ThredUP Goody Box Review (May 2018) – Sustainable & Stylish?
I buy and sell on ThredUP, an online secondhand marketplace for stylish and gently used clothing. As someone who tries to shop sustainably, ThredUP is an affordable and green alternative to fast fashion. I was intrigued when the website launched Goody Boxes, grab bags of 15 to 25 items hand-selected by a stylist from ThredUP’s massive inventory. Whether this service is right for you just might depend on how open-minded you are about what you wear. As I’ll explain in The Verdict at the bottom, the Goody Box isn’t a styling service per se, more of a process of discovery.
Where to Find It: Goody Box by ThredUp
The Cost: ThredUP is running a special right now, where it’s only a $10.00 non-refundable deposit to order the box. You only pay for what you keep, and the $10.00 deposit will be applied towards any purchases you make. Free US shipping and returns.
The Products: 12-25 secondhand styles picked specifically for you by one of ThredUP’s “Treasure Hunters” based on a quick profile, such as price range, sizes, preferred brands, and style preferences.
How It Works
When you place your order for the Goody Box, the ThredUP website will walk you through a couple of windows to personalize your order. First, you’ll choose what category of items you’re on the hunt for, such as dresses or handbags. Next, you mark off your sizes and then the most you’re willing to spend per item. Keep in mind, this is what you’re willing to spend at most on an item. I clicked off the highest priced items to avoid getting really low-quality cheap fashion, but I got it anyway. This definitely needs to be fixed.
Next, you choose your style from pre-selected options. Again, this feels a bit constraining, but I chose “punk” and “vintage” and “professional.” Where I really got stumped was when the site asked me to choose what brands I buy and only offered mall brands like H&M and J. Crew, none of which I ever buy. After you check out, you can leave extra details for your Treasure Hunter, including Liking items on the ThredUP website and sharing a Pinterest board of fashion favorites. Returns are really easy. The box includes a return label, and you reuse the same box to ship unwanted items back.
My Goody Box Reviewed
Coach vintage leather crossbody bag, $130.99
This bag is beyond gorgeous and just my style. So much so that I already have two really similar vintage Coach bags in black! I won’t be keeping it for that reason, but the good news is this means that the ThredUP Treasure Hunter gets my style! I feel like the price point is too high for a vintage Coach. I bought mine for $40 apiece, but I would still consider ponying up the money if I didn’t have such similar bags already.
Forever 21 short sleeve blouse, $7.99
This was one of the first things I saw when I opened my Goody Box, and it made me worried. There’s not much by Forever 21 I would wear because the fabric is so cheap and the design is tacky. This top was no exception. The fabric is 100% polyester and has a really dull, flat, and cheap look to it. The shirt is also sheer and doesn’t fit correctly. This is a no.
BCBG MaxAzria casual printed skirt, $29.99
This is a beautiful skirt, and it’s well made. It’s just not quite my style. Maybe a little too feminine? I enjoyed looking at the construction on this skirt after a string of low-quality items in my box. The stitching on this skirt is very nice. It’s got all the right construction details – a hidden back zip, a light lining and it’s made out of a perfect, lightweight 100% cotton. Someone should buy this. It’s very cute and the price is right.
Zara olive tank top, $9.99
This is very cute and the color works well on me. The neckline and skinny straps look more put-together than a standard tank top. It has more of a finished look to it. I could see myself getting a lot of wear out of this in the summer. I’m going to keep this!
Lucky & CoCo short sleeve printed blouse, $12.99
This is super cute. It looks retro because of the neckline and the whimsical print. It looks like something I’d find in the racks of a thrift store from the ‘50s or ‘60s. It’s made out of a higher quality polyester that has a nice soft hand feel that almost feels like silk. It’s also very lightweight. I’m not going to keep the top just because it’s a little small for me and, again, I have a lot of tops, so I’m just not letting any more tops into my wardrobe at the moment unless it’s perfect. I’ll keep my eye on this brand from now on as this shirt has something going for it.
Xhileration Short Sleeve Blouse, $7.99
One of the reasons I stopped wearing cheap fast fashion is not just because it’s so bad for the environment, but because I didn’t like the way I looked in it. I look back at photos of myself from my fast fashion days and my outfits just look crazy – the colors were always so extreme and there were too many competing design elements. So, yeah, for a second I looked at this top and thought it was a “maybe,” but in the spirit of most cheap fashion, there’s too much going on. It’s a bright color that’s pretty but I’d rather wear something this color that’s simple. I also can’t really pull off the boho look, so this is a no for me.
Studio I navy crepe shift dress, $13.99
This dress is way too mature and conservative looking for me. It reminds me of something a grandma would wear to church. I wasn’t familiar with this brand, so I looked them up: Studio I is a J.C. Penny store label with retail price point below $60. I don’t trust any brand that can sell a sort of formal looking dress for that price. The construction is fairly complex, and I appreciate that it’s finished with a hidden back zip and subtle shoulder pads. But where the brand cut corners is on the fabric; the crepe fabric is a lackluster and sort of itchy and dense sheet of polyester. It just doesn’t feel nice at all. I just picture whoever is wearing this sweating to death and being really uncomfortable in that church pew. This is a no.
Worthington short sleeve knit top, $5.99
This was the only thing in my box that had visible signs of wear. Everything else could pass for new. This top looked a little dingy, but then again I don’t totally mind that. I would buy something at a thrift shop for $6 that had signs of wear. I like this top. It’s made out of a soft cotton-rayon blend. I like the ruffled shoulders. I like the off-white color. It’s tasteful and cute. However, it’s a smidge too snug, and I don’t really need more tops at the moment.
Lularoe printed casual skirt, $21.99
Wow, you don’t realize how picky you are about brands until something like a Goody Box shows up at your door. Turns out I have a lot of strong opinions about brands. Hahaha. Lularoe is a pyramid scheme that tricks women into buying and selling crappy, low-quality clothes. I would never, ever wear anything by this company, especially not something that says “Lularoe” all over it. It also looks like something a four-year-old would wear. No, no, a thousand times no.
Old Navy pink tank top, $6.99
I don’t need another tank top, especially not one in hot pink. Tank tops are one of those things that you think you need like just in case, but I’ve been trying to get rid of mine in favor of constructed clothing. I’ve been working on scaling up my wardrobe, so instead of buying a plain jersey tank top, I’m looking for silk camisoles with more design detail.
Elizabeth McKay printed shift dress, $46.99
I don’t necessarily hate the print, but the print reads young and the shape of the dress reads fusty. I realize I’m a 37-year-old woman and there’s a range of ways that people my age dress, but this just screams middle-aged to me. I do like the fabric. There’s no fabrication label but I’m pretty sure it’s silk. I just think it’s a dress for a different type of woman. I looked the brand up (since it was new to me) and it looks like the prints are hand-drawn by the designer, which is cool. I also can’t wear lavender, like at all. This is a no but should be a yes for someone else.
Cato tie-dye knit top, $7.99
I don’t hate this top. The rayon is nice and soft and I think the tie-dye colors are cute. But it’s just not my style. I think the bejeweled front just pushes it over the edge for me.
Dana Buchman white Bermuda shorts, $10.99
I like the shape and cut, and I love a good Bermuda short, but these are completely see-through. The fabric is really thin and cheap. You can see the pockets through the fabric. Vintage Dana Buchman is the best, but the brand was sold to Kohl’s in 2011, and it seems the quality has just gone down the toilet since. Too bad.
Givenchy black wool skort, $136.99
I’m obsessed with this skort. It is one of the most subtly fabulous garments I’ve seen in a while. Unfortch, it’s too small. I marked my size as a Medium in my style profile, and a French 38 is, in theory, a 6. But Givenchy runs small. This is more like a U.S. 4. I couldn’t even get this over my butt. It was a sad moment because I love this garment so much. The fabric is incredible; it’s a lightweight 100% wool. The draping in the front is magical. It made me really, really sad that this didn’t fit. But then I looked at the price tag, and I felt a little better
Ronnie Nicole color block shift dress, $16.99
This dress is okay, and it was flattering on. However, it looks a bit too corporate for me. I work from home and rarely need to wear something like this. This will definitely be some feedback for ThredUP. I clicked off “professional” and am not liking what I’m seeing. Also, the poly-rayon fabric is pretty bad. I could see this looking really beat after a few wears. There’s also no zipper and so you have to pull it on over your head, which means it’ll get misshapen quickly too. This is a no.
Even though I only kept one item from my Goody Box, it was an exciting experience. There were a lot of diverse options to choose from, and I learned a lot about my tastes and preferences just from trying so many different things on. It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone when it comes to style, and Goody Box was the push I needed. I think maybe this is their point.
Inside the box, there was an interesting letter from the founder explaining that Goody Boxes aren’t “styling services” in the traditional sense, like Trunk Club and StitchFix. In other words, don’t expect a perfect match between your Goody Box and your tastes. Instead, Goody Box aims to “help you find items you might not have thought you ever wanted.” Okay, that’s honest.
The Good Box truly is more of a grab-bag approach to a subscription box, where the contents are a bit of a mystery. The randomness is part of the fun!
Still, there could be some better parameters to make this service as great as it could be. I rejected most of my items because the quality wasn’t high enough for my tastes, not because of the style. All that said, I have ordered a second Goody Box and tweaked my style profile in hopes of better results!! In my experience, these services get better in time and with more feedback. I love this company and want to give this service another shot.
One last tip: If your box is off base and you want to update your style profile, I discovered a little Edit button on the checkout page as you’re ordering your next box. This is where you can revise your style profile and add more notes for your Treasure Hunter. I deleted “professional” from my profile and told them I work from home, so hopefully, I won’t be getting any more cubicle fashion. Let me know what you think of Goody Box!