Prime Wardrobe: What to know about 'try before you buy' fashion from Amazon and others

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Here's what you need to know about Amazon's Prime Wardrobe, their "try before you buy" feature newly available to all Prime members. (Amazon.com)

On Wednesday Amazon rolled out its "try before you buy" wardrobe feature to all Prime members.

It's the latest company to follow the business model of shipping a box of clothing and allowing customers to try it out before they make a final decision about purchasing. As with similar services, Amazon touts its easy returns and provides a return label.

"What we kept hearing from our customers was that they wanted to shop for fashion with us but they wanted to try things on," explained Kate Dimmock, Fashion Director at Amazon Fashion. "They wanted to touch, they wanted to feel, but they didn't want to see a huge amount of money taken from their credit cards."

There are dozens of subscription services that allow you to try on clothes before you buy them, with varying degrees of control over the items you receive. Here's what you need to know about the new Amazon feature and some of the more well-known of the existing similar services.

PRIME WARDROBE


How does it work? Prime Wardrobe is a way to shop Amazon's clothing department and try the clothes on at home before you pay for them. Unlike other services that use a similar process, Prime Wardrobe lets you pick out the items before they're sent to you. Instead of adding them to your regular cart, you can add them to your "Prime Wardrobe" cart.
Can I try on anything from Amazon? You can only try on items eligible for Prime Wardrobe.
Is there a fee if I don't buy anything? Before the end of the try-on period, you have to "check out" and let Amazon know which items you will keep and which you will return. There is no fee to use this service other than your Amazon Prime membership. If you return all the items, you don't pay for anything.
How long do I have to decide? You have seven calendar days.
How many items do I get? You can pick out 3-8 items to be shipped.
Which types of clothing are available? Prime Wardrobe includes eligible items in men's, women's, girls', boys', and baby clothing, shoes and jewelry.

STITCH FIX


How does it work? Stitch Fix is a personal stylist service, so it is more geared toward adults who want help picking out clothes. You are sent a box of items that are picked out for you, and you can return anything you don't want to keep. You have the option to sign up for automatic shipments on a regular basis, but this is not required.
How does the stylist know what I want? When you sign up for the service, there are a variety of ways to fill out your "style profile," including answering questions about your measurements and preferences, adding a picture and linking to your social media. You can also include a note for your stylist when you place an order, and this can include information about any occasion you might be shopping for.
Is there a fee if I don't buy anything? You are charged $20 per box if you don't buy anything. However if you buy something this $20 goes toward your purchase.
How long do I have to decide? You have three business days.
How many items do I get? Each box has five items.
Which types of clothing are available? Stitch Fix has men's and women's clothing, but you must be 18 years or older to use the service.

TRUNK CLUB


How does it work? Trunk Club is also a stylist service where you get a box and are able to return items you don't want. Owned by Nordstrom, the service's clothing price range tends to be above the average price on Stitch Fix.
How does the stylist know what I want? You can have a consultation with your stylist online or in-person in select cities. Before your trunk ships, you also get a chance to look at a preview of what will come and designate which items you want to take out.
Is there a fee if I don't buy anything? You are charged $25 per box if you don't buy anything. However if you buy something this $25 goes toward your purchase.
How long do I have to decide? You have five calendar days.
How many items do I get? Each trunk has 6-10 items.
Which types of clothing are available? Trunk Club has men's and women's clothing, but you must be 18 years or older to use the service.

BOMBFELL


How does it work? Bombfell is similar to other stylist subscription services but is geared toward men.
How does the stylist know what I want? Bombfell says it uses "technology on the back-end that surfaces recommendations for each user based on fit and style," but that a stylist ultimately makes the recommendations. You also get the option to review your order and ask your stylist to make changes before it ships.
Is there a fee if I don't buy anything? You are charged $20 per box if you don't buy anything. However if you buy something this $20 goes toward your purchase.
How long do I have to decide? You have seven days.
How many items do I get? Each box has five items.
Which types of clothing are available? Bombfell only carries menswear.
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