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Fall is here… and my wardrobe is not ready. Most everything I wore this time last year no longer fits. Since working out on a regular basis I haven't lost a ton of weight (less than 15 pounds) but building muscle has drastically changed the size and shape of my body. It's not just my dress size, jeans fit differently in the calves, even a lot of my shoes are now too wide. I know what I need but I don't really know what I want so I felt this was a good use for Trunk Club. I've done a Trunk Club review before (see this post) and even visited the Trunk Club Clubhouse in DC. Both times I worked with the same stylist, so she has gotten to know my style and fashion quirks. I reached out asking for:
- An everyday bag that is still cool enough to take to a blogging event
- A pair of jeans that aren't your basic blue skinnies. Something edgy and incorporating hot denim trends for fall
- A dress I could wear to a daytime wedding, a blog event, a date night
- Trendy shoes available in wide widths
- Tops that look good under blazers without appearing corporate. Focusing on colors that complement wine, burgundy, and berry since I already have that in my wardrobe
Kelsey knows my budget (I don't buy a lot so I am willing to pay a bit more) and my size. I have to say my stylist Kelsey got me and my needs pretty well with this Trunk plus added a few unexpected extras. Below, what I received in my Trunk Club Trunk and whether I kept it or returned it:
Pretty Dresses for A Variety of Occasions
Halogen Wrap Dress – Black Multi Floral, size Large
I was considering ordering this dress myself, but wasn't sure which pattern to choose (it comes in four prints and two solids). I likely wouldn't have chosen this print… but I like it! I think it would look good with black tall boots, or black tights and booties. I also think this print would look great with a denim jacket or a leather biker jacket. This is a really nice dress. It's the kind you can wear to work, but also wear for a night out. I don't have the neckline pinned, I likely would just to keep it a comfortable depth. I also think I would prefer this dress in petite as the sleeves are a bit too long. This dress isn't super stretchy like many wrap dresses; it has stretch but the fabric looks a bit more expensive and has a nice drape. I really like the cuff detail. I think I may exchange this dress for a petite. This dress retails for $99, comes in regular and petite sizes up to XXL.
Eliza J Floral Faux Wrap Dress – Size 14
This dress looks way better in person than on the website. On the site it looks sort of frumpy, but in person the printed velvet is beautiful and luxe and has gorgeous drape. This dress is a faux wrap without stretch and has a back zipper. While “mullet” hemlines are out of fashion, this subtle high-low hemline still looks fresh. This is a gorgeous dress that I would love to grab for a date night, wedding, or social event… if it came in petite. The neckline is far too low and the fabric isn't the type where this could be remedied with a safety pin. The back bunches because my torso is too short. It's a shame because this is a really gorgeous dress. The dress retails for $168 in sizes 2-14; this link is for the same dress in plus sizes (selling for $188).
PAIGE ‘Hoxton' High Wasit Ankle Straight Leg Jeans – Sahara Leopard, size 32
These are NOT jeans I would normally pick out for myself. Leopard print, high waist, and unfinished hem? It's like Kelly and Peggy Bundy combined. But then I put them on and was surprised by how well they fit and flattered! I started thinking of how fun they would be with a black sweater and black boots, a denim jacket and turtleneck, a silk blouse and pumps… But then I remembered I already have leopard pants (see in this post) and they don't even get a ton of wear so these would be a waste. However, I looked at the Nordstrom site and this style of jean by PAIGE comes in a ton of different colors, washes, and hemlines. I may consider getting them in a more neutral color… maybe grey? These jeans retail for $219 and come in sizes 23-32 (I think they run large, I am usually a 33 in jeans and these are super comfy).
FRAME Velveteen HIgh Waist Ankle Skinny Pants – Pinot, size 32
These jeans are not made for my figure. I struggled to pull these up over my calves, and they're super stretchy jeans, They make my butt, which I find one of my assets, to look saggy. However, they are a positively stunning color and the velvet is rich and gorgeous and totally on trend. They would look awesome with a simple sweater, or a band t-shirt and blazer. But they are NOT for me and considering how they fit, I doubt I'll try FRAME jeans again. These jeans sell for $235, come in sizes 23-33, and along with this color they also come in black.
