We tried 3 clothing box services for kids for back-to-school season

PHOTO: Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids.PlayKidbox
WATCH We tried 3 clothing box services for kids for back-to-school season

As parents gear up for the back-to-school rite of passage, so are companies in the business of delivering hand-picked fashion to your door.

Subscription clothing boxes raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales last year curating clothes for adults. The trend is now expanding to include kids fashions with many companies introducing the service to appeal to parents of young children.

“I think every parent today is concerned about time,” said Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Parents magazine. “By the time you get in the car, go to a store, shop, come home, you can lose half a day. Kids subscription boxes solve all sorts of problems.”

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Mall shopping can grow exponentially challenging with the number of children in tow. Sarah Emley, a mother of two daughters, ages 6 and 3, recalls excursions that had to be cut short due to the girls’ unruliness.

“It can be pretty stressful,” said Sarah. “I’m usually doing it by myself. Big sister starts picking things out, then little sister wants it too and then they start arguing. If there’s a way to simplify the process that would be great.”

Krystle Wilson has two children, a toddler and a 5-year-old son, who she says can be very assertive when it comes to his style. To make things easier, she avoids taking her children out altogether and shops by herself.

“I really try to stay out of the stores,” she said. “They run this way and that way. It’s just keeping them contained is the hard part.”

2 moms try out 3 boxes for kids for their kids

Both moms agreed to try out three kids clothing box services recommended by Parents magazine for their older children:
Old Navy Superbox -- $60 for six items
Kidbox -- $98 for six to seven pieces of clothing
Rockets of Awesome -- $150 for eight pieces of clothing (price includes a $20 styling fee).

All three of the services required the mothers to fill out online questionnaires about their children’s size and preferences, then it was up to the companies to compile a selection of clothes to meet their needs.

When the clothing boxes were delivered, "GMA" obscured the labels and transferred them into neutral boxes, labeled A, B, and C, to make it more challenging for the moms to tell which clothes came from which service.

PHOTO: Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids. Kidbox
Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids.
PHOTO: Rockets of Awesome is a subscription clothing box service for kids. Rockets of Awesome
Rockets of Awesome is a subscription clothing box service for kids.

'GMA' unboxing experiment

"GMA" invited Krystle and Sarah along with their kids to the Parents studio for the unboxing. Krystle liked the clothes that came in the first two boxes but was not a fan of the third box.

“The style is wrong,” she said. “It’s not as cool as I would like. While she appeared to reject the clothes in “C” box, her son Lukas said he liked “everything” in the box.

After trying on his favorite outfit from each box, Krystle settled on Box “B," Rockets of Awesome as her top pick.

“It was the variety and not just each piece,” said Krystle, liking the way she could mix and match the pieces. “It was the curation of it all.”

Sarah and her daughter Emley liked most of everything that came in the boxes. The variety in garments, the bright colors and kid friendly patterns appealed to both mother and daughter.

“She loves bright colors, the brighter the better,” said Sarah, who appreciates the bright colors for a different reason. “Makes her easier to spot in the park.”

It was a different experience for the pair once Emley tried on the clothes, while Sarah initially thought "B" box would be her favorite, she found the fit on Emley disappointing. Nearly all the items were too big. She nixed the idea of keeping the clothes around in her cramped apartment until Emley grew into them.

“Clothing wise, I really liked C,” she said opting for Kidbox.

Kidbox won over mother and daughter with a shorts and top combination. Sarah was especially pleased that the shorts appealed to her daughter, who usually only likes to wear dresses.

PHOTO: Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids. Kidbox
Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids.

“These are great, and I can pass them on to Joy,” said Sarah expressing delight that the white shorts would one day make a good hand-me-down for her younger daughter.

While both kids said they liked the Old Navy Superbox best, the company told "GMA" it is suspending its box service and in a statement said: “The Old Navy Superbox was a test of a subscription service for kids that would deliver new styles to your door every three months. After testing this service out with our customers, we’ve decided to hit pause on the service for now. The last box for current customers will arrive between June 18 and August 23.”

What to know about these boxes

Kidbox

-$98 for six to seven pieces (if you keep everything)

-$14 to $16.33 average price per item

-Seven days from delivery date to review items before payment charge

-Size exchanges are free

-Comes with prepaid shipping label and envelope for returns

-Drop off at UPS store

-For each full box you keep Kidbox donates a new item to a child in need

PHOTO: Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids. Kidbox
Kidbox is a subscription clothing box service for kids.

Rockets of Awesome

-$150 for eight pieces (if you keep everything)

-Includes $20 style fee

-$16.25 average price per item

-Offers its own line of clothing

-Comes with prepaid shipping label and envelope for returns

-Five days from delivery date to review items before payment charge

PHOTO: Rockets of Awesome is a subscription clothing box service for kids. Rockets of Awesome
Rockets of Awesome is a subscription clothing box service for kids.