Bespoke Post: The Pricier Subscription Service That Just Might Be Worth It
This time, things are a little different. As you likely know, for a while now, we have been taking a real close look at the various subscription box services for men. This has all been in an attempt to figure out which is the best overall value for most guys. While most of these services come in at around $20 - $30 per month/box, this time, we’re taking a look at Bespoke Post, which will run you about $45 per month/box.
So, what’s the deal here? Why is this box so much more expensive than the others? Is it worth it? Is it any better? Well, these are all exactly the questions we plan to answer over the course of the next few months as we give Bespoke Post a try. In short, Bespoke Post describes itself as a service that provides monthly “themed boxes for guys who give a damn.” This is slightly different than something like Gentleman’s Box or SprezzaBox which are more men’s accessory boxes. They have a whole bunch of boxes you can get for the $45 per month that cover things from, yes, socks and grooming products, but range all the way to cooking, grilling, shaving, coffee, and travel. In that sense, there is a lot more that you can potentially receive with a Bespoke Post box, but you’re also paying for it.
In truth, Bespoke Post is one of the big players in this game, if not the biggest. They’ve been around for a while, their website is super nice and built out — which can’t be said for most of the other guys. They also have a whole store from which you can buy a whole slew of items (similar to those you would get in a box from them) at discounted prices if you are a member (more on this later). In terms of whether this is the right service for you, though, where does Bespoke Post fit in to the market? Well, that’s what we’re going to try to figure out. So, let’s get into it.
When you sign up for Bespoke Post, they ask you to fill out a short quiz that provides them with a whole bunch of your personal preferences. You can tell them if you are into grooming, have a beard, drink coffee, smoke cigars, and on and on. You even tell them your clothing sizes. Already, this is quite different than services like Gentleman’s Box or SprezzaBox, which have no such quiz (because they offer no products that would require that information). All of this information is then used by Bespoke Post to suggest a box that will include things that they think you are most likely to like (and that will fit).
Now, this is just a bit confusing from the site’s wording, but my understanding is as follows: On the 1st of every month you will get an email from Bespoke Post with the box they selected for you for that month. You then have 5 days to accept their suggestion, swap it out for another one of their boxes that you would prefer, or skip the box entirely for the month (which is a nice feature!). If you take no action at all, they will assume you accept the box and ship it out.
Bespoke Post suggested the Refresh box for me, and I accepted their suggestion. It’s a dopp kit that also includes a whole bunch of grooming products (which we’ll of course review below!).
The Boxes: The boxes themselves are also a bit confusing. Bespoke Post lists a whole bunch of past boxes that they have, and still do, offer each month. But they also claim in various places throughout their site that they put together new boxes every month that might be one of your suggestions. My first "suggestion," though, was one of the boxes that I had already seen on the site, and the only options I was able to switch it to were the other ones already listed on the site. We’ll see what happens in future months, but I’m a little confused and now suspicious that I am not going to see any actual new boxes beyond those listed on the site. But I will reserve judgment on this until I give them a month or two more!
As it stands, there were not that many boxes for me to choose from, and even of those options, many were of no interest to me. Of all the options, Refresh would have been the one I picked anyway. Plus, and this is another thing you’ll want to consider, unlike Gentleman’s Box or SprezzaBox, there will be no surprise for you when the box arrives. You will know exactly what will be inside as it is all detailed on the page when you see/select your box.
One more thing: In your email you can also choose to add one, or a couple, add-on items that match you month’s theme from the store I mentioned above, at discounted prices. You can pick from their pretty extensive online shop in which they carry all sorts of stuff from different brands from sweatshirts to socks to shampoos, mugs, and more — like a shampoo or straight razor to go with the dopp kit box. And it all will ship free since it will simply come with your box that month.
Packaging & Delivery
Shipping was pretty fast. The boxes usually ship out on the 6th of the month (after those 5 days mentioned above), and it arrived just a few days after that.
The box was just a standard, branded cardboard box; all of the items were inside. When you first open the box, as is typical of these services, there is a sheet explaining that month’s box and all the items you got inside of it. This sheet is full of typos, and missing words and letters. It’s as if they never even proofread it. Super shoddy, honestly. Bespoke Post also includes a sheet with a short article/how-to that complements your box — mine was about seven common hairstyle mistakes men make. Not shockingly at this point, this sheet is a total afterthought, barely says anything original or insightful, and is riddled with typos.
With that all out of the way, let’s get into the box!