MOTHER ‘The Inside' Crop Jeans – Guilty Racer, size 32
These jeans are pretty cool. The unfinished step hem, the stripes down the side, the saturated black color… these are the kind of jeans that make an outfit. However, I have black pants with white stripes like this and blue jeans with a faded stripe down the side so it's a bit too similar. ‘The Insider' is a style of jean from MOTHER that comes in a variety of colors and washes (and even a badass pair of pants)… but they don't fit. The reason I can take these photos is because the denim is super duper stretchy (and it's that good stretchy with texture not the kind that will bag and stretch after 5 minutes). They are at least one size too small, and they don't come in a 33. Also it makes me a little sick to my stomach to pay over $200 for a pair of jeans that may be a fashion don't this time next year. These jeans retail for $218 and come in sizes 24-32.
Tops to Wear With Blazers and Jackets
Gibson V-Neck Shell – Blue, size L
This shell is such a gorgeous shade of blue. This is the kind of blue that goes with unexpected things like burgundy, brown, and olive but also looks amazing with black, white, other bold colors, and classic neutrals. With a hint of texture, this shell isn't boring and would be great under blazers and soft jackets for the workplace or if you have a polished weekend style. I have neither lifestyle, and this shell just looks too corporate for my current closet. But if you're looking for a simple shell, this is a great choice. It comes in this great blue color as well as black and two prints. This shell retails for $49 and comes in regular and petite sizes up to XXL.
1901 Short Sleeve Graphic Tee – Navy, size Large
This t-shirt has already made its debut on the blog (see it in this post) but I am showing it again untucked and not under a blazer so you can see the fit. Also, this shirt has been through the washer and the dryer and still looks like new. While it's 100% pima cotton it is super soft and doesn't shrink. While I love this graphic, this same tee comes in four other options. This t-shirt retails for $35, comes up to size XXL and is available in regular and petite sizes.
Mural Oversize Blazer – Purple, size XL
This blazer is the extra something in my Trunk that Kelsey thought I may like. And the concept is cool. Oversized “boyfriend” blazers are hot this season. Purple is an unexpected color but it looks so good with so many colors and is a nice contrast with classic blue denim. I've owned blazers from Mural before and like that they're reasonably priced but look good. This blazer does not look good. Karl said while photographing it that I looked like I was the one who framed Roger Rabbit. Going down a size wouldn't work as the upper arms just fit and I couldn't go slimmer. The sleeves are crazy long; I cuffed them twice just to have them hit the wrists. Looking at online reviews I seem to be in the minority as so many people like it. If I were taller and maybe less curvy I think it could look cool over leggings or skinny jeans, but I am neither and this is going back. This blazer retails for $75 and goes up to a size XXL; this link has the same blazer in three other colors and 40% off.
Casual Shoes in Wide Widths
Louise et Cie ‘Bayne' Loafer – Leopard Pony Hair
These loafers are GORGEOUS. I opened the box and squealed with joy. See, I love the look of loafers and for years have included leopard pony hair loafers in capsule wardrobes yet I've never owned a pair because my feet and loafers are not friends. My feet are not only wide, but puffy/tall and loafers make my feet look like loaves of bread rising out of the pan. I totally expected to not even be able to fit my foot in these loafers… but they did. I then expected the shoes to press on my instep and cause my foot to squish out like dough from all sides… and they don't really. They're also well made (I have other Louise et Cie shoes and they're pretty comfy and high quality). My only hesitation is how my ankles look with a high vamp shoe. I just don't think they're terribly flattering. I like that they provide more coverage than a flat for when the temps drop, but I worry I'll buy them and rarely wear them because they accentuate my cankles. These loafers retail for $139.95 and come in regular and wide widths; this link is for the same exact loafer but in three colors of smooth leather.
