In this fourth installment of our series about personal styling services and how well they would fit a lady who prefers boho and western style of clothing, I will be reviewing Trunk Club. If you have ever shopped at Nordstrom's, then you pretty much know what to expect from Trunk Club, as this service belongs to the Nordstrom's fold of companies. Unfortunately, I am sad to say that Nordstrom's and its subsidiaries do not carry many items that could fit a true boho or western wardrobe. That is the main reason why this service received the rating of only one and a half stars. Read on for the full review.
Like most other personal styling services, Trunk Club charges a styling fee that can be applied to the items you end up purchasing from your trunk. At $25, this fee is just a tad higher than the other services previously reviewed, but instead of usual five items, your Trunk Club trunk will include a whopping ten items. In addition, your Trunk Club Profile questionnaire will be much more thorough than either Dia & Co. or the Stitch Fix one. Last but not least, you are guaranteed to work with the same Trunk Club stylist every time, unless you personally request a change. An additional perk of this service is that you can live chat online with your assigned stylist and exchange as many emails with her as you want, and you also have a chance to review your trunk before it is sent to you and request that certain items be omitted if, from the enclosed photos and descriptions, you decide they would not work for you. For every item you request to be omitted from your trunk, your stylist would then choose another in the style of the items you approved, so you will still get your ten items in every trunk. All of this sounded very appealing to me and I decided to try the Trunk Club despite my doubts about the availability of items I preferred at Nordstrom's brand family of companies.
After a detailed chat with my stylist, I received the first trunk proposal as shown in the image above. To be fair, I forgot to mention to her that I didn't want footwear with open toes and/or heels and that I didn't wear high heels. Still, the proposed items were quite disappointing: skinny jeans instead of the requested bootcut jeans, bomber jacket instead of the requested moto jacket, sleeveless tops instead of the requested bell sleeve tops, and the list goes on. Even though I was told by my stylist to approve items that I could even remotely see myself wearing, I unfortunately had to reject this whole trunk. That seemed to complicate and substantially delay the creation of the second trunk, and subsequently, I felt it got my stylist mad at me as well.
When the second trunk was finally created, it contained half of the items from the trunk proposal I originally rejected, and the rest didn't seem to match my style and preferences either. Read on for the full review of the ten items I received in my trunk.
Here is the item-by-item review of everything I found in my trunk when it finally arrived:
1. Glamorous Button Up A Line Dress - $79.00
Despite the fact that my profile specifically stated, "no dresses," I was sent two dresses in this trunk. This first one was too large overall, constructed of cheap looking fabric that got horribly wrinkled just from being folded in the shipping box, and it looked nowhere close to something I would wear even if I got over my dislike of dresses.
2. Print Chiffon Shift Dress by Vince Camuto - $148.00
This item was not only overpriced, but also everything I told my stylist I did not want in a piece of clothing: horizontal pattern, 100% polyester, and dry clean only maintenance. In addition, this dress was too large overall as well.
3. Marilyn Stretch Straight Leg Jeans in black by NYDJ - $124.00
This was another piece where it seemed the stylist sent me what I specifically told her I did not want. We discussed jeans, and I was clear that I only wanted black bootcut jeans. I found a straight leg pair in my trunk instead, and an overpriced one for that matter.
4. Billie Stretch Mini Bootcut Jeans in Oak by NYDJ - $144.00
Another pair of hugely overpriced jeans had found its way into my trunk. In addition, they were in a regular, denim wash. Returning them was a no-brainer as I already had a better looking and less expensive pair of Wranglers I liked and wore often.
5. Flor Off The Shoulder Top by Sanctuary - $89.00
This was another complete miss on the stylist's part. In our lengthy online chat and subsequent emails, I had made her aware of the fact that I didn't like cold shoulder and off the shoulder styles. Yet, this piece was included in my trunk. In addition, the fabric this top was made of was nothing to write home about, definitely not worth the listed price.
6. Pleat Back Blouse by NYDJ - $88.00
Apart from the cheap looking fabric and high price, this top was too tight in the hip area, and again, not the style I would wear.
7. Paisley Border Print Blouse by Vince Camuto - $79.00
Out of the whole trunk, this was the only piece where I might have been willing to overlook the high price and cap sleeve style because the paisley print in the shades of navy blue definitely displayed the boho vibe I was looking for. Unfortunately, this top too was awfully tight in the hips, even when worn over a thin maxi skirt. I don't think it would have fit over the hips at all if I had my jeans on.
8. Print V Neck Blouse by Hinge - $69.00
This was supposed to be a fun print top with navy background. To my surprise, what I found in my trunk was a strappy beige top three sizes smaller than the other items in the trunk. What caused the wrong top to be sent remains a total mystery.
