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clothing rental review

If you’ve followed my blog or Instagram longer than 30 seconds, you know that I love apparel rental services! I’ve been a Rent the Runway Unlimited subscriber since its inception over a year ago and recently started subscribing to Le Tote. The sharing economy has become a huge part of our everyday lives so why wouldn’t that work for clothing as well?!

Not only do clothing rental services offer you the opportunity to browse a closet full of thousands of designer duds at a fraction of the cost but also reduce the environmental  footprint of fast fashion society!  I’m breaking down the pros and cons of the two most popular clothing rental services, Le Tote and Rent the Runway.

Le Tote

Le Tote is a personal-styling rental service that sends you up to eight pieces to keep as long as you want, wear as much as you want, and then ship back to Le Tote for brand new pieces. Starting off, you add pieces you like to a virtual “closet”, Cher Horwitz style. Stylists then curate a shipment of pieces from your closet and style preferences. If you don’t like the selection or have a special event, you can trade your stylist’s picks for other pieces in the Le Tote inventory. Upon receiving the items, wear all the pieces as many times as you want. The shipments arrive with a prepaid envelope to send back the items.

There is no limit on the number of shipments you can receive in a month. If you fall in love with an item, Le Tote offers items for purchase at a significant discount. Le Tote is a month-to-month commitment and can be cancelled at any time with no cancellation fee.

 Pros

Membership Options Le Tote offers five membership options, including two options for maternity wear. Here’s a breakdown of the current plans:

Unlimited Classic

  • $59: 3 garments, 2 accessories (This is what I have and recommend starting out!)
  • $69: 5 garments, 3 accessories
  • $79: 4 garments

Unlimited Maternity

  • $69: 3 garments, 2 accessories
  • $79: 4 garments

Cost The cost of Le Tote is significantly less than Rent the Runway Unlimited. Starting at $59/month for the classic five piece option and topping off at $79/month for the eight piece option. The monthly cost does not include insurance or dry cleaning like Rent the Runway Unlimited, but insurance can be added on for an additional $5/month.

Shipping You don’t have to wait until the shipment arrives at Le Tote to make your next selection. As soon as you drop off your Le Tote return at the local post office, your stylist selects your next shipment which you can then confirm or trade out for different pieces.

Stylist  If you’re indecisive or really don’t like shopping, you may enjoy having a stylist pick out your pieces. Personally, I like to control what I receive and have traded out most items the stylist has picked for me. Depending on your personality, a stylist could be a pro or con.

Cons

Items: This is my NUMBER ONE gripe about Le Tote. When you receive items and want to ship them back, Le Tote requires you to send all items back at once. For example, I received a pair of jeans that I really liked, and I wanted to wear them for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, one of the dresses in my tote was too big, and I wore the third item, a top, once. Le Tote doesn’t allow me to keep the jeans and send the other four items back. Everything, besides the items you wish to purchase, must be sent back in the same shipment.

Selection: While the selection includes a variety of popular brands including Free People, French Connection, Maggy London, and BCBGeneration, most of the items retail for under $150. Most of the inventory is basic pieces that I would invest in or already have in my closet. If I’m going to rent clothing for a one time wear, I want to make a memorable statement (and Instagram post).

Sizing: For my plus size ladies, Le Tote only carries clothing up to size 16. Rent the Runway carries a wider size range, up to 22. If you’re interested in a plus-size only service, Gwynie Bee is a speciality plus size clothing subscription box carrying sizes 10-32.

Bottom Line: Le Tote is great if you want are building a wardrobe, need maternity options, or want to dip your toe in the monthly clothing rental service without making a large financial commitment.  Want to try Le Tote for yourself? Click here to get a free tote!

Rent the Runway Unlimited

An alternative to Le Tote, Rent the Runway Unlimited is a monthly subscription service where you pick out four pieces (recently upped from three), including accessories and handbags. (I wrote an entire blog post reviewing Rent the Runway Unlimited here.)The four items can be switched out individually, one at a time or even all four at once. You can trade the items as many times as you wish in a month. If you fall in love with an item, you can purchase at a discount.

Rent the Runway continues to offer their original one-time 4 or 8 day rental service called Rent the Runway Reserve. Pricing for the Reserved option varies based on the garment. The newly launched, Rent the Runway Update, is a clothing rental service that allows rental of four pieces for the entire month for $89. The difference between Update and Unlimited is that you keep all four pieces for the duration of the entire month then return them for new monthly items.

Pros

Inventory: One of my favorite perks of Rent the Runway Unlimited is searching the app for all the new arrivals. I’ve spent hours lying in bed oogling over the beautiful gowns available for rent. The expansive inventory is updated at least weekly. (Pro Tip: Download the app to get early access to New Arrivals.)

Featuring some of the most popular and trendy designers seen on celebrities and influencers, garments range in retail value from $75 to over $2,000 for every occasion from weekend to black tie. Most of the items are way out of my budget or too trendy for the investment price.

