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Universal Standard “Geo Trio” Review – April 2020

Universal Standard
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My Review of the Universal Standard Geo Trio Box

Universal Standard is a size-inclusive (00-40!) clothing brand carrying a proprietary catalog of high-quality garments in shapes and cuts that are engineered to feel good and flatter. They have a broad range of clothing to choose from: everything from basics to dresses, jeans to outerwear!

In April, Universal Standard announced a mystery box sale that would include best-selling items in different US regions. You could choose a Premium Jersey box ($95) or a Luxe Essentials box ($145) containing most-loved silhouettes from the Northeast, West, Midwest, or South. This is a review of the Premium Jersey box with items from the South for $95.

FYI: These Geo Trio mystery boxes are officially sold out.

About the Universal Standard Geo Trio Box

The Box: Universal Standard Geo Trio Box

The Cost: $95 to $145 depending on the materials you choose

The Products: 3 pieces of clothing from Universal Standard. Universal Standard offers sizes from 00-40. You just select your size, and the items will be a surprise; but with emphasis on dresses.

Ships to: The US for free.

Good to Know: This is NOT a rental service, nor a subscription, but rather a one-time mystery box purchase.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Universal Standard Geo Trio

How does the Universal Standard Geo Trio work?

I had actually never heard of Universal Standard until recently, but after seeing what Megan got in her Mystery Box, then what Brandi got in hers, I was definitely piqued! Plus, I am all about the inclusivity of this brand. The Geo Trio is a mystery box in that you don't know what you're going to be sent, but it differs from the two Mystery Boxes Megan and Brandi reviewed in that you don't get a say in color, pattern, or material preferences—boxes are predetermined to include specific best-selling items from four regions, either in all premium jersey materials or more luxe materials, so you select which materials and which region you want to take a chance on, then simply order according to your size. There was no survey to follow, just a classic confirmation email.

My Universal Standard Geo Trio Box

I knew I wanted to go for the Premium Jersey materials since I'm spending so much time at home, but I wasn't sure how to select a region. In the end I let myself be persuaded by the image they included for the South box—I thought the waist tie in that green dress looked really flattering, and while I figured it probably wasn't very likely I'd receive that exact dress, I took a chance.

I heavily relied on their sizing chart to choose which size to order. I typically wear size 4-6, but their sizes are broken down into the equivalent of either 2-4 or 4-6. That's a tough call to make. I figured if I receive a top I'd rather it be a little more fitted so I went for 2-4, which with their Universal Sizing system equals 3XS. Something about that alpha size made me feel the urge to size up—it didn't seem possible that I could fit into a 3XS—but I stuck with it.

My box came quickly, without a shipment notification, and without any marking on the package, so it really was a surprise! The receipt didn't include any details about the items I was sent, just a confirmation of my order in general. Ready to see what I got?

 

Long Sleeve V-Neck Geneva Dress in Storm, Size 3XS - Retail Value $130

When I first pulled my items out of their package and they were still folded, this piece stood out to me in both good ways and bad. I liked that the V-neckline offered variation from the other two garments I was sent, but the color doesn't fit into my usual earthy and warm-toned palette, so I had already written it off as something I would probably pass along. Everything changed when I unfolded it to reveal its asymmetrical hemline. I was so in love with the Geneva Dress Brandi received in her Mystery Box that I considered buying it right then and there but ultimately stopped myself from following the impulse. Now I'm glad I waited!

I couldn't believe how loose-fitting this dress was when I put it on, given that I chose a size I thought might be too small for me. If anything, I feel like I could even stand to go a size smaller, but knowing that items from the Geo Trio promotion are non-returnable, I feel I can make this work. There's a time and a place for a unique, baggy, totally comfy dress, and chillin' at home during quarantine is definitely it (but also art festivals and park picnics when social life picks back up eventually). If it helps for length reference, I'm about 5'3". Brandi is a bit taller, and her Geneva Dress' hem hit a little higher on her legs.

