Menswear subscription boxes are all the rage. They promise to help you find the perfect clothing for your personal style.
But can they really help you build the ideal Lean Wardrobe?
Menswear subscription boxes are super popular right now. You sign up and fill out a questionnaire or talk to an employee about your lifestyle and fashion preferences. Then they send you a box full of clothing they think will work for you.
And – voila! – you have an amazing wardrobe full of clothing you love. Right?
Almost without exception, I hate subscription boxes for men. At least the ones that are 100% focused on clothing.
That’s an unpopular opinion, I know. But here’s my argument against them, some possible exceptions, and 2 not-quite-subscription boxes that might work for you.
Why Clothing Subscription Boxes Are NOT Worth It
The supposed point of clothing subscription boxes are to help you find new styles and add them to your wardrobe. But in reality, they usually do the exact opposite.
Curating your personal style is something we talk about a lot at EG. Developing your Lean Wardrobe is all about getting to know yourself, discovering what styles you love, and learning to dress in a way that gives you confidence.
That’s a deeply personal, rewarding process. So how could you delegate that to some employee at a subscription box company?
Simply put, monthly menswear subscription boxes are not for you if you’re:
- Picky about what you wear
- Someone with specific taste and style
- Advanced in your style journey and already know what you like
The gimmick of these boxes is that other people pick stuff for you. They curate outfits based on what they like, what they think may sell best, and what their customers generally might like.
Nothing about the is specifically tailored for you.
In my experience, after a few months with a subscription box, you’ll wind up with a pile of stuff you don’t like and won’t ever wear. Basically, the opposite of what we recommend at EG.
And if you’re a neat freak, this is even worse. All those boxes add up to a ton of clutter – definitely no good for minimalist apartment dwellers.
Who Subscription Boxes Might Work For
If you’re currently a shorts, jeans, and T-shirts kind of guy and want to step it up, clothing subscription boxes for men might be a good place to start. But only if you are:
- Generally lazy when it comes to your personal style
- Totally new to the idea of style and menswear
- Don’t have any time or effort to dedicate to the process of developing your own style
Think of it this way: curating your own Lean Wardrobe is like cooking from scratch using a recipe. You learn about the ingredients, choose the right ones for the dish, and develop your skills on your way to preparing a delicious meal.
Ordering a menswear subscription box is like getting delivery. You’re tired, you’re hungry now, and you just need something to eat. You don’t care about the art of cooking, the ingredients, or the process. You just want to eat.
To be honest, everybody orders delivery sometimes. In a pinch, it’s a lifesaver. But it’s not the best way to eat, day in and day out.
So – although I don’t recommend them – subscription boxes might work for you if you just need some quick additions to your wardrobe and you don’t yet have any sense of your personal style.
Not-Quite Subscription Boxes That I Like
There are 2 subscription box adjacent options that have the feel of a monthly box without the downsides mentioned above.
Menlo Club is a good option if you want to add some casual, streetwear, and activewear style to your Lean Wardrobe. You can shop their site directly instead of going with their subscription service.
Amazon Prime Wardrobe
In the Prime Wardrobe section of Amazon, you can fill up a box with clothing of your choosing. Once it arrives, you have 7 days to try everything on at home, keep what you like, and send back what you don’t. So it’s not a subscription service, but it has a similar feel. And it’s a good way to learn about what works or doesn’t for you in the comfort of your own home.
Bottom Line: I Don’t Recommend Subscription Boxes for Men
I can’t endorse them. I believe guys should be able to understand their own style. Get out there and curate your own look. You don’t want someone else to do it.
Think about your lifestyle, your budget, your work environment, what you do for fun, etc – and then build your wardrobe around that. Skipping that process and outsourcing it to a subscription box employee is a disservice to yourself, not a convenience.
Have you ever tried a monthly menswear subscription box? What was your experience like?