The Universal Standard Mystery Box is Back!

Universal Standard Mystery Box review for 2020 plus a 10% promo code

For the third February in a row, Universal Standard has brought back their Mystery Box promotion. Only until February 17th, visit Universal Standard and try one of their Mystery Boxes to get an amazing deal on their quality size-inclusive fashion. Starting at just $55 per box (but valued up to $708), this is a great way to try Universal Standard for the first time or to update your wardrobe for the coming year.

I reviewed the Universal Standard Mystery Box in 2020, and also reviewed the first Universal Standard Mystery Box back in 2019. I am a fan of this promotion and am glad it has returned for 2021!

While I am contracted to share the Universal Standard Mystery Box promo on Instagram, I am sharing this promotion on the blog as a PSA/unpaid because I think it's such a good deal. There are affiliate links in this post; if you click on one and make a purchase I may make a small commission.

What is Universal Standard?

Universal Standard is a fashion brand that provides high-quality clothing in sizes 00-40. Started with two friends who wanted to shop together, their goal with Universal Standard was to erase the invisible fashion line separating “straight” and “plus” sizes and give all women the same level of style, quality, and respect and to have the same shopping experience.

Unlike many retailers that use one fit model for a dozen sizes, Universal Standard cuts pieces to work for each size, and often you'll find bodies of every size the brand carries, modeling the clothes on their site, helping you envision the pieces on your own figure.

What is the Universal Standard Mystery Box?

For the Mystery Box promotion, Universal Standard will use your overall shopping behavior, survey results, and past purchases to curate a box with pieces they’re sure you’ll love. Your box will have bestsellers, items that look to fit with past purchases (if applicable), and even items that have yet to showcase on the Universal Standard website.

universal standard mystery box review
My Universal Standard Luxe Mystery Box arrived in two boxes

Choose which box appeals to you (there are 11 different ones to choose from at different price points and with different categories of clothing), and you'll get an email from Universal Standard with a link to a survey that asks a series of questions to understand your style preferences and ultimately, helps build your custom box.

Every Universal Standard Mystery Box will have a value higher than the price you pay. It may be $5 more, it may be $125 more. You never know what you're going to get!

Last year, the Universal Standard Mystery Boxes sold out in just a few days and a lot of Universal Standard fans bought several boxes. To make the Mystery Box campaign in 2021 more fair, each customer is limited to purchasing three (3) Mystery Boxes.

Screen Shot 2021 02 09 at 11.20.17 AM
xesThe 11 different Universal Standard Mystery Boxes to choose from

Universal Standard Promo Code

Universal Standard provided me with the promo code wardrobe_oxygen10; if you use wardrobe_oxygen10 at checkout you will get 10% off your entire order, including 10% off the already low price of the Mystery Boxes.

My Universal Standard Mystery Box

As an influencer, I was invited to try out the 2021 Universal Standard Mystery Box promotion ahead of the public. I had the opportunity to receive a Luxe Box for free (you can purchase it for $198).

Like any Mystery Box customer, I was sent a survey after agreeing to review the Luxe Box. My survey asked questions like what climate I prefer to dress for, what necklines I like, what inseam do I prefer, and my favorite color palette.

universal standard mystery box contents
All the items in my Universal Standard Mystery Box came in packaging that let me know the style and color name of each garment.

Based on my survey answers and previous Universal Standard purchases (I am not only an influencer but a Universal Standard customer who shops the brand regularly), I received the Rivers Wrap Dress in Currant ($228), the Cupro Rubicon Shirt Dress in Storm ($138), and the Willow Wool Cocoon Coat in Blush ($345). I received all pieces in size XS which in Universal Standard is a 10/12 (but I find fits me most often from this brand).

My Universal Standard Mystery Box Review

As mentioned, I received the Rivers Wrap Dress, Rubicon Shirt Dress, and Willow Coat.

Universal Standard Rivers Wrap Dress Review by Wardrobe Oxygen

I owned the Rivers Dress before (see me wear the Universal Standard Rivers Wrap Dress in this blog post) and while this is one of the best-designed wrap dresses I have ever tried, it's not a good choice for someone who is 5'3″ tall. I ended up selling my red Rivers dress a while ago. However, that 2019 Rivers Dress was matte jersey and this one is made of their satin-twill fabric which is way nicer.

