(If, after you read this, you think you want to give Nuuly a try, be sure to use my referral code to save $20 on your first rental!)
I’ve been on a journey to rethink my relationship with clothing over the past couple of years (you can learn a bit more about that here, here, and here), but clothing rental wasn’t something I started trying until this past spring. I knew about it, of course, and loved the idea from a sustainability standpoint, but I mostly thought of clothing rental as something you’d do for an occasion — to grab a fun dress for a wedding or another formal event.
I’ve since learned that SOME clothing rental companies are certainly more geared toward those bigger events, but others — including Nuuly, the company I rent through each month — have an impressively broad collection of items ranging from formal to everyday and lots in between, too.
I first gave Nuuly a try when I DID need items for an occasion, though. I traveled to Washington, D.C. with Beautycounter to advocate for stronger health protective laws in the personal care industry back in April, and I needed some outfits to bring with me. We were going to be having a cocktail event as well as a formal dinner at the Library of Congress, and I decided to go the rental route to find some great pieces.
I had a wonderful experience with getting amazing dresses for that trip, and decided to keep my Nuuly membership going. In the months that followed, I quickly realized that this fit in so well with my quest to be intentional about my clothing.
-I can get the experience of online shopping (choosing fun pieces every month, having the box delivered, getting to wear new things, etc.) without having to add things to my closet permanently as a result.
-I can grab pieces that are more trendy or more expensive or less practical than I would if I were shopping for my long-term closet.
-I get to test drive pieces and some of them I do end up purchasing, but when I do buy them I already KNOW I love them, they feel like me, they fit well, and I’ll wear them!
-I love knowing that the pieces I rent will be worn and enjoyed by other women, too. In the process it helps me feel connected to others in a sense, and it also feels great to be contributing a bit less to the creation of more stuff.
-When I DO have occasions on my calendar — a wedding, a baby shower, even a date night with Kevin — I always have something fun and “new” to wear, which feels great.
I honestly feel like I’ve found THE BEST HACK as it relates to clothing with Nuuly. I’ve worked really hard to pare down my closet to align with my color season and style personality and to really just include pieces I actually wear. The last thing I want to do, after that hard work, is to add tons more “stuff” back into my wardrobe…and yet we all like spicing things up a bit, right?
Now when I see people posting on social media with alllll the clothing links to the super cute dresses and jeans and jackets and more, I feel like I’m in on an amazing secret. I know all too well how that familiar scenario can play out: You see that adorable dress online and just have to have it, and then you get it…and maybe wear it twice a season (at best). I’m SURE I’m not the only one this has happened to repeatedly. Instead, why not RENT an adorable dress, enjoy it for a month, and then move on to other things without any of the “I should wear that again” or “Why did I buy that??” guilt hanging over your head when you see it in your closet?
Do I still buy clothes? Absolutely I do! BUT I buy them SO MUCH LESS FREQUENTLY and I also shop SO much more intentionally. And it feels really good on a lot of levels.
I wanted to share answers to a few questions I hear often when I talk about Nuuly on Instagram:
Do I have to rent clothes every month?
No! So far I’ve rented every month since starting with Nuuly, but you can skip months if you know you won’t need or want to rent items for a little while.
How many pieces do you get in each box?
You get six items in each box, but you can also add more to a box if you ever want to (for an extra cost, of course). I did that for my D.C. trip to make sure I had plenty of options!
How does sizing work? If I get the wrong size, can I swap it out?
Unfortunately you can’t swap out an item for another size once you’ve rented it, BUT I’ve found that when I spend time reading the product reviews really thoroughly, I tend to end up with an item that fits me well. Most products have an impressive amount of reviews, so look in particular for feedback from people who are about your height, who have similar body types, etc.
I work from home. Is this something I’d really enjoy or use…?
I work from home, too, and lots of days I LIVE in leggings (I mean, many days I’m at the Pure Barre studio several hours a day, so that’s what makes sense). But I think you’d be surprised how much you’ll enjoy these rental pieces: date nights, trips, girls’ nights, events, a day when you want to look a little more put together, a job interview, a work conference. I have also found that it’s made me look forward to upcoming events even more and do a better job of prepping for them, because when I choose the items in my box each month I’m thinking ahead to what’s on my calendar in the coming weeks and picking pieces accordingly. The whole thing makes me much more mindful…and I would describe my former clothes shopping approach as very mindLESS in many instances.
So…yeah. Huge clothing rental fan over here, and huge NUULY fan, specifically. As a reminder, you can save $20 on your first rental if you want to give Nuuly a try, too! (And if you DO try Nuuly out, please, please report back: Let me know what pieces you got and what you thought of the whole process! I can’t wait to hear from you, and I hope you love it as much as I have.)