my biggest concern with this business is that if its successful you actually make yourself redundant. meaning if ppl really like the shirts you send them, and say they're H&M - well they just decide to shop in H&M from then on and stop paying for you. Your retention rate is inversely proportional to how good your product is - thats bad business.
The actual cut of men's clothes can vary a lot, and as a programmer who has recently become a lot more interested in clothing and style, I can tell you right now the number one thing that makes clothes look good is fit.
Anyone here who is wanting to improve their wardrobe, you don't need to buy anything fancy, any special materials or designer labels, just get something that fits. This doesn't just mean that it's big enough to put on without squeezing you, or small enough that it's not draping like a tent, but that it is the right size in all dimensions. Check for things like how wide the shoulders are, how tight the sleeves, length of the sleeve, length of the body, and any tapering.
Just comparing something like a plain-black Tee from various high street retailers in the UK, some will fit you much better than others, dependent on your body shape.
Our thought is that there's value-add in having a fashion-aware person pick out clothes for you - so in your H&M example, for someone like me simply knowing the brand isn't enough, I would appreciate someone picking out specific shirts or pants from H&M. I also typically only go shopping once a year, so not having to shop would be a big convenience.
We are planning to try offering Zappos-style return policy and watch how the economics work out.
- Zappos-esque customer friendly return policy, if it doesn't bankrupt you.
- If a return is required, make it easy to report why - for example, on a pants return, have a picture of the pants, and sliders for the waist, length, inseam, etc. that go from "too small" to "too large".
- use past fit information to tweak what kind of clothes are sent out to that person in the future.
- Another random option - for things that are too big, offer to mail in and tailor them (an inch off the leg, for example).
- Also, people might REALLY like an item, and want more of it. I know I'm attached to certain bits of clothing, and often have trouble finding another to replace them when I go looking (other than stock items like jeans/etc.).
We are planning to offer Zappos-style return policy, as long as it doesn't bankrupt us :)
Meaning you want the exact same article of clothing once it wears out?
One way around that would be to simply have a "style" that people want to fit. I might know if I live in NYC that I want the "Wall St" style; SF might be "Hip Startup". Being an engineer, it's much easier to classify objective goals than subjective tastes. If I have to look at a bunch of profiles saying "I go for a casual, slightly-preppy look with the right amount of professionalism"-- I am not going to know what that means.
Just based on the tagline though - I hope this involves posting an image of yourself. I could find a fashionable pair of pants just by opening an issue GQ. The hard part about being fashionable is knowing what looks good on you.
Thinking this would be for people who don't want to read GQ or do any research. Plan is to offer some level of personalization, a somewhat crowd-funded personal stylist for many people at once.
Maybe if you could describe (somewhat) your tastes (like casual, modern, etc.) and send a picture. But I think your idea has potential.
I am doing something a bit similar, but we do more data gathering. http://www.makeyourgirlfriendhappy.com
My friend runs a shop where they take a photo of you in front of a standardized grid, which allows them to know your size automatically - this could probably be done with your site.
What type of return levels are you seeing sending gifts to the girlfriends?
What's the name of your friend's shop with the standardized grid?
Generally in a personalized fashion site I'd like to see the following:
* an up-to-date sense of fashion
* An appeal to cosmopolitan styles
* Accessibility to the fashions offered (Amazon, target, AE, Aritzia, etc... links at least) I'd say it's best if you offered a deal finder and had your reviews tell people what is hot and cheap right now.
Fashion is closely linked with afford-ability.
That's not a selling point for me at all. Would make me less likely to use this service.
I'm ordinary man and a hacker. I personally don't care what I wear. I prefer comfortable clothing. I don't care and I don't have problem with it. But women care and they see it as a big issue. I'm reading the blog just from curiosity to see how it looks from the other side.
I think we all have some friend that dresses terribly because their girlfriend/wife buys everything for them.
I think depends on the type of guy you are, myself and a number of guys I know aren't really into fashion and aren't super-fussy, but do want to dress reasonably well - just without effort. Trying to test now whether there's enough guys with that same attitude :)