I’m a fan of subscription box services. Back when I started this blog, I subscribed to a service called Lost Crates, a subscription service for stationery supplies. That was how I discovered the Ecosystems Notebooks, which were my favorite journals and far superior in every way to Moleskine.
Unfortunately, both companies went out of business.
I’m still looking for a good replacement notebook, if you have one to recommend.
My craving for a monthly pile of random crap hasn’t ended, though. Just a few weeks ago, I talked about how much I am enjoying Home Chef, though I get to pick what comes in that box. I’ve also been a Loot Crate subscriber for over two years. Oh, and I get my razors from Dollar Shave Club.
I like building my collections in a slow, lazy way.
I’m also trying to build a wardrobe with more diversity and quality than “whatever fits from Wal-mart.”
So, when I heard about clothing subscription services on several different podcasts, I checked them out.
And was disappointed.
As you can gather from the name of this blog post series and my many claims to the fact, I am a fat guy.
I’m large in multiple ways: A little over 6-feet tall, over 300 pounds, a waist that fluctuates between 48″ and 50″. My chest is over sixty. I have a 20″ neck.
If you’re not sure just how huge that is, I wear a 4XL t-shirt.
You can imagine I wasn’t surprised when I found out that none of the men’s clothing services carried anything in my size. Most don’t even carry clothes above a 2X.
I thought I would fall forever into a life of clothing obscurity. Picking up the occasional “quality” piece as I could from Kingsize paying $80 or more for a single shirt.
If I want to buy a high quality vest? Forget about it. I can spend as much on a vest as someone my little brother’s size will spend on a three piece suit.
I felt doomed to have a limited wardrobe. But, I told myself it’s okay. I can get by with my one black vest and use ties to add pizzazz. Even a big guy like me can get a good collection of ties, assuming you know how to tie them to not look short and stubby on your belly.
But then, I came across a new company.
The Winston Box
The Winston Box is a clothing subscription service for big men. Their sizes start at extra large and go to 6XL. They can cover you up to a 68″ chest. It was what I was looking for.
Bonus, their mission statement matches my philosophy:
Our mission is to dispel the myth that style and size are mutually exclusive by being purveyors of fashionable clothing designed to fit and flatter the Big & Tall man.
The Winston Box Mission Statement
The price tag seemed a little steep. $75 per box. But, they promised at least 2 items in each box, and that meant it was cheaper than most of my clothes. And, they weren’t talking a t-shirt and a pair of socks. These are real clothes.
Winston Box isn’t just a subscription service. It’s a clothing company.
Proceeds from each box also go to Proyecto Peru, a charity for Peruvian refugees.
So, I signed up to get my first box. I got a $10 off deal for being a first time buyer, so, my cost was only $65. Happy me.
Then… I waited…
Delays, delays, delays
Winston Box is a new company. They were officially kickstarted on August 1, 2016. So, when I found them in November, I was getting in on their first round of boxes for anyone who didn’t back the kickstarter campaign.
And, it showed.
I want to say in Winston Box’s defense; they were candid about what was happening in their production timeline and issues with customs and other agencies.
They also had told me that as late as I ordered in November, I would be in the December run. So I wouldn’t get my first box until late December and I wouldn’t get charged for a new box until January.
They kept me updated on any delays, but I was ready to write it off as a lost cause. I’ve backed enough Kickstarter campaigns to know when the promise will not be delivered.
So, on January 17, the day before I was scheduled to be charged for a new box. I canceled my subscription.
I was contacted within an hour. As I had expressed I hadn’t gotten what I ordered yet, so how could I know if I wanted to continue and when they emailed me, they told me I had a choice. I could get a full refund or have them ship me the box I ordered. The clothes were ready to ship.
I told them to send me the box and the next day I got the tracking information.
My first Winston Box
As I am typing this, I’m wearing a piece from my first box. It’s a French Terry fabric cardigan. It is very soft and warm. Considering I paid $65 for the box, I’m not disappointed, either. I’ve looked at getting a cardigan in the past. For someone my size, it would be easy to spend $70-$80 bucks for a “cheap” acrylic weave.
This is terry cloth.
It wasn’t the only item in the box, either. I also got a nice long-sleeved 100% cotton polo shirt. It has a contrasting color for the collar and cuffs, which the letter that came in my box points out matches the cardigan.
Speaking of the letter in the box, it also gives a teaser or what will be in next month’s box. It tempts me to sign up again, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to invest $75 for what might end up being a two month wait.
My recommendation on Winston Box
I’m torn. I like the two items I got and love the concept of the company. I want them to succeed.
But, I can’t rave about the production timeline. Part of the fun of a subscription service is getting the box each month. If there will be massive delays, it takes some of the joy away.
If you have the extra money and want to up your fat guy look, Winston Box might be a good way to do it. If you don’t mind possible waiting.
Aside from the delivery timeline, the customer service is fantastic.
I’m following them on Facebook now, and if they can prove they’ve ironed out their delivery bugs, I will be back.
In the meantime, I can live with my one vest and some ties.