This fabric is silky on the inside, the outside is like a crepe with almost a wool feel. It's super elegant and the kind of piece that you can wear to the office or glam up for a night out. Genius design and little details make this a wrap dress that works with curves, offering plenty of space for a bust and enough fabric across the wrap to feel covered whether you're sitting on the subway or walking on a windy day.

The fabric isn't clingy so you can wear over tights, leggings, and slipshorts without issue. Details like double buttons on the cuffs elevate this dress and make it worth the price. It's just not the best choice for a shortie.

The Rubicon Shirt Dress in Cupro is a good universal dress. Pair now with a Foundation turtleneck, tights, and tall boots; come spring pair with flats or ankle booties. The sleeves roll up nicely, the dress has pockets, and cupro looks and feels like silk while being machine washable.

Universal Standard Rubicon Shirt Dress in Curpro as seen on Wardrobe Oxygen

A 10/12 was snug on my arms and I think in general I would have liked this dress a size larger. I have mixed feelings about cupro and silk; it feels great but gosh it can wrinkle like crazy. I wore this dress in the car to the shoot which was about a 7-minute drive from our home. I steamed the dress before we left. I should have not worn it while sitting before a shoot, but at least you get a true feel for how the fabric holds up.

Like linen, cupro can look chic rumpled. I think this dress actually looked better in person than it did in these photos, but wrinkles can be a make or break for many. The only cupro dress I still have in my closet is this one from US in black because the style and the color reduce the visibility of creasing. You can see me wear this dress in this blog post.

Finally, I got the Willow Cocoon Coat. This is a badass coat, made of a wool blend that looks like a knit. This color is super chic and versatile. That being said, this coat, which is supposed to be a relaxed fit, felt like it was two sizes too big on me. It's the kind of oversized fit that is chic on a taller person, but when you're petite you just look like you're playing dress-up.

Universal Standard WIllow Cocoon Coat on Wardrobe Oxygen

That hasn't stopped me from wearing it though. Because it's a relaxed fit the coat slips easily over hoodies and thick sweaters, and there's room to have a song scarf or pashina looped around the neck and tucked in to protect the chest and collarbone. It's such an elegant fabric and color, I had a stranger stop me, all bundled up in a hat and sunglasses and a mask to ask me where I got my coat.

I'd say my Mystery Box experience is a good example of what this may be like for you. There are some true gems, there will be some misses, but you usually end up getting your money's worth. This is a gamble, you have no control over what you get and sales are final on the Universal Standard Mystery Box, but the quality and style, in general, is quite good.

Is the Universal Standard Mystery Box Worth It?

Let's face it, this is a great deal on clothing. Whether you're new to the brand, trying to reduce spending, or feel like you're in a style rut, this is a great option.

When I received my box I was like ehhhhhh… none of these colors are my thing. But I put on the Storm-colored dress and was surprised I liked it both with bold silver jewelry as well as with gold. The Rivers Dress made my skin look amazing; I felt like Snow White in it. And the Willow Coat is something I would never ever consider but I really like wearing it. And after this past year, I am all about clothes that I enjoy wearing.

The Luxe Box sells for $198; I received $700 worth of clothing in my Luxe Box. It is a gamble, but considering the feedback of Wardrobe Oxygen readers who did the Universal Standard Mystery Box last year, most felt they got their money's worth, and for those who didn't there were ways for them to earn back their investment and then some.

What If I Don't Like my Universal Standard Mystery Box?

Purchases of the Universal Standard Mystery Box are final. That being said, that doesn't mean if you don't like everything you get in your Mystery Box you're out of luck.

Last year, the Wardrobe Oxygen Community shared what they didn't like from their Mystery Boxes in the Wardrobe Oxygen B/S/T group. Your miss may be exactly what another reader wanted, and this event has helped readers swap clothing or sell pieces to one another to get what they truly love. There are other B/S/T groups out there on a variety of platforms dedicated to Universal Standard or a variety of brands that includes US; I love the one on Facebook (easy to search for it, removed the link so true fans join and it stays positive) for not just being a place to buy and sell Universal Standard but find a supportive community of smart fashion lovers.

From personal experience, Universal Standard moves extremely quickly on resale sites like eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari. If you would rather go that route, you will be sure to make your money back from your Mystery Box likely by selling just one or two pieces.

