A Review of the Universal Standard Mystery Box

I wrote last month that I’ve had a Universal Standard dress on my wish list, specifically the Geneva dress. The colors are so good and the coverage looks perfect for work. There are certainly more scientific ways to get the dress (like, directly buying the dress), but when I saw that Universal Standard was doing a “mystery box” promo I found myself totally willing to gamble to get the dress for less money: the dresses mystery box was $90. So, being a pretty bad minimalist, I hit add to cart really fast. Here is my unboxing of the Universal Standard Mystery Box, the reveal of the dresses I got if I’ll be keeping them or not, and whether I think the box was worth it! Now updated for 2022!

The Geneva Dress

My impulsivity paid off and I got the Geneva dress! It was not totally by chance because after you purchase a mystery box US sends you a questionnaire about your preferences. The questions included colors you’re willing to wear and if you’re looking for warm or cold-weather options. This survey made me feel at ease, but I wished they had asked for length preferences, because at 5’11” mini dresses are just a no-go for me.

Anyway, back to the dress: it is AMAZING. The fabric is more luxe than a typical t-shirt dress, the marine color is the perfect teal, and the drape of the asymmetrical hemline is so cool. I plan to wear this with a blazer and wedges to work. I am unsure about the ability to belt it–thoughts?

The Spencer Slip Tie Dress

After I sent in my questionnaire, I got an email from US saying that if I put anything on my wishlist on their site they would take that into consideration as well (they also review your previous purchases so you don’t get a duplicate–so all around this is a pretty controlled mystery!). I added the Spencer dress to my wishlist because I am in need of a black evening dress for my formal clothes capsule and the pockets and tie waist appealed to me.

This dress turned out to be my true favorite: I’ve also wanted a slip dress for a while and without the belt it is perfect! I’m excited to try layering it with t-shirts now and long sleeves next winter as well. I think this could be versatile for travel this summer as well. Winner! If I was getting a mystery box in 2022 I would totally be wishing for these pants in a similar fabric.

A word on sizing: Universal Standard has their own size-inclusive sizing system, ranging from 4XS (a US 00-0) to 4XL (38-40). The system is really cool, and most dresses had the option to “see it in my size” when selecting images. I am wearing a 2XS (6-8) in all three dresses and found that to be the right choice in all 3.

The Misa Dress

I also asked for red and US delivered. This dress color is so cool. Unfortunately, the Misa dress feels way too short! It’s got a really awesome sweatshirt feel to it–the tie waist took a bit to get it looking ok, but I appreciate the waist definition. I wish this was a little longer because it would be my favorite for weekends, but alas, I will have to pass it on to a less-tall friend. Maybe I’ll do an instagram giveaway?

My dresses had a retail value of $335, according to the website. I know consuming more to get something on sale is probably a questionable practice, by minimalist standards, but this ended up being a really fun shopping present to myself and I would totally do it again next year in a different category.

This post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author.

6 thoughts on “A Review of the Universal Standard Mystery Box”

  1. Thanks for providing your review. Would you mind sharing when you placed your order? I ask because I ordered my mystery box (petite one only) on February 13 and it still hasn’t shipped. BTW: the Geneva dress looks flattering on your, especially with your hair color.


  2. I love how you show that brainy women can also be fashionable. The stereotype of “the frumpy professor” is out the window with your blog. I love US clothing, but mystery boxes were a huge fail this year. Glad yours were more successful!


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