THE RISE OF THE PERSONAL SHOPPER WEBSITE
WE LOOK AT 3 OF THE BEST ONLINE MENSWEAR STYLING DESTINATIONS
Modern life has us all running around like maniacs with precious little time to ourselves. It can therefore be difficult to find a window to get out for a bit of retail therapy. Or maybe you do have the time to go clothes shopping but the idea of navigating your way through crowded streets and busy stores fills you with dread. Either way there is a rising trend which may be the answer to your problems; the personal shopper website.
As is the case with anything new though, it’s not easy to know what to go with when you don’t have any information, other than what the brands themselves are telling you. So as an impartial party we’ve rounded up some of the main competitors and discussed their pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision for yourself before you part with your cash.
Probably the best established of the 3 that we’ll be looking at, The Chapar has been on the scene for longer than most. They’re a good option for less adventurous dressers, but if you like a little more variety in your wardrobe then you may be better off elsewhere as the selection of brands stocked isn’t very broad. However, if you’re not bothered and just want stylish clothes as easily as possible then The Chapar might be for you. The shopping process follows a simple formula: You sign up for free and arrange a time and date for a chat on the phone; a stylist will call and ask questions to gain an understanding of your style; they will then create a personalised selection of clothes that they think you’ll like; it arrives at your door and you try the clothes on, keeping only the ones you like and returning the rest free of charge.
Pros: Free to sign up. Phone contact with stylist
Cons: Limited selection of brands
Launched in 2012 with £25,000 from the same seed investor programme that provided funding for AirBnB and Dropbox, Thread have quickly made a name for themselves as one of the best personal stylist sites online. Their shopping process is pretty similar to The Chapar, the only real difference being that you are first asked a series of questions designed to give your stylist an insight on your personal tastes. Once you’ve completed this you will be paired with a stylist who will review your information and use Thread’s proprietary algorithm to sort through thousands of items and create the perfect outfits for you. You then decide on what you'd like to buy rather than receiving a pre-compiled box of clothing - however you can still try on your clothes and send your unwanted items back free of charge. Unlike many similar sites, Thread doesn’t hold stock, which means that rather than having to choose for a select few brands, Thread’s stylists have much more freedom in the brands they select, giving you a wider selection of clothes.
Pros: Free to sign up. Not tied to brands. Wider range of clothes.
Cons: None that we can spot!
Again, Enclothed were born from the same explosion of personal shopper sites that brought us the previous two on our list and the set-up is pretty similar. However, the Enclothed sign-up questionnaire does go into considerably more detail, providing you with several pages worth of outfit photographs from which you are asked to select the ones that most closely match your tastes. The main notable difference with Enclothed is that you won’t be dealing directly with a personal stylist. Instead a stylist will read over your profile and the details you’ve entered to gain an understanding of your style, and will then pick your clothes accordingly. If you don’t have the time to speak to a stylist then this may be your best option out of the three.
Pros: Completely free delivery and returns. Free to sign up
Cons: Sign-up questionnaire photos don’t have much variation of types of outfits