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What I’m Wearing This Week: The Collective

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyAug 25, 2023 | 6 comments

The Collective
0 overall rating
0 Ratings | 0 Reviews

Hoppy Friday, every bun. I started my new job this week, and Mr. HGL is still hacking and snorting, but whenever he hears a bag crinkle, the fridge door open, or me crunching on something, his illness magically subsides, and he starts attacking me for food. What the fluff is going on with my little Fluff?

Oh, and I'm adding ModLux.Rent and Haverdash to our WIWTW rotation and I'm super excited to try all the new styles and designers —and I have some tips and tricks to ensure I get exactly what I want. Both rental services are part of the CaaStle (Clothing as a Service) platform, and so is this week's review. Hey, disregard what I said about signing up for all these free 30-day trials... since they're all connected, you'll eventually get flagged and won't be able to try the services for free. My bad.

So, this week's review is part of the Caastle for Creators program where influencers have the amazing opportunity to create their own rental platform and curate the pieces they rent to their followers.

WHAT I'M WEARING THIS WEEK: The Collective 

Welcome back to What I'm Wearing This Week — The Collective where you can rent and wear designer items by names you know and love, and up-and-coming designers too! 

For the newbies to WIWTW, every Friday 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. Well, that's if the price is right!

For sizing reference, I am 5'11", weigh 140 pounds, and have a 33" inseam.

The Collective is a new luxury clothing rental service that gives members unlimited style options for one flat fee. Powered by CaaStle, the leading B2B rental technology and logistics company in the U.S., The Collective is part of Caastle for Creators program where influencers can connect with followers and create their own clothing rental platform.

This is a review of their plan that lets you rent 5 pieces at a time for $125 a month. For an extra $7 per box using the Dart feature, you can choose the items and speed up shipping too.

 

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)

WHAT I RECEIVED

 

All six items by Celia B, Cynthia Rowley, Sachin & Babi, and Rhode and arrived fresh from the dry cleaner and neatly packed inside a cardboard box.

THE GOODS 

Celia B Kendra Dress

 

About the designer: Founded in 2012, Celia B is the namesake label of Spanish-bred Celia Bernardo. Above all else, Celia B is an ode to freedom, a celebration of the joy of life in all its forms. We design fun, statement and timeless pieces, from Spain with love.

With a passion for textiles, a slight obsession over quality and a sensibility for craftsmanship, the brand is strongly committed to creating long lasting clothes for your wardrobe that break the molds defined by mainstream fashion. We understand clothing to be more than just fabric, it is an extension of your identity, and place the relationship you build with your clothes at the very center of our efforts. We encourage you to shine brightly, live boldly and celebrate life.

Made for women who take the world by storm. In a world which is increasingly becoming monochromatic, where colors are losing vibrancy and black and white are chosen above the beauty of colors, CELIA B stands out as an activist of color. No matter if it is in the depths of winter, or the sunniest of springs, our clothes aim to spark joy by making your wardrobe brighter.

Why I rented it: Super curious about this designer.

How I styled it: I've never heard of Celia B, but when I saw the dresses on the models, I was absolutely intrigued. They look like something I'd put on my toy babydoll back in the 90s, or perhaps Alice in Wonderland (I already have the white rabbit) or Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Or as one of my friends said, "a dress you'd find at Spirit of Halloween for your Raggedy Ann costume."

I wore it to the doctor and the grocery store to see what looks or comments I received (yes, sometimes it's a game to me), and I only received one comment: cute dress. Anyway, since it's so dainty, I paired it with the Ferragamo Gavina Sandals, the vintage Chanel Bag, and white rabbit who didn't want to associate with the dress. He squirmed out of my arms and ran off in a huff because he was late for a very important date.

Size and fit: I got a medium and it's a great fit, but quite short on me!

