Hate Clothes Shopping? Check This Out.

Eddie Braverman's picture
Rank: The Pro | 21,129

You guys know I keep pretty close tabs on the start-up scene around the US. What you might not know is how much I hate shopping in general, but shopping for clothes in particular. So when I first read about Bombfell I thought it was a cool idea, but they were just in the accelerator phase with 500 Startups so I didn't give it much thought. Then I read about them again last month when they raised a $730,000 seed round, and that's when the idea really clicked for me. Not only is it a unique business model, but it sounded like a great service. So I signed up.

Here's how it works: each month Bombfell sends you an article or articles of clothing (depending upon your budget) selected for you by a professional stylist based on your individual measurements and preferences. How individual? Sign up with your Facebook account and the stylist will actually cruise your photos to get a feel for your personal style. If you like what they send you, you keep it. If you don't, you send it back and they pay the shipping both ways. You can't lose.

Bombfell lets men subscribe to a service that sends them a new shirt, pair of jeans, or other piece of fashionable, brand-name clothing at a discounted cost of just $69 a month. The startup works not only to find something that they might not have picked for themselves, but also something that will fit well, taking into account their measurements and the variable sizing of different brands.

Bombfell founder Bernie Yoo is a former Morgan Stanley analyst, so he knows all about 80 hour weeks and having no time to shop for clothes - especially fashionable casual clothing. When they started the company it was just a $69 a month service, but now they've expanded to higher budget tiers to allow for more expensive items like outerwear. The base subscription is still $69 a month, but now they have subscriptions that go up to $199 a month.

About the nearest thing I could compare it to is Trunk Club, which is also a great service but a lot more expensive and cumbersome. Trunk Club actually sends you a trunk full of clothing and you keep what you want and send the rest back. With Bombfell, it's just one or two articless of clothing a month and they have less than a 3% return rate.

Last month they sent me this pair of Original Penguin trousers and this month they're sending me this Japanese cotton oxford shirt. I could see myself picking out the shirt on my own, but I probably wouldn't have bought the trousers they sent if I was out shopping and that's the coolest thing about Bombfell. I love the trousers they sent me, so having a stylist on the cheap is getting me out of my staid conservative style (I normally dress like I'm attending the funeral of someone I didn't particularly care for each day).

So if you're pressed for time or just hate shopping like me, check out Bombfell with this special WSO link. When I called Bernie Yoo and told him I was going to recommend the service to you guys he said he wanted to do something cool for WSO, so he had his guys add the secret message across the top of the home page. Banker humor.

Anyway, the service is legit and the company is taking off like a rocket. They've posted double digit growth over each of the past six months, and they're shipping thousands of orders each month. Which is cool, because that means there are a lot more lazy slobs like me out there. But then you already knew that.

Comments (28)

Mar 21, 2013

Not for me.

Mar 21, 2013

Neither I - plus any pictures from my facebook are years old (rarely use it) so I'd only be sent that which I found fashionable in High School

"I am not sure who this 'Anonymous' person is - one thing is for certain, they have been one hell of a prolific writer" - Anonymous

Mar 21, 2013

Sidenote, follow up to your recent bitcoin article: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-03/20/bit...

Mar 21, 2013
surferdude867:

Sidenote, follow up to your recent bitcoin article: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-03/20/bit...

Yeah, I have a big post on BitCoin and the world of Tor in the pipeline. Should open a lot of eyes.

Mar 21, 2013

Eddie, looking over it I think it compares far more to Trunk Club than you say. I'm looking at the different tiers and they are a per item basis, so essentially it is no different than what Trunk Club does except for the fact that there are cheaper per item selections than Trunk Club has. At the end of the day, if you wanted say 10 things you'd end up with the same setup as Trunk Club. It seems really that the biggest thing is your setting the budget up front rather than getting a grab bag of 70 to 220 dollar items like you do with trunk club. Am I totally off base? I use trunk club now more for fun to see how it works (as I enjoy shopping, somehow haha) and frankly although they do send some silly priced things most of it stays in their basic range and you can probably have them send to the lower end of the range if you wanted.

Mar 21, 2013

Hey Bombfell co-founder here, our prices do tend to be lower but I think a more important distinction between the services is the level of interaction required. Trunk Club is intentionally a very high-touch service that looks to engage each user in 1:1 email interactions, phone calls or even Skype sessions. The default nature of our service is to operate on "auto-pilot", meaning if you want you can just go through the signup flow once and start getting clothes without having to do anything else. We're applying web technology to learn about you and your style as well as find clothing you'll love as efficiently as possible.

I highly respect Trunk Club and the business they've built, it's just not for everyone. Their service is a very actively involved process, ours is designed to take care of things and run in the background (although we do get very high-touch for users who want to be actively involved).