Convenience: Rent the Runway Unlimited allows you to send items back individually after one wear or 100 wears. You can keep a single (or more) item as long as you want, interchanging your other remaining items. I like this feature because I use one of my slots for a handbag that I carry for several months then returning.

Customer Service: Rent the Runway has the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. Comcast take notes! Customer service has overnighted my pieces that arrived defective or damages and sent pieces to my hotel room while traveling. Their customer service goes above and beyond to help you and make sure your items ar received on time. Just this week, they sent me an additional 5th item because of an internal error on my account.

Reviews: Former renters upload pictures and reviews, including height, weight, and body type, on each item. I find this helpful in finding style inspiration and the best size for my body type.

Physical Stores: If you live in one of the cities with a brick and mortar Rent the Runway store, you can return your pieces to the store and get replacement items the same day! They also offer same day delivery in Manhattan.

Cons

Price: With the addition of a fourth item to the Unlimited subscription, the monthly fee went up to $159. If you’re an existing subscriber, you’re grandfathered in at the original $139 price. The monthly fee includes insurance, shipping, and dry cleaning. This is significantly more expensive than Le Tote. Depending on your lifestyle, budget, and social life, $159 may be a steal or completely unrealistic. Seasons may arise in your life, such as an upcoming wedding, when Unlimited is a huge money saver. Since becoming a member in April 2016, I have rented tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothes and accessories.

Processing Time: You can’t select a new item until the item has been received and process at Rent the Runway. Shipments come in garment bags with prepaid 2-day shipping labels. Once delivered to Rent the Runway, it can take at least a day for the item to be processed and a new slot to open for a replacement item.   It has taken up to four days to process one of my items, but customer service was really great about providing a replacement item and an additional item. As the service becomes more popular, the processing time has increased.

Bottom Line: If Rent the Runway Unlimited option is in your budget, Unlimited offers the trendiest styles and brands at a fraction of the cost per wear.

TLDR

Both monthly rental services are huge time savers! If I had to pick one, Rent the Runway Unlimited is the better option for the high-end selection and convenience of trading out individual items. Unlimited is better for those wanting to try all of the latest trends and take style risks. Le Tote is good for those trying to build up a basic wardrobe but lack statement pieces that sets Rent the Runway apart. The service is geared more toward those that sprinkle trends in but tend to stick to practical pieces.

Have you tried either Le Tote or Rent the Runway Unlimited or another clothing rental service? What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment below.

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own.Jackson-MS

A couple of weeks ago, my sweet friend, Jordan Berecz, and I made the trip down to Jackson, MS to have a girls’ weekend and check out the breath-taking new Westin. Jordan and I met as random roommates at The Blog Societies conference in Chicago, and we instantly became friends, bonding over all things basic: podcasts, cycling, reality TV, etc. Jordan’s first time in Mississippi and my first time in Jackson, we had a full weekend of exploring the City with Soul and eating our weight in deserts! If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or planning a trip to Jackson, Mississippi, here are a few of our recommendations!

 

Westin-Jackson-MS

Char

Char was my favorite meal we had in Jackson by far! I like meat. A lot. Luckily, Char has one of the most delectable, juicy, and tender steaks I’ve ever had in my life! I also recommend the No-Filler Crab Cakes and the Double-Cut Fudge Brownie! This Jackson staple is opening a Nashville location in Green Hills early 2018!! *praise hands*

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Brent’s Drugs

In business for over 60 years, Brent’s Drugs, located in the Fondren District, serves up the best burgers, malts, and shakes in town! One of the many locations in the area used as a filming location for The Help, some of the movie props still remain as decor in the popular Jackson diner. I recommend the breakfast tacos! For a little after-hours libation, head to the craft cocktail bar, Apothecary, tucked in the back of Brent’s.

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Cathead Distillery 

Since opening in 2010, Cathead has become a staple spirit in cocktail bars across the South. Try out a distiller tour for only $10. I’m a huge fan of their pecan vodka! Note:The distillery serves beer, but Mississippi law prohibits the retail sale of liquor by a distillery. Cathead spirits can only be consumed on premise through the tour.

Luckytown Brewing

If you’re more of a beer drinker, head over to Jackson’s first and only brewery, Luckytown Brewing. With dozens of beer on tap in the taproom, you’re sure to find a brew to tickle your fancy.

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Dress: Free People via Rent the Runway; Sneakers: adidas; Backpack: Vintage Coach (Similar Here)

Natchez Trace Parkway

If you’re traveling from Nashville to Jackson, consider taking a leisurely road trip along Natchez Trace Parkway. Originally an American Indian foot trail, the 444 mile scenic drive spans three states from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi, passing right through Jackson.

Westin-Jackson-MS

With recent revitalization efforts and a booming restaurant scene, Jackson is a great weekend destination from Nashville and Atlanta!  Head over to Jordan Berecz to see five more must see Jackson destinations! Have you been to Jackson, Mississippi and want to share your recommendations? Leave a comment below!