 

Misa Jersey Dress in Scarab, Size 3XS - Retail Value $80.00

Well, how about that? Luck struck again and I received the very dress that drove me to select the South box! Dudes, I am pretty pumped about this dress. Can you tell by the look on my face? I feel it is the perfect color and fit for me, and is an exciting bit of newness to go along with the changing seasons. I'm also confident that this cut would be flattering on just about any body type, including for maternity. The waist ties satisfyingly stayed securely tied for me—and I got a chuckle out of the fact that they really look like repurposed long sleeves sewn onto the sides of a dress.

 

Who's to stop you from tying them in the back if you so choose? The Universal Standard site doesn't show them modeled that way but I snapped a few photos of how that would look. I think I feel a little more comfortable with it tied in the front, but this is a nice option. I also included a picture of the inside of the neckline here to show how much care and quality and attention to detail is put into these products—I love that there's a small loop sewn in so that the removable tag is guaranteed not to put a hole or a stretch in your new clothes.

 

Maia Stovepipe Sleeve Tee in Black, Size 3XS - Retail Value $50

My third item is this simple black tee, which I was eternally on the hunt for until this one arrived. It is a dream to wear—it's simple and comfortable, but also pulled-together. I am always looking for basics that have just a slight uniqueness to them so that my simple outfits have a hint of style. For me, the stovepipe sleeve and back seam of this comfy tee offer exactly that. If I could make one tiny tweak, I might have made the length a little shorter, but I stand at a below-average height, so it's probably a great length for most. In the third photo, I have it untucked to show the length.

 

Was My Universal Standard Geo Trio Worth It?

Absolutely, yes, 100% would recommend. While ordering a mystery box comes along with that inherent risk of not liking what you're sent, I was hopeful that this would be a positive experience based on my colleagues' reviews—but my experience went beyond simply "positive." I was very impressed with the quality, fit, and wearability of these three items! Elevated is definitely the word for it. While I can't wait to experiment with styling them all sorts of ways in the coming season, I would feel completely confident walking out the door in them as-is. I know I'll get a lot of wear out of these pieces, and I appreciate that one of the dresses was something that eased me a little out of my comfort zone.

As for value, the promise was a value of up to $260 and my three items totaled $260 on the nose. I'm perfectly pleased; I feel that paying $95 for $260 worth of clothes is a great deal, especially when you consider that they're such high-quality pieces and that they're all still available to purchase on the Universal Standard site full-price (so it's not like they're clearance items).

Value Breakdown

My Universal Standard Mystery Box cost $95. Here is what I paid approximately per item:

  • Geneva Dress: $47.50
  • Misa Dress: $29.23
  • Maia Tee: $18.27

Alternatively, each item had an average cost of $31.67 per item. 

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Universal Standard is a body-inclusive clothing line with sizes ranging from 00-40. Only the highest quality of fabrics are used to give you pieces that will truly last.
Christen Russo
Christen Russo
Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

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29 comments

Ks

I’m kicking myself for not getting this box. All of those dresses look amazing.

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Tracy

I got the exact same items in my box — same colors as well.

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Lizc

You look great! Love seeing these picks. The mystery boxes are mystery boxes – hit and miss, even so I love them. Their sizing would benefit from being standardized. I find it is inconsistent.

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Mimosa

Hi Christen, the clothes look great. Thank you for the terrific review, particularly with the super-helpful notes regarding sizing. But I also wanted to tell you that your photos are adorable. Brightened my day, thank you!

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Christen Russo

So glad to be helpful, that is always the goal! Thanks for the sweet comment. 🙂

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M

These clothes dont really interest me. But I absolutely LOVE your pictures. If the clothes came with the energy you show in the pix I’d get them all. 🙂

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Christen Russo

You’re too kind! Thank you!

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Tanya M

What AmyM said. You look fabulous… didn’t try since on WW. Thanks for sharing.

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Kristin

I wish they had colors! I have more than enough darks in my closet.

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Christen Russo

I would be ALL OVER colors in Universal Standard’s awesome silhouettes!

