Gentleman’s Box Review 4.0 (for November): Do We Have A Winner?
After last month’s subpar Gentleman’s Box, a lot was riding on how good (or not good) this month’s box would be. So, now that it arrived and I’ve had a bit of time with its contents, how does it stack up? Is it any good? And in comparison to SprezzaBox, its closest competitor, which has the edge over the other?
Well, let’s take a look at what the box had to offer.
The Box Contents
Barnabay shop blue polka-dot socks — $12: I feel like I say this about every single pair of socks I receive in these boxes, but the short version is: they’re fine, solid socks that are not at all worth their sticker price. I can’t think of many socks I would pay $12 for, but these would certainly not be one of them. Still, they pair nicely with navy, so great for navy chinos and a button-up shirt, or a navy suit. One more thing: They have a super strange (unique?) button on the top of one of the socks, and a button hole on the top of the other. In theory, I suppose this is to button one to the other so they stay together in the wash and in your drawer. In reality, no one will ever do this, and I think the button is a bit strange.
Air Tailor navy tie — $30: Look, I know that accessories is where a good majority of the money in the sartorial industry is made, but who comes up with these prices? With The Tie Bar in existence, no tie like this can be worth $30. Sure, it’s a fine tie, looks good, and would pair nicely with greys or blues, but it’s not any better than a Tie Bar tie, so why is it double the price? My other gripe about it is that it’s super skinny, and thus not something I would wear very often, but is still nice to add to my collection. Of all the items in this box, I like this tie the most.
Oak and Stone manicure set — $25: If I paid $25 for this I would feel beyond gypped. This collection of tools to help keep your nails looking good is the kind that you would keep in your suitcase or in your daily bag as an emergency backup, not the type you would use as your main, everyday set. I understand that being a travel item is likely what they were going for, but it’s still a pretty cheap-feeling kit that includes more items than most guys would need, and also lacks perhaps the most important tool of all: a cuticle cutter. Am I upset to have this? Not at all. I happily threw it in my suitcase in case I ever forget to bring my own, and considering that I did not pay $25 for this, but instead paid that amount for the entire box, I think this is a cool item to add.
Brooklyn Strong mustache cufflinks — $23: Solid-enough cufflinks, and this price actually makes the most sense of all the items. Seems reasonable for novelty cufflinks like this. But, that’s just the thing. I get it, Movember and all that, but I will never wear mustache cufflinks. Too gimmicky. Maybe some guys out there would, but not me.
Brooklyn Strong tie clip — $16: A bright orange tie clip, with no other frills. I like that it’s not textured, nor has some strange shape. It’s just a classic tie clip, but a cool color. I don’t know how much use I will get out of this, but it’s cool to add to my collection, and, like I always say, these types of items are a good reason to subscribe to at least one box service like this.
Air Tailor Trial Kit: I am not exactly sure that this can be counted as a sixth item, but it was included in the box, and so I’ll give a quick rundown of it. Air Tailor is a new, and pretty ambitious, service that basically lets you tailor clothes without leaving your house. You pin up the items the way you’d like them tailored by yourself, or you send in a garment you’d like the tailor to match, and then they tailor it to your specifications and ship it back to you. Risky? Yeah, I would say so. I am beyond curious to try it one day, though I would need to have the perfect item that I am not afraid to ruin, just in case. What is included in this month’s box is a trial kit, which comes with a bag, collar stays, a measuring tape, and some safety pins, as well as an instructional card and coupon code to try the service for the first time. In all, cool.
Gentleman’s Post: As is always the case with Gentleman’s Box, they include a mini magazine-like pamphlet that explains all the box’s items, as well as ways to style them each, and one or two “articles” on topics related to that month’s theme. This month’s theme was beards and grooming, and so there was a mini article on beard grooming, etc.
Value & Conclusion
This month’s box: I really hope I did not come across as too negative. As far as this box in particular is concerned, I think it is a fine box. It is worth the $25 if you found one or two items within that you really liked. However, I think, in this box, most will find that most of the items are just a bit too cheesy to actually use. The tie is fine, but it’s super skinny. The cufflinks are mustaches. The socks have a button on them, which, even though is not visible, is juts a bit strange. Plus, the color scheme is very spring/summer, not winter. Same goes for the tie bar, which is a bright orange. It’s something that I might wear every once in a blue moon, which I suppose is partially what services like this are for (items you would not necessarily buy on your own, but still might wear on occasion), but I am not even sure I would ever wear it. Then there is the manicure set which, sure, I threw in my travel bag. But, trouble is, the contents are not good enough to rely on them solely. I will always still pack my usual grooming tools/kit, so what purpose do these really serve? Yes, it’s a nice thing to have, but, in practice, I don’t know how much I will use it, nor any of the items in this box. Which leads me to the broader picture here…
Gentleman’s Box as a service: The more I have been thinking back to the last few months of receiving both Gentleman’s Box and SprezzaBox (and a whole slew of other services), the products I use the least come from Gentleman’s Box. In every single SprezzaBox there was at least one product that I put to tremendously good use. I can say that about only one product in all of the Gentleman’s Boxes that I have received (a face wash). In many ways, yes, this absolutely comes down somewhat to personal preference. However, it is my strong sense over the last few months of trying all these services, that Gentleman’s Box is the weaker of the two between it and SprezzaBox. The few dollars more a month that SprezzaBox costs (or not, even, depending on what sign-up deal you get), end up making it the better value. They include more products, better products, higher quality products, and, I think, more well-thought-out products. If you ask me right now, in a decision between SprezzaBox and Gentleman’s Box, I think I would have to give the edge to SprezzaBox. Again, I don’t think it’s a night and day difference, but I do definitely think that SprezzaBox is the better of the two services.
That being said, we’re going to work on a full write-up comparison between the two and declare a full and official winner in that article, with full reasoning and everything, so keep an eye out for that in the coming little bit.