To Le Tote or Not to Le Tote?
Here’s a post I promised when I first started blogging; a post on things I love. Does it come as any surprise that I love receiving a monthly subscription box of clothes? Whoever came up with this model is a genius. I’ve tried a few of these boxes but haven’t staid with any of them, until now. Let me introduce you to Le Tote and why I love it and why it works for me.
I’m a dog expert, providing care for and knowing a thing or two about dogs has been my career for the last fifteen years. Clothes, on the other hand, have been my passion since I was a kid. Even in third grade I can remember telling my mother I didn’t want to wear something again because, “I wore it already.” Yes, I am a true clothes-hound, I believe the original term was clothes-horse but I changed it to have something to do with dogs.
I love having new clothes, to me, there is nothing better than putting on a great new outfit. While I don’t always love trying clothes on, (bad dressing-room lighting) and I definitely don’t like paying for them, (so expensive!) I love the way a new outfit makes me feel. Putting on something new I’ve never worn before is just awesome because it’s not the same old, same old. Any occasion is an occasion to buy a new outfit. And because I wear many hats: Mom, entrepreneur, boss, dog walker, writer, wife (wait, why is that last?) You get the picture. True, I do work from home on some days but it’s rare that I don’t leave my house for one thing or another.
Twice a week I head to Pilates and at least a couple times a week I have new client meetings where I meet other actual humans. While dogs don’t mind what you wear or don’t wear for that matter, it is always a good idea to look as neat and professional as possible for whatever role you are in that day. Walking dogs requires comfy clothes and gym shoes so I can easily sprint after them if necessary. Meeting with clients requires clothes a bit more upscale and Pilates calls for workout studio clothes. So you can see that, regardless of what my husband says, I do need a lot of clothes and a variety of them. Of course, there are also those times too when my hubby and I go out somewhere fancy and I always try to dress up on those occasions.
Sadly, buying new clothes for every occasion isn’t always practical and my budget doesn’t always allow for something new.
Enter Le Tote.
Le Tote is a subscription clothes rental service. Because you are renting the clothes, it’s expected the clothes will not be new, however, the clothes are new to me and that’s good enough. Rest assured the clothes come dry-cleaned and unless I knew it, I could never tell the clothes may have been worn before. I smell all the clothes as they come out of my Le Tote box (I am a weird-o like that) and they’ve never smelled like anything but fresh, new clothes. With my subscription I also can chose two accessories. I love having new earrings and a necklace to wear with my new clothes. This option has really helped me cut down on my impulse splurges of earrings and necklaces. I have drawers full of trendy pieces I don’t wear anymore and I definitely don’t need to add to it.
I started subscribing to Le Tote about six months ago. When my first box arrived only one item was a hit. Now, I am pleased that at least four out of five items will work for me every time a new box arrives. You can get as many boxes as you want within your billing cycle. The faster you turn your boxes around, the more clothes you can try during that cycle.
The service takes some trial and error; at least it did for me. However, this is a great time to take a chance on clothes you may not want to commit to buying. Why buy that dress for your high-school reunion when you know your only going to wear it one time? If you’re like me, you have lots of clothes you only wore once and probably won’t wear again. I confess too that I am somewhat of a weight-fluctuater. For my wedding a few months back I dieted and exercised into an easy and predictable size six. Now that the wedding is over and I am not as restrictive about calories, I’ve settled back into my usual size eight. It’s easy for me to become careless about eating and drinking and slide right into a size ten, which is a bit too big for my frame. I am 5’5” with a short torso so if I gain too much weight I look busty and top heavy. I try to stay a size six but realistically I hover around an eight. In my closet I have sizes ranging from a pair of super skinny jeans in a size two up to a size twelve in a designer dress I wore to a funeral (here on out this is my funeral wearing dress, hopefully I don’t have to put it on too much.)
Thank goodness, I am a solid medium in most tops. It’s the bottoms where I can have difficulty. There seems to be no uniformity in the sizes offered by stores and designers.
To avoid getting Le Tote boxes with items that don’t fit you, take the time to answer the questions about your measurements and clothing preferences when you sign up. Use a measuring tape. I fudged this and guess-timated my sizes and this is probably why some of my things did not fit in the beginning. Chose the colors and styles you like the best and your Le Tote stylist will put together a Le Tote based on your preferences. Chose the entire tote or swap out pieces for different items. They’re always adding new things, and they have a variety of clothes from athleisure to formal and everything in between.
Pick clothes that you like and accessories to match. There are different subscription options to choose. I have the three clothing and two accessories options. The Le Tote monthly fee starts at $49. I also have the accidental insurance on mine. This covers spills and stains and in my case muddy dog prints. Oh yeah, you don’t have to wash these clothes. Use them, abuse them, get tagged on FB and Instagram in them and send them back. Just like that.
There’s also a style share option on the Le Tote app where you can see other women wearing the clothes. I love this option and have used it to get ideas about styling outfits or see what the clothes look like on “real” people. Le Tote has models wearing the clothes so it isn’t always easy to tell what an item will look like on you just by seeing it on a model.
Here are some pointers, Vince Camuto runs big and French Connection runs small. The Le Tote stylist will advise you if they think something will be too big or tight based on your measurements.
I only struck out with one of my entire Le Tote boxes and I reported it to Le Tote and they gave me a credit toward the purchase of an item and delayed my billing cycle by a few days. The Le Tote customer service is pretty great, I have both called and e-mailed them and both times I was satisfied with their solutions. I have an affiliate link her in this blog post so if you would like to try it for yourself you can. If you fall in love with something on Le Tote, you can keep it and they will charge you for it. The prices are pretty reasonable and if you keep everything in your box, your next one is free.
Subscribing to Le Tote has definitely helped me cut down on my need to purchase new clothes. They add new stuff to their selection all the time and I really do get a thrill at looking at their pages and pages of clothes knowing I can try anything I like.
A few years back I tried Stich Fix and hated it, to me, everything looked like it was from a Wal-Mart in the Midwest. I heard it’s gotten better but probably wont give it another try. I really look forward to getting my Le Tote box because it’s predictable. I picked the clothes, I can see what the outfits will look like and with my subscription I can chose accessories to go with the outfits. When your finished with your Le Tote, mail it all back in their self addressed mailing bag and in a few days you will get a text and an email that your new Le Tote is ready to be styled. I adore having this service because I can order clothes based on events I have coming up. I have used Le Tote to borrow a dress for my wedding shower, a cute romper for my wedding rehearsal dinner, a pink number for a Sunday brunch with friends and more. Recently, I took a few items with me to Palm Springs. I am including a few pictures so you can see what I got and where I wore it.
I just started hearing a lot of good things about Trunk Club from Nordstrom’s, which is another subscription service so maybe in the future I will give it a try. I also use the Poshmark app to sell my clothes that I am not going to donate. Poshmark is a super easy way to make extra money by selling the items in you closet you’re not going wear anymore but still have a lot of life left in them. I sold a ton of shoes this way because my foot “grew” after foot surgery and I couldn’t fit into my old size eight shoes anymore. You can find me on Poshmark @calilala
If you do wind up giving LeTote a try be sure to use my link to get a discount. I am an affiliate and if you try it, we both win.
Drop me a line at Laura@thepetsitterstale.com and tell me what you think or leave your comments and opinions in the section below. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on Le Tote and what your experience has been with their service.