Fashion has always been about expressing oneself through what one believes to be stylish and contemporary. However, this is now being challenged by the emergence of a new fashion trend. One that I believe is likely to seem like a dream come true to for many men and a massive time saver for women. If the sound of online shopping where you can't see what you are buying seems a bit too abstract, then this might not be for you. But, as online shopping has changed the norm of acquiring new clothes, so too might "mystery delivery shopping".
Stylishly savvy companies across westernised countries have begun a new type of service called mystery deliveries. Once you sign up, these companies will send you a box of specially chosen clothes, beauty products or accessories straight to your front door every month. Basic companies will send you standard offerings, whilst more sophisticated businesses ask their customers about dress size, style, appearance, taste and perfect piece examples. Then you simply keep what you like from the box and return what you don’t.
Personally, being your average kinda guy when it comes to clothes shopping and deciding what to wear, I was immediately drawn to this concept - and that was before I even knew too much about it. The idea of being able to get new clothes or accessories without the usual associations of having to do so with a girlfriend while strolling across every square cm of a shopping mall, is massively appealing. I can't stand shopping and I’m sure plenty of other guys are in the same boat.
Within the past 10 years we have seen a number of industries adopt this new style of mail order service. The food industry has been dominated by companies such as “Lite n’ Easy” and “Hello Fresh” for example, who use the same concept of delivering food direct to your door every week. Beyond food, other companies also offer similar services for books, coffee, wine, shaving razors and gardening products.
The most popular company of its type in Australia at the moment is ‘Her Fashion Box’, who focus on supplying beauty products and accessories. Over the past two years the company has sent out 30,000 boxes across the globe. The process is quite simple. The customer chooses from either classic, feminine or trendy and then has to answer 20 questions about their look and personality: skin type, lifestyle, interests, hair and job. The service costs $39.95 per month and includes beauty products at much cheaper rates compared to stores, plus you also receive free samples to try with your order.
Along with each order you will also receive a brochure, which shows all the other products, you can buy from the company so you never miss out on an item you like.
‘The Parcel’ ($25 per parcel) is another popular service in Australia along with Violet box ($250 for 12 months) and Bella Box ($17.95 per month). These services are not designed to completely replace your shopping needs, as you may still need to go out and buy other items, but they will make it a lot easier to find looks that are both contemporary and stylish.
Each company sends their customers slightly different products; dependent on the information that users have populated their profile with.
Naturally for guys when it comes to these types of services there is slightly less choice at the moment, but a good service we came across is Kent & Lime. These guys get your size, preference of clothes type and career before sending you monthly packages of clothes. You also have the ability to return anything you don’t want (which you'll need to pay $20 for in shipping). Kent & Lime have now partnered with Victor York to provide custom suits and other desirable items to their male database too.
In the United States the concept has grown massively with the creation of complex algorithms being able to successfully generate large volumes of customised boxes. Many customer’s living remotely love the service because it’s easier to have clothing delivered than having to head down to the closest shopping centre to find something themselves.
The huge success of fashion retailers like ASOS, MissGuided, The Iconic and Boohoo have opened the doors to the next frontier of fashion shopping and we are currently sitting on the cusp. If you are someone who dislikes shopping then check out the services mentioned in this post to help you remain stylish and contemporary without the hassle of having to visit the over-crowded store.