The Refresh box is all about grooming, and all the various grooming products you get come inside a dopp kit. Let’s break it all down and take a look at each item:
Blue Claw Co. Dopp kit: The dopp kit I own and use when I travel I have had and used for many years now, and it has held up fantastically well. It cost me about $40 when I got it. I was happy to replace it though with something new, to change things up. This dopp kit (which I got in grey — Bespoke Post lets you choose the colors, etc., when applicable, which is super nice), is of the same sturdy quality mine is — a sort of thick, rich canvas material. It’s got a loop on the side which makes it easy to carry, and the zipper is quite sturdy too. In all, it’s a super solid dopp kit that I would have paid just about $40 alone, in all honesty (which would make the rest of the box all but irrelevant in terms of value, just about) except that it was a bit on the small size. Maybe my dopp kit is just a bit big, but this one was only about 2/3rds the size of mine. Because of that, I won’t be able to use it as a replacement as I have now become so used to carrying a ton of stuff in mine. (The other minor negative is that the bag seems to scratch or show marking somewhat easily.)
Mitch’s Shampoo and Styling Clay: Both of these products are really solid. I don’t use much product in my hair, but I used to, so I know a good one when I see one. This one is a good one. Has a nice scent to it, and will provide medium hold for hairstyles. The shampoo also has a fantastic scent, comes in a cool, pretty-unusual-for-shampoo tube-like container, and only needs to be used in small quantities to go a long way. Considering you should only be shampooing your hair about once a week — as it strips your hair of its natural oils — this single tube could last a super long time.
Dr. Squatch Gold Moss Soap: This was super cool. I’ve never used a “boutique” bar soup before — and have been using body wash for years — so this was an interesting change of pace for me. The scent was sort of minty fresh, and was enjoyable. Only two small complaints here: One, the bar was very large and square which made it hard to find a place to keep in the shower until it was used up a bit, and two, it got used up pretty quickly — faster than what I remember most bars of soap being used up. The whole thing was gone in under 3 weeks. I enjoyed it while it lasted, though!
Cremo Face Wash: I’ve been seeing more and more Cremo products around now that I am aware of them as a brand. This is a solid face wash. It’s not super scented, foams up nicely when rubbed in, and only needs a little bit to go a long way. There is no exfoliation here, though, as this is indeed purely a face wash. The regiment, then, should be something like this most of the week, and an exfoliating scrub once or twice a week.
Marvin’s Toothpaste: A small tube of toothpaste, with a light minty flavor, and a more pasty texture than most I have tried. As someone that has really only ever used Crest or the equivalent, it was super cool to use something like this toothpaste for a while. It was only a small amount, but it lasted quite a while. I wish the mint was a bit stronger, but that is personal preference.
I also got — I suppose as a bonus as it's not listed anywhere — these hangover vitamin/supplement things. Can't comment much on them, but stuck them in my medicine cabinet for a "rainy day."
Value & Conclusion
In all, my impressions of Bespoke Post so far are as follows: They are much more of a lifestyle box than a men’s accessories or clothing box. You’re not going to get a tie or pocket square here. It seems to be much more for all the other stuff a guy might be interested in — cooking, traveling, shaving and beards, drinking, and so on. This is neither good, nor bad, but just is.
What is definitely good is that the quality of the Bespoke Post items is significantly higher than those of the other subscription boxes that are much cheaper. You get a lot more in the box, and each item is of very high quality. Overall, Bespoke Post feels a lot more premium than the other services (though they need to work on their sheet inserts!).
That quality does come at a pretty hefty price though. At $45 a month (though with some Googling you can almost always find a coupon to bring the first month down to about $35) it’s almost double what some of the other box services cost. A whole year of Bespoke Post will run you over $540! That’s a lot of cash! Again, especially compared to the $300 per year many of the other services will cost you (like Gentleman’s Box or SprezzaBox — both of which are even cheaper if you commit to the whole year). Is it worth it, though?
Maybe. If you’re sure you’ll like what you’re going to get — which may be part of the reason Bespoke Post prefers no surprises — you are definitely getting your money’s worth here. There is less of a sense that they are playing games with inflated “retail prices” with Bespoke Post than the other service. There was for sure more than $45 of real value in my box, and all of the products felt like something I might well buy myself. This is not something that can quite be said as much for the other services, always.
Then again, the question isn’t only if the box was worth more than the $45 it costs to receive, but if the service as a whole is worth subscribing to or using, especially when compared to the other similar subscriptions out there. And to answer that, I will have to test it out for a few more months and see how it plays out, so be sure to check back with us for updates!