What is Bespoke Post and how does it work?
Bespoke Post is a monthly service and online storefront offering select “time-tested, small-batch, or otherwise remarkable gear.”
It's like a Beer of the Month club. Only Bespoke Post is a Manly Wares of the Month club.
On the 1st of each month, you'll be sent an email with the current offering. If you want the box you don't have to do anything. It'll automatically be shipped to your door (shipping is included in total price).
If you don't want that particular box, you have until the 5th of the month to skip it and not be charged for that month, or switch the box out for another.
Choosing my box
I was contacted by the company, asking me to review a complementary gift box. After browsing their website, I was intrigued by the service and figured I'd give it a whirl to be the guinea pig for anyone interested in a service like this.
They provided a link to the page with their current offerings and I was asked to select a box, along with any color or size preferences.
A few boxes that I really liked had one or two more expensive items, but I didn't think they'd make the best choice for a review. Others contained items I already have, like their shoe care kit, or don't use often, like a shaving kit, haha.
Along with the box I eventually chose, a few other boxes offered currently really stood out:
- Lather – Badger hair shave brush with stand, shave soap and mug, and a pre-shave oil
- Worn – Vegetable-tanned leather belt with silver-plated nickel buckle and a brass money clip
- Polished – 2 buffing brushes, 2 polish applicators, suede brush, leather conditioner, 1 black and 1 brown cream polish, wax polish, and chamois
It was a tough choice, but I eventually decided on their “Stow” box as it had a wide variety of items for me to review and would help me stay organized.
Send it over!
After making my selection, customer service responded within the hour to confirm my order and provide an estimated shipping date. The box actually left their facility a few days early and reached my doorstep in just a couple more.
Behold the unboxing!
I was pleased to see that the box was in good condition upon arrival. They use custom packaging bearing the Bespoke Post name and logo. The sticker used to secure the flap was even specific to the box I selected.
I cut the box open, lifted the lid, and was greeted by a box-specific booklet. This document contains a description of each product, and sticking with the organization theme, tips on decluttering and paring down your wardrobe and other possessions.
It's clear that a lot thought goes into putting these boxes together.
Pulling back the packing paper revealed all of the contents in good condition – phew!
My Stow box contained:
Utility roll by Line of Trade
I'm instantly reminded of tool kits you see in classic cars. I can just imagine a vintage Jaguar at a car show with the trunk open, original tool kit proudly displayed, waiting for the judges.
The utility roll is made of a tough canvas that's sure to get better with use. The outside bears a single patch with the manufacturer's logo and a closure strap. The inside consists of 6 pockets, one of which is fastened with velcro to secure those valuable or easily lost items.
If I had one gripe with this product, it'd be the single row of stitching used in construction. This doesn't necessarily indicate low quality, but I'd expect a utility product to be double stitched. I'm sure it'll hold up just fine, though.
I plan to use this roll while traveling to carry my watch, comb, and any other odds and ends. I could see this being handy for art supplies, a dedicated car tool kit, or to protect a watch collection.
3-in-1 Screwdriver by Miller Cast Products
One phillips and two flat head drivers in one compact design. The cap unscrews to reveal a small flat head contained within the body. Then the flat head unscrews to reveal an even smaller flat head. Sort of like those nesting Russian dolls, only useful.
The body is made out of sand-cast brass, what appears to be stainless steel for the tips, and aluminum for the cap.
I already have a fairly extensive tool kit in my apartment, so I think I'll keep this in the car or with the camping gear.
Carpenter Pencils by Line of Trade
Who doesn't feel a little more manly while using a carpenter's pencil? Every time I have a construction project at home, I'll always dig through my tool box to find a carpenter's pencil even though I have a standard #2 at arms reach.
Also, you sharpen them with a knife. Doesn't get much cooler than that.
Waterproof Notebook by Field Notes
I'm super excited about this one. Field Notes claim that this notebook, the Expedition, is “pretty close to invincible.” Not only is it waterproof, the synthetic paper is tear-proof. After putting a modest effort into tearing a page with no success, I have high hopes, but only time will tell.
Although I really like the convenience of a smartphone, I still like to do some things the old fashioned way. There's just something more satisfying about hearing a fountain pen scratch across paper as you conquer items on your To Do list.
I'll be keeping this in my jacket pocket for my trip to StyleCon this weekend. I'll need to take notes and don't want the presenters to think I'm playing games on my iPhone.
Chapped Lip Remedy by Buckler's
The label states “optimum hydration, no shine, nutrient loaded, long lasting formula.” After reading through the ingredients, I would say that sounds quite likely.
It's made up of only natural oils, butters, beeswax, and vitamin E. Nothing in there to irritate or dry out your skin and plenty to help heal and protect chapped lips.
This stuff is thick, in a good way. My first application was a little heavy handed, but I easily wiped away the excess. There isn't any overpowering scent, just a slight tingle from the peppermint that appears after a few minutes.
My wife tried it on and declared “needs more shine.” That means it's perfect for us guys.
This stuff would've been extremely useful this past winter, but I'll likely get a chance to use it this summer after accidentally spending a little too much time in the sun.
Cologne (1.5 mL) by L’Etat Libre d’Orange
I wish I had a better nose to give you the full experience, but I'll do my best. The orange is obvious with this scent. Next is some kind of spice. It smells rich and luxurious, not at all synthetic like most department store fragrances.
Moving on to the package for the expert's rundown of fragrance notes. They list blood orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, musk, and leather.
To sum it up, I would say that the scent is masculine and fresh. Great for spring and summer.
Is it worth the cost?
At $45 per month, the service isn't exactly cheap, but it isn't very expensive either. Especially when you compare it to your other expenditures like cable TV, phone plans, and fast food habits.
A little work on Google provided me with the cost to assemble this kit on my own – about $15 for a utility roll (not a cool as this one), $7 for the chapped lip remedy, $10 for the screwdriver, $10 for the notebook, and the cologne is $150 for 100 mL (the sample is 1.5 ml), and a couple bucks for the pencils.
So it's looking like we're just about breaking even on the Stow box. But, that's before you factor in the shipping costs if you were to order these products separately. Not to mention the time and effort you would need to spend to select these items.
A few of the boxes would definitely cost more to purchase on your own (like the “Roast” box noted in the section below).
You really aren't paying for the sum of the individual parts, though.
The value is in the experience and convenience. You have a team of people scouring the world for fun and interesting products and putting together a unique experience to introduce you to new hobbies and to help develop new manly skills.
Past boxes I wish I had
Cafe – French press, milk frother, coffee beans, and tea leaves
Churchill – Custom pack of 4 different cigars, wooden ash tray, den candle, cigar cutter, and cedar spills
Is Bespoke Post for you?
If you're the type of man who's extremely meticulous about his purchases (i.e., spends 2 months researching a wallet before buying), this may not be for you. Putting these kinds of decisions in someone else's hands may leave you feeling a little anxious.
If, on the other hand, you're looking to broaden your hobbies, skills, and interests, I think a Bespoke Post subscription would be a lot of fun. Each month you'll be exposed to something new and interesting without any additional effort on your part.
One month you could learn traditional wet shaving, how to french press coffee the following, and then become a wine connoisseur the next.
A subscription would also make one helluva unique gift. Or you could start dropping hints that you would like something like this for yourself (my birthday is in August, btw).
So go check out Bespoke Post, browse through the boxes and storefront, and let me know what you think.
I'm off to pack up my utility roll for my trip to StyleCon now.
Until next week,