9. Embroidered Tencel Denim Shirt by NYDJ - $98.00
In the photos of items my stylist emailed to me, this shirt looked like a lot of fun with its 3/4 sleeves and a floral embroidery patch over one shoulder. Unfortunately, the shirt was less than hum-drum in person. Tencel denim was of poor quality, embroidery was a very obviously poorly executed machine embroidered motif, and the shirt was also too tight in both the bust and hip areas.
10. Blair 5 Slip On Sneakers by Vince Shoes - $195.00
If my stylist wanted to spite me, this pair of shoes was definitely it. Regardless of the fact that my profile specifically stated, "no sneakers," this was the cheapest looking, most overpriced pair of shiny black plastic upper slip-ons I have ever seen. I honestly couldn't fathom why they were in my trunk, and I wondered who on earth would pay almost $200 for such an ugly pair of shoes.
So, needless to say, this whole trunk went back faster than it took to get to me, and once it was received by Trunk Club, I promptly cancelled my membership.
As you could guess from this review, if you wear classic boho and western clothing, I'd say, don't even bother with Trunk Club. You most certainly won't find items to match your style there.
In my next post, I will be reviewing Natalie Attired, a brand new kid on the block (just celebrated their first anniversary) when it comes to the world of personal styling services. Stay tuned!
Do you have an experience with Trunk Club? Feel free to share in the comments below.
As promised in my last post, Part 3 of the series on personal styling services will address Stitch Fix, one of the better known services of this kind.
Although Stitch Fix does not specialize in plus sizes, they do carry a certain range of sizes in the plus spectrum that make them a viable choice for providing a decent selection of items in larger sizes.
Similar to Dia & Co, I gave Stitch Fix three chances to get it right. Unfortunately, despite refining my customer Profile and leaving detailed messages for my stylist, it seemed my very first fix was the best, and quality and appropriateness of items kept deteriorating with each following shipment. I ended up keeping two items from my first fix (I would have kept three if the maxi skirt I received was not too long), one from the second, and none from the third.
Much like other personal styling services, Stitch Fix charges $20 styling fee, which can be applied toward any of the five items in your fix box you'd like to keep. The company also provides free shipping and returns, and you have five days to decide which items to keep and which to return. You can opt to receive your fixes in regular intervals, as often as you want, or you can choose to receive them "on demand," as infrequently as you wish. Before you can request your first fix, you are required to fill out a detailed customer Profile, and based on your responses, you are assigned a personal stylist to work with you. Unfortunately, much like with Dia & Co, this doesn't guarantee that you will have the same stylist style your each subsequent fix, even if you specifically request to keep the same stylist.
As I already mentioned, I decided to keep two items out of my first fix box. Both of them were tops: an embroidered peasant style chambray top (exact match for the style I requested), and a navy, lightweight knit top with dolman sleeves that I normally wouldn't have chosen for myself, but it looked so good with maxi skirts that I decided it was worth keeping. I only kept a blue and white maxi skirt from my second fix, and the third fix seemed to be a complete failure, and all of the items had to go back.
Here is a "blow-by-blow" review of the items in the third fix box.
1. Fidel Button Detail top by Skies Are Blue - $48.00
Although this top was well within my budget and had a peasant blouse shape, it was too big in the bust area, and colors were so dull and the print so unattractive that it looked like something an 80+ year old woman without much sense of style might choose to wear.
2. Jordan Caplet Knit Top by Universals Standard - $78.00
Not only was the styling of this top inappropriate for boho or western style, but it was also very uncomfortable, too tight in the hips and shoulders, and rather overpriced for the quality.
3. Romy Bell Sleeve Top by Spade & Heart - $48.00
This was another poor execution of a nice concept. Bell sleeve styling was what I requested, but the cheap looking crepe fabric with dull olive background and an even duller floral print completely ruined what could have been a good looking piece of clothing. In addition, the top had a horizontal border style print right over the hips, which made my plus sized hips look even more oversized.
4. Suzette Bootcut Jean by Slink - $88.00
If I didn't already have a pair of dark bootcut jeans in my closet, I would have kept these black bootcut jeans. They fit well and looked good. My only complaint about this item is that the fabric was rather thin and wrinkled easily. True, one would want lighter weight jeans for the summer, so maybe this pair would have worked well if I kept them.
5. Ariya Back Tie Cargo Vest by 41Hawthorn - $68.00
This vest was so small that I couldn't even get it on properly. In addition, the fabric wrinkled easily and seemed of poor quality, and the olive color was rather drab. Last but not least, a cargo garment in this specific style would not have fit well with boho or western style.
Have you used services from Stitch Fix? If so, what style of clothing do you prefer, and what was your impression of this personal styling service?
If you read my post last week, you noticed that each of the four personal styling services I tried was mentioned briefly and in rather general terms. Now, it's time to start with detailed reviews. First up, DIA & CO. but let me preface this post by saying that neither this one nor any of the future posts reviewing personal styling services are sponsored posts. That's right, I paid my own styling fees and purchased the items out of my own pocket, so be assured that these reviews are as unbiased as they can possibly be.
