Recently I got the opportunity to have a private tour at the new Bonobos Guideshop in Houston's latest retail space, River Oaks District. Bonobos, an e-commerce-driven menswear shop, has brought to Houston an extension of their brand in the form a brick & mortar shop, but yet strays from tradition & provides a truly unique experience unlike any other. The second I walked through the doors I was greeted by my own Guide for the day, Bonobos version of a 'personal shopper.' Get this, every customer who walks in is assigned a Guide upon arrival, absolutely skipping the normal hassle of finding someone to help you out. The Guide is there to help you navigate through styles & fits to help you find the perfect item that works for you.
The space that Bonobos has created in Houston feels like a warm & relaxed hang out spot, which is accentuated by the plush sitting space & curated art on the walls. I felt at home & relaxed while trying to pick out the perfect outfit with my Guide. The store is filled with the wide range of Bonobos clothing & in every size, making it perfect for those of us who like to try on and experiment with different looks while shopping.
The uniqueness in this store lies within the fact that the Bonobos Guideshop is more of a physical fitting room to the Bonobos brand rather than a store. Unlike a regular store which is limited to whatever they have in stock at the moment, size & style preferences are more likely to be available as inventory is housed in a single location instead of spread across multiple stores. When it comes to purchasing, every item you pick is shipped free of charge with a quick turnaround. While this may be strange to some, I rather enjoyed knowing that I didn't have to worry about having that dreaded moment when I realize peeked my interested isn't available in my size! I could focus on trying anything on & having whatever I liked shipped to me.
I think every guy is happy to have Bonobos join the fold of the Houston's menswear scene. My morning at the Guideshop felt like hanging out with a new friend rather than being in a store with a salesperson. I left finding a complete outfit that fit like a glove & it all showed up at my door three days later. Guys who are skittish of retail shops will definitely enjoy this unique store. Next time you're at River Oaks District take the time to check out this great brand.