TGIF! Hope everyone is gearing up for a great weekend full of apple picking, haunted houses, and pumpkin-spiced everything. I'm going to try to lay low, hit the gym, and eat healthy — famous last words. So, before we get started I wanted to find out how you all feel about rentals and your hesitations at the moment. Does it bother you to share clothes? Are you worried about sizing? Do you feel like you're still stuck at home? And lastly, what do you plan to do for your holiday wardrobe? Let me know in the comments — I'm curious!
TBH, I don't see the need to go out and buy new clothes (most of my stuff is secondhand anyway) because my closet's been collecting dust since 2020 and I'm trying to decide if I should just sell most of it and start over. I used to go out all the time and needed cocktail dresses, workwear, and the occasional gown, but these days...life is a little meh.
But anyway, welcome back to What I'm Wearing This Week: Armoire. A quick rundown for the newbies...every Friday I'll recap the clothing rentals I wore for the week. 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 the retail price (as of today I've rented $10,223 worth of clothing), and more.
WHAT I’M WEARING THIS WEEK: ARMOIRE
Due to the FedEx debacle last time, I still had two Armoire items left in my place, both Anna Sui, and one I wore and the other I folded up and put back into the shipping bag.
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.
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
The new shipment has arrived and little bun bun just had to check it out!
Anna Sui Butterfly Garden Shift Dress, Retail Value $625
How I styled it: Whether you wear it with tights and ankle boots, or bare-legged with ballet flats, this dress is very versatile and goes with everything. I met up with a friend from my high school who is also very into clothing rentals, and we went to the soft opening of a new restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland called Zinnia. It has this great 1920s feel, and the weather was splendid so we sat outside, had a few snacks, and discussed our favorite topic, FASHION! She's also rented from Armoire quite a few times, and her current obsession is Hunter Bell, so we were sharing stories of our experiences.
And for the styling portion...I belted it, threw on my gold-tone studded leather jacket, a pair of flats, and some sunnies.
Size and fit: I went with the 6 and it was definitely oversized. I probably could've ordered the 4 and been fine. I know the design is supposed to be boxy, it's Anna Sui's style.
Condition: Tags were still on it.
Honest review: It is such an easy, breezy dress. Super lightweight so it can be layered or worn alone, and it's comfy, cozy, and cute. If the resale price weren't so high, I'd totally buy it, but I'd rent it again too. I'll keep an eye on the price.
Anna Sui Mockneck Heart Print Dress, Retail Value $598
How I styled it: Because I'm tall and this dress was more like a tunic on me, I couldn't wear it. Had there been a gust of wind, I would've pulled a Marilyn Monroe and flashed the entire town.
Size and fit: I got the size 6 and it fit just like the previous Anna Sui dress, except it was way too short on me.
Honest review: Yikes. Not only was it too short, but the way it was attached to the slip was not quite right either. Anna Sui missed the mark with this item. No, and no.
Alexis Ruffled Bell-Sleeved Lace Blouse, Retail Value $365
How I styled it: ZOMG I love Alexis! My sister and I went to the Fells Point Festival in Baltimore to see the Eli Young Band perform, and they were great. Everyone was happy, dancing and singing, and it almost felt like old times all over again. I got into country music in 2013 and while it's not everyone's cup of tea, many of these performers have real raw talent that's hard to find these days — and the songwriters are pretty fantastic too. So yeah, I'm a fan! 🙂
Back to Alexis. I paired the top (um, too hot for my outfit) with my Alice + Olivia bell-bottom jeans, a pair of resale Aquazzura flats, a black belt, my Balenciaga Graffiti City Bag, and a not-so-great glass of wine. Also, I cleaned the streets with my jeans. Barf.
Size and fit: The Alexis top was a tiny bit tight on me in the armpit area so every time I raised my arms to dance, the top came up too.
