The Subscription Box Debate with DapperBox

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The monthly subscription box has become something of a recent trend within the men’s style market. Having become a relatively well established concept within women’s beauty, the idea was moved over to grooming with shave kits and razor monthly subscriptions that adopted the same “pay a small fee for multiple samples” approach. To give you an idea of the scale of this growth, I’ve had around 60 emails from companies talking about their men’s monthly box covering everything from shaving to smaller clothing items in the last 6 months.

The question is, however, is this simply a short-lived gimmick or is it a valuable and sustainable idea that rewards consumers for their money rather than simply throwing a selection of products at them for a flat monthly rate? To find out I took delivery of a sample subscription box from DapperBox, one of the newer names on the market that promises premium goods at a fair price. These items mainly consist of lapel pins, cufflinks, ties and socks but seemed to follow combination of contemporary and classic styles I like so much.

The Process

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It’s important to note, before you part with your money, that this is not an experience that’s tailored to your specific tastes. There is no questionnaire or form that asks what colours/styles you like, instead it is an assortment of products that are designed to expand your tastes and allow you to experiment with designs you might not have otherwise chosen.

It’s less of a refined process unique to you, but instead a random collection which encourages its users to step outside of their comfort zone in terms of their personal style. It’s a bold idea and one I’m not sure I would personally choose, however with pricing plans starting at £18 and going down to £14 (depending on how long you commit to) it’s not the most costly way to experiment with your fashion.

The Box

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The box itself is very much as described, simply packaged and put together it doesn’t boast any flamboyance but instead allows the products to speak for themselves. In my box I received a flower lapel pin, 2 different pairs of socks, a pair of steel collar stiffeners and a tie. The “no frills” approach is likely to keep the cost to the consumer as low as possible but I t felt that a small piece of paper explaining the brands in each box might help the experience feel a little more educating and a little less like a mail-based raffle.

The quality of the products is generally of a high standard, the socks are soft and beautifully made with vibrant colours that aren’t too garish for my liking. The tie is a similar story with a subtle pattern that adds just the right amount of colour to a navy base, certainly compatible with any grey suit it has a place in my wardrobe. The collar stiffeners were plain polished steel and, seeing as I always recommend that you use metal rather than plastic, are an easy way to get them included in your daily shirt routine.

The lapel pin was something I wasn’t too fussed over, though I guess that’s the point of this box. Some things you like and some you don’t. If I had any advice to DapperBox it would be to move away from the artificial flower lapel pin as it looks slightly cheap. Instead, focus on simpler styles and accessories like tie clips or pocket squares.

Overall Impressions

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The DapperBox is a good idea and I’m glad I received the box. The socks are now at home in my chest of drawers, the tie has already been used for a variety of suited events and the collar stiffeners have been used in my shirts. I reiterate that it is a good idea, but not a perfect one in my opinion. As I mentioned earlier it feels a little too random for my liking but maybe I need to learn to take more of a chance on these things. Regardless, if you feel like your tailoring game has become a bit stagnant, you’re looking for new fashion ideas or just want to spruce up your looks, this is a great way to reinvigorate your wardrobe every month.

Thanks for checking out the post and make sure to leave any questions in the comment section, I’m always keen to help. You can also sign-up to be notified of new posts and follow The Male Stylist activity. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for style inspiration, gentleman’s musings and general fun.

Adam Walker - The Male Stylist

2 Comments

  1. 15th July 2015 / 10:47 am

    I’ve been fascinated by this idea of fashion boxes. Although a lot of them are based in the U.S. and won’t ship to the UK. Do you know of any good subrcription service that are UK based or ship to the UK affordabley?

    • 15th July 2015 / 10:51 am

      Hi Jacob,

      I haven’t seen any UK based fashion ones, though there are plenty of shaving/grooming boxes around from UK suppliers, hence why i tested this one.

      It’s a very interesting premise but the idea of it being as random as it feels concerns me somewhat when i’d be parting with around £200 a year…

      Have you seen any that have interested you?

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