While many girls dreamed of becoming a doctor, a vet, or a teacher, I always talked about moving to New York City to work in fashion. And while I was able to move to NYC, and work in the fashion industry for over a decade, something was always missing — um, like a decent paycheck that could afford me all those luxuries!
What’s the answer? Clothing and accessories rentals because you can explore designers, try before you buy, check out the fit, and discover everything your heart desires without a commitment. No more rummaging through the racks. No size searching. No disappointments. No dry cleaning. And best of all, more space in your closet! And if you absolutely love what you rent, you can buy it outright and call it yours. Brilliant!
INTRODUCING: WHAT I’M WEARING THIS WEEK
Intrigued? Yay! Join me each week as I search, explore, rent, and adore clothing and accessory rentals from Rent the Runway and Armoire. Every Friday, I’ll take you on a trip through my life (recovered from COVID in March, now fully vaccinated), where I’m going (90% of the places are outside, and I wear a mask), what’s missing in my closet, my current obsessions, what I’m excited to try — and maybe even buy.
We’ll explore designers and trends, and a variety of styles and brands. And each week I’ll fill you in on why I chose each item, the total value of the rental compared to retail price, and more.
WHAT I’M WEARING THIS WEEK: ARMOIRE
Armoire, which is a clothing rental company for women, is all about female empowerment. From the hand-selected and curated inventory of styles that are designed by the Boss Lady, for the Boss Lady, to their involvement with female-powered brands, and their partnership with Dress for Success Seattle, they’re a brand built for today’s woman.
Before I chose my clothes, I went through the plans and picked the one that seemed to work best for me. You’ve got the option of a 4 Item Capsule, a 7 Item Capsule, or Unlimited.
This is a review of the Unlimited Plan for $249/month.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
WHAT I RECEIVED
From the time I signed up and chose my items, to the date they arrived, the entire process took about a day and a half which is quite speedy! The items arrived in a white plastic garment shipping bag. They were neatly folded and tied together with a welcome note.
David Lerner Vegan Leather Leggings, Retail Value $154
How I styled it: So, I know it’s not exactly college football attire, but I went to the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) and our school colors are black, red, yellow, and white. I slinked into the leggings, topped it off with an old Alice + Olivia blouse, a vintage Burberry Patent Leather Bomber Jacket, pearl-embellished leather ankle boots, and a Balenciaga Classic Studs City Clutch from like 2008.
Size and fit: I’m tall (5’11”) with an athletic build and a 33” inseam, so I ordered a medium. The sizing was a little snug at first but quickly stretched out for a perfect fit.
Condition: They arrived a little worn in the seams.
Honest review: Well, I was self-conscious. I think I’m too old to wear these leggings. I love them and I think they’d look amazing on someone in their 20s, but I felt like I was trying too hard to look like a cool mom, and I could see outlines of rolls and dimples on my backside which was just not hot.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Striped & Belted Shirt Dress, Retail Value $395
How I styled it: It was the perfect dress for brunch in Leesburg at Shoes Cup & Cork, followed by antiques shopping in Lucketts, and wine and live music at Vanish Brewery. Since the dress is sweet and innocent (as if I am), I went light on the accessories, wore vintage Ferragamo sandals, and topped it off with a Helmut Lang color-blocked leather jacket. Mr. Hoppy Golightly didn’t go out drinking with me...he’s too young and guard bunnies sleep during the day and party all night.
Size and fit: I ordered the 6 and it was a little big in the chest and waist.
Condition: Arrived in excellent shape. Didn’t notice any stains, tears, or any other issues.
Honest review: Cute dress and I love Derek Lam, but I felt like I was going back to Catholic School.
Black Halo Mock Neck Fit & Flare Dress, Retail Value $325
How I styled it: I wore this to the Twilight Polo Match and since Middleburg is one of the fanciest parts of Virginia, I wanted to dress up a little, but still be understated and chic like Audrey Hepburn. I got all wrapped up in a studded leather belt from Etsy, a very vintage Chanel Classic Flap Bag, a pair of Nicholas Kirkwood sandals from a designer resale site, and a Hermés Clic-Clac bracelet which was a birthday gift from a special someone.
Size and fit: I went with a size 8 because I know Black Halo can run a little small and that was the only size left, but it worked out perfectly. It’s a slinky, stretchy, fit and flare design that features a mock neck and short sleeves.
Condition: Arrived in good condition, but smelled a little like cigarettes.
Honest review: Aside from the cigarette scent, I love this dress. It’s a timeless classic that’s easy to dress up or down, and you have lots of room to accessorize like a pro!
3.1 Phillip Lim Vented Asymmetrical Hem Metallic Sweater, Retail Value $475
How I styled it: I wore this outfit to the Maryland State Fair and I was melting. Not because of the sweater, but I didn’t pay attention to the weather and the humidity was so intense, I felt like I was going to faint. Plus, deconstructed bell bottoms do not belong on carnival rides or at a 4 H exhibition hall that smells like cows, horses, and pigs.
Size and fit: I ordered the medium and it was a little snug. One side is vented and it can ride up to expose your waist.
Honest review: It’s a sweater I would wear again and again. It’s casual, cool, and stylish, but next time I’d go a size up.
Joie Ruffled Silk-Blend Dress, Retail Value $348
How I styled it: I wore it to a family gathering at the Valley Inn in Baltimore where we danced the night away to a pop DJ underneath the stars. I paired it with a belt I got at a street fair in London, a Prada x James Jean Rabbit Clutch (obvi, I bought this because of my bunny), and a pair of Ulla Johnson Gladiator Sandals.
Size and fit: A little oversized and flowy, but that’s just the boho design. It’s a lightweight, breezy, comfy dress that’s perfect for those sticky summer nights.
Condition: Great, like new.
Honest review: A frilly yet no-frills dress that is probably a little too young and short for me.
Likely Sleeveless Split-Neck Gingham Sheath Dress, Retail Value $188
How I styled it: I didn’t wear it.
Size and fit: I ordered the size 6 and it was tight around my hips.
Condition: The dress, although adorable, arrived torn. Customer service was very helpful, apologetic, and offered to send me something else, I declined.
Honest review: I love gingham, and the dress is very sweet. It just didn’t work for me.
DID THEY DELIVER?
- What items were most helpful and versatile to own this week to ensure I got the most out of my rental and completed the look I craved? Since last week was all about easy, breezy looks, the Black Halo, Joie, and Derek Lam dresses all worked very well. In fact, since they're simplistically chic and match with just about everything I own, I was able to wear each of the two black dresses more than once.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? After I subscribed, I discovered Armoire is more preppy and bohemian than what’s currently in my closet, but their rental items are on point for the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) areas. Luckily, I have lots of accessories, shoes, belts, and bags that I can mix and match with everything on the site to create a look that is ALL ME.
- What’s the return process like? It's very easy! Just place your items in the pre-paid garment bag, affix the return label, and send it back!
Since this was my first time using Armoire, I now have a much better idea of their business model, styles, designers, and customers. Initially, I found navigating through the site a little complicated (and I think it could use some tweaking from a user experience standpoint to make it more seamless), but otherwise, I love Armoire. In fact, I’ve already hearted 17 additional items, and I can’t wait to give them a whirl and a twirl!
CAN YOU STILL GET THIS BOX IF YOU SIGN UP TODAY? Yes, all these items are still available to rent.
VALUE BREAKDOWN: The Unlimited membership costs $249/month and so far I've received styles with a retail value of $1,885!
Do you subscribe to Armoire? Let us know what you think down below!