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I had an amazing experience at the Trunk Club Clubhouse in DC. My stylist Kelsey did a great job picking pieces that were my style, but also a bit outside my comfort zone. I left with a dress, a blazer, a pair of jeans, and a pair of shoes. With the seasons changing, I decided to try Trunk Club again. I know many of you don't live near one of the seven Trunk Club Clubhouses, so this time I tried the mail-order aspect of Trunk Club.
Through the Trunk Club website, I chatted with Kelsey and let her know what I was looking for. I needed casual summer dresses, maybe a pair of denim shorts or a cute casual top, and a pair of casual sandals in a color close to my skin tone. Kelsey sent me a preview of what she was thinking which included a jumpsuit I ordered from Nordstrom myself a month prior but didn't work for me. I was able to tell her no to that since I already had tried it. I didn't say no to any of the other pieces even though some didn't seem quite what I wanted because… maybe I didn't know what I wanted. I didn't think I wanted white Cole Haan sneakers or a yellow blazer when I visited the Clubhouse but I walked out the door with both. There's no buyer's remorse with Trunk Club; if you like what you get your styling fee used as credit towards your purchase. Don't like anything, send it all back. So I was willing to take a chance.
The day your Trunk arrives, Trunk Club sends you an email with styling suggestions. Unlike other virtual styling programs, what you're going to receive isn't a mystery.
The box for Trunk Club is large. If you've used other subscription services like Stitch Fix or Dia & Co, the items come in a box or bag no bigger than one from USPS Priority Mail. But the Trunk Club trunk is big, like you bought yourself a new computer monitor big.
When you open the box, there's an envelope holding your return shipping label and two pieces of heavyweight tape to seal the trunk, and a sheet with what you got, details, and prices. Trunk Club offers free UPS pickup so don't worry about having to lug this giant box to your local UPS store or your office.
So anyway, let's get to what arrived in my Trunk!
Casual Tops with a Bit of Interest
This top is from Caslon, size Large. It retails for $39. It comes in regular and petite sizes on the Nordstrom site and is available in five colors. I didn't think I'd like this top as much as I did. A top like this I wouldn't normally consider because my bra straps would show. However, I didn't notice my bra straps at all. I also would fear this top is too sheer, but I think it's a good amount of opacity that doesn't make me feel self-conscious. This is a great summer top, easy as a tank or tee but with far more style and interest. It's a good thing to have in your summer wardrobe… so good I realize I own practically the same top in navy that I got at LOFT a couple years ago. So while this top is a win in my book, I returned it because I don't really need it.
This is the Draper James Palmetto Lace Tee Shirt, size Large. It comes in three colors on the Nordstrom site and retails for $48. When I saw this top was coming in my Trunk I was ready to reject it and have her send something else. But I figured I didn't think I'd want a yellow blazer and I wear my yellow pants all the time so maybe this would be a win. It's not. It's essentially a Hanes t-shirt with some bric-a-brac on the sleeves and the yellow is so Crayola I just don't feel comfortable. This would be a fun DIY project with a boring tee in your own closet but it's not a hit. Returned.
This is the Free People ‘Long Beach' tank, size Large. This tank comes in a variety of colors, this specific color is on sale for $18. This color is positively stunning, these photos and the website do not do it justice. The fabric is so soft and it has amazing drape. However, I am an old and I don't care if it's now acceptable to show your bra straps I won't do it. And when it's 100 degrees with 99% humidity this summer, I don't want to be wearing multiple layers to cover my bra. But if you don't mind showing your bra or wearing layers or have a bust that works well with a racerback tank or likes to go braless, this is actually a really nice tank and the most lovely color. But for me, a miss. Returned.
