Yes – yes there I was, saying glorious things about the company. And I still think its a great company. But, well, my wallet started screaming at me. Ok… screaming isn’t the right word, more like chiding me. Every time I got a box, I would try on my clothes and love them.
A couple pieces would cost me close to $200 (sometimes more) and I just couldn’t justify it once a month, or even every two months. Plus, my closet was bursting at the seems and I was having anxiety getting rid of pieces that I invested a lot of hard earned cash on.
I liked the idea that Stitch Fix was pushing me outside my typical style comfort zone, but in order to keep a piece, I’d have to shell out $75+ was a tough one to swallow.
So just when I was feeling in a fashion time-out, and having to stop looking at my Instagram feed of all the cute spring outfits my favorite bloggers were wearing (I’m looking at you, Shaeffer), in walked Le Tote.
Le Tote is my Friday Favorite this week. Actually, it is every week – let me explain why.
Think of Stitch Fix and Netflix having a baby. That’s Le Tote.
Even better, its Rent the Runway with work and casual clothes. Yes, that’s more like Le Tote.
So like Stitch Fix, I put together a style profile of what I like and dislike. It’s a lot more basic than Stitch Fix, but it works.
Then, like Netflix, I put together a “queue” of clothes I want to receive. Unlike Netflix, I won’t receive them in the order selected. It’s more like a suggestion.
How it works:
Pay $49 a month for a subscription to the service.
You get an assortment of: 3 clothing pieces (shirts, skirts, pants, dresses, jackets) and 2 accessories (handbags, jewelry, scarves) in each box. Each box is shipped in a 2-day express mail (included in your subscription).
Keep your box for however long. If you REALLY like one of the pieces, keep it at a discount. If you really like ALL of your pieces, keep the entire box for a deeper discount and get next month’s subscription free (yep – discount AND $49 off).
When you are ready to swap out your pieces (for me, its when I’ve worn all of them once), return in the self addressed mailer, pop it in the mail and return it. Your closet will queue up another 5 pieces.
Before the next set ships, you can swap out pieces online in your virtual closet. This is especially helpful if I am planning to meet clients or going out of town for the weekend. I can plan my outfits around my schedule a bit.
If I keep the tote for 1-2 days, I can get about 1 tote a week, between shipping and processing. That averages 4 totes a month. I try to pick out two outfits per tote and use them mainly for work clothes (though their casual stuff is great, too). I am a tall gal with hips so I have curves, but their fabrics have a lot of “give” and movement so I think they choose pieces that look good on many body types. This helps make me feel like I’m getting a lot of my subscription.
Oh, and each piece is dry cleaned and the jewelry is cleaned as well before it is shipped to the next person.
Here is an example of one of my previous totes:
What I’m Wearing Now
I had a tote arrive on Wednesday this week – so here is an actual example of the tote and how it arrives:
First, everything is always neatly packaged, wrapped in tissue paper and the jewelry is wrapped in bubble wrap. The only thing I’ve noticed different than with Stitch Fix is there are no outfit suggestions provided. Granted, many of the pieces are meant to be worn together and I’ve had great luck pairing the pieces together, but adding my own accessories or shoes can be a struggle at 6am, when I’m not feeling so inspired.
So here I am, with the leggings, blouse and new handbag. (In the grocery store buying creamer for my coffee – got to keep it real!)
Honestly, for a work or weekend outfit, I really like it. The leggings fit lovely over a pair of black booties. I threw a long gold necklace on and I was out the door in minutes.
So far, I’ve received 4 boxes, purchased one skirt (the black one seen above), and only had one item that didn’t fit. That was better odds than I had with Stitch Fix. Honestly, I would’ve purchased more items, but I told myself this is just to refresh my closet a bit (not to increase it). The average price of the items are also less than Stitch Fix. That skirt was at $54, but I bought it on an end of season sale, so it came in 50% off! The bag seen above may also stay in my closet for $48, but its unique, a good practical size and something unlike other bags I own.
I’ve received a lot of compliments on the outfits I’ve put on (without prompts mind you) and I really like the work pieces. Many of the pieces come from Nordstroms or other higher end stores. The dresses are a great score and fit my body type well. That blue dress up there was KILLER on me, but it was over $100, and yeah – I was trying to stick to a budget. Still…. KILLER. Maybe I should move my threshold up a bit.
Can I also add, they even feature Shaeffer’s “Must Have Denim Jacket” as one of the items? No joke – I actually own this for myself already, but I thought, “ok, this place has style.”
I can also say they have great customer service. I’ve had a few strange issues pop up, and they handled them incredibly well despite not having a 1-800 number. The email system worked just fine.
What Would I Change?
Their inventory is hit and miss. Because they are waiting on other subscribers like me to return items, it can be tough to get a piece you like. Or, if its super popular, people may keep it and you may never get it. But – you can always purchase it outright (its just not at a discounted price). So it would be great if you could prioritize your “want” on an item. Like, this is my number one item that I REALLY want and send it to me as soon as it becomes available.
However, with the way its organized, I think that would be difficult.
I’ve never been dissatisfied with a tote and they refresh their inventory at season’s end so I know they won’t have the same winter clothes next year. That also makes me happy. Besides, I’m using it as just a closet refresher service and I’m certainly saving a lot in dry cleaning fees and its a lot less than Stitch Fix. My wallet stopped screaming at me!
If you want to check out Le Tote for yourself (at $25 off for the first month), here is a link [affiliate]. Take a look for yourself. Check out the Must Have Jean Jacket while you are there!
Photo Credits: Le Tote and myself