Universal Standard Mystery Box review by Wardrobe Oxygen for 2021

Universal Standard Mystery Boxes: The Fine Print

All sales of the Mystery Boxes are final, there are no exchanges or substitutions. Only three boxes per customer. This promotion ends February 17, 2021, or when the boxes sell out, whichever comes first. If you are unsure of your size in Universal Standard, visit this link and have a tape measure ready. You cannot mix sizes within a Mystery Box, but you can buy one box in one size and another box in a different one.

No box will be the same; just because so and so got a Leeron Moto in their box does not mean if you order the same box you will also get a Leeron or even the same value of items. Remember, this is a gamble. You get what you get and you don't get upset (instead head to our B/S/T group to swap out what makes you happier!).

Good luck, and do share your Universal Standard Mystery Box experiences and what you received this year in the comments below! Also, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about this promotion!

29 Comments

  1. Amy BM
    March 2, 2021 / 5:35 pm

    Are there any other options to sell the Mystery box clothes? I am so disappointed in what I received… I have been trolling the US web site for a long time and finally got up the nerve to pull the trigger during the mystery box sale. I bought the two most expensive boxes (Luxe and Premier) and they finally arrived yesterday. First, in my survey I selected that I wanted to receive pants… I received a skirt and a dress, no bottoms at all. The next three items were really basic: 1. a plain black cardigan, 2. a plain white cotton button down and 3. a black satin v-neck with sleeves…. all of which are really boxy and I already own many similar items. The last item was a trench coat, which is very nice, but is navy blue and does not go with anything else they sent me. Maybe I built up the anticipation in my mind and that’s why I feel so let down but I spent a lot of money on these two boxes and did not get one item i want to keep… when I tally up the value of the items I received, they total $616 and I spent $400 for the two boxes… now I have the hassle of trying to sell all these items…not worth it. I really thought the mystery box sale was a great idea… US would get to sell their back stock and I would finally get some cool US clothes… it looks like US will be the only one benefiting from this sale. SO SAD… thanks for letting me vent. I really wanted to love the experience and I just didn’t. I’ll guess I’ll just keep trolling their web site…

  2. Sarah
    February 12, 2021 / 3:43 pm

    Wonderful review! Thank you for the discount code! Before I found your page I ordered a dress box, now with the code to entice me I ordered a surprise me box. Can’t beat 67.50 for 3 garments! Here’s hoping it’s all cute and fits.

  3. Christine
    February 11, 2021 / 9:49 pm

    Alison, since you have Universal Standard’s ear, maybe you could ask them why they are sold out in sizes 10, 12, and 14 in ALL non-super-skinny legging type jeans. They seem to be pushing Cirque de Soleil like unitards these days.

  4. Naomi
    February 11, 2021 / 1:16 pm

    Thank you Alison! I’ve been waiting for a chance to try out Universal Standard and went for it with the coupon code. I’ll report back 🙂

  5. Vikki
    February 11, 2021 / 12:13 pm

    I had been eye-balling US for sometime and what a great time to try them. I cannot wait to see what I get.

  6. Tiffany
    February 10, 2021 / 4:24 pm

    So I got all excited but they wanted to charge me $90 for shipping (to Australia). Forget it.

    • Suellen
      February 12, 2021 / 12:07 am

      Hi Tiffany, the postage I was charged was $35.75 AUD. The 10% discount then paid the GST. Maybe it was what you ordered? I ordered the Classic and the Bottoms. I ordered last year and the pieces I didn’t like I sold on eBay. The resale on eBay isn’t as big in Australia as the USA but it still worked out well.

      • Tiffany
        February 12, 2021 / 12:25 am

        Thanks Suellen – last year I remember the shipping being around that much, but this time I was quoted $90 – just for tops! Maybe it’s because I’m in Tassie 🙁

  7. Tiffany
    February 10, 2021 / 4:19 pm

    I got the dress box last year and it was AMAZING! Thanks so much for posting this.

  8. Rocky
    February 10, 2021 / 4:04 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve been on the fence about trying US for a while now and this is definitely a fun way to give them a try. I have been finding myself really struggling to enjoy getting dressed lately so I went with tops and surprise boxes. Fingers crossed!

