It’s weird to think that I used to love going to the mall. My friends and I used to hang out at the mall for fun—wallets filled with American Eagle rewards cards, Auntie Anne’s punch cards, and maybe $20 in cash. We loved spending hours trying on clothes we couldn’t afford, sampling chocolates at See’s Candies, and testing out the body sprays at Bath & Body Works or Victoria’s Secret.
These days, though, I rarely set foot in a physical store—and certainly not a shopping mall. It’s such a hassle to put up with finding a parking spot, managing my “road rage” behind slow walkers, sifting through racks of clothing, waiting in line to try clothes on and again to pay for the one thing that actually looked okay underneath fluorescent lighting.
When introduced to the idea of Trunk Club and their Clubhouse location in Los Angeles, I was intrigued. No rummaging through racks of dresses only to be disappointed when the one size they don’t have is the one that would fit me. No lines of people. And someone to choose everything just for me—and for free? Sign me up.
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How it Works
Make an appointment. It’s complimentary to go in and meet with a stylist.
Once you arrive, you’ll try on clothes from their in-house inventory of Nordstrom brands.
Take your purchases home the same day! You can even earn rewards if you use a Nordstrom card.
My Trunk Club Experience
I met my stylist, Erica, at the Trunk Club Clubhouse in Culver City, CA (within the greater Los Angeles area) one evening after work for my styling appointment. When I walked in, I was offered something to drink. To my surprise, they had an extensive list of craft beers available, so I chose whatever IPA they’d listed (and then later wished I’d ordered something less bloat-inducing before trying on clothes for an hour, but that didn’t stop me from accepting a second beer when presented with the option). The glass they served the beer in was adorned with the label of my favorite brand of jeans, PAIGE, so I was getting a good impression already.
I sipped on my beer as Erica and I chatted about my everyday work style, my personal preferences (bring on the colors and patterns), and our obsession with our dogs. After a few minutes, she went to go pull some things from their warehouse area, while I scrolled through comments on my dog’s Instagram.
She came back with a rack full of dresses, shirts, pants, coats, and shoes. I could already spot a few things I’d definitely want to try on. I chose a light pink floral top, which Erica recommended pairing with some skinny black slacks and black sling-backs.
I loved this top; unfortunately, the small was too tight in the chest, while the large was a bit frumpy and too long in the arms—and they didn’t have a medium in stock. The slacks were stretchy and fit perfectly, but I couldn’t justify the price tag for something so basic. And, while the sling-backs made me feel like the fashionista businesswoman in a rom-com I’d secretly always dreamed of becoming, they just weren’t my style. Plus, the strap kept slipping down to my heel, making them difficult to walk in after a few seconds.
The outfit, while cute, was missing something. And that something would turn out to be the most fabulous pink faux fur coat by Free People. It was love at first sight. Truly. (Yes, I did end up buying it 😉)
Sadly, the coat is no longer available, but here’s a similar one from Lulus.
Erica and I took turns choosing items off the rack, but the next few just didn’t have that “it” factor. Until I met the dress at the top of this article. Also from Free People, this was the perfect red dress. Sexy, yet conservative. Boho, yet put-together. Whatever size Erica chose fit me like a glove—though I’d had to go braless to get it fastened #bigboobsproblems.
And then, in a move I wouldn’t have considered, Erica suggested a pair of white booties, which proved to be the ideal match for the dress. I didn’t know I needed white booties until that moment. But, given my track record with keeping shoes clean and general clumsiness, I knew I’d have to opt for a cheaper lookalike down the road.
She then completed the look with a classic leather jacket. It was the softest and most gorgeous piece of outerwear, but I already have a (faux) leather jacket, so buying another just didn’t make sense.
I walked away with a new coat (the pink faux fur one), a new friend, and a newfound desire to do all of my shopping this way. OH—and I can’t forget to mention the bathrooms. Heated. Toilet Seats. Yep. If you want to feel bougie for an evening, treat your tushie to the wonder that is a heated toilet seat. (And it’s not weird like going to the bathroom after someone’s just taken a very long time—ya know, reading emails and scrolling through Instagram.)
The Trunk Club Box
The Clubhouse experience is slightly different from the by-mail Trunk Club experience. If you don’t have a Clubhouse in your city, here’s what to expect when you sign up for Trunk Club:
- Create your style profile—sharing your clothing sizes, preferences, budget, personal style, and inspiration.
- Chat with your stylist via phone or the online messenger.
- Review your stylist’s choices on the site and give your thumbs up for free delivery of the trunk.
- Try everything on over 5 days. If you keep anything, the $25 styling fee goes toward your purchase. Send back what you don’t want with prepaid shipping.
- Schedule another trunk whenever you like.
Psst: Sign up for your first trunk by January 31st for the chance to win $3,000 in Trunk Club credits!