ModaBox Clothing Subscription Box Review – April 2017
ModaBox is a women’s styling subscription service based out of New York. Get outfits picked to match your personal style, plus tips on how to wear them. The experience is designed to be “truly personalized”—after filling out a thorough questionnaire that covers your style, sizing, lifestyle, and preferences, ModaBox matches you to a stylist from their small team (all of whom are profiled on their site). In my experience, my stylist, Monica, also reached out to me personally with a few supplemental questions (What am I missing from my wardrobe? What do I tend to wear day-to-day?) to ensure she made the right choices for my needs.
Once the stylist has a solid idea of who you are, they’ll send along a box filled with pieces to try on. You can keep what you love, or return what doesn’t work, using the big mailing envelope they include in the box. Shipping is free both ways—just email ModaBox using the information included in the mailing envelope, and they’ll send you a shipping label to use at no extra cost.
ModaBox offers three subscription levels: the Select Box (2 outfits for a $175 deposit), the Premier Box (4 outfits for a $200 deposit), and the Luxe Box (6+ outfits for a $350 deposit). Each of those levels also comes with its own try-on period (the bigger the box, the longer the try-on time they allow) and a discount on whatever you end up buying (again, bigger box, bigger discount). I’ll list all of that out specifically when I talk about pricing/box details below! Long story short, the “deposit” acts as a credit towards whatever you end up buying. Love $300-worth of products from your Select Box? You’ll only pay $125 more to keep those items.
This is a review of the Select Box. The box was sent to us at no cost for review (check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes), but I wanted to review the box level that I’d be most likely to get myself. I wouldn’t want to pay more up front to try on more outfits that I might not keep—at least for my first box, that is. If you don’t keep anything, they do refund your deposit the day they process your return. As I start growing a relationship with my stylist, though, I might be more willing to commit more money to each box, since the chances of her really nailing my style will likely go up.
Okay, let’s get to the specifics…
The Subscription Box: ModaBox
The Cost: With ModaBox, you sign up for the service, but only receive boxes when you request them (rather than getting one on a regular schedule). ModaBox offers three types of boxes for different wardrobe needs and budgets. You’ll pay the “deposit” amount up front, but ModaBox will either 1) refund that amount if you don’t keep anything from the box you receive, or 2) treat the deposit as a credit towards whatever you choose to keep (in other words, buy) from your box. The box levels are:
- The “Select” box contains 2 outfits for $175.00 (5-day try-on period, 10% off full box purchase)
- The “Premier” box contains 4 outfits for $200 (7-day try-on period, 15% off full box purchase)
- The “Luxe” box contains 6+ outfits for $350 (7-day try-on period, 20% off full box purchase)
As you notice, each level comes with its own discount—buy the whole box to nab the deal!
The Products: Customized outfits selected for you by a ModaBox stylist. Products run from sizes 1-12 and XS-XL. According to the website, “prices vary per category, [but] generally, all tops range from $48-$120, dresses $78-$595, skirts $48-$150, jeans $70-$250, and blazers/jackets $78-$300.”
Ships to: U.S.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Inside the box was an envelope, in which Monica included a ton of helpful info.
There was a note from Monica…
A code to save on my next box (awesome!)…
Some information on an awesome charity the company supports (you can use the return envelope to donate items via ModaBox)…
Instructions on how to try on and return your looks…
And two copies of my invoice (one to keep, and one to send along with any returns) detailing the items inside and their prices.
The initial survey was really thorough, and my stylist, Monica, was super nice, even just via email. Still, I was worried whether this person really going to nail my aesthetic. My style really fluctuates day to day—my workplace is really casual, so most days I’m in jeans or black leggings and a long tee, but my Pinterest boards are flooded with avant-garde pieces with unique colors, graphic patterns, and bold details, like ruffles and metallics, etc. etc. So I’m all over the map. What would my first ModaBox look like?
Let’s find out!
DKNY Tunic – Listed Value $79.00 (Original Price Listed by ModaBox $198.00)
I loved this top out of the box. It’s a great mid-point between my laid-back day-to-day style and the more aspirational, artful pieces I wear in my daydreams. The lining is silky, and the shell fabric is a semi-sheer, flowy weave (but not crunchy like some of those organzas out there). My only concern was that the V-neck seemed a little shallow for my taste—I’m pretty short, and I feel like longer necklines help lengthen me. That might all be in my mind though, so we’ll see what happens when I put it on!
The best part of this top is the back, which has this unique layered detail. I love things like this—the angles are sharp and clean, but the sandy color and delicate fabric give it romance and softness.