Honest review: Too small. I'll neither buy nor rent again. Psst...wanna know a secret? I found the other Alexis top on The Real Real for $60. 😀
Anna Sui Plaid Blazer, Retail Value $662
How I styled it: I rarely wear blazers and I was going somewhere preppy so it seemed pretty apropos. Kate Middleton was my initial inspiration for the blazer look, but after adding pearls and looking like I had just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog, I switched it up to pair with Alice + Olivia Suede Leggings, Giuseppe Zanotti Studded Combat Boots, a vintage gold bracelet, and my fave Carmen Sandiego-esque hat.
I insisted on driving out to the country to meet my friend Anna for brunch at the rustic and equestrian-themed Manor Tavern in Monkton, Maryland. We both had a rough 2021 and needed to share stories, so we grabbed a table outside on the patio and chatted for a good two hours. And hey, while I've always been a city girl, the older I get the more I appreciate the country, and it's really beautiful out in horse country Maryland.
Size and fit: I ordered a 6 and it's a little big in the chest. I'm starting to understand why returns are such a huge part of the shopping process...there's really no consistency amongst designers and clothing categories. I don't know how retail companies can fix this, but it's a problem.
Condition: Brand new. I removed the tags.
Honest review: I'm such a leather jacket person, I just don't see myself getting a lot of wear out of something like this. I love the look on Kate Middleton, but I'm not sure I could make it an everyday thing for myself. No, I won't rent again, nor will I buy it.
ba&sh Vadea Backless Fit & Flare Dress, Retail Value, $375
How I styled it: Such a sweet little dress! Recently, when I went to Tysons Galleria I spotted a ba&sh store and wanted to check it out, but they were closed. Luckily, I found this dress on Armoire and it made my life so much easier. I'm not really sure how to pronounce the designer's name, but this dress reminds me of something Audrey Hepburn would've worn.
I wore it out on a dinner date and added fishnets, a pair of suede sling-back pumps, a Chanel Gripoix Cuff, and a photobomb by a bunny rabbit.
Size and fit: I ordered a Medium and it was pretty perfect. A tad tight in the shoulders, but I think that's just the cut of the dress. This fit-and-flare design features an open back that I didn't catch when I chose this dress, but that made it so much better!
Honest review: It's really cute, but I think it's designed for someone who is quite a bit shorter than me. I kept feeling like I was flashing everyone every time I got up from the table. I'll definitely try ba&sh again, but not this dress.
3.1 Phillip Lim Cutout Floral-Print Georgette Peplum Blouse, Retail Value, $450
How I styled it: Sadly, I didn't get to wear this because it's a summer top, it's quite sheer, and I wasn't paying attention when I added it to my case.
Size and fit: It was pretty small up top and large on the bottom. Seems like a designer mistake.
Honest review: It's a complicated blouse that's small and sheer up top, but heavier and larger on the bottom. The back features a keyhole opening that doesn't really give you any additional movement in the bust area. I agree with the rest of the reviews...this blouse isn't it.
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? Actually, I got the most wear out of the Anna Sui Butterfly Garden Shift Dress because it's just so simple and versatile. Whether I paired it with a belt and jacket or wore it as is, it's lightweight enough for the Mid-Atlantic's still muggy and warm weather, but if it got chilly at night, I could easily layer it up without thinking twice about style or stuffiness.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? This week was a little different simply because of the previous debacle and the fact that I ordered too many Anna Sui outfits. Everything on Armoire's end was great...no complaints. I will be more careful when I choose my next batch.
- What’s the return process like? Place the items in the bag, seal it up and that's it!
I'm officially over Anna Sui. And since the weather here is still on the warm and humid side (it's 79 degrees at 4:30pm), it's difficult to pick and choose items because of the inconsistency. In other news, I'm slowly figuring out this tripod situation and moved the faux-to-shoot location due to lighting issues, but that did NOT make Mr. Fluff happy! He likes to sleep under that couch during the day, and he kept stomping and growling at me. Whoops.
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 $8,269!
What are your thoughts about Armoire and rentals in general? Let me know what you think down below!