One of my goals for 2020 was to embrace sustainable fashion in a way that felt appropriate for me. We are all about balance not perfection here at WSS which means embracing selling items on Poshmark & Ebay, continuing to donate clothes and making use of the features in today’s showdown: Nuuly & Rent The Runway. I’m really excited for today’s review because I honestly didn’t think I would give RTR another go. However, my body has changed over the last few months (thank you Robynnyc & Peloton) and therefore I’ve been testing out previously avoided options. Let’s get into it today’s VS series because you’ve got some renting to do. Anyone want to guess who’s going to win in the Nuuly Vs Rent The Runway Showdown?
General Observation About Renting Clothing
I’m 5′ 3.75″ tall. I have curves. And I RARELY find things fit me off the rack just right because I’m V picky. Nevertheless, I feel like things have gotten better on the clothing rental front. The petite options have increased. The sizing has gotten more accurate. And the 2nd go around made it a lot easier to navigate. I had a much better idea of how I really wanted to utilize renting clothes to fill in the gaps of my wardrobe. So if you haven’t tried yet or you’re only a month in, give it at least 2. It can take a minute to figure out making it working for you.
One of the big mistakes I feel like I made the first go around was feeling disappointed by the fit of clothes when I was trying SO many new brands. Self Portrait & Reformation had been on my wishlist for ages. I’ve been a frequent shopper of several places of the last few years (Nordstrom, Jcrew, Anthroplogie etc) and I know how I fit in their clothes. So if you’re opting to rent but find that you’re really struggling to find things that fit, just know it can take some time. I didn’t consider this initially and I constantly felt discouraged because I wanted to love/wear all the lush brands. But I also didn’t really know my sizing for them yet.
In general, I feel like clothing rental is a wonderful option for vacation. With our trip to NYC in December, I was able to add items to my wardrobe that I wouldn’t traditionally need in a very warm, Southern climate. I didn’t have to sacrifice quality because I was renting and had a set budget which is very handy! Also, both companies cover dry cleaning and damage costs. So you don’t have to worry about dealing with the upkeep of the mostly dry clean only wardrobe you’re borrowing.
When I first heard about Nuuly, it sounded RIGHT up my street. Someone who rents clothes that you’d find at Anthropologie, Free People and other stores in that range, heck yes? You pay a base price of $88 per month + tax. Tax for Florida is 7% so it came out to be $94.61 a month. Shipping is free and you get your rentals in something the resembles luggage but not as heavy. Think strange carry on that manages to fit your clothes but they are all folded. RTR does a garment bag w/ individually wrapped post dry cleaning plastic including hangers. You can rent 6 items per month but you only get items once. There’s no exchange opportunity. You have to return items to unlock your next month’s box. And if you wish to purchase items, it can be done at a discount.
Rent The Runway: Basics
I did a full run down on RTR a few months back. Not too much has changed. They offer a few different rental plans. You can either do unlimited getting 4 items out at a time with unlimited swaps or the update plan with 4 items out and a 1 time swap. You can trial both plans at a discount ($89 for unlimited; $69 for update). Or you can opt to rent a single item at the rental price if you don’t need multiple pieces and just want something for an occasion. They also have added the option to add an additional slot to your monthly rental. So if you need 5 or 6 items that month, you pay an extra fee per item. At the time I tried Rent The Runway Unlimited it was $39 per item.
Because I shop with Free People & Anthroplogie regularly, I found it a lot easier to get my sizing right here. Considering you’re stuck with your items for the entire month, I was happy that pretty much love them all/got them in the right size. I even found a jumpsuit I fell in LOVE with and that never happens. They have petite sizing which is VERY necessary for me. There were tons of items that I noticed were for sale in store but also available for rental. So it was nice to able to utilize current stuff.
Honestly, I really enjoyed Nuuly and would have potentially purchased items if I wasn’t currently on a no buy. The price is very reasonable when you factor in where you’re renting from, not having to do dry cleaning or worry about damages. My day to day style is casual/workout gear and I feel like they fit in well with my vibe.
Rent The Runway: Pros
The 2nd go around was MUCH better for me with RTR. I think this was because I wasn’t trying loads of brands I’d never worn before. But I also feel like their sizing accuracy has gotten WAY better. I also love how many options they have available. You can choose between everything from earrings to purses to coats and more. So if you’re looking to do one solid outfit for something, this is a great option.
There’s also the flexibility that you get here if the sizes aren’t quite right. I always try on my rental as soon as I get it so I can send back anything that doesn’t fit. Then you can REALLY get the most out of your money. I would also say that RTR is great for the business woman/business casual gal looking to extend her work wardrobe. There’s a large section of blazers, dresses and other chic business attire. So if you’re rocking the desk life and want to spruce up your every day glam, this one is fab.
I think the popularity of Nuuly was to its detriment for this review. I felt like there weren’t a ton of things available to rent. Also, canceling my subscription was a bitch. I tried to do it online with the hope of getting everything back in time and not having to contact customer service. No dice. They were lovely but I’m still getting emails. So hopefully they work out that kink. There’s also the disadvantage of not being able to swap things. I run the gambit of not loving something when I rent simply because I’m particular about how things fit my body. However, since you only get 4 items, it would suck if nothing fit well and you were stuck with them for a full month.
Rent The Runway: CONS
The first time around I really struggled with the sizing. If you’ve got a completely different top vs bottom size, this makes renting a challenge. It also limits your options. But truthfully, I don’t feel like the cons are that strong. Depending on your budget, it might seem expensive. However, it’s easy to return items and you get new ones fairly quickly. The only major issue I had this time was one dress not fitting and one missing a belt. But I had the option to return them so I didn’t have to worry about losing my spots for the rest of the month.
Overall, I think I’d have to side with Rent The Runway on this battle. Truthfully, I think it’s going to depend on the types of brands you want to rent/try. We traveled a lot towards the later part of 2019 and renting was a great option to supplement my wardrobe for the colder places. It also meant I got to try several items that are definitely going to be out of style next year but were fun to wear! All in all, I’m a big fan of renting if it fits into your budget. Plus, you can always snag it permanently at a discount!
Have you guys tried Nuuly or Rent The Runway? Let us know in the comments below what you think. I’d love to know which you preferred. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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