Amazon’s adventures in fashion haven’t usually set the world on fire, but it might have a more appealing option: have someone else pick your apparel choices. It just launched a Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe service that, for $5 per month on top of Prime, has a stylist choose clothes based on your tastes. You start with a survey that helps set your preferences and measurements (a tight fit, a retro look and a long torso, for example), and then stay in touch with the stylist through the Amazon app to fine-tune the selection. You get as many as eight of those hand-picked items in a monthly box (you can preview the contents) and pay only for what you keep beyond the one-week try-on period.
The service is currently limited to women in a wide range of sizes, including shoes from size 5 to 12. Men’s styles are coming in the near future. You won’t necessarily see all your favorite brands, but that’s not really the point — this is more about providing a helping hand to people who don’t have the time to shop, wouldn’t know where to start or want to try something outside of their usual brands.
It might stand a chance of success. Amazon has carried apparel for ages, but it’s far from a household name compared to fashion- and brand-specific stores. This would take advantage of its massive catalog and data to give you a personalized experience that many of those stores can’t offer — it’s not the same as having your own fashion consultant, but it might be close enough.
And yes, this pits Amazon against other companies who’ve had similar ideas. Personal Shopper is likely to clash directly with Stitch Fix, which offers similar functionality. The biggest difference, as Vogue explained, is the option to preview what you’re going to get. Whether or not Amazon prevails is far from clear. It doesn’t have the biggest brands, but its enormous resources and familiarity give it better odds than many competitors.