With the ever emerging move for sustainable fashion we have seen numerous clothing rental companies pop up in our feeds. The idea of renting your clothes is an obvious win for the consumer. After all, most of us wear things only a few times before we get tired of it or it’s no longer trendy. Renting is also a way to save money while still being able to wear “new” clothes. It is also a win for the environment. Clothes get reused multiple times giving it a second, third, maybe fourth life and more! Cats aren’t the only ones with 9 lives now. Having less clothing going to waste makes me feel like a champion for Mother Earth!
When I made the decision to try renting my clothes I had some hesitation. Will they have enough inventory that I’ll like? Will the quality of the clothing be good? Will I be able to wear new styles as they come out? Will popular items be widely unavailable? It’s hard to answer all these questions without trying out the service.
Nuuly is a new clothing rental service that debuted earlier this year. The concept is extremely straightforward and simple: for $89 + tax you can choose 6 items to rent on a monthly basis. All the dry cleaning and laundering is taken care of, just wear and return. Plus, you don’t have to worry about minor damages either! It’s nice to have that piece of mind. I mainly chose Nuuly for their price point and for their transparency up front. I felt that I would be getting the most out of my money by being able to rent 6 items for less than $100. I could also see their inventory before signing up so I had an idea of what kind of clothes I could expect from them. Other companies don’t give you that kind of access up front. I also chose Nuuly because I often wear items from Free People and Anthropologie and a lot of their inventory consists of these brands. They also carry a lot of other brands that I have tried or want to try, like LoveShackFancy and Anna Sui. Nuuly is definitely more trendy than other rental services. So I wouldn’t look to this service for corporate work attire. If you’re looking for more boho-chic, trendy and not so basic clothing, this may be the service for you!
I’ve been renting from Nuuly for 3 cycles now so I am happy to share my experience with you to help you decide if you’d like to try it yourself. Here’s a list of my Pros and Cons below as well as answers to those questions above. Happy Reading!
- On top of getting to wear all the brands that you already love, renting also introduces you to new brands that you haven’t heard of yet. You may discover another brand you absolutely love! It also grants you the opportunity to try out more expensive designers who may not be in your budget on the regular. I can’t afford to spend $500+ on a dress but having Nuuly allows me to wear items completely out of my budget! I can also take more risks with my fashion choices. If I want to try out a trend I can easily add it to my closet and if I don’t like it send it back just like that! There’s no worry of wasting money on something I’ll potentially just wear once.
- Included in your monthly rental fee is free 2-day shipping both ways. Like Amazon, 2-day shipping is fast so you’ll have your new clothes in no time after selecting them.
- The whole process is pretty easy and straightforward. It’s very similar to on-line shopping. When the time comes to swap out your rental just head to the Nuuly site and select your 6 items. You’ll add them to ‘Your Nuuly’ just like adding to your shopping cart. Once submitted, Nuuly will prepare and pack your new items and send them out. Nuuly will also send out an email reminder a few days prior to your bill date so you can start browsing things and adding them to your closet where you can bookmark items you like. Items come in these cute and colorful garment bags that you also use to send them back. Just slip them in along with the prepaid return shipping label and drop it off at the nearest UPS store. Sit tight, your new Nuuly will arrive soon!
- Renting 6 items a month was a good enough amount for me. For $88 + tax I felt like I was getting a very good deal. That’s roughly $15 an item! I figure if I wear an item at least once I’m getting my monies worth. Plus, I also think that this price point fits well within most budgets. For those that need more than 6 items there’s the option of renting an additional 2 ‘bonus’ items for an extra $18/item. Then at the end of your rental period you can choose to keep an item if you really love it for a fraction of the retail price.
- You don’t have to worry about laundering any of the items before you return them. Nuuly does all the dry cleaning. You also don’t have to worry about minor damages or stains! It’s all included in the rental fee. My 2 year old was eating Cheetos one day and caught me off guard when he jumped onto my lap thus getting orange flakes on my white jumpsuit I was renting. I had no problem just zipping it up in the bag when it came time to return it. No questions asked! I’d like to think that this also decreased my laundry and dry cleaning bill since I’m cleaning less of my own clothes on a monthly basis!
- For expecting moms this is a great service! Nuuly has a curated maternity page with maternity-specific and non-maternity clothes that can be used during pregnancy. Maternity clothes in general cost quite a bit and you’re also saving up for the baby and buying baby gear! Why not take advantage of renting?! After a few months you won’t have need for them anyway. Currently I am in my 23rd week of pregnancy with twins so I am a prime candidate for maternity wear, especially pants! I love being able to try out the different maternity jeans available through Nuuly.
- I have yet to receive a Nuuly where I love all the things I picked. There may be an item that just doesn’t fit right or one that I was feeling when I picked it but had a change of heart. I dislike that you’re stuck with something for a whole month even if it doesn’t fit right or you don’t like it. It makes the selection process a little more stressful since you have to plan more and be a lot more intentional with what you pick. It also may discourage people from trying new things which is one of the advantages of renting in the first place.
- There are no late fees for returning your Nuuly after your bill date. Feel free to keep your items a few extra days. Life is busy! Keep in mind that you will still get billed automatically on your bill date every month no matter what.
- Nuuly is not flexible compared to other services like Rent the Runway. With only 1 tier of membership there is no offer of different plans at different price points in which a customer can choose based on their needs. Right now Nuuly fits my needs and lifestyle but as we all know life is fluid and constantly changing. When my twins are born in a couple of months I see myself at home more and needing clothes that are more functional and able to get spit up and vomit on. I probably won’t need 6 new pieces of clothing. Maybe I just need 3 items for an occasional date night. Unfortunately, that is not possible with Nuuly, no more, no less (well, 2 extra for a price). On the flip side, Nuuly allows you to pause your membership anytime so if you do like Nuuly but it’s just not in the budget or you’ll be traveling for a long period you can just pause and continue when you’re ready to.
- There is no phone app. In this day and age we do everything on our phones! Just for the added convenience it would be nice to just pull up an app and Nuuly from there rather than having to get to a computer or do it on your phone’s web browser. Maybe an app is debuting in the near future?
- In order for you to receive your new monthly Nuuly 2 things need to happen. 1) Your billing date needs to pass AND 2) All your items need to be received back. If you break it down, 2 days to send back + 1 day to prepare + 2 days to ship = about a week. So the reality is that you have these clothes for only 3 weeks, max. That’s if UPS is on top of it’s game too. I’ve taken my Nuuly back on a Saturday afternoon to have it not ship out till Monday night. Then on the return side, my Nuuly shipped out on Thursday but I don’t receive it until Monday. I know that’s not Nuuly’s fault but this is a borderline deal breaker for me. If this keeps up I may reevaluate whether it’s worth it. There are things you can do to ensure a more efficient process, like pick out your 6 items and save them to your closet while you wait for the green light or ship your Nuuly on a weekday. Though I think it would be nice if they could start preparing and ship out your new Nuuly once they see that UPS has received and/or shipped last month’s Nuuly since tracking is provided.
After all this I still have to answer those questions I posed above, so here we go! Nuuly has very good inventory in terms of type of items and sizes. You can find various tops, dresses, sweaters, jackets, and coats. I usually have no problem choosing 6 items each month. New styles come out regularly and I often see things that are currently in stores on the Nuuly site. I haven’t had any problem with the quality of their items. All my items have come to me in clean and in good condition. As expected, popular items become unavailable but there’s enough to choose to get your second choice or something similar.
All in all I have enjoyed my experience renting with Nuuly and I will continue my membership for the long term. If you’re that boho-trendy and chic soul you should definitely give it a try! Check it out here