The World Wide Wardrobe

I have a large number of business ideas which I’ll never get a chance to turn into companies. For most of them, that’s probably just as well. Here’s one I’ve been thinking about recently…

Many people travel regularly to another city. Not regularly enough to have an apartment there, but sufficiently often that the process of carrying a suitcase of clothes back and forth is a real pain. I think what is needed is a way to have a wardrobe in the places you visit most often. I’d like to create a business which does this and the great thing is that I can just piggy-back it on existing services. Here’s how it works:

You go to a hotel, stay for a few days, and on departing you just leave behind any clothes that you’d like to stay in that city. The hotel laundry washes your clothes, and puts them in a specially design cardboard wardrobe, which is then picked up and put into storage. When you’re next returning to that city, you just call up or log on and say where you’ll be staying, and the clothes are hanging in your wardrobe when you get there. The cardboard wardrobe might have a special drawer for toiletries etc as well.

If you stop visiting that city, then for a modest charge, the wardrobe can be shipped back home, or to wherever your business is taking you now.

Neat, huh? Now, I was explaining this to a couple of lady friends of mine over lunch recently, and they pointed out that this was clearly a male-centric view of the world, because women would (a) want to have much more control over the precise clothing they had available for a particular trip and (b) wouldn’t want to leave valuable outfits behind in some far-flung part of the world. I suggested that part of the storage process could include an automatic photographing of each of the items of clothing, so you could see on the website exactly what would greet you when you opened your wardrobe in San Francisco, but they still seemed unconvinced.

For the average travelling bloke, though, I think this could work quite well. What do you think? Anyone feel like investing in an exciting new globe-spanning venture?

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My only concern would be that as a result of a mix-up I arrive at the hotel to find the wardrobe full of women’s clothing. It may be uncomfortable attending a meeting while wearing women’s clothing – unless by fortune they are a good fit.

Right on! It would work for me – in fact I had a similar idea, except picking up one’s wardrobe upon arrival to the destination airport and then dropping things off. Agreed that it’s unlikely to work for women…

I had a similar idea for a locker for your skiing clobber in your favoured resort.

Years ago, I read about a competing business idea that would rent clothes to travelers. You rent a car and a room, why not clothes? I think you’re correct that both businesses would be better off catering to men.

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