Navigating through the rental company landscape does require a lot of trial and error. In my previous blog, I spoke about why I decided to use rentals as a sustainability option. I wrote this blog to tell you my experiences of the companies I’ve tried and my opinions about each of them. Once again, these are just my opinions. I’m sure other people have tried different companies and have different thoughts about them.
The one thing that is common about all the rental companies that I’ve tried is that they let you choose your own clothing. I am not a big proponent of ones that are reliant upon a stylist’s recommendations. I, personally, don’t feel like I need it. I am pretty set in my style and a lot of the time the stylists just don’t get me. But, I have a friend that swears by the stylist route so it is definitely a personal preference. Just choose whatever is more convenient for you and gives you the most positive experience.
The order in which I’m listing companies that I’ve tried is chronological, therefore I start with what I started first and the order in which I’ve tried these companies over time. I probably started trying companies some time last year. So it took me about a year to settle into what I actually liked.
The one thing that I love about Le Tote is the variety and wearability for work, in particular. They carry a lot of different brands, and they also have accessories (which is fantastic). I do think that their selection has a lot of versatility as far as very casual, semi casual, and business casual. Those are the categories that I needed most in my day to day life. Another thing I liked is that, for me, it was very affordable
The reason why I didn’t stick with it, at the time, is because I was limited to so many items a month. I just wanted to have more say in how many pieces I got per month. They may have changed this, but I’m not really sure. If they did, I probably wouldn’t pick it back up because it just wasn’t really my style, ultimately.
My List at Bloomingdales
I really liked this service, because they have very unique pieces. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. They just had funkier stuff so I thought it would be a good way for me to be more creative with my wardrobe through pairing these unique pieces with my basics. Also, the site had some good tools to be able to get a sense of the sizing. Since I was trying brands that I wasn’t that familiar with, their tools really helped. However, after I started wearing it, I just thought that it wasn’t my overall style. I did find the service to be easy to use, the customer service folks are very helpful, they delivered the clothes efficiently. If it were my style, I probably would’ve stuck with them. It is a little on the expensive side, but they do have some deals at times. I used them for roughly a couple of months and ended my subscription mainly because the style wasn’t my aesthetic overall
Banana Republic Style Passport
I love Banana Republic. I have been loyal to this brand for so long so when they came out with a rental service, I jumped at the chance to try it. Since I already have a relationship with the brand, I knew my exact sizing. However, they do have a really good size chart, which is very helpful. You get 3 pieces of clothing with each box, but you can get unlimited boxes per month. So when you return the 3 pieces you have, you’ll get the new 3 pieces. The return process is very convenient because you trigger the return process online and they use USPS. I just walk out to my mailbox. You also get your new clothes very quickly. The style is more up my alley. They are classic with a twist!
The one thing that is common among all three aforementioned companies is that they ship in boxes. I know that they are recyclable but I am just not a big fan of all the boxes! In my area, I have to break down the boxes into 3×3 squares and it is just a pain. I sometimes find myself throwing the boxes in the trash because I don’t have the time and patience to break down the boxes. It makes me feel terrible. I am currently using the BR style passport now, but I am going to stop my subscription mainly because of the boxes.
Rent the Runway Unlimited
This is the service that I decided to keep. It checks all the boxes for me. It suits both a sense of classic and unique style because of the wider range of choices. They have styles for a larger variety of occasions. I do go to a few formals per year and it has some pretty stunning pieces. You can also rent a variety of accessories, including bags! I am somewhat obsessed with purses and couldn’t afford most of the purses available for rent on their site. Let’s not forget the jewelry either. I suppose I see it as a piece of luxury and it’s fun for me to use a piece of luxury for a short while. I also love it because they come in reusable bags instead of boxes, which makes so much sense from a sustainability standpoint. I get an unlimited amount of clothes per month. The price is reasonable for my own budget. You can decide whether you think it’s reasonable for yours.
I hope this gives you a sense of some of the rental services that’s out there. There are so many that it is kind of hard to decide. If you are thinking about rental services, I also discuss why I like rental as a sustainability practice in an earlier post.