This is from Trouve, size XL. On Nordstrom, they have six colors at this link for $59, and two patterns at this link for $69. Even with all that variety, they don't have this blue currently for sale. A shame because this color is also one that is way more gorgeous in person. It's a machine washable lightweight poly crepe, the kind of fabric you can wear with a pair of white jeans and sandals, wide-leg silk trousers and heels, or under your most conservative business suit. It is too big for me. In fact, this runs so big I wonder if I would fit in a Medium. I would totally ask Trunk Club to send it in two sizes to determine the best choice (that's one cool aspect of Trunk Club, they can send you multiple sizes). If I still worked at an office job, I'd request other sizes, keep this top and wear the heck out of it all summer, into fall, and maybe even in the early winter under blazers. But I work from home and have few opportunities when such a top would be necessary so I returned it. But it's a good top at a good price so if you have an office job or a more refined personal style this is a good choice.
Denim Shorts and White Jeans
These are the Wit + Wisdom Ab-solution Cuffed Denim Shorts in size 12P. They come in regular and petite sizes up to 16 at this link; these are the same shorts in plus size but a lighter wash. They retail for $58. I think if I had received them in the lighter wash I would have kept them. The only problem I found with these shorts is the wash. I felt the super dark color made my legs look even pastier, and it didn't really coordinate with my boho-leaning summer wardrobe. I have another pair of denim shorts from Wit + Wisdom and they too are amazing. The shorts have a hidden wide elastic waistband that keeps the shorts from sliding down, from creating a muffin top, and prevents the waistband from folding over. The denim is high quality, the right thickness and stretch that is comfortable, looks high-end, and holds its shape all day. These shorts don't have a sewn-down cuff so they can be customized. They came uncuffed but easily made a crisp cuff that didn't roll down. Seriously, these are fantastic shorts. I just am trying to be super careful with any clothes I'm adding to my wardrobe and I just don't think this dark wash will get enough wear. So they were returned… but don't be surprised if you see me in the lighter wash version later this summer.
These are the ‘Bryn' High Rise Cutoff Denim Shorts from the brand AG Jeans, size 32. They retail for $168. Once I saw the price tag I knew I wouldn't keep them even if they were amazing. I have learned that spending a lot on jeans is worth it, but I wear the heck out of my jeans on weekends, nights out, and for years. Shorts are a different matter. I'll pay a bit to not have a dumpy looking back view and thighs not oozing out of too-tight leg openings and an unflattering length, but I can't yet stomach spending over $100 for something that will be sitting on grass and sliding over a sandy or chlorinated bathing suit. But heck, I'll try them on and see how they are.
I believe you can wear whatever the heck you want to wear no matter your age, size, or shape as long as it makes you feel good. These shorts do not make me feel good. These shorts make me feel like I am a 43-year-old mom wishing she was still a 30-year-old at Bonnaroo. And I don't want to be her, I want to be right now. They're a bit too whiskered, a bit too short, a bit too trendy for my comfort level. If they were 3/4 to an inch longer and either less whiskered or a bit more faded/vintage (and well like $100 less) I would keep them. There's 2% polyurethane in them which gives them body and a hint of stretch without losing their vintage cool-girl feel. I know Kelsey sent these because I got a pair of full-length jeans from this brand when I visited the Clubhouse and am obsessed with them. And their shorts are also awesome, but yeah, I can't stomach that price tag along with the wash and the length of these shorts so I returned them.
These are the Citizen of Humanity Rocket High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans in size 32. They retail for $168. These are so freaking tight they look ridiculous. Also, you can see my nude underwear through them. If they did fit and they weren't so transparent I still don't think I'd pay $168 for white jeans. My white jeans rarely last a season because I end up washing and bleaching them so often. Granted I've never owned white jeans that were stellar; maybe I would if they made my body look ba-silly but really I usually do well with a pair from Kut from the Kloth which has good fit, opacity, no weird details to make them look cheap, and are always under $100. But I get why Kelsey put these in my Trunk – I wanted white jeans, I bought an expensive brand in the past, and I wear a size 32. So while these were a miss, adding them to my Trunk wasn't a miss.
