Hello and happy Friday! I am on my way to good old Ocean City, Maryland with my sister and two friends. I'll include a few pics in next week's post. My start date for Capital One has been pushed back due to the supply chain and shipment delays – I guess it's out in the ocean somewhere and maybe I can wave at it from the boardwalk. Oh, and don't expect to see Mr. HGL hopping around this time. He peed on the couch twice in the past week, so I had to punish him for being a bad bun, which basically means chasing him off until he learns that the couch isn't a toilet.
WHAT I’M WEARING THIS WEEK: Le Tote
Welcome back to What I'm Wearing This Week. For the newbies, every Friday on WIWTW I'll recap the clothing rentals I wore for the week. I’ll take you on a trip through my life, where I’m going, 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 $3,421 worth of clothing on Le Tote), and more. For sizing reference, I am 5'11" with a 33" inseam and I weigh 140 pounds.
Le Tote is a fashion subscription service that lets you try a new set of on-trend separates, dresses, jewelry, and more on a monthly basis. You can keep the pieces as long as you’d like or return them to receive a new set of items, depending on your membership. There are membership plans that include one tote per month to unlimited totes per month. Le Tote features brands you know and love like Tahari, French Connection, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rachel Roy, and there's also a maternity option. You can rent up to 10 clothing items and 5 accessories per month and the sizing options range from XS to XXL, or 0 to 16, but currently, there's no tall, petite, or plus-sized option.
Just like other fashion subscriptions, when I signed up, I went through an extensive style quiz to gather information about my preferences and complete my style profile. You'll add information like your measurements, current sizing in different types of clothing, looks you love, and more.
Le Tote offers free shipping both ways. Items you order will be sent using 2–3-day priority shipping, and ground shipping is included when returning items to the warehouse. Le Tote ships to valid residences, hotels, P.O. Boxes, and commercial establishments in the contiguous 48 States in the USA; however, they do not ship to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, APO/FPO, or Alaska.
This is a review of the Unlimited Plan with 5 clothing items and 3 accessories for $79/month.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
WHAT I RECEIVED
My Le Tote products arrived neatly arranged in a plastic garment bag. All of the items by Stitchdrop, Octavia, Alexia Admor, Lena, Noir Luxe, and Marc New York arrived in a timely manner and in good condition.
Stitchdrop Colorblock Maxi Dress, Retail Value $125, Le Tote $62, Octavia Oval Druzy Studs, Retail Value $28, Le Tote $20
How I styled it: This is a fun, lightweight maxi that makes getting dressed a breeze. I paired it with an oversized sun hat from Zara, the super roomy Givenchy Nightengale Bag, and a pair of strappy flip-flops. I also wore Le Tote's Octavia Druzy Studs which I might've ordered before. Love the color and pay no attention to the callouses on my hands from lifting and the rowing machine.
Size and fit: I got the small and despite being able to adjust the fit with the back tie closure, there's still too much fabric. This color-blocked cotton maxi features ruffled shoulder straps, a gathered empire waist, and flounced hem.
Honest review: I look like I'm wearing a tent or one of those parachutes we used to throw around in gym class in catholic school. No, this is not for me, and neither are the earrings, even though I love the colors.
Alexia Admor Lace Sheath Dress, Retail Value $245, Le Tote $110, Octavia Druzy Studs in Rose Gold, Retail Value $28, Le Tote $20
How I styled it: Whether it's back to the office chic or mother of the bride, this beautiful lace dress is a stunner. I wore it with Ferragamo Gavina Sandals, the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Bag, and Le Tote's Octavia Druzy Earrings in rose gold.
Size and fit: I got the 6 and this delicate lace sheath is a tad snug around my wide ribcage. This fully lined, slim-fitting dress features a crewneck, scalloped edges, princess seamed bodice, lace overlay, back zip closure, grosgrain-trimmed waist, back vent, and scalloped hem.
Honest review: It's really pretty and well made, but even though I am old, I feel too old in this dress. I think it's the color and the sheen. The black version would be much better! I should've listened to the reviews.
Lena Puff Sleeve Floral Dress, Retail Value $84, Le Tote $44, Noir Luxe Thick Open Huggie Hoops, Retail Value $24, Le Tote $18
How I styled it: The dress feels like seersucker which is a material I've always loved and instantly brings me back to my childhood, but it also looks like it was designed for a child. I paired it with an Audrey-esque hat, Ferragamo Wedges, a vintage gold chain and bracelet I found at an antique shop, Le Tote's Noir Luxe Hoops, and the Chanel 19.
