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As someone who has been immersed in the fashion industry for more than a decade, I can honestly say that I am very much in tune with my personal style. Generally speaking, I know which silhouettes are best for my body type, which colors and prints work well for me and which trends can be seamlessly integrated into my wardrobe from one season to the next. With that being said, shopping for myself has become somewhat of a chore.

The struggle

For years, I would descend upon the nearest discount designer store or outlet mall and hang out all day, just for the fun of it. Whether purchasing or simply browsing, shopping was indeed my hobby.

Nowadays, with a toddler as well as a hectic work and life schedule, shopping for sport is no longer an option. I’ve found myself taking advantage of the free personal styling services at department stores. Not because I need help with my wardrobe necessarily, but more so because I enjoy the convenience of having someone, who knows my personal style, pull items and have it all waiting for me in a dressing room when I arrive. Not only does it prevent me from having to search the entire store for things in my exact size, it allows me an opportunity to have someone push me outside of my comfort zone from time to time.

Now, what happens when you combine the expertise of a personal stylist with the convenience of shopping (and trying things on) at home? Trunk Club.

The concept

If you’re not familiar with the Chicago-based company, let me give you the cliff notes. It’s a simple but effective concept. You signup online (or pay a visit to one of their Clubhouses, if you live nearby) and fill out a survey that helps to ascertain your style preferences while also capturing your size and measurements for fit purposes. Then a stylist is assigned to your account. Based on your style profile, the stylist recommends approximately 15 items for your first “trunk.” You can review those items (typically a good mix of clothing, shoes and accessories), selecting which ones to send or to remove. Based on your feedback, the stylist makes a few tweaks and sends the items your way. Once received, you have five days to decide what to keep and what to send back. After decisions are made, sending things back simply requires you to stick the prepaid label on the original box and schedule a pickup. And you’re only charged for the items you keep. Easy, right?

For almost six years, Trunk Club was strictly for men. However, in 2015 (a year after being acquired by Nordstrom), something lovely happened. They launched Trunk Club for Women. Thanks to the Nordstrom connection, not only would the convenient personal styling service now include female clientele, but it also meant that Trunk Club would be able to offer a wide range of price points, designer brands and sizes (straight and plus).

The result

I decided to try Trunk Club a few weeks ago, and my personal experience has been a pleasant one. I must admit that it started off a bit rocky — my first trunk had a significantly lower amount of hits than misses. After providing detailed feedback to my stylist, my second trunk was an overall success.

Out of the 15 items, I wanted to keep 11! Unfortunately, my bank account didn’t make room for me, thus forcing me to dedicate four of my decision-making days to figuring out how to work as many items into my budget as possible. During the process, I realized that although I couldn’t keep everything I wanted, I was able to discover new brands and determine what sizes worked for me in said brands. The bargain hunter in me also found that the 14-day price adjustment policy held true. I was able to receive a refund on a couple of items that went on sale at Nordstrom within 14 days of my purchase. Score!

Whether you’re looking to revamp your entire wardrobe, add a few key pieces to your closet or simply try out a few trends, I highly suggest giving Trunk Club a go. And if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Because once your stylist really gets it, magical things can happen (and I’m not referring to the mysterious disappearance of funds in your shopping allowance).

Just be warned, your friends and loved ones will want to get in on the action after seeing how much fun you’re having with the service. Don’t believe me? Just ask the hubby, who now has me booking him an appointment at the Clubhouse this month.

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