Bella Vita ‘Eli' Cutout Bootie – Blush Suede
I love the look of a suede ankle bootie in a low-contrast color. They're so versatile. Wear with dresses and elongate the leg, look chic with jeans. However, as one with not just wide feet but wide ankles, it's hard to find booties that don't create a muffin top on my ankles if they can even zip up completely. I had a pair of beige suede ankle booties from Clarks but they were worn to death and retired. So I was excited to see these booties in my Trunk. And these fit… dare I say they're too wide (I NEVER say such a thing). They're also super comfortable. However, they're not right for me. The cutout looks cool… but then how do you wear socks to keep your feet from funking up the booties and to keep your feet warm as the temps drop? Also the tassels bother me. I think the back view is weird with the zippers and the tassels and the stacked wood heel… it's a lot for what I want to be a low-contrast neutral shoe. I think I'd appreciate these details more in black (this bootie comes in black as well as this blush color). So while these made me super excited because they fit, they're going back. This bootie retails for $124.95 and comes in narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide widths.
Everyday Bags with Style
Danielle Nicole ‘Nolan' Faux Leather Crossbody Bag – Purple
The purple pieces in this Trunk surprised me… but then I found I really liked it. I've never been one to wear a lot of purple, but after this Trunk I may incorporate more of it into my closet. This bag is a great size with a great strap length that works on the shoulder or across the body and really smart storage and pockets. The bag also comes in a sunny yellow. It's a practical bag… but I don't like it. I'm not against faux leather but it either needs to look a heck of a lot like the real deal or it needs to admit it's a different textile and rock its unique self. This bag does neither. The texture is described as snake-embossed but it just looks like a weird texture trying to be Saffiano leather. I usually appreciate a bag free of superflous hardware, but this bag having so little hardware made it look cheap. And for a faux leather bag, it's not cheap. If this bag came in faux patent leather, I think it would be chic, but I didn't dig this color and fabric combo. This bag retails for $98.
ALLSAINTS ‘Voltaire' Leather Tote – Smoky Blue
I love ALLSAINTS bags. Last year I invested in the North/South tote and that bag is sooo worth the money. It's gorgeous, durable, the perfect size, and looks expensive without being all covered with logos. This bag is the same. The leather is thick enough to survive all sorts of things but still supple and with that perfect bit of sheen. The color is so cool, like fog (if this isn't your thing the bag also comes in black). I love the subtle details – the tassels, the braided trim on the handles. There's a magnet closure and the size is comfortable under my arm even if I'm wearing a thick coat or the bag is filled to the brim. Even with straps long enough for comfort, I can carry it in my hand and it won't drag on the floor. This could be a great work tote, just slip a neoprene laptop case in there and you'll still have room for your change of shoes, lunch, files, and purse essentials without it getting lumpy. And if I didn't have my North/South tote I'd get this one. And I like it so much I am tempted to keep it, but that wouldn't be a smart purchase. But gosh it's pretty. One of you get it, love it, send me photos of you all over town with it so I can live vicariously through you. This bag retails for $368.
Clare V. Simple Stripe Suede Tote – Black
I love Clare V. If I were rich, I'd own a ton from the brand, but I'm not so all I own is one foldover clutch. But I saw this bag before Kelsey sent it to me, and admired it. The price is higher than I am comfortable with, but I think of how often I use my Clare V. clutch. I also didn't know which color to get (it comes in black suede, olive suede, marigold suede, white leather which gives a Gucci vibe, and camel suede). Kelsey picked the black which likely works the best with my wardrobe. I got it… and was underwhelmed. The short handles are thin, so if you put a lot in the bag they may hurt your hand or get stretched. The bag is very bare bones without lining or compartments. That's fine, but for the price I'd want a bit more… something. But then I put the bag on my shoulder with the removeable strap and I liked the bag a LOT more. It's chic, smart, looks designer but no logos. And I'd totally buy it… if it was under $300. But it's closer to $500 and that makes me throw up a little in my mouth for such a simplistic bag. This bag retails for $465.
My Fall Trunk Club Review
While the style was more “me,” I didn't end up keeping a lot of it. However, I do NOT see this Trunk as a fail. I tried brands I would normally not try, silhouettes I'd assume I couldn't wear, and colors I normally don't gravitate towards and all were positive experiences. It helped me see what I own in a new light and narrow down what I actually need this season versus what I want after seeing NYFW and so many bloggers in fall fashion.
