ShareThis Page
Business Headlines

Amazon's Prime Wardrobe delivers, but is it worth it?

| Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 11:34 a.m.
Amazon hopes to turn your home into a fitting room, after shipping you a box of fashions to try on before paying.
Mark Lennihan/AP
Amazon hopes to turn your home into a fitting room, after shipping you a box of fashions to try on before paying.

NEW YORK — I'm not stylish, but I do like my T-shirts soft, my sweaters cozy and my jeans to not be scratchy — all of which is hard to know when shopping online.

Some online retailers have found ways around that, offering free returns to get shoppers to take a chance and click "Buy." Others have opened stores to let people feel the fabrics and try on the clothes.

Amazon has another solution: Prime Wardrobe, which sends a box of fashions to try before you pay, basically bringing the fitting room home. It ships up to eight items and users are charged for whatever they don't send back.

It sounds a lot like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club or other services that send clothing in a box. But there are differences: There are no stylists with Prime Wardrobe, so you'll have to pick out your own shirts or skirts. It's not a subscription, so there's no monthly commitment or additional fees — although you need to be a Prime member, which costs $99 a year or $12.99 a month. Prime Wardrobe also lets you mix men's, women's or kid's items in the same box, which may be useful for families who want to avoid the mall. And accessories like shoes, jewelry, purses and hats can be tried before buying, too.

The service has been rolling out to users slowly. Amazon says it is still available only to those who are invited, but it recently gave access to more Prime members, including me.

So, I tested it out.


THE SEARCH

Finding which clothing qualifies for Prime Wardrobe can be tricky, since it's limited to certain designers as well as specific colors and sizes. Browsing is simple, since Amazon set up a section within its site for the service, but it's easy to get lost when you see something you like. A Goodthreads T-shirt, for example, was available for Prime Wardrobe, but when I changed the color and size I could no longer add it to my box, even though I could still buy it for $12.

Amazon says selection varies and that it's adding more items to Prime Wardrobe.


THE GOODS

Despite the designer and style limitations, there's plenty of choose from including well-known brands like Adidas, Calvin Klein and Levi's. But Prime Wardrobe tends to push Amazon's own clothing lines, which often showed up first. I fell for it: I added an Amazon Essentials jacket and sweatshirt, since I had been meaning to give its brands a try. The other stuff I added to my box: A Ben Sherman polo shirt; Joe's Jeans pants; Arnette sunglasses; Adidas sneakers; and two leather jackets — one from Cole Haan, the other by Calvin Klein. Altogether, my box was worth nearly $900.


THE DELIVERY

Don't expect Amazon's speedy shipping for Prime Wardrobe. It can takes as much as six business days, Amazon says, because it aims to ship in as few boxes as possible. I received all my items in a week, which comes to five business days. Plan ahead if you're looking to try on outfits for a specific event.


THE RETURN

After trying on everything in my box, I decided to keep the $66 Adidas sneakers and send the rest back. Some items didn't fit right, or I didn't like the style. I logged into Amazon's site and selected which items to return and which to buy. A free shipping return label was included in the box, and the box itself had a sticky strip. I dropped the giant box off at a UPS store.


THE BOTTOM LINE

It's nice to get a box of clothes that I could try before committing. But the most useful part of Prime Wardrobe may be the accessories. I can see myself using Prime Wardrobe to test neckties to match a suit, try on shoes to make sure they fit, or pick out sunglasses before a vacation.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me