This is the Maggy London Stripe Ruched Handkerchief Hem Dress, size 14. At this link, you can find the dress in regular and petite sizes up to 18 for $138; at this link, you can find the dress in plus sizes for $148. This dress is machine washable, lined, and a textured crepe finish that can dress up nicely but also work with casual sandals. I needed a petite. It fits a bit weird at the bust and under the arms and the pointed waistband seems to be directing all traffic to the largest part of my midsection. This isn't a bad dress at all, but with the lining and the tight fit and the side zipper, I think it's a bit too polished for what I wanted (throw it on with some Birks and head to the market). Returned.
This is the Nic + Zoe Relax & Ride Midi Dress in size L. This dress retails for $138 and comes in regular sizes up to XL/16. This fabric is available on a variety of Nic + Zoe dresses in regular and plus sizes. I love this fabric. It's a super lightweight stretchy poly with a nubby texture that makes it look more expensive and elevated. It's a fabric that could show every lump and bump but the dress is lined to prevent that. And it's not lined in a layer of stretchy poly that will just make you sweat, but this thin mesh that is just as effective but cooler in the summer heat and humidity. The side ruching thing is adjustable, you can untie it and cinch it tighter or loosen it for less drape. This dress won't wrinkle and while it says it should be hand washed, it's the kind of fabric and style I'd risk in the washing machine on the gentle cycle safely in a lingerie bag. The only reason I didn't keep this dress is the color. It's not a bad color at all, but it's not a color I enjoy. Now if this dress was in the color of that green Free People tank I'd likely be wearing it while typing this blog post. But it's not and I know my history of owning yet never wearing this color so I returned it.
This is the Vince Camuto Embroidered Tie-Neck Cotton Halter Dress, size L. It comes in two colors, retails for $139, and comes in regular sizes up to XL. I would have never chosen this dress on my own because on the Nordstrom website it looks super fitted and super short. Reviews say it runs big, but I think that's because people want it to fit short and tight like on the model. Kelsey sent me this in a Medium and Large, I didn't even try on the medium and think I'd be more comfortable in an XL. The dress is fully lined in lightweight cotton so it was opaque, yet still cool and breezy. However, I returned this dress. Again, bra straps are showing. I don't mind a strapless bra, but not for casual run around town kind of looks. I wish it had pockets. Also, I wish it wasn't white; makes it hard to sit on a park bench or picnic blanket or even a seat on the Metro without worrying you're going to be a hot mess the rest of the day. If it was the XL in navy, with pockets… I'd maybe keep it. If it had no pockets but I could wear a standard bra I'd keep it. But there were too many things against it so I returned it.
Casual Flat Sandals in a Low-Contrast Color
This is the ‘Lovely' sandal from Born. It comes in four different colors and retails for $84.95. The leather is super soft and buttery, the sole cushioned, this shoe is nice. However, my feet are so wide/fat/high arches that I couldn't get them on. But if you don't have difficult feet like me these are a great buy.
This is the Beek ‘Swallow' sandal. It comes in two colors and retails for $280. That is as far as my foot fit into this shoe. I'm okay with that, the price tag made me throw up a little in my mouth and at least on my foot with my personal style I felt they looked too masculine.
This is the ‘Jared' Peep Toe Flat from Sbicca. It comes in two colors and retails for $64.94. Again, this is as far as I could fit my foot into the shoe. This one made me sad. This is a shoe I would never ever consider ordering on my own, but once I had it I liked it. This is the kind of shoe this summer I'd wear all shiny and new with sundresses and maybe some shorts and floaty linen pants. And then next summer they would be a bit dingy but in that cool, I've lived a life in these shoes way and I'd wear them with boho maxi dresses and denim cutoffs. And then the summer after, they'd be really worn in and maybe all the silver has tarnished or flaked off and I'm still rocking them with beat-up boyfriend jeans and an off the shoulder or gauzy cotton voile top and lots of silver jewelry. They would have molded to my foot and I'd wear them to festivals and street fairs and always pack them for my trips because they are so comfy. Yes, I just wrote a novel for a pair of shoes I can't even fit on my foot. But they're good shoes and at a great price and exactly why I wanted to do a Trunk but they were returned.
