My household project for the week (OK, the month…) has been cleaning out my closet. We’ve been doing a mini reno at our house which has called for the relocation of my wardrobe so it seems like the perfect time to pare down and give away items I promise myself I will wear but that never seem to actually make the cut when I’m getting ready for the day. As I’ve sorted through my style-related belongings, I’ve also realized I could use a wardrobe refresher – particularly when it comes to my professional dress.
Many of my friends, particularly those tied to a business casual dress code day in and day out have taken the plunge into one of the various new clothing subscription services out there. And, I’ve got to say, they’re lookin’ good! Subscription services take the effort out of shopping by sending a specified amount of clothing to subscribers on a regular basis. They take the guesswork out of getting dressed and save busy professionals like nurse practitioners time and energy. Most services pair subscribers with a ‘stylist’ of some sort to maximize the chances that the items you receive are to your liking.
As I think about joining the fashion subscription craze, here’s a brief overview of the top rated services out there with nurse practitioner worthy clothing lines:
Cost: Pay only for items you keep, pieces range from $110 to $325
MM.LaFleur says they’re technically not a subscription service, but their model is somewhat the same. Shoppers can purchase a ‘Bento Box’ packed with a curated selection of six clothing items to try on at home. Recipients are charged only for the items they keep. Unwanted items are simply placed in a prepaid envelope and mailed back to the company. MM.LaFleur is known for creating a polished, professional appearance with styles that look good on real people – not just size 2 models. And, they should look good as this is one of the most expensive services on the market.
2. Stitch Fix
Cost: $20 styling fee that can be applied as credit toward anything you keep from your shipment, plus the cost of items you keep (average price point is $55 per item)
The most widely used and well known fashion subscription out there, there’s good reason professionals like nurse practitioners are turning to Stitch Fix. The service is affordable compared to most of its competitors and caters to a wide audience including men and women. Subscribers first fill out a style profile sharing fashion preferences with their new personal stylist. Then, shipments of 5 hand-selected clothing items begin at regular intervals. Stitch Fix subscribers buy what they like and send back the rest. Shipping and returns are free. Stitch Fix users can share feedback with their stylist about the items they receive in each shipment making for more personalized selection with each delivery.
Cost: $20 monthly styling fee credited towards any purchases plus cost of items you keep. Clothing items typically fall in the $50 to $100 range.
Wantable takes the legwork out of shopping with a process similar to Stitch Fix. Subscribers complete a short survey about style then receive an assortment of 5 to 7 items handpicked according to fashion preferences. Keep what you like, return what you don’t. If you’re a nurse practitioner interested in more than just help with your professional wardrobe, Wantable also offers a subscription option for fitness and athleisure clothing so you’re covered both during and after work.
LeTote puts a novel spin on the clothing subscription model. The company essentially rents pieces to subscribers at an affordable monthly rate. Three clothing pieces and two accessories are shipped to subscribers who may wear the items for as long as they like. When done, simply return unwanted clothing in a prepaid return bag. LeTote users also have the option to purchase loved pieces they don’t wish to give back. The best part? There’s no limit – subscribers may receive as many totes as they want included in the flat monthly fee.
5. Elizabeth & Clarke
Cost: $40 – $60 per item depending on subscription
If your style can be described as tailored and simple, Elizabeth & Clarke is the subscription box service for you. The company sticks with the essentials delivering seasonal boxes once every three months to help maintain wardrobe staples. Each box contains one to three blouses, depending on your plan. Simply return unwanted items for a refund.
Have you tried a clothing box service? What did you think?