I started renting my clothes over 5 years ago now. I’m not talking about renting a fancy dress for a rare occasion. I’m talking about renting most of my clothes for daily use. Since then I gained 30 pounds, lost 50 pounds, and gained a few back. I moved from a small Victorian house to a tiny ADU (no closet) to my sister’s third bedroom (shared closet) and back to a small house.  I lived through cold shoulder tops, skinny jeans, executive level interviews, COVID-casual attire, northern and southern California el ninos and droughts. Renting clothes has saved me through it all.  It’s honestly one of the smartest things I’ve done. Here’s why.

It’s (relatively) Affordable

When I started renting clothes, there weren’t many companies offering the service. At least not affordably. I stayed with the same company that gave me 4 pieces of clothing at a time, which I turned around weekly for about 16 items for about $85/month. Now, many more companies have jumped on the bandwagon giving me more options! More recently, I’ve branched out to two different companies that give me 3 items at a time each, which I turn around weekly for 24 items for about $120/ month (combined 2 services). That’s $5 per piece.  It’s a $120/month clothing budget, and my rule is that I do not buy any of the clothes. Everyone’s budget is different, and I am a very frugal lady.  I know some people might spend $120 on one item of clothing.  Others more like me may be bargain shoppers who keep their budgets lower, and I may go back to one service with 12 items per month for $60, but for now this works for me and my work and weekend needs.  I wear it and return it, and I can rent it again if I’d like to sometime. I rarely do. Variety is the spice of life.

It’s Sustainable

Like I said, pre-rental life, I was a bargain shopper and would rarely buy a clothing item for over $20.  That being the case, clothing would wear out, fall apart, become misshapen, go out of style, or I may grow out of it before too long. By renting my clothes, I’m not constantly contributing to the landfill or the Goodwill with unwanted items. Other people may enjoy them as I do, and they are sustainably consumed. I’m still developing in living a more sustainable life and this is one totally painless way I can help!

I’m More Fashion Forward

Not only am I frugal, I’m prudent.  I’m not going to spend money on a conspicuous (if beautiful) floral blazer that I won’t be able to wear often without everyone thinking, “She’s wearing that again?”  So I tend to prudently invest in classic black and navy wrap dresses that I can get a little more thin (or a little less thin )without any issues, that I can wear weekly without raising eyebrows, that I can dress up or down easily, that will never go out of style. This combination of factors does not make a fashion forward lady!  Don’t get me wrong, I rent a lot of classic, beautiful clothes I would normally buy, but renting my clothes, I also wear bold colors, I try new trends, I wear things I would never even try on in a real store.  Funky patterns, colors outside my typical wheel, trends that will be over in a blink, things I am not sure will be totally flattering on me, and more. It works or it doesn’t and either way I can move on.  And I secretly hope people whisper behind my back, “I never see her wear the same thing twice, how does she do it?”

Size No Longer Matters

I’ve been known to gain some pounds and lose some pounds throughout the year(s).  You know how the pants fit so cute one month and then the next month, they fit, but you still won’t wear them because they are just a little too tight or too loose to look right anymore?  This never happens to me anymore. I gain or lose and can adjust my size and my new wardrobe is always on point.   I don’t have to wonder if I should bother getting new clothes because I hope to lose the weight again or because I suspect that I’ll likely regain the weight, all the while struggling with a wardrobe that doesn’t make me happy.  I adjust and move on. And using the same company there is no guesswork if something will run large or small. It’s wonderfully freeing in this body positive world.  I can feel good and properly fitted at any size.

More Closet Space

As I mentioned, as life has evolved, we’ve done some small space living for some periods of time.  Having my clothes rented was a huge lifesaver when I had no closet space.  Even with closet space, there is something freeing about your closets being uncluttered and organized with your limited capsule wardrobe.  You can always fill the space with other things that bring you joy!

No Laundry

No laundry! I’ll say it again for the people in the back!  This may be my biggest selling point ever. I suppose I’m not quite down to “no” laundry… but my laundry has so significantly decreased that my life has markedly improved as a result.  The stress of having to do laundry before the work week has disappeared, and my time is available for other projects.  The clothes ship out to you clean and you ship them back after you wear them, they clean them for the next customer. It’s a huge perk of the system.

It’s Definitely For Me, Is It For You?

Renting clothes isn’t for everyone, but if you are feeling like you are in a rut, outside of your current wardrobe’s sizing, or just don’t feel like doing laundry for a bit, you should try a rental service!  It’s easy and fun and you can cancel when you are ready to move on. Or you may be like me and be rocking a rental five years later!

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Gia is a native Californian who has lived all over the state from San Diego to Trinity County, plus Washington DC for a short time. She recently relocated to Ventura County with her family to build a compound property together with her sister’s family so that they could always share wardrobes and parenting responsibilities for their 5 combined children at home. Gia graduated from UCSB with a degree in Linguistics (which she thinks entitles her to make up words). It took her just three years, as she was eager to graduate early to go live with her long distance boyfriend and his toddler daughter at the time. That seemed to work out, as the boyfriend got promoted to husband years ago and her step-daughter promoted her to grandmother recently! Gia’s husband is from East Africa and runs their Bed and Breakfast in Tanzania from near and far. Gia is a Human Resources Director who has a major obsession with watermelon and eggnog lattes, depending on the season.

3 COMMENTS

    • Yes, I started with Le Tote years ago and right now I’m using Express Style Trial and New York and Co Closet! NY&CO Closet JUST upgraded so they are using the same app that Le Tote does and offering accessories as a rental option as well. I’m honestly not really an accessory girl so I never got them with Le Tote (your options were 3 clothing items and 2 accessories.. or 4 clothing items for Le Tote)… but since I was with NY&Co from early on they grandfathered me in to the accessory plan for the same price as just the 3 clothing items. Now I am actually getting into having the accessories! I really like the pieces they have too! I think I only pay like $49 for it too. I think it’s totally worth it!

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