Extreme Savings, Money Mentality, Women + Finances

I Rented Clothes for a Month, Here’s What Happened

Shopping for clothes has always been a stressful experience for me. Not because I don’t like clothes or I hate fashion, but because it seemed impossible to tell how I would feel about a piece of clothing until I brought it home and wore it. In other words, shopping always resulted in a lot of wasted money.

There were the ripped, acid wash jeans that I saw on the shelf in Express. It was love at first sight. I eagerly tried them on and then brought them home. However, once they were home and had been worn a few times, I realized that they looked exactly like a pair of pants that would be worn by N’SYNC or the Backstreet Boys circa 2001.

After realizing the truth about my beloved pants, I never wore them again. What had seemed stylish and hip in the store now seemed hopelessly outdated. The price of my shopping failure? $50.

However, for every bad shopping choice, I made a good one too. There was the floral kimono-style cardigan that I bought three years ago in Primark (England’s favorite discount clothing store) and still wear nearly every week. There were black flats that I wore until they broke and multiple tops that became so worn out that I eventually had to discard them.

But despite my successes, my shopping average continued to hover around 50%—I would totally nail it half of the time and utterly fail during the other half *deep sigh*

I had resigned myself to a life of fashion hits and misses when I stumbled across Le Tote. Le Tote* is a company that rents out clothing for a monthly fee. It’s similar to other subscription box companies, but the main difference is that you can order unlimited boxes each month. Each box comes with three clothing items and two accessories. You can have the box “styled” for you or you can choose the items yourself.

Once you are done, the box is delivered to your door. It includes a bag with pre-paid shipping for returns. (Yes please!) Similar companies include The Ms. Collection and Rent the Runway. For men, there is The Mr. Collection and the Five Hour Club.

For all of the companies, the premise is the same: you can keep the box as long as you want. Once you’re done, you return the box and you get a new one. ALL FOR ONE MONTHLY FEE.

I was hooked and decided to try Le Tote. It looked the perfect solution to my clothing woes.

No more unfortunate purchases yet a plethora of variety. After Googling for a discount code (#frugal) I signed up. I paid $50 and embarked on my month of rented clothes.

So how did it go?

It was fun. Like super, super fun to get boxes of clothing in the mail. Le Tote has a good variety of cutting-edge brands and styles, so I got to try out a lot of clothes that I wouldn’t necessarily buy in a store.

Like this amazing cape jacket *swoon*

Le Tote Cape

Getting ready for work was an entirely new experience because I had beautiful new clothes to wear.

Is this how fashionistas and shoppers feel all the time?!

LeToteTankTop

I got complements from co-workers and friends alike. When Alex and I went on a weekend trip for my best friends birthday, packing was a breeze because I had ordered a special Le Tote for the occasion. I sent my mom daily pictures of my outfits to show off my daily ensemble. (Did I mention that I have the world’s best mom?) I had a blast.

LeToteDress

 

But here’s the kicker.

Even though it was fun, I didn’t continue my subscription after the first month.

So what gives?

The truth is that my month of renting clothes made me feel more adventurous with the clothes I already owned. After the first few weeks of renting, I felt rejuvenated about clothing and looked at my wardrobe with a fresh set of eyes.

I suddenly realized that my neglected button-up shirt actually looked amazing with my black skinny jeans. I paired a FIDM tank top with a blazer, and my high waisted skirt with a cotton crop top.

Even beyond that, I didn’t want to pay $60 every month and I had a feeling that the novelty of new clothes would wear off quickly and become my normal. (aka: the dreaded lifestyle inflation)

So I decided to cancel the subscription and go back to my own wardrobe.

It was a fun experience and I definitely feel like it was worth the (one-time) cash. It served as a reminder that it’s okay to have fun, enjoy a few material things and still save for the future.

 

Would you ever try a company like Le Tote? How is your relationship with clothes?

 

* This post is NOT sponsored. But, if you’re interested in trying Le Tote, I’m happy to share my discount code so you can get $25 off your first tote. Also, if you’re interested in trying it for FREE, Le Tote allows every customer to giveaway five free “sample” bags, so feel free to email me and I’ll send the invite! (taylor@thefreedomfrommoney.com) I already gave one to my mom and sister…it was the least they deserved after being forced to look at my selfies for a month, lol.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

5 Comments

  • Reply Matt @ The Resume Gap August 8, 2016 at 7:58 am

    That’s a pretty fun idea, and I suppose it could even be a money-saver for someone spending a ton of cash on clothes. You could return the box once a week and have new things to wear all the time. That said, it’s not going to break anyone’s addiction to the novelty of new possessions and could end up just being different type of lifestyle inflation. It also locks in $720 a year of spending, with nothing to show for it in the end.

    Traveling for months at a time has certainly been an interesting exercise in forced minimalism. For this three-month leg around Europe, I’m carrying four shirts and two pairs of pants/shorts. I won’t be winning any fashion awards, but it’s helped me realize how little importance that stuff has in my life. Sure, I enjoy nice new clothes, but there are so many other things I value more.
    Matt @ The Resume Gap recently posted…Three Weeks in Hungary, Zagreb, and SloveniaMy Profile

  • Reply Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies August 8, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I’m always so leery of subscription boxes. But it sounds like this one could be pretty practical for certain people. I’m glad you tried it out. I certainly learned from your experiences! I’m trying not to spend any money on clothes ever until I get my chaos under control 😉
    Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies recently posted…That Time I Made $4 an HourMy Profile

  • Reply TJ August 8, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Your discount code html link isn’t coded correctly. 😉

    I only buy clothes when stuff starts getting holes in them. I’m pretty sure I have shirts that are at least ten years old. So I don’t think I would spend money on this just because I have so much clothes that I don’t even wear in the first place. It’s a cool shopper and I think for folks with high clothes shopping budgets, it makes sense. I vaguely remember my dad telling me a story of a an accountant he knew who had a very wealthy client who had a high budget line item for FedEx, so the accountant questioned it….and the client said, because it was cheaper to return the clothes she tried on and didn’t like by FedEx than to take the private jet back to the store. LoL

  • Reply Samantha August 10, 2016 at 10:46 am

    This seems really fun, but I have such an awkward body shape that I would worry that the clothes they send won’t be flattering! I love how it got you out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of clothes that I would love to try out, but don’t want to commit to so this would be a great way to do something like that. But I know I’d just end up wearing jeans and hoodie regardless #lazy

    Way to go on realizing that this could lead to life style inflation. I doubt I’d have the insight to realize that until much too late! :]

  • Reply ZJ Thorne August 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    I’m with Samantha. Clothes that fit my body well are hard to come by and I’m in between sizes for most retailers.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…What’s a Basis Point and How Will It Impact My Mortgage?My Profile

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge