Rental and subscription programs for the stylish man

Sydney Zink, Columnist

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Monthly paid services like Spotify Premium and Netflix continue to win over consumers, especially us college students. However, some high-end style services rooted online in rental or subscription options have also recently been on the rise. Whether used on a casual ongoing basis, toward a few upcoming rounds of interviews or during your elegant Valentine’s Day date, the following services offer a wide array of clothes, accessories and samples to express or diversify your style.

FreshNeck

FreshNeck is a menswear accessories program that functions similarly to Netflix. There are three tiers of monthly membership prices correspond to the quantity of designer labels available (Calvin Klein and Penguin amongst the least expensive, $15-a-month selection pool up to Versace and Salvatore Ferragamo within the most expensive pool at $55 a month) among other specifics. Subscribers create queues — their “Closets” — of pocket squares, ties, bow-ties, cufflinks or other accessories. You return the current product; they ship you the next in your Closet. The more than 100 designer collections have filters by label, color, style or fabric. FreshNeck is a tempting opportunity to break out of the usual monotonous tie rotation, and it’s a clever way to sport a designer’s line you may find too expensive or trendy to purchase for keeps.

Birchbox Man

The website’s compact description says it all: “Trial-size grooming and lifestyle products, delivered to your door for $20/month.” In contrast to FreshNeck, Birchbox Man provides monthly boxes of samples to keep rather than accessories to borrow on a per-item basis. Birchbox Man primarily addresses grooming rather than dressing, though food and household products occasionally show up. Samples range from shampoos, colognes, aftershave and the like to larger toss-ins like a knit tie. Each month’s box has a theme, such as holiday or organics. Members can earn points to spend on full-size products. The company originally only had a women’s division. I have been a member of that Birchbox line for some time now and judge the $10 per month program to be consistently worthwhile despite a few lower-quality boxes of products every so often. I expect the men’s line to be similar in quality, as its generally favorable online reviews seem to suggest, though the higher price is indeed something to consider.

D&C Watch Co.

D&C Watch Co. is a rental operation that runs per individual requests rather than by subscription. It offers watch rentals from brands such as Gucci, Rolex and Omega where, beyond the pricing base of an individual watch’s retail value, the cost to rent depends on a weekly, monthly or quarterly billing cycle. Alternatively, a shopper may elect to buy a watch instead, or he has the option while renting one to complete a full purchase. If you prefer to impress with shine over suits or shave, perhaps you could spare the D&C Watch Co. website a few minutes of your time.

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