Effortless style for everyday guys: our Men’s Style Lab review.

Effortless style for everyday guys: our Men’s Style Lab review.

As someone who hates to shop, curated shopping services like Stitch Fix and Popbasic have been lifesavers for me. I haven’t done battle with a mall dressing room in over a year.

Will hates shopping too. He says he’s in good company, because most men either hate to shop, don’t have time to shop, or are terrible at it. Since I’ve had so much success with Stitch Fix, we’ve been looking for a similar service for him.

I think we’ve found it.

It’s called Men’s Style Lab, and it’s a concierge shopping service for men.

(We’ve used a concierge shopping service before. Will and I were both impressed with Trunk Club, but the price point is decidedly high end. Men’s Style Lab caters to the everyday guy, with prices similar to Banana Republic or J. Crew.)

You sign up, fill out a 6-step style survey, and chat with a style advisor about your needs. Then they ship a curated box of clothing straight to your door.

You have five days to try everything on at home, then you keep what you like and return what you don’t, with free shipping both ways. (If you return everything, a $25 styling fee applies.)

Will and I recently test drove the service. mens style lab 2

We started by filling out the online style survey. Actually, I did it myself, describing myself as “a partner of someone who needs help.” (Yep, that’s a choice.)

mens style lab 3

In six steps, you describe yourself, your current style, what you’re NOT interested in, sizing info, and what you need. (Men’s Style Lab does everything but suits.)

mens style lab 4 mens style lab 5

Men’s Style Lab is more high-touch than other styling services out there. The next day I chatted for ten minutes with Will’s assigned style advisor about his style, needs, and sizing. Will can be hard to fit, so I was prepared with the specific cut and size for his favorite Gap jeans and best-loved buttondown.

Men’s Style Lab aims to ship within 7-10 days of your order. I signed up on a Thursday, Kayla and I chatted the next afternoon, and Will’s box arrived the next Wednesday.

It looked like this:

mens style lab box collage

Will’s Style Upgrade contained:

• 1 blazer
• 4 button-down shirts
• 3 sweaters
• 2 pairs of jeans
• 1 pair of slacks
• 4 pairs of socks

mens style lab contents 1

Will’s style advisor included a handwritten note, and she packed everything up as outfits, pairing each button-down with a coordinating sweater or blazer and pair of socks. (Will loved the socks.)

mens style lab contents 4

They also sent the quarterly style guide, which contains 20+ pages of outfits, how to’s, Style Q&A, and more.
mens style lab winter style guide

Will tried everything on, making notes about what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes he’d run to his closet to grab a shirt or a pair of shoes, to see if the new clothes would blend his current wardrobe.

He ended up keeping:

• 2 button-downs
• 1 pair of jeans
• 1 pair of slacks
• 4 pairs of socks

Most of the items Men’s Style Lab sent would have worked, but Will only kept the things that he loved and fit perfectly. He boxed the clothes he didn’t keep and dropped them at our local FedEx store.

mens style lab contents 3

He made copious notes about needs and sizing so he would know what to request next time. He also provided feedback to Men’s Style Lab: they use customer comments to improve future shipments.

Men’s Style Lab isn’t a subscription: they send the clothes you need, when you need them. Will’s already planning his next order in advance of spring wedding season. His list includes brown slacks, transitional sweaters, and a tie. (I adamantly told Kayla Will didn’t need any ties. My mistake.)

If you keep everything in the box, you save 20%. Men’s Style Lab also has periodic promotions and the occasional special offer.

Like this one: MMD readers get $25 off the first Style Upgrade. Use the code MRSDARCY25 for $25 off your first purchase.

 

36 comments | Comment

36 comments

  1. Jeanne says:

    Seems like an awesome service – would love (love, love!) something like this in South Africa, since I cannot get my husband in a clothing store. Ever. Will seems like a natty dresser!

    • Anne says:

      He is with help. 🙂

      Maybe one day they’ll expand to South Africa! They’re still a pretty new service and are just continental U.S. right now. Popbasic ships worldwide, so it can be done. There’s hope!

    • Anne says:

      Right? I am coveting Will’s socks. We actually wear the same size shoe (because I have huge feet, sigh) but it does mean I might, uh, borrow his socks. Because cute polka dots, and purple and white stripes! And they’re better made than my women’s socks.

      • Victoria says:

        I have giant feet too! Since I was 7 I’ve had to wear boys trainers and ugly socks. Even nowadays cute socks are usually too small for me. Sigh. I still lust after cute daisy print or broderie anglais sneakers.

        • Anne says:

          I’m with you. 🙂 At least I know I can never blow my budget on hundreds of pairs of fancy shoes, even if I wanted to. 🙂

  2. Kelty says:

    This is a great idea! I’m thinking it might be a good birthday present for my husband next month. He’s in the military, so he wears the same clothes to work each day but hasn’t substantially updated his civilian wardrobe in years. He’s often irritated by his weekend clothing options but would rather do anything else than go shopping for new ones. He’s actually a great candidate for a fewer pricier items as he makes them last forever.

    Can you give us a rough price range of the individual items?

    • Anne says:

      Sure. On the style survey you can choose the price range you want for each individual item. I chose the priciest setting on most categories, and ended up getting shirts that were in the $60-$70 range, sweaters in the $40-100 range (the $100 was for a fabulous sweater that we were both so bummed didn’t fit!), jeans in the 60-90 range, and socks were about $12.

      On the site, they list price ranges like this:

      shirts $55-$99
      tees & henleys $15-$35
      sweaters $70-$130
      pants $68-$128
      shoes $80-$180
      blazers and outerwear $150-$280 (although Will’s blazer was only $73)
      accessories ($20-$50) think watches, handkerchiefs, etc

      I totally agree about a few pricier items that last forever. My mom was a big fan of cost per wear and I keep coming back to that!

