About five years ago, I decided I was going to start buying “investment pieces” for my wardrobe. So instead of getting jeans from Target that wouldn’t look right after a few washes, I bought some from Nordstrom that were sure to last years. I splurged on a coat that promised to stay fashionable for many winters to come. And I found the most beautiful leather loafers that would never go out of style.
Then I got pregnant and put it all away, sad that nothing seemed to fit but glad it’d all be waiting for me once I no longer had to wear shirts that could cover a bowling ball.
But that day never came. My feet are still a half size larger than before the baby and I’ve recently accepted that I’ll never fit into the kinds of jeans I wore back then.
So now what? We’d like to have another baby – should I stop buying clothes until after another pregnancy? Should I only buy things that are cheap enough that I won’t be sad if they never fit again? And isn’t that bad for the environment?
At some point I realized: I should try renting clothes! Normally marketed to younger people (and I had used for many wedding outfits in my early 20s), clothing rental programs are perfect for moms who want to still incorporate new pieces into their wardrobe but may want to play around with sizes and styles.
Wardrobe Rental Experience Tips
- Try Different Services to See What Works for You
Some of the most popular are Rent the Runway, Le Tote, and Nuuly. I personally found the selection and flexibility at Rent the Runway worked best for my needs, but I’ve had friends who liked others more. Most of them offer trials so you can try before you commit.
- Read the Reviews Before You Choose an Item
Many times I’ll see that a dress or shirt has reviews sharing that it fits too small or too tight or won’t work with a bra – and I’ll ignore it because the item is SO cute and I’m sure it will work out. Of course, it usually doesn’t. The reviews are super helpful to ensure you’re getting something that works for you.
- Take a Look at your Calendar Before You Rent
Have a big date night coming up? Or a vacation? What about clothes changing as the seasons change? I love when I can add into my month’s rental a new dress for a big night out – it really helps me feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.
- Make Sure You Can Return Your Rentals Easily
Some companies use FedEx, others UPS – it’s a pain if there isn’t a box you can conveniently get to regularly to send your returns back.
- Don’t Worry About Washing
My son smeared grape jelly on a white dress I rented and I panicked – how would I ever get the stain out?? But part of the deal is that rental companies will deal with all of the washing and stain fighting. Another perk of renting the wardrobe!