IMPORTANT UPDATE: AS OF 2022, THE BANANA REPUBLIC “STYLE PASSPORT” PROGRAM HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.
Since writing this post, more and more retailers have gotten on board with subscription rental services. Now companies like Bloomingdale’s, Ann Taylor, Loft, etc. ALL have rental offerings.
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How BR’s Style Passport Works
If you would like to try Banana Republic’s Style Passport, you can sign up HERE. If you use this link to sign up, you’ll receive $20 off your first month but be sure to check out my other money-saving tips below!
Once you register, you will be asked to fill your closet. They suggest adding 20 pieces for seamless delivery but require 8 pieces in your closet before they will ship anything.
If there are pieces that are especially important to you, you can mark them as priority items. There are no guarantees you will receive your priority items but they make an effort to get you at least one of them. Once you have at least 8 pieces in your closet, you’ll get a notification that your box is being prepared to ship.
UPDATE: Banana Republic now offers a service called Dart, which allows you to personally select items received for a small additional fee of $7.00. There are a few caveats:
- Dart is only available for use on items currently available at the time you are placing your order.
- Furthermore, to be eligible for Dart, you:
- must be a subscriber in good standing;
- have 3 or fewer items At-Home and all of those items must be either return notified or purchased;
- (per above) the desired items in your closet must be currently available in inventory.
You can keep items as long as you want but must return all items together in a provided pre-addressed and posted envelope. As long as you maintain a minimum of 8 pieces in your closet, your next shipment will be prepared as soon as you notify BR of your plans to return goods via the website.
Style Passport: Box 1
For my first box, I was looking for a bit of color. My base wardrobe is fairly neural and Cleveland winters can be quite dreary so I thought some brighter tops could provide a bit of a lift. They shipped the items below:
- a bright blue leopard print wrap top
- black coated-denim jeans
- a marled crew neck sweater in purple and pink tones
I liked all the pieces and the fit was TTS on both tops. For the jeans, I went up one size per feedback on the website and was happy with the resulting fit. All pieces were in very good condition and the splashes of color DID lift my mood on some very grey days!
You’ll see in the screenshot above that you have the option to either return your rented items or to buy them at a significant discount (40-60% off on these particular items). I returned all the pieces and added a few more items to my closet for box number 2!
Style Passport: Box 2
We were going to be heading out of town for a long weekend when I was selecting box number 2 so I tried to find something that could potentially act as resort wear. There really wasn’t much out yet. What I settled on was the leopard print jumpsuit shown below. I marked it as my only priority item in hopes that it would ship. For back at home I found:
- a bold-patterned wool coat
- a black and white oversized plaid crewneck sweater
The jumpsuit fit perfectly and TTS! I liked it so much I considered purchasing it (at 75% off) but ultimately did not because jumpsuits are just so hard to get in and out of! I may come to regret this as it’s a great transition piece and can be styled multiple ways both for winter and into spring.
The bold pattern of the coat was really fun and I got several compliments on it! It made my everyday jeans/sweater and leggings/top combos feel much more “outfit-y”. I ordered my typical size and seemed slightly large.
The sweater was a dud. It was a bit pilled and shabby looking, likely from multiple trips to the cleaners. And I just didn’t care for the cropped, boxy fit.
- Selection. A bit weak. Particularly when it comes to trendier items and new-season goods. Banana Republic is known for its well-priced classics, so that shouldn’t come as surprise but for a rental service, you’d likely prefer to have access to some trendier/bolder pieces that you’re less likely to invest in.
- Turnaround Time. On par with other subscription services. My boxes took between 3 and 6 days to arrive.
- Search Function. So-so. You can search by broad categories: Dresses, Tops, Bottoms, Coats/Jackets and by size and color.
- Consumer Feedback. Style Passport is struggling to establish itself so that may be the reason behind the lack of feedback. Luckily, I know my sizing/fits here pretty well. But for a newer customer, more descriptive customer feedback regarding fit and cut would be very helpful.
- Price. At $85/month, the price is slightly on the high end for a service that ships three pieces at a time. As for the purchase option prices, they vary. For the 2 pieces at 40% off (leopard top/stadium coat) that’s not very good. BR runs 40% off almost every week so why not just buy the same thing new? However, 75% off on the jumpsuit was quite attractive! Doubt I’d find that piece in-store at that price.
BIGGEST DRAWBACK. Oddly, unlike the other services I’ve reviewed, you don’t get final approval as to what is shipped. They simply pick 3 items from your closet, trying to focus on at least one priority item. This makes it very hard to create outfits as you don’t know what pieces were selected until the box arrives at your house.UPDATE: See notation above regarding the new Dart service.
- FREE TRIAL TIP. If you register your email on the website without providing your credit card, after a few weeks (for me it was 3), they will likely approach you with a free trial offer good for one month of rentals.
Do you have a favorite clothing rental or subscription service that I need to try? If so, let me know in the comments!
Until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish, and satisfying life!