Skip the Mall: Men's Clothing Subscription Services

September 23, 2014

My first knowledge of a monthly subscription service was when I was in an office and one of the ladies working asked me if I was a member of the sock of the month club.  Apparently my socks were hip enough that she thought I subscribed to a service that sends a pair of dress socks every month to its members.  Considering how much I love the feel of a new pair of dress socks, why wasn’t I doing this every month?!

Subscription services have been around for a few years, unbeknownst to me. The allure of such a service is very attractive to a certain kind of person, myself included. Working in a professional environment, I know I need to step up my game when it comes to dressing the part, but this internal conversation happens every time someone suggests I need to update my wardrobe: ‘I don’t need more clothes. I have five dress shirts and two pairs of jeans, one of which fit me right now. That’s more than enough. '

But with a subscription service, you pay a flat fee, and every month you get a box of socks, ties, shirts, pants, handkerchiefs or all of the above. The idea is to slowly increase your wardrobe, at a reasonable price, without driving to the mall every month and playing the ‘I don’t know what I’d wear with this’ game. I know that game too well.

There are many subscription services, so this is only a glimpse at the burgeoning industry. There are also women’s subscription services, but this will focus on men’s needs. We’re going from neck to toe.

Ties

Root Bizzle / www.rootbizzle.com

Cost: $25, month-to-month

What you get: One tie (or bowtie for the fashion-forward folk) every month. You choose from business, whimsical or the skinny variety, and regular or long length. The ties are all silk, and designed by a ‘century-old tie manufacturer.’

Dress shirts

Hall & Madden / hallmadden.com

Cost: $150, every 3, 4, or 6 months

What you get: Three dress shirts at a time. You choose the style (slim, athletic or classic cut), and how often you want new shirts. A stylist will select the best ones based on your taste and you get to expand your wardrobe every so often. No more of your colleagues placing bets on which shirt you’ll wear tomorrow.

Bonus: Some of the shirts are unique to Hall & Madden, which means you probably won’t be caught with the same shirt as someone else at the office. Also, all the shirts automatically look better than what you’ve been wearing because they come with mother of pearl buttons -- not those white plastic buttons you get from other retailers.

Dress pants and more

Five Four Club / fivefourclothing.com

Cost: $60, month-to-month

What you get: An assortment of apparel the company says is valued at no less than $120. This may include, dress pants, jeans, dress shirts, t-shirts, shoes, sweatshirts, jackets, and accessories.

Drawback: The sizing on pants is for a person of average height. If you’re taller or shorter, you may be disappointed in their selection.

Socks

Sock Fancy / sockfancy.com

Cost: $9/one pair, $17/two pairs, month-to-month

What you get: Unique, cotton-blend, non-shrinking socks from all over the world: Korea, Sweden, and of course the U.S. to name a few. You’ll be the talk of the office. Other sock subscriptions don’t guarantee you’ll receive a matching pair every month (that’s in vogue apparently). This site does. Call me a stick in the mud, but I appreciate socks that match.