Image from Bombfell
Do you ever wish that someone would just pick out your clothes for you?
Let’s be honest, life was so much simpler when your mom picked out your outfits as a kid.
Of course, hiring a personal stylist is always an option. However, it’s definitely an expensive, luxury service – right?
Well, not so much anymore.
Personal styling is becoming more and more accessible thanks to online subscription services. You’ve probably heard of a few of these services, or seen ads for them popping up in your web browser.
You also may have noticed that they are typically marketed towards women, even if they do offer men’s clothing.
Bombfell, however, is exclusively a men’s personal styling service.
So, if you’re tired of picking out your outfits, but aren’t totally sure about the idea of a service like Bombfell – don’t sweat it. We’ve done the hard work for you.
We took an in-depth look at the ins and outs of this men’s subscription styling service to help you figure out if it fits your lifestyle.
What is Bombfell and How Does it Work?
The idea behind Bombfell came to two Harvard grads that were always sick of shopping, keeping their wardrobes up to date, and having to ask friends and family for fashion advice.
In short, they wanted to help men like them who either don’t like shopping or need help building a good sense of style. So in 2011, they teamed up with fashion expert, Sarah Lee, to find a solution.
The result was an online personal styling and subscription box service that uses an algorithm and a stylist to pick out fresh, new outfits for men who don’t have the time or know-how to do it on their own.
Since then, however, it’s become a great option for men who already know a thing or two about fashion. Most people’s busy lives don’t allow for a ton of shopping time, so it’s a real timesaver for the even the most style-conscious of men.
The company offers men’s casualwear, which it defines as the clothes you wear in between sitting at home on the couch and going to a formal affair. In other words, it sends you clothes that you’ll wear to work, on a date, or to a dinner party.
The selection of clothes itself is highly curated. The company offers only what it considers to be the best menswear brands, and you can stay up-to-date on the current selection by following its Instagram.
It does not offer shoes, however. Though stylists can provide recommendations for pairs that will go well with your newest shipments.
So, Bombfell is basically a way for men to consistently look good without having to go shopping.
But How Exactly Does Bombfell Work?
Okay, time to talk logistics.
The idea behind the service perhaps sounds great to you, but you don’t really know if it’s worthwhile until you look into the overall process.
Well, Bombfell functions very similarly to other personal styling subscription box services.
First, you take a quiz that asks you questions about your fit and tastes. You’ll find this is pretty standard across all services like this one. The quiz helps establish a back-end to push recommendations for each user based on his answers.
But it is an actual person who chooses your clothes (unlike some online personal styling services).
And, the people choosing your clothes are actual stylists that have experiences working in production, design and merchandising.
Once you’ve got your style profile all set up, you can start receiving your shipments of clothes.
The default option is to receive shipments on a monthly basis. However, you can change your frequency to once every two or three months. Or, if you don’t want shipments at specific intervals, you can opt to do on-demand shipments. That way you’ll only get clothes when you really want them.
You will always get to preview what items are coming your way 48 hours before they actually ship. If you see anything you don’t like and aren’t willing to try on, you can remove items, ask for replacements, or ask to have the entire order completely re-done.
If you don’t give any feedback, however, the shipment will come automatically after that 48-hour period.
Oh, and shipping is free!
Once you receive your box of clothes, you have seven days to try everything on and decide what floats your boat. And it’s very important that you don’t wait until after the seven-day period to try everything on.
Why? Well, Bombshell only charges you for what you keep.
So, if you don’t check out online and put the items you don’t want in the return shipment, you will get charged for everything in your order.
Luckily, returning the items you don’t want is very easy. Each shipment includes a prepaid FedEx return label to affix to your package of unwanted clothes. If you lost your prepaid label, you can e-mail Bombfell and request another.
Then you go to your orders page in your account and click “Request Return” to generate a return ID to write on the original invoice of your shipment.
After that, just toss that invoice with the noted return ID in package, seal it up, and ship it off! It’s pretty painless.
You can track your return on the “Orders” tab in your account, and you’ll get an e-mail notification once your return has been processed.
As for the items you want to keep, you can go to your account and click the “Keep It” button when you are checking out. You’ll be charged the next day for these garments.
That’s the gist of it! If you are familiar with subscription-based personal styling services, you will have probably noted that Bombfell doesn’t vary much from the norm (because, frankly, the norm works well).
