Once upon a time, it was my own frustration that drove me to create Bluffworks. I needed a pair of travel pants that looked good enough to wear to work in New York City, yet were easy to take care of, like the travel clothes I wore when I lived overseas in Vietnam.
I didn’t think it was so much to ask, but at the time, stylish performance pants didn’t exist. So I made my own. I shared them on Kickstarter, and found a community of guys who were just as frustrated.
Since then, I’ve continued to tackle other problems in my wardrobe. And hearing what bothers you, what features you’re missing, what adventures you want to go on, all helps guide what we work on here at Bluffworks.
So a couple months ago, we sent out a survey. Here’s a recap of what we learned from you, and what it means for where we’re going.
Who you are & where you go
First, we learned more about who you are, where you’ve been recently, and what is on your wish list to visit soon.
Most of you are in the USA – in cities and along the coasts. New York City was a top travel destination, which makes the idea of creating a Bluffworks showroom here even more exciting.
The most represented countries for where you live are Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, Spain, and Italy. The same is true for where you want to visit. Go figure.
- Most of you travel several times a year, if not at least once per month.
- Your trips are usually 2-3 or 4-7 days.
- 30% of you never check a bag (ever).
- 81% of you are traveling for work at least some of the time.
- Most of you have a business casual dress code at work.
Understanding your lifestyle and travel habits helps guide our product development because those requirements mean garments need to be practical across the board – wrinkle-free travel clothes that are also, breathable, lightweight, and machine washable. Having clothes that look good at work, are easy to care for, and travel well is important because it makes your lives a lot easier.
What you wear & what drives you crazy
What you like to wear in transit makes a lot of sense: pants or jeans, with a short-sleeved shirt or button-down plus a layer, like a blazer. We saw a demand for travel clothes that can function well in both hot and cold, and have the versatility to be dressed down for casual activities as well as dress up well for more formal settings.
Because we’re so driven by solving problems, we found your challenges particularly illuminating:
- The top challenge is finding wrinkle free clothes that withstand daily wear just as well as being packed in a suitcase.
- Comfort is king: the preference for comfortable travel clothes was mentioned more than 400 times.
- You also want clothes that can be worn more than once, so ideally they should be odor and stain resistant.
- Lightweight is important, which is partly why you told us that packing shoes is difficult – it’s hard to have fewer than three styles, and they’re bulky and heavy.
You also let us know that you want more – more colors and patterns, more sizes, and more products, from outerwear to underwear to shoes. It was great to see what you’re dying for us to make (like a travel jacket and shorts).
We’ve released more products than ever before in the past 6 months: our Horizon Quilted Vest, Eardley Cap, Departure Jeans, Threshold Performance T-Shirt, Piton Polo, and Ascender Chino. These helped us offer more of what you’ve said you want and need – layers, casual wear, accessories, and more shirts.
And more products are in development to release this fall and next spring, so that we can continue to offer you options that fit your lifestyle and complete your capsule wardrobe. (Sign up here to stay informed about new releases.)
We also heard your hope that we stay focused and keep doing what we do best. That said, when something drives me crazy, that’s usually when I have the need to set out and address it.
Thoughts on Bluffworks
There were a few surprises in your responses, including what we heard about our proposed brick-and-mortar storefront in NYC. Beyond being able to try on clothes, almost half of you requested styling advice. We’re working on creating more content on our blog and social media with style guidance, so it’s great to hear what is helpful to you.
You also said you’d want access to travel ideas, inspiration, and resources if we had a physical location, and would love our advice on packing. More packing philosophy, tips, and lists are coming soon on the blog, too.
97% of you said Bluffworks met or exceeded your expectations, and 67% of you are wearing your Bluffs at least once a week. Wow. That’s amazing, and I’m so glad that we’re making things that you like to wear, and that work for your life.
“Stefan’s communications to those on the email list and in blog posts is also appreciated. It shows a real connectivity to the customers and you can tell he’s been in our shoes and just wants a good piece of clothing to travel with… The social media ads/presence is great and all the promises are backed up by a good quality product.”
We really appreciate your feedback – especially all the detailed comments you shared. It motivates us to keep working to create products and communications that serve your needs.
I have to tell you, running this company still isn’t easy. But it’s deeply gratifying and a hell of a lot of fun.
Thank you for supporting us and giving us your input. I’m really grateful.