Crafted in super soft cotton, this darling dress with striped pattern and scalloped and embroidered trim features an oversized v-neck collar, short, puffed sleeves with buttoned cuffs, concealed side zip closure, slight empire waist (it's probably just on me), and a tiered skirt.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: Is it quirky? Absolutely. Is it cute? Totally. Part of me loves it, and part of me thinks it really should be reserved for Halloween. The cotton is super soft, and it's very well made, but I think this style probably belongs on toddlers. What do you think?

Celia B Evian Dress

 

Why I rented it: Wanted to try something else by Celia B.

How I styled it: I wore this dress with Jimmy Choo Patent Leather Wedges and the Fendi Fendista Crossbody.

Size and fit: I got a medium, it's oversized, and I think these babydoll dresses may be designed for someone quite a bit shorter than me. Crafted in soft cotton, the pullover dress features a seersucker bodice with self-tie neckline, short, puffed sleeves with elasticized cuffs, colorful scalloped trim, empire waist, and a tiered skirt.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: My friends preferred this Celia B dress over the other one. It's colorful, super soft, and very well made. Warning: I will be renting more of her designs so stay tuned for more circus acts in the near future.

Cynthia Rowley Cotton Tiered Skirt

 

About the designer: Cynthia Rowley began her career in fashion while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago (where she had every intention of becoming a painter). After graduation, she took what little seed money she had and moved to NYC to start her fashion brand. Whether she’s exploring on a far-flung getaway, surfing secret spots in exotic destinations, or scuba-diving in an arctic glacier, it’s safe to say the designer is known to take risks. It’s this unparalleled sense of adventure that effortlessly translates into the spirit of the brand through a playful assortment of pretty dresses, beachy separates, and swim/surf.

Cynthia Rowley has gone on to win numerous accolades including a CFDA Award and Designer of the Year at the American Image Awards. She is also a best-selling author and has appeared on numerous television shows.

Why I rented it: Love the color and design.

How I styled it: Green was my Irish grandmother's favorite color, and the older I get, the more I love it too. I tried this skirt with two different tops, and definitely preferred the Splendid by Ella Moss Off-the-Shoulder, over the Alice + Olivia Leather Crop Top. I also carried the Prada Bunny Clutch and Ferragamo Wedges.

Size and Fit: I got a size 6 and it was a little small in the waist. This high-waisted cotton skirt is crafted in a tiered silhouette with a concealed side-zip closure. It's long enough for the office and short enough for a night out on the town.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: Fun and feminine, but ever so slightly small.

Cynthia Rowley Bonded Fit & Flare Floral Print Pants

 

Why I rented it: I've had my eye on these pants (but in black) since Cynthia Rowley introduced the line over a year ago.

How I styled it: I paired the pants with a white Splendid by Ella Moss off-the-shoulder top, Robert Clergerie Platforms, and the Prada Bunny Clutch.

Size and fit: I got the 6 and they were a little stretched out up top. These colorful pants feature an artful floral print, banded waist, front-zip closure, and flared hem. The front was a bit more high-waisted than the back which was a little annoying.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: I will rent more pants like these by Cynthia Rowley. A little too warm out for the neoprene-like fabric right now, but I'm always sold when I find pants with a long seam and flared hem.

Sachin & Babi Jessica Maxi Dress

 

About the designer: Sachin and Babi met as students at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where they were instant friends. The two were cut from the same cloth, bonding over their common interests, ambitions, and upbringing in India. Friendship grew into love, and soon after, a company. Together, Sachin and Babi built a design and embroidery business, working for top houses including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Manolo Blahnik, among others. Sachin and Babi were one of fashion’s best-kept secrets behind-the-scenes until they set out on their own.

Driven by a commitment to incredible craftsmanship and a desire to connect with customers, Sachin and Babi launched our brand. By owning a family-run factory in Mumbai, we are able to control the design and production process from start to finish, cutting out the middlemen. The result: extraordinary clothing and accessories with tremendous value.

Why I rented it: It's long and flowy and I love the Barbie pink.

