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We Tried It: MM.LaFleur's Bento Box , a New Way to Shop for Clothes

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What it is: MM.LaFleur, home of classic wardrobe staples with a stylish twist, recently launched MM Bento. Take their online quiz to determine your perfect togs, and get a box of four to six stylist-chosen pieces to try

Who tried it: Regan Stephens, Photo Editor

Regan Stephens
Courtesy Ben Trivett

Why I did it: A few weeks ago I went to a bridal shower wearing a black shift dress I bought soon after college. I realized everyone at the shower has seen me in said dress too many times, over too many years. ‘It’s a classic’ is a thing I keep telling myself when I think about how it’s older than a Jonas Brother. (The youngest one, but still.) Time for a wardrobe refresh.

Level of difficulty: 1. Easy! Click through a few questions and a box of options arrives at your door. They even take out the pressure and the tough-decision aspect. (‘The black or the red? Black? Red? I’m exhausted.’)

I go to an office twice a week, and the other days I’m with my 3-year-old and sport what I’ll call ‘fancy loungewear.’ Read: black sweatpants. It makes the days I’m in the office that much more fun to dress up. Only lately I’ve started to feel the tedium of the black shift dress and its ilk, and between work and play dates, toddler ballet classes, and grocery runs, it’s tough to dedicate time to shop for myself. Also, my usual shopping haunts don’t come with a personal stylist.

MM.LaFleur Bento Box
Courtesy Regan Stephens

Enter MM.Lafleur’s Bento Box. It’s not a subscription service (unless you want it to be), rather a one-time delivery of stylist-curated clothing and accessories. I answered about 10 multiple choice questions — What’s my weekday style? My job title? Crushing it! I only stumbled on one trick question: ‘Which one of these women do you admire most? Gloria Steinem? Tina Fey? Beyonce?’ HOW DO I ANSWER THAT? Like any right-minded American I bow down to Bey, but I do love Tina Fey’s humor and glasses. And Gloria Steinem is a pillar of the feminist movement. Seriously, though, the only semi-tough question to answer was my bra size, and that’s because I sit in an open desk newsroom surrounded by nosy journalists. But I was mature about it. (I swear.)

I chose a day, and the box arrived with a lovely knit scarf, a sweater so sumptuous it feels like a chic hug, and dresses upon well-cut, beautifully-designed dresses. No traipsing to the store, no unforgiving fluorescent lights, no pushy salesperson. There’s something so luxurious about opening a package of hand-picked clothes that I didn’t specifically choose.

The verdict: It’s love at first Bento Box. Filling out a Buzzfeed-like quiz that results in a new favorite dress or a whole wardrobe overhaul sans pressure couldn’t be easier. Prices are on par with J.Crew, and most of the dresses are made in N.Y.C. You have four days to decide what you’d like to keep and send back, so make sure to order the box on a day when you have the time to try everything on and package up the pieces you’d like to send back, otherwise you can be charged for extra days.

When I got the box and I played dress-up in the comfort of my bedroom, my daughter offered her input: ‘Why are you wearing that beautiful dress?’ She might as well have said, ‘Lose the sweatpants, Mom.’

How do you like to shop for clothes? Would you want someone to build a box of items for you? Share your thoughts below.