So, you want to try out a fashion rental subscription? Your savvy best friend is absolutely raving about one… But then your stylish cousin swears by a different one. Decision paralysis. Endless options. Do I pick the one where I get to choose the cool styles? Or do I want a groovy stylist to curate my wardrobe for me? How about vintage choices? Should I go affordable, downright cheap, or invest in a few sustainable wardrobe options?
The main question to ask yourself: Is it worth the money? Well, that depends on what you are trying to achieve. Katherine Cullen, Senior Director of Industry & Consumer Insights at the National Retail Federation, believes that many who choose subscription services say they do so “because it’s convenient for them or it lets them discover new and unique things.” Maybe you are sick of your current style and want to experiment with fresh and exciting looks. Or perhaps you have a fancy event coming up and don’t want to dish out hundreds of dollars on something you’ll only wear once. Whatever it is that’s causing you some serious style stress, clothing rental subscriptions may be exactly what you need to find your fashion footing.
We reviewed 5 clothing rental services that are budget-friendly. And best of all, if you fall in love with that special, rented outfit — they’ll let you buy it (and at a discount!) Still, proceed with caution. It’s still possible to blow your budget on rented items just as much as it is with purchased items. On that note, before signing up for any rental subscription, you should consider your CPW, or “Cost Per Wear.” Always ask yourself: Is it worth that rental fee to only wear the item once or twice? If you really like it, and really need something new or special, then go for it. It probably won’t break your bank, and it won’t clutter your closet for long — unless you decide to buy it.
1. Best For Finding New Trends – Nuuly
URBN, the mother company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People, launched its rental subscription service back in 2019. Unlike most services, Nuuly lets you browse their vast inventory before you sign up. From grunge to girl-next door, Nuuly has you covered.
- Cost: $88/month for 6 items | Free shipping both ways | Option to pay an extra $10 for each additional item added to your box
- How it works: Select 6 of your favorite items to add to your bag, and have it shipped within two business days. Return the box whenever you want (no late fees, just a monthly charge) to be eligible for your next box.
- Brands: Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, For Love & Lemons, LoveShackFancy, Levis, etc.
2. Best for Fancy Occasions – Rent the Runway
Designer looks at not-designer prices. Why pay a fortune for something you really only want to wear (and be all over instagram in) once? Got a fancy wedding to go to? Trae Bodge, smart-shopping expert at TrueTrae.com says, “Obviously, wedding season is coming up. You may need a lot of formal wear, and you don’t want to invest in that formal wear. I think this is a good option for any kind of scenario where that’s the case.”
- Cost: from $69/month | Free shipping both ways
- How it works: Rent the Runway offers multiple options for renting, whether it be 4 pieces for $69, 8 pieces for $99, or one time rentals as low as $30. What and how you rent is completely up to you. You can style and wear your items for as long as you wish, with no set return dates. One-time rentals are reserved for either 4 or 8 days.
- Brands: over 700 designers, including Veronica Beard, Farm Rio, and Show Me Your Mumu
3. Best For Plus Size – FTF Closet by Fashion to Figure
FTF Closet offers both sophisticated and sexy plus size styles that can help you discover fresh ways to experiment with your look. The brand’s size selection ranges from 12-14.
- Cost: $54.95/month | Free shipping both ways
- How it works: Add at least 8 items to your virtual closet to receive a curated selection of 3 of your favorite styles. You can exchange the items any time you want, as long as you pay the monthly fee. If you select “prioritize” on your top three items, they’ll try to ship them first depending on availability.
- Brand: Fashion to Figure
4. Best For Maternity – Motherhood Rental
Motherhood Rental is maternity fashion made super easy. Shopping when pregnant is understandably stressful, and nobody wants to spend money on clothes they will only be wearing for a few weeks (or maybe even less)! The abundance of flattering styles makes it easy for expectant moms to look and feel their best.
- Cost: $69/month | Free shipping both ways
- How it works: Like FTF Closet, add 8 of your favorite items to your virtual closet, and they’ll send you 3. You can also prioritize the items you like best, and if they are in stock they will be included in your box! You can swap out boxes anytime you like.
- Brands: Motherhood, A Pea in the Pod, 7 For All Mankind, Paige, BB Dakota, etc.
5. Best for the Office – Banana Republic Style Passport
Dr. Jane Boyd Thomas, expert in behavioral finance and professor of marketing at Winthrop University, says clothing rental services make great sense when starting a new job. She notes that “it takes time to learn the culture and expectations at a new workplace,” and you definitely do not want to spend a lot of money on clothing that is not appropriate in that environment. Banana Republic Style Passport can be your one-stop-shop to achieve this option.
- Cost: $75/month | Free shipping and returns
- How it works: Add items to your closet, at least 8 at a time, to receive three items each month curated from your hand-picked selection. Like You can also prioritize your favorites, to be able to receive those pieces first, depending on availability. When you’re ready, send back the pieces with the prepaid label.
- Brand: Banana Republic
MORE ON HERMONEY:
- Back to the Office: What The Dress Code Will Really Look Like
- 4 Black Investment Pieces Every Future CEO Should Own (and cheap fast fashion items to pair them with)
- The 5 Building Blocks of Your New Work Wardrobe
SUBSCRIBE: Own your money, own your life. Subscribe to the weekly HerMoney newsletter today for free!