One of the more successful subscription box models has been in the form of apparel, mainly in the form of a semi-personal stylist that, through a combination of personal choices and algorithmic magic, tries to give you the experience of having a personal stylist for a low monthly cost. The added benefit, of course, is that a whole lot of awesome clothing and accessories show up on your doorstep each month to keep your style fresh and never lacking for variety.
For years, companies like Stitch Fix, Frank and Oak, Trunk Club and Fabletics have been running successful subscription boxes on the personalized style model. Among them is a company that this review is all about: ThreadBeast.
WHAT IS THREADBEAST
Started in 2015 and based in one of the world’s fashion capitals, Los Angeles, ThreadBeast is a personalized streetwear style subscription box. But don’t let that “streetwear” moniker fool you. While the company’s demographic does hew towards the Male 16-35 demographic that does enjoy streetwear as a style, the company still provides plenty of options for men looking for a more refined and mature style.
That is evidenced in the questions you’re asked during sign-up and the resulting box that I received as my review unit. I would say that while there is still a hint of some streetwear influences in the products I received in my box, whoever put together my box nailed my personal style and made some pretty great choices.
WHAT ARE THE THREADBEAST SUBSCRIPTION LEVELS?
This once-a-month subscription box, curated by a personal stylist, features three tiers of boxes:
– $135 TB Premium Plan – 6-7 items
– $85 TB Essential Plan – 4 to 5 items
– $55 TB Basic Plan – 2-3 items
From the research I’ve done about this company, it does not appear that there is any quality or brand throttling done at the lower levels of the subscription service. That is, you’ll still receive premium brands at the cheaper Basic and Essential plan; you simply will get fewer items than if you were to opt for the Premium plan.
WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCTS CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A THREADBEAST SUBSCRIPTION BOX?
Based on what I’ve read from both customer experiences, my own experience and what the company claims, you expect to receive a pretty wide variety of apparel and accessories from Threadbeast. The type of included products seems well thought out. Each box, especially at the Premium plan level, seems to be almost designed to provide you with 2-3 entire apparel outfits. The company often includes:
- Button-down shirts
- Short-sleeve shirts
And while ThreadBeast doesn’t purport to include every top brand out there, they seem to source some decent brands, including stalwarts such as Champion, The Hundreds, 10Deep, Element, Levi’s, Puma, and others.
That said, it’s fairly obvious that ThreadBeast also goes after lesser-known brands that are either on their way out and looking to dump their inventory somewhere or brands that are still relatively unknown. These brands might be willing to sell their merchandise to companies like ThreadBeast for lower prices until their brand can earn enough cultural cachet to command higher price tags for their wares.
HOW DOES THREADBEAST FIGURE OUT YOUR STYLE?
Apparel choices and styles are among the most difficult and subjective to get just right, especially when relying on a combination of customer and customer feedback inputs. This can be an especially tricky proposition in a sub-niche of apparel such as streetwear. So how does ThreadBeast go about trying to figure out how best to suit the products to your personal style? It’s all about the questionnaire you are put through when first signing up for their service.
You can discern a lot about what ThreadBeast is like and the kind of product choices they make by simply looking at the questions they ask while you’re signing up. I’ve typed them out here for you to see and get a better idea of what to expect.
What is your style
- Anything goes
- Casual & Relaxed
- Crisp & Clean
What colours do you like?
- Mix and match
How do you like your bottoms to fit?
- Skinny Slim
- Relaxed straight
Where do you like to shop?
- A bunch of popular retailers are listed
What is your top size?
- X-Small to XXX-Large
What is your waist size?
What is your pants inseam size
What is your shoe size?
What is your height?
How much do you weigh?
Are you on Instagram? – They look at your Instagram account to scope out your style?
Room to make specific style requests during sign-up
WHAT DID I GET IN MY BOX?
- Puma slip-on sneakers
- CRISP Athletic Boxer Brief – I couldn’t find much about this brand online – they don’t even seem to have a website. Nevertheless, the boxer briefs have been comfortable and fit well, given my size choice. I’d rate them as a mid-tier quality type of underwear.
- Champion – Large t-shirt in Black. I’ll be honest, it’s not the greatest quality t-shirt I’ve ever worn, but some people like the Champion brand, so who am I to judge?
- Rising Sun & Co Beige Slacks – I enjoyed both the fit and look of these slacks, so much so that I wanted to buy another pair, but I was disappointed to find out that it was a discontinued item.
- Nick Graham Pants
- Puma Ankle socks – Nice mid-tier athletic socks with some decent features.
- ONIA – short-sleeve white button-up shirt – A simple and lightweight, loose-fitting button-up shirt.
IS THREADBEAST WORTH IT?
Suppose you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to build your wardrobe with a bent towards streetwear and somewhat casual apparel for men, then yes. In that case, ThreadBeast as a subscription box is worth it.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, I think there’s plenty of value to be had at any of the subscription levels. Still, I’d personally opt for the mid-tier as I believe you are getting just a touch extra value at that pricing level and can expect to get 4-5 items each month.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THREADBEAST
There’s a lot to like here. First, the in-depth questionnaire asks enough of the right questions to create a profile of style preferences that seems good enough to get a third person that’s never met you to send you products you are more than likely to enjoy. The sheer number of items that arrive in the box was also a pleasant surprise, and knowing that you can converse with your stylist to let them know that there are specific items you DO or DON’T want in your monthly box is a huge bonus.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THREADBEAST
While many other apparel subscription boxes follow the same strict rules for returns and items exchanges, I do wish companies like ThreadBeast and others provided a touch more flexibility to being able to choose other items for your box in exchange for one that you’ve received. As it stands right now, the company does not offer any refunds on any items that arrive in your box that you don’t want, and the only option is to exchange items if there is a size issue.
It’s a minor quibble, but perhaps companies like ThreadBeast could take a page out of other subscription services such as Hello Fresh. The company allows you to make choices for each subscription period from a larger set of products/items.