How I styled it: I didn't end up wearing it because it was a little too hot and the fabric didn't really breathe. In the pics, I paired it with Mignonne Gavigan Chiara Floral Studs, Louis Vuitton Cherry Blossoms Bag, and Jimmy Choo Patent Leather Wedges.

Size and fit: Sachin & Babi's sizing is all over the place. I got the 8 and it was a perfect fit. It's crafted in 100% polyester (so it's not breathable) and features a V-neck, spaghetti straps, concealed back-zip closure, empire waist, gathered maxi skirt, and front slit hem.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: It's beautiful, but probably best for a formal event in the spring or early summer.

Rhode Rowan Top

 

About the designer: RHODE is a story of friendship that started on the corner of 6th Avenue and 18th Street in Manhattan. Purna and Phoebe became college roommates and met at Bed, Bath & Beyond to shop for their dorm room which led to a long-distance friendship spanning two decades. Even though Phoebe became a travel photographer and producer in NYC and Purna, a fashion buyer in Dubai, they’d meet up for trips all over the globe. During these visits, they'd discuss what was missing in their closets and eventually quit their jobs to combine a love of travel and style into their vision for Rhode: a line of timeless pieces that are ready for anything.

Why I rented it: It's time for separates, y'all!

How I styled it: I paired the top with my fave Alice + Olivia Bell Bottoms, a vintage leather belt, the Louis Vuitton Graffiti Speedy, and Ferragamo Block-Heeled Sandals. Or with a snap-front midi leather skirt, Tabitha Simons Laser Cut Leather Sandals, and a Saint Laurent Sac de Jour.

Size and fit: I got the medium and it was quite oversized and boxy. Crafted in lightweight cotton poplin, this top features a round neckline, puff sleeves with cinched cuffs, back cutout with tie closure, and a colorful floral design.

Condition: Excellent.

Honest review: So, I ordered it because I thought it was a dress, not a top, but I think it's a great fall essential that can easily be worn to a beer garden on the weekend, and to work too!

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? Honestly, I didn't get much wear out of any of the pieces because the shipment was delayed a week, and I had it sent to my mom's.
  • Did they meet or exceed expectations? Hmm, maybe neutral.
  • What’s the return process like? Simple! Just place your items in the pre-paid garment bag and drop it off at one of your nearest USPS. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I spoke to a representative at CaaStle and got the scoop on the platform and products. And while I think The Collective by Nina Takesh is great, I had never heard of her and was just excited to try out a new rental company. I have lots of details on the platform and all their brands, and I will reveal more once I receive my next ModLux.Rent shipment. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, keep thinking positive thoughts for my little floof. I bought an air purifier and less allergenic hay. We've also been through multiple rounds of medication, and an albuterol inhaler, and children's Flonase.

VALUE BREAKDOWN: You get 10 items a month for $125/month. I don't know the total value because I can't find the prices. 

What are your thoughts about The Collective? Let us know what you think down below.

Starting at $125.00
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The Collective is a clothing rental subscription service that gives members unlimited access to endless styles for one flat monthly fee.

 

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Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky

If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar designer goods, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of city slicking in NYC and DC, I now have a car and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery. 


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6 comments

Claudia

Aww, hope your sweet little bunny feels better soon!

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Mary Zubritsky

Poor little dude 🐰

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Leslie

I love this review with the fun dresses. I think it’s great you wore the first one to the grocery store! I played the white rabbit in 5th grade in my grade school’s production of Alice in Wonderland. I still know the song by heart. I won’t repeat all the lyrics here, but it does start with, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date; no time to say hello goodbye I’m late, I’m late.” Lol.

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Mary Zubritsky

Oh, I’ve had that song stuck in my head since I received the dress! 😂

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Kate K.

Love that you are having fun with fashion! Agree the first two dresses are a bit over the top, but hey–if you are enjoying wearing them, I say go with it!

Hope Mr. Golightly gets better soon.

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Mary Zubritsky

That’s one of the great things about renting—there’s no commitment! You can try just about anything and if it’s weird, fits oddly, or not your style, you can send it right back!

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