I've often joked I wish we could just rent our clothes. I love variety and am always tempted by the new. I've bought as many things I tire of quickly as pieces that last, and I am tired of that. Along comes Anthropologie with a new clothes rental service called Nuuly.
Full disclosure: I worked at Anthropologie for 12 years. My forte was being in the fitting room, guiding and suggesting. I was one of a half dozen associates brought to Philadelphia to develop the Personal Stylist program, and I'm proud to say I helped shepherd the program in its beginnings.
I never dreamed Anthro would come up with the various initiatives it has, from its brief stint in workout gear to its odd emphasis on beauty products, to eternal discounts (once as rare as hens' teeth) to offering plus sizes (formerly scorned upon). There have been some misses—the upscale Liefsdottier line and the BHLDN bridal line (still around but much altered).
The folks at Anthro central in Philadelphia have come up with another idea, and this sounds like a winner: Nuuly. It's a clothes rental service. I have no idea what the letters mean. Could it be "New You Truly"? Six pieces for $88. Wear them for a month with an option to buy or send them all back and pick out another six. No shipping or cleaning charges. Sounds too good to be true, BUT what a brilliant idea, and boy-oh-boy am I tempted.
If you've ever trolled the Anthropologie website you know how exhausting it can be. There is much more online, more than in stores. Some of it is quite pricey. Naturally those are the things I like. Nully has its own site for making selections. It's pretty extensive, featuring more Fashion pieces than Basics and including some of those pricier items.
One obvious downside is the usual one when buying clothes online: how will it look on you? One or two of your six choices will undoubtedly not make it on your back during the month. You will be out of luck if something needs shortening.
I worry about the company, too. They say you don't have to deal with cleaning or repairs. I assume all garments will be sent out newly refreshed. Does that mean part of the huge Urban campus will become a dry cleaning plant? Will you be advised not to drink red wine while wearing your white sweater? And is this truly a money-making proposition? $88 barely buys a t-shirt at Anthropologie. For those many thousands hooked on Anthro, will not that $88 satisfy the itch that might have been scratched spending so much more?
Will I try it? Well, as I said, I'm tempted, although I'm not lacking in clothes (an understatement). What I don't have is a five-days-a-week job or a dating life. n.b. I don't miss either. With a modicum of restraint, I think I'll pass.
When I was a little girl one of my favorite pastimes was leafing through my mother's catalogues and "choosing" what I would order. It was great fun to imagine going here or there wearing this or that. I must have spent hours pretending on rainy or winter afternoons. I have a feeling that's exactly what I will do with Nuuly.