Amazon Prime Wardrobe
Amazon's new try-before-you-buy service, Amazon Prime Wardrobe, has expanded with invitations to many of its Prime subscribers. I wanted to find out how it stacks up against competition like Stitch Fix or Try.com. So, I ordered a $100 outfit from Amazon Prime Wardrobe – and then I sent it all back without ever paying.
Here’s how the experience went...
Curating an Outfit
As with many of Amazon’s newer services, Amazon Prime Wardrobe has a bit of a beta feel to it. You can shop some small, pricey, curated collections by occasion or style. Or, you can venture out on your own to shop by category if the choices don’t suit you. This also helps if you’re trying to stay within a budget.
After browsing the Boho and Casual collections, I began perusing the standard clothing categories in Amazon Prime Wardrobe. In each category, like Women’s Dresses, there are a few suggested style groupings. They include items such as “shirt dresses” or “wrap dresses,” with about 50-70 options each. If you’re looking for anything more, you can scroll past recommendations for a myriad – yet mess – of other clothing items.
As with any Amazon search, you can narrow your results by selecting your size, color, brand, pricing, or other preferences on the left sidebar. I added some filters and still had thousands of dresses to choose from. Then, I spent about 45 minutes flipping through page after page of dresses (for research!) from brands I recognized and many I’d never heard of. In the end, I landed on a red wrap dress from a well-reviewed-yet-discontinued Amazon private label brand, Paris Sunday. I was curious to see how Amazon’s own clothing line would look.
I knew I’d need at least three items to give Amazon Prime Wardrobe a go. So, I also added shoes and jewelry from designers that I already know and trust. With Amazon’s reputation for offering oddly-sized foreign attire in the marketplace, I was wary of opting for any unfamiliar brands.
And, here’s my final cart:
Placing Your Order
Unlike standard Amazon Prime orders, Amazon Prime Wardrobe takes 4-6 business days for delivery. Then, your week-long “try on” period begins, when you can decide which pieces to keep and which ones to send packing.
After four days of waiting, an Amazon Prime Wardrobe box was (finally) delivered to my door.
Prime Wardrobe used to come in a nicer white shipping box, but concerns over its attractiveness to package thieves seemed to lead to this new brown parcel.
And so, the try on game began…
PARIS SUNDAY Women's Sleeveless Wrap Dress
Sam Edelman Women's Gretchen Gladiator Sandal
nOir Jewelry Hidden Falls Ear Cuffs
As you can see in the photos, the dress arrived wrinkled, and it also ran large. There was even one ripped stitch in the darting. While the shoes were cute to boot (sandal?), the tassels that touched the ground made them wholly impractical for outdoor wear. Finally, the ear cuffs were a little challenging to put on but even harder to keep on. So, everything went back into the box to return to Amazon before my credit card was ever charged.
Sending it All Back
Sending back your Amazon Prime Wardrobe order is on par with any other Amazon return. However, you don’t have to wait for a refund, and the box is self-adhesive for easy packing. I printed the return label, slapped it onto the original box, and popped into my local UPS store to make the return. You can also set up a pickup or drop it into any UPS drop box if you don’t care about getting the return receipt.
How it Stacks Up
When you compare Amazon Prime Wardrobe to Stitch Fix, the big difference is that, with Wardrobe, you’re missing out on the curation aspect you get from Stitch. At Stitch Fix, they poll you on style preferences and know your exact measurements.
As Stitch Fix customer and Directional Cue Director of Marketing Cara Ferguson explains, “Stitchfix is great because their clothes always end up fitting perfectly and are unique.”
And, although Amazon has continued to improve the Amazon Fashion offering, it is still a ways away from more established e-commerce clothing sites like Shopbop or ASOS and has nothing comparable to the stylist options from Stitch Fix. If anything, it is closer to the service offered by try.com, where users can browse their favorite online shops and order through the third party app, which allows a 7-day try on period, just like Wardrobe.
Would I Do It All Again?
Would I? Could I? Do it all again? If you’re on a tight budget or you like to try a lot of items at once, Prime Wardrobe might be worthwhile for you so you’re not maxing out your cards left and right. If you’re like me and only purchase certain clothing brands on Amazon, then you may be better off waiting until they expand Wardrobe’s curated collections to really take advantage of the service.
All in all, it was a painless, if not particularly fruitful, experience, and it was also kind of fun. My recommendation would be to stick with the curated collections and stay primed for Amazon’s next move. They could go deeper into this foray into fashion or even try acquiring a successful brand like Stitch Fix. Either way, my wardrobe will be ready when they are!