This is the SOREL Ella Gladiator Sandal. It's available in two colors and retails for $109.95. Since this is a lace-up sandal, it did fit. However, my pinky toe was left high and dry. I apologize for the gross photo of my foot needing some TLC but hey, real life. These are also shoes I would have never tried on my own. I would have found the mixed materials/colors hokey. However, in person, it looks much cooler. But yeah, I love my pinky toe so I had to return these shoes.
This concludes my review of my first Trunk Club Trunk. No, I didn't keep a single thing but I don't see this as a fail. In fact, I think it is a much better fit of pieces than I've received from any other virtual styling program. I will be doing another Trunk in the future. With Trunk Club, there's no auto delivery each month. You let your stylist know when you want another. You get a preview of most of the pieces you will receive so you can have veto power before it's on your doorstep. You have a running chat thread with your stylist that both of you can refer to and a record you can access of previous trunks with product names, sizes you chose, and your feedback. With each person you refer to Trunk Club, you get $50 once they get signed up and spent $50. This is my referral link if you'd like to try it; if you like it share your link with others and you can score a nice store credit for future Trunk purchases. If you don't like Trunk Club, you don't have to go through some long drawn out process to cancel the program. No need to drive to the UPS store or Post Office with your return.
Have you tried Trunk Club? Tried on any of the pieces in my Trunk Club Trunk? Share your experiences in the comments below. This is not a sponsored post. While I did have a store credit from a referral in my account to pay for this Trunk to be delivered, I was not paid to share this, all thoughts and all words are my own.
This is so helpful Alison. I am a bit taller than you but have a similar shape. I did try Trunk Club and went into their location. I was very disappointed. I had asked for someone to help me select styles that were flattering to my body and age appropriate, I’m 68. The stylist said she had read my profile, but it didn’t seem like it. She said she thought I was looking to update my fall wardrobe – not. One blouse I tried on I really liked but it was a color that doesn’t look good on me – I had to tell her that. A stylist should be able to see if a color isn’t flattering on you. Anyway, I wish I had seen your blog before I went in and just tried the online trunk. Probably just need a different stylist. I thought the Vince Camuto dress looked great on you.
Alison Gary says
I’m sorry you had such a poor experience, how frustrating!
The striped dress looks fantastic on you, I commented out loud to the cat as soon as the picture came into view. Just in case you ever wonder about it again. 🙂
Alison Gary says
LOL thanks Rachel!
Of all items my fave was the white Vince Camuto dress.
Honestly speaking I thought everything was soo expensive…
Fun to see your thought process, especially the shoe story. Definitely makes the Trunk Club logistics seem appealing.
Ooh, i like that greyish blue dress on you. Too bad you don’t like the colour!
I have wide feet and hate trying to buy sandals. I don’t want frumpy, either.I actually got 2 pairs at a naturalizer outlet store (which I’d never been in before). I brought my 13 year old daughter and told her to tell me if the ones I tried on looked like grandma shoes and she did. I had to try on a bunch .. (there was even a pair that “grandma wouldn’t even wear”) but ended up buying both pairs that were wide enough and got the teenager seal of approval. 🙂
So I want the caslon top in the white… but I just went on nordstrom.com to order it and lots of reviews said it was really large? Would you say TTS? I would get a medium normally, and would be really scared to size down as a 36D!
Have you considered the Rockport Cobb Hill Inglewood Huraches? I have wide feet and love my pair (and previous Cobb Hill Sandals Ireland and Aubrey). The Khaki is neutral. I regularly walk miles in my cobb hill sandals, there is enough support and width. They do have a closed toe (and heel), but that’s convenient for me if I haven’t kept up my pedicure!
The Caslon drop-waist Jersey dress might fit what you are looking for. It just went on sale and I’m considering ordering my 4th(!) color. I love reading your reviews, you’ve helped me find some great pieces! Thanks!!
I thought the yellow shirt and the white dress look fabulous on you. Some of those prices tho?