Addinator:

Eddie, looking over it I think it compares far more to Trunk Club than you say. I'm looking at the different tiers and they are a per item basis, so essentially it is no different than what Trunk Club does except for the fact that there are cheaper per item selections than Trunk Club has. At the end of the day, if you wanted say 10 things you'd end up with the same setup as Trunk Club. It seems really that the biggest thing is your setting the budget up front rather than getting a grab bag of 70 to 220 dollar items like you do with trunk club. Am I totally off base? I use trunk club now more for fun to see how it works (as I enjoy shopping, somehow haha) and frankly although they do send some silly priced things most of it stays in their basic range and you can probably have them send to the lower end of the range if you wanted.

Mar 21, 2013

@Addinator Yeah, very similar except you determine in advance how much you're going to spend and, if I've read everything right, sometimes you might get more than one item for the same price (in other words, 2 shirts for $69 instead of 1).

The thing that turns me off about Trunk Club is that I know I'm gonna have to send stuff back, and I'm just that lazy. With Bombfell, I get an email before they ship to me showing me what they're about to ship, so I can wave them off if it's way off base. About the only reason you'd have to send something back to Bombfell is if it didn't fit. With Trunk Club you never really know what you're going to get, and you're pretty much guaranteed a trip to the post office.

Mar 21, 2013

What i don't like is that if all of your friends sign up you all end up looking the same sort of...

We have frank & oak in canada and that is precisely the reason I didn't sign up...seeing a couple of my friends with the same exact shirt really turned me off.

Mar 21, 2013

Bombfell co-founder here, we keep track of who your friends are via personalized invite links, and our system doesn't allow us to send friends the same clothing to prevent exactly that "twinsies" problem.

Distinction between Frank & Oak and what we do is Frank & Oak only carries their own line of clothing / style sensibility, whereas we carry 3rd party designers and so have more flexibility to cater to individual styles.

Unforseen:

What i don't like is that if all of your friends sign up you all end up looking the same sort of...

We have frank & oak in canada and that is precisely the reason I didn't sign up...seeing a couple of my friends with the same exact shirt really turned me off.

Mar 21, 2013
yoob:

Bombfell co-founder here, we keep track of who your friends are via personalized invite links, and our system doesn't allow us to send friends the same clothing to prevent exactly that "twinsies" problem.

Distinction between Frank & Oak and what we do is Frank & Oak only carries their own line of clothing / style sensibility, whereas we carry 3rd party designers and so have more flexibility to cater to individual styles.

Unforseen:

What i don't like is that if all of your friends sign up you all end up looking the same sort of...

We have frank & oak in canada and that is precisely the reason I didn't sign up...seeing a couple of my friends with the same exact shirt really turned me off.

Interesting...let me know when you ship to Canadia.

I'm the mean time, try not to commit Sepukku with a frisbee.

Mar 21, 2013

I wouldn't do it, I hate shopping but it's necessary. I just shop online

Mar 21, 2013

I love shopping - wouldn't even trial this.

Mar 21, 2013

Wow, thanks for weighing in Bernie, I didn't expect that.

Good to know about not having to worry about showing up at a party wearing the same thing as one of your buddies, lol.

Guys, if you have any specific questions fire away. Bernie Yoo might check back periodically to answer them and you can get it straight from the horse's mouth.

Mar 21, 2013

Well done guys. I am amazed that you have raised that kind of money and it's great you have used media so well to achieve it!

In my humblest of humble opinions, I just can't see the long term market for this service. There are literally thousands of fashion companies starting every week and the number of people (ie your customers) who

A. Dress fashionable
B. Hate shopping
C. Find online shopping too taxing
D. Trust other people to buy their clothes
E. Don't mind sending stuff back
F. Have decent disposable income

..is just too small to make real money from.

Hope I'm wrong! Good luck though

1percentblog.com

Mar 21, 2013

Thanks! Would respectfully disagree (obviously ha) on potential size of market. Clothing retail both online and offline has never been built with guys in mind. Look around the retail landscape and it's optimized for browsing rather than targeted, efficient buying that a significant % of guys favor. Look at all the online shopping sites supposedly geared to men that basically took a normal online shopping site, didn't change anything and just slapped on a black background.

We're building a better way to retail to the mainstream, everyday guy who wants to look good but isn't passionate about clothes. If we can succeed in creating a better alternative, it's a $100Bn market in the US alone. Taking even a small % of that isn't peanuts.

redrut:

Well done guys. I am amazed that you have raised that kind of money and it's great you have used media so well to achieve it!

In my humblest of humble opinions, I just can't see the long term market for this service. There are literally thousands of fashion companies starting every week and the number of people (ie your customers) who

A. Dress fashionable
B. Hate shopping
C. Find online shopping too taxing
D. Trust other people to buy their clothes
E. Don't mind sending stuff back
F. Have decent disposable income

..is just too small to make real money from.

