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- Frank & Oak is a Canadian clothing company that makes small batches of stylish, sustainable clothes and shoes for men and women.
- You can shop directly, or go through a Style Plan subscription where a stylist hand-picks clothes for you to try on at home and decide if you like. It’s $25 if you return everything in the box, but the styling fee is waived if you buy something.
- I tested the company’s Style Plan and had a good experience with the fit, materials, and styles chosen.
- Given that the company uses sustainable materials when possible, some — though not all — items may be a bit more expensive than you’re used to paying. Depending on your budget, values, and how much you love the high-quality materials, it may be worth the extra money. Luckily, you can try on at home before committing.
There are a plethora of online options when it comes to shopping, but one of the best for minimalist fashion fans may be from the Canadian retailer Frank & Oak.
Frank & Oak makes small-batch seasonal collections of clothes and shoes, using recycled materials and more sustainable production methods to reduce its environmental impact in both production and supply chain. The collections span everything from dresses and rompers to work-appropriate button-ups, bomber jackets, and even socks and underwear. Summer footwear ranges from strappy sandals and slingbacks to chunky heels and sneakers. You won’t find a labyrinth of options , but the selective mainstays are done well.
There are two ways to shop Frank & Oak: through a Style Plan where you fill out preferences and a stylist sends selections for you, or on your own.
However, a consequence of sustainable clothing and its tendency not to be mass-produced is that things sell out fast, so sometimes shopping on your own is more work than it’s worth. More than a few times, I returned a few days later after browsing the site only to find the items were gone in the sizes and colors that I wanted.
What is the Style Plan and how does it work?
The Stye Plan is, in essence, Frank & Oak’s subscription box. Style Plan boxes include three to five items, each ranging from $29-$150 generally, though your stylist will likely keep in mind how much you say you typically spend on certain items. You only pay for what you keep, but there’s a $25 styling fee if you return the entire box. There’s always free shipping and returns. And if you don’t need new clothes, you can skip that month’s box.
There’s also exclusive member pricing up to 20% off, plus free standard shipping sitewide at all times.
My experience with the Style Plan
I tried the company’s Style Plan to see what it’s like in person. To begin, you fill out a questionnaire that covers details like your age and sizing, as well as your priorities when shopping (are you most passionate about fashion trends or sustainable products?), which patterns you wouldn’t wear, the stores you already shop at, and your typical price range for clothing items. From there, a stylist will assess your responses and pick new styles they think you’ll like. You can review and select up to five, and they’re shipped to your door. In other words, it’s basically like someone else combing through the inventory for you for free, and slimming down the online experience to about 15 highly valuable options.
My box came with two short-sleeved, slim fit polos ($79.50) in green and black respectively and high-waisted, flannel pinstriped pants (then $99.50, now $69.99). The 65% rayon, 35% nylon mix of the polos is cool to the touch, lean, and effortlessly flattering. It’s chic and understated, and it can easily shift from the office to drinks. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of thing that I’d wear — and have worn — repeatedly, regardless of the season. More than a few times, they’ve drawn compliments from coworkers, despite the fact that a monotone polo is not necessarily a new invention. Spending $80 on it didn’t seem quite necessary, but, then again, once I tried it on it was hard to send it back … which is why I didn’t. And a few months of wear later, I’m still glad I didn’t.
The real surprise, though, were the pants. High-waisted with pleated, loosely tapered legs, they’re the last piece of clothing I’d choose to buy online. And yet, the beauty of subscription boxes is that somebody else is doing the picking — your usual hangups are suspended, and you get to try it on at home without any real risk. In this instance, I couldn’t be happier someone else was shopping for me. As I mentioned, the look — like most vintage-inspired styles — is a tough one to pull off, but Frank & Oak helped me do it. The band hits me exactly right on my 5-foot-7 frame, and the cinched waist and effortless legs accentuate my waist while simultaneously making me feel comfortable and the look feel effortless. In other words, I love them. And the material feels much nicer than what I could buy with the same money at a fast-fashion retailer nearby.
All in all, the clothes were well picked and well made. The materials felt high quality, and I was really pleased with the tailoring. I felt like my stylist understood my style and was able to send over basic closet warriors as well as cool — but still out-of-the-box — palette expanders that I wouldn’t have found on my own. In terms of a subscription box, it did what I’d hope it would.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for a cool new store for elevated classics made out of more eco-friendly materials, Frank & Oak is a good place to check out. Of course, there are few individual actions as sustainable as not buying anything new, but if you’re looking for a new T-shirt, or you need a new pair of jeans, this is a considerably low-impact option that’s easy to order online and is just as stylish as non-eco-friendly options.
Overall, I was really impressed with Frank & Oak’s Style Plan. The picks fit my personal style but also led me to try out-of-the-box clothes; the materials felt high quality; and the fits were flattering.
You may find that prices are a bit higher than you’d expect to pay, but that’s not always the case. When it is, you’re often paying for better materials and more ethical manufacturing. There are also sales, and if you’re on a Style Plan, there’s member-exclusive pricing up to 20% off. For me as a shopper, the extra money is worth it to feel better about the product. Buy fewer, and buy better.
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