Alison Gary says
I didn’t specify a price limit and when I went to the Clubhouse I did purchase some pricey brands so I was not surprised by the prices she sent me. It did teach me that I’m willing to pay more in the colder months than summer!
I love this post! I have never shopped at Nordstrom’s, so this is a good review. I wear the same sizes you do, so I also found the post informative as well. (I love your phrases.) I agree that tank color is divine!
Alison Gary says
I did try Trunk Club for several months. I really didn’t like anything she sent me for the first few months, and then I decided to bump up my price point and did get several things that I liked and kept. I will say that while I liked the logistics of Trunk Club (the emails/previews/ease of sending things back), I was really disappointed in the quality of clothing I received. I’m not sure if Nordstrom has gone down hill or what-but the stuff I received just seemed so cheap looking and cheaply made-even the items that were more expensive. Ultimately I decided that I’d rather just shop at actual stores and try things on as needed.
Alison Gary says
I think Nordstrom is trying to appeal to the blogosphere and has brought on a lot of juniors/cheaper brands and blogger collabs which I’ve found most to be juniors in feel. It takes more time to weed through their offerings and I think makes it harder for a Trunk Club stylist to get it right.
I was wondering if you were able to specify the width as well as the size of your shoes to your stylist? The pairs sent were so off for you; I would never be able to purchase footwear from Trunk unless I could get a much more accurate fit (chubby feet club).
Alison Gary says
I am sometimes wide, sometimes not. The shoes I got from the Clubhouse experience weren’t wide. I do need wide for sandals though, I know one pair she sent were wide.
I’m so sad you didn’t keep the Nic & Zoe dress! It looked great on you and I know you said you hated the color but I think that it would look really pretty with your hair and eyes.
Alison Gary says
Thank you! But I think it’s important to buy less and only what makes you feel good. I just know that dress wouldn’t get enough wear to justify the purchase.
This is a great review! Even though you didn’t keep anything this time, I am now tempted to try out Trunk Club. And the teal version of that Caslon top has hopped into my shopping bag in two sizes.
As for racerback bras, I have found that the Wacoal B.tempted line has some good options for larger cup sizes (I’m an F or G, depending on the brand and band size). The “b.captivating” is the one I’ve added to my life. I did end up going up a band size and down a cup size from my usual Wacoal size, FWIW. Natori Feathers is a another good racerback, although not as smooth. Now if only manufacturers wouldn’t cut the armholes so low!
I was thinking about that racwrback tank too… Such a great color! I went from never ever ever considering racerback to almost exclusively wearing them It is a combo of working out, getting the Panache sport and using the clip back feature, and living in South Florida. 🙂
Alison Gary says
That’s the thing with this tank, even with racerback I think it would show because the armholes are so low and the front is cut in so much. Thank you for the bra recommendation I need to check it out!
It’s too bad nothing worked but thanks for sharing with us and being honest! Why can’t stores carry comfortable dresses with pockets that are casual and made for summer?!? Those Born sandals are so nice—I’m sorry they didn’t work for you b/c they’d definitely be a great summer sandal. I’ve recently purchased 4 pairs of Born sandals and love them all (I may send 1 back b/c I’m not sure I “really” need them). They are comfortable for wearing and walking in all day, and this is my year to finally realize that cheap sandals are not worth the pain they cause my feet.
Alison Gary says
So true! I know many who go cheap with sandals because they can take a beating. BUt a pair of quality comfortable sandals are a gamechanger and worth every penny!
Krista Alexander says
Oh my goodness! We actually got some of the same items in our trunk! I also received the Caslon sleeveless top (in teal), the Wit + Wisdom shorts and I received Wit + Wisdom Ab-solution Jeans in Optic White. Also 2 dresses and a Cason T-shirt/top and a pair of San Edelman jeans that are amazing and NYDJ Brielle Bermuda shorts in cabana Blue and Wit + Wisdom Ab-Solution Skinny Jeans.