  9. Amanda
    February 10, 2021 / 2:14 pm

    Thanks for posting about this promotion! I love US but agree with some of the previous commenters that last year’s mystery box promo had some major problems. I wasn’t really concerned about the shipping delays–it was the start of the pandemic–but they over-promised, and my Luxe box was a huge bust of much older US styles, way less than the RV promised. It felt more like a warehouse clearing, and CS was (very atypically) unhelpful. I sold on Poshmark but didn’t even make up the cost of the box.

    This year looks much better; the survey alone was a huge improvement. I bought the athleisure and classic boxes because at those price points, the gamble is worth it and pretty low risk. Maybe I’m wary due to last year’s experience, but I still don’t think the Luxe box is. At that price point, you’re taking $60-70/item, and even if the items are great–yours definitely are!–there’s no guarantee that they will work on the individual who bought them. I’d rather just buy a piece I really wanted.–and US has plenty of things I have my eye on!

  10. Katelin
    February 10, 2021 / 1:42 pm

    Hey Allie- I ended up ordering a Tops box and a Lounge box. I hope I get some actual tailored shirts and not just t-shirts in my tops box!

    THAT COAT! So gorgeous. And the Rivers Dress looks like a real classic. I’d love to see more pics of all the items so I can see how they fall. Any chance you’d post some more? Did your survey ask if you wanted dresses or pants?

    • Jamie
      February 11, 2021 / 2:35 pm

      I have the Rivers dress as well! The original version – I am a bit taller at 5’4. It hits me right about at the ankle and looks high low. The front is a midi length. I like the dress though it is “plain” for me. I also ended up sizing down from my usual size. Mine is the wrinkly fabric though – but it is super comfy and always looks really cool!

      I really want that jacket, that is on my list. But I don’t know if I want to gamble. I got a wool coat in my last box – it is a grey one. But I am really looking for a more colorful one.

      I have got the mystery box last year – and I felt it was a good price, though I wish I could have sized down in my skirt. And I am planning to sell my pant – it turned out not to be a winner for me.

  11. Joy
    February 10, 2021 / 12:39 pm

    It’s really exciting to see the boxes again. I was worried they wouldn’t do the promotion after last year’s difficulties. Your review is really useful. I especially appreciate when you talk about fabrics. I’ve ordered 3 boxes – the luxe, tops, and premier. I’m hoping for some professional pieces to wear if my work situation ever has me onsite again. I agree that it’s easy to sell any pieces that don’t work out and at least break even.

  12. DeAnna
    February 10, 2021 / 11:29 am

    I ordered the luxe box yesterday with my early access. I ordered the dress box last year and i have a ton of foundation pieces, so I am hopeful I will get a good box. I would like the leather jacket, but I might just order it. I bought the denim shirt dress last year and I wore it so much its fading in spots.

  13. Karen O.
    February 10, 2021 / 11:18 am

    Well, I just ordered the Petites mystery box and am keeping my fingers crossed. I noticed US is offering fewer and fewer petite options but as someone who’s just 5′ tall, most regular sizes are going to look dowdy on me. I hope they keep us petites in mind as part of their inclusive sizing and give us a few more offerings as I really dig their styles. BTW, I used your code and saved myself $9.50. Thanks Allie.

  14. Rachel Anne Krug
    February 10, 2021 / 10:16 am

    Last year the boxes were a hot mess with delays and poor communication – but then each box had 4 items instead of 3 to make up for it, and I think it did. This will be my 3rd year getting a mystery box, and I think this year especially the money is worth it just for the experience of having a ‘surprise’ unboxing! I’m doing both Lounge and Surprise, and am really excited to get my boxes and have a ‘Christmas morning’ for myself.

    • Jamie
      February 11, 2021 / 2:37 pm

      Boo! I only got 3 items in mine. I missed out on the bonus item.

    • Abigail Smith
      March 19, 2021 / 7:20 pm

      Well…I ordered on February 10th and my three boxes were just delivered. Last week US sent me a face mask and a small knit bag and bottle of Soak wash. I was told that because my boxes were so late they would be throwing in a bonus item (4 instead of 3). I ordered (dress, luxe, premier) and received only one bonus item (10 items total and I assume the oversized white tshirt is my “bonus” item). Everything was tossed together in the same box so I’m not quite sure which items correspond to which “box”.