And here it is on! I wanted so badly for this shirt to look awesome, but it’s just not doin’ it for me. I’m not someone who worries too much about whether something is flattering or not, but I don’t feel like my body is meant for this top, nor that this top is meant for my body. I think on someone a little more petite, it could look super cute and dreamy. As for me, my shoulders and hips fill out the shirt, so that it doesn’t look as effortless as it could. And alternately, it ends up looking like a big beige rectangle.
I did find the high-low hemline a little awkward, just since it is so low in the back. Again, though, I think that’s partly because I have more curves than this top was prepared to handle—on a straighter silhouette, this blouse would probably lay really beautifully.
I still dig that back though! I think the placement of the criss-cross in the fabric is perfect. It hits just beneath my shoulder blades and floats out in such a cool way.
Wow, do I wish this shirt worked for me! To Monica’s credit, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d want to wear. Even though it didn’t fit my frame quite right, this piece gives me hope that as Monica learns more about me, my sizing, and my shape, she’ll really start to hit it out of the park.
Buffalo High Rise Skinny Jeans – Listed Value $79.00
Of everything I got in the box, I was most worried about these jeans. Again, I’m pretty short, but I’ve also got a wider frame with broad shoulders and more importantly, broad hips. Finding jeans that comfortably accommodate my hips, booty, and thighs without doing that annoying gapping thing at my narrower waist can be such a pain.
But I was totally reassured by just how soft and stretchy these jeans seemed to be. I’d mentioned to Monica just how (deeply, sincerely) in love with stretch I am and looking at these jeans, I feel like she really listened. I also dig that the rise is super high without the look being all vintage pin-up girl or Coachella hipster.
I dig the denim wash, too. I have a few go-to pairs of dark-wash jeans, but nothing in this slightly lighter wash. There’s a bit of distressing on the pockets, knees, and thighs, too. Basically, these jeans are just plain cool. Okay, let’s shimmy these on…
Ta da! Okay, so, I’m in love. These jeans are super stretchy and roomy, making them really comfortable to wear. They were a cinch to wriggle on, which is rare for me. Jeans either fit my lower legs, my butt, and thighs, or my waist, but rarely do they ever comfortably accommodate all of those areas. A thousand points to ModaBox for finding jeans that actually fit me!
The jeans were a few inches long on me, but hey, story of my life. If I wanted, I’d totally spring for getting them hemmed. In the meantime, they look super cute cuffed. I would never have expected to be this excited about a pair of jeans, but here we are!
Lipslide Oversized Embroidered Sweatshirt – Listed Value $62.00
Ugh, I wish that rose wasn’t there! This sweatshirt is super me, except I’m really not into that flower design (which is described as embroidery but is really just an applique).
I love the tiny pom-poms, though. What a cute detail! And the color is perfect for springtime. The sweatshirt is just slightly thinner than I’d expect from sweatshirt material, which actually made it really soft and comfy.
But there’s something about this sweatshirt that just doesn’t work. I think maybe the neckline is a little too loose, the sleeves a little too long, and the shoulder seams (where the pom-poms are) fall a little too wide. It’s just not quite structured enough for what my body needs. Ah well. Again, I love the idea of this top, but in execution, it doesn’t work out so well.
Emma & Michelle Sleeveless Romper – Listed Value $69.00
I’m all about rompers and jumpsuits. I totally understand that they can look just plain weird on a lot of silhouettes, but a romper with looser-cut bottoms can be super flattering on me. The fabric on this romper had an ultra-smooth, synthetic feeling to it and plenty of stretch (hooray!). I also liked the ruched, sash-tied waist, which is going to help highlight the shape of my body. The only thing I was concerned about here was the neck. The gold piece you see is really just a necklace—more specifically, it’s kind of a gold wire that’s been tightly wound into a spring. It’s stretchy and has a lobster claw clasp like you’d expect from a choker. I wasn’t as worried about the size of the necklace. I was more concerned that the spring shape would catch and pull on the baby hairs on my neck!
I felt downright bangin’ when I put this on. I mean, how cute?! The shorts are long enough that I didn’t feel like I was going to unintentionally moon anybody, and I love the way they drift over my hips like a fluttery skirt. The cinched waist gives a nice bit of balance and shape to the look. And maybe best of all, I love the way the cut puts my shoulders in the spotlight. My shoulders have been doing plenty of hard work for me at the yoga studio lately—this is the first thing I’ve worn in awhile where my broad shoulders get to look as strong as they feel.