I kept the Bermuda shorts because they’re a huge surprise. I would never have tried those but I love them. Also kept the Wit & Wisdom shorts. I needed something that fit well and didn’t bag out and bunch up. The Sam Edelman jeans are wonderful. A splurge for sure, but I will wear the hell out of them. I’ve owned them 4 days and worn them 3 times. Also keeping a linen maxi dress that’s reasonably priced and perfect for summer (really all year in florida).
This was my second trunk. The entire trunk was a hit, a few pieces were not to my taste but Ginger (my stylist) pulled exactly what I asked for and surprised me with a few things I didn’t.
I will definitely do this again in a few months.
Alison Gary says
Why am I not surprised we received similar things? LOL 🙂
If it makes you feel better, I added several items from your Trunk to my Nordy’s wish list…
Alison Gary says
LOL I did receive a lot of great items, just not right for me specifically!
Julia S. says
Maybe take a look at the Comfortiva Trinidad for the woven huarache style in wide widths? I’ve been happy with my Comfortiva shoes; good quality to price ratio.
Alison Gary says
Oooh thanks for that suggestion Julia! I wish it was open toe but I’ll check out more from the brand and may find the one!
I started to try the online service. I went through the questionnaire and chatted with a stylist. But I was put off by the fact they wanted my credit card BEFORE they put my trunk together. I wanted to see what they’d offer and see if their service might work for me. I didn’t have an issue with giving them a card before shipping, but this was a bit off putting for me. I have an unusual style challenge at the moment- we are moving into an RV for the next three years to travel the country. So I have to make sure everything fits into a tight capsule. I wasnt sure my stylist understood even though I thoroughly explained, and then to give my credit card first, put me off and I chose not to complete a trunk.
Alison Gary says
Oooh, you will have to let me know how it goes with the RV! We’ve toyed with doing that ourselves! I’m sorry you didn’t have the best experience with Trunk Club. For your specific situation, I think a personal stylist would be the best investment. She could come in and assess what you already have, see it on you, and help with a shopping list or to shop for you the items you need to complete your capsule.
Get that Nick and Zoe midi in another color! Please, it looked fabulous on you. The rest, not so great so I’m okay with you returning them.
I agree 100% — stunning dress on you! Also, the Free People tank looks AMAZING on you. If I can find a racerback bra that works on me, I suspect you could too. Seriously, the cut and color of that tank were made for you…
I thought that dress was nice looking and was sold after reading about the lining and the adjustable tie I was sold. The gathering at the waist is one of those things that I look at on the hanger and think, “no way” but once it’s on it’s more flattering than you’d think.
My only issue with uneven hems is that I work in the basement where the A/C is polar and need a sweater or jacket, and have trouble figuring out what goes with the uneven hem.
Alison Gary says
I wish it did come in another color! Unfortunately, it only comes in this one blue shade.
I love that you try all the things so I don’t need to! The fact that not one of these items worked well enough for you to purchase it is exactly why I would not use this service. It seems like an enormous waste of time. I would only use the personal shop service if I could go to the store or shop location to try items on, rejecting or accepting them immediately. Think of all the actual energy required to ship clothing and shoes back and forth. Only seems like a win for UPS. I generally have a similar issue with online clothing, might be just my issue. I really liked that white top on you.
Alison Gary says
And I have the same issue with shopping in-store! LOL Each time I go to the mall I leave exhausted, frustrated, and often with a purchase I didn’t really need in the first place. Limited sizing, not all the colors, gross fitting rooms, unflattering lighting, and bored salespeople ruin my vibe. I prefer to shop in my bedroom with my mirror, my choice of underpinnings, my shoe collection to get a true feeling if an item is worthy of being in my closet. We’re so lucky to have options in this day and age! 🙂
Your paragraph on the Jared Peep Toe sandal is one of the reasons I love your blog! You wrote a mini short story about the life of that shoe, if only it worked ….
I totally agree! I create elaborate plans in my head about what I would do with items I find online, but never as eloquently as Allie!
Alison Gary says
Alison Gary says
LOL thank you1 It’s why I love to blog!