A few weeks back I asked for your input in this post regarding a clothing rental service to try. LeTote was the official winner and I ordered my first tote at the beginning of this month. Below is brief review of my experience to date.
If you’d like to try LeTote for FREE, please use this referral link!
You will get a tote FREE for a 14-day trial. If you choose to subscribe, I will receive a $25 referral credit after your first paid month. No cost to you if you cancel prior to the end of your FREE trial period.
The registration process is quite straight forward, you can register online with either an email address or Facebook. Next, you fill out a profile specifying the:
- top, sweater, jacket, pant and dress styles you would wear; all from a choice of 8 options
- jewelry you prefer; everyday or statement
After that they ask for your standard sizing, bra size and height, as well as how often you’d like to focus on various occasions: work/business casual, weekend or date night. You enter a zip code which helps provide climate information and lastly choose your rental plan:
- $59: 3 garments and 2 accessories in every tote
- $69: 4 garments in every tote
- $79: 5 garments and 3 accessories in every tote
NOTE: Maternity plans are also available.
The First LeTote
Upon completing registration, my initial closet was ready for review in very short order – a matter of minutes. Truthfully, I found it to be a little blah.
I liked the sundress but it was much too summery for current weather in Northeast Ohio, the shirts were all meh and the fold over top leggings are on par with what I already wear working from home. The first pair of earrings I liked – they are a bit longer than what I normally wear but I thought they were cute. The second pair….N-O… just too much for me. The third pair was interesting but just so long!
At this point I entered the closet swap function and came up with this new tote:
I was looking for a couple things: whole outfits and things that were outside the range of my normally classic wardrobe. I was really drawn to the embroidered Kut from the Kloth Jeans and red jacket. The embroidery is trendy and the bold red is a stronger color than I normally wear. I added the small blue House of Harlow studs as an accent for that outfit. I wore the outfit to lunch with a friend and also out for dinner with Natty Guy later that night. It felt great and got positive feedback from others A win!
I planned to wear the next outfit to a work meeting and thought I’d pair the top with jeans on the weekend. Again small patterns are not my “normal” go-to so I thought they’d be fun to try. I also typically wear knits instead of blouses. Sadly, the trousers were much too big so I paired the top with a grey skirt for my work outing. Again, I was pleased with the blouse as something a bit different. Oh, and those earrings! I loved them! It took a moment to get used to feeling my earrings move around so much but I really liked the overall look.
For the last outfit I chose a dress as we were attending a fundraiser that weekend. I was warned by LeTote that the fit might be a bit small in the chest, which it was, but I was able to get it zipped and on. At the last minute I learned the event was much less dressy than I had anticipated but still wanted to wear the dress so I toned it down by ditching the necklace and pairing with a black cardigan and boots.
Having felt that the first tote went pretty well, I was excited to pack things up and get on to LeTote Number 2. Very shortly after the return package was scanned by USPS, I got a notification that my next tote was ready for review.
LeTote Number 2
So. This was what I found as my prepared LeTote Number 2. I like the jewelry and the clutch (although have no appropriate event for it at the moment). The long cardigan looked fun but I wasn’t sure how to wear a coat over it. The rest I’m just not feeling. The pink skirt is cute but too short for me. On a funny side note, I did see it on a local newscaster this week so apparently she uses LeTote as well. A blue button-down? So basic. Green sweatshirt and bomber. OK, but just not really feeling them.
I went back to swap mode to see what I could come up with but sadly this time only a handful of items I had starred in my closet were available. Several of those were summery items. After a bit of gnashing of teeth, I came up with this:
The little dress looked cute, albeit my typical style. The bomber (reversible if the flower print is too much) and mock neck were my “slightly out of the comfort zone” pieces. I thought I could see myself in the waterfall vest and the black top was much like what I already wear but I needed to fill in one more piece. As you can see, the jewelry stayed but I swapped the clutch for the earrings that match the necklace.
To date, I’ve worn the black top and vest as well as the dress. The dress I love – comfy, cute, OK for a casual work meeting or on the weekend. I paired it with a black turtleneck, tights and riding boots. The black top is nice but very in line with what I already wear. The waterfall vest was a miss. It’s either slightly too big or just has too much fabric for my frame. Also, it sheds like crazy! Am hoping to test the turtleneck and bomber this weekend. At first glance the ribbing and color of the turtleneck make it read a little cheap. And I’m not the biggest fan of mock-neck styles. We’ll see. The jacket is cuter in person but am not sure I’ll be brave enough to wear it floral side out!
Pros & Cons
- Fast. Turnaround times were great. It’s just minutes from registration to tote access and, for a second tote, just minutes from the time your return package is scanned to tote access. Once finalized, my totes arrived in 2 days.
- Easy. They enclose a pre-paid return bag for your convenience.
- Items in decent condition. Nothing seemed too worn or used. There was a small tear in the lace hem of the cocktail dress in my first tote which was marked with a piece of green tape.
- Buy at a discount. You can opt to buy Tote items that you love at a significant discount. I kept my black studs!
- The fun factor. I really enjoyed getting the box and have some fresh items to wear with no commitment. It’s easy for me to fall into a classic/neutral rut and using some LeTote pieces to break out of that was more fun and uplifting than I had anticipated.
- Overall selection. I found the selection of merchandise a bit disappointing. This is largely a matter of personal preference but I found it odd that they had so much workout wear as well as so many basic pieces (plain black skirt, white button down, black sweater, etc.). They were also lacking a bit in statement jewelry. Was personally looking for more “WOW” or distinctive pieces. The stock also seems heavily slanted toward warmer weather climates. Most pieces are from known mid-range labels found at various department stores.
- Availability. When I did find some cute and distinctive pieces, they just weren’t available. And there is no way to see availability until you’ve returned your prior tote. Had I known stock was lacking so much when I made my first return, I would have just kept it longer.
- Search function on website. While there is small search function within the closet swap feature, there is no search function for the overall stock of merchandise. Therefore, if you know you like a certain label, or that you are looking for a top or dress with long sleeves in a particular color, there is no quick way to hone in on this. You just need to scroll through the whole top or dress section page by page.
It was a fun trial and I look forward to testing out Rent the Runway next! At first glance, they appear to have more of the unique pieces that I’m looking for but I wonder if they won’t also have availability issues.
In summary, I think a rental service like this could work really well for two types of people:
- Those like myself, that work from home, invest in the basics, don’t want to spend a lot on trend items but want to have some fresh, fun pieces for the weekend.
- Office women that again, have their basics but are looking to mix things up or get out of a rut. With quick turnaround times, it would be feasible to return a tote late Friday and get a new one by mid-day Monday allowing you to wear new pieces 4 days a week, several weeks a month.
For a fixed amount each month, you can have a steady supply of fresh and trendy things to wear, saving your true shopping dollars for more long-lived pieces.
Would Like to Rent When in Stock (or Warmer)
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