Get In Style With Bonobos
Bonobos is a men’s apparel retailer that started as an online e-tailer, whose brick and mortar spaces work in tandem with its digital platform. The physical shopping experience they provide is innovative in that a customer has the opportunity to try on garments in their size in store, but the items they purchase are ordered and then sent to their home. The immediate benefit of this set-up is that a customer does not have to lug home items after going on a spree, the downside is that it completely obliterates the modern consumerist tenet of instant gratification. Whether either of the aforementioned are positive or negative aspects of a very novel way of shopping is entirely subjective. Furthermore, here are some of the more logistical aspects that make Bonobos a truly unique menswear destination.
Average Price Range: Ready-to-Wear (Bottoms) - $88 - $199
Ready-to-Wear (Tops) - $98 - $199
Suits - $500-$1000
Outerwear - $128 - $698
Accessories - $68 - $98
The Good: While the fabrics used are sourced globally, all garments sold are manufactured in the U.S. in Boston, Massachusetts. In our currently precarious political and feeble economic climate, supporting brands made entirely in America seems more crucial than ever. This is a great way to be a patriotic Samaritan while growing and developing a style repertoire.
Working one-on-one with a team of knowledgeable sales experts. As previously mentioned this entity’s inception was facilitated online only, and for anyone who shops frequently the hassle of ordering garments without the proper guidance in sizing, cut and even styling can be a nuisance when it requires repacking and shipping back whatever did not work. With the retail stores, you can work with the people who have been properly educated in the language, DNA and identity of Bonobos. The sales team will steer a new customer in the best and most personalized direction.
Product categories are healthy in breadth, as items range from sweaters, cardigans, chinos, denim, t-shirts, dress shirts, golfing/athletic gear all the way into suiting. This can truly be your one stop shop. For the fickle male consumer, this will help take the pressure off shopping around to find items to aid in building a stylish and sustainable wardrobe.
The Bad: Items are not made to measure. This is a negative factor for the company because if the crux of this shopping experience is that it does not follow the model of instant gratification, then the wait time should ensure that garments are custom to the man purchasing them. For that, a style aware customer who is keen on researching brands in his price-range can easily find another place to take his business. This is a strong con for the Bonobos brand. The element of fit customization could benefit the brand immensely. It would certainly make me want to bring them my business.
Average Rating: 3.5 Cufflinks: The product offering is very specific to a customer with a more Americanized approach to dressing. The casual clothing is very preppy in the vein of a J. Crew or Tommy Hilfiger, and the suiting is straight laced and Wall Street/Finance district appropriate. While this does not appear as problematic, it is worth mentioning that the best retail entities in the current market space are those who cater to a wide range of style aesthetics. Everything from the preppy to gender non-conforming is valid in menswear. If someone is not on the more conservative end of the sartorial spectrum it may be difficult to find Bonobos as a viable space to explore and consume.
Conversely, the customer service at the Fifth Avenue location – which I visited – was impeccable. The store itself was magnificently designed as the clothing was well spread about and did not look crowded or overwhelming to view. The staff was stylish, well informed and assertively helpful. If this Bonobos is as uniformed as one would expect it to be, then the other locations nationwide shall provide any new customer the same level of atmosphere as the store on Fifth Avenue did for me. I would absolutely recommend checking it out. Plus, they are currently running a sale, so get those wallets out and upgrade your closets!