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LJ

Sadly, I can’t do their mystery boxes. I tried last time and had never purchased US prior. I was in-between sizes as well, so I ended up with a box of fabrics I don’t wear (think shiny, satiny) that were all too big and non-returnable. I do understand the inclusive sizing, but it doesn’t help if it’s a 6XXS or a 6XXL if the clothes don’t fit.

I wish this was all or nothing in a different way – either send everything back and get a store credit or keep everything and live with an item not fitting or being your taste.

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Christen Russo

I’m sorry to hear about your experience, LJ. I agree that it would be great if you could return all the items if they were unworn—since these mystery boxes sell out so quickly, maybe they could send ’em to someone on a waiting list? Perhaps for a small discount since the clothes were presumably already tried on? Probably a logistical nightmare but it would be cool for consumers!

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AmyM

Everything looks FANTASTIC on you! What a score. My box is out for delivery today and I am giddy waiting for it. I chose the West Coast box in the jersey fabric since I’m in AZ and it’s already really warm here. Hoping everything is short sleeves or sleeveless.

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AmyM

UPDATE: My West Coast box contained the Misa dress in black, the long-sleeved Geneva dress in deep red (brighter than wine but darker than a lipstick red) and the cap sleeve T in black. Would have preferred a short sleeve Geneva just because it’s past long-sleeve weather here, but I’ll just keep it for the fall. I really can’t complain because it’s beautiful!

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Christen Russo

Similar items! Oooh I would’ve loved the Geneva in a dark red color, that sounds so pretty. It’s too bad you can’t get use out of it now, but something to look forward to for fall or cool nights!

Jenn

Everything looks fantastic on you! I have to know, where are those mustard pants from?? I am absolutely loving that entire look and those pants are super cute!!!

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Christen Russo

Thank you, Jenn! They’re from Madewell, they’re called “Pleated Wide-Leg Pants.” I got these secondhand so I’m actually not sure what the color is officially called, but it looks like there are similar colors on sale at Nordstrom Rack right now!

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Laryssa Polika-Engle

So I received a slip in my box and I was turned off because the items I ordered were listed as “project revenue”. Anyone else see this?

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Pam

Hi Laryssa – I noticed that on the packing slip as well and was slightly turned off – couldn’t they have listed the items as they were marketed? Luxe Essentials – Northeast. Obviously businesses are concerned with revenue, especially now. However, when I realized this was a ploy to increase revenue it really rubbed me the wrong way. Add the fact I wasn’t crazy about the items in the boxes (I loved the mystery boxes I received earlier this year), it annoyed me. Oh well, it is what it is.

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AmyM

My packing slip says that, too. Businesses exist to make money. I imagine many non-essential businesses are struggling to stay afloat right now. I don’t have an issue with it.

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I’ve ordered several mystery boxes and also placed regular orders with this company. I really love the clothes and I’ve had wonderful experiences with customer service BUT only if I used the chat feature or called them directly. They don’t respond as well to emails in my experience.

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Megan

Agree with Katie, I’m a LONG time shopper with Universal Standard and in general, they have the best customer service out there. I would imagine, right now, like most companies they are doing their best with limited staff. I’d follow up with them if you never heard back.

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Jennifer

We got the exact same items in the exact same colors! Love all of them, glad you liked them too!

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Christen Russo

Yay! I figured there would probably be a little less variety across boxes with this one since the best-sellers just are what they are. But still, it’s exciting when you see someone else loving the same stuff you got!

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cindy

I got the same box — was hoping for a cap sleeve T, but I ended up loving that stovepipe top. So soft & polished looking. Love US jersey!

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Christen Russo

Really a flattering sleeve, isn’t it? So glad you ended up liking yours too, Cindy!

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Katie

I would reach out to CS about the sizing of the Geneva! They’re amazing about making sure you have the right fit. Even if they can’t send a smaller size, they’ll do something to make sure you’re comfortable shopping in the future!!

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Beth

really?? I sent them a query (twice!) during the sale to see about the sizing and they STILL have not gotten back to me! I could not have a lower opinion of their CS. Needless to say, they have not gotten a dime from me.

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Ks

I emailed them a fee times. Never had an issue.