What’s beyond Rent-The-Runway in the clothing rental market? To make it easy for you, I checked out the options. This week, my research led me to Armoire.
Armoire is an unlimited clothing rental service and has a female founder, like Rent-The-Runway, but has less of a high fashion focus.
Let’s dig into its pros & cons, so you can decide if it’s the next right step in your personal style journey.
Although Armoire featured me on their #BossLady spotlight, please know I paid for my subscription and this review is independent of the shout-out.
The Deal: $149/month, 4 Items per month, Unlimited Exchanges*, Free dry-cleaning & shipping.
Armoire uses stylists along with AI to choose items for you based on an initial simple visual quiz.
Starting Out: It took my stylists several attempts to get the curation correct for me. As I’m very clear on what I like and gave specific parameters, I’m not sure if the success rate could be improved. As a Personal Style Coach, I also know that women know more about what they don’t like than what they do, so I understood why they set up the style quiz this way. You can also update your style profile at any time. They offer a 1:1 appointment with a stylist, which I never used as they are on PST. I worked by email instead.
First Box: My delivery came quickly in a reusable plastic mailer The items were tied up with a piece of string with a pretty origami dress.enclosed, which felt like a nice touch. I had learned from my Rent-The-Runway experience to go with items I knew I’d love. The jacket and blouse I received were amazing and really helped me hit it out the park for my upcoming Ellevate Conference. It felt like a huge win to be able to order these items for this special event.
Swaps: The swaps I ordered the rest of the month were not so great. I got a little fed up with the back-and-forth with the stylists, so just ended up ordering some things I thought would be okay, to make the cost worth it. I ended up with one dress I really loved and thought seriously about keeping, but ended up sending back because it was white. That is the advantage of renting — you’re not committing to anything, so the decision to wear something just for the fun of it is lighter.
What Armoire has going for it:
- Stylist Picks: The stylist service definitely cuts down on the time you spend scrolling through items on Rent-The-Runway.
- Unlimited: Because the service is currently unlimited, you really get the feeling of the joy of renting.
- *Responsive: They’ve just come out with a capsule option with just 4 items per month @ $79.
- Female Founder: Armoire is investing in their community and heavily marketing their female empowerment angle.
What Armoire needs to improve:
- Quality Level. The level of brands and variety of sophisticated items on Armoire does not compare at all to Rent The Runway. If I’m paying to rent, I want to feel like the items are not ones I could actually purchase on my own. That being said, I may not be Armoire’s target market.
- Limited Sizing. Offering only 0-16W misses a huge segment of the market. I expect a female-founded company to do better.
- No App. Armoire’s site calls itself an app, but the App Store doesn’t actually have an app. I found this a bit confusing and disappointing. I’d like the functionality of an app to choose my items, track my past orders and browse styles on my own if only to add to the machine learning results.
- No Refunds. I put my subscription on hold while I was away, but they charged me before I could cancel and would not give me a refund.
- Rent-To-Buy Option. Armoire only offers 10% off if you want to purchase your items. Given that they have been worn, this does not feel like enough of a discount to warrant the purchase. If they really want this to be part of their revenue stream, the discount needs to be higher for it to be an attractive option.
Here’s my awesome outfit for the Ellevate Conference. The jacket and blouse are rented from Armoire. I’m posing with the fabulous Helen Krug von Nidda, Contagiously optimistic coach and trainer @rise-collective.com:
View this post on Instagram
#dailyoutfit Loved wearing this eye-catching jacket from @armoire.style , my power pants and sparkly shoes at the @ellevate_ntwk conference yesterday #mobilizewomen 💥 The symbology for the leopard is strength, power and confidence, so it was completely appropriate for the day! 🐆 Attending with the amazing @helenkvn was so fun! It felt so much more meaningful to get to share the #inspiration with a friend, plus it was lovely to catch up! • • • #femalefounders #ootd #release #leadership #money #successful #personalstyle #personalstylecoach #dmv #momlife #workingmom #entrepreneur #mompreneur #changemakers #powermoves #thisiswhataceolookslike #thisiswhatfeminismlookslike
Conclusion: If you like the idea of a stylist shopping for you and want to be sent practical items to provide variety to your wardrobe, Armoire may be a great fit for you (pun intended). Use this link for $75 off!
For more on this topic:
- Insider Testing: Revealing The Truth About Rent The Runway
- How to Keep Impulse Shopping At Bay