03/23/2012 04:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Subscribing to Fashion and Lifestyle


There has been a recent surge of subscription-based businesses particularly within the fashion and lifestyle realms. This business intrigues me as it often seems to be of much more benefit to the retailer than to the customer to be on a subscription basis. However, since many of these models are cutting out the brick and mortar intermediaries they are able to offer such reasonable prices that many consumers don't seem to mind opening their wallets every month or on a quarterly basis. This seems to be for the quality and extremely targeted nature of the products based upon a personal "style profile" that many of the services offer. Many of these subscription fashion and lifestyle services have been popping up below are some of the honorable mentions in both the female and male categories:

1) BeachMint:
BeachMint, a behemoth of subscription based lines with JewelMint, StyleMint, BeautyMint, and ShoeMint all represented by A-listers Kate Bosworth, MK and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Simpson, and Rachel Bilson respectively. BeachMint continues to innovate within their brand by launching a new brand practically every year since their inception. They just launched sunglasses within StyleMint. (JewelMint, $29.99/month), (StyleMint, $29.99/month), (BeautyMint, varies monthly), (ShoeMint, $79.98/pair/month)

2) ShoeDazzle:
Runway inspired shoes, handbags, or jewelry all for $39.95 including shipping. Products are recommended to you every month in a personalized "showroom" based upon a style profile you take when you join. Kim Kardashian and other celebrity stylists e-mail you their picks of the month. I am a subscriber to ShoeDazzle and while I wish there were a bit more selection month to month I have loved every pair of shoes I've received. Beware: my closet won't close anymore (ShoeDazzle, $39.95/month)

3) Elizabeth&Clarke:
Between 1-3 perfect white or black basic seasonal shirts sent to your door each season and free shipping each way. I subscribe to this one and loved the 3 blousey tops I got for this spring--perfect for work and play (Elizabeth&Clarke, $29/season)

4) Birchbox:
Deluxe beauty samples delivered in a beautiful little box every month for only $10. A great way to discover a new product you wouldn't have necessarily stumbled upon otherwise. Women often use the same beauty routines for years so Birchbox is fantastic for both the consumers and the beauty companies who are able to reach new potential customers. (Birchbox, $10/month)

1) Dollar Shave Club:
Just had the breakout start-up viral video that swept the nation. Their founder not only had a great idea but he might have back up job as an actor if things don't pan out. Dollar shave club cuts out the middlemen, advertising, and 7 blade nonsense that's part of the modern shaving industry and sends men a razor once a month for a dollar. That's it. (Dollar Shave Club, $1/month)

Conscious Contraceptives is where men or women can buy their condoms on a recurring basis and "do good while feeling good." uses the one for one model much like TOMS or Warby Parker and every purchase provides contraceptives to underserved communities domestically and abroad. They use discreet packaging, ordering can be set up on a recurring basis so no one ever has an excuse, and it avoids that awkward checkout encounter. (, Price dependent upon selection)

3) Manpacks:
Tout themselves as Netflix for men's products. Guys get a personalized pack of socks, shaving cream, razors, condoms, etc. quarterly and can customize their package every 3 months before it's shipped out in the Manpacks "dashboard." Great for the busy guy who just never can get around to the CVS to buy the new bag of socks or razors. (Manpacks, Price dependent upon selection)