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The brand is reviving its beloved “Mystery Boxes,” its answer to increasingly popular clothing subscription boxes for women. From Feb. 13 to Feb. 20, customers can choose from 10 different types of clothing boxes and receive three “mystery” items that have been handpicked by the brand’s style experts.
No matter the price of the box ― which ranges from $50 to $175 ― the items inside are worth much more. The “Bottoms” box, for example, is $85, but valued at over $350 worth of product; the items in the “Luxe” box are valued at over $650.
Subscription boxes are something that the brand’s most devoted shoppers have asked for, according to Universal Standard co-founder and CEO Polina Veksler. Rather than send them endless boxes of clothes, the brand found its own way to curate shipments that won’t end up in the back of the closet.
“We’ve always been about bringing a fun and personalized touch to every customer experience so that shopping becomes more than just about shopping,” Veksler said in an email. “With our mystery boxes, we’re trying to surprise and delight our customers by showing them just how well we know each and every one of them.”
The brand’s only other foray into clothing boxes was last year. Glamour writer Sarah Morse accurately described the service at the time as “a combination of a subscription box and a flash sale.” Universal Standard says last year’s the boxes started selling out after three days.
This year’s boxes include best-sellers like the brand’s cult-favorite Geneva Dress, the Rio Blazer and the Tresa Wide-Leg Tie Pants. The items that go into each shopper’s box are handpicked by Universal Standard’s style experts using an interactive preferences survey for guidance. A customer’s past purchases are also considered, which means no two boxes will be the same.
Earlier this month, I got an exclusive sneak peek at this year’s Mystery Boxes. I received the “Classic Outfitting” box — a box of classic staples — to road test, and was surprised to find that all of the items in the box were well-fitting, well-made and tailored to my tastes. I received the Stephanie Wide-Leg Stripe Pants, the Melissa High-Low Sweater and the Kanda Puffer. All of the items I received were a Universal Standard size “small” — the equivalent of a size 14/16.
The wide-leg pants were love at first try-on, and have already made their way into my weekday rotation. (A complete stranger complimented me within the first 20 minutes of wearing them. If that doesn’t sell you on their universal appeal, I’m not sure what would.)
Based on my experience, the Mystery Boxes are perhaps best made for two kinds people: those who are familiar with Universal Standard and want more of the brand’s staples for less, and those who are less familiar with the brand but who want to try it out without spending a lot up front.
Either way, you won’t know until you unbox one for yourself.