Frank and Oak
Designed at their headquarters in Montreal’s Mile End, Frank, and Oak founders, Ethan Song and Hicham Ratnani “thoughtfully” design limited-edition clothes offered direct-to-consumer. Song and Ratnani set out to create a brand that has a positive impact on the world, while at the same time, helping men (and women, too) dress for success through a convenient subscription box model.
Frank and Oak aim to bring style to the masses with a less expensive product (most items are priced at less than $50 each), and as such, they created a subscription model that sends along some finds each month that you can pay for if you’d like to keep it.
How Does the Subscription-Based Service Work?
Capitalizing on the subscription box trend that has swept the e-commerce space, Frank and Oak offers a monthly clothing subscription where you can specify if you’d like to spend less than $150 or more.
Beyond that, the online retailer recently added a $25 styling fee plan, which you'll pay regardless of whether you want the items included in the box. The boxes ship out on the 1st of the month, and you'll need to give the company at least two days' notice if you wish to cancel or modify your box.
The competition is fierce for clothing subscriptions service. What sets them apart is the creative style. New for Spring 2018 is a line of high-performance fabric, drirelease®, that wicks sweat away from the body. T-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants they have added more casual clothes. They are known for being trendy and well-liked by their customers however if the trend ends you won’t find the clothes you love.
The price is variable and flexible, so Frank and Oak seems like a pretty good deal. At the same time, we’re not sure we’re totally on board with a subscription from one brand only—one’s closet needs some diversity, after all. As such, it’s hard to see this as a better alternative to something like StitchFix, which has recently branched out into menswear. That said, the F&O branding is pretty minimal—there are no logos and the bulk of the items
StitchFix provides a range of brands in each box, for the same price—while Frank and Oak’s box is JUST Frank and Oak clothing. Even if you’re in love with a brand, it’s hard to imagine a world in which a closet full of one brand of affordable knitwear fulfills all your sartorial requirements.
What’s the Quality Like?
Frank and Oak’s offerings have been compared to brands like Gap, Banana Republic, and more. That said, some of the clothes have a fast-fashion look to them—like the sweaters and knitwear.
The other issue is the customization aspect isn’t all that “custom.” The questionnaire is super basic and doesn’t dive into some of the finer points that may make or break your opinion of an outfit. There are three “style types” you can choose from—classic, casual, and creative. The “classic” package offers users blazers and jackets, but there are only five sizes. Same goes for pants—which run from a 28” waist to 36”.
Sizing isn’t necessarily going to be that great if you fall outside of the “average” height, weight, and build spectrum. That said, if the sizing works for you, this may be a good way to get some knitwear or an affordable pair of shoes, based on the site recommendations.
Well, What’s the Verdict?
This might be a good pick for the guy who cares about how he looks, but who dresses casually most of the time. Frank and Oak is affordable and is a big step up for men who don’t give the bulk of their wardrobe a second thought. For the man seeking out premium or unique items, this box might be a bust.
There’s nothing in here that really will make you stand out in a crowd, but that’s the point. Frank and Oak provide affordable essentials like chinos and casual button downs, as well as sweatshirts, tees, and even suits.
That said, this is another place to get basics—and they’re not exactly the best on the market. The suede Chelsea boots, for example, look at bit unfinished around the edges, and there’s not much diversity in sizing.