I never considered myself a subscription-box kind of guy.
There’s just no product I’ve ever felt I needed sent to me once a month.
Throw away a pair of dress socks simply because my entire heel is sticking out of a gaping hole, you say? Na. If no one sees it, who cares?
Well, many people care, actually. At the top of the list: any person you’re trying to take home while wearing said socks. One look at those threadbare rags might put the kibosh on your second-date prospects. So I decided it was time to up not only my foot-garment game, but my entire toybox of sartorial finishing touches.
Since I don’t have time (read: am not willing to make time) to go out and buy these kinds of products, I decided to have them sent to me, via SprezzaBox. The monthly subscription service sends fashion accessories for $28 a month, or $25 a month if you sign up for a full year.
SprezzaBox 1 (3 images)
If “sprezza” isn’t part of your daily vocabulary, it’s an abridgement of sprezzatura, an Italian word meaning “studied carelessness” that has been a staple in the world of menswear for decades. And “studied carelessness” is exactly what I was hoping for: a style upgrade that people would take note of without attracting comments like, “Someone looks fancy today!”
Opening the first month’s parcel, I was presented with a card that detailed the contents. “The Essex,” as they called it, included a surprisingly handsome speckled tie, a red bandana pocket square, chunky knit socks, a leather cord taco, a credit card multi-tool (knife edge, saw blade, wrenches, etc.) and a 3-oz. stainless steel flask.
As their December edition, the choices of a wool blend tie, thick socks and hooch holder were welcome. And to my surprise, there was only one item that I wasn’t immediately itching to try out; cord tacos just never struck my personal fancy.
And that's really the crux of Sprezza's value proposition: even when a box included an item or two I wasn’t enthused about, I still felt like I was getting a good deal. There was never a month that I didn't receive at least $30 worth of accessories I’d use on the regular. Usually, that meant a decent pair of socks and a tie (both came every month, with one exception). My favorite tie, a semi-eccentric floral pattern from Nick Graham, is available by itself on their website for $49.50, aka double the price of a box, and a steal for a piece I’ll be wearing to every wedding this summer.
Sprezza Box 2 (3 images)
As for the grab-bag of accessories that round out the packages, those are a little more volatile. If you run into me on the street, chances are I’ll have a pocket flask or multi-tool on me. Another month’s smartphone armband, meanwhile, is the kind of thing I’ve always wanted but never committed to buying.
Caveat emptor: there will be months that don't agree with you. March’s L.A.-inspired “The Venice” netted me a sunglasses-shaped lapel pin, stackable bead bracelets and a NATO watch strap ... items a little more, well, L.A. than I’d normally wear as a New Yorker (that said, “The Venice” box is also where the Nick Graham tie came in). But that month was the exception, not the rule.
At the end of the day, if you want a subscription box that delivers you accessories tailor-made to your specific sense of style every month, you’re going to come up empty-handed. But if you’re anything like me — curious, but not sure where to start when it comes to expanding your dressing options (or simply don’t have the time) — SprezzaBox is a solid place to start.