But let’s talk about this neckline. As I mentioned, it’s basically a necklace. My big concern was that the spring-like design would pinch, but I was happy to find that didn’t really happen. Unfortunately, this necklace might’ve still ruined the whole piece for me. Why?
So, the necklace is threaded through the hem of the fabric. The only way to get into the romper is by undoing the necklace, then stepping into the look. Sounds simple, sure. But the necklace is short enough that you basically can’t climb into the romper without it slipping out of the hem in either the back or the front (if not both sides). That’s super annoying because it takes forever to get that necklace back through the thin tunnel created by the fabric. Ever tried to thread the drawstring back through the hood of a sweatshirt? It’s basically that, but slippery-er. (When I’d try to thread the necklace through the back, it’d inevitably slip out the front, and vice versa.) It probably took me 20 minutes to put on (with a friend’s help), then another 20 minutes to reassemble when I took it off. Everybody talks about how rompers and jumpsuits are a pain in the bathroom—I can’t imagine dealing with this guy!
Moda Cape Blazer – Listed Value $99.00 (Original Value Listed by ModaBox $248.00)
Oooo, this blazer is right up my alley. The ivory fabric has a slight sheen to it, making this cape a great piece for adding some pizzazz to an outfit. I love the tuxedo-like lapel and pockets, and of course, I’m over the moon about the split sleeves. Their moment might have passed, but I still love a cape dress. This blazer translates that trend to the new bell-sleeve fad in a way I just love.
The sleeves are tacked off with these little metal bits. Not sure if they’re meant to be noticed or not… I kind of wish it was just smooth, solid ivory all the way through.
The jacket looks super cute on, though it might be a bit too small. There is a place to clasp it right around where the belt of my romper is, but it ends up looking a little bunched up. It’s also a little snug on my shoulders. After experiencing how glorious my shoulders looked in the romper, I was a little crankier about shoving them into an imperfectly fitting blazer.
That said, these sleeves are super fun to wear. I do wish they were lined somehow—they look a bit unfinished as is (especially for a blazer that was originally $248). But they’re really comfortable, and I dig how unique they are.
Philosophy Hummingbird Blouse – Listed Value $78.00
This item looks super cute out of the box. I love unusual prints, so Monica really came through on that request. I like the way the hints of turquoise and orange add interest, but not so much that I couldn’t still treat this as I would a plain white shirt when putting outfits together.
Again, the organza-like fabric was soft and flowy, not stiff and crunchy like some styles like this can be. It definitely seems like the kind of shirt I could wear to fancy or more laid-back settings, depending on how I dress it up.
Unfortunately, it just didn’t work on me. I loved that the shirt was longer, but apparently, it’s cut too straight to lay nicely over my hips. The fit in the shoulders was great, though, and I loved the cuffed sleeves.
I didn’t even notice the unique double pocket design until I was wearing it—I love unexpected details like this, so I’m a fan. One of the buttons on the collar was super loose, so when I went to put the blouse on, the button fell off immediately. I’m sure it’d be easy to mend, but it was a bummer in the moment.
Pardon the tags (you have to return everything you don’t want with tags, so I left them on during my fashion show). There’s another neat detail on the back, though this one seems a little random. I guess it’s cute, but it seems almost too understated to seem intentional. I’d worry people would think a seam split in my shirt!
Verdict: Overall, I’m really pleased with ModaBox! My stylist Monica was thorough, but not annoying, about gathering information about me and my style. And I really like what she picked for me—I can totally understand why each piece was in the box, given what I’d shared with her. I’m just keeping the jeans, which were the biggest win for me. (I would’ve loved to keep that romper, but my experience with the neckline really burned me.) That’s not saying anything against ModaBox, though. I’m actually really encouraged and excited to see what Monica has up her sleeve next. I understand that it’s hard to pick pieces for someone you’ve never even met in real life, so I’m pretty impressed with how well Monica did nailing my style. I bet it’ll only get better from here!
If I had any concerns, they’d be the value of the items. There were a few things that I felt I could find at far lower prices at a discount store like Marshalls (that sweatshirt, for example). And I was a bit bummed by the button falling off the blouse. I figure that the value difference might balance out with what I’m technically paying for styling advice/convenience. Maybe? I will say if you’re looking for inexpensive or budget-friendly clothing, this probably isn’t the right subscription—I chose the lower end in terms of budget options, but as you can see, everything in my box was around $60+. Plus, the initial deposit can be a lot to set aside for clothes you might not end up keeping!
What do you think about ModaBox?