Behind the Scenes: The Bonobos Guideshop experience (+ a nice deal for EG readers)

January 24, 2013 · 26 comments

in Spotlight On

Post image for Behind the Scenes: The Bonobos Guideshop experience (+ a nice deal for EG readers)

Hey gents,

So, I think you’ll be able to relate with me on this.

The one tough thing about shopping online is that you can’t physically touch / feel / try on what you’re buying until you order and receive it.

Am I right?

I think online companies are getting more and more hip to this shortcoming and are compensating by offering a risk-free shopping experience, i.e. free shipping, free returns, free exchanges, generous return policies, etc.

And this is really great. After all, when you have no barriers keeping you from trying the product, what do you have to lose?

How Bonobos is doing it better

There’s still that issue of waiting times. For example, if you size yourself incorrectly or choose the wrong fit, you have to send the return package back.

Then wait.

Then get an exchange processed with a company.

Then wait for that to clear.

And then they ship it! Yay!

Then you have to wait more.

And finally… it’s in your hands.

Waiting sucks.

That’s exactly why I like buying books using Amazon’s 1-click and having it sent to my iPad’s Kindle app. It’s instantaneous!

I find a book I’m interested in, I look it up on Amazon, I buy it, and I’m diving in 2.6 seconds later.

Anyway, back to my point.

Bonobos started opening up Guideshops around the US. Who knows, there may be one near you.

Here’s what’s cool about the Guideshops. You’re able to experience the freshness of bonobos.com, but in real life. And you leave the shop with confidence, knowing your exact size and fit.

In a nutshell

Essentially, the Guideshops are a beautifully-curated, by-appointment showroom where you receive one-on-one attention from a Bonobos Guide. They walk you through the available product, take your measurements, and give you a few pieces to try on.

From there, the Guide takes note of your measurements and equips you with the knowledge you need to place an order.

Oh, you’re not sure which washed chinos to pick? Maybe you can’t decide between two shirts?

The Bonobos Guides have tons of product knowledge and great style to boot, so you can easily ask them for their opinion and that should help you make your decision.

Not your typical shopping trip

Be prepared to have a superb shopping experience paired with awesome customer service.

After the time you spend talking with your Guide, trying on clothes, and nailing down your fit, you feel like you just made a new friend. It’s weird.

You might consider adding him / her on Facebook.

You might even feel compelled to give him / her a hug before you leave! I know I did, haha (Hi Jess!)

If you leave ANY shop feeling like you just became friends with the shop owner, that’s some damn good customer experience. Just sayin’.

A few favorites

Here are four items I saw at the Guideshop and really liked.

Travel Jeans in Blue

Travel Jeans are made from super comfortable bull denim with a good amount of stretch. You can sit on a plane (or a boat, or a train, or a DeLorean) for hours and not feel confined and restricted like you normally do in stiff, rigid denim.

My Guide Jess told me these are being released in a slim straight soon, which will be awesome! Be sure to size down one in your waist, so if you’re typically a 32×30, you’d be a 31×30 in the Travel Denim.

Greenbacks in Evergreen

I also tried the basic chinos in a slim straight. In my opinion, I like the fit of the slim straight better. Give them a try.

Checkmate slim fit in Plum / Gray

Bonobos started rolling out a slim version of their shirts as well. They have a bunch of casual shirts you can check out. Here’s one that caught my eye.

Dunmore Harris Tweed Blazer in Gray / Red

I saw quite a few Harris Tweed blazers in the Guideshop, but they seem to only have this one online. Perhaps they’ll release a few more in time, but this one is pretty killer.

“Is there a Guideshop near me?”

Um, I don’t know. Where do you live?

You can find out if theres a Guideshop near you by checking out this page.

You can also book appointments through the site, and on your chosen date, simply show up!

Sad that there isn’t a Guideshop near you? Well, they’re probably reading this article right now. So post your thoughts in the comments and let them know they should open one in your hometown :)

Online-only, still an option (and with 20% off)

Don’t forget Bonobos offers free shipping and free returns within the US, so if there’s no Guideshop near you but you still want to take their clothes for a test drive, you have nothing to fear (but fear itself… or something.)

By the way, the folks at Bonobos are nice enough to hook up EG readers, because we tight like dat.

Anyway, you can get 20% off your purchase by using code “EFFORTLESSGENT” at checkout.

Not a bad deal for being an EG reader, yeah?

Over to you

Have you had a chance to book an appointment, or maybe you already hit up a Guideshop near you? What was your experience like? Any thoughts on the clothing in general?

Would love to hear what you have to say.

 

[photos]

About

Barron is the founder and editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to helping guys figure out what looks best on them. He's based in San Francisco. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Previous post:

Next post: