Amazon Prime Wardrobe lets you try on clothes before you buy online

Online shopping, for all its charms, isn’t the easiest way to try on clothes. That might soon change, with a new service from Amazon called Prime Wardrobe, which will let its users wear a handful of items, then either make the purchase or send them back free of charge.

Currently in beta, the service lets Prime members pick between three and 15 items of clothing, then posts these out in a box. Once you’ve received the box, you’ll have seven days to swan about in the new threads before buying or returning.

Buy three or four of the items and get a 10% discount, or buy five and that’ll be bumped up to 20%. Or you can just send everything back without paying a penny. Shipping is free both ways, and there’s even an option to arrange a pick-up if you don’t fancy lugging a box of belts or wigs or whatnot to the post office.

Amazon isn’t the first company to pioneer this kind of service. Trunk Club, for example, similarly sends out a box to potential US customers, so they can try before they buy. Of course, Amazon is operating on a completely different scale, with access to a vast collection of brands. According to the company, over a million items will be included in Amazon Prime Wardrobe, from brands such as Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Adidas and Hugo Boss.

There’s no mention of whether Prime Wardrobe will make its way to the UK, and no specific release date for the service in the US. Users do have the option to sign up to be notified when Amazon Prime Wardrobe launches, however.

One aspect of the service that isn’t mentioned by Amazon is what happens to returned clothes. Seven days is quite a long time to try on a pair of shoes, for example. Will there be items that can’t be returned if they’ve been worn for too long? Will worn items be sold as second-hand through Amazon Warehouse? We’ll reach out to Amazon and let you know when we hear more about this.

The reveal comes a few days after Amazon announced it would be purchasing supermarket chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. This is also in the context of the Amazon Echo being seen as a big success, placing an Amazon-connected digital assistant in the living rooms of potential customers. Food, clothes, books… you can’t say Amazon isn’t ambitious in its plans to straddle digital and physical worlds as a consumerist behemoth.

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