Hope I'm wrong! Good luck though

Mar 21, 2013

Would be cool if they did the same thing with dress clothes, for all the junior bankers out there. I don't really wear casual clothing anymore, because I basically live in the office.

Mar 21, 2013

Not sure if the pendulum has swung far back in the direction of business formal since I left finance, but back when I was working (granted a decade ago!) business casual was the norm. If your office is business casual, we can definitely get you a ton of shirts for the office.

Group Therapy:

Would be cool if they did the same thing with dress clothes, for all the junior bankers out there. I don't really wear casual clothing anymore, because I basically live in the office.

Mar 21, 2013

I think this is a great idea. I hate shopping and this could be a nice substitute.

Mar 21, 2013

just signed up. this looks like a great way to maybe get a couple new ideas for how to dress well that are already within your style category

Mar 21, 2013

TrunkClub is a cool idea and presentation, but I don't think what they send is quality and it is full retail. Plenty of room to come in and send top notch items, at a discount and still make a profit.

Mar 21, 2013

Anyone familiar with Bespoke Post? Similar idea, only geared towards home items and accessories (and not customized). My brother just got me a gift certificate for my birthday, so I haven't received anything yet (the tie offered in this month's box was a little on the skinny side, so I declined), but he says he's been very happy with the boxes he ordered. He's ordered about half of the boxes offered since he started. As with Bombfell, you can accept or decline a box before it is shipped.

https://www.bespokepost.com/

Edit: Recent boxed include bartending sets, a shave kit, and a weekend bag.

Mar 21, 2013

This is legit. Since starting work last July, I have yet to go casual clothes shopping. Definitely signing up.

Mar 21, 2013
Edmundo Braverman:

You guys know I keep pretty close tabs on the start-up scene around the US. What you might not know is how much I hate shopping in general, but shopping for clothes in particular. So when I first read about Bombfell I thought it was a cool idea, but they were just in the accelerator phase with 500 Startups so I didn't give it much thought. Then I read about them again last month when they raised a $730,000 seed round, and that's when the idea really clicked for me. Not only is it a unique business model, but it sounded like a great service. So I signed up.

Here's how it works: each month Bombfell sends you an article or articles of clothing (depending upon your budget) selected for you by a professional stylist based on your individual measurements and preferences. How individual? Sign up with your Facebook account and the stylist will actually cruise your photos to get a feel for your personal style. If you like what they send you, you keep it. If you don't, you send it back and they pay the shipping both ways. You can't lose.

Bombfell lets men subscribe to a service that sends them a new shirt, pair of jeans, or other piece of fashionable, brand-name clothing at a discounted cost of just $69 a month. The startup works not only to find something that they might not have picked for themselves, but also something that will fit well, taking into account their measurements and the variable sizing of different brands.

Bombfell founder Bernie Yoo is a former Morgan Stanley analyst, so he knows all about 80 hour weeks and having no time to shop for clothes - especially fashionable casual clothing. When they started the company it was just a $69 a month service, but now they've expanded to higher budget tiers to allow for more expensive items like outerwear. The base subscription is still $69 a month, but now they have subscriptions that go up to $199 a month.

About the nearest thing I could compare it to is Trunk Club, which is also a great service but a lot more expensive and cumbersome. Trunk Club actually sends you a trunk full of clothing and you keep what you want and send the rest back. With Bombfell, it's just one or two articless of clothing a month and they have less than a 3% return rate.

Last month they sent me this pair of Original Penguin trousers and this month they're sending me this Japanese cotton oxford shirt. I could see myself picking out the shirt on my own, but I probably wouldn't have bought the trousers they sent if I was out shopping and that's the coolest thing about Bombfell. I love the trousers they sent me, so having a stylist on the cheap is getting me out of my staid conservative style (I normally dress like I'm attending the funeral of someone I didn't particularly care for each day).

So if you're pressed for time or just hate shopping like me, check out Bombfell with this special WSO link. When I called Bernie Yoo and told him I was going to recommend the service to you guys he said he wanted to do something cool for WSO, so he had his guys add the secret message across the top of the home page. Banker humor.

Anyway, the service is legit and the company is taking off like a rocket. They've posted double digit growth over each of the past six months, and they're shipping thousands of orders each month. Which is cool, because that means there are a lot more lazy slobs like me out there. But then you already knew that.

This is literally Trunk Club... except Trunk Club has been doing it longer (first mover advantage). I see that they have a different price point and fewer articles of clothing so I guess it will be interesting to see how they compete.

Mar 21, 2013

Might actually be tempted to try this out--I'd rather stay at home and punch myself in the face than go clothes shopping.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 22, 2013

Would only be useful for slobs who have no taste. Decent business idea though.

Mar 22, 2013
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