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Clothing subscriptions: not better than Ebay or Poshmark

That $240-360 you were going to spend on a subscription in a year will buy you an entire thrifted wardrobe

Low quality, high cost.
Low quality, high cost.

In a market saturated with bad deals, there are few worse than men’s clothing subscription boxes.

The idea is appealing on its face: pay a company a recurring fee ($20-$30 per month) and they’ll send you a bunch of clothing based on your style preferences. Pay for what you like and return the rest. It’s like shopping with a personal stylist without having to leave your house.

There are lots of these companies. I’ve looked at most of them, and none are worth your money.

When you sign up, they ask you to fill out detailed surveys about how formally you dress, what sorts of colors you wear, what sizes are best and how slim you like your fits. You could hand your answers to a child and have them assemble outfits for you. Which raises the question: why pay another adult to do it?

The clothing quality is generally middling and the fits are unreliable. You wind up overpaying for stuff you don’t need. You also buy into the infantilizing narrative that style is too hard to figure out on your own.

There’s a better way. Learn the basics of style, and buy secondhand.

Pull out the clothing you own that fits you the best. Grab a tape measure. Go to Ebay or Poshmark and search for pieces in your size. Good listings will include measurements. If the numbers match, you can buy knowing you’re getting a good fit. Pre-owned clothing won’t shrink when you wash it. It’s also dirt cheap.

Even better, graze thrift stores. That $240-360 you were going to spend on a subscription in a year will buy you an entire thrifted wardrobe. Sure, you might make some mistakes as you go. None will be as big as paying a third party to dress you.

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Low quality, high cost.
Low quality, high cost.

In a market saturated with bad deals, there are few worse than men’s clothing subscription boxes.

The idea is appealing on its face: pay a company a recurring fee ($20-$30 per month) and they’ll send you a bunch of clothing based on your style preferences. Pay for what you like and return the rest. It’s like shopping with a personal stylist without having to leave your house.

There are lots of these companies. I’ve looked at most of them, and none are worth your money.

When you sign up, they ask you to fill out detailed surveys about how formally you dress, what sorts of colors you wear, what sizes are best and how slim you like your fits. You could hand your answers to a child and have them assemble outfits for you. Which raises the question: why pay another adult to do it?

The clothing quality is generally middling and the fits are unreliable. You wind up overpaying for stuff you don’t need. You also buy into the infantilizing narrative that style is too hard to figure out on your own.

There’s a better way. Learn the basics of style, and buy secondhand.

Pull out the clothing you own that fits you the best. Grab a tape measure. Go to Ebay or Poshmark and search for pieces in your size. Good listings will include measurements. If the numbers match, you can buy knowing you’re getting a good fit. Pre-owned clothing won’t shrink when you wash it. It’s also dirt cheap.

Even better, graze thrift stores. That $240-360 you were going to spend on a subscription in a year will buy you an entire thrifted wardrobe. Sure, you might make some mistakes as you go. None will be as big as paying a third party to dress you.

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