We’ve all seen the traveling YouTubers and Instagram who seem to have an endless supply of ethereal outfits that they float around in, hair laying perfectly flat and makeup done even in 80% humidity.
We all know this stuff isn’t real, but we all want to look cute when traveling! For this reason, I decided to sign up for a 30-day free trial of Gwynnie Bee, which is a clothing rental service. Sign up for it here and get $10 off your first month!
Note that if you shop through Ebates when you sign up you get $27.50 cash back!
Below is my review of the Gwynnie Bee service after doing the 30-day free trial.
I’ve never been much for fashion and have always preferred to keep it simple. My office job is pretty casual so I mainly wanted to rent garments for my vacation to Belize and birthday month in May 2019. I figured I could also wear some of the pieces to work.
After 30 days of trying it (4 boxes of clothes), I will not be continuing my GB membership. Read on to find out why.
How It Works
Basically, you pay a flat monthly fee which includes clothing rental, cleaning (they clean the clothes), and shipping. You search their website for items to add to your closet.
They will send you these closeted items gradually based on your subscription and the item/size availability. You can prioritize them to let GB know that you want this one sooner.
You can keep each piece as long as you want and return it without worrying about dates.
If you decide to keep a piece, you get 10-15% off the retail price.
Each box with your clothes comes with a return bag and a USPS label so you can stick it in your mailbox when done. This was nice, no trips to the post office or UPS box for me.
When you’re done with a piece you go to the Gwynnie Bee website and tell them if you wore each piece, why you didn’t (wrong size, quality, etc.), and if you want an alternative size. Basically you’re giving them a heads up that you’re sending the clothes back and they should prep the new ones.
How Long Did It Take?
From the day I shipped a box back to the day I got a new box it was about 4-5 days each time. So theoretically, you could switch out a new box each week. Keep in mind I didn’t really wear most of the clothes I got (more on that later) so it was faster to return.
Fit & Styling
I believe the Gwynnie Bee was originally made for plus size women, which is awesome! I know they typically have trouble finding clothes that are actually cute. Since then they have expanded to more sizes to be more inclusive. I’m a solid 6/8 in pants and medium in tops – so just generally in the middle of the road.
One of the things I didn’t like was that all the clothing is shown on women who appear to be plus size. I don’t have anything against this, but it’s always harder to picture that shirt on your body if you don’t match that image. It works the same way for Victoria’s Secret models, who are usually very thin.
Unfortunately, I could never quite get the fit right. Everything always felt too big even when I followed their sizing guide. Reading the other girls’ reviews helped but I still ended up with the wrong size on most pieces. This is the main reason I decided not to continue with Gwynnie Bee.
The first 30 days are completely free with the trial, and that means completely free with no random handling charges. After that, you can have 2 garments out at a time for $69 a month + $5 tax. During the free trial, they sent me 3 garments in half of my boxes, unexpectedly.
You can see all the prices above, there’s also a 1 garment at a time option hidden at the bottom of this page for $49/month.
Depending on where you are in your finances, this could be an awesome deal or a total rip-off. I consulted with my friend Nica, who is a fashion influencer with 23k+ following on Instagram, to see what she thought of the $70/month deal for 2 garments. She said:
Why would you pay $70 a month for clothes you aren’t even going to keep? You can get so many pieces at Forever 21 for $70 that you’ll wear more than once for that!-XOFashionNica
As much as I hate to admit it, I see her point. Forever 21 clothes are cheap and not made to last, but you can usually get at least 3 wears out of them. The Gwynnie Bee prices seem to be on par with the other clothing rental services such as Rent the Runway.
For some reason, the clothes that came in 3/4 of my boxes smelled musty and faintly of body odor. I emailed Gwynnie Bee to find out if I was supposed to wash them, but they reassured me everything arrives clean. The last box didn’t have the same smell, so I have no explanation for this. Either way, it was a huge turn-off.
Pros of Gwynnie Bee
Although I decided not to continue, Gwynnie Bee definitely had some good things going for it.
- Easy and free shipping
- Surprise extra items in the mail sometimes
- No due dates on items, keep as long as you want
- App available to browse clothes
- Flexible plans from 1-10 items at a time, $49-$200 a month plans
- Size inclusive
- Easy interface to find clothes and put them in your “closet”
- Ability to buy pieces after you try them and get a discount
- Seem to frequently update clothing options
- Includes brands I like such as ModCloth and INC (from Macy’s)
Cons of Gwynnie Bee
Here are the factors that lead me to cancel my subscription to Gwynnie Bee.
- Too expensive for my budget – I didn’t feel the quality of the clothing justified the cost for me
- I’m just not that interested in fashion and buy 1-2 new clothing items a month typically
- No option to only subscribe for certain months, this is not something I feel I would need every month of my life but want for vacations, weddings, etc.
- I felt the photos, clothing styles, and size guides were made for plus sized women, which did not benefit me since I’m not plus-sized
- Why did my clothes smell musty?
- Many of the patterns were loud and not to my (more simple) tastes
Should I Try Gwynnie Bee?
If you got this far in the article, you should absolutely try it! It’s completely free to try, so sign up using this link and get $10 off your first month if you subscribe. It can’t hurt to sign up, and I had fun trying on styles that I wouldn’t necessarily buy on my own.
If you’re looking for another alternative, check out these sites (for those based in the USA):