Is Nuuly Better Than Rent The Runway? One Editor’s Honest Review

Bella Gerard
Is Nuuly Better Than Rent The Runway? One Editor’s Honest Review
Photo: Courtesy of Bella Gerard; Adobe.

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For years, I was a devout Rent The Runway fan. The pricy monthly subscription granted me access to unlimited clothing rentals delivered directly to my door—then, they announced a change in memberships that basically broke my fashion-loving heart. Prices went up and the Unlimited membership was phased out; devastated, I paused my account permanently. Looking for a replacement and eager to explore my 2021 style options, I decided to write up this Nuuly review and give you the full tea on one of RTR’s top competitors. My opinion? Worth trying.

First, let’s start with the service’s basics. Nuuly is a monthly clothing rental subscription service that provides customers the opportunity to select six pieces to keep for a full 30 days for just $88/month. As someone who was used to RTR’s Unlimited membership, I wasn’t sure I’d be happy with just six pieces all month long, but when Nuuly kindly offered me a one-month trial, I knew I should give it a fair chance.

The first thing I instantly liked was that curious potential members can actually browse all styles on the site before even signing up—it’s not a sign-up-then-see deal. They also had quite a bit more variety than I was expecting, and I found the site super easy to navigate. You can shop by item (Tops, Bottoms, Dresses) or by curated lookbooks (Statement Coats, Campsgiving, etc.) and there are separate sections for Plus, Petite, Maternity and Vintage options.

STYLECASTER | Nuuly Review

Courtesy of Nuuly.

Finding items I liked was a breeze, as was placing my order. Everything arrived within two days and I received a return label for sending my haul back at the end of the end of the month (Spoiler alert, my return package was lighter because I ended up keeping one of my pieces!).

I found a lot of Pros to using Nuuly. The ability to rent from brands I already love and discover new designers, as well as the opportunity purchase pieces directly from my monthly rentals or simply send them back were all major wins. The only Con? You’d better be sure of your size before you place an order, because you can’t swap sizes once your pieces arrive. Personally, I wish they’d change this, as one of my items was too big (My fault for choosing incorrectly, or the industry’s fault for inconsistent sizing? Who can say for sure!) and it sat unworn all month long.

All in all, I was pretty damn pleased, and I’d definitely recommend any Nuuly skeptics to give the service a try, at least for one full month. Who knows, you might end up exploring a whole new style for 2021! That said, read on for my honest thoughts on my month of selects, plus (Lucky you!) a ton of pictures of me.

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STYLECASTER | Nuuly Review

Courtesy of Bella Gerard.

The ‘So Good, I Actually Bought It’

I loved the Petit Moments Solange Faux Leather Coat so much, I bought it halfway through my first wear. It retails for $250 and is currently sold out in quite a few sizes on the brand’s actual site, so being able to keep this piece straight from my order felt like a total score. Fur collars and sleeves are so trendy right now, but brands like Saks Potts that don’t use faux fur can really rub me the wrong way, so I was thrilled to find a faux fur alternative I fell head over heels for. Quite the win in my book!

 

STYLECASTER | Nuuly Review

Courtesy of Bella Gerard.

The Bridgerton Buy

Yes, I binge-watched Bridgerton and then ordered this corset-style top. The Free People Trapped In Your Love Velvet Tank retails for $98 and honestly? If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I would’ve bought this piece, too. I loved the velvet bodice, faux-boning look and black ribbon straps, which were easy to untie and adjust for the perfect fit.

This piece might not seem all that special at first glance, but it’s one I could style a myriad of ways, which is important to consider when renting a piece for a full month. You don’t want to get six items you can only wear once each; that isn’t a good way to make the most of your subscription. Choosing a wearable black top with some extra-special detailing was a great move, and this is one of my top Nuuly picks.

 

STYLECASTER | Nuuly Review

Courtesy of Bella Gerard.

 The Christmas Dress Debacle

And now, the piece that just didn’t work. I rented the Saltwater Luxe Sequin Plunge Maxi Dress, which retails for $224, and found it was totally huge and very heavy. Not Nuuly’s fault, but the issue I do have is that you’re not able to swap sizing and get a better fit. Once you order, you’re stuck with it! It was a bummer to have an item I couldn’t wear all month long.

That said, I rented a backup holiday dress just in case, and the Divine Heritage Crystal Velvet Wrap Sequin Gown was a hit. What a relief! This dress retails for $965, and I’m obsessed with the deep green velvet and crystal detailing. Christmas celebrations were small this year, but dressing up and being with my family was still a treat, and this piece made it all the more special. Two jolly thumbs up!

 

STYLECASTER | Nuuly Review

Courtesy of Bella Gerard.

The Faux Fur Favorite

If I hadn’t already purchased the Petit Moments coat, I honestly would’ve purchased the Avec Les Filles Lux Faux Fur Coat, too. I just don’t need that many coats, no matter how beautiful they are! That’s also the perk of renting—this coat, which retails for $349, was amazing to wear around, but I had zero place to store it in my tiny NYC apartment. I loved wearing it, but was relieved to be able to send it back at the end of the month and regain my closet space.

This further proves why renting seasonal items like outerwear is such a great option. You can rent coats all winter long, then not have to worry about storing them come spring and summer. Plus, you can experiment with all different styles of coats and not wear the same piece all season long. TBH, I think using your Nuuly subscription to just rent six coats at a time would be a stellar idea. Might be doing that if the weather continues to be brutal.

 

STYLECASTER | Nuuly Review

Courtesy of Bella Gerard.

The Designer To Watch

For some of my picks, I wanted to select items by brands I was already familiar with—that way, I already had an idea of what sizes I might need to order. Still, I wanted to use my subscription as an opportunity to explore designers I wasn’t already familiar with, which was why I added the Mozh Mozh In Chains Knit Crop Top to my order. This knit halter top retails for $380, and while it was definitely too summery to wear out right now, I did enjoy taking selfies in it (We stan the direct sunlight in that first pic!) and sizing up the quality of the garment. It’s so bomb.

The knit chain neckline was so gorgeous and unique, it inspired me to check out the brand’s Instagram, which only has around 16k followers. Had I not found the top on Nuuly, I would’ve never known about Mozh Mozh, so I’m glad to have my eye on them now. Getting to try a piece from a smaller designer without having to splurge was a major perk, and one of my top takeaways from my Nuuly trial.

All in all, I was very impressed with my picks, which would’ve cost me a whopping $2,266 (!!!) to buy instead of renting. I definitely think there are Pros and Cons to all clothing rental subscription services, but if you agree that $88/month for six pieces is a deal worth exploring, you can sign up now (and pause your account whenever!) and put Nuuly to the test.

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