The Chapar

Fancy your own personal stylist? Well now you can thanks to the folks at The Chapar – the personal styling service for men who promise to take the stress out of shopping for guys who struggle with style. The Chapar stylist will send you a ‘trunk’ of clothes to try based on your tastes and wants, straight to your door. You pay only for the things you keep. I’d heard of The Chapar through various blogs I follow as well as the general fashion grapevine, so I’ve been eager to try out the service.

For those wondering what the hell ‘Chapar’ means; Chapars were the original couriers during the reign of the Persian Empire, secretly delivering packages and message along dangerous routes.

So how does The Chapar work?

The Chapar service is really straightforward and can be completed in four easy steps:

Register with The Chapar – this involves a style questionnaire and clothing sizes etc.

Have a telephone conversation with your stylist – a great service that makes the whole service feel totally premium.

Receive your trunk of clothes to try – delivered to your door by a courier on a day convenient to you.

Decide what to keep and have the rest collected – by courier too!

The best bit? IT’S ALL COMPLETELY FREE

(The service that is, not the clothes you keep, obvs)

For my trial, the lovely Katie contacted me and we had a long 30-minute consultation about what I liked and didn’t, during a rather hilarious backdrop of Katie trying to catch a train.

I was impressed with the questions and the depth to which she goes to understand you.  We talked about my style across the board from business, to relaxing, weekend looks and personal grooming. We discussed my aversion to stripes, how I loved contemporary, clean styles, my favourites brands and my lack of any need for personal grooming due to the amount I already had!

After this, Katie created my trunk and had it delivered to my door. This was the first snag in the service – although a courier delivers it to your door, you have to be there between 9am and 6pm – an entire day! If you’re anything like me and don’t have the luxury of being allowed to have packages delivered to work, you’re in trouble. Luckily I had a day off work, thought I was going to be out a lot, and thank the Lord it came first thing in the morning.

The Chapar

The ‘trunk’ itself is a large cardboard box (smashing my images of a glorious Louis Vuitton trunk carrying my new clothes – a boy can dream can’t he?) and inside, carefully wrapped and presented were my new clothes.

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Inside your trunk you receive a personalised letter from your stylist explaining what you will find in your trunk, why it was chosen and how you should wear it. I was really impressed with this part of the service – it made the whole experience really special and you couldn’t believe you hadn’t paid for it to receive such a tailored level.

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The Clothes

So what was in my trunk? For the most part, Katie nailed my likes – I had blacks and navys in classic shapes and easy to wear styles. It did feel a little safe considering we had discussed my love of modern styles like Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Rick Owens – so to see multiple Sunspel items didn’t feel like the boat was pushed out too far (though the Sunspel styles were great).

The Chapar

There was a great ‘wildcard’ as Katie put, and awesome lady-print shirt from Hartford, which was great. It was fun without being too ‘out there’ and I was really happy that Katie had tried to push me, she had remembered how I like to try swapping one thing out in my style with something bolder to liven up my wardrobe and this was perfect.

I did find a striped T-shirt and grooming kit in my trunk, which was surprising considering I said I wasn’t a fan of myself in stripes and I didn’t need any grooming supplies. I did speak to Katie about why it was in there and, to be honest, I was pretty impressed with the response. She had tried to tempt me. The T-shirt did go really well with the rest of the trunk and would have provided multiple additional looks, so she wanted to see what I thought and in fairness she was right, the T-shirt was gorgeous and looked amazing with the Harrington – but out on its own, my stripe-phobia crept back in.

I also had three gorgeous jackets to choose from Hentch Man, Rains and Harrington.  There were a plethora of polos and T-shirts to choose from, all simple and classic and easy to slip into any part of my wardrobe. I did fall in love with the Harrington.

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Once I was done it was time to have the package collected – this is where the second snag in the service comes in. You have to be in from 9am-6pm to have it collected. So this meant I had to give them my work address and carry the trunk the entire way across London on my commute which wasn’t most pleasurable experience in rush hour – and these trunks aren’t light.

Overall I am so impressed with this service and 100% back it as a recommendation for anyone looking for help with their style. The brands are a little more premium than those you would find with competitor Thread, but the brands they have are fantastic and the quality is unmatched. I think as a fashion follower I have such strong views on my own styles so it would take time for Katie to really get it, but for someone who struggles, this service is unrivalled. Unlike Thread, you don’t get to see anything of what you’re being sent beforehand, so there’s no chance for veto. This has benefits in that it makes you try new things and not just say no to anything you are afraid of, but also means you can get a trunk that you may not like which is disappointing. If The Chapar can sort the delivery issue, using something like Collect+, then I don’t know why anyone would ever shop anywhere else or in any other way.

My top tips for someone using the service:

Think about what you’re dressing for – After our great conversation, I think I had given Katie about 90 briefs on my style. Think about what you need clothes for right now. Do you need a new office look? Something for informal evenings? Weekend fun?

Do it in stages – This way you will get the strongest collection of clothes to try. If you give to broad a brief then you might end up with half for one and a half for the other and not want either.

Don’t rush! – The great thing about the service is you can build this relationship with your stylist over time and get multiple trunks to build your wardrobe.

As a thank you for trying out and reviewing the service I was allowed to keep one item from the trunk – I chose the gorgeous Ampton sunglasses to replace my recently stolen pair of Bailey Nelsons.

Get your own personal stylist for free at thechapar.com

Have you used The Chapar? Were you as impressed as I was? Get in touch and let me know!

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Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.