Video Update: Renting A Wardrobe

By: Serese Cole, Jodi Baker, Malorie Maddox, LeAnne Morman Email
By: Serese Cole, Jodi Baker, Malorie Maddox, LeAnne Morman Email
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Renting clothes instead of buying could be the answer to always having a fashion forward wardrobe without spending big bucks.

Channel 6 News put two clothing rental companies to the test and have details on how they work and what to expect.

Serese Cole and LeAnne Morman tried LeTote. It’s a newer company that asks you to recruit people to sign up online before they allow you to use the service.

After signing up online and a phone call from a fashion consultant asking what likes and dislikes were, LeAnne Morman received her “tote” a week and a half after ordering.

At LeTote, they pick the clothing for you. LeAnne received two tops, a dress, necklace and bracelet.

The tops fit well and were worn to a couple of social events by LeAnne. The bracelet and necklace were worked into her regular wardrobe.

After talking to her personal stylist, Serese received her LeTote in five days. The stylist selected a mauve blouse, gray dress and maroon top for her. Her accessories included a gold link necklace and silver bracelet.

Once a LeTote customer is done with a tote, they can mail it back and get another one sent to them. The cost is $54 a month ($49 with tax). It comes with postage included; however, LeAnne’s box did not have it.

The company did email the postage once she made them aware of the issue. All and all, LeAnne says it was fun expanding her wardrobe, but shopping in person is more her style. Serese enjoyed the experience, too. But says she enjoys picking out her own clothes!

LeTote is good for the ladies looking to try something new. The fashion consultant can help expand the fashion palette by sending something new that normally wouldn't come home in the shopping bag.

Malorie Maddox and Jodi Baker tried Rent The Runway, the glitz and glam of the runway delivered to your door.

The dresses come from online site with a whopping 3 million members. They can copy the looks of their favorite celebrities.

For example, a Prabal Gurung style that Kate Middleton was just photographed in, or the Calvin Klein dress Emma Stone wore to the Golden Globes.

There are thousands of dresses and accessories to choose from, jewelry starting at $10 and dresses ranging from $65 to $300 for a four-day rental. Members can pay more to have the looks for a full week.

They also have the option of selecting a free back-up size and/or a second style for $35 more.

The dresses arrive, dry-cleaned, in a garment back the wearer gets to keep.

Malorie chose a Badgley Mischka dress, which retails for almost $500. It's rental price: $85. It's perfect for the local events where she serves as the Master of Ceremonies.

Jodi chose a Kate Spade dress, Scribble Scrabble style, which retails for $400 and rents for $75. It was one of a relatively small number of less formal styles which worked for her needs - a family photo.

Both styles were popular in online reviews. Malorie and Jodi both found them useful, particularly since reviewers can upload photographs of them wearing the style. "It's real people, not just models," said Jodi, "which gives us a more accurate view of how we might look."

Still, Jodi wished she'd listened to the couple of reviews which said the dress was boxy and shapeless. She found that to be the case.

Malorie's dress, based on the reviews, "looks good on everyone from a size extra small to an extra large," she said.

She also chose a Milly cocktail dress as a second look, for the $25 price point. She's glad she listened to reviewers that the style runs large, ordering down one size. It was a perfect fit.

An e-mail reminds renters on the morning their dresses are due in the mail. At that point, they simply place them in a postage-paid envelope and drop the package in any blue U.S.P.S. mailbox.

No drycleaning is necessary. Rent the Runway takes care of that before shipping the dresses back out to the next wearers. Jodi and Malorie both appreciated the ease of rental.

In the end, Malorie said she'll use the website again. Jodi's not so certain, preferring the security of being able to try on a dress.

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