How to Rent Your Wardrobe

Rent WardrobeThe latest trend at home (and on this site) is MINIMALISM, i.e. the act of decluttering and minimizing everything you own, especially your closet…aka the KonMari Method (the Japanese Art of Decluttering).  [SOURCE: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing]

For those who pulled everything out of their wardrobe and pared everything down, you may be in that state of not wanting to purchase anything new because you like how you have less clutter in your closet.

Then there are people like me who went through the first KonMari round with their wardrobe and still continue to KonMari the hell out of their closet to no avail.  I have a lot of things I do in life: work, play, relax, attend events, opera, theater, rock concerts, red carpet events, and so on.  Simply put, I have the socialite wardrobe…a versatile wardrobe that goes along with whatever event may come my way.  My wardrobe is prepared for anything.  That means I have a closet full of gowns for the red carpet, opera and weddings.  I have coats for the snow days, rainy days, extremely cold days and the special event coats.  I also have the closet for work and everyday wear.

In other words, I have the wardrobe I need to maintain the life I have.  Although, that also means I need a bigger closet!

After the first round of going through my closet, I was able to get rid of 5 large bags of clothing.  Now, when I wear something or go through my closet, I look for even more stuff that I can get rid of that does not bring me joy.  I am constantly trying to fine tune my wardrobe to get rid of the things I don’t need anymore.

But there are times when you feel like you may need something a little different, but loathe the thought of adding yet another piece of clothing to your wardrobe or spending a lot of money on it.  You’re afraid of going back to your old ways where you had more clothes than you had space.

Maybe you have a big event coming up and need a new dress.  Or maybe you have a hot date coming up and want something nice to wear for the evening.  Or maybe you’re a fashion blogger and need new pieces coming in on a steady basis for your blog, but don’t want the clutter or to break the bank every month.  Or maybe you just want to try out a new trend without truly investing in it completely.

Whatever your fashion need, there’s a way now that you can rent your clothes without a) breaking the bank and b) without adding to the clutter.

Le Tote offers wardrobe rentals for $59/month (Maternity boxes are $69/month).  You pick the items you like, a box is curated based on the items you place in your virtual closet (in your size).  What you get in each box: 2 shirts, pant/skirt/dress, and 2 accessories (i.e. 5 items).  Wear it as many times as you like.  Return the items for something new.  If you decide to keep the item(s) (or the box), you will be billed accordingly.

You can get $25 off your first box by using this LINK.

Sizes go up to XXL for Le Tote.

Rent the Runway has been known for years to rent designer gowns for special events.  They have now gone UNLIMITED.  What does that mean?  Like Le Tote, you can rent up to 3 designer items at any time.  Unlimited is slightly more expensive at $139/month (plus $29.95/year for unlimited shipping) because of the designers they use.  For instance, for my first shipment, I requested a $1,690 Reed Krakoff handbag.  I can keep the handbag for as long as I like and return it whenever I like.

You get a new item whenever you return an item.

Rent the Runway Unlimited is designed for fashionistas such as myself.  There are designer gowns, handbags, coats, jewelry, eyewear, dresses, workwear, etc.  It is ideal for me, because it saves me from running out to purchase new formal wear every single time I have an event.  I can just put in a request to receive a gown (or 2 or 3) along with the handbag/accessories to match.  Plus, I’m not stuck with the gown afterward.  (It’s very rare I get more than one wear out of a gown.)

If you are a handbag fanatic like me, you can use the service to rent handbags all of the time.  I think this option is great, because other services where you can rent handbags, the price is contingent upon the handbag you are ‘borrowing.’  For instance, at Bag Borrow or Steal, a Chanel handbag could cost you $350/month to rent.  It will cost you $350/month every month until you return the bag.

While Rent the Runway Unlimited doesn’t currently carry Chanel, allowing a $1,690 handbag to be part of the rental for $139/month and you can keep the bag as long as you want, return it when you are done (plus, you get to have 2 additional items out at the same time)?  That seems to be the steal.

Sizes go up to size 22 at Rent the Runway Unlimited, but keep in mind, the options grow smaller for clothing when the sizing goes up (hopefully, since this is a new service that will change soon).  A huge plus is that they do carry Eloquii!

You can get $20 off your first order by clicking on this LINK.

As for me, I subscribed to both rental services.  I am using Le Tote for workwear, so that I can have a few extra options to play with by mixing it in with my current wardrobe.  I am using Rent the Runway Unlimited for handbags, gowns, and dresses…mainly handbags.  I love handbags.  Gown season will be starting soon for me, so it’s nice to know I can order 3 items at a time for $139/month.  If you’re constantly returning items at RTR Unlimited, you could get up to 6-9 designer items a month out of that $139/month.  That is a serious savings.

The positives to this type of service is that it creates less clutter in your home.  You have a steady stream of fashion coming to your door.  You’re also not paying an arm and a leg for new clothes, especially major designer clothing.  For me, I could spend anywhere between $300-$1500/month on clothing and accessories.  That, of course, is the old me.  That kind of lifestyle was not only expensive, but it caused a major clutter issue at home.

Spending close to $200/month on rentable fashion without adding to the clutter?  To me, that is a major deal and stays in line with the clutter free life at home.  I can still have new fashion pieces coming in all of the time for all aspects of my life, and I don’t have to keep the items around.  After all, I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there like me that would buy something, wear it once, decide you don’t like it and it ends up getting donated.  Or maybe you get 3 wears out of it and then you decide you don’t like it anymore.  Well, instead of throwing it out…just return it to get something different.

The Way To Truly Take Advantage of Your Wardrobe

One thing you need to keep in mind is that these rental services should only be used to COMPLEMENT your wardrobe.  Buy the basics that you need.  Rent the stuff you don’t need.  Use the rental for special events or because you want to try out a new look.  Use it because you want to constantly have something different to wear beyond your go to basics.

The stuff you keep in your wardrobe are the items that bring you joy every single time you wear it.  These are the items that fit you perfectly and make you feel good about yourself every single time you wear it (oftentimes, you wear these pieces a lot).  The purpose of renting is to not add to your ‘things’ you have to take care of.  It’s to prevent yourself from continuing to add clutter to your wardrobe because you like a new trend.  Renting curbs your need to consume by adding more to your possessions.  Instead, you can indulge in your fashion passion without having to add to your clutter.

What I really love about Rent the Runway Unlimited is that I can indulge in my designer loves, especially handbags.  I could have a different bag every week without having to spend thousands of dollars on each handbag.  That, to me, was the major selling point, especially when I saw which bags I could try out.

Of course, if you like the item and want to keep it, you can buy it.  Because they are rentals, you can purchase the item at a discounted price.  That, in itself, is worth using the service.  You get to try it out for months (if you want) before truly committing to buying it.