I’m the kind of shopper who ensures menswear will always remain relatively more expensive than womenswear. I don’t enjoy the experience, and therefore do it as little as possible.
Once or twice a year, I realise I have nothing seasonally appropriate that wouldn’t cause embarrassment in our office full of hip young gunslingers, and force myself into the maelstrom of Oxford street to stock up for the months ahead.
Like a lot of guys, I err on the side of classic, well made – and usually slightly out of my price bracket – pieces that should last a few years, rather than trend-focused stuff that I might have to replace in 12 months. I shop little and buy carefully.
It’s for people like me that online styling services like Enclothed were dreamed up. Register online, chat to a stylist and receive a box full of stuff tailored to you. Keep what you like, send the rest back (free of charge).
The registration at Enclothed is straightforward, after which I had a 10-minute phone consultation with my stylist, Kelly, who double-checked my measurements, asked the kind of items I was in the market for, and tried to gauge my overall look, such as it is.
A good-sized box arrived three days later, and Kelly had nailed it. In fact, she got my style so dead-on that I actually owned two of the pieces in the box. Thankfully there was £1,800 worth of clothing in there and I didn’t plan on keeping more than £500-600-worth.
A nice touch, which I haven’t come across in rival services, is the personalised letter from the stylist introducing a few of the brands, detailing why she had chosen certain pieces, and outlining complete looks. One of the key items was a Ted Baker charcoal knit, which Kelly had paired with slim-fitting jeans and black trainers, all of which worked brilliantly together.
One of the best things about services like this is being introduced to new brands, and my favourite find from this box was a Californian footwear brand called TCG (short for Thoroughly Crafted Goods; pictured), who do a great line in luxuriously produced trainers – next time I need a new pair of sneaks, I’ll be straight on their website. Other great pieces included a Scotch & Soda flannel shirt, and a couple of v-neck sweaters that are great for wearing to the office.
After I’d picked out the stuff I liked – and agonised over a few I was on the fence about – I stuck the rest back in the box and left it for the Enclothed courier to come and pick up the next afternoon.
Enclothed is a revelation: get someone with better taste than you to pick out your clothes and send them to your house. The only drawback is that it’s a remarkably easy way to blow several hundred pounds without leaving the house.
Go to enclothed.co.uk; vouchers also available.