Since moving to New York two years ago, I've developed an insatiable appetite for trendy and fashionable clothes. I mean, come on—it's one of the fashion capitals of the world. I'm always on the hunt for pants with bold patterns and prints, poofy-sleeved tops, and yes, neon cowgirl boots (yee-haw). In the past, I'd shop at fast-fashion behemoths like Zara and H&M to beef up my wardrobe and keep up with trends, but shopping at those retailers comes at a high cost, not only to our wallets, but to our well-being and the environment. In an attempt to quell my fast-fashion guilt and to avert billions of textiles from landfills, I decided to give subscription clothing rental company Nuuly a whirl.
That way, I could still try out new styles—but then return the pieces after a few wears (versus buying new styles for cheap, and then leaving the items to pile up and gather dust in my closet). It seemed like a win-win situation for me, so I was excited to test it out.
How does Nuuly work?
Nuuly is a clothing rental subscription service, so depending on how you set up your membership, you get a box of curated clothing items to rent for a month before sending them back (or purchasing at a discount if you'd like). On Nuuly.com, I was able to browse through thousands of pieces, from bright maxi dresses to patchwork blazers to plunging jumpsuits. All of the items are categorized into groups: tops, shorts, skirts, pants, jackets, etc. After getting a taste of the site's offerings, I signed up for an account by creating a profile (name, delivery address, all of the basics) and was prompted to set up a payment method ($88 per month).
From there, I was guided to Nuuly's closet, where I was asked to choose six pieces of clothing. You can't rent accessories, but subscribers have the option of choosing up to two extra items for an additional cost of $20 per item—the cart total can't exceed eight pieces, though. What's more to love about Nuuly? No matter the original price tag of the item, whether it's an $800 jacket or a $275 cardigan, the monthly rate is fixed to $88, so you'll get to wear high-end clothes minus the price tag.
After confirming my selection, my pieces arrived within a week in a reusable zipper bag, which conveniently comes with a return label. Once your time is up, you can ship your package back and there are no extra fees for returning items early. Simply switch your bill date to an earlier time. If you're renting Nuuly for a special occasion (think: wedding, vacation, baby shower), I'd recommend ordering a few days in advance as a buffer in case of shipping delays.
Nuuly's Clothing Selection
I was surprised to find a wide selection of clothes, ranging from my favorite brands (ahem, Farm Rio, Sachin & Babi, and Anthropologie) and new ones, too. As a 5'1 shortie, I appreciated Nuuly's petite collection, which offers a myriad of dresses, knit sweaters, flow-y skirts, and fun-shaped coats. While browsing, I love that I can check out new brands, while shopping my favorite ones. I added three summer-y dresses (this was back in August, just FYI), two jackets (one checkered fleece and a corduroy puffer), a turtleneck sweater with ladybugs, and an abstract sweater from Farm Rio.
If you're experimenting with your fashion or need a helping hand, you can use Nuuly's lookbooks to shop curated 'fits, from fall textures to menswear. When choosing these pieces, I was surprised by all of the sizes that were available to rent. Compared to other subscription clothing companies I've rented from in the past, Nuuly actually had my sizes in stock for the items I wanted to rent. Once I'm done wearing this batch, I'm excited to return them to pick out new pieces, as Nuuly is constantly adding new styles to their online collection.
How much the clothes actually cost?
- Vigoss Corduroy Puffer - $109
- Farm Rio Abstract Print Sweater - $175
- Hutch Take A Bow Tulle Mini Dress - $260
- Maeve Buttoned Turtleneck Sweater - $120
- If By Sea Harlequin Fleece Jacket - $125
- Rolla's Eve Linen Midi Dress - $109
My Honest Opinion
Overall, I enjoyed using Nuuly for its ease of use, packaging, and clothing selection. For everything you get, it's worth the $88 price tag. I'd recommend Nuuly for anyone who wants to make a statement with bright and fun clothes, to experiment with their personal style without the financial commitment, or for those who are looking for an environmentally-friendlier way to dive into fashion. You can begin the process of renting by building you profile here. And! W+G readers get $20 off their first box using the code WG20 (this deal expires by the end of 2022, so you've got a couple months!).
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