Dia specializes in plus size fashions. Their styling fee of $20 per box can be applied to any item(s) from the box you purchase. In addition, you will receive a 20% discount if you purchase all items in the box. Dia offers free shipping and returns, and you can receive Dia boxes as often or as infrequently as you want. Each Dia & Co. box includes five items that are supposed to coordinate with each other. Before you can request your first Dia box, you are required to fill out a detailed customer profile. You can also leave a personal note for your stylist if there is something you want to mention that was not covered by the profile. Dia assigns you a personal stylist depending on the profile information you provide. Unfortunately, at least in my experience, you cannot count on having the same stylist style each of your Dia boxes, which makes it hard to keep improving your experience by fine-tuning the style of items you receive.
Customer service department at Dia & Co. is fairly responsive if you run into any issues, and they even waved the styling fee for my next Dia box (should I decide to get another one) after I requested to close my account. However, it appears that the stylists are not very familiar with the boho/western style, or the company simply doesn't carry too many items in this style. All in all, I would give Dia two stars out of five.
I gave Dia & Co. three tries before I decided the service was not suited to my personal style. My first Dia box was a complete disappointment. It felt like items were just randomly thrown in without much attention to my customer profile. Colors and silhouettes were almost completely opposite of what was listed in my profile and note to stylist, and items were of rather poor quality. In addition, each box is supposed to contain a personal note from stylist to the customer, but my first Dia box didn't include it.
Second box arrived with a note from stylist, but alas, items again didn't match my style or sizing, and all of them seemed rather cheaply made. Needless to say, I did not keep any items from the first two boxes.
It seems that the third time was the proverbial charm with Dia & Co. My third Dia box had a very nice note from the stylist, who seemed to pay a bit more attention to my style and special requests listed in the note I left for her. However, it seems like she forgot to read through the profile as I received a piece of jewelry while my profile specifically stated, "no jewelry." After all, I am a jewelry artist and can make things I want to wear myself.
Here is the complete listing and pricing of items I received in this box and my review of each of them.
1. Devon Beaded Necklace in olive green - $29.00
Aside from the fact that I didn't want any jewelry in my boxes, this item was so cheap looking and poorly constructed that I wouldn't even want my dowdy grandma to wear it. The colors of the glass beads were dull, and the beads were simply strung together. Definitely not something I would wear or even make for a customer.
2. Morgan & Walker Lady Ultra Stretch Bootcut Jeans in dark wash - $69.00
Although these jeans were not what I actually requested (black jeans), they fit really well and, thanks to the extra stretch, made my legs look slimmer. In addition, even though they were bootcut, the tight fitting style made them appropriate to wear with even longer, mini dress length tops. So, I decided to keep this pair hoping they would not fade too much in the wash. I am happy to report that, after two washes, the color still looks pretty good.
3. Ina Dolman Style Cardigan by B.Curvy - $75.00
Not only was this item significantly overpriced for the quality, but it was everything in a top I did not want. White background fabric with horizontal stripe print included three of the biggest "no-nos" outlined in my customer profile: color white, horizontal patterns, and stripes. Needless to say, this piece had to go back.
4. Randy Top by Lyssee - $59.00
Although this top was in a color I did like and wear often (navy), trying to put it on felt like fighting a beast. Once I had the top on, I pretty much looked like a mummy trying to get unraveled out of her wrappings. The top was completely shapeless, seemed about two or three sizes too big, and definitely not something I would wear.
5. Norma Jacket by Lysse - $129.00
I actually wished I could keep this faux leather moto jacket in light blue. The color was beautiful, fabric was soft, and the style would have added some edge to my wardrobe. Unfortunately, the piece was too big (marked as 1X, but it felt like it was a size bigger), and at the time, the price was a bit over my budget, so I decided not to even bother trying to find out if it came in a smaller size. I often look at the snapshot of me wearing the jacket with the jeans from this box now, and I wish I would have gone through the trouble of requesting a smaller size, but it's too late now. Maybe I'll try to request it if I decide to use that $20 credit I still have with Dia & Co.
*** UPDATE 7/14/2017:
Dia & Co. has been working on updates to their website since I originally wrote this review. In the latest edition of their website, the Note to Stylist box has been eliminated, customer Profile fields have been changed, chat feature has been added, and scheduling feature has been changed to eliminate the calendar where you could pick your delivery date. If you want your box on a specific date (and not as soon as they can send it), or if you have specific comments to leave for your stylist, use the chat feature to connect with Customer Service. They'll make sure to forward your message to your stylist.
Have you used Dia & Co. services? If so, what is your clothing style, and how was your experience with Dia?
the mind and hands behind hART Sense Design. I am a designer and hand-maker of one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry and accessories for artistic, chic cowgirls, boho babes, and lovers of all things western.
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