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For the past few years, I’ve been wanting to fall in love with a clothing subscription company but the reality versus my expectations always fell flat. For a busy working mom, the idea of having clothes handpicked and delivered to my door for a reasonable price seemed like the perfect solution. I’m not displeased with my wardrobe but like every woman my age, I always want something new for the season or for an event coming up or heck even to lift my spirits on a Tuesday.
Last year I tried LE TOTE for the first time. I went through my first month wasn’t into it and canceled right away. But then over the next year, I kept thinking about LE TOTE and wondered if I had written them off too soon. Finally, as the holiday season snuck up I realized I had plans to travel November and December and that my San Diego wardrobe wouldn’t cut I decided to try Le Tote again. If you want to get a walkthrough of both the good and the bad with Le Tote follow along as I detail my 3-month subscription and exactly what I got.
Price: as low as $39 a month, no contract
What is it: Subscription-based clothing rentals.
What You Get: Unlimited "totes" delivered one at a time that includes 3 clothing items and 2 accessories per month. You get to hand pick each item that is delivered!
What's their contract like: Month to month but when you cancel you do have to call and can't do it online. You don't pay to ship either way.
Do I have to buy anything or pay a fee if I don't: Nope, you can strictly rent the clothes but have the option to buy if you end up loving them
Do you have to buy the products: Only if you want to, no fee if you don't.
Do you have to wash the products: No, they launder everything.
How it Works:
Go to LE TOTE and create a free account. From there you have to fill out a style profile, don't worry you still have the option to hand select each item that you receive. Your tote includes 3 clothing items and 2 accessories in each shipment. You get 100% control over which items come in your tote so you're never surprised or disappointed. You also get unlimited totes per month but all the items have to be shipped back each time. I find that I keep a tote around 2 weeks and then get another. So I average 6 clothing pieces and 4 accessories for $39 which is not bad at all!
There is a fairly large assortment of styles to chose from. Overall, they aren't as fashion forward as I would hope. I never have a problem buying a basic but the trendy seasonal pieces are what I am less apt to splurge on. I wish LE TOTE had more on-trend pieces instead of a slightly more vanilla selection of capsule or evergreen pieces. However, although it might not be the most fashionably adventurous options, the clothes are well made, well taken care of and items that you would find in Nordstrom or Anthropologie.
Who It is Good For:
- Anyone who is the type to wear something new over and over and over but then completely tire of it when they fall in love with something else.
- Anyone who is still learning their perfect style and finds themselves shopping and coming home with things that you only wear a few times before feeling like they aren't a good fit.
- Anyone who works a 9-5 and is tired of your wardrobe being stuck on repeat but only wants to shop for fun nonwork clothes.
- Moms or work at home type who don't have as many reasons to need new clothes all the time but still want them.
- Women who have tried Stitch Fix and hated that they couldn't pick out their own clothes.
- Anyone who is pregnant - they have a maternity subscription!
Before I get into the details of the service, I'll show you what my 3 totes looked like and what I actually wore:
By picture alone this seemed like it would be an all-around winner. I really liked the pieces I picked out and thought I was going to get a lot of us out of it. However, when the shipment arrived I realized that I am too tall (5'8" with a long torso) for what they deem a medium. If I was shorter, I might have ended up purchasing everything in it but after trying everything on and reminding myself I had unlimited totes, I quickly shipped this back to try again.
This one would have been completely lackluster if I hadn't fallen in love with the jacket and ring. The blue wrap sweater had sleeves that were a little short but with a jacket, over it, I wore it once. The chambray dress was too big but I did wear it to a play date and another time for some errands and casual coffee date at the beach. I did have a total moment with that blush suede jacket. I wore it out one night and my sister saw it and instantly took it off me and wanted to try it on herself. I held on to this tote longer than I needed to while I was deciding if I should buy the jacket. Ultimately I decided that I got so much wear out of it that I didn't near to buy it.
This tote looked pretty bland by picture but ended up being really practical. The velvet off the shoulder top was a fun evening piece and filled the gap in my wardrobe that my basics sometimes miss the mark on. While I never intended to want to use LE TOTE for basics, I am in love with the black wrap tank. It's January but I ended up keeping it for spring/summer because I'm so in love with the silhouette it creates. The striped button down isn't something I want to own but it did come in handy when I had a work meeting and needed to look more business professional than work at home mom. The jewelry never got worn.
Details You'll Only Know If You Tried It:
The inventory is warehoused in Oakland area for me a California girl this means that I get my new Tote within about 2 days from sending it back. As soon as the mailman scans my return package, my new tote begins to process!
The absolute best seller of this service is that you get 100% control over what ships in your tote. I've tried Stitch Fix and my biggest complaint was that I wanted the option to hand pick what was sent to me. With LE TOTE you'll get a Tote with 3 clothing items and 2 accessories picked for you. Then you can immediately go and swap out those items for the other available inventory they have. Every time I've completely swapped my tote for other pieces.
I'm 5'8" with a long torso so honestly, fit is a bit of a challenge for me but probably wouldn't be for someone 5'7" or under. I often sized up to a large in order to get the length right but then the body was too big and I would end up not wearing it at all.
They have an entirely separate subscription for maternity so you never have to buy maternity clothes again!
How To Buy A Product:
It is as simple as just excluding it from what you send back. Then it's yours and you even get a subscription credit for the next month's tote!
The Bottom Line:
I could easily spend $50 in a Forever21 type store and impulse buy $50 worth of cheap clothes that will just sit in my closet with the tags on. The idea of redirecting that money towards a constant stream of new clothes to try is a much better alternative. My Totes aren't filled with items that I love so much I want to own them or wear them all the time but I'm still really happy with the LE TOTE service and find myself unwilling to cancel.