Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Subscription Box Madness - Le Tote

Like I promised, I have compiled a review of the subscription box "Le Tote."   It is a little lengthy, but bear with me and I'll tell you everything you need to know.  So, lets talk.

I had visited Le Tote's website a few times over the last 30 days and read many online reviews.  I wasn't quiet ready to pull the trigger until I found myself constantly going back to their website to look at clothes. So, I finally signed up and instantly received a $10 shopping credit.  I'll explain more about that in a minute.  Additionally, I used a PROMO code at checkout and got my first box for half price! So, I need to now tell you what Le Tote is about and how it is different from other box services like Stitch Fix or Golden Tote. 

The Concept

LT is a monthly subscription, clothing rental service, whereas Stitch Fix or Golden Tote shipments contain new items for purchase only.  With LT, you will receive 5 items in each box- 3 items being garments, 2 items being accessories.  The cost is $49 a month for unlimited boxes per month.  Boxes ship at 2 day rates, which is apart of your subscription fee, and LT does all the laundering and cleaning for you (which is also apart of your subscription fee). 

Now, let me stop right there because I'm sure I just lost some of you.  I can guess that many people are not okay with the concept of rented clothing because that means that someone else has worn it before blah blah blah. Well, does the fact that you eat off a rented fork or knife at a restaurant stop you from going out to eat?  I didn't think so.  Moving on...

So once you join, you fill out the usual style profile to give your stylish an idea of things that you like and don't like.  What's different about Le Tote is that you can view the entire stock of clothing and accessories their service has to offer you before entering your payment information.  I think that's awesome in case it turns out the style just isn't what you were looking for.

You are encouraged to favorite or "like" up to 5-40 items in each category (clothing or accessories) and these favorites will be added to your closet.  For each box you receive, you are guaranteed to receive at least 2 items from your closet and the rest are picked out by your stylist for that added "surprise", or out-of-the-ordinary factor. 

When you receive a box, you can wear the items for as long or as little as you want, and when you are done you simply return your unwashed items in the provided prepaid envelope.  When the post office scans your return shipment, your stylist begins putting together your next box. 

The Competitor's Concept

StitchFix- You pay a $20 styling fee for each fix you receive.  Like LT, you complete a style profile and can rate different photos of outfits to help your stylish determine what best suits you.  You will receive a fix with 5 items, and your $20 styling fee will be applied to the cost of your total purchase.  If you purchase all 5 items in a fix, you receive a 25% discount. 

Golden Tote- You pay $49/month to receive 2-3 items, or $149 to receive 5-7 items a month.  Therefore, most people opt to receive the $149 tote.  Like LT, you shop their inventory and purchase an item (or 2 if you got the $149 tote) that will be guaranteed to be in your tote.  Your stylist picks the rest. 

Here's the Catch: With StitchFix, you get out of it what you put in.  When I first began, I wanted a complete surprise in every box.  I got items that I wouldn't normally wear- some were exciting and some stood to reason as to why I didn't like it.  It grew old.  I was justifying to myself to buy something I didn't really like just not to lose my styling fee.  With each box, I grew less and less impressed and I finally pulled the plug.  With Golden Tote, you do get to have a say about a few of the items you receive each month, but you either purchase the entire tote or return your entire tote.  So if it turns out you really only like the items you picked, well you just picked up two good items for $149 and a bunch of other stuff you won't wear.  Also, you pay ALL the shipping.  That's right, so even if you buy nothing, you just spent $15 to try on clothes at home.  Boo on that!

Why I Like Le Tote the Best

Let's be honest, these subscriptions are only great if you get enough bang for your buck.  Anyone can kind-of-sorta pick out clothing for someone else that they think they will like, but with LT, I got to choose what I received!

Within hours of ordering my first box, I received an email from my stylist that let me preview its contents.  As promised, two items from my favorites were in the box and all other items had been selected by my stylish.  For the next 24 hours, I was allowed to modify any items in my box that I didn't love from a selection of similar comparisons.  (i.e. change a bracelet for a bracelet, a top for a top, etc.)  I finalized my box immediately and it was on its way to my doorstep.  And as promised, two days later, it had arrived.  Here's what I got:

Noir- Flora Printed Top (wore it the first night)
(Kensie Open Front Drape Cardigan- wore it the next day- Pardon the quick selfie
as I was on my way to run errands, but man was I comfy!)
(Noir Luxe Estelle Charm Bracelet (Spiked)- I have worn it daily)
I immediately fell in love with all of my items! They were unique, different from what I can find in my local stores, and the patterns and color options were amazing. I got a use out of everything in my box, but wanted to keep the momentum going to see if every box was as nice as the first box.  I packed up my worn, unwashed items, minus the red top and spike bracelet that I decided to purchase, and then dropped them off in the mail. 
I'm set to receive my second box this month on Friday, and here's a peek at what's coming...
How to Purchase
If you like an item enough that you want to keep it, simply don't return it.  When LT receives and processes your returned items, they will notice that you kept an item and automatically charge you for that item. (Here is where that shopping credit comes into play.) If you purchase your entire box, you get your next month's subscription fee for free! On the other hand, if you love something a lot, but aren't ready or willing to buy, simply ask to receive the item again in another shipment.  Neat, huh?
So Here's My Final Take
The Pros:
- Convenience - It really doesn't take much on your part to receive new items in your wardrobe frequently.
- Selection - Since I live in a small town currently, I can still find unique styles that are different from what my local retailers have to offer.  I like that a lot.
- The "Test" Period - If you're like me, I've been known to buy a top, wear it once just to find it as "eh." It stays in my closet, never gets worn and then its finally out in the garage sale pile being sold for $2.  I don't have to worry about the one wear commitment anymore.
The Cons:
- Prices - $49/month can be a lot to receive clothes that aren't even yours.  If you buy the service only seeking versatility in your style, then maybe its not that bad for you.  I, however, want something forever if it I love it enough.  If you are a frequent purchaser, you will pay for the items you keep on top of your monthly subscription and in my opinion, the price points are a little high for gently used clothing. 
- Frequency -  See my statement above.  If I find something I love enough, I'll keep it.  If I'm receiving 3-4 boxes a month, the temptation is always there to spend your money.  Hey, you have to admit that its a genius business plan, however.
- Other than that, I can't think of a reason not to!
So take it for what its worth.  Try it out if you're curious, or if you just need an extra reason to have a little fun.  I did and it keeps life, and my style, interesting.  If this blog convinced you to sign up, please feel free to use this link here---> for my referral credit.  My closet and my budget thank you in advance! :)
Until next time,

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