This is the perfect place to share my new love: a delivery service called Wardrobe Wakeup. Designer clothes delivered fresh to my door once a month? Yes, please!
Before I tell you more about this wonderful idea, let me give you a little background on my clothing/shopping habits. I’m a petite woman in my mid-40’s who lives in a very hip, clothing-conscious town. A mere three blocks from my apartment, all the major designers have a boutique (or covet a spot) on the increasingly chic Fillmore Street. So I get to do a lot of high-fashion window shopping.
Most of these stores are well beyond my reach. Who has $200 to spend on a T-shirt? No, I prefer to look from afar and get ideas about how I can bring my own humble attire more in line with the current trends. I do hit the used clothing store on Fillmore quite a bit – a few weeks ago I saw Jeremy Irons in there with his wife; did I mention this is a swanky clothes kinda town?
So yes, I like stylish clothes; even though I’m cheap, I don’t like to look cheap. I also made a hard-and-fast rule when I was in my 30’s: for every new article of clothing that goes in my closet, something old has to go out. It’s a matter of space, really. I’m all full up here and I don’t like clutter.
I’ve developed a much healthier attitude about clothes once I realized it was good to make my wardrobe more “fluid.” I remember years ago listening to a behavioral scientist on TV (on Oprah, I believe) talk about buying patterns. He said that we all crave new things, but once we get them, the excitement usually wears off in about three months. Ok, so I don’t have to feel guilty about that shirt hanging in my closet that I used to wear frequently, but haven’t put on in at least a year (even though it still looks fine)? Instead I can see that it’s now time to sell it or give it away – and perhaps replace it with someone else’s gently worn cast off. The used clothing swap has been my most favorite way to recycle. Until now….
Wardrobe Wakeup is a new concept: designer clothes rental. Rent-a-swag, anyone? In this case, you can choose to get a top every month; a dress every month; or a combo of tops/dresses. I signed up for the tops only option. I pay $25 to have a new top mailed to me, which I can wear all month long. I’m into my third month, and so far so good.
This requires an adventurous spirit. Thus far, I have not received one item that I would’ve chosen for myself. But that’s what I love about it – I’m being sent a surprise gift – a chance to play with something that doesn’t fit within the confines of my regular play-it-safe wardrobe. And it’s schooling me on how to look for more adventurous pieces when I do go shopping for myself.
Is it worth it? Consider how much you spend on clothes in a year’s time. I certainly don’t spend $25 every month, but I might spend twice that every couple of months when I want to satisfy that desire for something new to wear. And yes, I’m not keeping these pieces – but that’s the best part. I get eye candy while still keeping my closet lean, and then get to say goodbye before I have a chance to grow tired of it. Brilliant!
We all know closet purging feels damn good. So far with this service, I’ve been deterred from buying new (or new-to-me) stuff that I really don’t need. I’ll think, “I’ve only worn my rental twice this month,” and then go home and figure out a way to wear it a few more times. Because the clock is ticking, people!
I know, I know – you’re saying, “but what if it doesn’t fit and I can’t wear it?” This hasn’t happened yet, I think because they really pay attention to the measurements you send them. As I mentioned, I am petite – very petite, actually – I usually fall below the lowest size. I’m no skinny model waif, mind you: I have my own non-mannequin size concerns (narrow in shoulders, wider in hips). I’ve been amazed and very pleased with the fit of these tops.
So what did I get? In late July, they sent me a brightly-patterned Marc Jacobs sweater. That’s right, Wardrobe Wakeup is savvy enough to know that a wool sweater is perfect for San Francisco in July! I called it my super funky Cosby sweater – I felt very retro hip every time I wore it (which was 4 times).
The next month I got a Diane von Furstenberg wrap top, sexy chic and black. I have worn it six times and have to send it back in a few days. I considered buying it (WW gives you the choice to purchase at up to 90% off retail). I’m tempted; I got so many compliments on this one. But I’m not completely sold. Even though it looks great, the off-the-shoulder sleeves fall down a bit too easily (curses, narrow shoulders). So I think it’s going back, though I may regret it….
But wait, the next shirt just arrived in the mail today. New eye candy! I pulled it out of the poly mailer and my brain said “medieval vest from Game of Thrones” (would never have pulled this off the rack). But then I looked it up online to see how the skinny waif models wear it. Looks pretty good, I must admit. I tried it on with some skinny blue jeans and boots and voila! – hip girl will be hitting the streets again soon!
Yes, I am really digging this new-duds-for-awhile adventure. I don’t see how I can lose. Even if I get something that I don’t end up wearing much, to me that isn’t any different from when I buy clothes myself – sometimes I score an item that I’ll wear to death and other times I’ll buy something that rarely sees the light of day. I can’t explain it, but I’m glad I’ve learned to let that go. Bring on the revolving wardrobe – I’m a believer!