Wardrobe NYC is a direct to consumer brand focused on basics with an androgynous bent.
In fashion, there’s always a lot of talk about curating the perfect lineup of basics. You always need the perfect pair of trousers, a tee that fits just right, that all-occasion blazer. It’s something that’s become as cliched as women’s fashion trying to be French.
That said, Wardrobe NYC brings something different to the table. It's almost a prescription for putting together a great outfit, no expertise required.
Here’s a little more about this encapsulated approach to dressing:
A Unique Business Model
The brand was founded just last year by Aussie fashion veterans Josh Goot and Christine Centenara. The duo set out to create something that they describe as the opposite of fast fashion, aiming to bring luxury to customers without the excess that comes with the label. Collections are sold in the form of a kit—men can choose from a five-piece or ten-piece sport collection or a four-piece or eight-piece tailored collection.
It’s not cheap, but at the same time, it might just feel expensive because you’re buying everything at once. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy one item or three items at a time like you would at a regular store, but that’s kind of where the charm lies.
Goot and Centenara created the line to serve as long-lasting basics that serve as a wardrobe foundation. As such, they’re all black—save for the odd white shirt here and there and will add a hint of quality to your daily wear. The eight-piece tailored set could be a minimalist’s full wardrobe—though it’s better suited as a basis for dressing. It’s $3000, but shoppers can pay in installments—and you’re getting a coat, a blazer, two pairs of pants, a sweater, a sweatshirt, a tee shirt, and a dress shirt.
There are no logos—which while par for the course with the tailored items, this is a real gift with the sportswear collection, which let’s face it, seems to be logo central between the Supremes and the Adidas and the rest.
So, What’s Worth Trying?
Clothing is generously cut, free from logos, and almost all black. It’s not quite an anonymous look, as you’ll get something low-key unique in the way these products are cut. When we flipped through the look book, we found that both the men and women modeling the clothing wore it a bit on the over-sized end of the spectrum. The pants have a relaxed yet tapered fit and the shirts aren’t exactly slim-cut. But they’ll flatter a range of body types, and we could see both collections—tailored and sport—working well for the millennial guy looking to upgrade his wardrobe and the older guy who values quality over flash.
The four-piece tailored set consists of trousers, a blazer, a tee, and a dress shirt—for $1500. Where when you upgrade to the eight-piece, you’ll get a coat, another pair of pants, and two sweatshirts, which almost makes it seem like a better value, as those added pieces will give you more wear than a black tee.
What’s the Downside?
In case you were wondering, you do select a size for each item, so if your top and bottom halves don’t fit into the same size, it’s nothing to worry about. That said, because they sell these items as a set, you can’t return one thing on its own if it doesn’t meet expectations. And, each piece costs on average, about $300, if you divide it up evenly—so that could potentially be a deal breaker for some shoppers.
We weren’t wild about the sportswear. We liked that the brand created sportswear that works for fashion people or the no-frills crowd, as there are a lot of obnoxious pieces of clothing that occupy this category. But, at $1000 for a collection of shorts and sweats, it kind of feels like overspending just because.
Several brands have brought a similar aesthetic to the table, particularly in this direct to consumer model—at lower prices. We’ll admit, the commitment to soft fabrics and timeless cuts is appealing, but we’re not sold on the sport collection.
We’re not really sure what customers think about this brand, either. Wardrobe NYC has no shortage of press. Kim Kardashian modeled the women’s athleisure collection and magazines from Vogue to W, GQ and the New York Times have all featured interviews with the founders.
That said, we were hard pressed to find any mentions from regular guys on the web—it could be the sticker shock, or there may be no reason to reach out to bloggers if there’s already this high-level coverage.
In the end, we think that the eight-piece tailored set is a good bet for a guy who wants to invest in some quality basics. It’s a little expensive—but a good coat, a reliable blazer, and a couple of pants you’ll likely wear a few times a week are investment pieces. The upside is, a few luxury basics will elevate your other—less luxurious—pieces.