      • Kelty says:

        This is very helpful info on the pricing! Thank you!

        Cost per wear is a smart way to look at it. Especially with men’s clothing as the styles don’t seem to change that often B has shirts from college that still look good and we graduated in 2002! I’m going to guess they cost pennies per wear.

      • That price list kind of makes my eyes pop, but they I realize that my husband still occasionally wears shirts he wore on our honeymoon … more than 10 years ago. Most of his dress clothes are 5-10 years old. And they aren’t even high-quality things. So I just imagine how long nice clothes would last!

        • Anne says:

          I’m with you: the initial cost is painful but then you’re set for YEARS. Well, if you’re a man. 🙂 Women’s fashion is much more fickle!

  3. Janet says:

    I shop for my husband because he absolutely refuses to do it. I know his sizes and which stores carry them in styles he’ll wear. I shop online and even if I have to pay for a return and I usually don’t, it’s better than driving from store to store or worse, going to the mall.

  4. Stacey says:

    Very intriguing! I think we need to give this a try. My husband desperately needs a style upgrade for casual clothes and he and I are both struggling with figuring out exactly where to go with the whole thing. Thanks for the coupon!

  5. Oh my gosh, this couldn’t have come at a better time! We just ordered Bombfell for my BF, but they’ve been really slow in delivery (and we live in a big city, so it’s not our fault). If Bombfell ends up not working for us, we’re definitely doing MSL!

    I personally love Stitch Fix for me, and it would be awesome to get something similar to that for him! We both hate clothes shopping 🙂

  6. Megan C. says:

    Thanks for the info. We’re stuck in a style rut- I tend to buy my husband the same colors repeatedly. We’re going to try this to see if he will find something new he likes. We did laugh a little at the body types when filling out the profile.

  7. Emily says:

    I love stitchfix, but my hubby is the one who’s in need of clothes! Lol
    I so want to try this! Do you get the initial $99 taken off what you keep?

  8. Susan says:

    Looks like this company has changed up how it works since you posted. The price points are all higher, only five things at a time, the styling fee is non refundable (I think). Not your fault but just enough tweaks that I’m less enthused to try it out.

    • Anne says:

      Ah, I knew that was in the works (because my husband is a customer) but didn’t know it was official. I’ve heard the change described as the “Stitch Fix model,” so it wouldn’t surprise me if the styling fee wasn’t refundable (because that’s how Stitch Fix works). I will say that my husband just got his third box two weeks ago and the styles, brands, and price points were all similar to what he’s gotten before.

      • Bevin Mac says:

        My husband has recently reentered the work field and he was coveting my stitch fix shipments. We tried five four club and it was meh.. The type of clothing/style that Men’s Style Lab seemed to fit him perfectly. We’re currently pending his first shipment, supposedly it’s been “En Route” since early last week, but we haven’t received anything yet, not even a tracking number.. I’m hoping this change in model doesn’t cause any kind of issues with their shipments. I was a little disappointed that we won’t be getting as many items as you had in here (now that they’ve changed to 5 items a box), but I hope all the items will be just as versatile and stylish. I wish they’d put a little more info on their website too. Unlike your first experience, there was no stylist phone call made to my husband and the survey seemed a little less in-depth which concerns me a little. Only time will tell lol.

        I do have a question though, in the process of shipping items back to them, do you have to provide your own box/bag or is it provided (like w/ stitch fix)? Also, are you going to be doing any other kind of review on Men’s Style Lab by any chance, I enjoyed reading this one!

        • Anne says:

          I’m not sure if I’ll be talking more about Men’s Style Lab here, but I CAN tell you that you can ship everything back in the same box it came in. But my husband is still happily using the service.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Just ordered first box compliments of this site (hope it’s ok men read this) 😉 coupon code still active? What was the previous comment about $99 off? I feel like I missed some valuable deals!

    • Anne says:

      I think you’re good—MSL revamped their service’s structure greatly about two months ago. You’re not missing anything. 🙂

  10. Jessica says:

    I would strongly recommend avoiding business with this company. We got one box from them and feel like we have been robbed. We only decided to keep one shirt and sent everything else back because it was ill-fitting or not worth the cost. To our surprise, we were sent back a $165 pair of jeans and charged for it. They sent an email to say the jeans were “very dirty” on the bottom. I checked them when they got in and didn’t see a speck of dirt. They were only tried on in our bedroom and then boxed back up. I expect this is how they make money, so be very wary of using their service. You are basically committed to buying anything they send you, they will charge you without your permission.

  11. Chris says:

    I joined Men’s Style Lab yesterday and didn’t even have close to the same experience. After answering all the survey questions, the webpage just kicked me back to the home screen… nothing about ordering a box.

    This morning, I got an email from Erin which read:

    “I noticed you never completed your order. I would love to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Please reply and I can help walk you through the rest of it.

    Or if you just didn’t have time to finish yesterday and would like to do so now, CLICK HERE to finish!”

    I clicked the link and guess what, it just took me to the home screen… again, NOTHING even remotely visible about ordering a box.

    So I sent an email as Erin mentioned in her email and I got a reply which was clearly not related to my questions about the service and the poorly designed website. It’s obvious Erin is a BOT and not a personal adviser.

    I tried to log in to the website again and this time, it took me to question #1 of the survey process. I tried logging out and logging in again. I got the same prompts — it’s like MSL system completely reset my account.

    I sent them an email to delete my account and personal information (since the FAQ page and account page don’t have anything about deleting one’s account). We will see what happens.

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