well between work, play, and even performances.
The color listed for them is “White”, but I’d say they’re more of a soft, ecru kind of color. It’s barely noticeable from far-away, though. They’re pretty comfortable, if a bit stiff (aren’t all new sneakers, though?)—maybe after a week or so of wandering around in them, they’d start really stretching out. The perforations are a little preppy for me, but I like these more than I thought I would seeing them in the box!
Ava Skater Dress from Lush – Cost to Keep $39.00
There’s one last piece in the box, which I didn’t try on. Well… I should say I did try it on, but after looking in the mirror I decided it wasn’t a look that needed to be seen by the Internet. This skater dress is made entirely of a thin stretch fabric that’s a really pretty gray-ish lilac color, but it hugs me like it’s made of pantyhose. The neckline, nor the thickness of the fabric really lends itself to a bra, either, so this piece feels like it fits too close for comfort even if it is technically the right size for me. I completely see why this piece was included (it’s easy to wear, it’s summery, it’s a pop of pretty color), and I have no hard feelings over it, but oh boy, not the best item in actuality!
Verdict: Hooray for Trunk Club! I was really happy with what I got in this box, and with the process in general. It’s so user-friendly—their interface is super easy to navigate, my stylist was kind and interested and awesome, and they send just enough email notifications to keep me in the loop about where my box is and help me give feedback and develop a relationship with my stylist. I did notice that the clothes were a bit more conservative in color and style than my bright, glittery, pattern-rich Pinterest board would suggest that I’d like, but I chalk that up to Melissa picking versatile, staple pieces for me (and it being our first box together—I might have her get a little more playful next time around!).
Cost-wise, this is a more expensive subscription. You pay a $25 styling fee before you get your box, which not all styling services require, but I do believe you get what you pay for! (That $25 comes back out of whatever you decide to keep, too.) The total value of my box was $681.95, with pieces ranging from $35.00 to $148.00. Because the cost is so high, I doubt I’d ever commit to more than one or two items in a box, but I was happy that the cost of each piece was reflected in the quality. Those jeans were $148.00, which is an amount I usually only spend on things like car payments, but if I do keep them, I don’t have any doubt that I’ll get a ton of use out of them and wear them well into next year (at least).
If anything, I really appreciated this box for giving me an excuse to try new trends and experience styles I’ve never seen before. If you’re on a particularly tight budget, I could see this box being kind of a seasonal practice—working with your stylist to pick one or two pieces that can carry your wardrobe through the next few months (so you’re really getting the most from your investment). Oh, and before I forget, everything fit perfectly! (Except that one dress, haha!) Even if I didn’t keep anything from this trunk, I definitely don’t feel like this experience wasted my time. I’m excited to try it again soon!
What do you think of Trunk Club? What did you receive this month?