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The best—and worst—part about using Amazon Prime Wardrobe

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This is what it’s like to use Amazon Prime Wardrobe.

Amazon debuted its box-based, try-it-before-you-buy-it service Amazon Prime Wardrobe last summer. Now, it’s available for all Prime subscribers to enjoy. I checked it out to see if it was really as painless as it sounds, and I started with an area I have extreme difficulty shopping online: shoes.

If you already have an outfit that needs shoe coordination, it can be difficult to find a pair that matches the style and coloring—and fits properly—through online ordering. With Amazon Prime Wardrobe, however, I was able to pick a couple different possibilities and return the ones that didn’t make the cut.

Here’s how Amazon Prime Wardrobe works and what I learned along the way.

Amazon Prime Wardrobe ordering

Ordering products through Amazon Prime Wardrobe is quite similar to ordering products normally through Amazon Prime. However, not all products are Prime Wardrobe compatible. You can either search “Prime Wardrobe” in the search bar on Amazon to be shown items that work with the service or keep an eye out for the “Prime Wardrobe” option for items, like you see below.

Amazon Prime Wardrobe shopping, red shoe Amazon

Once you’ve found an item you like, just tap “Add to Prime Wardrobe Cart.” (Eagle-eyed readers may notice that on this item, there was a discrepancy between the Prime Wardrobe price and the normal buy-it-now price. Amazon seems to have fixed this issue, and most items I’ve come across now are the same price whether you choose to use Amazon Prime Wardrobe or not.)

is amazon prime wardrobe worth it Amazon

As you fill your Prime Wardrobe cart, you can tap to see your progress, which looks like the photo above. You can choose anywhere from three to eight items at a time. From there, you can place your order, double-checking your payment method and shipping address. When you’ve done that, you’ll get a confirmation screen that reminds you of the total number of items being shipped and the window of when your items should arrive.

Amazon Prime Wardrobe ordered page Amazon

Amazon Prime Wardrobe delivery

Because Amazon lumps all of your purchases into the same box, it takes a little longer—typically four to six days—to receive your order initially. And depending on what you order, it may arrive in a bigger box than you’re accustomed to receiving. From the date it arrives you have seven days to try things on and make a decision about what you want to keep. Once you’ve made a decision, you can hop into the Orders section of your Amazon account and make it official. Amazon will then charge your card for the items you plan to keep.

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(If you don’t go online and let Amazon know what items you plan to return, it will charge you for all of the items mailed to you. However, if you do return some unworn, unused items, Amazon will refund those purchases.)

Amazon Prime Wardrobe returns

Prime Wardrobe Returns Amazon

Because Amazon doesn’t know how many items may or may not be returned, it does not include a return label with your delivery. Instead, you’ll need to print one out through the website once you’ve selected items you don’t want to keep, and then affix it to the box.

The box your order arrives in has sticky adhesive pre-applied so you theoretically don’t need to spend time securing it with tape. However, I found this adhesive wasn’t strong enough to be trusted, so I used some extra tape across the top to ensure its contents wouldn’t spill in transit.

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Once your returns are packed away with a return label, simply take it to your nearest UPS Store (or schedule a pickup), and it’ll ship back to Amazon via UPS Ground shipping.

Is Amazon Prime Wardrobe worth it?

Despite all the changes Amazon has made trying to make its site a hub for fashion, searching and browsing apparel on the site still isn’t as easy as with a traditional retailer. Amazon’s wide variety of products is a double-edged sword: On the one hand, it means you can find a variety of similar products so you can find exactly what fits your needs. On the other hand, it can also make the process of searching for an item more overwhelming.

The ordering process, however, is dead simple, and being able to try on multiple items without heading to a retail store perfectly sated my inner sloth. Getting things packed back up and to the UPS store was a minor chore, but it’s about as easy as it could have been made.

In the future, I’ll definitely use Amazon Prime Wardrobe again. The ability to order and then try on several alternatives at once without immediately being charged was quite convenient. And hopefully, it saved a little bit on the box waste of ordering those items separately, too.

Looking for more help? Here’s what you need to know about Amazon Alexa and how to use Amazon Alexa as an intercom system, Amazon Prime Pantry, how to sell on Amazon, Amazon Prime membership and if it’s really worth it.

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.