      My first time ordering—I leveraged Allie’s 10% coupon. Spent $414.90 for these three boxes and the sizing is SO off. I wear a size 8 in BR/most Nordstrom brands and everything is oversized…beyond vanity sizing, everything is probably a size 14. Yes, I used the size chart on the website.

      I also received two scratch-off cards (two not three) both worth 10%.

      I’m taking all of it to the nearest women’s shelter and dropping it off, taking the receipt and writing it off on my taxes and never ordering from this business ever again.

      • Lainey
        March 24, 2021 / 6:00 pm

        This is my second year doing the Mystery Box. Both times, the orders have taken over a month to receive and I’ve only liked one item enough to keep. However, both years, I’ve posted the items I didn’t love for sale on Poshmark and they have sold quickly and for a good price. It’s a gamble, but both times after reselling the “not for me” items, I’ve been left with a dress I loved for the equivalent of under $20. (I also agree that US sizing runs quite large, btw, especially if you have more of a straight figure. I am a 10-12 and always order a 2XS).

  15. Leu2500
    February 10, 2021 / 8:47 am

    I was really impressed with the quality of the coat fabric when you gave us a sneak peak in your IG stories.

    My tip from buying a mystery box last year: if they ask you what colors you like/dislike, answer it based on the colors US offers, not the hypothetical colors. For ex, why ask if you like yellow/red/orange when (last year) there were no yellow, no orange, & only 1 red item in their inventory?

  16. Lee
    February 10, 2021 / 8:40 am

    Never ordered from US, but always love your looks from the brand. Ordered a “surprise me” box!

  17. Krista
    February 10, 2021 / 8:38 am

    I think you look lovely I. That wrap dress. Maybe take it to a tailor? I had mixed feelings about this promotion. Last year’s boxes were a hot mess. But I did end up with a few items I like; the high waisted boot cut jeans in black and a nice long sleeve dress. I said I wasn’t going to buy this year. Yet, yesterday when I got my early access link, there I was adding the athleisure box to my cart. I’ve had my eye on some athleisure pieces but never clicked buy. This is a great way to get what I know will be quality pieces without such a huge investment.

  18. Kaffesoester
    February 10, 2021 / 7:17 am

    Dear Alison, it’s been a while since I last left a reply – sorry! I’m still an eager follower I really like the look of the River dress, and I love the colour on you❤️ However, you say it’s a silky satin fabric, but does it wrinkle? I looks a lot less wrinkled than the Rubicon. Also, if you really like the River dress, isn’t it worth having it shortened to fit? And how tall do you have to be to not be a shortie? I’m really hooked on that dress! Finally, is the waist high, medium or low? Thank you so much for all the great work you do

    • February 10, 2021 / 8:24 am

      I think if I were even 2″ taller it would work. It’s a medium waist and the fabric is soft enough that it can blouse if it’s too long. With the tulip design of the skirt and the length of the sleeves, it would be a lot of reworking the dress to have it fit petite, I took my last one to my tailor and he was discussing raising the torso from the shoulders and replacing the cuffs and… yeah it’s just better for someone at least 5’5″. And the fabric isn’t super wrinkly at all. It’s satiny inside and the outside is like crepe. It holds up nice, I have other pieces from Universal Standard in the same fabric and like it.

      • Krista
        February 10, 2021 / 8:40 am

        Disregard my tailor comment. 🙂 I didn’t see this beforehand. Want to sell that dress? 😉

      • Ros
        February 10, 2021 / 12:34 pm

        I think you’re right – I’m 5’7″ and I have the black dress (from last year’s box!) and it’s PERFECT on me – a midcalf length, but the tulip skirt means that looks amazing with heels or with high boots or with pretty flats if the vamp is low, and the sleeves are just loose enough to be a bit blousy without being too big. And the fabric doesn’t wrinkle but it benefits from being steamed after hanging to dry, since it the hem bunches weirdly around the belt otherwise.

    • Jamie
      February 11, 2021 / 2:40 pm

      I’m 5’4 and the Rivers dress (v1) ended up working on me. It is sort of midi length in the front and just about ankle in the back! So you can see the high low intention, but it isn’t dragging. Mine is of a more wrinkly fabric though.

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