Fewer guys have the patience to scour all over town to find everything, even if they know the brands they like.
Thus, for every modern annoyance, there is a startup, and for this particular problem, there is the Chicago-based TrunkClub.com.
Here’s how it works: Clients meet informally with a Trunk Club consultant in their town to go over their needs for work, weekends and going out. The consultant then scours the nation for the right shirts, pants, suits, shoes, belts, socks and anything else to match your style and size, and Trunk Club mails you a “Trunk” every few months. Try everything on, keep what you like, send back the rest, (free shipping) and you can Skype all you want with your consultant to hone in on what you need next.
“My first trunk came with 10 or so items, and I think I kept six,” said Charlie Bartlett, a 40-year-old Web designer in Tampa. “I don’t really need business clothes since I work from home. This was nice stuff for going out at night to the bars. I can’t even tell you the brand names, since I had not heard them before.” Yes, the jeans were $200, but they are “awesome,” Bartlett said.
Stuff-by-mail services like this for guys are taking off like mad: DollarShaveClub.com, Manpacks.com and so on. In a way, Trunk Club is the Spotify, Pandora or Netflix for clothes.
Several young, professional guys in town tell me they dig Trunk Club, partly because clothes are higher-quality and the styles are more often seen in Chicago and New York, not the “Tampa” style that leans more toward Jersey Shore than Esquire.
The store style is part Starbucks, part Apple and part … auto parts. To quote Pep Boys, “Here, associates will focus on alleviating stress and confusion,” with a store exterior featuring stone and hardwood. If you have your car in for repair, there’s a lounge with free Wi-Fi. PepBoys.com.