Men are creatures of habit. We work hard. We address the world’s problems, and the vast majority of our brainpower is dedicated to making the world a better place. Because of that, what we wear falls to the back of our minds. We like our comforts. More importantly, we love it — whatever “it” is — to be easy.
One of the traits of a man who shops for himself is that when he finds something he likes, he doubles down. He triples down, and so do the rest of us. If we like the fit, the comfort, and the way something makes us feel, we will buy it in every color available. If this sounds like an efficient way to fill a wardrobe, it is, but the side effect is an entire wardrobe of the same thing. One of the best ways to combat that is through a subscription service, and one of the best out there is the Menlo Club, brought to you by the Five Four Group.
If you are debating the Menlo Club, here is all you need to know about it before you sign up.
How the Menlo House Subscription Works
When you sign up for a subscription service, there is almost always a quiz you take to allow the company to get an idea of your likes and dislikes. The quiz for the Menlo Club subscription service is by far the simplest and the fastest. The first step is picking from some fundamental looks to get an idea of your style. There are four pages you will navigate through. The first three will address your style preferences by having you choose between a few looks. The last page will ask for your sizes. The great thing about this service’s sizing questions is that they provide pictures to help you decide on the fits you like.
Once you have selected your preferences, you sign up. Pro tip: They almost always have specials and signup bonuses. At the time of this writing, you can join for less than half the price of the monthly box. Other times, they will give you extra items as a bonus.
The regular signup cost is $60, and you’ll get your first package immediately. Then around the middle of every month, you’ll receive your next package with two or three new items for your closet.
What Is in the Menlo Box?
When the subscription service began, it was called the Five Four Club. As it grew to be one of the biggest competitors in the clothing subscription industry, it acquired more brands to offer its members. Of course, it couldn’t be called the Five Four Club while sending brands from New Republic and Melrose Place, so it rebranded in 2018 when it hit 100,000 active members. Now the membership is called the Menlo Club under the Five Four Group, with Menlo House being its online store.
These new brands elevated the offerings to include shoes, jackets, and many styles that can make each package feel different. It can expand a wardrobe from something stale and uniform to expressive and colorful. Most deliveries include a top, like a button-down or a T-shirt, a pair of pants (like denim, shorts, or even joggers), and shoes or outerwear.
How Does It Stack Up?
There are dozens of subscription boxes for men to upgrade their lives. Some upgrade their wardrobe, some upgrade their gear, but nearly all have upsides and downsides. The Menlo Club subscription is no different. While the service is enjoyable overall, it isn’t immune to its share of disadvantages.
The pros of the service begin with the price. While other subscriptions can get supremely expensive, even going as high as a couple of hundred dollars a month, Menlo Club is pretty affordable at $60 a month. Even for that small of an amount, you still get some high-quality pieces perfect for rounding out your closet.
When the service first started, users were limited to Five Four brand clothing. Adding more brands, specifically New Republic shoes, elevated the service’s options significantly. Lastly, the service keeps track of what it has sent in the past so that you’re guaranteed never to get a repeat.
Now the cons. Despite the experience being overwhelmingly positive, there are some ways to improve. First is the initial style quiz. Consultations for professional style consultants can take hours, and even after that, learning a client’s preferences and curating a personal experience involves trial and error. Now, you’re not going to get that for $60 a month, but the Menlo Club’s initial exam is a mere four questions. It is basic and surface level. You’re likely getting the same thing as most, if not all, other active members.
Lastly, you get what you get. There are no exchanges if you get something you hate and will get zero wear out of. You can swap out for a different size, but that’s it. This is a bit of a gamble and precisely why a more extensive style quiz would come in handy.
At the end of the day, feelings about the Menlo Club come down to expectations. When you go into it knowing you’re paying less than for most other clothing subscription services, and as long as you’re not expecting Armani or Tom Ford products, this service is a great way to expand your wardrobe. Its specialty is certainly streetwear, and if you approach it with an open mind, you’re guaranteed to walk away with items you may never have bought on your own in the store but that now are some of your favorite garments.
If you find yourself no longer excited about getting dressed in the morning or before a date, you could do much worse than the Menlo Club.
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