How Much Will it All Cost?
Of course, the service the Bombfell offers is not free.
In the end, you are really only paying for the clothes you actually buy.
Each time you get a shipment, there is a $20 styling fee. But once you figure out which items you want to keep that fee is credited towards the total cost of your order.
The clothes at Bombfell are pieces, so the average price point of an individual item is about $85. But prices will vary.
Remember that shipping is always free, and because you only pay for what you keep, you can make the service fit your personal budget.
What Make Bombfell Unique?
Well, funnily enough, one answer to that question comes back to pricing.
Subscription box personal styling services don’t frequently offer many sales or discounts on items.
However, at Bombfell, you can potentially get discounts on every single one of your shipments depending on how many items you decide to keep.
Basically, the more items you keep, the bigger the discount.
If you keep two items, you’ll get 10% off. Keeping three items gets you 15% off, and four items get you 20% off.
You ultimately gain more by keeping more items.
And, if certain criteria are met, the company also offers price matching.
The other answer to this question is that it isn’t just online – there is also a brick-and-mortar option.
You can make an appointment to visit the New York City headquarters for an in-person styling session. These personalized consultations last a half-hour and are completely free!
It’s a neat way to make the absolute most out of your account, and to gain more insight into men’s fashion.
Of course, you have to actually be in New York City to make that happen, but if you live in the city or on a trip there then you’ll have that option!
There are other services that offer this in-person aspect. Trunk Club, for example, has clubhouses where you can schedule a personal styling appointment in six major U.S. cities. But overall it’s not very common in the subscription clothing industry.
Bombfell has had its fair share of attention in the press, in part because the company focuses exclusively on men’s fashion.
Now, it isn’t the only personal styling subscription box out there to focus on menswear, but it is often included in the best of these services.
InStyle magazine included it on one such list, and they said it’s great for “the guy who wants more of the same, but just a little better.”
The major fashion publication also said that the range of brands is pretty standard (with names like French Connection and Ben Sherman), but it’s well curated. And there are more boutique brand offerings if that’s your cup of tea.
It’s apparent that Bombshell customers are generally pleased with the overall service.
A reviewer at Business Insider said it’s the most accurate and user-friendly subscription service he’s used. This is primarily because of the initial quiz.
Many users say that the quiz you take when you first sign up is very in-depth and easy to follow. It may perhaps take longer than the quizzes at other subscription services, but ultimately it pays off because you have a much better chance of receiving clothing that suits your body type and style.
It can be great for branching out and trying new styles, but it seems that the company’s strength truly lies in giving men clothes that fit into their pre-existing wardrobe when they don’t have the time to shop on their own.
And, if you try it out and decide that it’s just not for you, customers have reported that it’s very easy to cancel or pause your shipments from Bombfell.
What We Think
There are a ton of clothing subscription services out there.
Seriously, it’s kind of insane.
It’s obvious that online personal styling and clothing subscription boxes are taking fashion in a new direction, so tons of entrepreneurs and existing brands are hopping on the train.
Consequently, it’s kind of hard to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones.
Bombfell is a good one.
True, it’s really not that different from other online personal styling subscriptions in terms of the overall process. And it offers the same brands that you’d see in a lot of major department stores and that you may see at competing personal styling services.
But it’s very easy to use, offers a well-curated selection of clothing, and gives you discounts that you don’t often see with these types of services.
What we do suggest is that you make sure you give yourself plenty of time to take that initial quiz, and to ask for help when you need it (especially on the questions regarding fit).
Though a human stylist is ultimately choosing the items for your shipments, your answers to these questions will guide him or her in the selection process. And if your answers aren’t quite right, then it’s less likely you’ll be pleased with your clothing.
But hey, after that quiz the pressure is pretty much completely off your shoulders!
So if you’re a hardworking guy who wants to look the part but doesn’t have the time to hunt for stylish outfits, then we think you should give Bombfell a whirl.
Worst-case scenario, you don’t get anything you like, lose $20, and then cancel it immediately. And that’s really not that bad of a scenario.
Plus, it’s always good to try new things, right?
Your mom has probably told you once or twice in your life to try a new food because who knows, maybe you’ll like it.
Well, the same goes for clothes.