While I was not paid to do this review, all links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase or sign up for Trunk Club through any of these links I may make a small commission. I am happy to honestly answer any questions regarding Trunk Club. Also, if you have used Trunk Club, whether or not your experience was positive, do share your thoughts in the comments to provide a balanced Trunk Club review to other readers of Wardrobe Oxygen.
I’m so happy I found your blog. Although I am a size 6 to 8, we are built similarly. I tried Trunk Club in LA and was really excited about it. I messaged back and forth with a stylist, but since I was trying to find someone who would help me pick flattering pieces for my body I thought I should go into the Clubhouse. He set me up with a stylist, but although she said she read my messages and profile she didn’t really seem to understand what I was looking for. She thought I wanted to update my fall wardrobe. Even though I explained what I was looking for, what she picked out wasn’t age appropriate (I’m 68) not flattering. I had to tell her that the color for a blouse she picked was not a good color for me – the top was actually flattering and I ordered it in a different color from the website. Very disappointed, but maybe I was expecting too much.
How much do you have to pay for it?
Alison Gary says
It doesn’t cost anything to make an appointment at their Clubhouse.
That lavender double breasted long blazer took me back to the 80s in a visceral way. Not sure if that is good or bad. Thanks for trying this service out!
Alison Gary says
I have received about 5 trunks so far. I started to feel like my stylist was finally understanding my preferences, then I got a new stylist. My latest trunk had a pair of jeans at least 6 inches too long. if they want me to buy $179 jeans, they should be my exact inseam. I missed that they weren’t even petite. I’m 5’ 0”! I have sent back about 90% of what I’ve been sent. I hate pastels, sleeveless, and fussy blouses (ruffles, ties, peplums, etc) and I swear my first two trunks were filled with only those items. I’m about ready to give up. I haven’t found the app particularly easy to use. For example, my trunk preview included a pair of skinny corduroys (petite, but also at least 4” too long) in a whiskey color. I tried to change to the dark red, and the app wouldn’t let me change it.
Alison Gary says
Ugh, sorry that they changed your stylist. As a heads up I learned if the option isn’t available on the app or site, message your stylist and they can add it. I had that done for the floral dress in petite as it wasn’t an option for me.
LOVE those leopard-print jeans on you! They were definitely my favorite in this haul. I envy how good you look in skinny jeans. I wish I could pull them off. sigh.
Alison Gary says
There’s a heck of a lot of silhouettes and styles that look atrocious on me that I wish I could wear. So glad we live in a time when there’s multiple options!
I am a Trunk Club member and am awaiting my 4th trunk. Here’s the brutal truth- this is my last trunk if my experience stays the same (which so far has been “meh”). I LOVE the idea and jumped in with both feet- giving my stylist almost too much information (my Pinterest boards, my specific sizes – 12-14 depending on brand, my deal breakers – no sleeveless, no crop tops). The first trunk was exciting but did not flatter my shape. The second trunk was a 100% miss that made me think perhaps I got someone else’s trunk. The 3rd was so bad (size 8 pants, cropped sweater, etc) I called the company to see if there was actually a person and not a computer program picking out my clothes. They gave me a new stylist and were super professional about the whole thing, but this is my last trunk if I don’t find anything I’d like to keep. Fingers crossed!
Alison Gary says
Oh my gosh how awful! My fingers are crossed, do let me know how it goes!
I tried Trunk Club because I hate shopping. It takes too much time, and I get overwhelmed very quickly. Too many choices, too many people, Muzak…the list goes on. I also wear a 14W, and the selection for my size is dreadful. I do most of my shopping online, and the idea of subcontracting the selection was appealing. I got my first trunk last week, and was generally very pleased. I think the stylist understand what I was looking for and got my personal style. I kept about half of the items, and had very specific reasons for returning the others. I will definitely try it again.
Alison Gary says
Glad you had a good experience!
Would you say the club house experience is more “worth it”? I know you review the trunks b/c not all of your readers live near a club house. I do, and I’ve been torn re: trying the in-person experience. I love online shopping (and trunk club) precisely because I do not have to see another human. 🙂 But it seems like you get a more complete styling experience in the club house and maybe a higher degree of success in terms of hits/misses?