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

Jacket: Cupcakes and Cashmere via Rent the Runway; Turtleneck: Target via Goodwill (Similar Here or Here); Vintage Suede Skirt via Goodwill (Similar Splurge // Save); Backpack: Vintage Coach (Similar Splurge // Save); Oxfords: Vince, old (Similar Here); Beret: Target; Watch: Timex (c/o)

I envy the fashion bloggers that pattern mix with such elegance and ease. If the eclectic print mixing of street style bloggers intimidates you, I have the perfect fashion hack for you. Texture mixing. A monochrome outfit in various textures gives the effortless chic look of print mixing without the effort. For instance, a black leather skirt paired with black lace camisole under a black velvet jacket gives  the “wow” factor when a lackluster LBD misses the mark. Think about mixing a dressy piece with an unexpected causal piece!

When shopping at Goodwill, texture is one of the first attributes of a piece that catches my eye. While I’m scouring the racks, I easily eliminate pieces based on texture. This skill comes with a little practice, but an item that feels like sand paper, has piling from excessive wear, or could be mistaken for cardboard probably isn’t the gold you are digging for. Running my hand through a rack of dresses is a huge time saver for a quick trip. To get familiar with quality textures, visit a department store or boutique and focus on how the fabric feels to the touch. Being familiar with flattering and quality fabrics will save time on your next Goodwill trip.

I’m heading on my first blogging road trip this weekend to visit Jackson, MS with my blogger friend, Jordan Berecz. (Jordan and I roomed together at The Blog Societies Conference in Chicago and became instant friends!) If you have any recommendations for Jackson or the nearby area, leave me a comment below!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

It has been a few months since I shared one my Favorites posts, so it’s about time I share with you a few things I am loving for fall.

1. Grow Gorgeous (c/o) I have lusted after thick, luxurious hair for years, and I have yet resorted to weave. I have tried all the things to make my hair grow, collagen, biotin, miracle shampoo, you name it. SkinStore sent me the line of Grow Gorgeous products to try, and I have seen a significant increase in the thickness and growth of my hair. My favorites are the Scalp Detox and Volumizing Shampoo.

2. Focus Keeper Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? Yeah, me either. It’s a time management technique to break down your time into 25 minute intervals separated by short breaks. The app makes the tracking and recording insanely easy for you! Though I think my multi-tasking skills are top-notch, I’ve been utterly amazed at how much I accomplish focusing on a single task for 25 miutes. (There is a paid version for $1.99, but the free version works great for me!)

3. Cults Podcast It’s not secret that I’m a podcast junkie! I’ve received a good amount of positive feedback based on my podcast recommendations so I’m including my newest favorite! In two-part episodes, Cults explores history’s most infamous cults (and their leaders).

4. Siete Chips There are tortilla chips then, they are TORTILLA CHIPS. Funny thing is that these “tortilla” chips aren’t actually tortilla at all. They’re all natural and paleo which basically means I can eat the whole bag in one sitting, guilt free. I purchase mine from Thrive Market (one of my past favorites) because they’re $1 cheaper than Whole Foods. Trust me, those $1 add up when you go through a bag every two days. Sign up for Thrive Market using this link for 25% off your first order! (FYI: Nacho is the best flavor!)

5. Rachel by Rachel Roy Earrings Hoops are back, baby! Though not traditional hoops, these fall favorites are dainty enough for everyday wear but also make a statement in a big way. I received these earrings in my first Le Tote and have worn them non-stop since!

If you have tried any of these fall favorites or have any favorite recommendations, leave me a comment below! I’m celebrating my TWO YEAR anniversary of Goldwill Digger this weekend! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for following along on my blog journey!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on or purchase through links included on this page, I may receive compensation.


Dress: Mica via Goodwill (Similar Splurge // Save); Shirt: MM Couture via Goodwill (Similar Splurge // Save); Clutch: Vintage via Goodwill Outlet (Similar Splurge // Save); Booties: Steve Madden; Sunglasses: Celine (MAJOR SALE!)

A couple of weeks back, I shared my four favorite fall trends, but what do you wear during that awkward transition time? We’re all itching to pull out the sweaters, booties, and scarves, but summer is a tough cookie, hanging on until the bitter end of September.  The shift dress is the perfect transition piece to shift from summer to fall.

One of the ways I shift between summer is fall is wearing warm weather clothes in fall colors. I picked up this shift dress for $6 during the summer as a seasonless workhorse for my wardrobe. The shift dress is a flattering silhouette, easily layered with other pieces, and flat out classy.

Not only does the shift dress have a laundry list of positive attributes, but it also can be spiced up with a statement sleeve underneath or topped with a leather jacket. When the weather turns colder, pair with a turtleneck (printed, if you’re a rebel) and tights. I prefer a shorter hem on a shift dress to look more modern and less frumpy.

If you’re looking for a seasonless shift dress, head to your local Goodwill or I found some great options under $50 below.  I’m heading to Pilgrimage Festival to see my forever crush/hall pass/#MCM, Justin Timberlake!!! Be sure to follow along over on Instagram where I will be sharing a LOT of my bad singing and dancing. Do you have a favorite JT song? Leave me a comment below! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!