Size and fit: I got the small and it's a little small, but still fits. This seersucker-like cotton baby doll dress is designed with a floral print, ruffled trim, v-neckline, puffed sleeves with elasticized cuffs, side slit pockets, back zip closure, polyester lining, and a flounced hem.
Honest review: Why do I feel like the Lemon Meringue Doll from Strawberry Shortcake? Maybe because that's who I look like in this dress... minus the puffy hat and striped stockings. Who else gave their dolls a makeover? I ruined mine with haircuts and makeup and even tried to design some hideous clothing for them. And to think they could be worth something today if I had just kept them in the box.
Marc New York High-Rise Leggings, Retail Value $59, Le Tote $45
How I styled it: Just threw on a top I got on Amazon, a baseball cap from my pre-COVID trip to Monaco, and a pair of cozy Asics Running Shoes that I recently wore on a run through Great Falls Park.
Size and fit: Le Tote suggested the medium and it's a perfect fit. These super soft leggings are crafted in a polyester/spandex blend and feature a tonal animal-print design and key pocket.
Honest review: They're thick, stretchy, comfy, and surprisingly long, but this particular pair is a bit worn. I might look into other, newer pairs by Marc New York.
Lena Floral Smocked Dress, Retail Value $69, Le Tote Price $40
How I styled it: OMG I think I ordered from the kid's section.
Size and fit: It's a small and sooooo short, but even the larger sizes are only 32" long and that's when the smocking is completely stretched out. I couldn't even take a pic in it because it looks like something that should only be worn on Only Fans!
Condition: Pristine, but probably because no adult can wear it.
Honest review: Is this a dress or a tunic? Talk amongst yourselves.
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? I only wore the leggings.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? Le Tote needs to use their investments wisely and add more items to the mix! It's not known as a retail site... it's known for rentals.
- What’s the return process like? While they ship it in a branded Le Tote box or bag, they include a return bag that's pre-labeled so all you need to do is put your items in the bag, seal it up, send it out, and recycle the box. Easy!
Since it's on my mind, let's talk about love bombing. Have you ever been love bombed? Do you know the warning signs?
Love bombing is when a potential partner makes you the target of their intense attention, affection, and gifts to get you to let down your guard so they can influence and manipulate you. At first, this newfound "love" feels amazing, you feel like you've met your prince charming, and this is what you've waited for your whole life until their mask starts to slip off. The compliments, the expensive gifts, the constant calls and texts, the "I love you" after the third date, the trips, the deepest conversations you've ever had, and all the flowers. Too good to be true? But of course.
I've been the target of love bombing many times, and while most of the time I'm able to put it all together quickly and realize something's not right, once in a while you end up being completely caught off guard and it just feels like you've met the one. The thing is, they'll try really hard to keep you distracted with kind gestures, compliments, mirroring (oh, we're so alike – it's meant to be!), and positive words so you don't notice what's going on in the background until it's too late. What do I mean?
While you're stuck in a love bomb haze and they've got you head over heels, they're quickly flipping the script to get whatever it is they want or need from you. Money? Power? Looks? Creating the perfect couple? Before you know it, you're being devalued, your self-esteem is shattered, you're constantly walking on eggshells, you can't sleep, you're anxious, you're confused, and you're wondering what happened to that perfect person who created the perfect relationship with you. It was all a lie.
So, how do you protect yourself from this treatment? My one and only piece of advice is to monitor the speed of the relationship. I know it's easy to get caught up in feelings and finally feel loved, understood, attractive, wanted, intelligent, funny, and just all-around amazing, but if this happens at the speed of light, you need to slam on the brakes. Especially if you're going through a tough time and you're really weak – these people can sense it and you're being sought out for a reason. You're easy to control.
Relationships take time and it's imperative you slow down, keep your eyes wide open, notice inconsistencies, and listen to the way they talk about others in their life – especially their family and their ex. If you allow someone else to control the pace of the relationship and manipulate all your time, you're speeding into dangerous territories. I'm writing from personal experience and if I can keep one person from making the same mistakes I've made, my job is done.
Pump the brakes. Listen to them. Listen to your gut. Think rationally. What would you advise your friend? I know it's hard to take your own advice but think before you leap.
In the world of designer resale, if you find a Chanel Bag or a Birkin that's half price, you know it's too good to be true. It's got to be a fake. Same thing with love bombers – they're too good to be true and there's an end goal that involves crushing your self-esteem after they get what they want from you.
CAN YOU STILL GET THIS BOX IF YOU SIGN UP TODAY? Yes, all these items are still available to rent.
VALUE BREAKDOWN: The 5 clothing and 3 jewelry items plan costs $79/month and so far, I've received styles with a retail value of $3,421!
What are your thoughts about Le Tote and rentals in general? Let me know what you think about this week's looks!