Alison Gary says
If you have a clubhouse near you I highly recommend it. Like you I don’t like dealing with humans all the time, but the stylist was able to see and hear and experience who I am to get a better feel for me. While there were plenty of misses that first visit, I kept the same stylist and I think that in-person experience helped improve my mailed trunks.
I bought those leopard print shoes during the anniversary sale, but the regular widths were too narrow. They were flat out sold out until after the sale, but I loved them so much I bought the wide at full price. They’re beautiful AND comfortable!
Alison Gary says
Sure you won’t reconsider the velvet print dress? I think it looks smashing on you, at least in the photo.
Alison Gary says
It’s a beautiful dress but it doesn’t fit. And no dress no matter how gorgeous should be in your closet if it doesn’t fit 🙂
I love these reviews and your hits and misses!! While I haven’t tried the trunk club or others like that, it is a unique way to get something maybe you would not ordinarily buy for yourself, and it does help to have a fresh eye on style. Loved the calf hair flats and the wrap dress and I thought they looked pretty good on you. Keep up the good work. One of the best blogs out there!
Krista Alexander says
I’ve had hit/miss luck with my Trunks (total of 3). My first was mostly a miss. But I gave more info to my stylist, Ginger to make the second trunk better. The second was a huge hit. Shorts, tops, a dress. I actually kept most of it. Note: I really needed some new items for summer and made smart choices. My third trunk was a bust. I canceled every single item that was picked the first time. The second try I ended up only keeping a dress. The things I returned just weren’t right. And the one thing I truly wanted to keep was way out of my designated price range. And the item I requested wasn’t in the box either time.
Alison Gary says
I’ve heard a lot of stories like yours. A mixed bag of true hits and real misses. Some people never get the hits, and a lot of people have stopped shopping traditionally and just rely on their Trunk Club stylist. It’s crazy how varied the experiences are.
This is a question, not a criticism. Do you really think that having these items come to you at home is really worth it? It seems like an hour or two wandering Nordstrom would have offered you the same options to consider without the efforts of shipping them to you and then shipping them back. It appears that these box clubs are really meant more for someone who struggles to select fashion for themselves, or lives somewhere where finding fashion is problematic.
Jennifer M says
For me, having the items come to me at home is worth it, because even though I live in an area where I have 3 Nordstrom stores within a reasonable driving distance of home/work, it is rare that any of those stores has more than a few items available in my size. I do a lot of online orders and returns in addition to 3-4 trunks a year simply because I can’t go to the store and try things on to see how they fit. Also, my stylist suggests things that I wouldn’t necessarily try if I were shopping on my own, and I’ve picked up several things that I love because of this.
Alison Gary says
It’s a good question! I do it for a few reasons:
1. So many readers ask about Trunk Club, so by doing them I can review the process for them while also updating my wardrobe.
2. Even though I know my style, it helps to have a second opinion and a fresh eye. My stylist has helped me step outside my comfort zone and try new to me brands.
3. My nearby Nordstrom stores have very little selection in my sizes. Wide shoes, petites, size 14, they aren’t readily found.
4. Going to a mall isn’t simple for me. It takes a half hour to get there, 15 minutes to find parking, I end up spending money on food and/or drink while there, and find myself buying things I don’t love because I am in an environment that makes me want to spend. I get sweaty trying on clothes, I don’t have the right shoes with me to see how something will hang, I have the wrong bra, salespeople suck… it’s more enjoyable to bring my Trunk up to my bedroom in flattering lighting with my lingerie drawer and shoe wardrobe and a mirror I trust and no one knocking on the door asking if I need help because I’m taking longer than expected.
Trunk Club is likely not the best method of shopping for me. I do have a defined personal style and know my body. But I do enjoy the Christmas Morning aspect of a box of things I didn’t pick myself, having the ability to do a “haul” hits/misses for all of you, and the simplicty of returning with trunk club (way easier than the majority of online retailers). Oh, and no charge to my card until I decide to keep something. But you’re right, in general it’s not the most effective method for building my specific wardrobe. 🙂